Can the GOP Steal The Election Again? You Betcha!
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
October 7, 2008
John McCainís campaign is imploding as the presidential
candidate lapses into incoherence and petulance, and his running-mate
becomes a national laughing-stock. In the face of an impending economic
meltdown, the Democratic candidates, Obama and Biden, appear to be the
only adults in the contest. Meanwhile, the GOPís erstwhile dependable
allies, the corporate media, are displaying moments of journalistic
integrity. This presents a problem for the Republican ticket for, as
Stephen Colbert aptly observed, "reality has a liberal bias."
And so the polls show an expanding lead for Obama over McCain, with no
clear indication that the trend might reverse.
Conventional political "wisdom" tells us that Barack
Obama and Joe Biden may be on the road to a substantial victory in
Sorry, folks, but Iíll have to rain on this parade.
Have you forgotten? Private Republican corporations
count and compile the votes with secret and unverifiable software!
Just as they did in 2000 and in 2004, and we all know how that
Accordingly, the stark fact remains: the Republicans
might "win" this election,
regardless of the
preference of the voters. The culprits who rigged the previous
elections are fully aware that they might face hard time in the federal
slammer if President Obamaís Attorney General is ordered to investigate
past elections. Thus they are acutely motivated to use their
considerable resources to keep Obama out of the White House.
And thatís just the beginning: the GOP is waging a
multi-front war on our democracy. As Mark Crispin Miller describes the
situation in a recent e-mail:
The ground has been prepared for yet another stolen
race, Bush/Cheney's party having made enormous strides in sabotaging
our election system (while the Democrats just sat there, whistling).
Now, from coast to coast, it's far more difficult (for Democrats) to
register to vote, and far more difficult (for Democrats) to cast
their votes, while countless (Democratic) voters have been stricken
from the rolls, through purges carried out by the Department of
Thus Bush's government has legally diminished the
electorate (the Roberts Court approving every step). Meanwhile, the
regime also continues to suppress the (Democratic) vote illegally,
either through voter "caging" prior to Election Day--or, far more
effectively, by fiddling with the numbers electronically at every
level, and/or simply dumping countless names (of Democrats) from the
electronic voter rolls, and/or putting far too few machines in
(Democratic) polling places, and/or disinforming (Democratic) voters
as to when and where to cast their votes, and/or simply scaring
(Democratic) voters into staying home.
notwithstanding, the situation facing the Democrats is desperate.
But it is not hopeless.
However, if the Obama-Biden team is to win, it must win
big. Less than 60% of the actual popular vote puts
the contest into
Diebold Zone," whereby a McCain-Palin win becomes plausible in
the public mind, and the "paperless" GOP voting machines and their
secret software take care of the rest.
That "big win" is within reach, but only through
determined and energetic activity by the supporters of the Democratic
candidates, and through brilliant tactics and inspiring leadership by
the Democratic candidates and their managers.
Registration and Turnout
The coordinated Republican effort at massive
disenfranchisement can and must be overwhelmed.
If, as is likely, the GOP succeeds in keeping as many as five million
Democratic voters from the polls, the Democrats in turn must register
and send to the polls, ten million more. In addition, the word must go
out that no one can assume that his or her vote is secure. Citizens must
be urged to validate their registration status immediately. They
can do so by contacting their Register of Voters, or
by following this link.
Publicizing the Electoral Integrity Issue
The looming probability of another stolen election must
be made vivid in the public consciousness. To date, the corporate media
has refused to investigate and report election fraud, and the Democratic
Party, amazingly, has behaved as if it either doesnít know or doesnít
care that it has been robbed of election victories time and again. All
this, despite the fact that electoral irregularities have been staring
us in the face: the "butterfly ballots" and "holocaust survivors for
Buchanan" in Palm Beach, Florida in 2000, the "lost" 16,000 democratic
votes in the 2006 Florida 13th District Congressional election, the
Diebold Presidentís "visit" to Atlanta just prior to the 2002 election that
cost the highly favored Max Cleland his Senate Seat, the destroyed and
"lost" evidence in the 2004 Ohio election, and much, much, more.
In the face of such irregularities, and despite the
media embargo, much of the public is suspicious of the electoral
September, 2006, Zogby poll disclosed that less than half of the
American public was "very confident," and about a third "not at all
confident," that George Bush won the 2004 election "fair and square."
This suspicion must now be amplified and transformed into a demand that
the next election be "fair and square."
Validating the Vote
Independent exit polls must be employed in battleground
states that use paperless "direct recording electronic" (DRE) voting
machines. In these states, the Attorneys General and the
Secretaries of State must secure evidence such as computer hard drives,
ballots, registration rolls, etc. and make it abundantly clear that
destruction or hiding of such evidence will be prosecuted, as will any
vote rigging that might be disclosed by such evidence. (In Ohio,
the unexplained and illegal destruction of the 2004 voting records of 55
of the 88 counties, and the disappearance of crucial computer hard
gone unpunished. This lost evidence alone might have proved
the theft of the Ohio electoral votes, and with them the theft of the
are other means of exposing and deterring election fraud which,
unfortunately, are unlikely to be employed this close to the election.
. In randomly selected precincts a few DRE machines might be
removed and examined for accuracy, or voters might be asked to vote both
on the DRE machines and on paper ballots with the totals subsequently
compared. Independent and parallel means of totaling ("compiling")
and transmitting election returns would uncover illegal alterations of
Absent these effective modes of validation, it is
essential that a massive number of Democratic poll workers and poll
watchers (equipped with video cameras) be on hand on election day.
John McCain has repeatedly betrayed an inadequate and
confused knowledge of foreign affairs, as he refers to non-existent
countries and non-existent borders, confuses Shias and Sunnis, and fails
to recognize leaders of allied nations. His "economic policy" consists
of recitations of discredited slogans.
Given John McCainís age and physical condition, it is
likely that if the Republican team wins in November, Sarah Palin will
one day become the President of the United States, either during or
following McCainís term of office. As Palin proves almost every time she
opens her mouth, no candidate in U.S. history has been less qualified
for that office. Still worse, her repertory of bizarre religious beliefs
is downright frightening. Beliefs in witchcraft, "Young Earth
Creationism," the "end of days," a denial of anthropogenic climate
change, absolute prohibition of abortion and stem-cell research Ė all of
these are profoundly discordant with the problems faced by a great power
in the twenty-first century.
A Political Realignment
The traditional Republican power base of financiers,
business people, corporate managers, etc., has seen control of their
party slip into the hands of religious zealots and market dogmatists.
The religious fundamentalists recruited by the Republicans to supply the
votes required for political clout
have taken over the party to the point of installing one of their
own as the Vice Presidential candidate.
As a result, many influential conservative Republicans
have declared outright that they can not align themselves with the
religious right, and with Sarah Palin in particular.
apostates are George Will, David Brooks, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker and David Frum,.
No doubt, there are many more, some of whom will be
heard in these final four weeks before the election. Many of these
individuals are caught in a difficult dilemma, as they realize that in
spite of what
might be good for their party, the election of McCain and Palin, might
not be good for the nation, its economy, and its international
reputation. Those who place their loyalty to their country
above their loyalty to their party may soon step forward and be heard:
while the Republican Party, they might say, can survive defeat in November,
the United States might not survive a McCain, and, eventually, a
As election day approaches, the public clamor for change
must become sufficiently intense that the media can not ignore it, and
the Republicans dare not resist it. There must be an intensity of
rejection of the party in power combined with uniting behind a reformer
that has not been seen since FDRís election in 1932. Given the breadth
and depth of corruption and lawlessness in the Bush/Cheney regime, the
unpopularity of the Iraq war, and the collapse of the economy, such a
time might again be upon us.
The usually pessimistic
David Michael Green concedes as much:
Itís been a bumpy ride, 2008 has. This election
should have been an earthquake, a hurricane, a tsunami Ė pick your
natural disaster metaphor (or combine them for exciting new
variations!) Ė just waiting for the calendar to run out and make it
In the end, it looks like thatís how it will be
after all. One gets the sense now that the laws of physics are
finally reasserting themselves, and modest measures of sanity are
stubbornly reclaiming their inevitable places. This is true both in
the proximate sense, as Election 2008 now appears to be coming in
for a landing, but also more broadly, as the last year or two
perhaps mark the end of an era in American politics.
It remains to be seen if Barack Obama can survive the
smears about to be dumped on him, and emerge in the public mind as a
plausible instrument of hope and renewal. If so, it is just
possible that an overwhelming outpouring of public support just might
overcome another Republican attempt to steal the election.
At this moment, a month away from the election, the issue is very much
Copyright 2008 by Ernest Partridge
Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications
Conscience of a Progressive:
Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field
of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at
the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He
publishes the website, "The Online
Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website,
"The Crisis Papers".
His e-mail is: email@example.com .