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And so it starts...
October 23, 2004 10:13 AM   Subscribe

SEIU union and other Democratic groups have been holding rallies at early voting locations in Palm Beach County, where they have a captive audience of voters standing in line. Normally campaign workers can not come with in 50 feet of polling places, but apparently that rule does not apply to this year's new Early Voting in Florida.
One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?"

"I said, `I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded.

"Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood (105 comments total)

 
Gee, voters upset that someone would support an unelected person who sends his country into two wars, at least one completely unjustified, and in the meantime turns the entire world against us? I'm shocked. Simply shocked that some woman's feelings were hurt.
posted by fleener at 10:24 AM on October 23, 2004


Someone kill this thread.
posted by tranquileye at 10:26 AM on October 23, 2004


Shocking. Shocking to realize that assholes come in all political stripes. I never could have imagined such a thing.
posted by psmealey at 10:26 AM on October 23, 2004


I bet they were wearing brown shirts.

Shocking. Shocking to realize that assholes come in all political stripes. I never could have imagined such a thing.


They weren't just assholes. They were intimidating voters. That's a very serious allegation.
posted by gyc at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2004


And No one called the Police?
No one call the broadcast media?
I call BS on this one
posted by Elim at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2004


I simply must know what Amberglow has to say about this! Or not. It is all cool.
posted by thirteen at 10:31 AM on October 23, 2004


that being said, if it happened as charge, (And in todays America it easily could) then prosicute Imeadiatly, Call the fricking cops and arrest them, cause if you don't then the other side has a free ride to do the same.
posted by Elim at 10:31 AM on October 23, 2004


Oh well, the good part is that there seems, in this fishy-sounding story, to be an overwhelming majority of people voting to kick out the thieves.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:32 AM on October 23, 2004


I clearly remember Steve at Linwood's bipartisan indignation at the Brooks Brothers riot that helped steal an election in 2000.
oh, I forgot: he wasn't on MeFi. yet.

were you by any chance in Florida, "rioting for freedom" yourself, Stevie?

me, I think that the Democrats have always fought fire with spitballs. one wishes they'd start paying the GOP back, they just won't be able to sink that low. this thread shows that. they're lame.

bah.
wake me up when George Soros buys Diebold, starts serious voter-registration frauds, and buys 5 SCOTUS justices.
wake me up then, Stevie
posted by matteo at 10:33 AM on October 23, 2004


Sheepism is bi-partisan.
posted by angry modem at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2004


Gee, did they also rip up her signs?

Don't kill the thread. I never tire of self-pitying right-wing serial hoaxes.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2004


and since when did theis site become what Amberglow and Steve-at-Linnwood have to argue about today?

Sheesss GO watch wrestling or something....

If it happened it will soon be in other paoers or media, something like this cannot hide, if it didn't then expect a reporter getting fired.

Either way can we all quit masterbating to the fantasy of an upcoming revolution!?!?!?
posted by Elim at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2004


amberglow has to say that the fault lies with Florida's lawmakers, who didn't make it so that the same laws that apply to regular voting and polling places should apply to early voting and polling places--it's a no brainer, which is fitting for Florida officials.

The police should be called. That's it. The lawmakers have to amend the law so that normal voting laws apply to early voting--duh. If they're imbeciles, Florida should vote them out.

Oh, and there's no such thing as "Kerry thugs"--thugs are on the other side, as evidenced in 2000, and since. If people are campaigning and rallying for their candidate, and the law doesn't say they can't, then they will.

Using an example of people wearing Kerry stickers and chanting and asking people questions does not make it intimidation. The fault is entirely with the legislators.
posted by amberglow at 10:43 AM on October 23, 2004


Sounds like some jerk in line was being a jerk. Doesn't sound like an organized secret plan to discourage or sway Bush voters.

Whining about this in the face of what the Republicans have been pulling is pretty pathetic.
posted by xammerboy at 10:45 AM on October 23, 2004


Wolfpacks for Truth
posted by euphorb at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2004


Here's the only solution I can think of... The Democrats and Republicans are both disqualified from this election for unsportsmanlike conduct. Nader is thrown out too. Then any other parties (or new parties) are allowed to run, and we can vote for them, just not for Bush or Kerry or Nader.
posted by drezdn at 10:50 AM on October 23, 2004


Whining about this in the face of what the Republicans have been pulling is pretty pathetic.
Exactly, and this is all they've got. Boy, I better call our dirty tricks squad and complain, huh? Too bad we don't have one.
posted by amberglow at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2004


I don't get the problem. They're attacking Republican voters, so it's fine. Anyone who supports Bush is a nazi and deserves everything they get.

That's what you want to hear, isn't it, Steve?
posted by Blue Stone at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2004


Simply shocked that some woman's feelings were hurt.

From what we can tell from the article, the abusive members of the crowd had no idea who this woman intended to vote for, she was merely exercising her right to keep such information private. From the tone of your post I get the impression that you find their behavior perfectly permissible; is this truly what you believe?

Someone kill this thread.


Why do you think these thread should be deleted? And do you think that all other threads in which the subject is abusive tactics by Republican voters, should also have been deleted?

Shocking. Shocking to realize that assholes come in all political stripes. I never could have imagined such a thing.

Are you saying here that since these kinds of actions are bipartisan in nature, it is enough to have seen evidence of when they committed by Republicans and, consequentially, it is so obvious from this that the same also applies to Democrats that to actually present evidence of the latter is simply to state the obvious and an assertion worthy of derisive sarcasm?
posted by ed\26h at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2004


OMG TERRISTS!!1!
posted by chrid at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2004


That's what you want to hear, isn't it, Steve?

No, it is not.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:54 AM on October 23, 2004


This woman should be calling the Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-866-687-8683. There's an incredible project brewing at http://www.voteprotect.org/ to create a distributed system for taking calls, logging complaints and dispatching legal observers or whomever to the scene. Really cool.

They're looking for techies to help with the backend, people to take and log phone calls, poll watchers etc. A good way for many "armchair activists" to help out.
posted by bkdelong at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2004



posted by RylandDotNet at 10:58 AM on October 23, 2004


Whining about this in the face of what the Republicans have been pulling is pretty pathetic.

For this thread to have gone 14 posts before the first tu quoque fallacy was far better than I had ever suspected.
posted by ed\26h at 10:58 AM on October 23, 2004


way to go S@L, liberals are indeed terrible humans. Right gang?
posted by bob sarabia at 11:01 AM on October 23, 2004


no, ed, he wasn't saying that, if true, this was the right thing to do. He was saying that S_at_L is being pathetic. Which is true, and tu quoque doesn't apply.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:05 AM on October 23, 2004


Well, what do you know? Elaine Fandino (mentioned in the article) is a longtime Bush person: From 2000:George W. Bush supporter Elaine Fandino, center front, demonstrates with other Cuban Americans in West Palm Beach, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2000.

She won't call the Election Protection Hotline or anything like that--she called her party so this could become a GOP talking point/media story. I bet they actually sent her and others like her out.

They desperately need to try to counter all the illegal stuff they're doing in many states with stuff we're doing. Unfortunately, it just doesn't compare.
posted by amberglow at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2004


I just saw Team America last night. All I could think was that I had seen the plot over and over for the last 5 months on metafilter.

The puking puppet was fun though..
posted by srboisvert at 11:08 AM on October 23, 2004


and here's a picture of Elaine WITH A BUSH/CHENEY SIGN WHILE WAITING TO VOTE AT A FLORIDA POLL on Oct. 18th...hmmm

funny, huh?
posted by amberglow at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2004


For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line...

2 1/2 hours? For early voting? I thought early voting would be good to avoid crowds.
posted by Dick Paris at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2004


ed/26h: From the tone of your post I get the impression that you find their behavior perfectly permissible....

Is it lawful? If so, it is by definition "permissible." If not, then -- as others have stated -- the offended party is well within her rights to call the police.

In any case, the point that Republican-apologists refuse to get is that there's a difference in kind between spontaneous anger manifested as some public chanting and name-calling, and what's looking like a well-orchestrated attempt to discourage or bar participation at the polls by people likely to vote Democratic.

Oh, and, since party of registration seems to matter to some people around here lately: Independent, since 1982.
posted by lodurr at 11:10 AM on October 23, 2004


no, ed, he wasn't saying that, if true, this was the right thing to do. He was saying that S_at_L is being pathetic. Which is true, and tu quoque doesn't apply.

So, it's not permissible for the Democrat voters to have behaved in this way, but if you mention that they have behaved in this way it certainly follows that you are "pathetic"? If this is what was meant, it may successfully escape the tu quoque but lands you firmly in the prejudicial language fallacy.

Liberals are indeed terrible humans. Right gang?

Ah, you've misrepresented the ideas the post sought to assert in order to make it more easily dismissable.
posted by ed\26h at 11:20 AM on October 23, 2004


Steve, Bush told us that if there had been anything untoward about his national guard service, then he would not have received an honorable discharge. So I feel free to argue that if various union assholes did anything wrong at the polling stations, they would have been arrested.

I also see no quotes from the SEIU or accounts from the reporter himself-- only reports from republicans complaining about what they saw.
posted by deanc at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2004


Yeah, change the location and the allegiances and I'm sure the exact same thing is happening for Bush.

Are we all agreed that democracy up close can be an ugly thing? That people, in this intensely contested election year, are doing almost anything they can to make sure their candidate wins. Some will, inevitably, step over the line like these guys did.

I don't condone it. And I'd expect Steve to not condone it from the other side as well.

Its not a part of my democratic process to heckle those that aren't in alignment with my beliefs (unless they're jackwads like bob sarabia who just can't seem to leave well enough alone).
posted by fenriq at 11:27 AM on October 23, 2004


Is it lawful? If so, it is by definition "permissible." If not, then -- as others have stated -- the offended party is well within her rights to call the police.

I was referring to ethically permissible rather than strictly legally. And how the victim responded to this abuse is perfectly irrelevant to a discussion of whether it was permissible in an ethical or legal sense; as, for that matter, is whether the abuse was premeditated and intended to pressure voters into changing their party or whether it was purely spontaneous.
posted by ed\26h at 11:28 AM on October 23, 2004


From the article:

"I felt intimidated, harassed and threatened!" the woman wrote in her complaint to the Republican Party.

Is this the proper authority to file a complaint to, as opposed to county and state officials? Sounds rather convenient and attention-seeking, if not blatantly orchestrated.

"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."

[...]

Juan D'Arce of Miami complained to the Republicans that he tried early voting in downtown Miami. He was wearing a Bush pin, but he couldn't stand the taunting, so he turned away and did not vote.


Bush pin = good, Kerry button = bad. Got it.

Anyone that wears a pin supporting any candidate to a voting location deserves to be heckled. Unless it's a pin supporting "None of the Above". You make your political statement at the ballot box, not by brandishing it on your way in or by harassing people in line.

Come election day, I'll have no sympathies for any Kerry supporters drawing flack from wearing their Kerry pins to their voting locations, either.

Permits in Palm Beach County show that the SEIU union and other Democratic groups have been holding rallies at early voting locations

Asshats. Both the Democratic groups that applied for the permits and the people who, incredibly, actually allowed and issued those same permits. No potential problems there, no sirree.

Oh wait, I know why:
posted by DaShiv at 11:28 AM on October 23, 2004


Man, if it takes 2.5 hours to vote in FL's early voting, 2004 is going to make 2000 look like a freaking cakewalk.
posted by adamrice at 11:28 AM on October 23, 2004


She won't call the Election Protection Hotline

Wow....quick research amberglow. Eh...she may not call, but the word needs to get out. Might want to send those URLs to the reporters to let them know Ms. Fandino might not be as innocent as she might seem. THIS is why we need non-partisan pollwatchers i.e. http://www.electionprotection2004.org

So people can truly witness what happens with these "altercations", take photos and give eyewitness accounts. Sheesh.
posted by bkdelong at 11:29 AM on October 23, 2004


ed: it is pathetic that S_@_L would think that this son-of-sign-ripper post was in any way comparable to the orchestrated attempts to shred voter registrations documented to be taking place by the republicans.

And tere's a bit of a gap between something being legal, and tehrefore permissable, and it being "the right thing to do". You know this.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:34 AM on October 23, 2004


I just mean that this complaint of being heckled while in line, while not the greatest experience in the world, hardly compares with the stories we've been reading about voter registrations being ripped up and tossed in garbage cans.

Jerks are everywhere, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone voting for Kerry had to hear overhear a bunch of jerks talking about how much they love Bush while in line elsewhere.

On the other hand, the picture changes things for me. If you show up at the voting booths with signs supporting Bush, then please, don't be surprised if a couple people tell you to go home and heckly you. It sounds like this woman was complaining about the very kind of behavior she was guilty of.

I'm not saying it was right - I'm saying give me a break.
posted by xammerboy at 11:34 AM on October 23, 2004


And how the victim responded to this abuse is perfectly irrelevant to a discussion of whether it was permissible in an ethical or legal sense...

Why?

Seriously: Why?

(And no, "because everyone knows that" or some variation on it -- e.g., citing latinate debating shorthand -- does not constitute a valid answer. Why? Because neither would demonstrate that you actually understand the reason why her response to the provocation would be "irrelevant.")
posted by lodurr at 11:38 AM on October 23, 2004


I wish I could vote ed\26h out for being Mr.Logic out of Viz

Armed Robber: No nonsense. Just give me all your money.
Mr Logic: I shall commence by pointing out to you that my demeanour is not one which could be described as nonsensical. Consequently I can attest you have no cause to reprimand me on your first point. On to your second point: Bearing in mind the potentially lethal situation in which I find myself, to wit: your presence in conjuction with the presumably loaded firearm which is presently levelled at my cranium, I will comply with your request comprehensively, albeit reluctantly. Here, twenty-seven pence.
Armed Robber: Twenty-seven pence? Fuck off. There's more than that in the till.
Mr Logic: Indeed, undoubtedly so. However your request was for *my* money. The currency in the till belongs to a third party and is therefore not "my money". However, if you are still desirous of said money I would suggest that you re-phrase your original statement to recognise and incorporate this important distinction.


Seriously ed, do you not get bored with the endless "I'm afraid that is an argumentum ad ignorantiam" stuff? I mean, it's good that you know all this but don't you ever just have the urge to be slightly more human and let the emotion flow?
posted by longbaugh at 11:41 AM on October 23, 2004


At least Mr. Logic was actually using logical terms correctly.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:53 AM on October 23, 2004


All right, this is either extraordinarily smart or stupid and probably unethical. It's smart if you take the "ends-means" viewpoint and figure that if the GOP is going to do crappy stuff like what they're pulling in Ohio, then you have to counter it with equally bad stuff.

However, low-road choices will, if everyone makes them, inevitably lead to lower democracy, so this isn't the ethically conscious thing to do. Not to mention that the dems are giving their opposition fodder, something to play up in the news against the Ohio crap and Nevada allegations, for something that isn't even on par in terms of sheer effectiveness when compared to throwing out new registrations or trying to have voters turned away.

So my verdict is: unethical and stupid.
posted by weston at 11:53 AM on October 23, 2004


It is pathetic that S_@_L would think that this son-of-sign-ripper post was in any way comparable to the orchestrated attempts to shred voter registrations documented to be taking place by the republicans.

Is there anything to suggest that SAL actually does think this occurrence is comparable to the one you mention?

And tere's a bit of a gap between something being legal, and tehrefore permissible, and it being "the right thing to do". You know this.


The term "permissible" has no special leaning towards legality, I was referring to ethically permissible and made no attempt to conflate the two. Either way, the factors mentioned in lodurr's post were irrelevant whichever sense the term was being used in.

Which logical terms and I using incorrectly?
posted by ed\26h at 11:57 AM on October 23, 2004


Gotta love it. If the political leanings had been reversed it woudl have been another example of "Republican brown shirts" or something equally silly. But since its the DEMORATS doing it well then it's only proper and fair.

Its this sort of thing that leads to Republican campaign HQ's getting shor up with not one blip of protest or intterest here on MeFi.

Amazing.
posted by soulhuntre at 12:03 PM on October 23, 2004


There is nothing non-partisan about the various "Election Protection" groups out there, and more's the pity.

A few are backing Bush, but the vast majority are backing Kerry. That's unless you think that the ACLU doesn't have a dog in this fight.
posted by MattD at 12:03 PM on October 23, 2004


Hello: This isn't a secret Democrat campaign to use thugs to intimidate Republicans. This is just some people in line heckling.

But I won't be surprised when this becomes headline news. Next on FOX "Democrats using Gestapo techniques to intimidate the elderly from voting!!!"

Another red herring. Let's not talk about the outrageous behavior of a company actually shredding voter registrations, instead let's find some other small incident and try and blow that up to be just as big. Let's hype it to death, that way both sides will appear equal.
posted by xammerboy at 12:06 PM on October 23, 2004


And how the victim responded to this abuse is perfectly irrelevant to a discussion of whether it was permissible in an ethical or legal sense...

Because, if I act unethically and/or illegally towards a person, simply because that person is free to call the police does not mean that my actions are ethically and/or legally permissible. I have no intention of making the awful arguments you preempt.
posted by ed\26h at 12:06 PM on October 23, 2004


Ummm so we have a picture of the woman on the 18th of October, CARRYING A BUSH/CHENEY SIGN WHILE "WAITING IN LINE" TO VOTE, i.e. ... huh, CAMPAIGNING?

And she complains when people heckle her? "Aww. Johnny, they told me I was stupid, strip their civil rights and beat detain them indefinitely for me."

If she were there to vote, wouldn't she be standing in line? Even if she were standing in line, if she's carrying a fucking sign bigger than her head, doesn't that imply that she's looking for some public discourse?

The whole thing smells. But nice job stirring up the pot, Steve, always enjoyable to witness a little MeFi Freak Out.
posted by zekinskia at 12:10 PM on October 23, 2004


ed, please state that you understand perfectly that it was, in fact, legal, and then explain how a woman wearing a Bush button has a case to complain against people wearing Kerry buttons.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:16 PM on October 23, 2004


"If you ask me whether I believe there is an organized effort to intimidate Republican voters, the answer is absolutely yes," said Feeney.

Yea, I also hate those liberal thugs who go around to Palm Beach mansions trying to stop me from voting! I mean one can hardy drive one's Bentley to buy more coke with Bush's tax rebate without harassment from those who want a clean environment or equal rights! For shame!
posted by Bag Man at 12:19 PM on October 23, 2004


Without the troll, what zekinskia said. Please tell this story to the guy who got fired for having a Kerry sticker on his car or the guy who got fired for heckling Bush at a rally. This is nothing more than phony outrage from craven hypocrites.
posted by Bag Man at 12:24 PM on October 23, 2004


Yea, I also hate those liberal thugs who go around to Palm Beach mansions trying to stop me from voting! I mean one can hardy drive one's Bentley to buy more coke with Bush's tax rebate without harassment from those who want a clean environment or equal rights! For shame!

And you call other posters trolls? Time to look in the mirror. Your little cliched, stereotyped nonsensical views on what a liberal is versus a conservative reek of grade school rhetoric. Put everyone in their little box and relish being a fanatic if it makes you feel better, or you could join the real world. Your choice.

We have 20 threads a day about bush being hitler, wth maybe 1 or 2 being rising above the level of crap. One anti dem thread and we have giant jpegs posted about how much the thread sucks. That's humor folks.
posted by justgary at 12:59 PM on October 23, 2004


From the article:

One woman who voted early in Boca Raton

So... she voted.

She got to vote.

The "Kerry thugs" heckled her.

But she got to vote.

The "Kerry thugs" said stuff loudly.

But she got to vote.

There is a vast difference here, between some rude Kerry supporters who yelled at a woman and a massive oragnized attempt on a national scale to prevent people from voting. The woman got to vote. Nothing illegal happened. Meanwhile, Republican operatives are being have warrants out for thier arrest for illegally suppressing peoples' right to vote.

Big difference.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:10 PM on October 23, 2004


justgary,

Stop crying and answer some of the questions put to you:

1. Why is this headline news? Or interesting? Is this thread really comparable to the other voter registration fraud links we have been posting?
2. Why is this a secret Democrat plot? I only have read about some guys doing some heckling?
3. Why does this woman think she can stand around beside the voting line with a big Bush sign, and not expect people to be outraged?

In short, why doesn't this post suck? No whining please.
posted by xammerboy at 1:17 PM on October 23, 2004


justgary, exaggerating your case doesn't help it. I can remember one single Bush=Hitler post recently and Matt killed it pretty quickly.

If there are 20 a day then I've not seen them.

This "post" IS crap. The lady went in the expectation of interacting with Kerry supporters, she just wasn't prepared for them to be impolite jackasses about it. Shame on them, shame on her.

Are you truly saying this post rises above the politico-crap?

We've got posts detailing truly organized efforts by the Republicans to disenfranchise voters, we've got posts detailing the illegal shredding of voter registrations, we've got posts detailing the lengths that the GOP is going to in order to muddy the waters and make an honest election all but impossible.

This post as a counterpoint isn't apples and oranges, its apples and peas. There is no comparison to the stupid actions of some misguided jerks and a national effort to defraud the democratic process.
posted by fenriq at 1:31 PM on October 23, 2004


For future consideration: you should start thinking about what will sound better, MetaKos or MetaDU?
posted by Krrrlson at 1:38 PM on October 23, 2004


Intimidation of a voter, by either side, is indefensible. I'm a Democratic precinct committeeman and if this went on at my polling place (*if* it did in fact happen) you can be damned sure that I would be on the phone to the police. I don't care which side is doing it. We had a pretty heated mayoral race here last year and some of that did go on and the police were called. Since I live in an ignored, solidly red state (IN), I don't really expect much of that this election with regard to the presidential race. The gubernatorial race, though, is a bit heated and have been warned about potential problems this year. I hope there aren't any.
posted by AstroGuy at 2:26 PM on October 23, 2004


This is obviously Republican propaganda aimed at justifying the GOP's voter intimidation tactics planned for election day
and fully documented here (NYT, reg req)


Published: October 23, 2004

Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.

Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections.

Election officials in other swing states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and Florida, say they are bracing for similar efforts by Republicans to challenge new voters at polling places, reflecting months of disputes over voting procedures and the anticipation of an election as close as the one in 2000.

Ohio election officials said they had never seen so large a drive to prepare for Election Day challenges. They said they were scrambling yesterday to be ready for disruptions in the voting process as well as alarm and complaints among voters. Some officials said they worried that the challenges could discourage or even frighten others waiting to vote.

Ohio Democrats were struggling to match the Republicans' move, which had been rumored for weeks. Both parties had until 4 p.m. to register people they had recruited to monitor the election. Republicans said they had enlisted 3,600 by the deadline, many in heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods of Cleveland, Dayton and other cities. Each recruit was to be paid $100.



Republican officials said they had no intention of disrupting voting but were concerned about the possibility of fraud involving thousands of newly registered Democrats.

"The organized left's efforts to, quote unquote, register voters - I call them ringers - have created these problems," said James P. Trakas, a Republican co-chairman in Cuyahoga County.




One party is focused on registering voters. The other is trying to stop them from voting. Very interesting.



Ohio election officials said that by state law, the parties' challengers would have to show "reasonable" justification for doubting the qualifications of a voter before asking a poll worker to question that person. And, the officials said, challenges could be made on four main grounds: whether the voter is a citizen, is at least 18, is a resident of the county and has lived in Ohio for the previous 30 days.


This is how Chief Justice Rehnquist got his start in GOP politics -- intimidating black voters. So don't expect a favorable ruling from SCOTUS if this activity is challenged.



"Our concern is Republicans will be challenging in large numbers for the purpose of slowing down voting, because challenging takes a long time,'' said David Sullivan, the voter protection coordinator for the national Democratic Party in Ohio. "And creating long lines causes our people to leave without voting.''

The Republican challenges in Ohio have already begun. Yesterday, party officials submitted a list of about 35,000 registered voters whose mailing addresses, the Republicans said, were questionable. After registering, they said, each of the voters was mailed a notice, and in each case the notice was returned to election officials as undeliverable.



Anyway, hassling voters is wrong, whoever does it, but I suspect that you'll find one side is much more gung-ho about it. It'll probably take two years for the truth to come out, just like last time. I worry for our republic.

posted by Slagman at 2:32 PM on October 23, 2004


You've got assholes in both parties. I got hassled at a traffic light yesterday due to pro-Kerry/anti-Bush bumper stickers on my truck.. I just laughed it off.
posted by mrbill at 2:35 PM on October 23, 2004


I'm seriously missing the point here.

A) Florida legislators are idiots for not including "anti-electioneering" guidelines in their early voting regulations.

B) Because it's legal, partisan groups are doing electioneering stuff at the early voting locations. This is bad.

C) Some people complained that some Democrats were rude to them while they were waiting in line to vote. Rudeness is bad, especially at places like a polling place where general civic responsibility is supposed to be the tone, not partisan fervor.

However, doesn't anyone notice anything odd about this story? Like, perhaps, the fact that the newspaper ONLY QUOTES REPUBLICANS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Now, I have been a journalist myself, and in a case where Republican Party officials are claiming that Republican voters have been harassed, I WOULD CONTACT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR THEIR FEEDBACK, which somehow seems not to have occurred to this woman.

My guess is that there are both Republican and Democratic idiots out there in Florida, but because the Sun-Sentinel only interviewed Republicans, only one side of the story is being told.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:59 PM on October 23, 2004


Sidhedevil: What about this?

"Democratic Party officials in Tallahassee said they've had some complaints, too.

"We have had incidents as well," said Christine Anderson, spokeswoman for the Kerry campaign. "We've had quite a few."

She said the party hasn't taken affidavits from voters and found it shocking the Republicans were so focused on the issue rather than working to make sure people can vote.

"It's just absurd they would try to accuse us of intimidation efforts," said Anderson."
posted by AstroGuy at 3:30 PM on October 23, 2004


There are several other Democrats quoted in the article as well.
posted by AstroGuy at 3:35 PM on October 23, 2004


Wow! Someone's feelings got hurt! Holy Shit!
posted by n9 at 3:47 PM on October 23, 2004


soulhuntre, Krrlson, and all those sooo eager to call the dems on this:

Anyone sighting *you* at a voting booth would probably be justified in heckling you for willful stupidity.

Did you read the rest of the thread?

Poor Elaine was singled out and engaged in harrasing dialogue completely without provocation, right? I mean, she wasn't doing any electioneering inside the 50 ft cone, right? Does that sign she's carrying in the photo above mean anything to you?

Can you honestly equate democrats heckling her in such a situation to, say, planning beforehand to throw out thousands of new registrations and organize a campaign of GOP "monitors" to challenge new voters right to cast their ballot?

You also believe the WMDs were found and that Iraq was involved in planning Sep 11th, right?

Gotta love it. If the political leanings had been reversed it woudl have been another example of "Republican brown shirts" or something equally silly. But since its the DEMORATS doing it well then it's only proper and fair.

Do you have any evidence whatsoever, other than the claim of our disinterested Republican Representative in the article, that this was organized on the part of the democrats, instead of a spontaneous argument between citizens with different viewpoints? Any commentary about that photo from which it seems pretty apparent Elaine was doing exactly what she accused others of doing to her?

And by the way, where's your outrage at the Ohio stuff? You're interested in us admitting that heckling in election lines isn't good? Fine, I'll admit that. When it comes time to cast your vote, you should leave your campaigning and partisanship and Kerry OR Bush signs home. But c'mon, give a little. I want to see your disgust for when the republicans do it. Or I want you to turn in your goddam patriot badge at the door, because people who can't muster that kind of care when they see the blatant crap that has recently gone on in Ohio --stuff that is so far beyond this "heckling" that the GOP is trying to make seem equal that it's an insult to anyone's intelligence to suggest it's the same thing -- it's obvious that the partisan rot has set in.

Its this sort of thing that leads to Republican campaign HQ's getting shor up with not one blip of protest or intterest here on MeFi.

It's this sort of thinking that reminds me why I *left* the Republican party and ran away from conservative country. Haven't found a place to run too, but I thank you for reminding me not to look back.
posted by namespan at 5:20 PM on October 23, 2004


You're more than welcome with us Dems, namespan. : >
posted by amberglow at 5:27 PM on October 23, 2004


namespan The Republicans of 2004 are very, very adversarially-oriented, and project that opinion onto their opponents. To them, it's their job to point out the mote in the Democrat's eye, and the Democrat's job to point out the beam in their own eye. As they are mentally incapable of dealing with the beam, due to an epidemic of self-righteousness, wilful ignorance, and cognitive dissonance, they ignore it. Which, in the Republicans' minds, leaves only the mote in the Democrats' eye to be dealt with.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:48 PM on October 23, 2004


To them, it's their job to point out the mote in the Democrat's eye, and the Democrat's job to point out the beam in their own eye.

Yep, this certainly reflects well in the recent posting history here on Metafiler.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:38 PM on October 23, 2004


amberglow: thank you kindly. :) I'll give it some thought, but it might not be a good fit either.

Foxes have holes, birds have their nests...
/drama


Krrrlson, I'd still like some answers to my questions.
posted by namespan at 6:46 PM on October 23, 2004


If people are harrassing voters from either side, it's just plain wrong. If the early voting location is City Hall, then they ought to be able to protect voters. Here in Maine, "early voting" is a form of absentee voting, so the long lines are kind of weird. Since it's not an official polling place, because it's not election day, then signs are probably legal. Individuals being jerks happens all the time, and probably shouldn't be attributed to conspiracy on eiher side.

Amberglow, that was pretty darn good work. Elaine sounds like a little old Republican lady who won't take any crap, so I suspect her vote was not in jeopardy. And if you think "little old Republican lady" is insufficiently respectful, my Mom is a "little old Republican lady who won't take any crap." And she's voting for Kerry.
posted by theora55 at 6:49 PM on October 23, 2004


good god ... this election is just one class act after another isn't it? ... i'm sick of it ... and i am so glad i'm voting 3rd party, especially after seeing how low the two major parties are willing to go

by the way, it wouldn't kill people around here to condemn stupid and pointless bullying when they see it ... would it?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:14 PM on October 23, 2004


Read Amberglow's links, Pyramid.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:29 PM on October 23, 2004


I, for one, am gonna be really happy when this election is over. It's really brought out the asshole in everyone.
posted by jonmc at 8:20 PM on October 23, 2004


MY OUTRAGE IZ PASTEDE ON YAY

Dicks are dicks regardless of political affiliation. Also, it really is ludicrous to compare what happened here to honest-to-God vote suppression and voter intimidation (which we ARE seeing in this election, and which isn't getting this kind of attention); this is just a particularly nasty protest that the Florida legislature should've been smart enough to rule illegal. (Having been a resident of Florida for the last 22 years -- my ballot's cast there this year, in fact -- I'm not at all surprised that they weren't.) Any Republican who calls this "vote suppression" should get a good belly-laugh to the face, and any Democrat who tries to defend these jackasses' conduct should be denied sex for at least a week.

And I'm with jonmc. Can we please hit "skip chapter" on the next nine days? I'm not even employed at the moment, so I wouldn't even miss the salary! Maybe I can just go to bed and wake up at 9PM on Nov. 2nd to start watching the exit polls...
posted by logovisual at 8:37 PM on October 23, 2004


jonmc - there are real issues at stake, and you may unlucky enough to discover them. But remember - A US Supreme Court Justice with deep ties to the Bush campaign (Rehnquist) determined the victor of the 2000 election.
posted by troutfishing at 8:38 PM on October 23, 2004


trout, I know that ( I do possess a TV and access to newspapers, you know) and and I have my own opinions on them, which I've made clear on numerous occassions. But at this point, at least around here it's just degenerated into a playground squabble that's neither illuminating nor entertaining, just the same people saying the same shit to eachother. Nobody's mind is getting changed and nobody's learning anything.

Just shut up and vote already and maybe we can talk about something else for a change.
posted by jonmc at 8:46 PM on October 23, 2004


... Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore said the lines are long because voters are brought in by the busload.

Holy bloody fuck on a pogo stick. Theresa "Butterfly Ballot" LePore is still Elections Supervisor in Palm Beach county!?!?

"We're being held to a higher standard than anywhere in the United States, where every little minute thing that happens is made into a huge thing," LePore said. "We're trying very hard to make sure that doesn't happen."

You go, girl. Way to stay out of the limelight.
posted by swell at 8:47 PM on October 23, 2004


namespan --

Did you read the rest of the thread? Yes.

Poor Elaine was singled out and engaged in harrasing dialogue completely without provocation, right? Hey, you remember when the guy at the RNC kicked that female protestor? I'm sure you'll agree that was provoked too, right? Hmm, there seems to be some sort of faulty logic here, but where? Where?

Can you honestly equate... blah blah... blah? Honestly, I'll just let you link to my post where I make this equation.

You also believe the WMDs were found and that Iraq was involved in planning Sep 11th, right? Wait, did you want answers or did you want to clumsily try to insult my intelligence? Hard to tell, really.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:50 PM on October 23, 2004


equating kicking to some hurt feelings?

All right then.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:37 PM on October 23, 2004


Just a note to krrlson, if all that fine young republican had hurled at that restrained protester at the RNC was some harsh words, it would not have made an FPP on MetaFilter.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:41 PM on October 23, 2004


Won't someone think of Danny Devito?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:59 PM on October 23, 2004


Jon, logovisual: you don't really think this election will be decided on Election Day, do you? Close your eyes and try to picture George W. Bush giving a concession speech: "Well, we ran a good campaign, I've tried to be a good President, but the American people have spoken, and I have called John Kerry to offer my congratulations." Not fucking likely! It'll be March at the earliest before Metafilter is safe again.
posted by nicwolff at 9:59 PM on October 23, 2004


equating kicking to some hurt feelings?

Still can't read, can you.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:38 PM on October 23, 2004


I agree with Logovisual.
posted by cell divide at 10:48 PM on October 23, 2004


Wow, krrlson, now my feelings are hurt. Perhaps I'll report it to the DNC too.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:58 PM on October 23, 2004


oeh noes!!1 please tell me you're still going to vote space coyote!
posted by Krrrlson at 11:01 PM on October 23, 2004


If this actually was an organized effort by Democrats to intimidate voters, shouldn't its goal be something more than making old women uncomfortable? The Republicans have the right idea--attempt to discredit new voters at the polls, or if that fails, destroy their registration forms. That's how you commit voter fraud. Not this bullshit. I'm seriously considering withholding my annual contribution to the DNC until they follow the lead of the Republicans and come up with more effective ways of corrupting democracy.
posted by turaho at 11:10 PM on October 23, 2004


Nah, apparantly the Democrats are even more inept in their harassment, and specifically target Bush campaigners like Phil Parlock and Elaine Fandino who were never going to be deterred from voting for Bush. How do they expect to win an election when their well-trained and orchestrated "thugs" can't even do these little harassment incident properly, let alone try to match their opposition's blatant systemic acts like tinkering with electronic voting and voter registration fraud? Can we really trust the Democrats to win this election for liberals?

I'm sorry, but push comes to shove, the Democrats obviously have neither the competance or the nads to do everything it takes to win, scruples be damned. No wonder they're such chronic losers--do we trust these guys to "win the hearts and minds" of Iraqis as Bush has done? Maybe it's time to switch to the winning team.
posted by DaShiv at 11:57 PM on October 23, 2004


Still can't read, can you.

No, he can read. The problem is that you're evading being clear, because it's not obvious if:

(1) you need someone to come over to your house and kick you in the head, rather criticising you, so you can tell the difference

(2) you've admitted that there is in fact a huge difference between the emergent behavior described in the linked article and the deliberate, top-down attempt at disenfranchisement.

I won't wait for the answer to this one, because it's obvious you're being disengenous, but if you change your mind, feel free to actually clarify which position you hold.
posted by namespan at 11:58 PM on October 23, 2004


Wait, did you want answers or did you want to clumsily try to insult my intelligence? Hard to tell, really.

If the answer to the rhetorical question about Iraq and 9/11 and the "found" WMDs question is yes, I will not have to do anything to insult your intelligence, unless you have have some damn good citations to back them up.

Or are your opinions on that subject as well-founded as the allegations of organized Democrat sponsored harrasment in this situation?
posted by namespan at 12:05 AM on October 24, 2004


Let's try it again, slowly: just as disrupting the RNC does not merit physical violence, so does carrying a sign not merit voter intimidation. We're comparing situations where response was unjustified in light of the provocation, not equating kicking to heckling. Now tell me, are you really so dense as not to see the difference between an analogy and an equation, or were you being deliberately disingenuous by playing dumb so as to afford yourself an easy "rebuttal?"

Or are your opinions on that subject as well-founded as the allegations of organized Democrat sponsored harrasment in this situation?

Still waiting for the link to my post that contains my allegations. I'm the one evading something here?
posted by Krrrlson at 12:30 AM on October 24, 2004


I have no intention of making the awful arguments you preempt.

Of course not. That's why I took the trouble to pre-empt it: To save us both time.

Nevertheless, you've essentially provided a circular answer: "It's irrelevant because it's irrelevant. QED" Whatever. I shouldn't derail this into a discussion of people's (left or right) flawed conception of the origins and basis of ethics and morality, but you're clearly not thinking much about your answer.
posted by lodurr at 2:18 AM on October 24, 2004


The Republicans have the right idea--attempt to discredit new voters at the polls, or if that fails, destroy their registration forms. That's how you commit voter fraud.

Oh, but the beauty part: That's not actually voter fraud. Even if they fessed up to that, they could do so in such a way that it had essentially no repercussions for them.

Mind, I would not be the slightest bit surprised to find that there was actual fraud -- e.g., discarding registration forms where the person selected "Democrat" -- but the raw genius of all this is how well isolated it all is. Stuff like Jeb's decision to go ahead with the roll-purge, even though he'd been told that it was based on severely flawed data, can be passed off as momentary incompetence. Individual cases of ballot-tampering can be isolated and presented as individual, not party, malice.

The Republicans in the last two decades have succeeded brilliantly in creating a fairly hard core of ethical relativists who grok the needs and wants of the party at a deep level. These folks understand that they're expected to give up their body for the cause, so to speak. That's not how Democratic machines have typically worked. Democratic political machines (and probably Republican ones, too, going back to a time before Goldwater "energized" the base) were based on the idea that people were motivated by self-interest; that implied that you had to take care of someone who put their neck on the line for you (unless it wasn't practical, then...). But the new Republican "machine" is much less rational. It's about Right and Wrong, not about Good (for us) and Bad (for us). (I'm talking about the low-level operatives, here. There is clearly something like a master/slave morality overlay going on inside the GOP.)

A friend likes to hit a lot lately on the "we're playing chess, they're playing Go" analogy, w.r.t. the war & islamic extremists. I propose a similar analogy here: The Democrats are playing baseball, and the Republicans are playing hockey.
posted by lodurr at 2:31 AM on October 24, 2004


space coyote ... it remains stupid and pointless bullying ... another depressing example of how people are only tolerant of those who agree with them
posted by pyramid termite at 4:35 AM on October 24, 2004


This is nothing more than phony outrage from craven hypocrites.

This could only be accurately described as hypocrisy if the persons mentioned in the article supported or partook in similar events themselves.

Wow! Someone's feelings got hurt! Holy Shit! / Equating kicking to some hurt feelings? et al

It would seem just as inappropriate to suggest that someone experiencing 2 1/2 hours of verbal abuse, intimidation and harassment is someone merely suffering from "hurt feelings" as it would be to suggest that kicking a protester while they are being restrained is no worse than someone experiencing 2 1/2 hours of verbal abuse, intimidation and harassment.

The former dismissal is perilously close to the way some people attempt to justify their actions - "he was just being over-sensitive", "sticks and stones" etc. Something I wouldn't be terribly comfortable with.

Juan D'Arce of Miami complained to the Republicans that he tried early voting in downtown Miami. He was wearing a Bush pin, but he couldn't stand the taunting, so he turned away and did not vote.

Bush pin = good, Kerry button = bad. Got it.


There is nothing to suggest that this person thought that wearing a Kerry badge was wrong while his wearing a Bush badge was perfectly acceptable. In fact, he simply says that he was wearing a Bush badge and was then taunted to the degree that he had to leave the line.

It is pathetic that S_@_L would think that this son-of-sign-ripper post was in any way comparable to the orchestrated attempts to shred voter registrations documented to be taking place by the republicans.

Is there anything to suggest that SAL actually does think this occurrence is comparable to the one you mention?

Another red herring. Let's not talk about the outrageous behavior of a company actually shredding voter registrations, instead let's find some other small incident and try and blow that up to be just as big. Let's hype it to death, that way both sides will appear equal.

Ironically enough, this is a red herring. This thread seems to be discussing an occurrence where a person of a certain political persuasion was harassed by a crowd of another political persuasion. Whether or not the political party (or it's affiliates) referenced by the former has engaged in similar or worse behavior is irrelevant to this. Your accusations of this being distorted to the end of making it appear comparable to those events seems to be based simply on speculation over what the FOX news network will report.

Ed, please state that you understand perfectly that it was, in fact, legal, and then explain how a woman wearing a Bush button has a case to complain against people wearing Kerry buttons.

Whether or not the actions are legal, what I was saying was that irrespective of whether the subject of an action is free to request help from the authorities, is not pertinent to the legal status of that action.

As a side note, while I'm not expert on the law, I cannot imagine that the actions described by the women in the article, if accurate, are perfectly legal.

And then explain how a woman wearing a Bush button has a case to complain against people wearing Kerry buttons
.

I assume you mean, how can she make such a statement and escape the attribute of being a hypocrite (since, a murderer can speak of the wrongness of murder and still have a perfectly valid case). I cannot; that women would certainly be a hypocrite, but I don't see why it's been mentioned as I cannot see any evidence of this stance in the linked article or anywhere else for that matter.
posted by ed\26h at 4:50 AM on October 24, 2004


Steve_at_Linnwood, while I think it's entirely possible that there were a bunch of bad apple Democrats who were harrassing others in line at early voting, I think this article is crap.

The article only bothers to report a Democratic viewpoint through a cookie-cutter spokesperon statement and a "former Democrat" who was harrassed. Why didn't they seek a quote from those rallying? Or a Democrat in line? It's a skewed, biased article.

That being said, nobody should be rallying within the 50 foot zone. Traditionally, campaigners just stand outside that zone and hold signs. But never heckle -- why risk pissing a swing voter off?

I was a recount observer with the Gore campaign in Florida, and we observers had strict instructions to not campaign while in FL. As was told to us, "The election has already been decided; we don't want to appear like we're trying to steal it away. We just want to count the votes." I was always proud to work with the FL Democratic Party because their aim was to do it right, not win at the cost of democracy. I am certain that intimidation tactics are in no way coming as a directive from the FDP.
posted by jennak at 5:57 AM on October 24, 2004


Bush pin = good, Kerry button = bad. Got it.

There is nothing to suggest that this person thought that wearing a Kerry badge was wrong while his wearing a Bush badge was perfectly acceptable. In fact, he simply says that he was wearing a Bush badge and was then taunted to the degree that he had to leave the line.


Ed, did you miss the line I quoted from the article as a contrast?

"You're campaigning, you've got a Kerry-Edwards button on, and it's not appropriate."

I agree with the Republican in that quote, but it cuts both ways--my stance is that *any* display of partisanship is inappropriate at a voting location. The man wearing his "Bush badge" shows exactly why. Whether the heckling he drew was right or wrong (and I agree that it's completely uncalled for), perhaps you'd also agree that he made himself a target by being an explicit partisan in an inappropriate arena.

I suspect that those who feel the need to wear their political affiliations right in front of the ballot box are, in some way, looking for some kind of confrontation.
posted by DaShiv at 7:51 AM on October 24, 2004


Thread summary: "It's not important. But she was asking for it."
posted by darukaru at 8:43 AM on October 24, 2004


AstroGuy, you are correct, and I read the piece far too sketchily.

However, I still think it's a slanted article, because the energy is all in the quotations from the "affidavits" about how people were mean to Republicans.

But I am still a big loser.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:46 AM on October 24, 2004


DaShiv: Ah, I see what you're saying with the two quotes. And they does seem to some degree inconsistent, in that the article chose to quote somebody who's view contradicted another person they also chose to quote on the same issue. It's possibly true the the guy in question made himself a target of harassment, either wittingly or unwittingly, but obviously, as you say, we cannot think that this alters the ethical status of that harassment. It's fairly subjective I suppose but I cannot see, inherently at least, why it would be inappropriate to wear a personal symbol of political affiliation while going to vote; so I'm not sure that from seeing a person adorned with such a symbol it follows they are looking for confrontation. Also...

But she was asking for it.

The only "asking for it" it appears this woman was doing was keeping private for which candidate she intended to vote. Obviously the fact that someone does not wish to reveal to you their political stance does not mean that you are perfectly justified in harassing and intimidating that person. Besides, I've never been too happy with the "yeah well if she is going to dress like that, she's just asking for it" type of justification.
posted by ed\26h at 10:35 AM on October 24, 2004


Oddly, although I'm a registered Democrat, I feel vaguely dirty admitting that, when watching Democrats do things like this, this, this, this, this, this, and for all of your tracking-this-stuff needs, there is this. Then there's the voter fraud by democrats - one example here:
Six of the suspicious forms were submitted by representatives of the Columbus Urban League, while 62 others came from ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Kevin Eugene Dooley, involved in Project Vote as an employee or agent of ACORN, was indicted by the grand jury earlier this year for two felony election offenses -- false election registration, and submitting false election signatures to the Board of Elections. Dooley is alleged to have falsified and forged a new voter registration card that was submitted to the BOE.

And you might recognize the name of Nuradin Abdi. He’s a native of Somalia charged with plotting to blow up a Columbus mall.

"As far as board of elections is concerned, Abdi is a registered voter," board of elections director Matt Damschroeder said.
Tactics of intimidation and fear, sown by Democrats. I _am_ a democrat, and I'm ashamed to admit it, in the face of this crap.

Sure, some of them could be republican plants, but such a large series of them? I'm skeptical. Has the Democratic party so totally gone insane that they're resorting to the tactics of physical violence and intimidation? I certainly hope not.

The question on the lips of my Republican friends is - how many times in the last year have Republicans done things like that? (I can cite at least one from one of the articles...) Why aren't the Republicans engaging in this kind of thuggery? Or are they? If so - can someone send me some examples so I can wipe the smirk off of my republican friends faces when they feel all superior?
posted by swerdloff at 10:56 AM on October 24, 2004


If they're imbeciles, Florida should vote them out.

This is Florida we're talking about here, amberglow. ;-)

Theresa "Butterfly Ballot" LePore is still Elections Supervisor in Palm Beach county!?!?

Yep. She actually lost her bid for re-election, though, and her term will end in, I believe, this coming January. (So I guess this is the exception to my observation above.)

"We're being held to a higher standard than anywhere in the United States, where every little minute thing that happens is made into a huge thing," LePore said.

Poor baby. Maybe if she hadn't fucked up so royally last time around, there wouldn't be nearly as much scrutiny.

(N.B.: I believe LePore is a Democrat....it seems as if her butterfly ballot was just godawful design stupidity instead of willful election tampering.)
posted by Vidiot at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2004


Swerdloff, your second link goes to a story about people smearing Kerry/Edwards signs with excrement and removing Kerry/Edwards signs from people's lawns--that hardly seems like a piece of Democratic skulduggery--and the fifth link you posted goes to a story about both Republican and Democratic lawn signs being destroyed. So I'm kind of confused by why you include those links.

The people who brought bullhorns into the Wisconsin Republican Party headquarters and milled around and refused to leave were just plain rude and inappropriate. The AFL/CIO protest at the Bush/Cheney offices was inappropriate, and then it got way out of hand.

The attack on the Multnomah County Republican Party offices was far more serious. However, is there any actual indication that it was committed by Democrats? It could just as easily have been committed by angry tax resisters/Christian Reconstructionists/militia folks (of whom there are not a few in Multnomah County), or by anarchists (who could have come from Portland). For that matter, it could have been committed by the ever-popular disgruntled employees or disappointed office-seekers.

The ransacking of the Orlando offices is also quite serious, and it does seem more likely to be a purposeful action of political foes with a goal in mind rather than the unfocused act of rage in Multnomah County--which does make it more likely that it was committed by people who believed themselves (rightly or wrongly) to be acting on behalf of the Democratic Party.

Now, as a lifelong independent voter, I deplore this kind of crap. But if any one party wants to suggest that it's only committed by the other party--or, for that matter, if any one party wants to suggest that anything bad that happened to them MUST be the fault of the other party, as though everyone was engaged with one party or the other and nobody has any motivations or angers orthogonal to the Big Two--it pisses me off to no end.

The system is the problem, not either of the Big Two. Now, as for voter fraud, there are plenty of stories out there about Republican-connected and Republican-paid organizations registering voters fraudulently AND destroying valid voter registrations for Democrats. Here's one; here's another; and here's an overview.

Swerdloff, if you can be cowed by Republican friends into thinking that the Democrats are somehow "worse"--even given all we know about Karl Rove, then I guess the Republicans' strategy has succeeded. Enumerating all that they have suffered, while explaining away any of the wrongs they have committed seems to have worked on you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2004


Also, Democratic Party offices and Republican Party offices in at least two locations in New Hampshire have been vandalized (again, possibly by people other than Republicans or Democrats, though there are far fewer members of other parties in New Hampshire than there are in Oregon); see here.

It's not just one party. It's the culture of "us v. them" that's the problem.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:53 AM on October 24, 2004


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