Emails and hand wringing won’t stop the GOP from stealing the next election.
I suspect that most Fighting Bob followers have faith in our electoral system. We win some, we lose some, but for the most part we believe that good people will chose to run for office, volunteers will get behind them, thousands will contribute money to help their candidates, and, more often than not, the good guys win.
When dullards like George W. Bush or Ron Johnson sneak in, we look for explanations but generally find that the fault, dear Brutus, is in us. We didn’t work hard enough or we didn’t get out the vote or our TV spots were bad.
We worked to get public financing of elections but fell short because the U.S. Supreme Court knocked out all of our carefully designed limitations as violations of the First Amendment. We grimace every time the Supreme Court takes a reform bill. Idiotic ideas flow down from the court — corporations are people, money is speech.
“They” stole the 2000 presidential election. They are ready to steal the 2012 election through voter suppression, computer hacking, and other tricks. (Was the August primary in Wisconsin a trick?) The evidence is all over the place that the voter ID issue is part of the plot.
The House speaker in Pennsylvania brags that the state’s new voter ID law will make it possible for Mitt Romney to carry his state. While there is scant evidence of electoral fraud, the GOP is screaming from the rooftops that “fraud requires swift action” by the states. It is a clear effort to win another presidential election by hook or by crook.
What are we doing about this blatant voter suppression plot? Well, we are wringing our hands, whining on talk shows, sending out thousands of emails, holding out hope that the courts will rescue us (they won’t). We’re telling people that we will offset the corporate millions with get-out-the-vote efforts (impossible).
Suppose Mitt Romney wins the election. And suppose it is absolutely clear that Barack Obama would have been elected had millions of poor, elderly and minority voters been given access to the voting machines. Assume Obama loses by a small margin but the U.S. Supreme Court says, “We will not involve the court in the politics of elections.”
What do Democrats do? Do we pull an Al Gore or a John Kerry and concede? Do we file suits all over the land? Do we call for a general strike until a new election is held that allows minorities to vote? Or will we simply console one another with millions of emails?
Another question: Is anyone minding the store? Do Democrats have their own polling operation to develop evidence of real fraud? Suppose, for example, that polling would support a claim of defeat snatched from the jaws of victory?
Is anyone checking the voting machines? Is it still possible to flip the votes while driving by the voting booths?
Chris Hedges, in his brilliant book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, would have you believe that the Occupy movement is the starting point and he may be right. Do we occupy Washington with millions of citizens enraged that democracy is dead?
Frankly, if my Romney scenario becomes reality, democracy is indeed dead. If left unchallenged, the takeover would be complete. Democrats would never win another presidential election. Chances are we wouldn't even try. The combination of unlimited funds and voter suppression is killing democracy. Would the Koch boys build camps to hold the multitude who would be arrested? If this is not the center of discussion from now until November, the late sportscaster Howard Cosell was right when he opined, “You deserve whatever you get.”
(A version of this article originally appeared in the opinion section of the Capital Times.)
August 21, 2012
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Ed Garvey is editor and publisher of FightingBob.com.