Katherine Yurica: A Vast Political Misfortune
A Vast Political Misfortune
Or Why Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is Correct in His Assessment
of the Late 2004 Election (which was sadly murdered by the G.O.P.,
may it rest in peace). And Why Salon .com’s Article Attacking Kennedy is Wrong.
By Katherine Yurica
June 11, 2006
It has been reported that Lysenko, the Soviet biologist, made the following demonstration during a lecture: he put a flea on his desk and said, "Jump!" Presently the flea jumped. He then removed the flea's hind legs and said, "Jump!" again. This time the flea did not jump. "Observe, gentlemen," said Lysenko: "This proves that when you remove the flea's hind legs, its hearing is impaired.
- Monroe Beardsley
If one is an old Ent, one does not like to be hasty. However, circumstances have a way of forcing themselves upon us and occasionally we are called upon to analyze something minutely, which nowadays goes against the grain, in as much as thinking, itself, is out of style. This latter fact is lamentable, but let us not tarry on it. Instead, let us go forward, analytically speaking.
On June 3, 2006 Farhad Manjoo, a 27 year old writer for Salon .com, penned a denunciation of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article, “Was the 2004 Election Stolen? ” published by Rolling Stone. Mr. Manjoo mentioned that many major studies and analyses of the 2004 election existed, and then lamented that those studies were followed by “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.”
You can easily note that Mr. Manjoo and Salon .com are not in a generous mood in their essay. The very best of his ungracious statements is this one: “If you do read Kennedy’s article, be prepared to machete your way through numerous errors of interpretation and his deliberate omission of key bits of data.” Oh dear, Mr. Manjoo’s words are so, so violent—so uncharitable to the innocent sentences as well as to the guilty ones, if there are in fact any guilty ones at all. For starting with Mr. Manjoo’s very first assertion, which I admit was so convincing on the surface that the Yurica Report posted a warning to its readers to drive by with caution when reading and slow down to a crawl when passing Mr. Kennedy’s powerful imagery.
Alas, Mr. Manjoo and Salon.com make the mistake of holding Mr. Kennedy to the literal meaning of words and quotes, much like critics of the Bible do, but just as metaphors are not meant to be taken literally by the poets who penned them, statistics are not meant to be taken literally either. Numbers are metaphors that need interpretation (a fact Mr. Manjoo admits, but transgresses when he asks us to anoint him: “the Grand Interpreter!”)
Here is how Mr. Manjoo opens his attack:
“The first salient omission comes in paragraph 5, when Kennedy writes, ‘In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots.’ To back up that assertion, Kennedy cites “Democracy at Risk,” the report the democrats released last June.
“That report does indeed point out that many people—26 percent—who first registered in 2004 did not find their names on the voter rolls at polling places. What Kennedy doesn’t say, though, is that the same study found no significant difference in the share of Kerry voters and Bush voters who came to the polls and didn’t find their names listed. The Democrats’ report says that 4.2 percent of Kerry voters were forced to cast a ‘provisional’ ballot and that 4.1 percent of Bush voters were made to do the same—a stat that lowers the heat on Kennedy’s claim of ‘astounding’ partisanship.”
That looks very much to be game, set, and match! In fact, we at the Yurica Report initially thought Mr. Manjoo had presented a credible thump to Mr. Kennedy’s efforts. (We apologize for our hasty leap.)
The problem here is Mr. Manjoo does not understand the functional application of “intentional suppression techniques” taught by specialists and leaders of the Republican Party, and in particular, Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute (a non-profit tax exempt organization.) In fact, it was Salon .com’s important article “My Right-wing Degree” by Jeff Horowitz that first alerted Americans to the GOP school that teaches classes on “How to Suppress the Vote” (without getting thrown in prison of course!) Horowitz calls the classes “mock election-rigging.” (See the list of Republican Senators and Representatives who sit on the Congressional Advisory Board to the Institute by clicking here.)
Now gather ‘round and I will explain why Mr. Manjoo’s point is, alas, without the slightest bit of merit! It’s not his fault or even the Democratic National Committee’s fault, they aren’t focused on nefarious ways to suppress the vote—they are honest sweet, sincere naïve people who love Democracy! So let’s you and I enter the criminal mind for a few minutes just this once:
Suppose we are dealing with the smallest county in America. Actually, let’s make up one for simplicity’s sake. Let’s say it has 1,500 people living in it and only one polling place. Before the election, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by a fairly comfortable margin, so the GOP controlled all the elective offices in the county, including the Election Director’s position. Let’s say that there were 500 registered Republicans and 400 registered Democrats. But prior to the election, the Democrats got the brilliant idea to go out and register more Democrats, which of course forced the Republicans to do the same. The “Voter’s Registration Drive” caught on. The Republicans gained 100 new Republican registrations, but somehow, the Democrats managed to gain 215 newly registered voters. Now that brought the total to 600 Republicans versus 615 Democrats, a fact known to the Republican election board. For the first time in fifteen years, the Democrats had the potential to out vote the Republicans. But the Republicans weren’t worried. And this was especially true because Charlie Brown’s son had attended the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia and obtained a degree in suppressing the vote. So what did the Republicans do?
Charlie Brown’s son advised the election board to do what Ken Blackwell did so successfully in Ohio: force twenty-five percent of the newly registered Republicans and Democrats to vote provisionally (then never count their votes). That twenty-five percent sounds drastically harmful to the Republicans doesn’t it? But in fact, that’s all our little hypothetical county need do. Take a look at the statistics:
25% of 100 is 25.
Taking 25% of 215 is 54 (rounded off)
600 less 25 = 575 for the Republicans
615 less 54 = 561 for the Democrats
Voila! The playing field has been tipped in favor of the Republicans! It was unethical. (Legal only because it’s difficult to prove anything) but the real beauty of it is this: it doesn’t even look like they cheated because as Mr. Manjoo points out, the Republicans were treated exactly like the Democrats, a fact “that lowers the heat on Kennedy’s claim” of partisanship.
Now if our tiny hypothetical county does everything else J. Kenneth Blackwell did in 2004 in Ohio (since as Secretary of State for Ohio he was the official in charge of the election as well as being the co-chair of President Bush’s re-election committee, and as a leading Christian of Ohio, has made every effort to impose a religious ethics and character guide upon the good folks of Ohio), Charlie Brown’s son would advise the election officials in our hypothetical county to: move the voting locations just before election day and redraw the boundaries of precincts, make a rule that all new registrations had to be on 80 lb. paper, defy court orders halting caging, purge the voting lists, bring in a Strike Force from Texas to intimidate potential voters, restrict the number of voting machines used so that citizens in African American communities would have to wait in line to vote for hours, create chaos on election day, and finally misplace most of the new Democratic registrations coming in and by all means, challenge a huge percent of all African Americans’ right to vote! After doing such evil, be sure that Farhad Manjoo of Salon .com, the American media, and even the Democratic National Committee will defend to their deaths that the election wasn’t rigged! With friends like that, rigged elections will become the norm—not the exception.
And with friends like that, American democracy is dying from a cancer spread by the infection-ridden-hands of sick physicians masquerading as defenders of our American ideals.
Katherine Yurica is a news intelligence analyst. She was educated at East Los Angeles College, the University of Southern California and the USC school of law. She worked as a consultant for Los Angeles County and as a news correspondent for Christianity Today plus as a freelance investigative reporter. She is the author of three books. She is also the publisher of the Yurica Report.
Katherine and her mother, Kelly Leosis (who served as an
election judge and inspector for twelve years for three
precincts in the state of Washington for her county)
designed and created voting systems for their community and
investigated election fraud.
Katherine has also designed a universal Make-Your-Own-Voter-Receipt for the coming elections that anyone can duplicate and pass around. Click here. See also Katherine's articles on voting fraud: "Ohio Vote Fraud Battle Heats Up," and "Votergate 2004."