What happened to Josh Marshall? He's one of my favorite bloggers, but lately he's been sounding increasingly conspiracy-obsessed.
In late September, Marshall made the joke "Time to hit the Diebold panic button?" in this post on President Bush's low approval ratings. Even if he wasn't serious, the suggestion of conspiracies to rig elections using electronic voting machines was probably taken seriously by some of his readers.
Today, Marshall went much further, suggesting without any evidence that the 2004 presidential election was stolen:
Helping steal the 2004 election wasn't enough. Down by double digits and facing a career-ending election, Ken Blackwell accuses Ted Strickland of being pro-pedophile, possibly gay.
Blackwell's charges against Strickland are sleazy, but it's an even more serious allegation for Marshall to accuse someone of "[h]elping steal" a presidential election. Where did this come from? As far as I can tell from Google, Marshall's never mentioned Blackwell before.
Moreover, there's no evidence that the 2004 election was stolen. As I wrote last year, "Democrats even conceded that there was no evidence of fraud when releasing their report on irregularities in Ohio" and "Walter Mebane, a respected political scientist at Cornell who consulted on the DNC report, told the Washington Post that it is 'highly unlikely' that Kerry would have won Ohio no matter what."
Update 10/18 9:02 PM: To be clear, there are allegations that Blackwell acted in bad faith in his role as the chief election official in Ohio in 2004. But there is no credible evidence that he helped "steal" the election.