Thursday, June 01, 2006

80 Million Reasons To Ignore RFK Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asks Was the 2004 election stolen?

Ask a crazy question like that at the top "liberal" blogs and you might find yourself banned.


Maybe because there are 80 Million Reasons To Ignore Election Fraud.

Ask not what your blog can do for your country but what your country can do for your blog...I guess.

Here are the first two paragraphs from Kennedy's must read article (and don't you dare stop here...head directly to Rolling Stone and read the rest):

Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush -- and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in "tinfoil hats," while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as "conspiracy theories," (1) and The New York Times declared that "there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale."(2)

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote(4) -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

Steve Soto at Left Coaster writes "I find it a little troubling that a half hour after this story is online, not one of the A-list center-left blogs is even posting on it. Has possible election fraud now become taboo with the larger blogs?"

A commenter noted that Digby linked to RFK. Good for Digby (UPDATE: a commenter pointed out...Tristero wrote this post not Digby).

Digby writes (UPDATE: again...not Digby but Tristero)

"Confession: I have not been following this issue closely - no particular reason other than it's impossible to follow everything. The article may be old news for some of you, but it does collect a lot of creepy stuff in one place."

This was Digby on 11/7/04:

But, as I said, my problem with flogging the idea that the election was stolen on the basis of what we know now is that I think it might end up lowering voter participation on our side if people feel the system is rigged and we can't prove it. I just don't think it works in our favor to push this kind of electoral impotence two elections in a row. If we keep our powder dry proof may emerge and maybe we can make a serious case to the public. Otherwise, I think it's best to frame this not as a stolen election but rather as a hideously run election system that must be fixed or we may be cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Yes, Digby, much of the information in RFK's article is old news. And much of it was even old news on 11/7/04.

During November of 2004, after the election, most of the top bloggers in the liberal side of the blogosphere were too busy attacking the religious right - some even broadened the attack to the religious period - based on those same exit polls which they otherwise ignored. Digby put up more than a few herself.

Digby from 11/5/04:

We should spread it far and wide that this election was won by fringe fundamentalist first time voters who now feel empowered to force their views on everyone else, including mainstream Christians.

Heck. The first link in that same Digby post already showed that that "conspiracy theory" was wrong - terrorism and fear drove the vote not religion - but that didn't stop Digby from plowing along with it. Why was attacking the religious right based on exit polling kosher while using those same polls to point out discrepancies in the election results qualify as working against "our favor?"

I will give credit to Digby for linking to Brad Blog in November of 2004. Atrios shut down his comments section in November of 2004 rather than do something "crazy" like that (although Atrios blogged "I didn't turn off the comments because I was annoyed at commenters per se").

Back to Digby's current post (UPDATE: yep...again...Tristero not Digby):

The real question, of course, is what will be done about it and NO! I refuse to give into fashionable cyncism! So yes, dear friends, I really do believe the country will focus like a laserbeam on our corrupt election practices. I have no doubt the moment there's a squeaker and the Republicans lose a big one by 2% or less, the MSM will ensure that election reform becomes the only subject worth talking about, even more than the civil rights of 1 day-old fertilized eggs! (Unless there's a missing young white woman that week, but that goes without saying.)

What exactly will it take for the top liberal bloggers to "focus like a laserbeam on our corrupt election practices?"

But even more importantly...what exactly will it take for the readers of the top liberal bloggers to "focus like a laserbeam on our corrupt election practices?"

Today Digby wrote (UPDATE: ummm Tristero again) "Plain and simple, the Republicans stole the presidential election and Kenneth Blackwell, who seems to be up to his eyeballs in the shenanigans, is quite an accomplished liar."

If Digby truly believes this then I hope Digby uses that brilliant mind and magic keypad to start "following this issue closely" and to start taking the election reform movement seriously (UPDATE: I think you can guess what the update is by now).


Cheers to Jane Hamsher for linking to RKF. Firedoglake wasn't around in November of 2004 so there's no hypocrisy involved.

Also, cheers to Jane Hamsher for including a link to BradBlog, but there appears to be a html code problem with her post.

Jane's first paragraph:

The new Rolling Stone has an article up by Robert Kennedy Jr. about GOP vote suppression in 2004. It’s one of those complex subjects to which other bloggers devote a lot of much-needed attention and cover quite well so I’ll leave it to them to do the heavy lifting and just say that I’m glad whenever it rises to the level of national debate.

As you can see, Brad Blog is embedded beneath "much-needed attention" but "cover quite well" leads to Digby (UPDATE: If I wrote Hullabaloo instead of Digby I'd still be right but I didn't so...yep...I mean Tristero). Cover quite poorly is more like it (UPDATE: ummm after all the updated corrections I had to add to this post I kind of feel like the pot calling the kettle black on that last line).


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