Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Day of Rage

I've been reading articles, mostly tongue in cheek, about the stages of grief some of us need to pass through post election. It seems I rushed too quickly to acceptance and have been rollercoastering through the various stages in random order over the last week. My day of rage actually lasted the better part of two days, beginning on Sunday evening and lasting until mid-morning on Tuesday. . . . I was pretty useless for getting anything productive done other than searching the internet for evidence of vote fraud. I'm visualizing the steam that must have been coming out of my ears. It felt particularly galling to find all of the evidence for fraud, and nary a mention of it in the mainstream media. It was clear to me from the start that when pundits were trying to rationalize why the exit polls were so wrong, there was always a different explanation that was at least worth investigation. Indeed prior to the election, I posted about the importance of the audit function of exit polls.

There is a case that inflammatory reporting is imprudent until there is more than speculation to back it up, but still to not acknowledge even the possibility of it seemed like a cover-up or a coordinated taboo. Tuesday morning, I finally found an article in Slate which did acknowledge the speculation, while countering with numbers suggesting it wasn't so. While not convinced, this did calm me down, and I was able to pull out of my altered state. As I told my relative who pointed out more plausible explanations for the mismatch between exit polls and actual returns, "your explanation is plausible, but Karl Rove has demonstrated no scruples, so I'll assume none." Indeed I'm convinced that there is analysis which can and should be done which should show pretty conclusively whether massive fraud was perpetrated or not. Given the number of systems used with no paper trail, and the number of mismatches reported so far, the analysis certainly should be done.

A few links I found Monday:
Counterbias: The Case for Fraud
Joseph Cannon

Dissident Voice
None Dare Call it Voter Suppression and Fraud

Taipei Times
'Blog' blunder sparks debate on US exit polls

Did Bush fix the elections?

Common Dreams
Bill C. Davis

The ostensible narrative this week is that gay marriage ruined the Democrat's chance to defeat Bush. Statistics and polls are being fired at us like buckshot on a goose hunt. But beneath it all is the steady rumbling that the exit polls, as in Florida 2000, were right and that the machines and the vote count were rigged. This would replace the ostensible narrative with a more troubling story. That story would be that they – the occupants; the current force majeur – refuse to lose and they orchestrate their wins on a mechanical, technical level to secure the presidency of an essentially amoral man and then say he was elected because of moral values.

There are, of course, a lot more. And a recent email I received suggests Kerry has hinted that he might consider "unconceding". The ultimate Flip-Flop - what fun!

[UPDATE: As I continue to receive missives from various sources about fraud, from the credible to the ridiculous, it seems the most likely case for fraud that could have made a difference is from none other than South Florida. Slate reports. I have come to the conclusion that the media is wise to go slow on this and not fan flames prematurely.]


-epm said...

Walker, you fire-breathing, bad boy! :^) Well, maybe not all that fiery...

In any case, I'm not sure about all this voter fraud and conspiracy thing. Maybe it's just that I don't *want* to believe it. Still, it's a little too grassy knoll, back-and-to-the-left, for me... so far anyway. That may change as I feel things are creeping forward.

I think the prudent thing to do is to quietly pursue "fact finding" audits in suspect area, and this is going on, from what I gather. We (the larger "we" not you personally) must avoid the appearance of being wild-eyed crazies, bent on a fantasy and flinging unfounded accusations. That, after all, is the bailiwick of right-wing talk radio and their goose-stepping listeners.


All spelling an grammer errors not my fault. I blame Microsoft. Everything else, I blame my parents. :^)

Walker said...

You said, "I think the prudent thing to do is to quietly pursue "fact finding" audits ... & avoid the appearance of being wild-eyed crazies, bent on a fantasy and flinging unfounded accusations."

I agree absolutely. I've received mail from folks who seem to want to create a stir about this. I just wanted to make sure a stir was created among those who can do the research. I don't think it would hurt for the mainstream press to mention calmly that charges of fraud have been floating around and are being investigated, even while declining to speculate on such charges in the absence of compelling evidence.

Of course if Kerry really did 'unconcede' then it would be a story. Assuming that the concession has no legal standing, it probably makes no sense for him to create such a stir absent something indictable. In his letter to liberals, Steve Gilliard says, "if we're all waiting before making serious charges it's not because we sold out. It's because we're not idiots. It's one thing to be wrong about a Kerry landslide. But to steal an election like this is basically treason. And you need a really sturdy standard of proof before you scream traitor."

So yes, we should attend to what we know, and allow the interested fold to quietly investigate. Maybe the media silence is for the best.

-epm said...

Hear, hear.

Great stuff from Steve Gilliard. Kerry did the right thing in my opinion. Given the scoreboard at the time, if he had not conceded he would have appeared as petty as W. This way he has taken the high road, maintained his integrity (and the spotlight as he returns to the Senate, as McCain did four years ago) and can run a quiet fact-finding campaign through surrogates and supporters.

I'm quite happy to keep the media spotlight off this issue for the time being. The media, who have little interest in facts, would only fan the flames of controversy to the point of obliterating any hope of rationality.

Moreover, as John Edwards said, I want to see every vote counted. Not that I expect a reversal of fortunes, I just want to see W's margin of victory shrink even smaller. (Tish, 'Mandate'... )

I want to know if the provisional ballots went disproportionately to one candidate or another; or whether the distribution matches the conventional spread. I want to know how Americans living abroad voted through their absentee ballots. I want to know how our service men and women voted compared to past elections.

While such things may not change who is president, it will give us a truer insight into the zeitgeist of the American electorate (which I think is more broadly pragmatic, dispite being loudly theo-servative.)

coturnix said...

Funny, many of us went through all the stages during the primaries, as one by one the candidates quit, their blogs falling into a chaotic mode...I wrote about it at the time: