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Enter the reindeer herder

Last night on the show, Rachel asked whether Michigan Republicans were ready to send a reindeer herder from their state's wealthy 11th Congressional District to Washington. The reindeer man would be Kerry Bentivolio, right, the lone Republican who managed to get his name on the primary ballot. Incumbent Thaddeus McCotter (not pictured) managed to turn in not quite a quarter of the 1,000 valid signatures required, along with a lot of what the state says looks like cut-and-paste fraud.

So, wealthy Republican district in Michigan, are you ready for the reindeer herder? Today we got an answer: Yes. The Detroit Free Press reports today that even without McCotter on the ballot, Michigan Republicans say they're confident they'll hold the seat. Columnist Brian Dickerson writes that after taking over the state government in 2010, the GOP redrew the district as a maze, so they could keep it red:

[Y]ou have to understand with what undisguised contempt for the democratic process Michigan's GOP legislators undertook to craft new boundaries for what they envisioned as McCotter's personal sinecure....

If the newly configured 11th were an animal, it would be a lapdog primping on the GOP candidate's lap. If it were a human being, it would be one of the GOP's bright young election data analysts flipping off Democrat Peters and his erstwhile constituents.

And so, yes, if McCotter's tied up with the twin challenges of a write-in campaign and a formal investigation into "unprecedented" election fraud, then the reindeer guy will do just fine.

For his part, Bentivolio has been running a standard fed-up, not-a-politician campaign. You can still find typos on his website like "Drop down can have a title of "What does Kerry Stand for." Bentivolio's plans for voting in Congress might not fit with Republican plans for him. Bentivolio says he'll ask himself three questions about every bill: Does the Constitution give Congress authority to act on that issue; would the law "benefit ALL of the people"; and "Can we afford it NOW without having to borrow?" Lately, that hasn't been the Republican way.