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Opinion
Each Monday, Tommy Tomlinson delivers thoughtful commentary on an important topic in the news. Through these perspectives, he seeks to find common ground that leads to deeper understanding of complex issues and that helps people relate to what others are feeling, even if they don’t agree.

Where is Mark Meadows' official residence? Maybe in the hall of hypocrisy

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Gage Skidmore
/
Flickr
Then-U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina speaks with attendees at the 2019 Teen Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C

If you have a pulse, you’ve been a hypocrite. It’s a natural human flaw. From time to time, all of us find ourselves in a spot where the only way to explain our actions is to say some version of, "Do as I say, not as I do.”

However, if you want to see a true master class in hypocrisy, let me introduce you to North Carolina’s own Mark Meadows.

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You might remember — in fact, you might have tried to forget — that Meadows, a former congressman, worked himself into President Trump’s inner circle. He was Trump’s chief of staff for most of the last two years of his term.

And as that term came to an end, Meadows did his best to reverse the results of the election his boss lost to Joe Biden. He tried to get Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the certification of the results there. He put Trump in touch with Mark Martin, a former North Carolina judge who convinced Trump that Vice President Mike Pence could simply refuse to count electoral votes. That harebrained idea helped lead to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. House voted to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to cooperate with the investigation on what happened that day.

All along, Meadows was one of the biggest pushers of the outright lie that Trump lost because of voter fraud.

So guess what? It turns out that Meadows might have committed voter fraud himself.

The New Yorker’s Charles Bethea broke the story that Meadows, on his voter-registration paperwork, lists his official North Carolina residence as a mobile home in Scaly Mountain, southwest of Highlands near the Georgia line.

Meadows’ wife, Debbie, rented the place for two months. The owner of the home at the time says Debbie Meadows spent one or two nights there. Their kids also visited. But according to Bethea’s reporting, and follow-up work by other publications, it appears Meadows has never so much as spent a night there. And North Carolina voting records show he voted absentee-by-mail ballot in the 2020 general election, about six weeks after registering with the Scaly Mountain address.

Meadows has not responded to any of the stories about his voter registration. Maybe he has a logical explanation, although it’s hard to figure out what it would be.

Voter fraud is rare. Despite what Trump and any number of his followers would have you believe, voter fraud and election fraud cases almost never amount to anything. The one credible case of voter fraud in recent history was here in North Carolina, in a 2018 congressional race, where the election was thrown out because of shenanigans in Bladen County involving political operative McCrae Dowless.

Meadows would make it 2 for 2 in North Carolina. Maybe there’s something in the Cheerwine.

But just imagine for a second the breathtaking amount of gall it would take to push our whole country to the brink of collapse based on phony accusations of voter fraud, while at the same time you had committed actual voter fraud yourself.

There’s this old F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” The problem with Mark Meadows is that he might have acted on both those ideas at the same time, to the detriment of the law and democracy. Ain’t nothing first-rate about that.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column runs Mondays on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

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