Stolen Elections

I have not gotten around to reading the article in the Rolling Stones stating what I’ve brushed back and forth on: Was the 2004 election stolen? I tend to blur past a lot of things blog-wise, and I do note a couple “unimpressed” bloggers admist a sea of comments that skew toward, simply enough, “read this” — link, perhaps a couple of paragraphs snipped, followed by another comment of “Read This”. I meant to read it yesterday, but… for whatever reason… I hit some kind of wall, and fell asleep for hours and hours and hours. I did bumpkis yesterday.

Yes, I was there in 2004. (Whatever “there” means.) I remember early drippings that Kerry had won. None of which came to pass as the news covered the election returns — John Zogby’s reports of a Kerry victory — and a pretty sizeable one at that — gone to waste. And I still ponder the sudden disappearance of that reliable measurement: the Exit Poll. (Reliable since 1952, at least and in races without a candidate people aren’t embarrassed to say they voted for: Trafficant was famous for being underrepresented in Exit Polling). I heard the reports that Karen Hughes took Bush aside and told him that he had lost. I heard the reports that Greg Palast tried to give Kerry his dossier, and Kerry bellowed “I know the election was stolen”, and I know that Kerry headquarters immediately disowned this story once Palast put it out there.

But the voting made sense. This is a national election, however much you want to localize and “bring out the vote” in individual states, and trends that flow through Ohio are going to show themselves in how other states voted. And that is where I’ve always been stuck with Ohio.

My mind wanders back to 2002.

A senior official in US President George W Bushs re-election campaign was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Wednesday for his role in suppressing votes in a key US Senate race, a scandal that Democrats charge may involve the White House.

James Tobin, 45, one of three Republican campaign operatives convicted in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in a 2002 election, was convicted in December of two telephone harassment charges.

The New Hampshire Senate race was replete with this particular dirty trick — a coordinated Republican attack to keep Democrats from voting. I do not remember if the margin of victory meant that this mattered, but this is the most affirmed effort of alleged “stealings” of 2002 Senate races — which goes on to Georgia where Diebold supposedly swung the election. For what it’s worth, if Max Cleland had gone on to win the election, he would not be that strange breed of Democratic Rock Star he is today.

The darkest and most conspiratorial offing is Minnesota. I guess I’d have to google “assasinate Wellstone” to bring this one up. The proprietors here are after larger things: this is not Cleland, Kerry, and Gore being deprived an office, where they’d sway a few dollars from one powerful interest to another. This is Wellstone, Allende, JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King Jr being assassinated because they were going to “ACT”…

For what it’s worth, The National Review — and Robert Novak — believe that Tim Johnson’s defeat of John Thune in the 2002 South Dakota race was stolen. This is because the votes from the Indian reservations were the last counted, and the classic model of stealing an election — the Mayor Daley model — is to keep your strongholds uncounted until the end, at which point you spring forward with however many votes you need to win the thing. But I smirk here, because the very next issue’s cover was “How Tribal Socialism is Destroying the American Indian”, and Robert Novak’s public comments on the matter have never been articulated beyond “But… but… Tim Johnson’s victory came from the Indian vote!”

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