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Updated from mistersite's comment below.

Many Kossacks have contrasted the Twitter Revolution underway in Iran with our weak response to the 2000 election. They think that, in 2000, we should have taken to the streets, thrown stones and fermented a popular revolt.

Personally, I'm damn glad we didn't.

Yes, the Bush years were a travesty and the whole world would be better off if we'd had 8 years of President Gore.

But should we have rioted to overturn the 2000 election?

I don't think so.

First, no one knew what a terrible gang of criminal thugs the Bush administration would turn out to be.  If we had known about Cheney, Yoo and the rest in 2000, potentially violent protests might have been justified.

But there was no hint in Dec. 2000 that the Bush gang would be as awful as they were.  To have taken to the streets based on what we knew then would have been a terrible over-reaction.

Second, the peaceable transition of power is worth something in itself.

Iranians, whether they know it today or not, yearn for a system in which power is granted through a valid political process.  The peaceable transfer of power, through democratic elections, is the goal to which Iranians aspire.

When it comes to political transitions, we're 44 and 0.  That is something to be proud of.  I'd have to check, but I don't think any other country can match that record.

Bush et al were evil Fuck-ups
But we didn't know that in 2000.

Given what we did know, honoring our 200+ year tradition of peaceable transfer of power was the right thing to do.

Iranians long for that.  Even if it occasionally breaks down and produces a Bush/Cheney administration.

Originally posted to VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 08:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Results count for more than intentions do.

    by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 08:51:08 PM PDT

  •  We stayed silent and did not protest when (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, jvackert, jalenth

    bush stole the elections twice not once.  All this support for Iranians as if it mattered or if most want it (they don't really, only a few care)or if they need any help from a group who did nothing when they had the chance is nauseating to me.  Huff post is full of criers, whiners, prayers, yet none are willing to do what several comments have said, which is to fight for healthcare and take it to the streets.  One said we have watched Haitian children die decaded after decade and suddenly we care about a nation who most thought of supporting to attack not too long ago based on GOP lies and misleading comments?

    it's late and I'm tired of seeing these people cry while my backyard is full of tears.  Latin American and the Caribbean!   When will the US wake up and realize America is everyone in the western hemisphere.  We are home are the United States and Mexico and Canada share North America.. nobody owns her.  We are just tenants who at times I think should be evicted for neglecting to care for the home in which we are so lucky to have all been born in.

    •  p.s. are you saying that Iran didn't try a peace- (0+ / 0-)

      ful transition of power like we have at home and is the reason why we didn't take to the streets?

    •  Huh? (4+ / 0-)

      Try again when you are not so tired.

      BTW, Bush only stole the election once.  2000 was fraud, but he really did get a majority in 2004.

      What that says about the American people, I'll leave to another diary.

      But he did really win in 2004.

      Results count for more than intentions do.

      by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:13:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  lol your right... but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VA Classical Liberal, jalenth

        I do think past elections did not represent the true vote count.  Diebold did play with the numbers several times.

        •  If they did... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adamsmo

          It's only because the margin or error on our nationwide elections is so wide.

          Sad to say, but neither Bush nor Gove won the 2000 election by a margin greater than the margin of error.

          Results count for more than intentions do.

          by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:42:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Margin of error is relevant in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            polling, not elections.  Gore won.  But, that said, I think it was the Supreme Court that dropped the ball, not the people.  And with that said, I think one screw up in 200 years was clearly a disaster, but if we have another 200 years of peaceful transitions of power, which is really, quite huge, well, I don't know what I'm saying, other than that there is no analogy to Iran.

            No matter how large our protests would have been, we wouldn't have had religious thugs shooting innocent bystanders.

            And for all our issues with sexism and racism and anti-gay losers, we don't have  over half of our population not allowed to work, not allowed to go out with their head uncovered, not allowed to be seen in public with a man who is not related to them.

            •  Supreme Court shaould have stayed out of it. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, DrJeremy

              Assigning electors is clearly a duty of the State.  The Supreme Court should have stayed out of the 2000 election.

              Unfortunatley, that would have left it to Kathleen Harris and the result would have been the same.

              OTOH, margin of error is very important.  If the 2000 election taught us anything it is that our election system can not handle very close elections.

              If 2 national candidates are seperated by less than 600 votes, we can not say, with any honesty, which one won.

              Results count for more than intentions do.

              by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 10:08:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair point, but that's not "margin of error," (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AaronInSanDiego

                that's that we can't count our votes properly.

                •  That is the margin of error. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Wee Mama

                  Unfortunately, voting is not as easy as counting up a bunch of paper slips.

                  At best, most people spend one or two minutes every 4 years voting.  That makes the margin of error much larger than we like to admit.

                  The average person spends 10X that time using an ATM, and yet ATM's still have errors.

                  Results count for more than intentions do.

                  by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 10:20:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, it's not, but this is really (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AaronInSanDiego

                    not the main issue, so whatever.  "Margin of error" refers to a statistical rate of error, because you didn't sample enough people, or ask the right questions, or get totally honest answers.  What is means is that this poll or survey or whatever could be off by X amount, because we couldn't possibly ask everyone, or make sure they were telling the truth.

                    What we need to do is educate voters, and count the votes in a way that doesn't allow for fraud.

                    •  Margin of error (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Wee Mama
                      is more than a sampling problem.  It's the sum of all sources of error in the measurement.

                      In an opinion poll sample size, lying and how you ask the question may be the biggest source of eror.

                      But in an election there are many other sources of error.  Mistakes making selections, assigning a vote to the right candidate, over and under votes due to bad ballot design, etc.

                      The sorry fact is, like every other measurement, elections have margins of error and FL in 2000 was well within the error bars.

                      Results count for more than intentions do.

                      by VA Classical Liberal on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 06:07:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  If we had protested in 2004 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VA Classical Liberal

              with the fervor they are in Iran right now, and I think we had a valid reason to, there may have been some religious thugs shooting people.  Maybe even out of State of Alaska helicopters.  Whether or not a megaphone in the sky was blaring "One more for god.  You betcha", the religious troups were feeling way warlike by then, sort of sanctified John Waynes, and their sense of patriotism was totally skewed.

               

              Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

              by Riddlebaugh on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 01:55:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  And I think if Kerry had won in 2004... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama

        ...we'd have a Republican president and solidly Republican congress right now. And THEY'd be the ones talking about a permanent majority.

        John Kerry is a good senator, but I think he would have been a terrible president for our time. The crisis that is upon us now has been building for years -- long before Dubya. I think President Kerry would have dithered while the economy collapsed, and the Repubs would have swept back into office, pointing their fingers and saying, "See, we TOLD you that would happen if you didn't re-elect George Bush."

        As it is, it's pretty clear that the Repubs own the mess that Barack Obama and other Dems are trying to clean up.

        •  We'd have at least a 5-4 liberal/moderate... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Edward Spurlock

          ....Supreme Court majority, in all probability.  

          And really, who is to say what would have happened with a Kerry administration? There's quite a bit of speculation, but we can go, in part, on Kerry's behavior in the senate and his proposals in 2004.  Perhaps the SEC would have been on the ball and problems with the financial industry would have come to light.  The bankruptcy "reform" legislation would probably have been vetoed.  The Class Action "Fairness" Act would probably have been vetoed.  

          Lots of things would have turned out differently.

          What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

          by Alec82 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 12:43:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, if Kerry won they would have been (0+ / 0-)

          squirting ketchup in our faces, and cracking crass jokes about french fries.

          Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

          by Riddlebaugh on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 01:58:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "3 million votes"--Diebold eat your heart out! (0+ / 0-)
  •  in 2000 nobody really cared (5+ / 0-)

    We (as in the people) were presented with a choice between the son of one longtime Washington politician and the son of another long time washington politician.  It was a dynasty election and a lot of the grassroots didn't feel it had any real relevance to them.  It was the corporatocracy presenting us with a choice between a douchebag and a shit sandwich (as seen on South Park).  It wasn't until afterward we (as in the people) realized that it actually had been very important.  

    2004 was another passionless election, the choice of one preppy rich kid or another one.  The choices were presenting ordinary people with a message that said "you don't really matter, you aren't us".  

    Who's going to riot for the privileges of the privileged?

    If something had happened last time, you bet there would've been riots.  Because 2008 was about the people for a change.

  •  It's not just that we didn't know, (3+ / 0-)

    I think you're right in talking about our history.  They don't have that.  What they do have is an example of the people deposing another dictator who didn't care about them or what they wanted.  And they're using the same playbook this time around.

    Should we, have done more in 2000?  Yes.  Should Gore have fought harder?  Hell yes.  But if you look at our history, as you say, it's totally understandable that he didn't.  The peaceful transfer of power is no small thing, and he, and we, had no idea how high the stakes actually were.

    Now, time to stop navel-gazing and figure out if there is any way to support the people in Iran.  Right now, I'm not sure what people can do other than donate their computers to be proxies, and if you have a Twitter account, change your location and time zone to Tehran.   The government is going after all Tweeters listing Tehran as their location, so let's keep them nice and busy.

    •  Our people can support Iran. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adamsmo

      But not our government.

      Puttig up proxies is great.  It (and keeping Tweeter up) is probably the best thing we can do for the Iranians now.

      But Obama should keep his mouth shut.  The US government has no credibility in the Mid-east and anything it does will just hand ammo to Ahmadinejad.

      Results count for more than intentions do.

      by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 10:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sure we did (0+ / 0-)

    Michael Moore said so, so it must be true!

  •  "Limp-wristed response"? Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VA Classical Liberal, DrJeremy

    That's wrong on so many levels.  Please change it.

    Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

    by mistersite on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:45:19 PM PDT

  •  2000 was a 5-4 Supreme Court coup ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, DrJeremy

    ...an "orderly transfer" of power but a grotesquely undemocratic one. Americans didn't riot because everybody went through the right channels to get the outcome we got. The same thing happened in the compromise coup of 1876. You could call THAT an orderly transfer, too, but certainly not "peaceable" if you include the thousands of African Americans who lost their lives as white Southerners regained the upper hand and established the rule of lynch law and Jim Crow for the next 80-90 years.

    That 44-0 conceals some heavy-duty violence.

    Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:52:58 PM PDT

  •  44 peaceable transitions (3+ / 0-)

    I believe the Italians have had that many in the last six months.

    "When the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man to become a law unto himself." ~ Justice Brandeis

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 09:58:40 PM PDT

  •  I suppoe I am glad that we did not riot but I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VA Classical Liberal

    still deeply, deeply regret that not one single senator had the courage to allow the allegations of disenfranchisement to be considered.

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