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View Diary: Brad Carson speaks - and pens a brilliant TNR article (348 comments)

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  •  Carson (none)
    I hate to say this, but I believe most of the Democratic problems stem a skewed election. Why overreact to 'not' connecting with voters when we don't know the full extent of vote rigging. I tend to think Carson lost because of vote tampering, not on faith issues. I am in Tennessee, and the Dems in Tn are stunned we lost by so much. Many are muttering that it simply could not have been 10%. Which makes me wonder that the rigging was not only to win but also win the plurality, to support mandate. And were they ready to run with the 'mandate' angle, hell yes they were. I do not agree with all the soul searching going on. I do think Kerry dogged off on many real issues during the campaign, but clearly he was appealing to the undecideds without tipping the apple cart. Many have spoken to this and I will let it be. But this did not loose the election. We lost because of a broad tampering problem.

    Carson's points are to be considered, but I do not see any watershed problem. I believe the Dems have done very well, no need to re-discover anything. Those that joined - joined for a reason, and it is still valid. I suggest we cool off this 'why we lost' mentality and comb through the voting irregularities. Then, and only then, can we consider the kind of points Carson is making. And I do not think they represent a structural problem at all, simply something we should factor in the overall going forward.

    Let's hold off the hand ringing. If the election was stolen, that is problem number one, far outstriping all the hubbub about why we lost.

    •  Same in VA (none)
      We can understand that Bush won.  What we can't understand is how Bush won so big when so much effort was spent here vs. the Republicans who basically ignored the state, and how the exit polls had Bush +3 but Bush ended up winning by 8 or something.

      -Fred

      Organizing my thoughts about how to win from 2005 forward - http://fredsfred.blogspot.com

      by FredFred on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 05:54:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exact same for Tenn (none)
        We never saw a political ad in Tennessee. The state Dems worked like hell, and the black vote was huge. But in the end, we lost ground. All the new voters went to Bush (talking a bit loose on this point). There is widespread disbelief of the results. I don't harbor hopes of Kerry being sworn in, but we really need to drill down on the actual vote. It may be that we need to go to an all paper ballot the next time around.

        Also, I was in Florida, and the ballot there said black or blue ink. The same scanner system in Tenn said black ink only. And in Florida they were giving voters blue ball point pens to vote, and then having them stand in line outside with their ballot and blue ball point pen. Ballots were getting filed out while being held in hand with a ball point pen. In Tenn, we used a black felt tip marker only, and you went straight to the voting booth to do it. Florida is a mess all around.

        •  getting a little off track, but... (none)
          The point is still that we really need to understand the vote. This means parsing the small details down to the nub. Carson's comments should be seed as useful, but not telling. Of all the punditry I have seen, it appears to me most are going off half cocked. If Kerry had slightly won the election, which would not have taken much from what we know, then the discourse would be completely different.

          Come on, let's keep our wits and keep up the crusade. No bashing or blaming necessary right now. We should concentrate on knowing the real vote.

    •  Do you have any evidence (none)
      regarding voting problems in Oklahoma? I haven't seen any and I live here. Ironically, the truth is, voting is one of the things my native state actually does right. We've had a standardized optical-scan balloting system in place statewide since the early '90s. Our votes get counted quickly and there are really very few problems. Here's an article about it from the Enid newspaper.

      Remember one thing, the dream you can see /Pray to be, shake this land/We all do what we can /So we can do just one more thing -Cat Power, "Maybe Not"

      by sjcyoung on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 08:18:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zero info on Oklahoma (none)
        I have no information on Oklahoma. I also have no inside information on Tennessee. I only know that in Tn the vote was dramatically for Bush, when it was supposed to be very close. And we had a 35% increase in vote, a heavy black turnout statewide(normally low), which seems to have all gone for Bush. In reading the most credible of the posts, I fear a systematic problem with the vote. What is discussed about New Hampshire mirrors what seems to be on the ground here in Tn. Ditto NC and now VA, and elsewhere that weren't battleground states. Also, Tn uses the scanners in many areas, not sure % of total.

        As I say, we need to drill down. This won't get Kerry sworn in, but, it may negate an unnecessary introspection of what went wrong, and possible emergent destructive conflicts. It appears to me things went mostly right, but we need to do the work and be patient.

        The more I think about Carson's comments, the more I dislike them as he intended it to be taken. I am 56 years old, and I have dealt with over reaction most of my working career. The vitrolic dialog is sexy at first, but wears thin fast. My view is this is happening now.

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