by Dave Weigel

Ed Barnes has the lede of the day, if only by accident: 

The chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party called Thursday for a massive, eleventh-hour investigation into allegations of illegal voting by felons in the state's bitterly contested 2008 Senate election.

OK, somebody help me with this. "Eleventh-hour" means, basically, in the final stages of something. The shot clock is ticking down. The egg timer is about to ring. The video is almost done buffering. And so on. So how do you do an eleventh-hour investigation into something that happened 20 months ago? This is a yoga backbend by a reporter who needs to pretend that the the story he's writing makes sense. I mean, here's Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.)'s comment on a conservative group's report -- which everyone admits is flawed and undoubtedly includes false positives.

Referring to Minnesota Majority, which conducted the voting study, Pawlenty said: “They seem to have found credible evidence that many felons who are not supposed to be voting actually voted in the Franken-Coleman election. I suspect they favored Al Franken. I don’t know that, but if that turned out to be true, they may have flipped the election.”

They "may have," says the governor who watched a three-stage legal process unfold over eight months and signed the Democratic winner's certificate of election. Come on, this is hackery unbecoming of a potential president of the United States. You don't let an ideological group play games with the rule of law, no matter how much you dislike the fact that the Duluth Answer Man is now a U.S. senator.

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