Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.
– At least 90% of the black cardinals would vote in lock step for one of their own to be Pope.
– Conservative cardinals would ask that the other cardinals follow steps to assure an absence of ballot stuffing and other fraud. Liberal cardinals in turn would file lawsuits to prevent those measures from being taken.
– The media would run positive stories about the liberal cardinal they wish to be elected and negative stories about that person’s closest competitor. And negative stories in general about all the conservative cardinals that could potentially be elected.
– If a conservative cardlnal prevailed, even if by a substantial margin, there would be multiple lawsuits seeking to overturn the election and the media would declare the new Pope “doesn’t have a mandate.” But if a liberal cardinal were elected, however, even if by one (double-counted) vote, then the papal chattering classes would go about their business as usual, not bothering even to review the election, much less to wish it challenged. And the media would declare the new liberal Pope to be the 2nd coming.
Imagine the Koch brothers buying the papacy. Or a campaign wherein the leading Cardinal accused women of being sluts for using birth control?