How to Pre-empt a 'November Surprise
Date: Thursday, July 20 @ 09:55:08 EDT
If the GOP should lose the House and/or the Senate on Election Day, they will pick out a handful of the "closest" races--as many as they need to hang on to majority control--and start to scream like hell about ELECTION FRAUD.
That's right: the major perpetrators of such fraud will cast themselves as victims of the very crime that put them where they are, and charge the Democrats with having used the very tactics that the Bush Republicans have now perfected: legal/bureaucratic disenfranchisement, e-voting manipulation, hostile challenges to would-be voters, covert efforts at disinformation, countless ballots thrown away, and so on.
This is what we'll hear non-stop from Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter; Hastert, Boehner, Sensenbrenner, Graham and Coburn; even Bush and Cheney and Karl Rove himself.
This, of course, is how the Busheviks routinely operate; and yet I'm basing this prediction not just on their history as war-propagandists, but on the blunt admission of a certain high-placed GOP insider, who recently told Thom Hartmann that this is the party's plan, if they should lose control of either side of Congress. It's very easy to imagine such a plan succeeding, with the party's Mighty Propaganda Wurlitzer ahowl day after day, night after night, with all its stops pulled out; and with the mainstream press too busy being "balanced" to point out the truth (and no doubt piously harrumphing that such dirty deeds have surely been committed "on both sides"); and with the Democrats, as ever, playing feeble defense, fighting back too little and too late when they ought to have been out there slugging all along.
In other words, the Bush Republicans will certainly succeed--unless the Democrats, and others to their left, start working to pre-empt that strategy right now. The only way to foil that plan is to define the conflict truthfully and clearly, and to begin to do it now. However low the Bush regime may sink in the opinion polls, the Democrats, and all the rest of us, are simply cooked, if they do not stand up like vertebrates, and speak as patriots, and tell the nation the unpleasant truth: that these BushRepublicans are where they are today because they have committed vast election fraud, in 2000, and in 2002, and in 2004; and that they lately have committed it again in San Diego, and have more planned in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia, and wherever else they have the system rigged, whether at the state or county level. In short, it's time to cut the crap, stop worrying about the epithet "sore losers" (the Republicans would never let that stop them), and trot out all the evidence that the Establishment has thus far largely waved away.
Right now, for example, the Democrats ought to be raising holy hell about the growing evidence of fraud in San Diego. What's more, they have to set the record straight about Christine Gregoire's 2004 election as the governor of Washington. It is now gospel on the right--and very often hinted in the mainstream--that Gregoire robbed Dino Rossi of his rightful victory. The tales to that effect are everywhere, and yet the Democrats have made no effort to correct them. We've heard all about that crucial little bunch of pro-Gregoire votes that appeared as if by magic right at the eleventh hour; but we have heard nothing of the thousands of pro-Rossi votes, in both Snohomish and Yakima Counties, that were concocted through the DRE machines.
The American people ought to hear about those phantom votes. And if, in fact, the Democrats did cut some corners in that race, they ought to say so, and atone for it, so as to drive home the essential point that the Republicans stole many more. The system is indeed corrupt, and both sides have committed fraud--but, since 2000, only one side has repeatedly and vastly disenfranchised the American electorate. While neither party is republican or democratic, there is only one side that cannot succeed without subverting the electoral process. The Democrats (or those of them who actually support American democracy) should say it loud and clear; for even it it means that they too must come clean, it will be better for them in the long run; and in any case a thorough cleansing is exactly what this filthy system needs.
Unless the Democrats speak out right now, the GOP will manage to co-opt the issue of election fraud--by playing, as ever, on the perennial fear of foreign "terrorism." Specifically, the party will augment the sturdy myth of rampant Democratic "voter fraud" by linking it to the resurgent threat of those dark-skinned "illegals" scurrying across our southern border. Sequoia, the smallest of the three top vendors of e-voting machinery, is now owned by a Venezuelan company, and Hugo Chavez's party uses its machines to count the Venezuelan vote. That fact will be used to limn a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy-involving Chavez, Lopez Obrador, John Conyers, Rahm Emanuel, Michael Moore, George Soros, Barbara Streisand, Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton and al Qaeda--to trash American democracy and thereby force the Bush Republicans from power.
That paranoid scenario depends, of course, on a complete inversion of the truth: Sequoia's product, just like the machines from Diebold and ES&S, helped the Republicans to score their startling "re-election" victory in 2004. For instance, the party used Sequoia DRE machines to hype the Rossi vote in those two counties in Washington. (The evidence was so compelling that the state will now no longer use Sequoia's wares.) And yet that inconvenient fact can be erased quite easily by the GOP's terrific army of professional liars, who will keep lividly implying that Sequoia was a weapon in the Democratic plot to seize power in Olympia. And that Big Lie also will succeed, unless the Democrats speak out against it now.
©2006 Mark Crispin Miller.
Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at New York University, is the author of The Bush Dyslexicon, Cruel and Unusual and Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One, Too (Unless We Stop Them). He is also General Editor of American Icons, a new book series published by Yale University Press. His 2004 film, "A Patriot Act," is available on DVD at patriotnation.us. His blog is at markcrispinmiller.com.