liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

warm rain

The only other news story besides the Plain Dealer's that I've seen declaring with certainty that the Ohio election results will be challenged is this one.

It sounds as if the voting was not fair in Ohio, and that Democratic attorneys believe the evidence is sufficient to challenge the result, based on unequal numbers of voters per machine in different precincts.

As the days roll by, there's an increasingly quixotic sense of delusion in this idea that the election results are inaccurate and are somehow going to be rectified. The fog and rain here in Pennsylvania lend an air of sorrow to the feeling of suppression that befalls us with the early darkness these days.

I still believe it is impossible that the Repubicans won the election. First of all, I don't feel that the representations in Congress and the Senate are fair, in terms of per capita representation. Second, whether or not overt and deliberate election fraud via electronic voting machines is proven, I will never rule out the possibility until a fully fair and transparent audit process is put in place. Even if the election computers weren't hacked or bugged, the results of voter suppression at the polls through provisional ballots, misinformation, inadequate and malfunctioning voting equipment, relocated polling places, and challengers inside the polls are probably enough to have swung the election, not only for Bush, but for Republicans in other close House and Senate races.

I was involved in the GOTV movement in Pennsylvania, and I know that the Democrats had a huge turnout, with phenomenal mobilization. I just can't beleive in my gut that people turned out as effectively on the other side in Ohio, Iowa and Florida. If the Republicans did get out their voters in the numbers the tallies actually show, then I am deluded and my judgment and intuition very flawed. I know in my gut that we did better than they did.

In These Times magazine tells it like it is in Mark Crispin Miller's article, Let's Get Real. He goes through the whole litany:
To nod agreement that this was indeed an honest win is to forget how Bush was shoehorned into office in the first place; to ignore the ease with which electronic totals can be changed without a trace; to suppress the fact that Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S—the major manufacturers of touch screen voting machines and central tabulators—are owned and run by Bush Republicans, who have made no secret of their partisan intentions; to deny the value of the exit polls, which turn out to have been “mistaken” only in the swing states; to downplay the weird inflation of the Bush vote in county after county, where the number of votes for president was somehow higher than the number of voters who turned out; to ignore the bald chicanery of the Bush supporters who ran the central polling station in Ohio’s Warren County and forced out the press and poll monitors so they could count the vote in secret; to forget the numerous accounts of vote fraud coast to coast throughout the prior weeks of early voting; to overlook the fact that every single “glitch” or “error” that has been reported favors Bush; to ignore the countless instances of ballots—absentee, provisional—thrown away or left uncounted; to forget that the civilian vote abroad (some four million Americans) was being mishandled by the Pentagon (which had somehow become responsible for doing the State Department’s job); and to ignore the many dirty tricks reported—the polling places quickly relocated at the last minute, the fake voter-registration drives, the thousands of Americans who found themselves not on the rolls, the police road-blocks, the bullying pro-Bush poll workers, the machines that kept translating votes for Kerry into votes for Bush. And so on.

To forget or ignore all this and to accept—on faith—the mere say-so of Bush & Company (and our compliant media) is to make clear that you are not a member of what the Busheviks deride as “the reality-based community.” Those who help discredit false reports are doing that community, and this erstwhile democracy, a precious service. But, those who would abort the whole inquiry in the name of science or journalistic probity and “closure” are putting that community, and this nation, at grave risk.

The election system is too partisan, too flawed and too inclusive of the failures and inequities in our society. There isn't any need for more evidence of the illegitimacy of the election; the election itself is self-incriminating. The only solution is a bipartisan movement to empower citizens to participate in democracy, beginning with the right to vote.


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