Monday, May 21, 2007

the house of cards

Republicans believe, since the days of Kennedy's 1960 election by the narrowest of margins, that Democrats use massive voter fraud to win elections. Conversely, Democrats believe that Republicans attempt to intimidate racial and ethnic minorities from voting and that if only more of such groups would vote, Democrats would win.

Both are urban legends, with some truth but mostly falsehood. While some dead people might have voted for Kennedy in Cook County and similar things might still happen today, the margin of such errors is not enough to swing elections. More importantly, it is not based on some plot hatched by liberals in some lair.

Democrats need to turn out more single women of all colors to win elections, not just minorities who might be scared or confused into not voting. Again, no vast conspiracy here there either.

But don't put away your tinfoil hat just yet. It seems that bloggers have stumbled onto a pretty vast conspiracy: the US attorney purge. The purge is indelibly linked to the aforementioned voter fraud myth. Karl Rove and many others believed that in places in swing states like New Mexico, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, massive voter fraud was taking place. And what do you know, they pressured the local US Attorneys in those locals to bring indictments against Democrats for voter fraud. Because there was little to no evidence, the US Attorneys either refused and were sacked, or followed orders only to see their indictments tossed out. In fact, only a tiny percentage of all the voter fraud cases brought by the Bush Justice Department have been successful, despite Rove's push for prosecutions.

Now that the Congress is in Democratic hands and has started asking pesky questions and requesting damaging documents, not only have lots of Justice Department officials resigned, but their outside counterparts have vanished into thin air.
the American Center for Voting Rights, a group that has literally just disappeared as an organization, and for which it seems no replacement group will rise up. With no notice and little comment, ACVR—the only prominent nongovernmental organization claiming that voter fraud is a major problem, a problem warranting strict rules such as voter-ID laws—simply stopped appearing at government panels and conferences. Its Web domain name has suddenly expired, its reports are all gone (except where they have been preserved by its opponents), and its general counsel, Mark "Thor" Hearne, has cleansed his résumé of affiliation with the group. Hearne won't speak to the press about ACVR's demise. No other group has taken up the "voter fraud" mantra.

So who was ACVR? And doesn't it remind you of that scene from "1984" where Winston, working at the Ministry of Truth incinerates photos of handshakes between Eurasia and Oceania "We have always been at war with Eastasia..."?
the group was founded just days before its representatives testified before a congressional committee hearing on election-administration issues chaired by then-Rep. (and now federal inmate) Bob Ney. The group was headed by Hearne, national election counsel to Bush-Cheney '04, and staffed with other Republican operatives, including Jim Dyke, a former RNC communications director.

Consisting of little more than a post-office box and some staffers who wrote reports and gave helpful quotes about the pervasive problems of voter fraud to the press, the group identified Democratic cities as hot spots for voter fraud, then pushed the line that "election integrity" required making it harder for people to vote. The group issued reports (PDF) on areas in the country of special concern, areas that coincidentally tended to be presidential battleground states. In many of these places, it now appears the White House was pressuring U.S. attorneys to bring more voter-fraud prosecutions.

What a coincidence! And their reports ended up as fodder in the WSJ? What are the chances? Let's overlook for a moment that arguing by anecdote is faulty, or that polling-place fraud is way more trouble than it is worth if you are trying to steal an election. The fact that this group is trying to pretend it never existed just as Democrats in Congress start to shine a bright light on the voter-fraud motivated firings of US Attorneys raises eyebrows, to say the least.

Personally, I think these party hacks saw the house of cards begin to fall on the use of the DOJ as political arm of the White House and left like rats fleeing a sinking ship. The name Department of Justice was slowly but surely being turned Orwellian into Winston's employer, the Ministry of Truth.

1 comment:

res831gk said...

This is an incredible fraud perpetrated on the American people and quite a few people need to be wearing numbers on their chest. This fraud was used to require ID's that legitimate voters may not have or have the means to get. In responding to the voting snafus in Ohio in 2004 and again in Denver in 2006, Republican operative Terry Holt said, "The Democrats just registered too many people!" The amazement grows.