Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Why The Wolf Cries Wolf

Remember November to December of 2000? Of course, you do. Remember how the Republicans managed to steal the election all-the-while pretending that it was the Democrats ("Sore Loserman") who were trying to steal it? Well, they're at it again. But this time they're starting early.

A few weeks ago The Drudge Report (google it...I'm not going to provide a link to that asshole) reported that the Democrats were launching a pre-emptive strike to combat alleged Republican voter fraud and intimidation. The right wing blogs have been having a field day with this one, and so have the newspaper/television affiliates of the Fox empire.

On October 14th, RNC Senior Advisor Robert Traynham conducted a Voter Intimidation Call with Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (both African Americans, by the way). Commissioner Williams' had this to say: "As I look at this 66 page guide and look on, I think it's page 54, it actually says in plain English, that if no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a pre-emptive strike. What that means in clear language is, if there is no evidence of intimidation, which we don't expect there will be, because we're not going to engage in it, then make it up and talk about it anyway."

Apparently, "plain English" isn't a clear enough language for Commissioner Williams. What "this" means is that he is full of shit.

Here's a link to the Colorado Election Manual that the GOP has thoughtfully provided for the PDF that puts the offending line into proper context (or you can read the text of the manual at this DNC website. Start at section II entitled "How to organize to prevent and combat voter intimidation" : "The best way to combat minority intimidation tactics is to prevent them from occurring in the first place and prepare in advance to deal with them should they take place on election day. 1. If there are any signs of present or expected intimidation activity, in advance of election day, launch a press program that might include the following elements:"

Now skip to #2 (the "controversial" line): "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a "pre-emptive strike" (particularly well-suited to states in which these techniques have been tried in the past)."

You see. They're lying. "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet" clearly contains the word "yet." That means that this only applies to cases in which there was or will be intimidation techniques. It certainly doesn't mean that Democrats are supposed to just go "make it up and talk about it anyway."

Mr. Traynham appears to be the point man in charge of crying wolf. On October 22nd he issued this statement about this story on the front page of The New York Times entitled "Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State": "The Ohio Republican Party is taking every precaution to protect and defend the voters of Ohio from having fraud perpetrated on their election system. Every voter should have a guarantee that their vote will not be negated by outside groups’ intent on causing chaos at the polls and fostering an environment that allows fraudulent votes to be counted equally as valid ones."

Clever wolves, ain't they. Funny how the Equal Protection Clause, these days, only applies to Republican voters. The rest of us can go Cheney ourselves.

In regards to reports that the Kerry campaign has 1,000 lawyers on call and ready to combat voter fraud, Mr. Traynham had this to say, "The Republican National Committee along with the president want this election to be decided by the voters. Democrats want this to be decided by the trial lawyers." Of course, he's right. Democrats must want this to be decided by the trial lawyers since it worked so well for us the last time.

You gotta love the title of this press release composed by the hardest-working-man-in-spin-biz in response to a DNC advertisement that questioned President Bush’s commitment to African Americans: "Democrats Afraid Of GOP Agenda For Black Americans." Well - give my man credit - he wasn't lying when he came up with that title.

And what about Florida. Have you seen this Sun Sentinel article? Can you believe it?

According to Republican Party senior adviser Mindy Tucker Fletcher and Republican Rep. Tom Feeney of Oviedo, "Kerry thugs" have organized an effort to intimidate Republican voters that includes Democrats, Union members and Danny DeVito.

Danny DeVito? As in the dude from the sitcom Taxi?

Republican Lawrence Gottfried, who became a poll watcher in Delray Beach after what he thought was inappropriate behavior at the polls, said the things he saw upset him. Gottfried said that while working at the Delray poll, actor Danny DeVito and his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, showed up. Gottfried is a fan, but he didn't ask for an autograph. "I said, `Look Mr. DeVito, I'm a big fan of yours and Rhea's, but you are blocking the entrance. You're campaigning, you've got a Kerry-Edwards button on, and it's not appropriate." Gottfried, who used to be a Democrat, said the things he saw were "ridiculous." "There is a time for partisanship and it's OK to have a different point of view, but don't violate the sanctity of the polling area," he said.

Danny DeVito. As in the Penguin. Quack. Quack. Quack.

Funny, true, but this is no joke. Ask yourself this question: why are the wolves crying wolf?

There are two possible answers to that question (that I can think of...or that I can think that Karl Rove can think of).

1) On November 2nd, Democratic cries of legitimate voter fraud and intimidation will be effectively parried and countered. In the same way that Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was constantly linked with the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth Ads, the corporate media will accuse both sides of playing dirty. All Republican dirty tricks - such as the "Caging lists" that Greg Palast has uncovered in Florida and the 35,000 newly registered voter challenges in Ohio - will be downplayed or ignored (The "Caging List" is the number one story in the international press but has been mostly ignored, so far, here). As a result, Bush will be able to steal another controversial, close election.

As bad as that scenario sounds. The other possible answer is much worse.

2) On November 2nd, the votes are counted and Kerry wins by a nose. But...Bush refuses to offer his concession to Kerry because of the perceived Democratic fraud perpetrated on innocent Bush voters. This nightmare scenario could bring about that Twenty-first century civil war which John Dean recently wrote about.

If you think I'm a paranoid android check out this Freeper's plans for election day: "I'm bringing my firearm. Threaten me with physical violence and I will shoot them down like the dogs they are."

In his inaugural address, President Bush touted America's tradition of maintaining a "peaceful transfer of authority." I'm not so sure this time. I can think of at least twenty-five crimes off the top of my head which the Bush Administration should be investigated for. But it's the crimes that no one knows about yet that lead me to believe that Bush will not go down quietly. He just might try to pull a Musharaf.


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