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  •  a question (0+ / 0-)

    Senator Kerry, I appreciate you for many times you stood up, often quite alone, to these criminals in the Bush Administration.  (You were about the only one with the courage to try to filibuster the Alito nomination).  You are providing leadership now in trying to end this rotten and illegal war.

    My only question is, why did you not fight to have every vote counted in Ohio?  Why did you concede so early, before hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots were counted?  When I'm sure you were aware of the voter suppression and dirty tricks J Kenneth Blackwell and his minions were doing to the people of Ohio?  It now has come out that your running mate at the time, John Edwards, wanted to fight to have every vote counted, to fulfill a promise he and you made to the American people, so demoralized after the stolen 2000 election.

    I think people this is a legitimate question he needs to address.  I hope my more respectful manner will spare me the TR brigade offered to the other poster who presented this question to the senator.

    As someone who bicycled several miles in inclement weather to participate in telephone campaigning for you several weekends before the election, and who pasted your bumperstickers onto about every available open surface I could find in my area, I think you should address my question.

    •  Do you have a link to what Edwards said? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karenc

      Or is it just hearsay? How come he and the 08 candidates have been silent on this issue? Do you have any evidence? Shouldn't you be blaming McAuliffe or a weak Ohio Democratic Party that didn't do their job?

      •  well, yes I do (0+ / 0-)

        In Mrs. Edwards new book, "Saving Graces, Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers", she is quoted as saying this:

        "I listened to John in the other room, arguing into a speakerphone that we could not concede until the votes [in Ohio] were counted. "We promised," he said. "We told these people that if they stood in line and fought for their right to vote, we would fight to have them counted. We promised."

        This was widely blogged the other day, I'm surprised you missed it.  Here is a link to the story:

        http://www.bradblog.com/...

        •  This was an account that was told in late 2006 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oncall, Allen, Indie Liberal

          when Edwards wanted to win the people on the left.

          If he really thought there was a case, shouldn't he have gone to the media in November 2004 and told them there was a fraudulent election.

          The count every vote is also disingenuous. The norm is that the loser concedes before every vote is counted. For instance, there will be absentee ballots in states like California that will not be counted until a few days later - well after the state's electoral votes are known to belong to one candidate or the other.

          Kerry said in his concession speech that all the votes would be counted - but that it was apparent that there were too few to make him the winner. They were counted later - and they were too few. (The RFK jr analysis includes estimates of people who gave up because the lines were too long.) Even now, though it is very likely more people in Ohio went to the polls to vote for Kerry, that it is still not possible to prove more people voted for him.

          •  my point exactly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            karenc, beachmom, Indie Liberal

            though it is very likely more people in Ohio went to the polls to vote for Kerry, . . . it is still not possible to prove more people voted for him.

            and he, with a lot more experience than the 1-term Senator from NC, knew it election night

            stop for a moment to think how that must have felt

            "What is a political regime, when devoid of justice, but organized crime?" (Augustine, DCD)

            by Allen on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 07:37:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It felt like crap...........to all of us (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karenc, Indie Liberal, Tonga 23

              now, lets move on to getting rid of the roadblock republicans.

            •  It was obvious on his face and the faces of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oncall, beachmom, Tonga 23

              his wife and daughter. I had never wanted anyone to win as much as I wanted Kerry to win in 2004. That it was against Bush would have been enough, but as I watched thge CSPAN rallies (not shown on more watched TV), saw the debates, and read of the fights he had fought, I knew he had the potential to be the best President I ever had the chance to vote for - and I've voted since 1972.

              I thought I couldn't watch the concession speech, but found I couldn't stay away. That speech was absolutely incredible and made the loss both harder because I was more certain of what the country lost, but also somewhat easier as he spoke of continuing to fight. He is a genuine hero in a generation that has had very few - and I am in awe of his ability to keep fighting with the grace, intelligence, and integrity that he has after winning an election that was incredibly stacked against him - and then having it stolen. He as much as anyone is responsible for the victory in 2006 - if only because he was willing to stand with the troops to demand a needed change in policy when party leaders preferred not to speak out.

        •  The arguing was with LEGAL TEAM of Dem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          beachmom

          election experts.

          You think for one SECOND that if Edwards was actually arguing with Kerry that Elizabeth wouldn't know it was with Kerry and would have said so in her book?

          Get real.  The Edwards have been vague about this point for political reasons. They know they can't confirm the myth that has grown around it at this point, so they remain vague.

          I don't blame them for the political jockeying, but I do blame the mythspreaders who haven't figured out by now that there was no legal evidence to continue in court - EDWARDS had no legal evidence to continue in court - and Ohio recount DID HAPPEN, albeit by Ohio rules which were also set up for Bush's benefits.

          That real negligence was allowed in the YEARS before by the DNC and its state parties like Ohio which were allowed to collapse since 1997.

          Blaming Kerry has been very convenient in protecting all those who DID fail the Dem party and its candidates in the years BEFORE that Nov day in 2004.

    •  I'm not John Kerry but.... (7+ / 0-)
      the answer is that there just weren't enough provisional ballots or other uncounted ballots to have made it likely that the 120,000 vote margin of victory would be overcome. Eventually -- well into 2005 -- researchers and investigators, mostly from Bob Fitrakis's freepress.org learned what had gone wrong and where the  vote gap was most likely created.

      There was a lot of emotion in Ohio (and elsewhere I'm sure) the day after the election and I think many of us needed to cling to some shred of hope, but there was really nothing concrete enough that it justified Kerry challenging the results at that point.

      As for the suppression, we fought it hard and likely won some of the battles, but after the fact, there's little you can do. We did get our revenge on J. Kenny Blackwell however. i think it's likely the party promised to deliver him the governorship if he delivered the election. Unfortunately Ohio voters had other ideas and we kicked his butt by more than 20 points. Now he's boo-hooing and whining and spreading his sore loser stuff with a couple of far-right think tanks -- as if he had a single useful thought in his head.

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 06:35:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes but (0+ / 0-)

        Kerry conceding the election so early gave the signal to the nation that the 2004 "victory" by Bush was legitimate.  The issue is not whether there were enough provisional ballots to push Kerry over the top, the issue was the litany of abuses which allowed Bush to steal Ohio in the first place.  Had tens of thousands of Democratic voters not been purged from the voting rolls, had tens of thousands of Democratic voters in urban minority areas not been forced to stand 10 hours in the rain because of deliberately planned insufficient number of voting machines, then there would have been close enough of a margin for the provisonal ballots to push Kerry over the top.  Hell, we probably wouldn't even have needed the provisional ballots.  Also, what criminal activities were going on in Warren County on election night, when election officials declared a "terrorist" threat, and went on to conduct the vote counting in secret.

        Remember, the NEP exit polls showed Kerry winning both Ohio and the nationwide popular vote.  Kerry should not have conceded.  He should have pointed to the warning signals of a stolen election, based not only on the exit polls but on all the other abuses we are all aware off.

        While we did get rid of J Kenneth Blackwell in 2006, I would venture it is because even Karl Rove could not rig the election when there was a 20% margin of victory.  Kerry failed to fight and lead the way in 2004, even his wife wanted him to fight.  We now know John Edwards counseled him to fight.

        •  We don't KNOW that Edwards advised him to fight (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oncall, MH in PA, Indie Liberal

          The Edwards never said this in 2004 or 2005. Kerry spoke out far more often on the fact that there was significant voter fraud in Ohio. His brother wrote a detailed description of the problems in either November or December 2004. In January 2005, Kerry spoke in Boston at a MLK day event. In fall 2005, Kerry marched in Boston with Rep Lewes and spoke of voting problems. He also gave a very detailed speech in the Senate when the Rosa Parks Voting Act was considered that spoke of the various ways used to prevent people from voting or which prevented people voting as intended. Teresa Heinz Kerry (I think in a Seattle paper) was quoted as saying that the fact that the machines could be manipulated was a problem. Speaking out made them subject to right wing ridicule. To my knowledge in this time frame - when the Edwards spoke out on other things - they said not one peep on this.

          When Edwards first implied (rather than said) that he would have fought it was ONLY in the blogosphere - in the mainstream media there was nothing. Elizabeth Edwards wrote pretty ambiguously in her book an account that could be interpreted as him being dissapointed and surprised or that he wanted to fight back - mostly depending on what you already heard.

          •  maybe (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe the Edwards did not feel it appropriate to contradict John Kerry in public so soon after the election.  However, I do distinctly remember press reports in the days after the election that indicated Edwards wanted to fight and made his views known to the Kerry campaign.

            What I think happened is the ever so cautious Kerry campaign managers, (who counseled him that no one would believe the Swiftboat campaign and it would go away), advised John Kerry that if he wanted to run again in 2008, he could not open himself up to charges that the Republican spin machine would level at him-that he was a sore loser if he fought.

            I sincerely wanted Kerry to win in 2004 and campaigned for him.  After the subsequent horrors of 2 and a half more years of the Bush regime, it does not surprise me that Mrs. Edwards felt in writing her memoirs that she owed more to the country to tell the truth about how her husband felt and so she included that passage in her book.  

            I'm not just jumping on Kerry, I lay blame on Gore as well for not rocking the boat.  Even Bill Clinton bears a major share of the blame, for he allowed this criminal coup d' etat to take place without a whimper of dissent.  I'm not saying he should have refused to give up power.  I'm not advocating a revolution.  I'm just advocating alerting the American people to the coup d'etat that was taking place, and if they would have done this we might have been spared the subsequent 6 and a half years of horror that we lived through and are still living through.

            •  So soon? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oncall

              He didn't speak out until at least a year and a half later. That argument would also make more sense if he at least backed up all the things KERRY said and took grief for.

              As to Kerry thinking it could hurt a 2008 run, if there were a real case to be made in 2004, fighting 2004 is a far more probable way of winning. Not to mention, Kerry knew the changes that had to be made that wouldn't. On Kerryvision.net under In Massachusetts, there is a post on the Iraq town hall that he gave. At the end of the post, there were several small videos segments. One had Kerry speaking of meeting Abbas after he became the head of the Palestinians and regretting that as he was not President he could not do what needed to be done - which was to provide Abbas with the resources to be the one to meet the needs of the people. He mentioned that he spoke to Stephen Hadley when he returned. The point is that it is clear he wanted to be President as much because of the good he could do than for the glory. If there were any reasonable way to be declared the winner, do you think he would have left Bush in charge. (Remember this is a man who risked his career - to speak out on Vietnam, to fight the Contras, and to stop BCCI.)

        •  But how ? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karenc, MH in PA

          How, on the morning after the election, was Kerry--were we--going to make a case based on voter purges months earlier, which in both FL and OH, in both 2000 and 2004, was and is the largest issue.  That's something that needed (needs) to be fought as it was (is) happening, not after it has had its effect.

          "What is a political regime, when devoid of justice, but organized crime?" (Augustine, DCD)

          by Allen on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 07:25:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  he should have told us (0+ / 0-)

            He should have issued a statement on these lines:

            "While it is clear that the figures coming out of the Republican Secretary of State's office in Ohio indicates that the provisional ballots will not be sufficient for me to overtake George Bush in the official totals, I will not concede this election because by conceding I will cast legitimacy on an election which was far from legitimate.

            The Republicans have engaged in widespread voter suppression, they deliberately shortchanged Democratic voters sufficent numbers of voting machines, forcing them to stand in the rain 10 hours or more, and even then some of them being turned away when they tried to vote.

            In Europe and all over the world, exit polls are used to ascertain whether voter fraud was at work.  The respected NEP nationwide exit poll shows that I carried the nationwide popular vote as well as won Ohio by a comfortable margin had all those who tried to vote for me had their votes counted.

            Until there is a national inquiry examining whether this election was legitimate, I will not concede because that would cast legitimacy on an election which has all the indications of widespread fraud and irregularities.

            I realize this will not prevent George Bush from being officially declared the winner, but I cannot in good conscience be a party to a process that has all the indications of fraud.

            I owe that to the millions of Americans who, often at great inconvenience, tried to vote for me and whom the non-partisan exit polls, which had no reason to distort the results, showed gave me the majority of the votes in the election of 2004.

            The fight has just begun."

            •  I think more blame needs to be directed at (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karenc, oncall, Jail the BFEE

              McAuliffe and the GOP. It was his job to secure the elections, solidify and work with the Democratic Parties of each state, which is what Dean is doing with the 50 state strategy.

              As others have said, knowing it is one thing, but proving it (as much as we wish) is another thing.

              He has spoken out on this issue, more than Edwards. More than most including the 08 candidates. No one wants to ask why have they been silent on this issue.  Which is why we have to make them push and speak for stronger election reform.  Kerry can't do this all by himself.

        •  So early? He didn't concede until the next (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karenc, Jail the BFEE

          morning.  The second latest concession in modern history (Gore being first).  He didn't have the proof to contest the election.  This is also a matter of understanding that moment in time:  Marines outside Fallujah awaiting orders to attack.  The election in Iraq was in January '05, and Fallujah was considered a "no go zone" at the time, making an election impossible.  You're telling me that Senator Kerry should have contested an election for which he was down over 120,000 votes without any smoking gun to prove it had been stolen during a time of war?  That is beyond nuts, and as Anastasia said upthread, would have been the biggest joke ever.  Look at how Kerry was treated for trying to filibuster Alito, and now you're saying that he, a former prosecutor, without firm evidence and 120K votes down, should have contested the election?

          As to the Edwardses, well, a private conversation in a hotel room, which was not communicated to anyone else hardly means much at all, other than a nice story for those on the left who feel the way you do.

        •  EDWARDS DID NOT argue to stop the concession (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karenc, beachmom

          only to hold off till next day, which they DID.

          Ohio WAS recounted by Ohio's rules as the recount was triggered automatically.

          This fantasy that has been constructed around Edwards is absurd.

          Does anyone really believe that if Edwards was arguing that he had a case to make to continue in court that he couldn't have convinced the Dem party's election legal team?

          I dare say that both Kerry and Edwards are talented enough lawyers that they could have convinced the election legal eagles there was a legal case to make in court IF they had any legal evidence in hand, or even the math, to make that case in Ohio - as this same team of election experts did for 2000 in Florida.

    •  Knowing it vs. Proving it (5+ / 0-)

      I've always interpreted this in light of Kerry's history as a prosecutor.  Sometimes you know someone is guilty but you just don't have the proof.

      "What is a political regime, when devoid of justice, but organized crime?" (Augustine, DCD)

      by Allen on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 07:22:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very respectful (?), but off topic. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MH in PA
    •  Edwards wasn't arguing against concession, he was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karenc, beachmom

      arguing with DEM LEGAL TEAM to hold off conceding till the next day - which they did.

      It is an internet myth that somehow turned into Edwards arguing with Kerry for a recount - and people sound completely clueless when they say it because Ohio WAS recounted, unfortunately by Ohio's rules which called for a SAMPLE recount.

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