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After election night 2004, I essentially stopped writing diaries at dKos. It seemed pointless. I was in shock because the most plausible explanation of what happened was that the election was stolen. Many people here felt the same way, and I understand that there was quite a debate at dKos on the validity of the election, although I missed that because I was off the Internet at the time.

But now all that seems to have settled down, and people are acting as if things are back to normal: as is usual, BushCo is up to no good, and Dems, ever optimistic, are looking forward to trouncing the Republicans in Congress in 2006.

The sense of unreality is staggering. A collective denial seems to have set in about the possibility that there are no real national elections in this country any more. There is absolutely no reason to think that the Republicans will not keep themselves in power in 2006 and 2008 as they have  done recently -- through election fraud. But the Dem leadership is doing absolutely nothing to stop this, and virtually no progressive commentators are willing to even discuss the problem.

I was prompted to write this by a very good piece by Ernest Partridge: Means, Motive, Opportunity, which I vehemently recommend to everyone. There is a difference of opinion at dKos as to whether the 2004 election was stolen, but I think that most will agree that, as Partridge puts it, BushCo had means, motive, and opportunity, whether it made use of them or not.

The means is the recording of 30% of votes cast by machines running secret software, leaving no paper trail, and the tabulation of 80% of votes cast by such machines, controlled by private companies allied with the Republican Party. The opportunity is provided by the corporate media which, with the exception of Keith Olbermann, has consistently refused to touch this story. And it is the motive that definitively made the 2004 election anything but a normal election: Bush officials have broken countless laws, and it is quite likely that if Democrats regained power, many Bush officials would go to jail (assuming the Democrats did their job).

Since the 2004 election cannot be audited (by design), those who believe it was not stolen have no way of proving that. The only argument available to them is that even though BushCo had means, motive, and opportunity, BushCo did not steal the election out of principle.

Given what anyone who gets his news from elsewhere than the corporate media can read any day about the true, utterly unprincipled nature of BushCo, this claim and belief are remarkable.

It does not require a degree in psychoanalysis to figure out why so many Democrats are in denial, confounding all common sense. Democrats are patriots, and like all Americans, they are raised to believe that America is the finest democracy on the face of the earth. It is simply too painful to consider the possibility that it is now no kind of democracy at all, but has become a despotism akin to the kind that one saw in Europe and Russia in the twentieth century, albeit with infinitely more sophisticated management of public opinion. But denial it is.

2004 is now behind us; 2006 and 2008 are ahead. What the denial is about now is that the Republicans will do it again. Recently, with the Terri Schiavo affair and the intent to go with the "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster, it has become clear to everyone -- not just left-liberals -- that the Republican Party is controlled by fanatics who will stop at nothing. And yet we are expected to believe that the Republicans will not work in 2006 and 2008 to steal the election, and will gracefully allow the democratic process to take its course, allowing the American public to vote them out of office if that is its wish.

Unless the American electoral system is fixed so that it can no longer be rigged, there is absolutely no point in Democrats working for the next election, since we will not be allowed to win, no matter how unpopular the Republicans may become with the voting public. And there is also no point to the activity of progressive bloggers: it is pointless to try to influence public opinion through the Internet if public opinion does not matter, since the public is not allowed to express its will in an election.

There has been a lot of talk about Dean, as the new chair of the DNC, doing this and that lately. Why does he not make his first priority forcing the Republicans to fix the election system? Without that, everything else he does, or we do, is futile. And blogging is just the American intelligentsia comforting itself by making use of the little public space it is still allowed, much as the Russian intelligentsia tried to maintain its dignity with its samizdat under the Soviets.

Originally posted to Alexander on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:16 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And we all say together: (4.00)

    It is no accident that Liberty and Liberal are the same word.

    by Sorceress Sarah on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:38:47 PM PDT

  •  Agree 100% (4.00)
    I so agree with what you wrote in the diary and am shocked that this is not the number one priority on liberal blogs...and time keeps ticking to 2006 when, once again, it will be too late to do anything. It's unbelievable to me to hear and see intelligent thoughtful people totally in denial about such a fundamental issue of importance. Let's keep yelling until someone hears us, and atleast BEGIN a discussion of this issue.
  •  voting machines (none)
    I don't know how we can fix it if we have no power. The Repugs control everything.
    •  Possible strategies (4.00)
      I'm afraid I haven't really been following what activists have been doing or saying about this lately, so my suggestions might be a bit naive.

      Since the Dem leadership isn't doing anything, what is called for is a public outcry, but as gracieIN says above, it is remarkable that this is not "the number one priority on liberal blogs". If it were, that would make it more likely that the public would demand that something be done.

      But to get back to Dem politicians themselves: If the party made this their number one priority, I would say they would have a good chance of getting somewhere, simply because the Republican position -- that no reform is needed -- is simply indefensible. What possible reason can there be for continuing to have unverifiable elections other than your wanting to steal them? Of course, Dems would have to be persistent and not be cowed by the attacks from the media they would get for this; they are good at neither of these things.

      Finally, if they couldn't get electoral reform through, I seriously think that they should simply refuse to participate in elections in places where the results have been questionable in the past. That is always the ultimate step in the case when a political party believes it is not being given a fair chance in an election. Of course they will never do this, because it is programmed into their genetic code never to act as if something serious is at stake.

      In the 20th century, it was Nazi Germany. In the 21st, it is Republican America.

      by Alexander on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:01:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should really get caught up (none)
        on what people are doing since you care about this issue, which I agree is probably the most important one we face today.

        Check out and for information and activist projects. DFNYC (the NY chapter of DFA) is working on a project to stop NY State from adopting the touchscreen machines. There are bills in both the Senate (Clinton & Boxer are co-sponsors) and the House (Holt) requiring election reform and a paper trail. Go to these reps' websites for information.

        You can advocate for election reform with your representatives in the House and Senate, and write letters to the editors of newspapers and TV and radio stations. Make them know that their constituencies are concerned about it.

        Finally, public knowledge is low on this issue due to lack of MSM coverage. Once you've informed yourself, be the media and get the word out to others about the grave problems with our election system. If you need more background, there are a host of diaries here on dkos. See especially the diaries by georgia10. e.g. this one. I also wrote a summary of the issue at this diary.

        Let's keep up the pressure and stay on this issue!

        •  Thanks for the links (none)
          I am appalled to learn that NY State is considering adopting touchstone machines. I grew up there, and my parents still live there, and I had been hoping that New York is resistant to the plague that has been overtaking our country, considering that it is the bluest state.

          I should have guessed that under a Republican governor, measures would be taken to change that, as far as election tallies go, at any rate.

          In the 20th century, it was Nazi Germany. In the 21st, it is Republican America.

          by Alexander on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 11:10:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great! Ask you parents to help our effort (none)
            to stop the adoption of these machines! And ask anyone else you know in the state. (This is really a non-partisan issue--if we don't have verifiable elections, it could be corrupted by anyone!)

            Full instructions on the key reps to call are in the following diary. (I'm on the DFNYC Judiciary Committee working on this issue.)

            I can't believe this is even in doubt either. The companies manufacturing the machines have been lobbying the state legislature heavily ($1 million worth for $100 million worth of business) But we're making our voices heard through the call-in effort.

  •  denial (none)
    runs deep about this issue and about possible government complicity regarding the events of 9/11. I implore people to keep an open mind on both issues, and spend some time researching both. One can, as I try to on both issues, remain agnostic about whether or not election fraud and 9/11 complicity occured, but one cannot deny that neither issue has gotten the full impartial investigation that the evidence demands. Amen.
  •  The opposition here (4.00)
    appears to sense a complete unravelling of reality in the notion that the previous election was stolen, a proposition which, in my view, ought to be accepted until disproved. Ostracism and ridicule is the main component of their counterargument. It is preferable to accept the inexplicable failure of everything we worked than to acknowledge that we will have to do as much as previous generations to build constitutional democracy.

    Still, the facts persist, and even with the handicap of aspersions, the inquisitive still come to the same consclusion: we need to find out what happened, and we don't need to explain why.

  •  John Kerry (4.00)
    won't even speak the word fraud.  Disenfranchisement is where he is running with the torch.

    If you enable 20 million more people to vote, what good is it if the machines are rigged?

  •  Not to nitpick--but I think you mean (none)
    "election reform" in your title?  Have recommended.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:17:37 PM PDT

    Let's remember to support the Count Every Vote Act.  It needs attention and support.  (See Boxer's website.)  

    This issue is a long way from dead.  It will rear it's ugly head again and again, as long as there is zero accountability with a handful of computer neo-cons running 75-80% of the electronic voting machines.  

    People envision country-wide fraud would take a massive and intricate conspiracy operation.  But cmputer experts both BEFORE and after the election say that twenty people (tops) were needed to be in on the fraud for the entire country.

    Did you ever see the website Hack the Vote?  It was like instructions to build a bomb.  It gave you step by step instructions on how you too could hack the vote.

    YIKES!  This is not what we want!

  •  Agree 1000% (4.00)
    It's so very distressing to see everyone just "moving on" and getting excited about 2006 and 2008, talking about this person can beat that person, asking for money (like that will help) and on and on .... when will they stop the denial and face the facts that NONE OF IT MATTERS IF WE DON'T HAVE TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS?  And where the fuck is Dean on this???  

    I should've stopped reading the blogs after the election also..... it's like talking to a brick wall here about election reform.  All that time wasted.... I probably could've gotten my house ready to sell months ago. SIGH.

    It's shitty being so negative about things ever changing when it comes to who counts the votes in the future, but I just can't help it.  So troll rate me, fine.

    •  I guess a lot of people who feel as you do... (none)
      left this site sometime after November 2. It looks that way anyway, judging by the small response this diary is getting.

      It's also interesting that there has been not a single post defending the fraud-denial position here. That suggests that there is a feeling in the dKos community that this issue has been debated, and the discussion is now CLOSED.

      In the 20th century, it was Nazi Germany. In the 21st, it is Republican America.

      by Alexander on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:44:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well said. II refer to November 2, 2004 as... (4.00)
    The tragic events of 11-2.  The day we lost our democratic republic.

    What really galls me is Kerry's lack of leadership on this subject. If he had made a stand, people would have supported him and we could have gotten to the bottom of it. Instead, he chose to preseve his "viability" (read: his bona fides as a Washington Insider) - and our democracy was flushed down the toilet.

    How do we get it back?

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