Basta! I say. Basta!
What you call me?
No, no. I said “basta.” That’s Italian for “enough.”
Sure, we have lampooned, teased and are now investigating Mark Meadows,
President Trump’s last chief of staff, for listing a dilapidated trailer in Mt. Pilot as his home. (I know, I know: the disputed domicile is in Scaly Mountain, but he apparently didn’t live there, either. Nor Mayberry.)
To paraphrase a famous question: Can’t we all just leave Mark alone and let him go home – wherever that may be?
Cynics are decrying the move as an example of the voter fraud that Meadows railed against from the White House, the voter fraud he says cost his former boss the 2020 election. (It didn’t.)
Now, if anyone else had listed a trailer to which they’d never been as their address, we’d shout “VOTER FRAUD” from its rusted, corrugated rooftop, but because Meadows has made rooting out voter fraud his raison d’etre, there must be some other explanation.
See, there I go again. If I have one fault, it’s that I’m always willing to give the other bloke the benefit of the doubt. That’s why I’m willing to believe that there is a perfectly good explanation for the mess in which our state’s own Eminem finds himself mired.
And when Meadows thinks of it, he’ll no doubt tell us.
Perhaps he’ll contend that he was spending so much time selflessly running hither and yon, trying to rid our country of voter fraud, that he didn’t even know where he lived.
He did, remember, with equal selflessness give up his congressional house seat - representing Western North Carolina - to go serve a higher power in Washington.
It’s also possible that with the N.C. housing market hotter than the grease Grandma used to fry cracklins, Mark and Debbie Meadows – like many transplants moving into a sizzling housing market - bought the place sight unseen, and when they got there, they were sorely disappointed.
“Oliver - I mean Mark - this place looks nothing like it did online. This isn’t the sprawling estate you promised me when we left Washington. Why, the roof is rusted.”
Mark: No, Deb, it’s rustic.
Rusted or rustic, state law makes no allowances for voter fraud fixer uppers. The law says your voter registration application must list “where you physically live.”
Marky Mark, possibly channeling North Carolina favorite son James Taylor, felt that it was enough to go to Carolina in his mind – because he was still physically living in Alexandria, Va.
In a recent interview, the former owner of the disputed structure said Meadows “never spent a night down there,” while his wife stayed a night or two.
For decades – nay, centuries – just about every farmhouse from New Jersey to Virginia claimed that George Washington slept there. Of course, if he’d slept at half the places making that claim, he’d have had no time to fight a war or father a country - or anything else for that matter.
Makes you wonder, though: will we someday see signs on barns, trailers and farmhouses around North Carolina that proudly proclaim “Mark Meadows didn’t sleep here”?
Again, there has to be a perfectly good explanation for why Meadows claimed the charmless trailer as their crib, and he’ll probably tell us when he thinks of it. (I say “charmless” merely from looking at its exterior: inside, it might be a real-life enchanted cottage.)
Until we find out the real deal with where Meadows lays his head and is allowed to vote legally, this embarrassing situation would make an excellent sitcom. I’ve already got its theme song.
Maestro, hit it:
Green meadows is the place to be
Barn livin’ is the life for me
Lies rising in a heapin’ pile
Deb, I love ya’
but this is our domicile.
(At least until the heat dies down.)
An update to this story: Melanie Thibault, director of the Macon County Board of Elections, confirmed to the Citizen-Times newspaper in Asheville last week that Meadows has been removed from the voting rolls.
It has been brought to our attention that some readers did not receive this story when it originally ran, so we are reposting it. Please pardon the inconvenience.