Ernest Partridge: And Now What?
And Now What?
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
November 14, 2006
In July, 2005 I wrote that “The GOP is Certain to Win in 2006, Unless...” “Unless,” that is, some extraordinary event intervenes; such as economic collapse, exposure of the election frauds of 2000, 2002 and 2004 complete with indictments and convictions, criminal convictions of several top White House officials (perhaps regarding “Plamegate”), or covert undermining of the Bush Administration by the CIA and other secret agencies.
And a week before the election, I suggested that the National GOP was faced with a portentous dilemma: on the one hand, “fix” one more election to “salvage” the Congress for the Republicans, and on the other hand, tell the Diebold, etc., software geniuses to cool it this time and let the voters have their say. Because the GOP could not allow the scrupulous and aggressive Congressional oversight that would follow a Democratic victory, I predicted that the Repubs would have another go at an election finagle.
So much for my bonafides as a prophet.
What I failed to anticipate was the breadth, depth and intensity of the public disgust with Bush and Bushism.
Recently, a visitor to The Crisis Papers wrote: “What are you going to say when the Dems win both houses?” I replied: “I will say that I have never been so pleased to have been proven wrong.”
The Un-Stolen Election. A day or two after the election, Al Franken said that this election proves that there is no such thing as e-vote fraud; not now, and not in prior elections.
Nonsense! It “proves” no such thing. It proves, at best, that there was no massive e-vote fraud this time. However, the evidence for fraud in 2000, 2002 and 2004 remains today as it was prior to this election, and that evidence is overwhelming. See for yourself. The statistical evidence alone puts the probability of “chance” deviation of several separate elections (all to advantage of Bush and/or the GOP) as one in several million. And there is much more evidence, though this is not the place to go over all that again.
So why, if the Rove gang could have fixed this election, didn’t they do it? Because this time it was just too risky. One can pull a scam only a few times before the “marks” (i.e. the public) get suspicious, then angry. That’s why confidence men move on from town to town. Perhaps Rove, et all, were beginning to smell the tar and see some feathers floating by.
For this time, despite the blackout of election fraud coverage in the mainstream media, the public was getting suspicious. Gallup reports that only one fourth of the public is "very confident" that their vote will be counted. Moreover this is an angry public, demanding change. Thus the polling gap between “generic” Democratic and Republican candidates has moved back and forth around an unprecedented twenty percentage point advantage for the Democrats. Another “miracle election,” overcoming that enormous Democratic polling advantage, might drop that 25% confidence level into the low teens. This would mean a government and a party essentially without legitimacy and consent of the governed.
And don’t be too sure that some electoral hanky-panky was not attempted. Exit polls in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ohio, New Jersey and Missouri were all within one point of the actual totals, once again proving the accuracy of exit polling. But get this: in Virginia and Montana, the exit polls were significantly off: Virginia, Webb 52, Allen 47; Montana, Tesler 53, Burns 46. Both contests were, of course, near ties at 49-49.
So here’s my hunch, take it for what you think it’s worth. The GOP “Fixit Brigade” was well aware that the Democrats would have to take six seats and lose none if they were to take over the Senate. Very long odds at best. Fix two senate elections, and Democratic control becomes essentially impossible. If that was their plan, then they “misunderestimated” the mood of the electorate. The Democratic “tsunami” topped this levee.
As for the House, a fix of the fifty or so seats in play was just too much. First of all, it would have to significantly increase the number of co-conspirators. Not a good idea – the more conspirators, the more likely a fatal gaffe or a whistleblower among them. Second, two dozen or so “wins,” all by the GOP candidates and contrary to the polls, might prove to be the final straw. Perhaps it would make a believer even of Paul Begala and Al Franken. More significantly, perhaps, at last, the media and the Democratic Party would take notice, investigate, and finally expose the whole rotten business – first 2006, then back to 2004, 2002 and 2000.
So, with the possible exception of at least two key races, the GOP played it straight this time. One consequence, to the distinct advantage to the GOP, is a quieting of suspicions of fraud concerning the previous elections. “The Franken Factor,” we might call it.
If, in the next couple of years, the public, the media and the Democrats simply forget about the election fraud issue, and if the same e-voting mechanisms remain in place, expect a return to those thrilling days of November, 2000 and November, 2004.
The election reform movement must be kept alive.
Why Did the GOP Open the Gates to the Democrats? Aside from the considerable risks of one more stolen election, why would the GOP “allow” the Democrats to take the House (assuming that the Senate victory was a “fluke”)?
Perhaps because they just didn’t see a Democratic Congress as all that much of a threat. Remember that, as a result of the Jeffords defection, the Democrats had control of the Senate from May, 2001 to January, 2003. They didn’t exactly set the place on fire.
Perhaps, too, astute Republicans are fully aware that Bushenomics is leading straight to an economic crash-landing in the next two years, and are quite content to have the Democrats in Congress to blame for it.
Where are we now? The spin machines are up and running full-force. This was not, we are told, a victory for liberals and progressives. After all, most of the new Congressional Democrats are moderates. But of course they are! Rahm Emmanuel and the DLC picked candidates to their liking – Republicrats. But not all of them. Moreover, the “veterans,” including Speaker Pelosi and the key Committee Chairs tend toward the left. And they are tough and determined.
In the days following the election, the victorious Democrats have been as soft and sweet as marzipan. “We must all work together for the common good,” they tell Republicans who haven’t the slightest understanding of, much less an interest in, a “common good.” “Let bygones be bygones,” we hear. They forget that many of those “bygones” are crimes, even acts of treason.
Are all these to be unrevealed and unpunished, all in the name of a new “era of good feeling?”
The public must constantly and forcefully remind the Democrats in Congress, just who put them there and why.
Meanwhile, let us never forget that the departing Congress has given Bush dictatorial powers, through the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the John Warner Defense Authorization Act which allows the President to order the Armed Forces to quell civil “disturbances” within the US. In addition, he has effectively repealed habeas corpus and at least four of the articles of the Bill of Rights.
The Democratic Congress must act immediately to rescind these extraordinary powers. The Congress must also make it clear to the Busheviks that the President can not, at his whim, choose to disregard Acts of Congress.
If the Democratic Congress draws these lines in the sand, expect a very brief “era of good feeling.” Bush, a spoiled, super-annuated adolescent, is used to getting his own way, and having his Daddy bail him out when he screws up. Perhaps, for the first time in his sixty years, all that is over and the buck really stops at his Oval Office desk. It is fascinating, and a bit scary, to anticipate just how he will react.
Finally, the Democrats must hold on tightly to this victory. They have won this battle, but the war continues. Like the soldiers in Rumsfeld’s army, the Democrats, upon “taking ground,” have a nasty habit of moving on and allowing “the enemy” to retake the territory. Having won this battle, the Democratic party and its supporters may choose now to leave the field and return to their homes and their private lives. Then they will return to the political arena when the next election approaches.
“Conservative” Republicans (better, “regressives”), don’t behave this way. There is no “off season” for them. Even today, they are writing damage reports and planning their counter-attacks. They plan for the long haul.
That’s what happened in 1965, after the Goldwater debacle. The Democrats went fishing, and the Republicans got to work.
If the gains of last Tuesday are to be secured and then expanded, Democratic politics must be a 24/7, twelve month activity.
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" ( www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" ( www.crisispapers.org). His book in progress, "Conscience of a Progressive," can be seen at http://www.igc.org/gadfly/progressive/^toc.htm . Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org .