Meet Keith Judd

Here is a thought experiment for you: imagine that it is 2004, and President George W. Bush is cruising to re-election with no opponent in sight. Only he encounters a bump in the road: in one state’s primary, an opponent who is a convicted criminal, currently incarcerated and unable to campaign, garners 41% of the vote. It really isn’t possible to imagine the hysteria that such a phenomenon would have spawned.

Of course, W. isn’t the president, and Barack Obama is. So to the mainstream media, it is a matter of only passing interest that an opponent in West Virginia who is not only unknown but is actually imprisoned in another state, got an astonishing 41% of the vote in yesterday’s Democratic primary.

So who is this mysterious challenger? His name is Keith Russell Judd. You can read about him here. Judd says he is a Harvard graduate and claims to be a musician. He says that his mother was Lillian Russell, a famous actress of the 1920s who unfortunately died before he was born. He claims that his father helped design the atomic bomb–a claim that appears equally implausible. Judd says he is a Rastafarian-Christian–whatever that is–and claims to have graduated from the University of California at Los Alamos. As you probably know, Los Alamos is in New Mexico, and no such university exists.

So how did such a fruitcake garner 41% of the vote in the West Virginia Democratic primary, in which he was unable to campaign? Judd might not be a Harvard graduate, but he isn’t stupid. He jumped through all the hoops necessary to get on the ballot. And he committed himself to policy positions that had some appeal for Democratic voters, to the extent they knew he was running. Judd went to the trouble of filling out the Project Vote Smart form, which is the source of most media information about his views. His entries are actually pretty interesting. Sure, he says his mother was Lillian Russell, a famous actress of the 1920s, and his father designed the first atomic bomb. But let’s not get hung up on such details. Judd also reveals himself to be, in key respects, a typical Democrat. Thus, Judd said that the federal government should greatly expand federal spending–he advocated that we “greatly increase” spending in every single category–while at the same time eliminate all taxes. Every single one. How will this work? Judd explained:

The Federal Government produces its own currency every year. The Federal Government can merely operate on its own self produced money rather than pretend to borrow it to pay private banks to store it and regulate interest rates, and then tax it.

I am not sure I fully understand that explanation. But then, I don’t understand the Obama administration’s financial strategy, either. Is Judd’s formula–“the Federal Government can merely operate on its own self produced money”–any different from the Obama administration’s policy?

Forty-one percent of West Virginia’s Democrats voted for Keith Judd, no doubt mostly as a protest against Barack Obama, who is doing his best to drive their state back into poverty. But those voters may not have realized how firmly within the mainstream of the Democratic Party Keith Judd, Texas inmate number 11593-051, really is.