Charles Taylor’s Bum Card

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Since we’re on the subject of Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.), it’s probably worthwhile for a flashback to another Taylor highlight – the CAFTA vote last summer.

It was a very tight vote, and Taylor was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Republican leadership was counting every vote, bearing down hard on him, but Taylor comes from a district hostile to free trade. What to do? Yea or nay?

According to Taylor, he meant to cast a vote of “No.” But wouldn’t you know it? His voting card, which members insert into a machine to record their vote, broke. Or at least, it seems to have broken, even though it worked for a number of other votes the same day.

Soon after he voted (or failed to vote), he disappeared and couldn’t be found when it was discovered that he hadn’t voted. He only found out about the snafu the next day, he says, when he left the gym.

CAFTA ultimately passed by a razor thin margin of 217-215.

Taylor made an announcement the next day that he’d meant to vote no. He then reinserted his vote – which brought the offical tally to 217-216. One can’t help but wonder whether Taylor would have bravely done the same if his vote had been the deciding one.

You can read TPM’s highly entertaining coverage of Taylor’s remarkable voting debacle last year here.