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In Violation of Federal Law, Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Are Destroyed or Missing.
July 31, 2007 7:00 AM   Subscribe

In Violation of Federal Law, Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Are Destroyed or Missing. "The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election."
posted by chunking express (220 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Harper's article None Dare Call it Stolen offers a lot of background on the dubious 2004 Ohio election results.
posted by chunking express at 7:00 AM on July 31, 2007


SURELY THIS WILL
posted by cavalier at 7:08 AM on July 31, 2007


Oh, shocking.

What are Paris and Lindsay up to today?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:13 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


this post has been deleted for the following reason: nobody cares anymore.
posted by Avenger at 7:13 AM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Avenger <-- this user has been deleted for the following reason: nobody cares anymore.
posted by stenseng at 7:19 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


seriously, avenger? this is kind of a significant new development, which possibly merits a whole new round of caring, IMO.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:20 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


They should have given them to an intern for safe-keeping.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:20 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


OHIO!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:21 AM on July 31, 2007


I wonder just how many votes they could have stolen there. Kerry lost by about a hundred thousand votes in Ohio. In 2000 Gore won the popular vote for the whole country by the same margin. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some shannanagans in the Ohio vote, but I'm not really sure if it could really add up to hundreds of thousands of votes.

One thing that struck me about Ohio was part of an HBO documentary voting machines and Bev Harris, but part of it focused on a 'recount' at an Ohio precinct, where citizens came in to count ballots to doublecheck them. The ballots were supposed to be randomly selected, but they had clearly been pre-counted because all the votes for bush and all the votes for gore were grouped together. I remember hearing later about someone getting in trouble about something in Ohio.

But, this conspiracy theory stuff wears thin. it would require so many people keeping silent, and the more involved, the more likely it is to leak. Even word of the NSA spy program leaked, despite the fact that the leaker risked legal penalties.

I seriously doubt there could have been a broad-based conspiracy to steal the election among huge groups of poll workers.

And it also distracts from some of the things that these people did out in the open to suppress votes before elections. In 2000, for example, you have the infamous 'felons' list that disenfranchised thousands of people who should have been able to vote. The governor was Jeb Bush, and the secretary of state was Katharine Harris One of the more blatant examples, in 2004 the Ohio secretary of state, Ken Blackwell said he would discard voter registration forms if they were not printed on the right thickness of paper. He did that just a few days before the election, and would have prevented tons of signups that groups like Move-On had been doing, of course without the opportunity for people to re-register because there wouldn't have been enough time. Now, that turned out to be illegal under federal law. But it was pretty obvious that the intent was to depress voter turn out and screw over voters.

But, I think the conspiratorial thinking distracts people, and confuses the important issues.
posted by delmoi at 7:21 AM on July 31, 2007 [10 favorites]


I don't know if anyone "stole" the election in Ohio. Neither do you. Now we never will.

Several election laws did seem to be violated, however (which is not the same thing as stealing an election, but still a crime).

Conveniently, I suspect it will now be impossible to try anyone for those crimes.

Ohio was controlled from top to bottom by Republicans in 2004. That party is corrupt to its core. Probably more so than any party in America in at least a century, perhaps ever.

But none of this shit is newsworthy.
posted by teece at 7:28 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


I seriously doubt there could have been a broad-based conspiracy to steal the election among huge groups of poll workers.

Despite the ample evidence to the contrary?

And voter suppression, which you mention, is an attempt by a large group of people to steal the election.
posted by chunking express at 7:28 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


Previously, previouserly, and previousestly. It seems like a lot of this is basically covered ground—is the only actually new news here that they're a lot more sure that the already missing documents are really definitely missing?
posted by cortex at 7:34 AM on July 31, 2007


SURELY THIS WILL

Isn't about time that we just turn this into the acronym STW?
posted by well_balanced at 7:34 AM on July 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


Riiiiiiiiiight.
posted by tadellin at 7:34 AM on July 31, 2007


But, I think the conspiratorial thinking distracts people, and confuses the important issues.

and I think somebody should reread upton sinclair's "the jungle". real conspiracies--not the dramatic made-for-tv kind with ufo cover-ups and mind-control serums, but the more prosaic, real-world kinds of conspiracy and collusion (e.g., "Hey, Bob--Your son works on the license review board, doesn't he?" "Heh, well, sure Phil, sure, you know he does." "That's just fine, Bob. I'm sure he's running the place like a champ. Say, do you think you could give him a head's up that our company's license renewal application will be heading upstairs to his department next week? I mean, there's been a lot of bad press around the company lately, but it would really help me out if we could get this thing on the fast track." "Well of course I can, Phil, of course I can--now, watch this putt!") often are at the heart of the "important issues."
posted by saulgoodman at 7:35 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


SURELY THIS WILL

...be deleted as "outragefilter", "politicsfilter", "we-all-know-bush-sucksfilter", "republicansfilter" or "the-mods-dislike-political-threads-filter".
posted by quonsar at 7:42 AM on July 31, 2007 [13 favorites]


Electoral shenanigans is par for the course in politics. This has always and will always be the case. But what happened in Ohio in 2004 is a disgrace. The electoral fraud, as likely indicated by the now missing records, is just one piece of the puzzle. In DC, we have veterans of the Ohio Kerry/DNC effort in every corner and they each have horror stories about GOP malfeasance during that election ranging from the standard tearing down of lawn signs to outright felonies.
posted by willie11 at 7:43 AM on July 31, 2007


Isn't about time that we just turn this into the acronym STW?

Suck the whip? What the hell is wrong with you people?
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:45 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Don't bother your pretty heads with this. There are more important issues."

Delmoi, just the destruction of those records was a crime. Did any of the destroyers come forward and say "We illegally destroyed election records?" Nope. It was discovered. Not leaked.

Pooh poohing conspiratorial thinking, while fashionable, is silly when there is evidence for potential conspiracy and cover up. It should be followed up. Not dismissed a priori as "conspiratorial thinking" or ruled out because there are more important issues.

I am sure someone will pop in and say "malcompetence" and "never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence" as happens every time the republicans fucks up in some sort of spectacular and self serving way. Yet how do they always manage to fuck up, forget, lose or not read documents in such a way that it is always beneficial to their political objectives? I've yet to hear the government underpaid a republican contractor.
posted by srboisvert at 7:50 AM on July 31, 2007 [9 favorites]


Under federal and Ohio law, all ballots and election records from federal races must be preserved for 22 months after Election Day, which fell on Sept. 2, 2006.

On Sept. 11, 2006, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the election boards "to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election,

today's lesson in politics - if you're going to contest an election, make sure you make the deadlines
posted by pyramid termite at 7:52 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


One thing that struck me about Ohio was part of an HBO documentary voting machines and Bev Harris, but part of it focused on a 'recount' at an Ohio precinct, where citizens came in to count ballots to doublecheck them. The ballots were supposed to be randomly selected, but they had clearly been pre-counted because all the votes for bush and all the votes for gore were grouped together. I remember hearing later about someone getting in trouble about something in Ohio.

This is very common in readable ballot counts -- the Oscars, for example, do this. You do a very quick sort, then hand deliberately slanted piles to each teller.

Why? So the teller can't know who's really winning and attempt to influence the vote if it is close.

Amusingly enough, it even works in a blowout, as long as the tellers are kept from talking to each other. Each sees a blowout for Alice, none known that nobody has a pile of votes showing a blowout for Bob.

So this, alone, doesn't indicate that this particular count was fraudulent.

I'm convinced that Ohio was stolen, but with the GOP congress and SCOTUS, Ohio could have gone for Kerry by 300,000 votes and Bush still would have won. We lost in 2000, there was no way we'd get the White House in 2004 with the same players in place.

The only reason there's a modicum of hope in 2008 is that BushCo has been such a complete serial fuckup, and the country is finally waking up to it.
posted by eriko at 7:53 AM on July 31, 2007


IN mid-August [of 2003], Walden W. O'Dell, the chief executive of Diebold Inc., sat down at his computer to compose a letter inviting 100 wealthy and politically inclined friends to a Republican Party fund-raiser, to be held at his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. 'I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year,' wrote Mr. O'Dell, whose company is based in Canton, Ohio.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:53 AM on July 31, 2007


Democracy: Death by 1000 Cuts.
posted by Otis at 7:53 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think I realized something, I'm so numbed and unshocked by stuff like this not because it is no longer shocking and outrageous but because I'm high off the complete shit that comes out of the White House!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:54 AM on July 31, 2007


Ohio also destroyed my erection records, I think by accident. It was basically just a list of how often I got aroused, and what I was thinking about when I got aroused. But the word "bush" was in there quite a few times, and maybe that was the problem.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


...is the only actually new news here that they're a lot more sure that the already missing documents are really definitely missing...

The news is they are sure documents have been destroyed or lost. The fact the documents have been destroyed or lost is a federal crime, as pointed out in the title of this post. Presumably, in a functioning democracy, some group of people would be charged with crimes related to this. Stealing an election -- or attempting to do so -- should be considered a big deal. If that's not interesting, than I suppose I can look for another quirky web app to post tomorrow.

This post wasn't particularly shrill, so the reaction is pretty interesting.
posted by chunking express at 7:56 AM on July 31, 2007


Die in a chemical fire.

prostyle:

I think my post was not clear. I was being sarcastic when I said that this was not newsworthy (forgot about that whole loss of non-verbal communication thing). And I was giving the issue the normal and healthy amount of skepticism when I said we don't know if there was widespread election fraud in Ohio, 2004.

But there certainly was the appearance of such, and more than enough evidence to begin a massive investigation.

Which of course happened immediately, because we love Democracy in America. Oh, wait...
posted by teece at 7:58 AM on July 31, 2007


Delmoi wrote:

2000, for example, you have the infamous 'felons' list that disenfranchised thousands of people who should have been able to vote. The governor was Jeb Bush, and the secretary of state was Katharine Harris One of the more blatant examples, in 2004 the Ohio secretary of state, Ken Blackwell said he would discard voter registration forms if they were not printed on the right thickness of paper. He did that just a few days before the election, and would have prevented tons of signups that groups like Move-On had been doing, of course without the opportunity for people to re-register because there wouldn't have been enough time...

The paragraph before you talk about the unlikeliness of an actual conspiracy because it would entail too many people staying quiet then in the paragraph above you discuss some of the examples of the way some people have COME FORWARD to prove that there was a conspiracy - as if it's not. Blackwell tried to keep what he was doing quiet, people blew the whistle on him - yet he still got away with it. The Dems at the time should have turned over the monopoly board - Republicans would have.

It boggles my mind why these FACTS are not enough to demonstrate that the elections in 2000 and 2004 were stolen. It should at least be enough to warrant a Congressional investigation. Now that the Dems are in charge why have they forgotten about this? They would have surely investigated if they were in power in 2004 no? Why not now? Because they think we all forgot? Or because they do it too and don't want to uncover their dirty tricks as well? Something's rotten in Columbus and it's not going to fix itself.
posted by any major dude at 7:59 AM on July 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


The fact the documents have been destroyed or lost is a federal crime

only before sept 2, 2006 ... and the court order came days later
posted by pyramid termite at 8:00 AM on July 31, 2007


The Dems won't do shit because they're convinced that if they do stand up for their rights, the Republicans and the media will scream bloody murder about how the Democrats are dragging up old news and going on a partisan witchhunt, and that the public will turn on the Democrats. Fundamental to understanding how the Democratic Party establishment operates is that every one of them is convinced beyond the possibility of persuasion that the Republicans are right when they claim that America is a conservative country. Watch them mince about and dance around the subject of the Iraq War, when majority opinion has been against it for months- the Democrats are only now starting to feel comfortable actually opposing the war.

The Democrats behave like battered spouses, unwilling to stand up for themselves and convinced that if they do insist that their voices are valid and that their rights matter, they'll be hit again. Until the terror of 1994 wears off, we're stuck with a "left" party that, no matter what public opinion is, lives in terror of incurring the wrath of the Republicans and the Republican-owned media.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:06 AM on July 31, 2007 [17 favorites]


none of this shit is newsworthy.

Thankfully, not everyone is as stupid as you.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 8:10 AM on July 31, 2007


And seriously, can we stop using "conspiracy theory" as a pejorative? We have ample proof of conspiratorial behavior on the part of the Republicans and the Administration over the past few years. Hell, go read David "Media Matters" Brock's book, "Blinded by the Right", for an insider's look at the anti-Clinton conspiracy that Hillary Clinton infamously referenced (having been tipped off to its existence by Brock himself). Sure, there's no grand, overarching Illuminati pulling the strings behind the scenes. But there are scads of little conspiracies serving the GOP's interests, and pretending that covert criminal action isn't commonplace to the point of being unremarkable in the modern Republican party is absurd, let alone denying that any conspiracies exist at all.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:11 AM on July 31, 2007 [6 favorites]


Sorry for pouncing teece, that was rather inconsiderate of me.
posted by prostyle at 8:12 AM on July 31, 2007


Battered spouses is right. And there might not have been enough influence in the conspiracy to cost Kerry 100,000 votes in Ohio, but it wasn't for lack of trying, y'know? Fraud's still bad even if it was unnecessary.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 AM on July 31, 2007


Pope Guilty wrote:

The Democrats behave like battered spouses, unwilling to stand up for themselves and convinced that if they do insist that their voices are valid and that their rights matter, they'll be hit again.

This is very true but I wish someone from the left would bash into their head that no matter what they do Republicans and the corporate media is going to portray them as frightened school girls so why not just do what is right. It makes me think that Nader was right in 2000 - that there really is no difference between the Dems and Republicans because they both get paid by the same corporations.
posted by any major dude at 8:14 AM on July 31, 2007


Fraud's still bad even if it was unnecessary.

It sure is.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2007


this is kind of a significant new development, which possibly merits a whole new round of caring, IMO.

Not for the rest of the world, which made up its mind about this shit ages ago.
posted by GuyZero at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2007


Delmoi - Gore won the 2000 popular election by 540,000 votes, not 100,000.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2007


Anyone who believes there is a conspiracy in any situation is a harmful crank who undermines democracy and distracts from the important discussions about important matters.

Say what?

Glad to see there's and investigation underway, rooting out conspiracy or verifying the legitimacy of elections is only one small step forward to enhancing American democracy.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 8:20 AM on July 31, 2007


Really? You could have knocked me over with a feather.

And yes, it matters. It matters very much. The presumed integrity of the election process is one of the cornerstones of our society. If you can't trust the election results, you can't trust anybody who was elected.
posted by lordrunningclam at 8:20 AM on July 31, 2007


What's even worse is that Ohio also threw out all our old comic books that we saved in our closet when we went away to college.

Jeez, Ohio, those could have been worth something!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:23 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now that the Dems are in charge why have they forgotten about this?

Because if an honest investigation is undertaken, the Democrats' collusion will be exposed.

Dems and Reps all serve the same masters. Until we smash the two-party system, we're all enslaved.
posted by davelog at 8:24 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


seriously, avenger? this is kind of a significant new development, which possibly merits a whole new round of caring, IMO.

You're mistaken that I think nobody should care. I do think it's extremely important and should be reported widely. Time for some folks to recalibrate the sarcasm meter, methinks.

My point, though, is that if Keith Olbermann came on TV tonight with evidence that the 2004 election was stolen, most Americans, including most Democrats, would say "Man, it looks like Olbermann has finally lost it."

We view our political process as being so sacrosanct that any suggestion of stolen elections goes in one ear and out the other as "conspiracy theory - DO NOT WANT".

On the other hand, you do have the contingent of people who really wouldn't care of the election were stolen or not. Both groups together outnumber those who do care and would want to do something about it.
posted by Avenger at 8:25 AM on July 31, 2007


Can we just cut Ohio and Florida loose? I'd just as soon cede them into the abyss.
posted by mds35 at 8:26 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


there are scads of little conspiracies serving the GOP's interests, and pretending that covert criminal action isn't commonplace to the point of being unremarkable in the modern Republican party is absurd, let alone denying that any conspiracies exist at all.

how true
posted by caddis at 8:28 AM on July 31, 2007


Unless the right wing fires up their righteous outrage machine, nobody in this country cares about anything except their own little world.

People are way too busy, too tired, and too medicated to care about something as esoteric as the unraveling of the fabric of America.
posted by JWright at 8:29 AM on July 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


The records are with Karl Rove's lost e-mails!
posted by ericb at 8:32 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


speaking of conspiracy theories, did anyone see the two full page ad by Miller Reporting Company (Paul Kuntzler) in the NYT (and presumably WaPo as it was a letter to them) about how LBJ killed JFK?
posted by caddis at 8:35 AM on July 31, 2007


In related news: Hackers find serious problems in California voting machines *
posted by ericb at 8:35 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


I seriously doubt there could have been a broad-based conspiracy to steal the election among huge groups of poll workers.
-- delmoi

Despite the ample evidence to the contrary? -- chunking express

What evidence?

And voter suppression, which you mention, is an attempt by a large group of people to steal the election.

yes, but it's not a conspiracy. Maybe I was a little sloppy with my language, what i mean is a conspiracy to discard cast ballots, or change the results of the election after the votes are cast, rather then before
posted by delmoi at 8:39 AM on July 31, 2007


I've always wondered why the 2000 and 2004 elections aren't thought of by the still sane, critical people in America as one of those defining moments of our time the same way that 9/11 is--everyone knows where they were when the planes hit the towers, yet we rarely talk about that gut-wrenching feeling we got when FOX declared Florida for Bush, or in 2004 when a Republican campaign worker told CNN that the exit polls were "overcounting" Kerry supporters and it became apparent what was happening. The responses on this thread baffle me--it'd be one thing if this was wishful thinking, people arguing that America is better than that, we'd know if vote fraud happened, people readily acknowledge that yes, it happened, but who knows, maybe it didn't do anything, it's not worth arguing, just shut up about it. It's ridiculous and insane to think that given the power, which we've seen that they pretty clearly have, the Republicans wouldn't use it as much as they thought they could get away with.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 8:40 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


the law is just a piece of paper
posted by matteo at 8:41 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


delmoi: I wonder just how many votes they could have stolen there. Kerry lost by about a hundred thousand votes in Ohio.

Seems to meld well with Greg Palast's piece about a year ago:

"This is a fact: On November 2, 2004, in the State of Ohio, 239,127 votes for President of the United States were dumped, rejected, blocked, lost and left to rot uncounted."

I suspect he'll have an interesting take on this latest development in the next few days.
posted by RavinDave at 8:46 AM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


But Clinton....
posted by three blind mice at 8:49 AM on July 31, 2007


Because if an honest investigation is undertaken, the Democrats' collusion will be exposed.

So the Democrats and the Republicans collaborate to fraudlently achieve... um.... victory over Nader?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:50 AM on July 31, 2007


Exit polls work everywhere in the world, except in the US exceptionalism zone, it seems.
posted by signal at 8:53 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


These comments really highlight why you can steal elections now. The Republicans will win next time too.
posted by blacklite at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2007


In 2003 Walden O'Dell, the Deibold CEO, said that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Hey, ho, way to go, Ohio.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:06 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Exit polls work everywhere in the world, except in the US exceptionalism zone, it seems.

Exactly--in the same way that the statistical methods used by the Lancet study to estimate Iraqi deaths work just fine for estimating the numbers of deaths in Darfur, Bosnia, and in Europe during the holocaust, but those same methods inexplicably fail to produce reliable results when used to estimate Iraqi deaths.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:06 AM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Why didn’t Kerry contest it?
Badnarik (who?) was all over this. Of course, he’s a silly 3rd party crank.
Surely if there was REAL malfeasance....
posted by Smedleyman at 9:07 AM on July 31, 2007


Why didn’t Kerry contest it?

The landslide of mud and filth that buried Al Gore and Joe Lieberman when they insisted on their right to a recount in 2000 had exactly the effect it was intended to.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:10 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


Time for some folks to recalibrate the sarcasm meter, methinks.

Haven't you heard? Irony is dead.
posted by Foosnark at 9:12 AM on July 31, 2007


The next big issue to watch for in the 2004 election fraud is vote caging, a practice recently confirmed in a release of emails. Caging is an illegal, racially-motivated effort to suppress votes. This was suspected and reported at the time, but didn't get much traction. But Monica Goodling recently let a few things slip about the practice in her testimony before Congress.

Interestingly, a lot of damning evidence has surfaced because Republicans working on the 2004 election often misdirected e-mails to the satire site whitehouse.com, which turned them over to Greg Palast. Actual vote caging lists exist but mainstream media is too busy covering Lindsay and epic LULZ to care.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:12 AM on July 31, 2007 [6 favorites]


And too, isn’t it just damned convenient how the order to preserve these came late? The air is mighty thick with the plausible deniability.
But whether it was on purpose or a mistake, I really have no patience for that kind of buffoonery.
If it’s worth contesting it’s worth doing right - so either win or die trying, this “Gee, we just couldn’t do it. Oh, well.” crap just doesn’t cut it.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:12 AM on July 31, 2007


Political issues don't get any more important or fundamental than the integrity of the electoral process.

And I don't give a shit what the Republican or Democratic noise machines say, think, or do about it.

It's my mind, and I decide what's important to me. I will not be psyched out by Beltway bullshit.

My two cents.
posted by facetious at 9:13 AM on July 31, 2007


"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election."

Just because the destruction is consistent with fraud, does not mean there is (or was) any hard evidence of fraud.

I was pretty active over on Democratic Underground in late 2004; I really believed we were *this close* to the breakthrough that would expose Bush and his administration for what they were. I've come to realize that there isn't going to be the big epiphany of the American public.

Those that supported Bush and are now disillusioned are still hesitant to publicly denounce him; they just want the whole situation to go away. Those who were always against him, are still against him.

The funny thing is that the front-running Republicans are distancing themselves from Bush, and if the Dems think the 08 election is a slam-dunk, they're in for a surprise. People are not deserting the Republican Party; they're just deserting Bush.
posted by Doohickie at 9:17 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


F-ing Ohio...
posted by indiebass at 9:20 AM on July 31, 2007


I'll take this more seriously when it shows up someplace other then.... Alertnet.

(what, was CommonDreams down or something?)
posted by Afroblanco at 9:21 AM on July 31, 2007


What strikes me about this whole mess is that, despite those in this thread who suggest otherwise, the issue of preventing election manipulation is one of the few that really does tend to have broad bipartisan support, and yet, the Democrats have been sluggish to leverage their superior position on the issue. Hell, in Florida, the politician who's most aggressively campaigned on the issue of election fraud and verifiable voting is Republican Governor Charlie Crist. Why the hell are the Dems so slow and ineffective when it comes to recognizing and leveraging their real political assets? Unless, as a couple of people up-thread suggested, they don't really want to address the underlying problems in any serious way because they're still hoping to use the (now obviously) broken-down system to their own benefit.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:24 AM on July 31, 2007


Why didn’t Kerry contest it?

fellow bonesman takin' the fall for a bud
posted by fleetmouse at 9:25 AM on July 31, 2007


I vote for a re-count.

All in favor of quitting America and starting over again with what we have learned, say Ay.

Ay!
posted by humannaire at 9:27 AM on July 31, 2007


So the Democrats and the Republicans collaborate to fraudlently achieve... um.... victory over Nader?

Over democracy. The illusion must be maintained for the corporate oligarchy to continue unabated by pesky outraged citizens.

Why do you think the Dems conceded as quickly as they did?
posted by davelog at 9:27 AM on July 31, 2007


The landslide of mud and filth that buried Al Gore and Joe Lieberman when they insisted on their right to a recount in 2000 had exactly the effect it was intended to.

That's exactly when a statesmen, not a politician, stands up and not only fights, but fights smartly.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 AM on July 31, 2007


I voted in Ohio during that election. I think it was rigged, and I don't normally buy into conspiracy theories. In this case there were just too many suspicious things going on, they all affected Democratic-trending precincts the most, and the top people with the power to make decisions affecting the state's voting process were very clearly and openly supporting the GOP. None of the justifications for each part of the process that went wrong made any sense. I'm not surprised the records are now missing. I was shocked at the time that there was not more outrage at the national level (there was some, I know). I am surprised this still gets dismissed as paranoia. Nothing I've experienced before or since has eroded my faith that democracy works like that election.
posted by Tehanu at 9:35 AM on July 31, 2007 [7 favorites]


Bush won because Rebublicans like him more than Democrats liked Kerry. 100,000 votes is a lot to steal without anyone talking. Americans (Republicans or Democrats) aren't too good at keeping these things secret. And the media isn't reluctant to dig up big controversies either.

We all know that elections are extremely disorganized and the technology is out of date. I bet if you studied each state you'd find discrepency with procedure in most - but it just doesn't matter because the results are clear and the number of electoral votes isn't critical anyways. Take Nevada: we only have 5 electoral votes. Check the procedures and laws here and I'm sure you'll find something amiss; but it's not worth checking because we only get 5 measly votes that can't swing the results one way or the other.

Controversey in the last two elections is a product of unusually close results, unusually high turnout and the fact that the election all came down to a single state (FL in 2000, OH in 2004).
posted by b_thinky at 9:36 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Glad to see there's and investigation underway, rooting out conspiracy or verifying the legitimacy of elections is only one small step forward to repairing American democracy.
posted by stenseng at 9:46 AM on July 31, 2007


Controversey in the last two elections is a product of unusually close results, unusually high turnout and the fact that the election all came down to a single state (FL in 2000, OH in 2004).

I disagree. I think the greatest contributor to the controversy is the increasing reliance on computerized voting systems, coupled with the fact that the market for voting systems is dominated by a virtual monopoly of only a handful of service providers who, coincidentally or not, almost all have close ties to the Republican party.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:47 AM on July 31, 2007


Die in a chemical fire.

That is my favorite new comeback. I'm just going to use it arbitrarily until someone hits me.
posted by Skygazer at 9:50 AM on July 31, 2007


"Dems and Reps all serve the same masters. Until we smash the two-party system, we're all enslaved."

Y'know, whenever someone starts saying stuff like this all I can think is "You just don't understand how rules affect games, do you?" Smash the two-party system? Why don't you funnel that energy into volunteering at your local animal shelter and let people who aren't yammering idiots work on the politics, OK? Because all you're doing is saying "Smash the winner-take-all system and replace it with a parliamentary proportional representation system!" Which is fine and good until you think how much of an incredible overhaul that would entail for the constitution, and how you'd have to get everyone (or about two-thirds of everyone) to agree on that, not just two-thirds of the dipshits who work at your PIRG office.
What would help more is a move to shift further toward the suggestions of the Federalist papers regarding decreasing the influence of factions and factionalization on American politics, and while that would still mean fundamental tinkering with our American system, it could be done through things like election laws, which are the province of Congress and have simple majority requirements for passage (you'd still have the self-interest to deal with; every elected official now takes their providence as evidence that the system works).
posted by klangklangston at 9:51 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


Or you could, you know, just have federally financed elections, and instant runoff voting.
posted by stenseng at 9:54 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


And a bipartisan committe to establish federal standards for elections, with verifiable paper trails.
posted by stenseng at 9:55 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


But that would be just silly.
posted by stenseng at 9:55 AM on July 31, 2007


on preview: exactly what stengseng said.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:56 AM on July 31, 2007


What's round on the ends and high in the middle?

Fat ohio stoners.
posted by chlorus at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


if the Dems think the 08 election is a slam-dunk, they're in for a surprise.

The Democrats are going to completely fuck up 2008, at least as far as the presidency is concerned. Democrats need to stop trying to impress Republicans with their candidates. Republicans run who they like and make no apologies for it; Democrats would be well advised to do the same.

People like Obama. If Obama and Hillary were running for anything other than the Democratic primary for the presidency, Obama would win in a landslide. But due to "electibility" Hillary will win the nomination and go on to lose the general election.

In the national polls (that don't mean much at this point, but are a decent indicator of popularity), Giuliani and Thompson both get smoked by either Edwards or Obama, but Rudy is beating Hillary by 6 and Fred is tied with her. Fred Thompson is tied with the Democratic frontrunner and he's a guy (a) nobody knows anything about and (b) isn't even in the race yet.

Hillary Clinton is exactly what the GOP has been using to scare people away from voting Democratic since 1994. If Democrats go through with nominating Hillary, you're probably looking at another 8 years of a Republican White House.
posted by b_thinky at 9:59 AM on July 31, 2007 [8 favorites]


Wow. For once, I agree with b_thinky.


I don't know how to feel about that.
posted by stenseng at 10:03 AM on July 31, 2007


er... "stenseng."

i seem to recall a time when i didn't often agree with b_thinky, but i think his analysis is dead on in this case.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:04 AM on July 31, 2007


yes, hillary is the kiss of death for the party ... and if you think she won't go along with the warmongers, you'd better think again
posted by pyramid termite at 10:06 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


b_thinky: " ... but Rudy is beating Hillary by 6 and Fred is tied with her. Fred Thompson is tied with the Democratic frontrunner and he's a guy (a) nobody knows anything about and (b) isn't even in the race yet."

Last time I checked, None d'Above was leading the GOP pack.

And no less than FOX Noise cited a poll that includes (among other interesting bits):

" ... In seven different head-to-head matchups, the poll shows the Democratic candidate tops the Republican. While this had been the case when Clinton was tested against Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, this is the first time she has the advantage over Giuliani."
posted by RavinDave at 10:08 AM on July 31, 2007


Oh, and I remind you of the unprecedented amount of fundage flowing into Democratic coffers. Generally, donors wait until the herd is thinned a bit.
posted by RavinDave at 10:09 AM on July 31, 2007


Can we just cut Ohio and Florida loose? I'd just as soon cede them into the abyss.
posted by mds35


Says a guy from texas without a hint of irony? Is that selective memory or a form of the jedi mind trick? Too funny.
posted by justgary at 10:10 AM on July 31, 2007


Essentially, I think the election observers should enter into an election season assuming the opposing party is going to game the system and break as many laws as they can get away with. I don't understand why the Democratic Party in Ohio, realizing the 2004 election was expected to be soooooo close and so important, wasn't extra extra vigilant about every last minutia of election law before, during, and after the election.
posted by newdaddy at 10:16 AM on July 31, 2007


Incidentally, it's only called a conspiracy when the attack/antagonism is being kept a secret.

So drop the conspiracy label. Everyone is philosophically getting what is generally thought of as ass-raped but it's out in the open.

Just because the ass-rapers are saying unequivocally stating for the record that they "are not ass-rapers" and that they "are by no means doing any ass-raping" does not make it a conspiracy.

It makes it a mASSacre.
posted by humannaire at 10:17 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Because all you're doing is saying "Smash the winner-take-all system and replace it with a parliamentary proportional representation system!"

As long as you're presuming to know what's in my mind, guess how many fingers I'm holding up at you.

Our system is not only broken, it's being used against us. To endorse the current system is to become complicit in the undoing of America. In short, you specifically are part of the problem.
posted by davelog at 10:18 AM on July 31, 2007


They've also proven that votes were stolen or thrown away in 06 too, but it wasn't enough to make a difference. More here -- ...the Republicans stole in excess of 6% of the Ohio vote in 2006. But they still lost.

Why? Because they were so massively unpopular that even a 6% bump couldn't save them. Outgoing Governor Bob Taft, who pled guilty to four misdemeanors while in office, left town with a 7% approval rating (that's not a typo). Blackwell entered the last week of the campaign down 30% in some polls.

So while the GOP still had control of the electoral machinery here in 2006, the public tide against them was simply too great to hold back, even through the advanced art and science of modern Rovian election theft. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


My mom's a baby-boomer swing voter looking for the next JFK or RFK . . . she would vote for Edwards or Obama, but not in a trillion years for Hillary.

Luckily she's in CA so her (R) votes don't really count anyway.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:20 AM on July 31, 2007


Isn't about time that we just turn this into the acronym STW?

I think we should just skip ahead and go from:

SURELY THIS WILL!

to

SURELY THIS!

to

SURELY!

to the final:

SHIRLEY!

/all I got
posted by papercake at 10:24 AM on July 31, 2007


So drop the conspiracy label. Everyone is philosophically getting what is generally thought of as ass-raped but it's out in the open.

Yes, yes it is. And that is what is so goddamn frickin' frustrating about what happened here. Especially in the days immediately after the election, I just wanted to scream at everyone to WAKE UP AND LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED HERE! IT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE! I mean, read this description from Franklin County, where I happened to vote (I got there when the polls opened and still waited 4 hours. Luckily I had taken the day off work to do GOTV, but I saw many people give up and leave):

From here:

In Franklin County, where Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matt Damschroder is also the former Executive Director of the county’s Republican Party, the county Board of Elections building looked like a bunker. Scores of city buses blocked parking spaces on the street outside, numerous concrete barricades surrounded the parking lot, and a metal detector was stationed at the only entrance. A phalanx of armed deputy sheriffs swarmed the only site where provisional voters could cast a guaranteed ballot. The Columbus Dispatch confirmed an Election Day Free Press story that far fewer voting machines were present in predominantly black Democratic inner-city voting wards than in the recent primary election and the 2000 presidential election, with their lighter turnouts. The reduced number of machines caused voters to wait up to seven hours and wait an average of approximately three hours. One Republican Central Committee member told the Free Press that Damschroder held back as many as 200 machines and dispersed many of the other machines to affluent suburbs in Franklin County.

Is that alone enough to warrant a 'hey, what the fuck is going on here?' kind of moment?

No?

Well, I guess it's not really that important then.
posted by Otis at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


RavinDave: I got my date from the polls listed at RealClearPolitics. com. The Hillary vs Rudy and Hillary vs Thompson polls are from July 27, near the bottom of the pages. Thompson and Rudy vs other candidates are in the more recent polls.

Either way, both do far better vs Hillary than they do vs Edwards or Obama. The ABC News article you link to which says the GOP candidates are having trouble wooing the parties conservative base kind of illustrates my point. There is nothing about Thompson or Giuliani (or Romney or McCain for that matter) that conservatives are excited about. But Republicans will turn out in droves to vote against Hillary. She can't win.
posted by b_thinky at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2007


delmoi: Actually, for the accusations against Ohio voter fraud, it would take very few people to keep it quiet and cover it up.

In the case of compromised electronic voting terminals, it could take as few as 1 person.

For the case of uncounted votes, it could take as few as 2 people.

Conspiracies don't require a federal agency and lots of cloak and dagger stuff. It could be marking a few boxes from heavy democratic precincts as "machine unreadable" and leaving them to rot. Or destroy them.

Fundamental to understanding how the Democratic Party establishment operates is that every one of them is convinced beyond the possibility of persuasion that the Republicans are right when they claim that America is a conservative country.

This is not suspected, it is true. It is undeniable. You have no chance of gaining power unless you understand this. A lot of progressives forget there are parts of these United States beyond the coasts. Thousands of miles of red states lie in-between. And regardless of if you like it or not, those states get to vote.

As I've said over and over, the master stroke of the republicans was tying conservative issues to religious belief. Consider the south, heavily religious and until Reagan, heavily democrat. The "culture war" that Reagan waged has been the most successful war in U.S. history since the Revolution. That balances out the huge failure of the war on drugs, I suppose.

The sad fact of the matter is that, outside the coasts, most people believe resolutely in God, family, honor, and country. Anything that broaches any of those will be soundly trounced.

Remember the "silent majority"? Turns out, that shit is REAL. A great many people, do not want gays to marry. They don't want government subsidies of art. They don't want abortions. They don't want obstacles to prayer in school. They don't want universal healthcare. They don't want higher taxes to make better schools.

Are they truly a majority? Unknown, but it is close enough to not matter, because opposition is splintered and fractured. They are a plurality, regardless of if they are a true majority.

Clinton won because of his deliberate move to the center. Clinton was not a progressive. Clinton was a centrist. He, and his advisors, were smart enough to realize that, and that is why he was successful. The Clinton administration promoted exactly one truly progressive idea: universal healthcare. It was a debacle.

The only other thing that was even partially progressive was the "don't ask don't tell" policy of the military. It was a compromise that Clinton realized he'd have to make to have any chance of success. If there had been any movement on it back then, I think Clinton could have swung a "same sex civil unions" thing, because he would have been tactful enough to not alienate that "silent majority" by calling it "gay marriage".

And the 2008 is not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, I do not believe the Dems will win.

America is not yet ready for a female president. If Hillary gets the nomination, the DNC might as well start saving money for 2012. Same for a minority president. Seriously, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most hated woman in America. That democrats even THINK for a fleeting MOMENT that she is electable is insanity.

The only chance for the Dems will be if Edwards gets the nomination, because he at least has the ability to portray himself as middle-of-the-road. He's a nice rich white guy from the south. He isn't threatening. But he's also a nancy-boy, which is gonna be hard to sell as well. He needs to go mental attack-dog litigator on someone in one of the debates to prove he has a backbone.

At this point, I don't give the dems any better than 50/50 odds of winning in 2008.

America *IS* conservative. America *IS* mom and apple pie and the Stars and Stripes.

Middle America has learned they have a voice. The "silent" part of the majority is fading. And they *MUST* be courted to win an election in the 21st century.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]



So drop the conspiracy label. Everyone is philosophically getting what is generally thought of as ass-raped but it's out in the open.


Except it has never gotten the media attention it deserved at all, and has in fact been dismissed repeatedly by them as "conspiracy theories" etc, even tho it actually was done out in the open, and the numbers never added up. The recent stuff about Caging and US Attorneys bringing false cases about voting (or getting fired) are also not being covered either.
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on July 31, 2007


America *IS* conservative. America *IS* mom and apple pie and the Stars and Stripes.
Middle America has learned they have a voice. The "silent" part of the majority is fading. And they *MUST* be courted to win an election in the 21st century.


Bullshit--every single poll for years now shows that the majority of Americans are not conservative, and want govt. health care, social security and medicare, and public education, etc. The majority is also very much against every single GOP priority. Every.single.poll.
posted by amberglow at 10:37 AM on July 31, 2007 [8 favorites]


And the majority of Americans are silent--they don't vote at all, ever. It's only fractions of fractions who vote at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:39 AM on July 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


i'm with amberglow--american's like to self-identify as 'conservative' for some reason, but most don't actually hold many 'conservative' views, or for that matter even really understand what a conservative view actually is. the labels conservative and liberal as used these days are just mechanisms for further dividing otherwise broadly like-minded blocks of voters, so their voting power is easier to manipulate.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:48 AM on July 31, 2007


Consider the south, heavily religious and until Reagan, heavily democrat should read "Consider the south, heavily religious and until the passage of the Civil Rights act in 1964 heavily democrat."

LBJ realized this when he said "I think we just gave the South to the Republicans" after signing the Act into law.

every single poll for years now shows that the majority of Americans are not conservative, and want govt. health care, social security and medicare, and public education, etc

As they say on Fark, this. From what I understand, when presented with a list of policies not labeled "liberal" and "conservative," people tend to favor the liberal policies. It's just that many people in America are piss-in-their-pants terrified of being labeled as "liberal." I don't think I understand why this is so, but it is.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:53 AM on July 31, 2007


The illusion must be maintained for the corporate oligarchy to continue unabated by pesky outraged citizens.

Why do you think the Dems conceded as quickly as they did?


Can you go take your tinfoil hat and play outside our discussion? Shoo.
posted by oaf at 10:58 AM on July 31, 2007


"Our system is not only broken, it's being used against us. To endorse the current system is to become complicit in the undoing of America. In short, you specifically are part of the problem."

Like I said, go volunteer at the Humane Society— you'll do more good.

It's not just our current system, it's the system that has emerged over 230 years, and a rational and predictible outcome. Or would you be one of those jackasses marching in the 1820 streets with your "Democrats = Whigs" placard? There are things that are less-than-ideal about our current system, but fixating on the two-party system (or, more accurately, the results of a winner-take-all system) is both ignorant and bizarre.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on July 31, 2007


It's just that many people in America are piss-in-their-pants terrified of being labeled as "liberal." I don't think I understand why this is so, but it is.

It's simple--for decades the GOP has made "liberal" an insult and dirty word (like "commie" and "hippie" used to be)--Ever since the 60s and the Great Society stuff of LBJ. The media has helped spread the insult far and wide, and keep it alive, too.
posted by amberglow at 10:59 AM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


but fixating on the two-party system

Fixating on the Electoral College, which makes a mockery of the entire system and effectively nullifies many of our votes, is much more satisfying. That needs to be abolished.
posted by amberglow at 11:01 AM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


Umm, nobody made me a spokesperson for either the Democrats or the progressives or the liberals, but last I checked, most of them were for mom and apple pie and Stars and Stripes, also. I don't know how we've come down to this in America, but the depth of it astonishes me. Nowhere have I seen any campaign ads "Democrats: We're tired of mothers, and we vote."

Ynoxas has several of valid points, but his use of all those labels (Democrat, liberal, progressive) as epithets is scary, because it's not just a personal tick of his - a lot of people with red-state associations think the same way. I've been horrified by the opinions voiced by my right-of-center friends lately - and I mean, friends I've known since childhood, name-your-kids-after-them kind of friends.

We really have to figure out some common ground somewhere. I don't know how that's going to happen -
posted by newdaddy at 11:07 AM on July 31, 2007


"Fixating on the Electoral College, which makes a mockery of the entire system and effectively nullifies many of our votes, is much more satisfying. That needs to be abolished."

Y'know, frankly, I don't have much of an opinion on that one either way— on some level, I think that it's important to keep all the states enfranchised, which it does (similar to the disproportionate effect of rural voters on the senate), but on the other hand I realize that it's gone against my interests of late. What might help would be rejiggering the number of representatives to better reflect the outsized population of the coasts, and therefore helping to mitigate some of the distortions of the current system. But we'd probably be better off focusing on undoing a lot of the gerrymandering in house districts, even though that's going to run up against that whole "self-interest" problem again. Still, it would be good to start working on it now, in anticipation of the remapping that will occur after the 2010 census.
posted by klangklangston at 11:07 AM on July 31, 2007


"The sad fact of the matter is that, outside the coasts, most people believe resolutely in God, family, honor, and country. - Ynoxas

Ya know, I want to say I'm offended at that also. I'm living on a coast, and I believe in all those things too. I might define them a little differently than he does.
posted by newdaddy at 11:13 AM on July 31, 2007


The real problem, of course, is that the obscenification of "commie" and similar words made it unavoidable that "liberal" (or some other word used to tar left-leaning moderates) would become obscene as well. The witch hunts of the 50s more or less destroyed any true left that Americans had, and the boomers took off for enlightened self interest by the end of the 60s. Seriously: it's been forty years since we've had any kind of "left" party or group on the national scene. You might even say that they make up some kind of "silent majority" or something, working on their bikes, keeping politically quiet or disorganized, working on a small, non-political scale to effect change.

Hmm . . .
posted by thecaddy at 11:24 AM on July 31, 2007


But Republicans will turn out in droves to vote against Hillary. She can't win.
posted by b_thinky at 12:31 PM on July 31


This is absolutely true.

Also, you will have practically zero defections from conservatives TO Hillary, but you will have all kinds of people who normally vote democrat (think organized labor) who would never abide a female president. Just because they are good old boys and Steelworkers doesn't mean they are ready to turn over the Army to a woman.

The real struggle in the republican party is the primaries. Once those are over, they will solidify into an enormous unflinching mountain of support for whomever gets the nomination.

Republicans are actually much better at politics than democrats. I mean, look at the story above about blocking and cordoning off the polling places and making it as hard as possible to vote. Democrats would never do that. Democrats are going to have to, at some point, realize politics is dirty business. They are going to have to play rough and quit worrying about hurting someone's feelings.

The democratic response to the Swift Boat campaign was pathetic. They deserved to lose. In some ways I'm glad Kerry wasn't elected because he turned out to be a spineless coward in regard to the Swift Boats and the obvious Ohio shenanigans. He didn't reach for that brass ring. He couldn't be bothered. He rolled over way too easy. He had NOTHING to lose, and yet still didn't act.

If he had a pair, he would have made the 2000 fight look like a friendly game of badminton.

Amberglow, I agree with you most of the time, but reality bears out that the polls that show that are not accurate. Your second point is much more valid, most people don't vote at all, which badly skews any attempt to quantify where the political compass of the country is.

What happens though, just like with the gay marriage initiatives in 2006, people come out to vote who normally never do.

If the "majority" were against every GOP initiative, republicans simply would not be elected. This is, quite obviously, not the case. Even in 2006 there were plenty of Repubs elected and, amazingly, re-elected.

The one time universal healthcare has been trotted out in modern times it was a total, complete debacle with noone, including many democrats, having any backing for it at all.

A majority of americans also want flying cars and magic ponies.

Americans will SAY in polls that they would elect a woman president. But they won't. They will not. I promise.

I'll make you a deal here and now.

If Hillary wins the presidency, I will donate $100 to the charity of your choice. Mark it down in your calendar. Cortex has my real-life contact info from the MeFi music compilation, so he can be the enforcer.

I don't care what happens in Iraq, I don't care who runs against her, and I don't care what scandals are found between now and then. People who have not voted in 20 years will renew their voter registration cards and go to the polls to vote her out.

It will be another Reagan landslide.

Look at the 10's of millions of people who voted for a borderline retarded alcoholic cokehead failure. TWICE.

I hate to break it to you, and I'm not trying to be snarky, but life is very different outside the Village. 90% of the country lives, thinks, and acts very different than you, and daresay I.

I am a raving liberal maniac where I live, I've been called a pinko commie by someone who was not kidding, but where you live I'd be considered quaint and old-timey. There are, literally, a hundred million people in the Heartland that oppose almost everything you and I believe in.

2008 is far from a lock. In fact, I think it is really a hell of a risk for dems. I think 2 of the frontrunner candidates are unelectable.

You don't want to think "most" of the country is conservative. Leave NY and drive to California, and count the number of people who STILL, after all this, have "W, the President" stickers in their back windows.

Look at the states that had gay marriage initiatives in 2006. Democratic candidates sometimes won, while gay marriage amendments were being defeated by 70%, 80%, even 90%.

The performance of gay marriage initiatives ALONE disproves your statement that "most" people oppose conservative values, or have liberal leanings. This is a fantasy liberals tell themselves to feel not so alone.

The truth is, as I've said more times than I can count, is that your "average american" is an ignorant bigot. I saw a poll just recently saying only 1/3 of Americans even believe evolution. 2/3 of people think God made everybody, and in lots of states 70%-90% of people still think gays are inferior, deviants, and not deserving of equal rights.

I'm not any happier about it than you are, I'm just willing to look at the world outside of NY and CA.

newdaddy: that's an interesting reading of my work, because I am a yellow-bellied liberal down to my core. The only belief of mine that doesn't follow the typical liberal platform is that I support the death sentence as a reasonable punishment for some heinous crimes. Other than that, I'm about as left-wing as you come.

I certainly don't mean liberal as an epithet, I identify as one proudly... but it's incredibly interesting it comes off that way, partly because I am so pessimistic about our prospects.

Thanks for pointing that out newdaddy. That may be why I feel I can't get my point across to people whom I feel are like-minded but strike an adversarial stance.

Often on mefi I'll end up arguing with someone all while thinking "I'm on your side!!". I think the problem comes from me trying to realistic paint the opposition not as a bunch of rapid wingnuts but as the meat of the country. If you live in the interior of the country, these people are most of the people you know. They are your neighbors and family and friends and coworkers.

Most people are ignorant bigots. 90% of the voting public are bigots in some states. You cannot refute this. They have spoken, loudly, publicly, proudly.

We have a long way to go, and spouting nonsense like "most people are liberals!" hurts, rather than helps.

We are the minority position, we have no power except what we SEIZE. It's time for the dems to quit counting on this huge base of support that Amerglow simply assumes.

This assumption that "everyone is on our side, it's just the media" is exactly the same as the ultra-conservative. Think about that.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2007 [6 favorites]


Ynoxas says some things pretty well. Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker saying "is it 2008 yet?" I wanted to pull the driver over and kick him. I mean in 2003 did he have an "is it 2004 yet" sticker? You see a lot of the same sort of thing here on metafilter: "oh, I can't wait for this administration to end". If all you do is wait, you'll get exactly what your effort merits.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:47 AM on July 31, 2007


the ugly truth is your average american will not vote for the party of buttfucking and babykilling no matter how financially corrupt and diplomatically inept the alternative is.
posted by quonsar at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


the party of buttfucking and babykilling= GOP. There's no doubt about that nowadays.

I want Edwards too, but the disgust with the GOP all over the country outweighs the disgust if Hillary is the nominee, trust me.

And those people who came out against gay marriage were voting anyway--they had been brought into the GOP years before those amendments.
posted by amberglow at 12:23 PM on July 31, 2007


People are not deserting the Republican Party; they're just deserting Bush.

This misunderstand the American electorate. The solid base of the Republican party has not and will not leave the Republican party.

That base can't win an election for Republicans. Period.

And ominously for Republicans, the edges of the Republican party and independents have completely fled from the GOP. Like people fleeing from a fire. Republicans are currently doing absolutely fucking awful with independents. Their base is de-motivated, the Democratic base is fired up, and independents are breaking 2 to 1 or better toward Democrats.

Republicans haven't had a presidential field this bleak, and Democrats had one this promising, in several generations, to add to their woes. Republican presidential nominees suck: all of 'em. Even the hard-core Republican base thinks so, and the nominees are much less liked outside of that base.

Hillary Clinton is exactly what the GOP has been using to scare people away from voting Democratic since 1994. If Democrats go through with nominating Hillary, you're probably looking at another 8 years of a Republican White House.

Complete bullshit, b_thinky. You'd do well to actually read polls, rather than Republican propaganda.

This is not 1994. By all current polling, any Democrat will handily beat any Republican, (yes, even H. Clinton). Republican scare tactics have lost their effectiveness with respect to Hillary, and a majority of Americans believe she will be our next President (and they're happy about that).

Just as it was "conventional wisdom" and "obvious" that Nancy Pelosi was going to be ripped to shreds be the GOP, reality turned out quite different. Things have seriously changed for Republicans. They don't seem to know it yet, but they have.

All of this can, of course, change, but current polling is diametrically opposed to your baseless assertion.

And it's not at all a slam dunk for Hillary -- Obama or Edwards may well yet end up the nominee.

See facts above, and:

That's not the kind of picture any sane political analyst says leads to another 8 years of GOP rule. That is the GOP's worst nightmare.

Barring a major shift in public opinion (which is quite possible, we're talking about an election more than a year away), Republicans will lose, probably in grand fashion.
posted by teece at 12:24 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Al the GOP has for 08 is racism and xenophobia, and everyone knows it, even Republicans. Considering that non-whites are by far the fastest growing group of citizens--and new young voters are the least white and most diverse ever, they're sunk. They can't even cheat enough to swing this one--they'll have to cancel it altogether (and i don't put that past them).
posted by amberglow at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2007


The solid base of the Republican party has not and will not leave the Republican party.

That base can't win an election for Republicans. Period.

And ominously for Republicans, the edges of the Republican party and independents have completely fled from the GOP. Like people fleeing from a fire. Republicans are currently doing absolutely fucking awful with independents. Their base is de-motivated, the Democratic base is fired up, and independents are breaking 2 to 1 or better toward Democrats.


Exactly. They needed the base plus .1 percent and that's all they ever catered to. They've turned off millions and millions these past few years, and even made their own moderates pariahs.
posted by amberglow at 12:28 PM on July 31, 2007


oops--they needed their base (which is 25-30), and independents -- and cheating and fraud and intimidation and friendly courts and fake terror warnings, etc -- to get anything since 2000. And they only ever went for .1 extra.

The GOP hasn't gotten a clean and clear majority of voters since Reagan. (Clinton never got one either--Perot took enough votes from the GOP to give it to him)
posted by amberglow at 12:33 PM on July 31, 2007


Ynoxas, read my above post, too.

Your assertions are diametrically opposed to all current polling, which is the only metric we have aside from our guts.

Methinks you have missed the gigantic change that has taken place in American sentiment in the last 2 years. Such sea changes take decades to reverse, and by all indications, we are in the middle of a sea change away from the Rush Limbaugh era of 1990s politics (it's hard to see it right now, with Bush in the Oval Office, and his cronies in the Congress watching his back, but it has happened. By all metrics, it's going to eviscerate Republicans in 2008).

Hillary does just fine on the national stage. Barring something truly strange, she'll be President if she gets nominated (the Republican smear campaign is actually not well equipped to fight a woman candidate on a national level [see, Pelosi, Nancy], and Republicans have not figured this out. You can't get away with some of their bullshit, when directed against a woman. The rules of engagement are different. They totally lose everything but their base if they play as they have over the last 15 years).
posted by teece at 12:33 PM on July 31, 2007


The performance of gay marriage initiatives ALONE disproves your statement that "most" people oppose conservative values, or have liberal leanings.

Wrong.
posted by oaf at 12:37 PM on July 31, 2007


Man, I trusted you, and Kerry still lost.
posted by klangklangston at 12:46 PM on July 31, 2007


Good on you, Alternet. Breaking big stories!

the rule of law says that when evidence is destroyed it creates a presumption that the people who destroyed evidence did so because it would have proved the contention of the other side.

Three years later ... we'll be lucky to get an intern scapegoat.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:49 PM on July 31, 2007


Considering that non-whites are by far the fastest growing group of citizens

You are assuming that only whites are swayed by the GOP's pandering to xenophobia and racism. New immigrant populations are consistantly some of the most conservative voters in the US, particularly on "moral" and immigration wedge issues.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:52 PM on July 31, 2007


And the majority of Americans are silent--they don't vote at all, ever.

I'd rather work on this than support a candidate of either party. I had never done any campaign work for any candidate until the 2004 election, when I called potential voters and spent all of Election Day walking door-to-door in the non-glamorous parts of Las Vegas trying to get out the vote.

I did that because I felt it was very important for American democracy that Bush not be re-elected (so the result was a bit of a bummer), not because of devotion to Kerry. While I was canvassing, though, I knew there were Bush supporters making phone calls and going door-to-door, too. I felt bad that we were reaching out only to people who'd back our candidates. I'd rather have done something to educate voters and get more of them to vote, even if some of them would have voted for the other guy, because I believe we'd be better off if more people participated.

Of course, this is the opposite of both parties' best interest, which is to have as few people vote as possible, as long as most of the votes go to them. Bush's base plus .1 percent strategy is a good example of this. I think it's possible for Hillary Clinton to win because she can be mean, and because she learned from Bush's victory in 2004 that you don't have to be popular with everyone, just a little over 50% (Bush won ~51% of the popular vote in 2004).

I'm already preparing for disappointment in 2008. My preferred candidate (Gore) isn't going to run, Hillary Clinton is divisive and I think we should break the Bush/Clinton/Clinton/Bush/Bush pattern, Barack Obama sounded great on paper but is kind of a wet noodle, John Edwards is being derailed by his personal appearance, and Bill Richardson is the best qualified person on both sides but he's boring. None of the Republican candidates are appealing, and the best I can say about them is that they're probably better than Bush.

I feel that it's vital for the United States to actively repudiate the policies of the Bush/Cheney administration. Preferably we'd see impeachments of Gonzales, Cheney, and Bush, but the Democrats in Congress either don't have the stones or are putting their party before their country so that's unlikely. The second-best possibility would be to elect a Democratic president and increase the Democrats' margins in Congress.

I know the Republicans are running from Bush, but the Democrats need to remind people that the Republicans were in control for most of his administration. Republican president. Republican House. Republican Senate. Republican Supreme Court. Republican war in Iraq. Republican failure with Hurricane Katrina. We already know what will happen with the Republicans in charge.

Consider the south, heavily religious and until Reagan, heavily democrat.

The South switched in 1964 after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. Compare the Electoral College maps for 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968. Carter took the South in 1976 and Clinton took some southern states in 1992 and 1996, but they were from the South (and they ran against less inspiring opponents).
posted by kirkaracha at 12:53 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Study: Fla. Voting Machines Still Flawed -- "Florida's optical scan voting machines are still flawed, despite efforts to fix them, and they could allow poll workers to tamper with the election results, according to a government-ordered study obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press."
posted by ericb at 1:13 PM on July 31, 2007


"Just as it was "conventional wisdom" and "obvious" that Nancy Pelosi was going to be ripped to shreds be the GOP, reality turned out quite different."

Because she's been absolutely worthless?
posted by klangklangston at 1:22 PM on July 31, 2007


And in other news:
California will be a Republican strong hold, after all.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:35 PM on July 31, 2007



You are assuming that only whites are swayed by the GOP's pandering to xenophobia and racism. New immigrant populations are consistantly some of the most conservative voters in the US, particularly on "moral" and immigration wedge issues.


Not the new and old Hispanics, who are completely hating the GOP (except for the old Cubans, as usual). They're the fastest growing and soon to be largest if not already the largest minority in the country. New-citizen first-time voters are overwhelmingly Hispanic too. They're conservative on moral issues, but will not support those who have demonized them, as the GOP has.
posted by amberglow at 1:40 PM on July 31, 2007


kirk, unlike the GOP, us Dems actually want more voters--we do better when more people vote--especially single women and young people.
posted by amberglow at 1:41 PM on July 31, 2007


The Latino Electorate: An Analysis of the 2006 Election (Pew Hispanic Center)
...The 2006 national exit poll showed that in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives 69% of Latinos voted for Democrats and 30% for Republicans. An analysis of exit polls in Senate and gubernatorial races around the country that produced a national estimate revealed essentially the same partisan preference. Meanwhile, exit polls conducted in eight states with large Hispanic populations by the William C. Velazquez Institute, a non-partisan think tank, estimated that Latino voters favored Democrats 67% to 29% in congressional races nationwide. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2007


and from 1/07, also not boding well for the GOP: Two out of every three Latinos now believe that U.S. troops should be brought home from Iraq as soon as possible and only one in four think the U.S. made the right decision in using military force, according to a new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center.
Hispanics have generally expressed a more negative view toward the war compared with the rest of the population. The latest survey, however, shows an even stronger opposition on the part of Latinos, especially when it comes to keeping troops in Iraq.

posted by amberglow at 1:52 PM on July 31, 2007


any major dude and others are correct: There is no opposition party on Capitol Hill.

All it is now is reps and senators who work only for special interests (the rich/ruling class) and people who pretend they are going to do something about it. And those roles become interchangeable depending in the "issue" being "debated".
posted by wfc123 at 2:26 PM on July 31, 2007


The paradox about Hillary is that when Bush was at 40 % popularity, it was pretty clear to me that getting behind Edwards or Obama (or even Gore) made a lot of sense, tactically, because indeed, her negatives are so high. But now I'm not so sure -- Bush is below 30, and I'm guessing he's going to be flirting with 25 before too long. The more Bush flails, the move viable Hillary has been looking in a national election.

So sure, some die-hard Republicans will come out to vote against her, but a lot of what b_thinky is saying is purely wishful thinking. Given a choice between complete apathy (staying home), and registering a protest vote, Americans will, nine times out of ten, go with complete apathy.

I mean, maybe if the Republicans could put up at least a semi-tolerable candidate, but no -- the best they've got in Giuliani is a guy who has the exact same social views as Hillary re: abortion, gay marriage, etc. This does not inspire excitement in the base. I expect a scenario where lots of the Republican protest vote is split between hardcore conservatives like Brownback and Tancredo and the like.

Shorter -- a "vote against" Hillary might not matter at all, if it's going to fringe candidates who are Republican true believers. It's not clear to me that Giuliani (or Romney or Thompson) are going to get that vote. And that doesn't bother Hillary's people one bit -- a refusal to vote or a vote for a fringe candidate is just as good as a vote for Hillary herself.
posted by bardic at 2:52 PM on July 31, 2007


I still think a Tancredo or Brownback will run as an Independent-or someone even worse than them.

And i'm still thinking Hillary and Obama knock each other out...they occupy the same (weak) space on too many issues, and sitting Senators suck as candidates. The GOP is actually being nice to Hillary lately (Murdoch too), which is worrying.

Florida's optical scan voting machines are still flawed, despite efforts to fix them, and they could allow poll workers to tamper with the election results, according to a government-ordered study obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:05 PM on July 31, 2007


teece: Complete bullshit, b_thinky. You'd do well to actually read polls, rather than Republican propaganda.

I provided a link to the current polling data. Giuliani defeats Hillary and Thompson is down 2% to her where the margin of error is 6%. That's a bad sign for Hillary because nobody knows Fred Thompson and she's the most famous woman in America.

Methinks you have missed the gigantic change that has taken place in American sentiment in the last 2 years.

I think the rest of us must have missed it too. I mean, 4 years ago you were probably predicting Bush would have lost in a landslide to whatever Democrat was being run. Just because the President has low poll numbers doesn't mean people are ready to vote for the party of gay marriage, gun control, abortion, high taxes, etc. It just means they probably wouldn't vote for Bush again, which is irrelevant because neither he nor anyone from his administration is running for the presidency in 2008.

The Democrats won in 2006 because the public wants a change in the Iraq strategy. Let me know when the Democrats make some strategy on that front. But don't confuse mid-term elections with the presidency because people don't vote for Nancy Pelosi directly unless they live in her district. Usually voters are choosing between 2 people they can't even name.

We don't even know which issues will define the 2008 election. If it is Iraq, I fail to see how Hillary Clinton would hold any advantage over a Republican candidate when she voted to authorize the war.

But forgetting about actual issues, we use the electoral college to elect the president. Nobody has ever won the presidency without at least one southern state. Gore and Kerry failed to win any southern states - which state do you see turning blue for Hillary?
posted by b_thinky at 3:06 PM on July 31, 2007


After years of lurking, a comment: I am reading Mark C. Miller's book Fooled Again, which is shows the election was stolen, and that the system is broken. I am convinced this is of paramount importance because of the scale of the fraud. Can't believe 136 comments and no one mentioned this or other books on the subject. More here:

http://www.markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/
posted by AppleSeed at 3:09 PM on July 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Republicans Move To Stealthily Steal Electoral Votes
posted by amberglow at 3:20 PM on July 31, 2007


(and welcome AppleSeed) : >
posted by amberglow at 3:21 PM on July 31, 2007


Watch for more Electoral College shit from the GOP--they'll do it state by state.
posted by amberglow at 3:22 PM on July 31, 2007


I'd have to agree with b_thinky; people are giving American's way too much credit. How many still think Sadam is behind 9/11. When that number is closer to 0 maybe you'll elect a democrat. Till then I suspect the Republicans will do what they do best and lie cheat and scam their way to another win in 2008.
posted by chunking express at 3:25 PM on July 31, 2007


Can we please all come together and agree that any numbers regarding Fred Thompson in a national poll are currently highly over-inflated? Just like when you drive a new car off the lot, the second he actually enters the race Thompson loses a lot of points, as anyone would. The second he takes a stand on any issue, he alienates half the Republican base. And the he'll proceed to do it a few more times, as he must.

b_thinky writes Just because the President has low poll numbers doesn't mean people are ready to vote for the party of gay marriage, gun control, abortion, high taxes, etc.

Again, it's not about getting Republicans to vote for Hillary, it's about getting them to a) split their vote for "true" conservatives like Brownback and Tancredo and/or b) simply having them stay home. Rove made a name for himself by firing up Evangelicals to vote for Bush, a guy who has proven that he won't deliver on what they really want -- a Constitutional ban on gay marriage and abortion. Sure, he gave them Alito and Roberts, but I really doubt they're going to be fooled again.

The Democrats won in 2006 because the public wants a change in the Iraq strategy. A majority of the American public wants a withdrawal, plain and simply.

We don't even know which issues will define the 2008 election. Funny, I do -- Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq. During the primaries, candidates play to their base. During the natinal, it's all about the war. And you know who's not doing so well precisely because he's been so eager to carry water for Bush? McCain.

Nobody has ever won the presidency without at least one southern state. Gore and Kerry failed to win any southern states Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas are very much in play for any Democratic candidate. Just ask Jim Webb, who knocked off the guy who was supposed to save the Republican party's bacon in 2008.

The "Southern Strategy" is over-rated anyways. It's the Rust Belt that matters most, and after that, the Southwest.
posted by bardic at 3:28 PM on July 31, 2007


kirkaracha and others: I'm aware of the effect of the Civil Rights Act on the south.

However, I was simplifying to show that the last time the south was swept by a dem was Carter in '76.

And, you can't really count the '68 or '72 races since they were so highly unusual. '68 was madness and the map for Nixon looked like the map for Reagan '84, a total washout.

So, really, the first "good" election to guage the effect of the Civil Rights Act, at least at the national level, was '76, where Carter swept. But Reagan changed everything.

So yes I understand the effect on the south of civil rights legislation, but realize it didn't have the dramatic 1:1 effect that some are implying. 12 years isn't long to "forget".

Also note Ford took California in '76.

I agree with klang that Nancy Pelosi is a non-force in DC. She wasn't ripped to shreds, she was summarily dismissed and ignored from her first week. All the pandering about "noone in this congress is even contemplating impeachment" and "vowing to work with the administration" alienated and deflated the voters. She needed to take charge in a Gingrich-esque attack dog manner, and assert herself over that chamber. She didn't, and everyone quickly forgot about her. Seriously, when was the last time Pelosi had anything public to say? When was the last time you saw her on TV?

She's been a huge disappointment, and was obviously the wrong choice for the job.

Take Pelosi, writ large against the national political canvas, and you have Hillary. I have to repeat, she was the most hated woman in America during her husband's time in the Oval Office. If you think the Dittoheads and the phalanx of followers of conservative pundits have forgotten about her, you are deluding yourself. It will be non-stop Hillary bashing from all media for 11 months.

I admit that there may never be a better time for a woman to succeed, because frankly you would think the Dems could run a potted plant and win in '08. But the truth is much bleaker.

I will vote for whomever the democratic nominee is in 2008, Hillary or not, because I would vote for a potted plant before giving the republicans, any republican, 4 more years.
posted by Ynoxas at 3:39 PM on July 31, 2007


For anyone interested in the machinations of conservative politics, and how cultural issues have been used to convince millions and millions of middle class Americans to vote against their own self interest, I highly, highly, highly recommend reading What's the Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:39 PM on July 31, 2007


Anyone who believes that Hillary Clinton will become President is ignoring that we have kept to WASP males, excepting one, as a tradition. Same for Obama. Additionally, Clinton's candidacy will do nothing but energize the people who were taught to demonize the woman during her husband's Presidency. On top of it, we've had another four years for more cronyism to sink in. I'm sure Ohio is just the tip of the iceberg.

And I'm okay with the Dems losing 2008. Frankly, I want a Republican in the White House until we pull out of Iraq. Their mess, let them clean it up. Let Rudy or whoever announce the big pullout. So let Diebold send in some more machines and deliver more Republican votes. I don't think any learning is achieved until we have a Republican President, a Republican Congress, and a Republican SCOTUS hopping up and down in the ashes of America, shouting, "We won! We won!"
posted by adipocere at 3:52 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I'm okay with the Dems losing 2008. Frankly, I want a Republican in the White House until we pull out of Iraq. Their mess, let them clean it up.

I hate to admit it, but I'm cynical enough to see the logic of this. The mainstream media has proven that it will only truly go after a Democratic president, and a black and/or female one would make it that much easier for them to cover their tracks.
posted by bardic at 4:04 PM on July 31, 2007


4 years ago you were probably predicting Bush would have lost in a landslide to whatever Democrat was being run.

You're a shitty mind reader, b_thinky.

I bet you a beer a Democrat will be in office come 2008. I'm quite willing to be wrong, but I bet your sense of the trend is way off.

I predicted 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 pretty damn well. I really wanted it to go the other way in the first 3, but was not surprised when it didn't. I also saw 2006 coming a mile away.

Republicans are going to have it much, much worse in 2008 (2006 was a year they should have done well in, even in the face of public discontent. 2008 will be a challenge even if they are popular).

Even Hillary will make easy work of any Republican, barring something very major happening (and look at 2006 again: it can be done without a Southern state. But she'd probably get one or two of those, too).

I may very well be wrong, but I'm not hoping for a Democratic victory just because I want that -- history and polling shows that's where we're going, and it's really not even all that uncertain about it.

I had missed the polls where Gulliani and Hillary were in dead heat, but that's bad news for the G man, not Hillary; but Gulliani is NOT likely to be the candidate any way. The G man can't be anointed -- he pisses off too many of the Republican anointees. Thompson? Not any better, I'd be surprised if he gets nominated.

I'm really unsure who the Republican will be, but it really doesn't matter. Republicans are not used to this situation -- the presidential contender is usually hand-picked, and the primaries just a formality. It is hard to predict how it will turn out, but none of the candidates generate any excitement, even among Republicans. They need St. Ronnie II to have a snow ball's chance in hell, and they ain't going to get it.

Whomever it is is quite likely to lose. Iraq ain't going away, and that alone will torpedo whomever it is for the Rs. Hillary is not the albatross you think she is. Neither is her primary victory anywhere near certain. THIS. IS. NOT. 1994.

75% of the country is dissatisfied with American direction, and uneasy about the future, and the incumbent president is (going) to be the most unpopular American president in recorded US history, one that got us mired in a war we lost. All Democratic contenders are polling just fine (for this stage), all the excitement is on the D side, and independents are fleeing from the Republican party at an amazing pace. Reelecting the incumbent party in that environment would be miraculous.

Also, for the first time in a generation, Republicans are also not going to have a money advantage. Their chances of victory are small, to say the least, against any Democrat, and I'll buy a beer if I'm wrong (and Republicans know this -- it's why their so grumpy).

What happened in 2006 was not a fluke -- it was a major shift in the electorate.
posted by teece at 4:07 PM on July 31, 2007


She's been a huge disappointment, and was obviously the wrong choice for the job.

This is just nonsense, detached completely from the reality of the last several months.

Pelosi is not a politician for the history books, but she's fairly well, given the circumstances, and on the national stage she is doing fine, even though Republicans promised that the nation would hate and pillory a San Francisco liberal.

Didn't happen at all. Like I said, their game plan is off, when used against a female candidate, and Republicans (and those that absorb their talking points, as Ynoxas and b_thinky seem to do) have yet to really realize this.

Hillary is the biggest wild card, but even against Hillary Clinton Republicans have a lot cut out for them.
posted by teece at 4:12 PM on July 31, 2007


And I'm okay with the Dems losing 2008. Frankly, I want a Republican in the White House until we pull out of Iraq. Their mess, let them clean it up.
No. no. no. no. The Supreme Court -- and the aging moderates there means they cannot have it. No. Hold your nose if you must if you hate the Democratic nominee but do not allow any of them to appoint even one more Justice there -- or on the Federal level. No.

And that's just one reason. There are many many more.
posted by amberglow at 4:16 PM on July 31, 2007


Pelosi is a disappointment precisely because she's a moderate and an incrementalist at a time when we need a real fighter who will give as good as we've gotten from them, and start to reverse the horrors. Congress is backing down over and over at the mere whisper of a filibuster over every bill the GOP doesn't like, and don't even have the balls to call their bluff and force the GOP to go ahead and do it. And these theatrical Iraq things aren't doing anything--they've all decided to run out the clock too because it's easier to win against a damaged Bush in 08. It's disgusting, and it's damaged the country.
posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on July 31, 2007


I've been holding my nose ever since the first time I could vote, which was for Clinton in 1996. I was agreeing in terms of purely tactical, cynical politics -- Bush II is going to go down in history as our worst president ever, and I think the suction forces of his plunge might irrevocably doom whoever comes after him.

Believe me, I'll vote Dem for POTUS in 2008. But taking Congress last November was probably a much bigger victory, especially when you consider trends -- lots of southern states are going back into play post-Webb, and career Republican douchebags like Ted Stevens are the gift that keeps on giving.

And IMO, Pelosi has done a reasonable job. Not sure what people were expecting from her. If anything, she needs to wake up and realize that the reason her popularity is low is precisely because she and Reid haven't stood up to Bush enough.
posted by bardic at 4:23 PM on July 31, 2007


Haha, amberglow, I was coming here to quote that and start off with a "No. No. No. No," you motherfucker. Too many people in 2004 thought "Fuck 'em. It can't get much worse," just like too many dipshits went for the "There's not much difference between the Dems and Repubs" in 2000.

"Pelosi is not a politician for the history books, but she's fairly well, given the circumstances, and on the national stage she is doing fine, even though Republicans promised that the nation would hate and pillory a San Francisco liberal."

Oh, bullshit. She and Reid are both worthless and spineless shit-sacks. She's not getting pilloried, but she's doing fuck-all, and can't help but be marmish any time she hops on the news. At least she's better than Boxer and Feinstein when it comes to presenting her views, but Christ, she's a wash.
posted by klangklangston at 4:26 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh, the last thing mefi needs is a Pelosi-flame thread but honestly, given the the history of adulterous, sack-of-shit, hypocritical Speakers we've had under Republican rule, I give her credit for bringing some simple decency to the office.

Maybe that's terribly reactionary of me. My bad.
posted by bardic at 4:29 PM on July 31, 2007


Oh, bullshit. She and Reid are both worthless and spineless shit-sacks.

Actually, I think they are both cautious, and understand the depths of depravity that Republicans have sunken to. The things I suspect you want them to do can't happen without a filibuster and veto-proof majority, and they don't have it.

The Republicans are that corrupt.

Is it the right strategy to not go all out, even if you know you will fail? I'm not sure. But they've decided to not go the fire and brimstone route, as Republicans will stop it dead in its tracks. Nothing substantive can really be done until Republicans find a new faith in the Constitution, or Democrats get some major gains.

(The PR aspect is being less than ideally handled by Reid and Pelosi, but they're doing a damn bit better than any other Democrat in the last 20 years, so I'm hoping they'll get better yet).

I don't think you're being completely realistic in your assessment, klangklangston.
posted by teece at 4:38 PM on July 31, 2007


simple decency won't cut it with all the problems we have and the Exec branch's state of lawlessness.

Country before party--that's something Pelosi has no clue about, like the GOP, tragically. These people have to be stopped cold, and punished and it doesn't matter how long it takes. They keep coming back and doing worse than before--from Nixon to Iran/Contra to all of this...--it has to stop.

Let the GOP filibuster. It's something that can only help. Let them show their cards instead of relying on Pelosi and Reid caving into their empty threats. Let them actually do it.

They all have to be cut off at the knees now. No funding, no nothing for any one of their ongoing crimes. Let them come begging to Congress for everything, and let them be forced to follow the laws and Constitution. No bullshit "no-strings" votes.

Just one of many ongoing horrors: The heart of the warrantless surveillance was domestic data, not voice
posted by amberglow at 4:57 PM on July 31, 2007


These people have to be stopped cold, and punished and it doesn't matter how long it takes.

I don't disagree, but like teece says, what do you want her to do, practically? The Republicans are going to insist on 60 votes for everything. The Dems don't have that, for now.
posted by bardic at 5:03 PM on July 31, 2007


Disgust with Bush will keep a lot of replublicans home on election day. Sort of a pox on both their houses, becuase republicans aren't going to vote for democrats even if they can't quite bring themselves to vote for the republican choice. This is particularly true of values voters since so many of the repbulican candidates are so weak on values this time around.

However, people will actively come out to vote for anybody but Clinton. If you don't think that's true, then you haven't spent enough time in the Midwest.

I've been in California for more than 12 years. In that time I've moved increasingly more to the left from a generally libertarian/right position. I voted for Kerry, not because I liked him, but because he wasn't Bush. I wouldn't vote for Clinton unless Bush could somehow run again. He can't. If I wasn't planning to vote, Clinton as a candidate might just get me out so that I could vote against her. She is quite simply the ultimate republican get out the vote campaign.

So, why on earth would you want to risk nominating her? What do you get from her that you don't get from almost any other candidate without all of that negative baggage?
posted by willnot at 6:35 PM on July 31, 2007


America is not yet ready for a female president. If Hillary gets the nomination, the DNC might as well start saving money for 2012. Same for a minority president. Seriously, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most hated woman in America.

I wish.
posted by Paris Hilton at 7:22 PM on July 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


nice.
posted by stenseng at 8:12 PM on July 31, 2007


2004 and 2000 elections were STOLEN


but the Democrats are just as invested in the crooked system

otherwise they would have raised bloody murder
posted by cell divide at 8:27 PM on July 31, 2007


I'm aware of the effect of the Civil Rights Act on the south.

The Solid South voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election from 1876 until 1948. The Dixiecrats took four Deep South states in 1948 after Truman started supporting civil rights. The South supported Democrat Adlai Stevenson against Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, supported either Kennedy or segregationist Harry Byrd in 1960, then voted Republican in LBJ's landslide in 1964. The only state outside the Deep South that voted Republican was Arizona, where the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, was from (Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act). Since the 1964 election was the first since Reconstruction that the South supported a Republican candidate, I think it's safe to say it was in response to the Civil Rights Act.

The Republicans started their Southern strategy in the '60s. Other than the Carter and Clinton examples I mentioned, the South has voted Republican since 1964.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 PM on July 31, 2007


I think it's sad that the other Democratic candidates haven't even been mentioned in this discussion.
I think it's sadder that in order to be considered a viable possibility one must prove they can generate and WASTE a huge amount of money.
I think it's saddest that people don't believe they can walk into that booth and vote for someone they actually want.
posted by bink at 5:12 AM on August 1, 2007


Edwards should have mauled Cheney in the debates and later folded without comment thereby accepting some very shady election shenanigans. I just don't consider him strong enough to represent our interests.
posted by RavinDave at 5:25 AM on August 1, 2007


Eh, the last thing mefi needs is a Pelosi-flame thread but honestly, given the the history of adulterous, sack-of-shit, hypocritical Speakers we've had under Republican rule, I give her credit for bringing some simple decency to the office.

Maybe that's terribly reactionary of me. My bad.


You know I remember when we elected another individual to bring back dignity to an office in 2004. Its interesting to note that her daughter spent several months getting to know him . Failure to act is as damning as foolish action and in a situation where courage is demanded it is more damning.
posted by Rubbstone at 5:55 AM on August 1, 2007


And people wonder why I want to move right back out of Ohio. Sheesh.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:32 AM on August 1, 2007


I don't disagree, but like teece says, what do you want her to do, practically? The Republicans are going to insist on 60 votes for everything. The Dems don't have that, for now.

It's just a bluff. They have to be called on it, and forced to actually do it (Which they won't, and even if they do, make sure it's about something that America wants, like SCHIP or minimum wage stuff). It's an empty threat they make all the time knowing that Pelosi and Reid will always cave, while when they were in charge they were writing entire bills without Dem participation.
posted by amberglow at 7:37 AM on August 1, 2007


They can insist on whatever they want, but it's an empty threat since they can't filibuster everything (even tho they threaten to) without demolishing all their 08 chances.
posted by amberglow at 7:39 AM on August 1, 2007


Newt Gingrich shut down the entire govt when he was speaker, and it hurt them terribly. For the GOP to do it again thru filibusters is not possible.
posted by amberglow at 7:40 AM on August 1, 2007


shit like this is why people are not thrilled with Pelosi and Reid: Democrats Scrambling to Expand Eavesdropping
posted by amberglow at 8:04 AM on August 1, 2007


WOW. It sure took a while to get to the end of this thread. I think this was my fave input...

There are things that are less-than-ideal about our current system


...hmmm. Alright, but how "less than ideal"?

How about this less?

But how does Captain America - beloved symbol of all that is good about America, with us since '41, punched Hitler in the face in his first appearance - being killed last month by a sniper after America turned on him for his decision to dissent from mandatory governmental registration for metahumans tie-in to reality and "our current system" being "less than ideal"?

After all, at the end of the day, what's a meta for - if not to ignore?
posted by humannaire at 9:27 AM on August 1, 2007


I don't think any learning is achieved until we have a Republican President, a Republican Congress, and a Republican SCOTUS hopping up and down in the ashes of America, shouting, "We won! We won!"

While I can understand how that might give a certain amount of personal satisfaction to those who said "I told you so", I'd rather not see America reduced to ashes, thanks very much. And that's without even discussing the populations of other countries who, no doubt, will take it on the chin if/when our experiment in empire goes completely down the tubes.
posted by dubold at 9:57 AM on August 1, 2007


shit like this is why people are not thrilled with Pelosi and Reid:

I'm not "thrilled" with them either, but neither am I disgusted. They are human beings. They are marked improvement from Democratic leaders of the past. Lots and lots of room for improvement, yes, but I'm not going to condemn them, either, because they are better than what we've seen.

And I think we're actually talking about the same things, Amberglow. The Republicans can road block everything Pelosi and Reid do, and they will if they have to. It's the PR the situation that Reid and Pelosi need to work on, and I think we're both saying something along the same lines.
posted by teece at 10:37 AM on August 1, 2007


I've a spare room for any Americans wishing to run away when the Republicans win again in 2008. It'll happen. See my comments prior to the 2004 elections for my prognostications and their eventual validation. I'm not proud about being right and I hope I am wrong but there isn't a single Dem candidate that will get people out there. Obama is a wishy-washy fuck who likes Jesus because it'll catch him a few hundred thousand votes, Edwards had an expensive haircut* and Hilary is the anti-christ according to a good proportion of the USA and if she does get in will make you all kick yourselves with what a shitty choice she is.

I really do hope the Repubs win again because they will absolutely fuck everything up soooooo badly that they are removed as a sensible party for a long time (like the Conservatives in the UK - nobody in their right mind would vote for them). It's a nasty way to make people come to their senses but it worked here. If the Dems get in they will spend the next 4-8 years fixing everything and that means higher taxes. Offer someone $300 and you'll win, tell them they have to pay more money because you want to fix the nation and they'll tell you to fuck off. The people of your great nation would rather buy a hammock and a barbecue than fix the education system, pull out of Vietnam Iraq, clear the national debt or what have you.

I will be shocked if the Dems win in 2008. I will literally be taped to my chair frantically clicking refresh on this very website the day the elections are called and I will say to you "I told you so".

*believe me - this will actually be a genuine issue in any instance whereby Edwards gets past the primary.
posted by longbaugh at 10:55 AM on August 1, 2007


bardicWe don't even know which issues will define the 2008 election. Funny, I do -- Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq.

Well, the 2008 general campaign is still a year away, but even if the issue is Iraq, how do the candidates strategies differ?

I think Bush is likely to start drawing down the war by next spring or summer at the latest. The issue will then be about the plan going forward, not the history going back (I remind you, Hillary Clinton voted for this war just like the Repubulicans did). If there is a current weakness on the part of the Dems, it's that they don't have a plan for anything other than to leave Iraq. OK, then what? The election will be decided over who sells their plan the best.

If things in Iraq stay the same, there is no draw-down of troops and the war remains unpopular, then Hillary has the advantage assuming she argues for removal of troops while the GOP argues to stay the course. But I really doubt Republicans will favor ideology in Iraq over the 2008 elections.

Also, re: McCain - he's struggling because he's tied himself to a number of liberal causes over the past 8 years. He even briefly considered running as VP candidate against Bush in 2004. And people wonder why he's not doing better in the primaries? Not to mention he's like 75 years old already.
posted by b_thinky at 11:51 AM on August 1, 2007


And I think we're actually talking about the same things, Amberglow. The Republicans can road block everything Pelosi and Reid do, and they will if they have to. It's the PR the situation that Reid and Pelosi need to work on, and I think we're both saying something along the same lines.

No. it's not just pr--they are afraid to cut funding or to do anything real. The threats to road block everything are just that and need to be smacked down for real. It's not just pr. The arsenal of real tools Pelosi and Reid have have not at all been touched, let alone wielded. Let them road block things for real, not just threaten to. Let them hang themselves.
posted by amberglow at 11:55 AM on August 1, 2007


How can American turn on Captain America? That's crazy talk.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:56 AM on August 1, 2007


Pelosi and Reid are still acting as if they're dealing with rational people--they're not. They still think they can compromise--they can't. They still think there are Republicans of good faith in the House and Senate--there aren't.
posted by amberglow at 11:57 AM on August 1, 2007


Well, the 2008 general campaign is still a year away, but even if the issue is Iraq, how do the candidates strategies differ?

There are degrees of withdrawal. Bush bringing the troops home is defeat, by any definition. A new POTUS in 2008 "re-deploying" (there's a reason the Dems have been pushing this term non-stop) is a "new direction." And yeah, Clinton voted for the war, but she didn't fuck it up the way Bush did. That's a non-partisan take by all accounts. Nobody could have screwed things up as badly as Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, and even Republicans know this.

McCain - he's struggling because he's tied himself to a number of liberal causes over the past 8 years.

It's amusing and sad that the one person in Congress who's actually been tortured thinks the US shouldn't be doing it, and this makes him "liberal."

Then again, his campaign is over. He's going to stick it out through Iowa just for grins. But he's done. Which, in tactical terms, is fine with me. The Republicans have stabbed their best hope in the back with regards to getting independent voters, probably the most important swing bloc for 2008, and now we get to see chronic flip-floppers like Romney and Giuliani spend a whole year explaining comments they made a decade ago as hard-line pro-choicers. Good times.
posted by bardic at 2:03 PM on August 1, 2007


The GOP platform for 08: only white people count as Americans
posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on August 1, 2007


My Oh My, Ohio.
posted by luriete at 4:23 PM on August 1, 2007


Holy cow, amberglow, that report just about says it all, doesn't it? The evidence, more and more every day, proves that conservative leaders and strategists are pricks, one and all.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:55 PM on August 1, 2007


more on that growing theme by the GOP: Orcinus: Conservative fascism (Jonah Goldberg in LAT stating that every citizen shouldn't get to vote)--... Conservatives are becoming desperate. Probably mass disenfranchisement is their only hope for retaining much of the vestiges of power after 2008, so Goldberg conveniently floats a balloon like this. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on August 1, 2007


more on Goldberg: ...Jonah Goldberg is arguing in favor of Jim Crow-style laws. In the pages of the "liberal" Los Angeles Times. And Goldberg is promoted as one of the intellectuals of the right. To them, this guy is a thinker. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:26 PM on August 1, 2007


Jonah Goldberg in LAT stating that every citizen shouldn't get to vote

well there's something to that idea ... at the least, those people who believe that saddam hussein caused 9/11 ought to be disqualified ... and those who believe the founding fathers started this country as a "christian nation" aren't up to snuff as voters

but i'm in a cynical mood and am wondering why bitch about who gets to vote when it's the rich people that get to buy the winners off later?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:39 PM on August 1, 2007


I think Bush is likely to start drawing down the war by next spring or summer at the latest.

Bush has never, ever, ever given even the slightest hint that he has any interest in doing this, b_thinky, and the fact that you say this makes me think you are not a serious observer of the man.

He has shown no sign of wanting to do anything resembling draw down. He has made it very clear, again and again and again and again and again and again and again (get the point yet?) that leaving is losing.

Bush fully intends to hand off Iraq to his predecessor in '08. He's not drawing down or getting out.

If he does, it will be a 100% about face, something he has shown no capability for in his tenure.

I don't know why nobody listens to what Bush actually says. He's been crystal fucking clear on this point. (Yeah, it's irrational and destructive for him to think this way, but he does, and he's really fucking clear about. He ain't leaving Iraq come hell or high water. If he leaves, it will be because Republicans grew a spine and forced him to, via Congress's power to end wars).

amberglow:
No. it's not just pr--they are afraid to cut funding or to do anything real.

You're not understanding me. These things are very much a matter of PR, because they can't currently be done without Republican support (anything needs to be veto proof, and that will require some significant Republican help). Only a concerted and crafty PR campaign could have any chance of getting that Republican help.

Democrats can pass all the laws they want -- and Bush can veto them. They can let the money run out, yes, which Reid has indicated may be on the table for the next spending renewal. We'll see. But anything affirmative requires Republican help, and the Republicans are corrupt to their eyeballs, and won't be giving it.

Impeachment, de-funding, etc., all of these things require 2/3 majority to work. The Dems don't currently have that, so their power is limited. Managing PR is what they are fucking up, as I said, because only proper PR might have a chance of bringing them the R votes they need.

Letting the money run out is an option, with or without Republican help, but it involves some really ugly realities, so politicians are, quite correctly, hesitant about. Again, that's an area where they are fucking up the PR, not the actual legislative action. Reid and Pelosi are doing fine in Congress. It's in the media game that they need help. One must understand the political realities they face.
posted by teece at 8:41 PM on August 1, 2007


He has shown no sign of wanting to do anything resembling draw down.

In fact, he has some exciting new ideas.
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on August 1, 2007


I think Bush is likely to start drawing down the war by next spring or summer at the latest.

Bush has never, ever, ever given even the slightest hint that he has any interest in doing this, b_thinky, and the fact that you say this makes me think you are not a serious observer of the man.

What's going to happen is politically targeted minor drawdowns--say, the Ohio Natl Guard if they're in trouble there, or the Alabama reserves if they're in trouble there. It'll be token amounts to help re-elect Senators and Reps in trouble now.


You're not understanding me. These things are very much a matter of PR, because they can't currently be done without Republican support (anything needs to be veto proof, and that will require some significant Republican help). Only a concerted and crafty PR campaign could have any chance of getting that Republican help.
Democrats can pass all the laws they want -- and Bush can veto them. They can let the money run out, yes, which Reid has indicated may be on the table for the next spending renewal. We'll see. But anything affirmative requires Republican help, and the Republicans are corrupt to their eyeballs, and won't be giving it.
Impeachment, de-funding, etc., all of these things require 2/3 majority to work.


No. they don't. It's not true that everything needs to be veto-proof. Not true at all. It's a bluff, and we need to call it. Don't believe the hype. Bush will veto whatever he wants, but we don't need veto-proof majorities to pass things--it's a myth--we just need 51 in the Senate, and there are enough threatened GOP Senators to get it, esp from the northeast. The GOP threatens to filibuster everything but hasn't. Let them do it--They won't, especially if it's stuff we all want, like SCHIP or other health stuff.

You can't possible have bought the bluff--it's politics101, and Pelosi and Reid are failing it. They threaten to veto everything--let them do it even once before you buy into it.
posted by amberglow at 9:57 AM on August 2, 2007


Real leadership would have already called their bluff, instead of caving each time.
posted by amberglow at 9:58 AM on August 2, 2007


Are we allowed to comment on posts from Page 2? If so:

bardic: Clinton voted for the war, but she didn't fuck it up the way Bush did. That's a non-partisan take by all accounts. Nobody could have screwed things up as badly as Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, and even Republicans know this.

OK, but Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld aren't running. Everybody gets a fresh start here, assuming we redeploy or severely cut down on military action in Iraq (i.e. our troops sit at base and really only offer support to the Iraqi forces).

If there is no draw-down, and the candidates differ on whether or not to redeploy, then I'd have to agree Hillary would have a huge advantage despite her huge unpopularity.

teece: Bush has never, ever, ever given even the slightest hint that he has any interest in doing this, b_thinky, and the fact that you say this makes me think you are not a serious observer of the man.

If Bush had another 4 years in office I'm sure he would stay the course in Iraq. My prediction isn't an estimation of the man as much as it is the situation. In 2004, Democrats hated this war, which was tolerable. In 2006, Democrats and a majority of the public hated the war, which was manageable. By the beginning of 2008, a super-majority of the public, as well as Republicans in Congress will hate this war. There will be no other options. Bush will be forced to either call it a day and say we won (which is what will happen when we leave Iraq anyways), or make some kind of drawdown in order to keep a more limited presence in Iraq for the future.

If he stays the course completely he's throwing away the presidency for the GOP and all but ensuring a complete withdrawl from Iraq will occur in 2009.
posted by b_thinky at 10:37 AM on August 2, 2007


the oil law they want has a lot to do with it too, i think.
posted by amberglow at 10:44 AM on August 2, 2007


it's this kind of thing that makes me dislike Pelosi: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) welcomed a resolution by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) to begin an impeachment inquiry of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
"Of course it's merited," Pelosi said. ...
But Pelosi fell short of committing to move the resolution through the House.

posted by amberglow at 4:26 PM on August 2, 2007


EXACTLY!
posted by klangklangston at 4:36 PM on August 2, 2007


and everyday there's more like it: House drops tougher auto fuel economy --...Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., sponsor of a proposal to boost vehicle mileage to 35 miles per gallon by 2019, said he decided not to pursue the matter after consulting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi in a statement said she supported requiring automakers to make more fuel efficient vehicles but that the issue was deferred "in the interest of promoting passage of a consensus energy bill."
...

posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on August 2, 2007


Pelosi sucks so much it isn't even worth discussing.

Clinton sucks, and those of you who are clinging to the idea that she is somehow the best candidate for 2008 are utterly and sadly deluded and I urge you to think about it a little harder. She is not her husband. She is a shrill democratic flag-waver who is late to every party. Her opinions are unoriginal and lamely presented. She is not a leader. I am sorry. I wish she was. She will not be the woman to break the gender lock on the presidency.

The Democratic party needs to get its shit together, as it has for years and years, and maybe, maybe, hopefully, some candidates of the better candidates will start talking about this more forcefully through the next few months. Senator Clinton is not one of them.

Complacency is the best way to lose.
posted by blacklite at 12:12 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's a good update/summary just out today from Progress Ohio.

Among other things mentioned:

Given the tone of the ORP and White House emails which make ’04 vote suppression seem like a Parker Brother’s board game, you can understand why the far-right doesn’t see a conspiracy. After all, to them it wasn’t criminal. It was a sport – complete with strategy, cunning, planning, and the email equivalent of high-fiving.

A recent investigation by the PBS show, NOW, produced documents and other evidence pointing to a 2004 Republican Party plan designed to keep Democrats from voting, allegedly by targeting people based on race and ethnicity with a special emphasis on Ohio and other battleground states.

Ohio appeared to be the most advanced. Emails reveal that the Ohio Republican Party sent letters to absentee voters with instructions not to forward the mail if it didn’t reach its destination on the first try. When the undelivered mail was returned to the Ohio Republican Party, party leaders used the mail as prime evidence of voter fraud.

posted by Otis at 8:28 AM on August 3, 2007


Clinton really does suck--and she's way too hawkish and absolutely uninterested in really making life better for all of us.

Otis--that's classic Caging--sending those letters and then knocking them off the roles.
posted by amberglow at 8:36 AM on August 3, 2007


... the reason for the administration's feverish effort to get legislation to expand its surveillance powers under FISA is that earlier this year a FISA Court judge declared a key portion of the administration's program illegal. The ruling of course was secret. And it seems that until now the White House had kept this information hidden from Congress. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:59 AM on August 3, 2007


Clinton sucks, and those of you who are clinging to the idea that she is somehow the best candidate for 2008 are utterly and sadly deluded and I urge you to think about it a little harder.

And I would urge you to learn to fucking read.

I don't really even like Hillary. I'd much rather see Edwards as president. But hey, keep your mind reading going.

The idea here is that Hillary is "unelectable." It's an idea that is complete bullshit, quite aside from my personal opinion of Clinton.
posted by teece at 10:19 AM on August 3, 2007


I made an assumption that the only way you would ever think that Hillary could ever win a presidential election, coupled with the fact that she is the only democratic candidate you have mentioned in this thread which is not about her, indicates that you think she is the best (or even a good) candidate.

I am apparently wrong in that, which means your thesis boils down to "the Democrats have a lock on this so strong, already, that even the second (or third or fourth or fifth) -best candidate can win against the strongest Republican candidate.

Which is wrong, and self-defeating, and implies an ignorance of reality. Hillary is not going to win anything.

Recent Gallup polls. Nothing is a lock.
posted by blacklite at 11:41 AM on August 3, 2007


Hillary is not going to win anything.

I'm quite willing to put my money where my mouth is. I don't care who the Rs nominate (among the current bunch), my money is on the Democrat, even if it is Hillary.

I'll buy you a beer if I'm wrong. Hillary Clinton is not the candidate you think she is -- I don't like her politics all that much, but she is quite electable.

History and polling show that the Republicans are in serious fucking trouble come '08. They have a better chance of swinging the presidency (but it's still a bad one). They have little chance of stopping the hemorrhaging in Congress. That's what would be the case if the election were held today. It would take really major events to change that reality for '08.

We'll see.

I'd much rather it were almost anyone but Clinton, but the candidate is not as important as the general arc of history, which is very much against Republicans right now.

The thing about me is I don't demand purity. Every Democratic candidate has problems for me -- they're all to my right. They are all still deaf to the reality of the media environment they live in. They all fail to grasp the depths of Republican mendacity, and the requirement for a new level of (somewhat distasteful) partisanship to fight the current batch of corrupt Republicans (ironically, Hillary Clinton is the best on all these fronts except actually political policy, recently, with the exception of Edwards, who has made important strategic moves. Obama is actually the worst at understanding the current political environment).

But all things considered, the current crop of Dems are doing better than any in a generation or more, and I'm willing to reward good behavior to actually get some fucking governance done.

Any of the Dem. pres. candidates, and Reid and Pelosi, are light years beyond the asswipes we'd get on the R side right now.

Continually cutting them down by saying they are just Republicans with Ds after their names, calling them worthless, saying that there is no difference between D and R, all of those statements are wrong, and they all contribute to apathy, and ultimately helps Republicans immensely, and I'm not willing to do it.

Right now, the most imperfect Democratic government is infinitely better than the corrupt, non-governing graft machine that the Republican party has become. Keep that in mind.

Even when Reid or Pelosi fuck up, as they seem to be trying with the FISA stuff, it's a damn sight better than the alternative, and they have shown the ability to be persuaded to do the right thing.
posted by teece at 12:31 PM on August 3, 2007


Senate Democrats Cave - Agree To Give Bush More Power To Spy On Americans Than Ever Before
posted by homunculus at 10:24 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


My Senator (a Democrat that voted for this wiretapping bill), received a very firm letter about this.
posted by teece at 10:42 AM on August 4, 2007


There is something fundamentally wrong here. (on Congress and FISA)


Even when Reid or Pelosi fuck up, as they seem to be trying with the FISA stuff, it's a damn sight better than the alternative, and they have shown the ability to be persuaded to do the right thing.


No. it's not better--it's worse -- and it's abdicating all oversight power to boot over a bunch of criminals. And they have not shown the ability at all--they cave all the time. This is not partisan or D v. R, but about doing your job. They're not doing that at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2007


And as for partisan things, if we gave them Congress to stop this shit, why are making this shit easier? Why aren't they doing anything real about Iraq and getting us out? Why are they still caving in to the GOP all the time?

And as for Clinton and Obama, don't spend a week talking about invading other countries--they have to stop that shit. And it's also just what the GOP says too.
posted by amberglow at 10:47 AM on August 4, 2007


Why was that racist anti-gay judge Southwick allowed out of committee too? Immediately after they made big statements about not allowing that? WTF?
posted by amberglow at 10:49 AM on August 4, 2007


If they themselves are all being spied on, they're useless. If they're not, they are hopeless. Either way, this is thoroughly fucked.
posted by amberglow at 10:50 AM on August 4, 2007


One more thing, by continually caving and now actually enabling this evil criminal shit, they're hurting their own futures -- and that of all the 08 candidates. We're watching all of this, and we're pissed.
posted by amberglow at 10:53 AM on August 4, 2007


...Does this comport with any American's concept of the basic functions of the different branches of our government? Since when does the president dictate the terms of legislation... to legislators?

Since they started rolling over for it, that's when. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:56 AM on August 4, 2007


amberglow, the difference between what is happening under Reid and [insert corrupt Republican here ] is huge.

You must acknowledge that. Far from perfect? Hell yeah. Worse than a Republican leadership? You're out of you're fucking mind if you believe that, with all due respect.

(For instance, this bill expires in 6 months. It would have been 5 or 10 years, were Republicans still in charge. That may not seem like much, but in actuality it is a huge difference).
posted by teece at 11:51 AM on August 4, 2007


But it's actually no difference, since there's no indication they won't just cave in again, over and over and over like they already have. They just gave this power to Gonzales!!! And a court had already said it was illegal (not the first court to do so, by the way)

There was absolutely no reason to pass this now. There was absolutely no reason to give Bush and the rest this legal cover. There was less than no reason, and they acted just like the GOP did when they were in charge.

This shit is legal now. That's wrong. It's legal now because they brought it to a vote when Bush demanded they do so. That's wrong.
posted by amberglow at 2:28 PM on August 4, 2007


Making it legal now means you effectively can't take it away in 6 months. Especially when the only reason it was made legal will still be operative-- And the reason it was illegal is certainly still operative. The Congress can't turn around and say "oops" in 6 months after approving it now. The damage is done.
posted by amberglow at 2:31 PM on August 4, 2007


Why are they enshrining the Administration's powers and crimes into law?
posted by amberglow at 2:31 PM on August 4, 2007


The Party of Fear, the Party Without A Spine, and the National Surveillance State
posted by homunculus at 12:57 AM on August 5, 2007


Payback Time: FBI Raids Home of Suspected NSA Leaker
posted by homunculus at 2:31 PM on August 5, 2007


Payback Time: FBI Raids Home of Suspected NSA Leaker
And of course, ignored this leaker--GOP Sen. Boehner, and their own rampant illegal leaking of info to force this bill to the floor.

and of course, the GOP can't allow the truth to be spoken at all--During Politicized FISA Debate, Nadler Forced To Withdraw ‘Truthful And Accurate Statement’ That Bush Broke The Law (and Nadler should never have caved either)
posted by amberglow at 5:07 PM on August 5, 2007


... Karl Rove was handed the last tool he needed to craft his "permanent Republican majority." ...
posted by amberglow at 5:19 PM on August 5, 2007


... If there is another attack while Bush is at his holiday villa, there is no intelligent reason to think it was just "lucky". It's Bush and his Republican cronies who are threatening us, and they're the most likely suspects. These people have just had too much luck. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:24 PM on August 5, 2007


Bush Isn't Spying on al Qaeda ... He's Spying on You
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on August 6, 2007


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