On the 2004 Election and it's woes
Voting: Is It All for Nada?
Common Dreams -
... We knew we had a landslide victory for Kerry by the exit ... the newly registered Democratic voters: the Black, Hispanic, Overseas, Military and Youth votes. ...
Two years ago, I told my friends that if our Democratic legislators didn’t stop the Diebold voting e-machines in their tracks, the election would be determined by the Corporate Elite compliments of the Republican Party and the corporate media. For two years, I wrote letters, called our Senators, John Kerry’s Headquarters, C-SPAN, I signed petitions at MoveOn.org – all for nada. In fact, Paul Krugman was frantically writing about the cheating machines for the last year in his New York Times’ column – all for nada.
We knew we had a landslide victory for Kerry by the exit polls. Before the election, the media told us that Bush was ahead, sometimes by a hallucinatory 11 points, according to the media’s "corporate" polls. But those media polls defied the facts regarding the newly registered Democratic voters: the Black, Hispanic, Overseas, Military and Youth votes. As James Carville put it, "If we can't win this damn election, with a Democratic Party more unified than ever before, with us having raised as much money as the Republicans, with 55% of the country believing we're heading in the wrong direction, with our candidate having won all three debates, and with our side being more passionate about the outcome than theirs - if we can't win this one, then we can't win shit! And we need to completely rethink the Democratic Party."
Carville missed the obvious: Kerry DID win. Rethinking the Democratic Party or discussing new strategies is a little like discussing new recipes with absolutely nothing to cook with if the voting process is rigged. The Republican-Corporation Party cheated, and they did so mockingly, thumbing their noses at us while Kerry turned a blind eye to Ohio.
The question is: are the Democrats accepting a "Hannity and Colmes" role? Is Kerry part of the act?
It seems absurd to talk about what went wrong, to debate Bush's "mandate," as if gay marriage had anything to do with this election when our votes were manipulated and reconfigured, when Democratic voters were disenfranchised in such a flagrant manner that it makes me wonder if Kerry was "in" on the scheme.
The evidence is building as more and more investigative reporters publish their findings in Ohio and Florida (There are plenty of articles on the investigation at CommonDreams.org by reputable and established journalists.)
Sidebar Question: Is cheating a conservative Christian’s idea of moral values?
In Warren County, Ohio, election officials took a rather unprecedented action on November 2: They locked down the building where the votes were being tallied, blocking anyone from observing the vote counting process. President Bush won 72% of the vote in the county.
Earlier this week on Democracy Now!, we reported on a story in Ohio's Franklin County. In one precinct, 638 people cast ballots. Yet, George W Bush got 4,258 votes to John Kerry's 260. In reality, Bush only received 365 votes. That means Bush got nearly 3,900 extra votes. And that was just in one small precinct. This in a state that Bush officially won by only 136,000 votes. Elections officials blamed electronic voting for the extra Bush votes.
(The Ohio Factor: Did Homeland Security and the FBI Interfere with the Vote Count?; Amy Goodman; Democracy Now!)
End Game: Democracy—a Magic Show
If the Democratic Representatives and Senators vanish, it will be their own damned fault for being complacent cowards. With few exceptions, they didn’t stand up to Bush on the invasion of Iraq. They rarely stand up to the opposition on the environment. They turned a blind eye to the Diebold machines. And the final and worst betrayal: They did nothing to secure our votes. Kerry drove away, leaving long lines of supporters out on a limb for nada.
If not our Democratic Representatives and Senators, then who can we depend on? Independent organizations, EarthJustice.org, SaveOurEnvironment.org, MoveOn.org, Democracy Now!, CommonDreams.org, Greenpeace – people like Ralph Nader and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – these folks are the real fighters who do the laborious work, who challenge the polluting industries in court, who raise the funds to stop corporate crimes and to protect our civil liberties. Maybe we should all come together, from these various grassroots civil, social and environmental organizations, and form our own United Party?
If we continue to allow the corporate elite to prevail, there will be two Republican Parties left, for the sake of appearances, representing the corporations, with candidates babbling the same phony rhetoric on patriotism, freedom and security. We'll be given the illusion of voting between Joe and Schmo. The media will provide the magic show with the usual punditry, the flags and whistles, as if Joe or Schmo really mattered. And the American voters? Will they believe that voting has anything to do with them or their lives, that they live in a democracy? Certainly Karl Rove would smile, like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, with a "Yes," on the turn of his brow.
If our Democratic legislators can’t secure our votes, then they don’t deserve our votes.
Jacqueline Marcus’ (firstname.lastname@example.org) editorials and letters have appeared in the Washington Post, Salon, Slate, New Times, (San Luis Obispo, CA Cover story: "The Politics of Restraint"). Her poems have appeared in national university journals, The Kenyon Review, The Ohio Review, The Antioch Review and many more periodicals. Her book of poems, Close to the Shore, was published by Michigan State University Press. She teaches philosophy at Cuesta College and is the editor of ForPoetry.com.
Another Stolen Election?
ChronWatch, CA -
... I take that back; they want every Kerry vote counted ... all they care, the Bush votes and Nader votes can get ... a problem that the ballots for the military didn’t ...
Another Stolen Election?
Written by Roger Burdick
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Even though the election results were well known within a week after the election, there are still some Democrats who believe this election was stolen, too. Peter Jennings even said on his nightly news show that due to the ''high volume of e-mail that we got'' the story deserves to be mentioned.
The argument for the stolen election follows along these lines: For you to believe that George Bush won, then you have to believe all the pre-election polls were wrong. For you to believe that George Bush won, then you have to believe that the exit polls were all wrong...
I’ve looked into this election and I think the vote was stolen. I differ with everyone else though: I think Ralph Nader stole it. Nader was kept off the ballot in many states by lawsuits from the D.N.C. Ralph would have done a lot better than he ever has in any other race because he was at least a comprehensible candidate as compared to John Kerry. But, because of the conspiracy from the Democrat National Committee he came out with very few votes even though he had far less positions to remember than John Kerry did.
Ralph is not stupid and knows if he can make the election favor George Bush, then he can have his revenge against the Democrats. As a side benefit he can start such a war between the Democrats and the Republicans that he might even win in 2008, especially if Hillary is the candidate. Furthermore, he can avoid any responsibility for cheating the election.
We all know Ralph is big on anti-corporate issues and has spies in the industry. I think he has spies within Diebold Corporation that hacked the election results in favor of George Bush. By going against all the pre-election polls and the exit polls, this leads to a huge Karl-Rove-stole-the-election conspiracy theory that the Democrats can cling to until 2008. This way it all gets blamed on the Republicans and Nader is a sure bet for running in 2008. Let me tell you, Old Ralph is one smart politician!
Look let’s be honest here. There is no doubt in my mind there was election fraud to some extent. I just don’t think it was enough to affect the results for president. America needs to take a serious look at this problem. Unless something drastic is done, I think a lot of Republican votes will disappear into the aforementioned black holes. We desperately need to reform our military voting process and create some sort of federal law or guideline that won’t allow states to override the overseas votes. We also desperately need to verify our state-by-state voter rolls, and cross check with other states so we don’t have two-state voters. We need to do this because there are too many organizations, including labor unions that will stoop to any level to get their candidate a win. We need to find this fraud and prosecute those who commit it.
US will be further isolated
OregonLive.com, OR -
... recognize how we, especially those in the military, are being ... only to results of the presidential votes cast in ... one more parting shot at John Kerry President Bush, in naming Condoleezza Rice to succeed Colin Powell as secretary of state, is isolating our nation from the greater world community.
More than ever, we need United Nations support to control the situation in Iraq. Our soldiers need the support of other nations' regular combat-trained fighters. The National Guard was not trained or meant to go overseas for limited conflict. As the son of a veteran of World War I and having served my nation in World War II, I am truly concerned about the well-being of our soldiers in Iraq.
Veterans for Human Rights Southwest Portland
Rice offers only blind loyalty
In nominating Condoleezza Rice to be secretary of state, President Bush has rewarded an inept employee whose only recommendation is her blind loyalty. Her training as a Sovietologist has made her see all international relations purely as state-to-state conflicts. She is blind to multilateralism and transnational forces. From the day she took office until Sept. 11, 2001, she ignored warnings about terrorist attacks. Later, in the 9/11 hearings, she made excuses for her negligence.
She lied to get us in the Iraq war, then she dropped the ball on her responsibilities in the Iraq Stabilization Group.
Expect fallout from killing
[Some] young men are now killing wounded prisoners of war ("Hurt Iraqi's apparent death spurs inquiry," Nov. 16). Before, they were only sexually abusing and humiliating them. This always happens in war. The novelty is that the world is witnessing it. And you can bet that the Arab world is shocked and horrified, watching Americans kill unarmed Arabs in a holy place. As national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice was the biggest proponent in the Bush White House for this war. Now that we are mired in our new Vietnam with no resolution in sight, what junket is next under her new assignment? North Korea? If you don't think we have given the Muslim world a reason to hate Americans, think again. The repercussions of this latest atrocity will haunt Americans for generations.
Killing unarmed man an atrocity
Now the world is plastered with yet another U.S. war atrocity: the killing of an unarmed, wounded Iraqi in Fallujah. Bush claims we are not occupiers because his hand-appointed Iraqi government has invited the United States to wreak havoc on the innocent civilian population. Now, with 2,000 dead in Fallujah, we are creating new mass graves and have turned a city of 300,000 into a ruined ghost town. This is genocide. Excuses we hear are the same ones the Serbians claimed just 10 years ago. While the question appears to be how could a solder kill a defenseless man, the much larger question is how many other cases have occurred out of view of the camera?
Do full accounting of votes
It is time for The Oregonian and for other major media to call for an accounting of the votes in the recent election.
As a retired professor of anthropology and election protection volunteer (in Phoenix, Ariz.), I appreciate Robert Landauer's column addressing what needs to be done in the future (Nov. 13). All of his suggestions are good, but it is not too late to determine what went wrong this time, in many states. All provisional ballots and all absentee ballots must be examined and tabulated with care by nonpartisan groups (such as People for the American Way, which ran the election protection effort in which I and thousands of others volunteered). I refer not only to results of the presidential votes cast in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada, but also to balloting for other offices (for senators and representatives at national and state levels) and for propositions/ballot measures in these states as well.
Post-Mortem on Post-Election Post-Mortems
Dissident Voice, CA -
... 20th Century or his use of military force against ... and congressional representation, and electoral votes, would continue ... not enough, as we saw with Kerry, to be ...
Post-mortems seem to be very popular these days..
Hopefully, this election has drawn white supremacy and settler colonialism into the light of day for all to see, rather than leaving those realities shrouded in denial as they usually are. The electoral map that people have lamented so hard is a map of the Confederacy and of the states stolen via the "Mexican American War" from Mexico -- the so- called "southeast" and "southwest". This is a map of a domestic empire on which the global empire is based. At earlier stages in U.S. history, white supremacy was more naked. In the southeast, the Slave Codes and later the Jim Crow laws of U.S. apartheid defined and enforced a color bar in politics as in all other areas. In the southwest, Arizona and New Mexico, which were captured in 1846, were kept territories for decades, not admitted as states until the white settler population was large enough to outnumber the indigenous (Mexican and Indian) population. It is not an accident that the Bush brothers based themselves in Florida and Texas, two states added to the US empire by illegal military conquest and annexation, that subsequently left the Union to uphold the slave system in the Confederacy. Let's look more closely at the "three-fifths" rule in the Constitution. This decision to count 60% of the slaves, for the purposes of representation OF THE WHITE MALE LAND-OWNERS and slave-holders, was a compromise essential to transforming the U.S. from a loose confederation with a weak central government into a strong, centralized federal state with a powerful executive. It was a compromise between the slave-holding South, which wanted to count all the slaves, and the North, which wanted to count none .. Commonly, U.S. history books claim that the 3/5 rule was eliminated by the amendments which were adopted in the wake of the Civil War, when Africans were freed from slavery, and.. declared citizens of the U.S. and the respective states.
The system seen throughout the country in the election, in which white rural areas in the so-called "red" states overruled the "blue" urban counties, is reproduced and reinforced by the criminal justice system, in which Black, Mexicano/Latino, Asian and Native people are incarcerated outside their home areas. The census attributes their population to the white rural areas where they are housed in penal colonies, at the same time reducing the electoral weight of the depopulated and economically blighted urban areas they came from. Concretely, what this means is that far from uniting after the election, what we need to do is to intensify the contradictions and cracks that have emerged in the electorate and in mass consciousness as a result of the election, and the dictatorship, aggression and criminality that it appeared to validate. Ninety percent of Bush's voters were white, and whether he got an absolute majority or not, half the electorate and a large majority of white voters backed his play. But some sectors of white society had serious misgivings, enough to draw them into rudimentary political action and participation, and to begin to open their minds. This includes younger people, single women, and people in union families... These people voted, campaigned and made donations for John Kerry not out of any allegiance to him or the Democratic Party, but out of total repugnance for the violations of human rights carried out by Bush...
We cannot base our strategies on what will win over white racists and reactionaries, because that is only a fig leaf covering our own acceptance of the limits imposed by the empire on acceptable political activity. When we begin to set our goals based on human needs and planetary survival, when we confront our own concessions to the empire -- not merely Kerry's concession to Bush -- then we will have begun to set our own terms for the struggle and to define our own priorities and strategies. We cannot duplicate the successes of the right, because they operate according to unacceptable norms of group think, hierarchical organization and oppressive social organization and stratification, such as male domination, religious absolutism and white supremacy, that are ratified and endorsed by the state and the corporations. But we should examine more closely how they have organized and how they turned out the vote. The right, particularly the Christian right, is organized not simply or even primarily for electoral purposes. The Christian right organizes the entire life of its adherents 24/7. They have churches, schools, and a social system that reinforces their political indoctrination. The military functions in a similar way, indoctrinating and reshaping not only those within the ranks to wage war, but organizing family members, particularly spouses, to support them. There is little or nothing comparable in any way on the left. The right wing media echo chamber resonates on this pre- existing, highly organized social base that pulls others into its orbit. We flatter ourselves that our failure to do the same is due to independence and open-mindedness on our parts. It is a failure of imagination and of organization, a willingness to live according to the illusions and shibboleths of the empire. Today, most of the labor unions are only a hollow bureaucratic shell of what they once were. Left and even anarchist organizations don't for the most part touch our whole lives. They're issue-oriented, and either amateurish or run according to the board and staff model of NGO's and non-profit corporations.
The fascist right doesn't buy the illusion that the state enjoys a monopoly on the use of force. We have to begin to organize to defend ourselves, to meet our needs by direct action, and to create the world we want to live in by our own efforts. Such a strategy and priority will direct us to the most disenfranchised --the prisoners and their families, the homeless and working poor, the youth. The point is not to get them to vote but to participate with them in the self-organization of the oppressed and exploited with the goal of liberation. We must become our own liberators! We need to recognize that culture war, class war and, yes, even civil war are not analogies or theoretical constructs -- they are realities that are all being waged in an exceedingly one-sided way at the moment, and we will continue to be on the losing side and the receiving end until we clear our minds, identify our strengths, build alliances and start fighting back. ..as a supporter of the Zapatistas, an opponent of NAFTA and its extensions, I can tell you that Canada, along with Mexico, has already been absorbed by the US Empire and war machine. Canadian and Mexican troops are part of the US-led Northern Command. The U.S., NOT CANADA, has first crack at Canadian energy resources and water!
We must get out of Iraq — now
Detroit Metro Times, MI -
... if North Korea were to make a military move south ... one precinct in Ohio recorded 3,000 phantom Bush votes. ... make me happier than discovering that Kerry had really ...
We lost the real battle of Fallujah last week, a little more convincingly than we have lost other battles in the insane war our government is waging in Iraq. That’s not what the headlines said, but it happens to be the truth.
We lost that battle, we have lost this war and we are losing support everywhere across the globe. As a result of this military misadventure, we are dangerously weakening our country.
What’s going on now is far worse than Vietnam and promises far grimmer consequences. We need a massive, nationwide protest movement. And if you don’t start trying to do something about it, who will?
That is the major issue facing us today.
Now I know what you’re thinking. "How can we do anything about this now? George W. Bush has just been re-elected president! Two weeks ago we just finished a long national election campaign, and he won a majority. Didn’t that mean the voters, in record numbers, gave him a blank check?"
Well, yes and no. Nobody can dispute that he won the election. But the fact also is that the true nature of this war was never really addressed. John Kerry never called for us to get out of Iraq, either because he didn’t get it, or because he thought it might be politically risky, or both.
Yes, he criticized the president for starting the war, and for how he waged it. Kerry promised to do better and, in a comment that would have cost him dearly had he won the election, he promised that we would "win."
There is only one way to win this war, and a man who died long before it started, a crusty old Vermont Republican, U.S. Sen. George Aiken, defined it. In 1966, long before it was clear to most that Vietnam was what it was, he said that President Lyndon Johnson should "declare victory and go home."
Nobody listened, and the war dragged on another seven years. We don’t have another seven years to waste in Iraq. Let’s face one very harsh fact:
We are now the bad guys. The insurgents, no matter who they are and what they want, are morally in the right. Iraq is their country, not ours. We have no business there. We invaded them for reasons that were either lies or totally wrong. Remember what we were told by our president in March 2003?
He said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, he was trying to make a nuclear bomb and he was a direct threat to us. We also were told that the Iraqi people would greet us enthusiastically as liberators, and that transition to democracy would just be a matter of time.
All of this turned out to be not true.
Now we are fighting, as Phil Ochs once sang, in a war we lost before the war began. We cannot beat the insurgents because the insurgents are the Iraqi people. We are the foreign occupiers, and they do not want us there.
When we moved into Fallujah in force, "insurgent" or "rebel" activity flared up elsewhere across the country — in Baghdad, in Mosul, in small towns and villages across the nation we’re spending billions of dollars to occupy.
We haven’t a prayer of putting down resistance, even temporarily. Even if it were possible, we have only 138,000 troops there — not nearly enough.
Naturally, we were counting on assistance from the "good" Iraqis, those democracy-loving souls we liberated. The real story of the battle of Fallujah is how well our Iraqi allies did. They ran away.
That’s right, they ran away. Those who could manage to arrange sudden leaves did; the Pentagon admitted at least 200 others deserted their posts and skedaddled, and so did many freshly trained Iraqi policemen.
Yes, they are pro-American freedom sensations. No wonder their countrymen see them as traitors, collaborating with the occupying powers. We lost the battle of Fallujah. Want proof? Afterward, a U.S. officer told the press that the city was "occupied but not subdued." The two most wanted figures, the supposed "terror mastermind" Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and a religious leader, got away, as always. (Anybody see Osama or Mullah Omar lately?)
Yes, we killed a lot of people, including some infant "terrorists" too, I’m sure, and in the process earned the hatred of vastly more Iraqis.
What we need to do is get out. Not in a chaotic, run-for-the-last helicopter kind of evacuation that marked the fall of South Vietnam, although if we don’t start wising up this may come to that too.
What we need to do, as soon as possible, is arrange to turn Iraq over to an international peacekeeping body, probably the United Nations, which would try to maintain calm and hold some form of elections.
David Bonior, who became somewhat of an authority on Middle East matters during his many years in Congress, suggested dividing Iraq into some kind of federation, with Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite spheres.
What doesn’t make sense is what’s going on now. Even if there were some hope that after years and years Iraqis might be pacified, or "subdued," we have two other enormous looming military problems — Iran and North Korea.
Everyone knows, in spite of what the propaganda is, that we don’t have enough forces to handle anything but Iraq. We have fewer people in uniform than at any time since 1940. James Fallows, in a superbly researched cover story in this month’s Atlantic Monthly, demonstrates that we have no realistic military option in Iran, which is busily working to acquire nuclear weapons.
North Korea almost certainly already has them. What if North Korea were to make a military move south? What would we do? At the very least, we’d have to reinstate the draft. How many countries can we fight and occupy at once?
Incidentally, this has nothing to do with partisan politics. If George W. Bush doesn’t leave Iraq, he may end his term, as Lyndon Johnson did, hiding in the White House with his party’s next nomination worthless.
So let’s support our troops the way we should, by bringing them home. John Kerry asked the wrong question. It should have been, "How can we ask one more man to die for what is clearly a mistake?" The answer is, we stop.
Once more, was the election stolen? I’m constantly bombarded with e-mail claiming that a vast conspiracy may have stolen the presidential election by tampering with electronic voting machines, etc. It’s true that some odd things happened; one precinct in Ohio recorded 3,000 phantom Bush votes. And nothing would make me happier than discovering that Kerry had really won.
But he didn’t. The people chose Bush by a close but clear margin. I’ve been studying election returns all my life, and this year’s show that in most places across the nation, in red states, blue states, states using all manner of voting systems, Bush slightly increased his share of the vote over 2000.
Interestingly, however, millions of absentee ballots have been counted since the election, and a majority has been for Kerry, reducing Bush’s popular margin by about 300,000 since election night.
This helps bolster my suspicion that the last-minute Osama bin Laden videotape helped seal the deal. Here are the nearly complete national numbers, by the way: Bush defeated Kerry 60,480,957 to 57,123,038.
Nader, who should in future attract no more serious attention than an Ann Arbor street preacher, got 407,409, or about one vote in 300, which is about what my guinea pig would have polled had I let him ru
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1116-33.htmFrom Florida, 2000 to Ohio, 2004: The Exit Poll Scandal in Context
In my previous column, I talked about the Election Day 2000 exit poll numbers in terms of "phony and phonier." I accepted the thesis of my reader, Will Hartje, that the phony exit poll numbers – including those of the exclusive, official, expensive exit poll run by "superpollsters" Joe Lenski and Warren Mitofsky, were not only false, in order to discourage Republican voter turnout, but to build a case that the GOP had stolen the election, in case the media failed to deliver the election to the Democrats. Considering how many people, aside from hardcore socialists and communists, may be skeptical about such dramatic notions, we need to go back to Florida, 2000, to see what the Democrat party and its allies are capable of doing, when it comes to "winning" a lost election.
Remembering Florida, 2000
In 2000, all of the networks "called" Florida for Democrat candidate Al Gore when the polling places in the state’s Eastern Time Zone closed, but while the polls were still open for one hour more in the rabidly pro-Bush Panhandle, which is in the Central Time Zone. It is highly likely that thousands of Bush voters, upon hearing that the race was lost, were discouraged from voting.
While the 2000 early call in Florida did not cause the 36-day Democrat Siege of America, including the chad scam, it did make it easier for the Democrats and their media lackeys to sell the siege.
The ultimate official count, whereby after several recounts George W. Bush won Florida by only 537 votes, was nonsense on stilts. During several "recounts," Democrat Florida election officials fraudulently took over a thousand Bush ballots and "reinterpreted" them as Gore votes. In some cases, the fraud was obvious; in other cases, officials handled ballots so much that, as one observer noted, the "chads" eventually gave way. (The chads were the semi-attached pieces of paper that were punched out when a citizen voted for a candidate.) Several thousand felons, over 70% of whom registered as Democrats, voted illegally; several hundred students attending segregated, black colleges engaged in voting fraud, by voting both from their home and their college addresses; and a few thousand military ballots from heavily Republican-registered voters, were never counted. Hence, Bush’s Florida margin of victory should lawfully have been ten times what it was, without even speculating on the Panhandle losses.
As I wrote on November 13, 2000, in my Toogood Reports column, "Jesse Jackson on How to Steal a Presidential Election, and Live Happily Ever After," at the end of election night, at 4 a.m., a weary Peter Jennings of ABC News interviewed an exhausted Jackson, who talked in slogans:
"Bush, Cheney, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Orrin Hatch, this is the same thing, states' rights, the denial of a woman's right to choose, attacks on affirmative action ..."
At no time did Jackson say, "Peter, this so-called victory by George Bush is nothing but a case of voter fraud. My associates and I have been fielding calls all day from black Florida voters who were intimidated out of voting, or barred from polling places…."
By November 9, the Rev. Jackson had heard yet more voices. According to Left-of-Castro columnist, Juan Gonzalez, in the November 10 New York Daily News, "As the Rev. Jesse Jackson told me yesterday, it may be that the television networks projected Florida's results correctly the first time, but failures in the voting systems of Palm Beach and Broward Counties led to thousands of Gore votes not being counted."
But how could thousands of Gore votes be counted, if the voters were barred from, or intimidated out of voting?
At 4 a.m. after Election Day 2000, Jesse Jackson was whining about abortion rights and white racism, but about eight hours later, he was singing an entirely different tune, claiming to have been receiving calls all through Election Day from black voters complaining that they’d been disenfranchised. If you believe that Jackson really got those calls, but instead of telling Peter Jennings about them, recycled ancient slogans that were pathetic even when they were new, I’ve got a great deal for you on some Florida swampland.
The 2000 Florida Disenfranchisement Hoax was either formulated in the middle of election night by Gore campaign strategists, or more likely, had been earlier formulated as an electoral fail-safe, to be unleashed the day after a close election. In any event, Jackson clearly didn’t receive his talking points until sometime between 4 a.m. and noon following the election.
At the time, all sorts of wild stories surfaced. Al Gore’s black campaign manager, Donna Brazille, insisted that Florida police had kept black voters from the polls with guns and dogs. Though Brazille was guilty of foisting a stupendous lie on the world, she did not suffer for it. One month later, she was a guest on Ted Koppel’s ABC News show, Nightline, where she was treated with respect by Koppel, who never brought up her little exercise in racial arson.
The NAACP claimed to have "thousands of affidavits" from black voters who had been "intimidated" out of voting or otherwise "disenfranchised." To my knowledge, none of the "affidavits" ever materialized.
When champion race-baiter and "historian" Mary Frances Berry, the chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, held public hearings in January, 2001 on black disenfranchisement, only three black voters gave testimony. All three admitted that they had been able to vote without any difficulties. One woman testified that she’d been stopped at a state police roadblock, but that was only AFTER she’d voted. Neither Berry nor the NAACP was able to produce a single disenfranchised black Florida voter. And yet, the legend of 2000 lives on.
Along with the 1987-88 Tawana Brawley Hoax and the Racial Profiling Hoax, which was begun in its present form in 1999 and remains powerful unto the present day, the 2000 Florida Disenfranchisement Hoax was one of the three most destructive race hoaxes in recent American history.
During the 36-day post-Election Day siege of 2000, Democrats used the legal system to subvert the law, e.g., demanding that Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris not abide by the legal deadline for recounting ballots, and then using the Democrat-dominated Florida Supreme Court to run roughshod over Florida state law.
At one point during the siege, Democrat Palm Beach County election officials sought illegally to move the "recount" to a private room, where the public could not observe it. (Florida state election law requires that all election recounts be performed publicly.) When Republican activists protested, and got the election officials to stop the illegal, private recount, leftist politicians and journalists – who previously had never met a rioter they didn’t like – ignored the law, and smeared the activist with the charge that they’d "rioted."
When the Florida case reached the U.S. Supreme Court and in separate decisions, the justices voted 7-2 and 5-4 to put a stop to the endless, illegal recounts, the Dems and their media outlets invented the legend whereby George W. Bush was "selected, not elected." Writers at the New York Times spoke constantly of the 5-4 USSC decision, while conveniently developing amnesia regarding the high court’s 7-2 decision, the fact that it was the Democrats who had decided to get Al Gore "selected, not elected," and the lawless partisanship of the Florida Supreme Court.
Since November 2000, the Democrat party and its house organs such as the New York Times, have kept hoax alive, and preserved Florida as an example of how to try and steal an election. Indeed, John Kerry announced several months before the election, that he would contest the results in Florida. However, Kerry was beaten so soundly in the Sunshine State that apparently he and his brain trust decided instead to do to Ohio, what the Gore campaign had done to Florida four years earlier.
If "calling" only one state an hour early could have the far-reaching consequences the practice had in 2000 in Florida, imagine the opportunities for mischief through calling many states several hours early via fraudulent exit polls.
Let us now bid farewell to Florida, 2000, and go back to the future.
See What the Boys in the Boiler Room Will Have
As I reported in a previous column, although shortly after midnight after Election Day 2004 George W. Bush clearly had captured Ohio, and thus the election, Dan Rather refused all through the night to call Ohio for Bush, and ABC and CNN likewise refused to make the call.
On November 4, the New York Times’ Jodi Wilgoren explained why CBS, ABC, and CNN had refused to acknowledge that Bush had won Ohio, and thus the election.
"The critical moment came at 12:41 a.m. Wednesday, when, shortly after Florida had been painted red for Mr. Bush, Fox News declared that Ohio - and, very likely, the presidency - was in Republican hands.
"Howard Wolfson, a strategist, burst into the ‘boiler room’ in Washington where the brain trust was huddled and said, ‘we have 30 seconds’ to stop the other networks from following suit.
"The campaign's pollster, Mark Mellman, and the renowned organizer Michael Whouley quickly dialed ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC - and all but the last refrained from calling the race through the night. Then Mr. Wolfson banged out a simple, two-line statement expressing confidence that Mr. Kerry would win Ohio once the remaining ballots were counted.
[Jim Axelrod of CBS cited that statement at the time, but without naming Wolfson.]
"‘What was driving our decision making was the memory of how in 2000, by allowing Florida to go for Bush, a lot of momentum was blocked,’ said one person who was in the room. "Our whole goal was stop the train from moving that way."
"Train stopped, lawyers and strategists at the campaign's Washington headquarters prepared court papers to challenge Ohio's process for counting provisional ballots, and made spreadsheets comparing each county's provisional ballots with its margin of victory or defeat."
It didn’t occur to Wilgoren that anything was wrong with Democrats’ successful hijacking of election night coverage. And yet, I can’t imagine that her colleagues at the Times and elsewhere in the socialist mainstream media (SMSM) are at all happy that she reported on the Democrat-media collusion, or that her editors published her article. Her article may influence election reporting for years to come, because it told of Democrat-SMSM chicanery in much dirtier detail than ever before, yet in a tone that made it sound as if it were standard operating procedure.
And look again at what her source told her: "What was driving our decision making was the memory of how in 2000, by allowing Florida to go for Bush, a lot of momentum was blocked. Our whole goal was stop the train from moving that way."
"By allowing Florida to go for Bush"? Clearly, these people think that they can use the media to make a state fall their way, the voters be damned.
In 2000, the networks called Florida for Gore while the polls were still open in the Panhandle. That violation of proper practice "stopped the train," alright. But the networks only called the state for Bush much later, long after the polls had closed all over the state, which could have had no effect on the momentum of voting – lawful voting, that is.
Returning to the future, after midnight EST on Election Day 2004, with the polls long closed, withholding the Ohio results was not going to lead to more voters lawfully voting in the Buckeye State. The only voting "momentum" that could have been "blocked," would have involved election fraud. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at Kerry headquarters!
"… lawyers and strategists at the campaign's Washington headquarters prepared court papers to challenge Ohio's process for counting provisional ballots …"
But the Kerry campaign had been counting on those provisional ballots. How then, could they challenge the process for counting them? It sounds as though they had taken Democrats’ preferred method of election fraud from 2000, of "reinterpreting" key-punch ballots for Bush or with no vote into Gore votes, and bizarrely projected it onto the provisional ballots. Jacques Derrida, who denied the objective meaning of texts, yet said that everything is a "text," and gave all power to the privileged interpreters of texts, may be dead, but his spirit lives on in the Democrat party.
If FCC chief Michael Powell has any cojones, he will investigate the collusion between the Kerry campaign and ABC, CBS, and CNN. And those of us concerned with such corruption must beat the drum from now until 2008, reminding voters that exit polls are just another form of Democrat disinformation.
In early July 2004, Evan Thomas, Newsweek’s longtime Assistant Managing Editor, noted on the PBS show Inside Washington, "There’s one other base here: the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards -- I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but -- they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points." (A tip of the hat to the Media Research Center for the Thomas quote.) At the time, I thought I’d heard the quote as "five percent," because while five percent was perfectly believable, 15 percent was not. While many poorly informed, middle-of-the-road voters may have been influenced by the endless campaign of SMSM fraud, the reaction cut both ways. While for example, the majority of white, Christian Evangelicals voted FOR George W. Bush, millions of voters who supported him were voting AGAINST other people and policies, rather than for Bush: Against gay marriage, against a Democrat party whose patriotism is suspect, and against an anti-American SMSM. Ultimately, the media may have won the election – but not for the candidate whom they thought they were helping! * * *
I sent the following letter to the New York Times, but rather doubt that letters editor Thomas Feyer will publish it.
To the Editor:
The blind rage of New York Times op-ed columnists Maureen Dowd ("The Red Zone," Nov. 4) and Paul Krugman ("No Surrender," Nov. 5) at the election results was truly a sight to behold. Madame, Sir, I feel your pain. To borrow from Alan Jay Lerner: Poor Democrats. "How simply frightful! How humiliating! How … delightful!"
Copyright by Nicholas Stix
Just because it was November, didn’t mean that the Kerry camp and its network shills couldn’t come up with some more "October surprises" on Election Day. After all, for the Democrats and their media affiliates, it’s always October.
On Election Day, the early returns from the Big Media-commissioned "exit polls" were that Sen. John Kerry was drubbing Pres. Bush across the East, especially in the two states Bush had to carry, Florida and Ohio, if he was to have a chance at winning the election. Keep in mind, that unlike the network election coverage, which begins in earnest only after the polls close, the exit polls start coming out early in the day, hours before the polls close.
AsDick Morris pointed out, there is no excuse for bad exit poll data. The problem with many polls during the campaign is that pollsters include all eligible voters, rather than only likely voters. The opinions of eligible voters who won’t be voting tell us nothing about the likely results if the election were held that day, and are thus worse than no response. In an exit poll, you know the respondent has voted. And exit pollsters know not to interview disproportionate members of any one group. Once you have your quota on female voters, for instance, you stop interviewing females. (Unless, that is, you want to skew the results.)
Similarly, in an unsigned story fromNewhouse/Knight Ridder that ran in the November 4 Seattle Times, political scientist Dennis Simon of Dallas’ Southern Methodist University argued, "If we go back in history to prior presidential elections, those exit polls were dead on. Something has changed to make them less dead on."
The unnamed reporter asked, "What went wrong with those exit polls?
"‘I don't know,’ said [Democrat] pollster John Zogby, who relied partially on exit polls Tuesday to declare Kerry the winner in Ohio. ‘I'm not blaming everything on the exit polls, but the exit polls were terrible.’"
Joe Lenski, whose Somerville, New Jersey company, Edison Media Research, co-conducted the $10 million new exit poll system for Big Media, has complained that people were asking too much of exit polls, which he now insists are useful only in predicting landslides. But the exit polls were reliable in the past, and if they were worthless in predicting close races, the networks, major newspapers, and the Associated Press would never pay so much for them. Somehow, I doubt that Lenski sells media giants on paying his firm and its partner firm, Warren Mitofsky’s Mitofsky International, thousands of dollars each, based on the notion that their exit polls are worthless in calling close elections. Indeed, Mitofsky’s Web site extols its savvy at calling elections: "[Mitofsky International’s] primary business is conducting exit polls for major elections around the world. It does this work exclusively for news organizations. Mitofsky has directed exit polls and quick counts since 1967 for almost 3,000 electoral contests. He has the distinction of conducting the first national presidential exit polls in the United States, Russia, Mexico and the Philippines.
"His record for accuracy is well known. ‘This caution in projecting winners is a Mitofsky trademark, one which has served him well,’ said David W. Moore, the managing editor of the Gallup Poll in his book, The Super Pollsters." Note that Lenski and Mitofsky was the exit poll exclusively used by the Big Media of the socialist mainstream media (SMSM) and the Republican mainstream media (RMSM; Wall Street Journal, Fox News, New York Post) alike. There was no competition. That’s power.
Media outlets don’t need expensive exit polls for a blowout. If the networks can’t call races before election officials can, then no one will watch their broadcasts, and advertisers will withhold their patronage. Big newspapers and news wire services need accurate exit polls in close races, so that their reporters can start writing their stories early enough to make deadline, so that each daily can have a worthwhile product out in time for the next day that people will buy, and which will continue to attract top-dollar advertisers. The various commercial interests, as I see them, are complementary. They do not, however, complement the political interests of leftwing reporters, editors, and pollsters.
Democrat pollster John Zogby blew his election calls based on Lenski and Mitofsky’s faulty numbers. Somehow, I don’t expect to see Joe Lenski publicly condemn John Zogby for using exit poll data Zogby bought from Lenski and Mitofsky to call elections. One of the main reasons we have exit polls, is in order to call elections, which is what Zogby, Lenski, Mitofsky and the other "super pollsters" do for a living on Election Day.
As the anonymous Newhouse/Knight Ridder reporter pointed out, the phony exit poll numbers affected not only the news coverage during Election Day, but even the financial markets. The numbers spread like wildfire on the Internet through leftwing bloggers.
All Netizens are Not Created Equal
Some observers -- including host Eric Burns on the November 6 broadcast of Fox News Watch -- have pointed to the spreading of the bad exit numbers as the undoing of the "bloggers" who had been riding high since they exposed the Memogate/Rathergate hoax. There is a problem with this scenario, however. Burns, et al., use the generic term "bloggers," without regard to the essential distinctions between different bloggers and other netizens. While a number of bloggers eventually helped unmaskMemogate/Rathergate, the hoax wasn’t initially revealed by bloggers at all, but by posters at the Republican Free Republic Web site. And whether bloggers or posters, Memogate/Rathergate was exposed entirely by conservatives and Republicans, not by "bloggers" as such.
There is a subculture of socialist and communist bloggers, which however deserves none of the credit for fact-checking that the media have given it as part of the amorphous set of "bloggers." The presidential campaign was characterized by one journalistic hoax after another that the SMSM foisted on the public, in order to win the election for John Kerry, and by the SMSM’s initial refusal, born of the same motive, to cover stories unflattering to John Kerry such as the Swift Boat Vets. Leftwing bloggers weren’t providing a corrective to anti-Bush hoaxes, they were spreading them! Similarly, the phony exit poll numbers were largely spread by leftwing bloggers. At the risk of sounding like a Republican hack, the rightwing bloggers have been serving as a corrective to the SMSM; the leftwing bloggers have served as the SMSM’s accomplices.
The reason why that should be the case is simple: Blogs rose in influence as yet another Republican and conservative antidote to the routine bias and fraud of the SMSM, whose members see themselves as pillars of the Democrat party. Leftwing blogs exercise no such corrective function. Note the parallel to talk radio. Although there has always been liberal talk radio – think, Larry King – conservative/Republican talk radio took off, because right-of-center voices were censored and persecuted in the SMSM, academia, education, corporate America … Leftists have so many "mainstream" outlets to satisfy their political needs, and can so comfortably push their politics at work, in school, and in public places that relatively few of them feel the need to support outlets like Air America or to spend hours each day visiting Web sites comparing notes with far-flung allies. On the other hand, outside of Fox News, rightwing Americans have to live on talk radio and the ‘Net, if they do not want to be politically "homeless."
This political split within the media is not news, but rather a case of "the more things change …" In sociologist Max Weber’s (1864-1920) Politische Soziologie (Political Sociology), a book within his huge, posthumously published magnum opus Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Economy and Society), he took it for granted that each political party would have its own media organs. While journalism professors still claim publicly to believe in the "ideal of objectivity," in practice, what they consider "objective" is too often identical to what they think will help the Democrat party.
Phony and Phonier
So far, two credible and two baseless explanations, respectively, have been offered for the exit poll/election discrepancy: 1. The exit pollsters fudged their numbers, to make it look like Kerry was beating Bush, so as to discourage Bush supporters who had not yet voted from going to the polls, and bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy (my theory); 2. According to the American Spectator’s "Prowler," the phony exit poll numbers were not from the exit pollsters at all, but werecounterfeits that had been packaged by the Kerry campaign to look legitimate, so that leftwing bloggers and Web sites would spread them; 3. Democrat talking point: "Mean" Republican voters skewed the exit poll results, by refusing to speak to pollsters; and 4. Kerry supporters (including an e-mail one of them sent to me) insist that the exit poll numbers were the real deal, and were only countered through a massive, Republican election fraud conspiracy.
Actually, there were two different sets of bad exit poll numbers: phony and phonier. The phony numbers came from Joe Lenski’s "legitimate, professional" exit poll, while the phonier ones came from a Democrat hoax.
As Dennis Simon observed, the exit polls used to work just fine. And as John Zogby rued, the 2004 numbers were "terrible."
As the New York Times’Jim Rutenberg reported on November 5,
"The new system was engineered to avoid such problems. It was built by the National Election Pool, a consortium of the major television networks and The Associated Press, after an earlier set-up, the Voter News Service, helped lead the networks to call the state of Florida in the 2000 election first for Al Gore, then for George W. Bush, then for neither. The system broke down almost entirely on Election Day 2002."
Let’s see. When Bill Clinton was winning national elections during the 1990s, there were no problems with the exit polls. But once Republicans started winning one election after another, the exit polls, old and new, either produced worthless numbers on Election Day or crashed altogether, as the VNS did in 2002. I’m sure that’s all just a big coincidence.
For the "phonier" numbers explanation, considerthe report by "Prowler" at The American Spectator.
"According to at least three sources, one inside the Kerry campaign, and two outside of it, but with ties to senior Kerry advisers, some of the ‘early polling numbers’ were in fact direct reports from Kerry campaign or Democratic Party operatives on the ground in such critical states as Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. According to a Washington lobbyist with knowledge of the numbers, the numbers were packaged together so as to appear to be exit poll results. They were then scrubbed through several sources to land in the lap of sympathetic bloggers who these operatives believed would put the numbers up with little question.
"Some of the numbers claimed to be exit polling data that showed Kerry with a 8-1 voter ratio. As soon as the numbers hit the Internet, panic set in."
The American Spectator report fits in nicely with what we know about the Kerry campaign’s manipulation of the election after midnight. It appears that the exit pollsters and the Kerry people engaged in separate dirty tricks, each doing their bit to help the Party.
If claim #3 is anything but the unwittingly comical expression of the shamelessness, rage, and desperation of Democrats and their media comrades, I’d love for someone to explain it to me. Note that the "mean Republicans" explanation comes from super pollster Joe Lenski Himself, the same guy who said that exit polls are unreliable to begin with. Well, which is it, Joe? The exit poll data is meaningless in a close election, but the mean GOP voters screwed it up? That reminds me of the Woody Allen joke about the guests complaining in the Jewish hotel: Guest A: "The food here is terrible." Guest B: "Yeah, and the portions are so small."
As for claim #4, I’d like to see its supporters’ evidence.
On November 9, reader Will Hartje wrote from Phoenix, "I believe the erroneous polls may well have been manufactured to provide cover for the ensuing fraud that would have been perpetrated had the election been close."
"They would have been used as ‘evidence’ to support a rigged vote, had the Democrats had the opportunity to do so."
I believe that Will Hartje is right, and thanked him for the tip. That his explanation didn’t occur to me is due, I guess, to my not being devious-minded enough to keep up with these people. How many cover stories do you think they had cooked up, "just in case" the media failed to deliver the election? The mind boggles.
But many readers may find Hartje’s hypothesis paranoid. Assuming those readers are not socialists and communists for whom the epithet "paranoid," like its complements "racist" and "sexist" is merely a diversion from making the right judgment at the right place at the right time, they are surely unaware of the planning, flexibility, and quickness of the Democrat hoax machine. And so, we need to go back to Florida, 2000.
Copyright by Nicholas Stix
White, Christian Evangelicals are the Rodney Dangerfield of American politics: They don’t get no respect.
After being responsible for spearheading the re-election of their candidate, instead of receiving congratulations, Christian Evangelicals got to hear NBC stars denigrate their intelligence, turn their support for Pres. Bush into a negative, and even seek to nullify Pres. Bush’s electoral victory.
At noontime the day after, NBC "election anchor" and Hardball host Chris Mathews, who during the campaign had not sought to hide his hardcore Democrat partisanship, said of Evangelicals, "they’re believing, not analytical," a statement that would have applied perfectly to your typical socialist mainstream media (SMSM) journalist or tenured professor.
Imagine if a network star said of blacks, "They’re believing, not analytical." His producer would cut his mike, before the next sentence came out of his mouth. But at the networks, such disrespect for the intelligence of arguably the most powerful voting bloc in America is not only permitted, but encouraged. (Note that on some social issues, such as gay marriage, black Evangelicals think the same way as their white counterparts.)
In emphasizing that 97% of Republicans voted for Bush, and that Evangelicals are the GOP base, Mathews said that Evangelicals "love Bush," as if that were a negative, rather than observing the real negative of the election, John Kerry’s failure to inspire Democrats to vote for him.
George W. Bush received 51.1% of the popular vote to John Kerry’s 48.0%. (The ultimate size of Bush’s Electoral College majority awaits news from some low-population states.) The Republicans increased their control of the Senate from 51 seats to 55, and picked up four seats in the House, raising their total to 228. No incumbent president had enjoyed such re-election success since FDR in 1936.
On NBC with Mathews, Today host Katie Couric, who rose to fame playing the sweet, all-American girl, before revealing her mean streak, refused to concede the election. That was one hour after Kerry had called Bush to congratulate the latter on his victory. When Mathews noted that Bush had won a majority of the popular vote, Couric parroted the Democrat party talking point, that Bush had won "A majority, not a mandate."
Scorched-earth socialists like Couric will apparently never concede a presidential election to a Republican. Not even Mathews would engage in Couric-style denial, responding, "The rule is 50 percent," a rule that does not, however, apply to Democrats.
They keep moving the goalposts.
In 2000, Democrats refused to concede the election to Bush, supposedly due to his failure to beat Al Gore in the popular vote, and then held the nation hostage for five weeks. (Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 ballots.) At the time, socialists and other Democrats demanded that if Bush were to be president, he was obliged to run a bipartisan, caretaker government. In other words, he could be president in name only.
In this election, not only did Bush win the electoral vote and beat Kerry by 3.5 million votes in the popular vote, but with 51.1%, he was the first candidate to get a majority of all votes cast since his father in 1988. And yet, Katie Couric refused to recognize his victory. And Democrats like to call other people angry and mean-spirited?!
Bill Clinton never won a majority of the popular vote. He received only 42.9% in 1992, winning due to the inroads Reform party candidate Ross Perot (18.9) made in the support of incumbent Pres. George H.W. Bush (37.1%), and received 49.2% in 1996 (with Republican Bob Dole getting 40.7% and Perot getting 8.4%). And yet, there is no record of Katie Couric ever denying Bill Clinton a mandate to govern.
During election night, CBS anchor Dan Rather was just as much a Democrat dead-ender as Katie Couric would prove to be. Shortly after midnight, it became clear that Bush would carry Ohio, and thus the election. As Brit Hume & Co. pointed out on Fox News, Bush only needed 269 electoral votes in order to win, since a tie would throw the election into the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Admittedly playing things close to the vest, to avoid mistakenly calling a state wrong, as Fox did with Florida in 2000, Hume waited until "12:41 and 20 seconds," to call Ohio for Bush." That gave the President 269 electoral votes.
CBS’ stars, however, lived in an alternate universe. Rather’s heir-apparent, John Roberts, claimed that Bush required 270 electoral votes, in order to win. A CBS analyst insisted that a tie would "cause a Constitutional crisis." Since the Founding Fathers had in the Constitution foreseen just such a situation, a Constitutional crisis could only have been provoked by Democrats, led by the media, had they refused to abide by the Constitution’s electoral provisions.
Dan Rather refused to concede Ohio to Bush. Period. As the minutes and hours passed, Rather kept the electoral vote count stuck on 242. Occasionally, he would say, "For those of you who may have been watching somewhere with not as good information as we have," with a chuckle, that CBS was not yet giving Ohio to Bush.
These guys are starting to imitate federal judges who think that if they personally dislike a legally enacted statute, they can simply toss it.
In his folksy persona -- as opposed to his high-strung, hard-charging one -- Rather mixed in some humorous, homespun sayings: The election was "hot enough to make paint peel," and "This situation could give an aspirin a headache."
Rather understood the significance of Ohio. Throughout the night, he would say, "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio."
At 2:06 a.m., CBS’ Jim Axelrod reported from Kerry headquarters with a straight face, that Kerry’s people were saying, "We are winning Ohio."
At 2:53 a.m., Rather said, "If George Bush carries Ohio, that’s it."
After 3 a.m., Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA) appeared on CBS, to provide Democrat talking points: "It is not a mandate …. I hope he will govern from the center. He only won through tearing down his opponent. And that is not a mandate. It’s simply a return to office.
"Well, there’s no mandate to privatize social security. There’s no mandate …" to this, no mandate to that.
In other words, you may think you’ve won, but we’re still in charge. Another version of Dem-logic is trotted out periodically by the New York Times, whose editorial page lectures Republican elected leaders that the only truly conservative position involves "conserving" all Democrat programs, laws, and executive orders.
Speaking of the Devil, at 3:21 a.m., the Times, which had colluded with CBS’ 60 Minutes on the phony Al Qaqaa "missing weapons" story, ran the following headlines on its Web front page: "BUSH HOLDS LEAD; Kerry Refuses to Concede Tight Race; GOP Keeps Grip on Senate House."
At about 3:33 a.m., Rather’s lefty colleague, Ed Bradley, tried to explain to him that Bush had taken Ohio. Bradley showed that Bush’s expanding lead in Ohio, at that point 170,000 votes, was such that even if every provisional vote went for Kerry, Bush would still win. "If you believe these numbers, we estimate that Bush rather solidly has won Ohio."
Rather reproved Bradley, "Now, Ed Bradley, who does not have a degree in math …"
Bradley: "But I used to teach math years ago."
Rather: "Well, if all that holds, Bush will win…. There’s some ifs, ands, and buts there.
"While it appears that the advantage is George Bush’s, the appearances may not be so…."
"Until it’s official, it isn’t official. That’s it. Period."
At 3:42 a.m., Rather said, "Playing it cautious and conservative, as we have all night."
So, Rather will play fast and loose with forged documents, but cautious and conservative with election results? Something doesn’t smell right here.
At 3:50 a.m., Rather did violence to Bradley’s words, saying, "Ed Bradley has done some figuring, and concluded it’s shaded for Bush."
At 3:52 a.m., Rather repeated the misleading notion, that even if Bush got 269 electoral votes, "He would still need one more vote."
If Dan Rather were serious, and the networks could not call a race before the total was "official," then there would be no function for them on election night. The people would merely need to wait until the next day to hear the official election results. But of course, Rather didn’t mean that.
Was Dan Rather counting on some last-minute Democrat electoral black magic?
At 4 a.m., Rather went off the air without ever giving Ohio to George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, socialists and communists at the Web site democraticunderground.com were claiming that Republicans were stealing the election. They claimed variously that electronic touch screen voting machines in Florida were displaying Bush’s name, when Democrats sought to vote for Kerry, and also insisted that because early exit polls were heavily pro-Kerry, it proved that the Republicans were guilty of election fraud in Ohio and Florida. It would never occur to the good folks at DU to consider that the early exit polls might have been fraudulent, due to pollsters seeking to help Kerry win, by causing a bandwagon effect that would encourage Democrat voters to go to the polls, and discourage Republican voters from going to the polls. (On Wednesday, Carl Cameron of Fox News would point out that the exit polls were skewed. For one thing, pollsters interviewed disproportionate numbers of female voters. But there’s no excuse for that. A skewed exit poll is a fraudulent exit poll.)
The New York Times refused to concede that Bush had won the election until after John Kerry did. ("BUSH WINS 2ND TERM; Kerry Concedes, but ‘Our Fight Goes On [sic]’") Does that mean that any candidate, no matter how soundly thrashed, can hold an election hostage, by simply refusing to acknowledge the obvious? According to the SMSM, if he’s a Democrat, it does.
As Clay Waters ofTimes Watch (of the Republican Media Research Center) reported, on November 3, some Times reporters wrote as if John Kerry, not George Bush, had won the election. As Waters noted, the Times’ Todd Purdum claimed that President Bush "has made himself not only the most polarizing president since Richard M. Nixon," and approvingly quoted socialist historian Robert Dallek’s casuistry to argue that Iraq is Vietnam all over again, even if it isn’t. "It's not Vietnam, but it stands in the shadow of Vietnam, and as a consequence, people see this as similar." "People" meant folks like Robert Dallek and Todd Purdum. (Purdum is the husband of Dee Dee Myers, who served as Pres. Clinton’s press secretary.)
Let’s see. Jimmy Carter managed to lose re-election to Ronald Reagan, which would suggest that he was more polarizing (aka "divisive") than George W. Bush. And Bill Clinton got himself impeached, which suggests to me that he was pretty darned polarizing. Nixon, after all, won re-election in one of the great landslides of American electoral history. A "polarizing" landslide victory? Aren’t they all? The only possible meaning I can determine for "polarizing," as used by Purdum would be, "is hated by the SMSM and other members of the Democrat base."
Paralleling the SMSM’s refusal to concede, vice-presidential candidate, Sen. John Edwards, reportedly (I can’t remember where) wanted Sen. John Kerry to dead-end it, and refuse to concede.
Network people and other Democrat politicians have been saying that Bush must seek to heal the rift in the country – by moving to the left, er, "center." Again, when Bill Clinton won his victories without getting 50% of the popular vote, the media never called on Clinton to move to the right, in order to heal the country.
Carl Cameron of Fox News offered the most honest appraisal of the election: A president hadn’t won re-election and expanded his control of Congress, "Since the earth cooled . Not a bad day, and a tough one for Democrats to swallow."
BloggerEd Driscoll had come up with the most though-provoking explanation for Memogate/Rathergate: That Dan Rather wasn’t merely inflicting his own bias on the public, but serving his viewers’ bias, as well. Driscoll noted that with the greater diversity the new media have given us, moderates and conservatives have deserted the ranks of CBS News viewers for outlets like Fox News, leaving behind a hard, leftwing core. Thus, do Rather and his CBS colleagues feel constrained to play to their base. The same explanation may shed some light on Rather’s refusal to grant that the President had won Ohio, and thus re-election.
The challenger and the champ were gracious in defeat and victory, respectively; each called for national unity. Were the leaders of the SMSM and their base listening?
Let’s Get Real
In These Times, IL -
... Thus were a few trivial aspects of John Kerry’s military record used ... pro-Bush poll workers, the machines that kept translating votes for Kerry into votes ...
Bush & company’s theft of the election was a crime so obvious that it requires more effort to deny than to affirm. This rip-off was as flagrant as the L.A. cops’ assault on Rodney King, Kerry’s stellar soldiering in Vietnam, or Bush’s lousy record in the Texas Air National Guard, and yet this national calamity is being dismissed as a delusion.
The reason for the Busheviks’ denial is as obvious as the theft itself: How better to commit the perfect crime than to insist it never happened?
And yet what makes this stance so dangerous is not just its use on the right, but its prevalence throughout the corporate media (MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann excepted) and even among those on the left. To charge that the Republicans did not legitimately rout the Democrats provokes the counter-charge that such claims "hurt the cause" by floating angry fantasy instead of scientific fact.
Rather than urge cautiousness, such automatic counter-claims quash all discussion of electoral fraud, as if the very notion were far-fetched. "This charge was false, so all charges must be wrong," is the response that Karl Rove wants from us, as we will then conclude, conveniently for him, "Case closed!"
A niggling over-focus on particulars is just the attitude that propagandists seek to cultivate because it helps them cloud the issue. Thus were a few trivial aspects of John Kerry’s military record used to call that entire record into question. And thus did Rove succeed in driving journalists away from Bush’s scandalous Guard service by distracting them with the canard that those incriminating documents revealed by CBS were fakes—or rather, that one of them might not have been authentic.
To let ourselves believe that the "election" was legitimate because this claim or that has been disproved(apparently) is to not honor reason. On the contrary, a veritable sea of evidence, statistical as well as anecdotal and circumstantial, supports the claim that Bush, again, was not elected by the people.
To nod agreement that this was indeed an honest win is to forget how Bush was shoehorned into office in the first place; to ignore the ease with which electronic totals can be changed without a trace; to suppress the fact that Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S—the major manufacturers of touch screen voting machines and central tabulators—are owned and run by Bush Republicans, who have made no secret of their partisan intentions; to deny the value of the exit polls, which turn out to have been "mistaken" only in the swing states; to downplay the weird inflation of the Bush vote in county after county, where the number of votes for president was somehow higher than the number of voters who turned out; to ignore the bald chicanery of the Bush supporters who ran the central polling station in Ohio’s Warren County and forced out the press and poll monitors so they could count the vote in secret; to forget the numerous accounts of vote fraud coast to coast throughout the prior weeks of early voting; to overlook the fact that every single "glitch" or "error" that has been reported favors Bush; to ignore the countless instances of ballots—absentee, provisional—thrown away or left uncounted; to forget that the civilian vote abroad (some four million Americans) was being mishandled by the Pentagon (which had somehow become responsible for doing the State Department’s job); and to ignore the many dirty tricks reported—the polling places quickly relocated at the last minute, the fake voter-registration drives, the thousands of Americans who found themselves not on the rolls, the police road-blocks, the bullying pro-Bush poll workers, the machines that kept translating votes for Kerry into votes for Bush. And so on.
To forget or ignore all this and to accept—on faith—the mere say-so of Bush & Company (and our compliant media) is to make clear that you are not a member of what the Busheviks deride as "the reality-based community." Those who help discredit false reports are doing that community, and this erstwhile democracy, a precious service. But, those who would abort the whole inquiry in the name of science or journalistic probity and "closure" are putting that community, and this nation, at grave risk.
Bush Folly, Campaign 2004 and the Middle East
... year rhetoric, much as donning military camouflage fatigues ... the deliberate suppression of millions of Kerry supporters whose votes were "spoiled ...
Bush's Folly, Campaign 2004 and the Middle East
By Genevieve Cora Fraser
Al-Jazeerah, November17 ,2004
The saddest thing about the American election of George Bush is that in the long run it will make the United States irrelevant in all matters save that we have the power to blow the world up, many times over, through our military might. To elect a man who has brought a great nation from astonishing surpluses to the brink of fiscal and cultural bankruptcy, whose sense of moral superiority is elitist and obscene and who in the name of Christ, whose message was to love ones enemy, has declared war on an emotion – terror – and in the process killed over100 , 000 people – boggles the mind. And of course, there’s always Israel and its minions pushing and prodding and mega-manipulating the message.
In the last several months I have received numerous emails from a Neo-Con Blogger who sought me out. He calls himself the "Truth Provider." In an article published on the internet he writes to his Dear Friends, "A well planned, well executed propaganda campaign can be measured by the amount of lies absorbed by the targeted recipients. It can also be measured by false terminologies that after time become the accepted norm." Mr. Truth then proceeds to point the finger at the Arab-Palestinians as the propagandists as he instructs Israeli supporters in his Don’t Say – Say Dictionary to target unsuspecting recipients of his twisted version of the truth. Don’t say "Jewish Settlements" - say "Jewish villages, towns, or Communities," he instructs. Don’t say "Colonialism" - say "Return to the Homeland." Don’t say "Palestinian Militants" - say "Palestinian Terrorist." Don’t say "West Bank" - say "Judea and Samaria." You get the picture. He has also predictably informed me that "there is no Palestine" and became quite defensive when I sent him an article by Gideon Levy that began, "More than 30 Palestinian children were killed in the first two weeks of Operation Days of Penitence in the Gaza Strip. It's no wonder that many people term such wholesale killing of children ‘terror.’ Whereas in the overall count of all the victims of the Intifada the ratio is three Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed, when it comes to children the ratio is5 :1," Levy stated.
"Dear friends," Mr. Truth Provider wrote to the listserv supposedly in sync with his thinking. "Here is another shameful communication I received from Genevieve Cora Fraser, who keeps pushing the Arab/Palestinian cause, using such Israeli bigots as Gideon Levy as her sources of false information. Levy's articles are published by Haaretz. The latest lies she is disseminating is an article about the ‘massacre’ of hundreds Arab/Palestinian children by the IDF, written by Levy."
What does the Truth Provider have to do with Campaign 2004 and the election of George Dubya Bush, aside from his disdain for Kerry and support for the current regime? Whether it’s the Evangelical Zionist Christians or the Zionist Neo-Cons enshrined within the administration, or the political machinations of the Oh-So-Machiavellian Karl Rove and company, the tactics are the same and there is much reason for them to gloat. As Mr. TP says, "A well planned, well executed propaganda campaign can be measured by the amount of lies absorbed by the targeted recipients." Unfortunately, enough Americans bought the lying slogans repeated over and over and over again, such as, "Freedom is on the March" which really meant, we will bomb Iraq into submission. These slogans and lies don’t need to make much sense – just repeat them often enough until they sound so familiar they become "common knowledge" and are mistaken for truth. In the end, Kerry may have won the debates but he challenged Americans to think and consider when over half of the public wanted to fall asleep at the switch as the train of state barrels over a cliff.
Am I bitter? Yes, and disappointed. To be a died-in-the-wool caring about something-greater-than-myself liberal does not make me less patriotic. My eyes fill with tears when I hear the Star Spangled Banner and think about the meaning of the words as I pledge allegiance to the flag which ends, "With Liberty and Justice for All." Despite his stated support for the policies of Ariel Sharon, I have spent the past six months in door-to-door campaigning throughout New England on behalf of John Kerry and at the end, in Florida, As a constituent of Kerry’s for over 20 years, I have seen his ability first hand and also know that he is not a racist. Though some may call it disingenuous, I suspect Kerry’s support for Sharon was election-year rhetoric, much as donning military camouflage fatigues might have gotten him through the Mekong Delta. However, I have no doubt that Kerry wants what is best for Israel. Frankly, I do too.
My take on our nation’s support for conflicts in the Middle East is that, along with a need to control the regions’ oil supply and sell armaments, it is based on deeply rooted racism craftily promoted by pro-Israeli spin doctors over the past several decades. But Kerry is no racist as his 1971 testimony before a Congressional subcommittee proved. He exposed the war crimes committed against the people of Vietnam, labeling them as racist. Kerry’s Primary Campaign was run by an Arab, and he has repeatedly stated he would appeal to moderate Arab and Islamic countries to build peace through a platform of understanding. And if you examine Kerry’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he didn’t breathe a word about Israel or Sharon. No wonder people in support of Zionist Israel were wary of him. The Zionist agenda is racist through and through, not only in regard to Palestine, but in Israel too. For many Arabs and Bedouins living in Israel, even the basics of modern life are denied, such as electricity and running water, while Jewish Israelis living nearby are granted these and many other privileges. In the so-called "only democracy in the Middle East," the Arab member of the Israeli Knesset Azmi Bishara has been indicted for daring to speak his mind. And though Israel "allows" him to be the representative for the Arab-Israelis, he is a "silent" member who has been stripped of his rights to speak before this august body of Zionist-Jews.
According to reports of the International Community in Defense of Azmi Bishara, "On 11 November2001 , Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein, who also serves as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's legal advisor, filed two indictments against MK Bishara. The first indictment, which charges MK Bishara with violating the ‘Prevention of Terror Ordinance’ (1948), concerns two public speeches made by MK Bishara in which he affirmed the right of occupied peoples to resist occupation in accordance with international law," the report states. "The second indictment, which charges MK Bishara with violating Regulation18 (d) of the ‘Emergency Regulations’ (Foreign Travel) (1948), concerns MK Bishara's arrangement of humanitarian visits for elderly Palestinian citizens of Israel to reunite with their refugee relatives in Syria."
How can the United States of America whose Constitution and Bill of Rights enshrines "Liberty and Justice for All" hand over billions of tax payer dollars each year in support of Israel’s fascist agenda? That too boggles the mind. How can a country pretend to be a democracy when an honored public official is indicted for arranging humanitarian visits for the elderly? But pretend they do in that Rights-for-Jews-Only country which bankrolled its start-up by the theft of Palestinian land, property and bank accounts as they vanquished its once flourishing population to the dregs of a refugee existence.
Contrast the inhumanity of the Israeli government towards non-Jewish residents with the non-racist attitude of their avowed enemy, the recently deceased Yasser Arafat. "Because it is the Terra Sancta, the Holy Land, it is not only for Palestinians, but for the Israelis, for all Jews, for all Christians, for all Muslims," Arafat said. He proved it too with his heart-felt friendship with Israeli Jewish members of the peace camp, such as Uri Avnery. What heresy! No wonder the Zionists wanted him dead. Arafat’s belief set itself against the Israeli racist apartheid agenda and their genocidal actions against the sons and daughters of Palestine which Arafat countered with bloody resistance. Arafat’s funeral and the heart-felt grief of millions (and possibly billions) of Palestinians and people throughout the world is a tribute to his greatness despite personal flaws. Along with promoting a much-needed Palestinian nationalism movement, his leadership bonded people in a shared humanity and civil rights, not in a misguided hegemony bent on world domination and control. As the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela stated in tribute to Arafat, "He was not only concerned with the liberation of the Arab people but of all the oppressed people throughout the world, Arabs and non-Arabs. To lose a man of that stature and thinking is a great blow to all those who are fighting against oppression".
Yes, Arafat is gone from the world stage but will his demise offer new opportunities at a time when once again the democratic election of a US president has been called into question? I doubt it. Not with a Zionist President at the helm bent on a hegemony ruler-ship of the world in partnership with Israel. It’s funny how a computerized vote for Kerry turned into a vote for Bush in far too many instances. Could the exit polls have really been wrong? What about the deliberate suppression of millions of Kerry supporters whose votes were "spoiled" or made "provisional," could they have turned the tide of the election?
In the final days of the campaign, I was a volunteer for Move On PAC in Florida. I canvassed door to door for three days in a Republican precinct in Seminole County and later served as a poll watcher on November2 nd.
Though the Republicans in support of Bush registered strongly in my recollections, as I tallied results at the end of canvassing each evening what shocked me was that Kerry was ahead two to one and on the Monday before Election Day, three to one among those I canvassed. And on November2 nd Exit Polls also showed Kerry in the lead, but once that was revealed, in certain swing states Kerry’s support quickly evaporated. Was it Voter Fraud? Only a thorough investigation as requested by certain members of Congress can clear the air from the stench of what has followed the Bush Administration from the beginning – something very rotten in the state of America
Vote Shows Media Failed
Common Dreams -
... If a president who avoided military service could successfully ... Kerry may not have been my optimal candidate, but ... a people only if electors cast informed votes. ...
Some people blame Kerry as a poor candidate. But especially in the last six weeks, he was strong and articulate. If a president who avoided military service could successfully misrepresent a war hero like Kerry as being unreliable on defense, whose record could better withstand such an assault?
Some blame the Democratic Party for a mediocre platform. Actually, thanks to one of the more informed primary campaigns in years, the election offered real and important contrasts between candidates. Kerry may not have been my optimal candidate, but he was a clear and excellent alternative to President Bush.
Some people blame evangelical and Christian voters. Clearly, many Christians were persuaded to vote based on one or two divisive social issues. But among this pro-life voting bloc are many who recognize the sacredness of the more than 100,000 lives killed in the Iraq war. The question is who successfully creates and communicates the biblical filter through which election choices are viewed? Is it the sole province of ultraconservatives, or can the church reclaim its long-established precepts of compassion to the needy, stewardship of God's creation, and peacemaking?
Some raise serious concerns about voting fraud. Certainly irregularities must be quickly and thoroughly investigated. This time, if a fair investigation reveals that any election results are compromised, we must challenge the outcome of those illegal elections.
But these analyses fail to explain how even a slim majority of the electorate could support a president whose tax policies clearly favor a small elite, whose environmental policies compromise the health of today's children and those yet to be born, whose foreign policy has been so disastrous. One thing is certain. An election can be said to reflect the will of a people only if electors cast informed votes. But in this election it's certain that they did not.
As much as I dislike polls, they tell a certain truth. This election, their truth was of a misinformed cadre of Bush supporters. Days before the election, 72 percent of Bush supporters surveyed still believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Despite the 9/11 Commission's findings to the contrary, 75 percent believed Iraq was providing substantial support for al-Qaida. Fifty-eight percent said we should not have gone to war if no such weapons existed and if Iraq was not supporting al-Qaida.
Majorities of Bush supporters polled incorrectly believed that Bush supports participation in the International Criminal Court, the treaty banning land mines, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Clearly, there is no mandate for this election, given the faulty premises under which many people voted.
There are many important strategies for reclaiming democratic institutions. But none is more important than rebuilding the independent media so essential to a functioning democracy. The extent of electoral fraud remains to be seen. But the failure of our nation's consolidated media to provide accurate and impartial information to the electorate constitutes a far greater disenfranchisement.
I think of my post-election correspondence as get-well rather than condolence notes. Democracy hasn't died. When we get sick, it takes a while for our immune system to kick into action. Central to our nation's recovery will be a strategy shared by conservatives and liberals alike: forcing media reforms that require balanced reporting of facts and concerns important to the public.