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Mark Crispin Miller has a long open letter to Salon that's interesting not so much for its review of the evidence that election fraud changed the 2004 Presidential election outcome, but for his analysis of why Manjoo, Kos and others have reacted so strongly against discussing the issue.

The key quote after the break.

Miller thinks there's two reasons why most Democrats have chosen to accept the result of 2004 as valid and react with disdain toward those who want to further explore the issue.  The first is not so interesting: the fear of being labeled a "sore loser."  Kerry is the primary example here.

The second is the one often heard at dKos.  Here's what Miller  has to say:

We also hear that Democrats have been reluctant to speak out about election fraud because they fear that doing so might cut down voter turnout on Election Day. By such logic, we should henceforth utter not a peep about election fraud, so that the Democratic turnout will break records. Then, when the Republicans win yet again, because they've rigged the system, how will all those Democratic voters feel? Maybe those who haven't killed themselves, or fled the country, will recover just enough to vote again. Would it then be prudent for the Democrats to talk about election fraud? Or would it still seem sensible to keep the subject under wraps?

The argument is idiotic, yet the people who have seriously made it -- Bernie Sanders, Markos Moulitsas, Hillary Clinton's and Chuck Schumer's people, among others -- are extremely bright. The argument, as foolish as it is, does not bespeak a low I.Q., but, I would suggest, a subtler kind of incapacity: a refusal and/or inability to face a deeply terrifying truth. The Democrats refuse to talk about election fraud because they cannot, will not, wrap their minds around the implications of what happened in 2004, and what is happening right now, and what will keep on happening until we, as a people, face the issue. In short, whatever clever-sounding rationales they may invoke (no doubt in all sincerity), the Democrats won't talk about election fraud because they're in denial, which is itself based on a lethal combination of inertia, self-interest and, above all -- or below all -- fear.

Fear of what?

Such fear is understandable. For the problem here is not simply mechanical or technological, legal or bureaucratic, requiring that we merely tweak the rules and/or build a better mousetrap. Any such expedient will naturally depend on a consensus of "both sides" -- and there's the rub, because in this great clash the "other side" detests American democracy itself. The movement now in power is not conservative but radical, intent on an apocalyptic program that is fundamentally opposed to the ideals of the Enlightenment, on which, lest we forget, this revolutionary secular republic was first founded.

Miller concludes with a lengthy description of what he sees as the primary threat to American democracy: theocrats.  He gives some attention to the "neo-imperialists, corporate profiteers, careerist sociopaths and livid paranoids compelled by the intense self-hatred typical of such perennial types as Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover," but he's most worried about those who want to return to a pre-Enlightenment world.

What has been shown to date about election fraud (as opposed to voter suppression) may not have reached the level that would satisfy a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof, but I too have been puzzled by the intense desire to proscribe discussion of the issue.  Does "fear" underlie this response?  It would be extremely disheartening to think that all of one's effort was being expended in a rigged game.  I'm interested in what the community thinks about Miller's post.

Originally posted to goinsouth on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 10:36 AM PDT.

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| 52 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  let's protect democratic votes! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zappini, lasky57

    Miller is so right it hurts.

    I believe we can increase turnout using this issue: if people are confident that the party actually values their votes and will fight to protect them, they will show up to the polls--or mail in their ballots, as the diary below suggests:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Fear of a Foil Hat (0+ / 0-)

    Once it became the cause of some extreme leftys, the issue of election fraud became toxic. The debate would then be framed with the visual of "The Distinguished James Baker" vs. "Some guy who lives in the woods in a lead house so the satellites can't read his brainwaves" on every panel show. The facts would then become irrelevant and the right would win on presentation alone.

    And the saddest part will be that in 20 years it will be disclosed that satellites were, in fact, reading our brainwaves.

  •  Actually I think the main reason (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zappini, lasky57

    is that believe of election fraud is another thing chalked up to only "tinfoil hat wearers."  This belief that elections can never be stolen in the heart of the democratic world is somehow a holy notion.  Get ready for some sad elections in 06 and 08, and you can in part thank sites like Kos for it.

  •  Once you eliminate the impossible, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zappini, lasky57, quinque

    whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

    And, for one more hackneyed-but-no-less-true snippet,

    Sometimes circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.

    It's a no-brainer for me.

    So, what are you going to do about it?

    As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

    by occams hatchet on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 11:37:15 AM PDT

    •  lots we can do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zappini, occams hatchet, RFelt

      -ask the DNC what it's doing to protect Democratic votes
      -volunteer with organizations like Verified Voting
      -find new ways to frame this issue so people are more responsive to it, possibly by

      1. reframing it in simpler terms, eg making it less about bickering over the details of past elections and more about the statement that unverifiable voting is not acceptable in a democracy
      1. discussing how the issue intersects with race

      3)trying economic arguments, eg.
      http://www.moveleft.com/...

    •  Exactly, and what remains is fraud (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zappini, occams hatchet

      A "voting machine" is no different than an electronic cash register, or any of hundreds of tallying devices that cannot be accessed through "back doors," that automatically reject any non-zero value in a standard input device,  and that contain internal audit trails.    The fact that voting machines do not have these standard programatic safe guards --- safe guards that have been understood by programmers for decades --- is prima fascia evidence that they are intended for fraud.

  •  I don't understand this meme at all (0+ / 0-)

    Manjoo did discuss the evidence that fraud changed the election outcome. Why do people say that he has reacted strongly against discussing the issue?

  •  Maybe the WAY it was discussed? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lasky57

    As in "Here's why you're nuts!"

    The perfect becomes the enemy of the good. Don't be an ideot.

    by ormondotvos on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 12:25:44 PM PDT

  •  What's Marcos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zappini

    recent thinking about this?  Has any of it sunk it for the "practical progressives?"

  •  Motive, Means, Opportunity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zappini, makeitstop, quinque

    There is vastly more than enough evidence to warrant massive, historic preventative measures being taken with the upcoming election.

    The failure to lobby for even this little is the equivalent of the assertion that the modern Republicans are not a threat but are merely the latest honorable opposition to the Democrats.

    The public governance behavior of the Bush Administration is itself sufficient to identify that as an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary proof.

    All the burdens are backwards on this one.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 01:42:33 PM PDT

    •  beautifully expressed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zappini

      I really think it's worthwhile for us to send letters to the DNC asking Dean what he plans to do with the money we're giving the party to protect Democratic votes.
      We need to get rid of as many of these machines as possible, if not before 2006, then certainly before 2008; or at least start a drive for Dems to start using absentee ballots (not a perfect solution, but a strong statement that Americans have no faith in these corruptible machines).

  •  Not the theocrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goinsouth

    The autocrats.

  •  Gee, I don't know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goinsouth

    Why would someone who has been successfully elected to office be hesitant to investigate the question of whether our elections might be rigged?

    Is this a trick question?

  •  You might find this diary I posted... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zappini

    ...or, rather, the discussion it generated, of interest:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Georgia10 answers my question about why the dKos front pagers apparently low-balled the RFK jr. Rolling Stone story (her answer is towards the bottom). She writes:

    "here's what happened (9+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
       Mike S, Avila, ksh01, AnonymousArmy, StupidAsshole, Dunbar, buhdydharma, OneCrankyDom, ellie717

    when the article came out, we decided I could write on it, since I was the one who dealt with election issues.

    I was supposed to go up last weekend, but I didn't finish it (because of some studying I had to do). Then during the week, there's no open posting, so I posted it the day I had open posting once everyone went to YearlyKos.

    The delay in it was related in no way whatsoever to the subject; I was busy as hell, and didn't want to rush through it and do a half-ass job, considering how delicate the topic is.

    So, for the late response, I apologize. But as for the rest of the front pagers, or some conspiracy to suppress, that's simply not true. The responsibility was delegated to me to respond."

    While I don't doubt what she says, I do think that, had the Kos front pagers not wanted to lowball the RFK Jr. story, they would have found a way to work around the fact that Georgia10 was busy that week: for example, the task of addressing the RFK Jr. article on the front page could have been assigned to someone else.

  •  Salon, Mother Jones & the Tortured Dialogue... (0+ / 0-)

    ...On Election 2004.

    (from the article)

    Argumentation 101 from Election Fraud Deniers of the Left

    What can we anticipate from election fraud deniers of the left and others based on the arguments from Salon and Mother Jones?

    1. Characterize those who claim 2004 was a stolen as being under the influence of “loose with the truth” fanatics. Hertsgaard did it in  Mother Jones when he claimed that Congressman Conyers and the other Democrats who investigated Ohio and Miller were under the influence of the powerful Bob Fitrakis and  The Free Press organization. Manjoo did the same when he varied the theme and claimed that Kennedy is now under the influence of DemocraticUnderground and Mark Crispin Miller, If we view Mother Jones and Salon as a composite work, we now have Kennedy under the sole influence Democratic Underground and Bob Fitrakis since Hertsgaard established Fitrakis’ dominance over Miller. This is simply beyond the pale.
    1. Diminish the value of the exit polls at all costs. (a) Invoke exit poll leader Warren Mitofsky’s self deprecation strategy. Have you ever heard of a major researcher suddenly diminishing his own work at the end of a long career? (b) Also resuscitate discredited explanations for the exit polls like “reluctant Bush responders” and offer those up as proof by simply saying “it’s possible” that Bush supporters were reluctant. © By all means, do not evaluate or interview those who have done extensive analysis on the exit polls. Simply dismiss them as “legions of activists, academics, bloggers and others who've devoted their post-Nov. 2 lives to unearthing every morsel of data that might suggest the vote was rigged...” without bothering to evaluate or mention their evidence.
    1. Offer up your own evidence that ranges from questionable to incredible. Claim that the popular Ohio Supreme Court incumbent Judge Resnick’s performance in the 2000 election compared to Gore is a valid comparison to the obscure Judge Connelly’s performance compared to Kerry. Also use soundbites like that from Democratic counsel O’Grady that simply make no sense at all.
    1. And finally, always demand that those making a serious case “prove” that the election was stolen by simply ignoring that proof is established through an in depth investigation. Ignore the fact that there has been no official investigation. But don’t demand an investigation yourself. That would not be prudent.

    With friends like Salon and Mother Jones on the left, who needs Republicans?

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