Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Record of Shame

Picked up a copy of Steven Freeman and Joel Bleufuss' Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count today. More to support them and the cause than to learn anything new, especially if you caught RFK, Jr.'s Rolling Stone article before it disappeared into the vapor. But the book goes into more technical detail and was co-written by the first stat guy who got a paper out on the Internet about the obvious questions and earned villification and comments about his sanity as a result. It will be important in future years to have a hard copy at hand of what should have been the Dems' and our side of the blogs' talking points in taking the legitimacy of that election and the corruptability of the voting full-throttle at the Repubs for the last 21 months.

I've said all I'm going to say about the idiocy of falling for the "oooo . . . conspiracy theory" crap that Kos and his minions have dispensed. It is fundamental to politics, to the obtaining and retaining of power, that, if votes can be manipulated without record or fear of being caught, they will be. It's not "conspiracy theory"; it's common sense, it's reality, proven time after time. Look no further than the careers of LBJ, Richard Daley, Boss Tweed, and the guy who beat me for a fifth grade office to get your confirmation. When Howard Dean referred to Katherine Harris as another Stalin the other day, he wasn't talking about her genocidal tendencies, which at least metaphorically exist for her campaign staff. He was referring to the famous quote Stalin (allegedly) made about it's not the person who votes who counts, it's the person who counts the votes. (And how alternately funny and depressing was it that so few people seemed to catch the allusion?) When the history of this period of American life is written, it will be the shame of people who could have brought the vaunted power of the blogs to this overriding issue, whether the 2004 election was stolen or not, especially when there will likely be legitimate questions about some of the 2006 elections and when the Repubs are already preparing to challenge the legality of Dem win after Dem win to prevent either house of Congress from going Dem. The people who stopped the Social Security privatization could have laid the groundwork for far more oversight and security of the 2006 voting rather than leaving the political ground once again to the Repubs on Wednesday, November 8.

There will be no excuse, nowhere to hide. The people who pooh-poohed this stand to hold the same position as the liberal warhawks who derided those of us who opposed the Iraq adventure because we understood power and politics and needed more than illusion and insult before we hopped aboard a belief that had very shaky evidence to support it. Believing that the 2004 election was up-and-up, with all the questions still out there that, as this book points out, have not been answered, the MSM and the MSbloggers notwithstanding, is of the same cloth. And the long-term effect on this country will be just as damaging.

Buy the book. Help them keep the message out. Make it impossible for them to say they couldn't have known. And have plenty of alcohol nearby as you read it.