Too many of my recent posts have been of the form "So-and-so is exactly right" or "nails it" and "gets it," followed by a lengthy excerpt -- but here's another one anyway: I agree totally with Kos's take on the half-baked theories about fraud in Ohio throwing the election to Bush:
Us liberal bloggers like to brag that we live in the "reality-based community". It's kind of hard to be reality-based when people are claiming that Kerry won with no hard evidence to the contrary. Was there fraud? Sure. There always has been. Was the GOP ready to steal the election if necessary? No doubt. But they didn't have to steal this one. This wasn't 2000. Bush rode his fucked up war to victory, whether we like it or not. History will judge us right, but until then, we're stuck with the results.
Now, I was open minded at first, letting the fraudsters do the analysis, ready to pounce if the smoking gun was found. But after myriad diaries crying wolf, claiming that this was the evidence to seal the deal, well, it got old. Then it got counterproductive, then it got embarrassing.
All the crying wolf is hurting the cause for electoral reform. This has been painted as a partisan issue pushed forth by wacko liberals who think Kerry won the election when Bush won. What do we need?
Extend election day to at least a week. Keep ALL polls open during that time, not just a few at county HQ.
Get rid of partisan election officials. A more ridiculous and inherently unfair system can never exist. It is the King of Conflicts of Interests.
Implement a national standard for voting and fund it.
Get rid of touch screen voting machines. A paper trail is useless, as a machine could easily be programmed to cast the vote for candidate A, while printing a receipt with candidate B's name on it.
Select optical scan machines. The technology allows for quick tabulation of the votes, while retaining a paper trail for random audits and full recounts.
All precincts that reported lines longer than one hour should be required to add voting machines before the next election.
The pitiful state of voting infrastructure in poor and minority areas is literally criminal, and redress should be sought both in the legislatures and in the courts.
Ditch the electoral college.
And so on. That's just stuff off the top of my head. These are all non-partisan issues. But the Ohio Fraudsters have not just made the issue highly partisan, but they have cried wolf so many times that it's easy for opponents to dismiss ALL of these issues.
...[T]he fraudsters have had two months to make the case that Kerry won the election and have failed to do so.
If we want to talk fraud, then by all means, do so. Reform? The system obviously needs it. But "Kerry won" nonsense? I'm sick of it. ...
George Bush won. It may not have been "fair and square", not when you run a campaign based on lying about your opponent's record, but he did get more votes than our guy, both in the popular column, and in the Electoral College. We hate it. it sucks. But it's reality.
I've been saying this fairly consistently since shortly after I got over the shock of the election results, that I'm willing to look at any evidence of fraud at levels significant enough to have been determinative, but no such sufficient evidence has ever been brought forward.
I think I understand why it's happening -- it's fairly natural to look towards misdeeds in a Bush win considering that's precisely how he obtained the White House in the first place, but it's usually best to look at the evidence and then reach a conclusion about it rather than gathering your evidence with the conclusion already in mind. If we didn't know that already, it should have been made obvious when the Bush White House did precisely that in the run up to the Iraq invasion.
But more than unwillingness to apply the scientific method (which can feel unnatural to people who aren't used to it), I think another factor is a disinclination to look at what the results of the election tell us about a sizable portion of our fellow citizens -- that they are able to make a very bad decision about an extremely important matter, and are, apparently, immune to rational arguments, the facts and figures which support them, and the evidence of their own senses. They prefer, I guess, to vote on the basis of their preconceptions (also known as "ideology") their prejudices, and, most of all, their fears, and enough of them did so to put us in the pickle we're heading into for the next four years.
As long as folks can choose to believe that Bush won through fraud, they don't have to face a much more awful reality: that many of the people who share our destiny with us are just not very good at being aware and intelligent citizens. That's one of the drawbacks of democracy, which is not a perfect system, just better than any other that's come up.
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.