11.04.2008

will they make it three in a row?

Everyone seems pretty confident that Barack Obama will be elected the next President of the United States. I'll feel a lot better when the polls close and he's been declared the winner. Then I'll feel a lot better when a President-elect Obama is inaugurated and Resident-never-elected steps aside.

I'm not convinced either of those things will happen, and I'll breathe a massive sigh of relief they do.

General consensus also says that if the pre-election polls show Obama ahead by a wide margin, it is more difficult for the Republicans to steal the election. That is, close advance polls are a pre-condition to election fraud.

That assumes the thieves care about appearances. But do they? If they've been sufficiently emboldened by their past successes, I can easily imagine a scenario where they don't care at all. If they can flip a few counties, thus stealing a few states, thus stealing an election, why would they care how it looks?

The answer, supposedly, is because there would be a massive outcry. And what of it? Like the schoolyard bully says, And what are you going to do about it?

The really sad part of this whole thing is that if Obama wins tonight, all talk about election fraud will be relegated to the tin-foil hat crew, and the system will just get worse. Earth to US: fair elections are actually more important than who wins. For almost eight years now, I've been asking, if a country doesn't have fair elections, then what makes it a democracy? Still haven't got an answer to that.

It would be an amazing and wonderful thing to see an African American become US President. It's beyond long overdue. I hope we see that tonight, and I hope we see it on January 20.

As far as Obama, that's the only thing I can get excited about.

27 comments:

redsock said...

The really sad part of this whole thing is that if Obama wins tonight, all talk about election fraud will be relegated to the tin-foil hat crew, and the system will just get worse.

I think this is a key point. The silliness of much reporting, like today's Wente blather, will become the norm: America has regained her moral compass and is some place to be proud of again.

(Psst: Nothing -- laws, policies, etc. -- has really changed, though.)

Meanwhile:

"Wide-spread voting machine failures have been reported to the Obama/DNC election protection hotline in Nevada since early voting began more than a week ago ...
All voters who vote in person in the crucial battleground state are forced to cast their vote on 100% unverifiable Sequoia EDGE touch-screen voting machines with the VeriVote "paper trail" printer add-on.
Attorneys monitoring the incident reports coming in to the hotline have taken no action in regard to removing the failed machines from service, despite reports of the presidential race not appearing at all on some ballots; voters having problems selecting their preferred candidates; machines not starting up at all; "paper trail" printers jamming or running out of paper, and; a number of machines at a number of sites which refuse to work at all.
And this is just during early voting. ..."

redsock said...

the presidential race not appearing at all on some ballots

voters having problems selecting their preferred candidates

machines not starting up at all

"paper trail" printers jamming or running out of paper


Should be a long day.....

Most final polls have Obama up by anywhere from 5-10%.


(Also, following up a report from the fraud thread: "A Republican computer consultant denied under oath Monday that he knew of any GOP effort to steal the 2004 election for President Bush by rigging Ohio's vote totals ... Connell also denied knowing of any leftover "Trojan Horses" - bits of computer code that could play havoc with Tuesday's vote counts..."

L-girl said...

Don't forget to add the fraud/suppression links to the earlier thread as well!

redsock said...

Florida highway workers found nine garbage bags full of voter information scattered on the side of Interstate 4 near Tampa this morning.

Idiots probably though they were trashing ballots.

James said...

all talk about election fraud will be relegated to the tin-foil hat crew, and the system will just get worse

I disagree somewhat. I think it will turn into tinfoil hat ranting by the Republicans, who won't be able to stand the idea of fair elections. They've already set their groundwork with their attacks on ACORN.

Which will be worse, because not only will the broken stuff not get fixed, but they'll be working to break the stuff that works.

James said...

Comedian Roy Zimmerman sez: "How can we lose? We're Democrats, I'm sure we'll think of a way!"

Amy said...

I am holding my breath. Of course, I remain more hopeful than you about the state of the US---otherwise, I could not continue living here. Not saying I am completely naive, but I do think Obama will be a vast improvement in many ways, IF he is elected. Like all politicians, to get elected here he had to move to the center, but I trust that his underlying values, while not as progressive or liberal as I would like, are essentially decent. When I look elsewhere at other democracies---including Canada, I also see leadership that reflects the middle ground. That may just be the price we pay for living in large and diverse countries where politicians need to move to the center to get a large enough core group of voters.

Sadly, I do not live in a country where most people are progressive or liberal and thus nothing dramatic is likely to happen over a short period of time. But who would have thought even twenty years ago that an African American could stand any chance of being elected? So I hold out some hope---cautious and limited hope---that things will get better. Here and elsewhere in the world.

James said...

The Obama campaign has put out a video explaining how to protect yourself from suppress-the-vote efforts.

L-girl said...

I disagree somewhat. I think it will turn into tinfoil hat ranting by the Republicans, who won't be able to stand the idea of fair elections. They've already set their groundwork with their attacks on ACORN.

I agree - that is also a strong possibility. Thanks for pointing it out.

L-girl said...

Like all politicians, to get elected here he had to move to the center,

Is there any evidence that he used to be more liberal and moved?

When I look elsewhere at other democracies---including Canada, I also see leadership that reflects the middle ground.

That depends on how one defines the centre. The centre in the US has moved very far to the right.

US liberals are often hoping/assuming that their candidate is taking a more centrist position in order to win, then will govern more liberally. There's no evidence that it works out that way.

richard said...

Not only do candidates tend to move to the centre to get elected but, once elected, they also tend to govern from the centre in order to be re-elected. This is true on either side of the left/right divide. Take the Harper government, for example. They are actually governing much more "centrally" than the old Reform/Alliance grassroots might want them to. They govern from the centre (more or less) in order to remain electable.

L-girl said...

Not only do candidates tend to move to the centre to get elected but, once elected, they also tend to govern from the centre in order to be re-elected.

However, Bushco campaigned as moderates (for the right), but governed as extremists. Bush Sr did the same thing.

redsock said...

Not only do candidates tend to move to the centre to get elected but, once elected, they also tend to govern from the centre in order to be re-elected.

Bush/Cheney did not do this. They ran center-right in 2000, then once they were given power, they went so far to the right, they fell off the table.

In 2004, they blatantly rigged the election (no one raised an audible peep, least of all the party whose victory was stolen) and stuck around four more years -- AND MOVED EVEN FURTHER TO THE RIGHT.

redsock said...

And in their final (I hope.) act, they admittedly pulled a big-ass number out of the air ($700,000,000,000) and got generations of American taxpayers to GIVE THAT MONEY TO THEM (and their friends), NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

Right in broad daylight -- and with the blessing of the Democrats.

I'll say it again: Incompetent? Are you kidding me? Bush/Cheney et al. are fuckin' geniuses.

richard said...

You know, Laura, I think all normal considerations are off when it comes to the current US administration. They are an aberration on so many levels that one cannot make a "normal" point or comparison in reference to them.

redsock said...

They are an aberration on so many levels that one cannot make a "normal" point or comparison in reference to them.

In some ways, yes. In far too many ways, no.

McCain wants to continue those policies, if not go further with them. Previous administrations have knowingly bombed civilians (Albright said the 500,000 Iraqi children killed during the Clinton-enforced sanctions "was worth it"), overthrown governments, lied to get the country to support a war, tortured people, supported terrorists. They were not as blatant about it, so it's not as well-known.

richard said...

As one great Canadian put it

The trouble with normal is it only gets worse
- Bruce Cockburn

Sigh!

thefinalhalo said...

I just voted here on my campus in Indiana.

I just wanted to say that I saw something very good happen at the polling place. When I first got there, the guy in front of me found out he was in the wrong precinct to vote for because of his address, so he asked a polling place worker where he should go to vote. The worker was about to give him his answer when another worker (the town sheriff , no less) approached and told the guy in front of me that they weren't allowed to give out that information.

The guy in front of me was obviously distressed, and pulled out his cell phone. Within 10 minutes, a man representing the Obama campaign was there and got the situation resolved.

It made me happy.

l-girl, I fully understand and appreciate your skepticism of mine and others' hope in this election, but this display of voter protection at the first election I have ever been able to take part in was a very nice and refreshing thing to see.

MSEH said...

Not to rain on the parade, but...

". . . something very good happen at the polling place. [snip] The worker was about to give him his answer when another worker (the town sheriff , no less) approached and told the guy in front of me that they weren't allowed to give out that information. The guy in front of me was obviously distressed, and pulled out his cell phone. Within 10 minutes, a man representing the Obama campaign was there and got the situation resolved. [snip] ... but this display of voter protection at the first election I have ever been able to take part in was a very nice and refreshing thing to see.

I agree that the "very good" is that there was some "voter protection" effort in place. But - the fact that it was necessary - and because of the sheriff, no less/what's THAT about? - is frightening and conjures up images of voter suppression in the 1960s, etc.

What also frightens me is the fact that the person who was in the wrong place: a) had to possess the information about who to call, and b) had to have access to a phone. What about the potentially thousands of people who run into the same thing and don't know what to do or have the means to do it?

When I worked voter protection in '04, we were stationed outside the polling station. One woman came out and was so upset about what had happened that she said she was giving up and wouldn't even stop to explain. She said something about ID, but was so upset she just kept walking. BTW, this precinct was predominantly people of color...

I guess I agree that it is great that that one person sought and received help. But the other part of the story is scary.

redsock said...

Call Tells Californian To Vote November 5th
Here's a transcript:
"...is a message for (um) all people (um) in Pasadena. The (um) place for (uh) people in Pasadena is for you to vote at Jackie Robinson on Wednesday the 5th, November 5th. The (uh) ballot can be delivered on November 5th at Jackie Robinson."
Election day, of course, is today, November 4th.
AUDIO here

*****

East County Magazine editor
"Yesterday I reported here on problems with early voting in San Diego. ...
I met Assemblywoman Lori Saldana today and informed her of the problem, then asked why San Diego only has 1 early voting polling place for the entire county with over 4,100 square miles. ... "With a city of a few million people, it doesn't make sense for people to have to drive hours to vote," she said.

*****
Bishop Robert Finn, leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese, warns Catholics not to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. ... "You must not do it because your eternal salvation is tied up with that important choice."

*****

Philadelphia Inquirer:
Even before polling stations opened at 7:00 this morning, rumors about problems with voting machines began to circulate the Internet, generating confusion and fear that votes may be inadvertently nullified.
The City's Commissioner's Office confirmed that if a voter opts to vote for a straight party ticket, and then pushes a button for a candidate from that party, such as the presidential candidate, then the machine will read the second vote as a change of heart and cancel the vote for that particular candidate ...

*****

Voter in Bethlehem PA:
"I pushed the "all democrat" button, and all the democratic candidates lit up... EXCEPT Obama. I almost didn't notice it. I hit the Obama button and it then it lit up. I reported it to the poll people ..."

*****

Ohio Newsnet5.com:
An official with the Hamilton County Board of Elections confirms some ballot scanners are not functioning in a few polling places ...
Scanner issues were reported at a polling location in Westwood. Skyline Community Center in Colerain Township was also having issues ...

*****
Los Angeles Times:
As Americans are turning out to the polls in record numbers, Bush's approval rating, according to the latest CBS News tracking poll, has dipped to 20%, the lowest ever recorded for a president. His disapproval rating of 72% matches his all-time high, reached last month....

L-girl said...

Thefinalhalo, I'm truly glad you're having a good experience your first time voting. I distinctly recall the thrill of voting for the first time (and yay! I get to re-experience that thrill in Canada), so I totally get where you're coming from.

However, I'll have to go with MSEH on this one.

L-girl said...

You know, Laura, I think all normal considerations are off when it comes to the current US administration. They are an aberration on so many levels that one cannot make a "normal" point or comparison in reference to them.

Richard, at the risk of sounding like I'm disagreeing just to disagree (which I'm not)... I disagree.

I see the Bush/Cheney junta as more an extension of what's happened in the US for a long time, just pushed to a more extreme degree, and more overtly. The US on steroids.

Cooking up flimsy excuses to invading foreign countries, wars to protect profit interests, spying on citizens, torture - nothing new in any of that.

They've been worse, no doubt. And worse than most people ever imagined. But they haven't been all that different.

In the US, Republicans usually campaign more centrist/moderately than they govern. At least that's been the case since Reagan.

richard said...

I understand your disagreement, Laura, and I think you are exposing my ignorance of some aspects of US politics. I do think, however, that the current administration will be a puzzle to future historians trying to fit it into a "normal" category. As redsock put it they fell off the table.

As far as my comment on running/governing from the centre I was thinking more of the Canadian context with which I am most familiar. Whether federally or provincially this tends to be the case. It's an appeal to the "typical" (I don't like "ordinary") Canadian voter who tends to be either slightly left or right of centre. I should have made that clear in my first comment.

L-girl said...

I do think, however, that the current administration will be a puzzle to future historians trying to fit it into a "normal" category. As redsock put it they fell off the table.

I'm with you there! It will be interesting (and important) to see how much of the damage a new administration undoes, or whether they do at all.

redsock said...

I do think, however, that the current administration will be a puzzle to future historians trying to fit it into a "normal" category.

I fear things in general will only get worse and worse, so instead of an aberration, Bush/Cheney will be seen as a continuum.

L-girl said...

I fear things in general will only get worse and worse,

I certainly think that, as you know!

richard said...

I fear things in general will only get worse and worse, so instead of an aberration, Bush/Cheney will be seen as a continuum.

That view seems rather apocalyptic. When does it get better? Never?