Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Tin Foil Hats

Conspiracy Theory Number 1
Conspiracy Theory Number 2 (Thanks, Dandee )
Conspiracy Theory Number 3

The burden of proof is, of course, on anyone claiming fraud. My own take is that this was a clear expression of the will of the American people, and that gay marriage and abortion are more important to them than the fate of Iraq, or the specifics regarding the war on terror. My question, however: Do you fault those who continue to investigate these matters? Do you consider people who see this as worth looking into to be part of the problem?

As for me, I have every interest in believing that this election was won fair and square. My political sanity might well be at stake. If I were presented solid evidence to the contrary, I think I would have to radically re-examine my pacifistic leanings.

But really, is questioning such things unpatriotic? Unproductive? Beside the point?

Or should we be taking a long hard look at these matters?

Bush got 51% of the vote and, I think, 3 million more votes than his opponent. It might be unpalatable to a lot of us, but the guy won.
At this point, I lean towards the "people probably DID fuck with the votes here and there, but not in so great a proportion as to offset Bush's lead in the popular vote" camp. And, to be fair, that's a position entirely based on my earnest desire to be shut of the whole thing, rather than any real investigation.

I think that if the election in 2000 hadn't turned out the way it did, people would be more inclined to push a little harder this time to get to the bottom of any potential voting fraud. But everyone's had it with fucked up elections and recounts and who manipulated the system when. As a result, the attitude is "It's ugly, but it's close enough. Now can we please shut up about it?"

I don't think gay marriage and abortion accounted for all. Lots of people with centrist/leftist values, according to some articles I read pre-election, voted for Bush because of one thing: 9/11.
Funny, that's the one thing that drove me permanently away from the Bush fan club, though I was never exactly a fan - his rhetoric of retribution scared me more than the airplanes did. Trant spoke on PO of 9/11 being a great uniter - not so much, really. Once we all got over being sad and scared and giving blood and whatnot, some of us got angry and wanted to go to war, and some of us were even more determined to work for peace. Something tells me Trant has never listened to Ani DiFranco's "Self-Evident".

And the flames continue to get fanned on sites that should shut the fuck up about politics already and get back to poetry. sheesh, people need to get blogs. ;)

-dandee (ps - about 3/4 of my LJ posts are locked, so only friends with LJ accounts can see them... I do post there more often than it looks)
I myself am rather of the opinion that all of the shenanegans, on both sides, both pre- and post-vote, probably pretty much cancel each other out. My question, however, is not whether Bush won, but whether you consider those who continue to look into the question to be part of the problem, irrelevant, or at all helpful.
Dand--I'm with you on that, and part of my own search, through this, is deciding whether I think the e-voting thing worth pursuing at all (leaning heavily toward no), or whether I simply hold Americans culpable for what I consider to be the wrong decisions. And that's all Americans--he's the prez for all of us, so we're all responsible for him. Which is, I guess, why I think continued opposition important.

Hell, even Bush thinks the opposition important: "I take that as a compliment. It means I'm willing to take a stand." ( http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/08/bush.victory.tm/index.html )

So, the calls for immediate reconciliation, as if the libs are supposed to roll over and die as a result of this, bother me a lot. If anything, it seems to me that this election is a call to even harder work. And I suppose being tired of it all, and excusing an ugly election (and it was very ugly, and you could see it turning ugly over a year ago), strikes me a lot like what they called 'compassion fatigue' during the Clinton era. I.e., a cop-out.
If there was a real conspiracy, it will eventually break the way most of them do: the rats will turn on each other, and the truth will out. If and when it does, I predict the following: George W. will be implicated and impeached (yes, even with a Republican majority). Normally, I would assume that some underling would fall on his sword, but Bush has shown no loyalty to his people, and I'm guessing that's going to end up going both ways. Them's the wages of greed, folks. You can't trust no-body. If he knew about it - and his unwavering calm in the face of what looked like sure defeat would seem to suggest he did (remember, George is not known for his composure under fire) - then he'll go down.

Did he do it? I honestly don't know. Or, did others do it for him ("Don't worry, Mr. President. I can guarantee you a win. But you don't want to know how."), giving him at least a semblance of plausible deniability? It wouldn't surprise me at all if he really did win as "fair-and-square" as is possible around here. On the other hand, there seems to be no limit to what people will do for power, so I guess a silent coup wouldn't surprise me much either. And not because I dislike and distrust the President. Rather because, human nature being what it is, if there's a way to cheat the system, someone's going to try it. And the folks behind Enron and Halliburton seem like likely chaps.

As to the question of whether investigating possible large-scale voter fraud is a "good" thing, I'm frankly a little horrified that there's even a question about it. *Of course* you have to exhaust *every possible avenue* to investigate this, and not because one side or the other won. You have to do it to preserve at least the semblance of a democratic republic, at least a pretence of freedom. If the electorate can't be bothered to ensure that our elections aren't being rigged, we frankly deserve what we get, as Orwellian as that would be.

On the other hand, the record voter turnouts suggests that at least this time around, people actually cared. What a crime it would be, then, to disrespect that, and not even follow up on the most obvious cases.

And it would set a precedent we might never walk away from: America is free for the taking. You won’t even need a gun.
see, i freely admit i'm copping out... good job i'm canadian and there's not much I can do anyway.

For those with the energy and the stomach to take this on and fight it out, Godspeed - they have my admiration and best wishes. I just get the sense that they're going to be spit on and called names every step of the way by an electorate who either doesn't want Kerry to win or who just can't stand to talk about it anymore.

Sorry, I'm still bitter and pessimistic and depressed by the whole thing. My thoughts are probably not much good to anyone looking to fight the results right now.

There's no excuse for not being vigilant in these matters, but we have bigger problems. I tend to agree with you and some others on this post that the election does, in fact, represent the will of the voting public, even if the numbers aren't as accurate as they might be. And that's more depressing than the idea that malice (and incompetence and bad technology and whatever else) skewed the results in ways we can't easily measure. Should we question the integrity of the electoral infrastructure? Of course. Is it patriotic to do so? Absolutely. But I think that it's more productive to engage the attitudes and political awareness amongst the greater American electorate to make it more difficult for a clown like Bush with his contempt for world opinion, rule of law and reason in general to find a broad base of support.

I respectfully suggest that we've been being spit on for quite some time anyway, in spite of some people's insistence that the mainstream press is our lapdog, and that the Republicans have been nothing but magnanimous toward the Dems. Regardless of how you slice this sucker, there were more dirty tricks than one could shake the proverbial stick at during this campaign...and I'm not singling out either side of the aisle, I'm just suggesting that the 'respect' that many on the Right have said they affort the Left has in fact been at about a mutual level.

A little spit never hurt anyone. And there's plenty to go around. The real question, on that front, as far as I'm concerned, is whether I decide to choke this bile back down, or hock a loogie and get the crap out of my system.

Course, whether I choose to hock it into a hankie or into someone's face could, yes, make all the difference.


The question of which is worse, the prospect of an election rigged at this scale, or, on the other hand, the prospect that the majority of Americans freely chose to elect this...fellow...is indeed central to my own personal response to last week's political events. I'm trending toward being a little more comfortable with the latter than the former. If it were the former, I'd have a much more difficult time managing my anger. As above, I don't think it is--but my own view is that those who are checking on the numbers are doing no harm to democracy...and may in fact be doing it a great service.

Just so long as they continue to search for the truth--and not what they want to be true.
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