Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

We Got TROUBLE in River City, Folks...

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:24 AM
Original message
We Got TROUBLE in River City, Folks...
Edited on Thu May-19-05 06:36 AM by demodonkey

As many of you know I am a pollworker, and Tuesday was the Primary Election in Pennsylvania. After a number of years working the polls you do get to know your voters, and I had a little plan this time.

It's common (especially on a slow day) to chat with voters for a few moments after they vote, so I targeted a few who I knew to be very active Republicans for a little friendly non-partisan chit-chat about Voter Verified Paper Ballots.

WELL! Not only did they not really want to hear what I had to say about VVPB, to a man (or woman) they IMMEDIATELY began spouting off the GOP "Voter Fraud" message with total precision.

I noticed that the woman who usually comes into the poll waving the plastic fetus on her keychain was this time waving her mouth about the terrible Dems and how they steal elections. (In the interest of bi-partisanship she said she would look at "my sites" such as, verifiedvoting, votetrustUSA, etc. but she said she would have to compare them with "her sources" which she KNOWS are true!!)

The Republicans were totally on message, focused, and IMHO obviously had some training or prep on the issue. They knew all the talking points, and were very quick to point out the 'numerous' voter frauds perpetrated by the Dems, even alleging 25 frauds in my own small township!

I came home from the polls exhausted and worried. I think the GOP knows we are on to them about the machines, so they have activated the -- whatever -- all the way to the lower levels of the party in order to spin everything back onto the Dems. And if the GOP has their troops already marching in such perfect lockstep at these grassroots levels about "Voter Fraud" and the thieving Dems, I think we are in some very deep shit.

If we want to have ANY chance to save ANY kind of a verified vote in this country folks, we need to shut down our circular firing squads, herd the cats in the same direction, and get on message with OUR OWN talking points and framing!

We CAN do this (if we pull together and want to), but... WILL we do this?

(still up at 7:21 AM worrying about a very sick FRIEND)

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Sperk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. How is their standard MO (accuse us of the very thing they are doing)
going to work for them this time. If they believe Dems are stealing elections wouldn't that make them FOR verifiable voting?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Their spin is that "Voter Fraud" is causing all the problems...
... and we are using the machine issue to hide our stealing.

(And to knock good honest companies like Diebold out of business, I guess.)

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. In Jan/2005 I told a Republican that I thought the election was stolen.
He did not deny that at all. Instead he kept talking about how Kennedy cheated and in Cook county in Chicago, Mayor Daley made sure all the dead people voted for Kennedy.

I was flabbergasted! No denial - just an attitude of "Hey - we're finally beating the Democrats at their own game."

I honestly think the base of the Republican party does not fear unfair elections because they think the elections have been unfair for decades. They also don't have any fear fascism. Most only watch Faux news - where every single problem with the world is because of those awful liberals.

I had a co-worker whose answer to everything in the news, etc. was "Those damn liberals!" I was amazed - but it seemed to him that even without the Presidency, either house of Congress, or the Supreme Court - those damn liberals were managing to ruin the entire world. Pretty powerful bunch - those liberals!! Thanks God when Newt Gingrich was in office (or soon after he left in disgrace) crime was down and the economy was good. But Clinton was awful because he lied about sex with an intern and he had sex IN THE OVAL OFFICE. He ruined the image of the U.S. all over the world!!

(You know the world hates us not because we invaded another country under false pretenses - but because we had an adulterous president. )
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Catch22Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. If we're stealing elections
How come we keep slipping deeper into the minority? Wouldn't election stealing translate into more election victories?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
booksenkatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oh, yeah, that Dem vote fraud is soooooo rampant
that we control all 3 branches of the federal government! Wait, um, no we don't. What elections are we alleged to have stolen, I wonder?? Dog catcher in Bumblefark, Missouri? Hell, if we Dems wanted to rig elections, we'd go for the gold, just like the Repubs did. Surely we'd want the most bang for our buck.

If they want to play that game, though, we can use it to our advantage -- push for VVPB's because without them, you have no way of knowing WHAT those nasty old Democrats are doing with your vote, and surely you want to keep them from throwing your vote in the trash, booga booga, and so on.

Let's use it against them.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. They SAY that the paper makes it easier for Dems to fraud...
...remember stuffing the ballot box, "vote early and vote often", etc.

Good, clean, paperless machines plus stricter ID of voters is what we need to put a stop to these nasty thieving Dems.

So they say.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
booksenkatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. But we Dems are just so dadgum stoopid...
we stuff them ballot box do-hickeys, but we keep a-stuffin' 'em with Repub ballots!!! Tarnation! Damn our hides! We'll git it rite next time, tho.

Or something like that.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Dee625 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. If there were ballot stuffing
That would be all the more reason for things like:

better educated poll workers
more oversight (witnesses, transparency, etc.)
uniform voting laws at least within a state
uniform recount laws - that are enforced rather than ignored
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. They are going to have trouble with that message in Florida.
Considering Dems have consistently LOST seats in the last 6 election cycles. Gee, if we were committing fraud don't you think we'd do it to win, not lose.

As the person said above, this could be a great opportunity to pull Republicans into the verified paper ballot initiative.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Harry S Truman Donating Member (300 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. Where in Pa.
are you?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
FizzFuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. This makes me wonder where they get their identical scripts?
Edited on Thu May-19-05 06:51 AM by FizzFuzz
I mean, I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, yet I have a hard time remembering what specific points I need to keep front and center in a discussion. There is so much bullshit to refute I honestly can't keep a handle on it all. Plus, when somone spouts unreality at me it has this weird effect: my brain shuts down. I just don't know where to start a presentation of reality to them.

So, who is providing the well structured outlines they're reciting, and where are the "feeding stations"?


(P.S. Plastic fetus on a keychain? God, these are women who have NO sense of agency in the world and can only wave about a biological function as a way to achieve a sense of importance.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
34. Faux news and Rush are spouting it. I have a repub friend and I hear
this kind of unbelievable stuff from her. My jaw drops open... and she believes just as fervently that my "facts" are lies as we believe that their "facts" are lies. Makes it pretty darn hard to know where to start. If I ask if she's willing to read something, she says, "Is it from a liberal source?" Liberal being anything that doesn't reinforce her views. BUt, she did say she'd watch Invisible Ballots. And she DID let me send her some Chuck Herrin stuff.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
OKthatsIT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
10. Let them rant will force the issue all the more
You should have taken the opportunity to agree with her...this is actually going to work in our favor.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
11. Sounds like the Rush/RNC/Fox propaganda effect to me
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
12. Man, that is messed up
It's a common dilemma in dealing with the right wing talking points - HOW in the WORLD do you counter something so COMPLETELY ILLOGICAL?! As several posters have pointed out, if we were cheating so much wouldn't we be winning? Seriously. This is ridiculous.

Maybe if we all get partial lobotomies we'll be able to communicate with them :eyes:

Sorry, I try not to get nasty like that but sometimes...:grr:

It would certainly help if the Dem leaders were talking about this more, helping frame it. The Repubs are just covering their asses by twisting it around on the dems, and since our leaders aren't doing much about this issue publicly the repubs get to define the issue.


(btw...sending out prayers to your sick friend as I type this)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
13. They were like this in WA state at the election reform meetings
Rumor was they all got their talking points from a direct mail from Walmart. Unverified.

It was scary to see so many people all repeating the same talking points. Some would enrage themselves as they spoke, getting angrier and angrier. Rage-aholics. But in my opinion, they were not effective. Very creepy, but not effective in communicating their message to others and gaining allies.

All their new talking points are for their own cover. Cover for them to keep believing their own propaganda, and cover for their politicians to keep applying their corrupt policies.

In other words, they won't be winning back any moderates. And their cover is largely blown to people outside their cult.

I am not saying we should ignore them. Like any zombie cult they need to be watched. But I don't think they will win any new converts. Their only hope is to try and keep enough convinced that are already convinced, enough to provide cover for their election fraWd.

It's only been 6 months and the knowledge of fraWd from the last election is already growing. Almost as fast as Fox is losing viewers and bushco's dropping approval ratings.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
14. Talk about dangerous minds! Reminds me of the Medieval witch hunts.
The victims were often poor women, and those accusing a woman of witchcraft could not seem to form a logical thought as we know it, i.e., if she's a witch with magical powers and in congress with the Devil, why isn't she a queen with vast armies to protect her from being burned at the stake?

Those who think that Democrats cheat despite the evidence that we haven't cheated our way into the Presidency or control of Congress in recent years are very similar, in their thinking pattern, to witch-burners.

But it's important to distinguish between the powermongers and the more ignorant, vulnerable, fearful people whom the powermongers manipulate. The latter commit the worse sin, of course, in that they are generally more knowledgeable and more educated than those whom they manipulate, and more capable of reason and fairness. Their problem is that they don't care. Their sole purpose is to gain power for themselves, and they think nothing of using the thought processes of weaker minds to do so.

The thought process that they use to gain power goes like this:

Witches: Women are evil. God says so (sin of Eve). Women are lesser human beings (Adam's rib). Ergo, any independent thought or skill that a woman may have (say, knowledge of herbal medicine, or the ability to read and to dispute the authority of a priest or a man) cannot be due to her own merit or to God's grace. It must be due to the influence of the Devil. And any ill event that befalls good, obedient, God-fearing Christians is the work of the Devil using women as his agents. (--or Jews or other convenient scapegoats).

Thus, women fell victim to being accused as witches because of the 'a priori' argument that women are evil. Given this 'a priori' belief (hammered into peoples' minds with constant propaganda), it is difficult to form an independent, logical thought, based on evidence (for instance, that the woman with herbal knowledge is a healer and has helped many people, or that, if she has access to the Devil, why isn't she rich and powerful?)

Democratic vote stealers: Democrats are evil. God, the preacher and George Bush say so. They commit sins like homosexual fornication and abortion, and even encourage them. Democrats are lesser human beings. Most of them fail to possess the money-accumulating skills of the righteous, and therefore depend on government handouts. They are a drag on the rest of us--stealing our hard-earned money in the form of taxes, to support transients and miscreants. Those who have money and are still Democrats are misguided, or immoral.

Thus, Democrats are guilty of vote stealing because Democrats are evil and are lesser human beings. The logic that Democrats are in fact the majority, and thus might win an election now and then, cannot enter such a mind. How could anybody want to be a Democrat (evil, immoral, lesser)? And the logic that the concept of liberty requires the government to permit freedom of action (and potential immorality, in THEIR view) cannot penetrate.

A governmental system that empowers the poor--that uses collective tax gathering and dispersement to equalize human beings, and that is based on principles like freedom of speech and religion--frees the poor from punitive, irrational, religious fanatics such as these, and they can't stand it. So, they have to presume that it can only succeed through vote stealing (illogical as that may be). They just don't "get" democracy. They never did.

Democracy evolved from the 18th century Enlightenment, which itself had evolved out of the 16th century Humanist movement. This was the era of western history in which reason, logic and scientific inquiry began to challenge the authority of the Church (which had entirely dominated western thought with 'a priori' thinking and arbitrary dictates from the 5th century AD to about the 15th). Here is a good essay on it:

Democracy, of course, originated with the Greeks (Pagans all). It was the re-discovery of ancient Greek writers (Aristotle, Plato, and the playwrights) (from Islamic libraries!!) that inspired the Humanists of the 16th century to begin to value human intellect and beauty, and, most especially, to reject the "sin and guilt" preachings of both the Catholic Church and of the Christian factions (the Protestants) that arose in opposition to the Catholic Church. Christianity of whatever stripe, when combined with state power (king, or parliament, or other) tended to oppress, torture and kill other Christians, non-Christians, or anyone who disagreed with those in power on whatever basis.

The lesson that the Founders of the United States--people like Thomas Jefferson--drew from all of this was: SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE! And let everyone say and believe whatever they like. The truth will thus emerge from free inquiry--from reason, from logic, from scientific endeavor, and from all religious faiths and belief systems, each one freely contending with the others, with no power to enforce their beliefs on anyone.

Freedom of religion is fundamental to our democracy. It places the sovereignty of the individual human being and the dignity and integrity of the human mind above all "authority," and greatly undermines the ability of would-be tyrants to manipulate others with 'a priori' beliefs ("givens") taken from the Bible or wherever they get them from. Our Founders also had the model of the Iroquois, as to democratic procedures and principles. (It wasn't all the Greeks' idea--and ancient Greek democracy was rather seriously flawed by slavery, as was American democracy in its first hundred years.)

(People often dis Jefferson for not freeing his slaves, while failing to sufficiently credit his monumental achievement of the freedom of religion for the new republic. Religious fanaticism had enslaved whole countries, and the entirety of Europe. Also, he was in effect married to one of his slaves and had children by her, and Virginia law did not permit freed slaves to remain in the state. Freeing his slaves would have meant their banishment. He did try to get slavery abolished in the Declaration of Independence, and was overruled by his southern brethren. He wrote about slavery in his chronicles of Virginia and understood its damaging psychological impacts on slave master and slave. He is not the first great thinker to have to live with mind-boggling contradictions, nor the first to be forced into wretched compromises with his times. Money (the value of slaves) was not likely a factor with Jefferson. He was very generous, and he died poor.)

The people whom Jefferson and the other Founders were opposing with the First Amendment will always be with us, ever seeking state power to impose their views on the rest of us. Power-mongers--whether preachers or politicians--will ever manipulate the weak-minded among their followers to demonize and lie about those who oppose them, whether witches or Democrats. They will also ever seek to create "scapegoats"--an essential component of illegitimate power--to draw attention away from themselves by projecting their own ill intentions onto others.

But they always have been and always will be a minority. That's WHY they do what they do. They cannot gain power by legitimate arguments and means, because the vast majority of people--whether in old Europe or in modern America--want to be left alone, want to think their own thoughts and live their own lives, and have an abiding, common sense belief in "live and let live" (a product of REASON).

Also, the Christian right (Democrats are evil) is in such stark contradiction with the teachings of Christianity that they cannot win an argument with a real Christian. Love thine enemy, give all you have to the poor, live communally and reject no one, and blame no one, is the essence of what Jesus taught. How does that square with killing 100,000 Iraqis to get their oil? How does that square with throwing the Democrats out of your church, as happened in Waynesville recently? But the important part of the Waynesville story is that 40 church members quit the church in protest, and most Americans were appalled by what happened, because most Americans have common sense and understand, and believe in, democracy.

It is MY belief that people like the woman described above--who is repeating Bush Republican "talking points" about Democratic vote stealing--should be ignored.

I know they can be scary. Look at all this history behind us of irrationality and witch-burnings. They push my buttons, too--my fear of Nazism button, and my fear of the Grand Inquisitor's button. But I think we risk over-reacting, in the present circumstance, and giving them more power than they really have, by focusing too much on this minority, rather than on the disenfranchised MAJORITY, whose views are progressive and tolerant. This is what Karl Rove WANTS you to believe--that the rightwing Christian zealots are on the rise. Consider the lies he has told about their "invisible" voter registration campaign. (The Democrats blew them away in new voter registration in 2004, nearly 60/40.) He and the news monopolies are trying to create the ILLUSION of some big movement towards the right, led by rightwing Christians, when, as a matter of act, the opposite is happening.

The majority of Americans are very unhappy with these people--as expressed in opinion poll and after opinion poll, with 60% to 70% of Americans opposing every major Bush policy and giving Bush unprecedented dismal approval ratings. And the election itself saw an extraordinary coalition of all progressive groups, and the rise of a whole new voter group, to vote Bush out--a movement that succeeded, if the truth were known. THAT is the majority. And THAT is who we need to inform about the fraudulent election system and its fraudulent outcome.

When the unreasonable beliefs and will to power of rightwing Christian fanatics led by ugly powermongers like Bush causes them to cross the line, and violate the rights of others, we must resist, of course. I'm not saying ignore their actions or policies. I'm just saying, don't extrapolate too much from the inability of individual Bush followers to look at facts and exhibit rational thought. And don't let yourself be scared by them. They are anomalies in this great progressive country, and in the overarching trend of human history toward higher intelligence and more equality and justice.


"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson (inscribed in the rotunda around his statue in Washington DC)

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
35. It's the old demonizing/dehumanizing the enemy; Hitler did it very well
with the Jews-it's happened over and over throughout history. Very effective.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
15. just ignore them and keep at it
the truth is on our side
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. Do not despair!
Edited on Thu May-19-05 12:48 PM by Bill Bored
We can use ANY talk about fraud as an opportunity to get OUR message out!!!

They can haggle over voter IDs, etc. which our side can debate the usual way, but the heart of the matter is that the election system is BROKEN and it needs fixing. There is no proof that votes are being counted as cast, and this affects BOTH parties (although the count is probably in Republican control at the moment).

The well-meaning ones, such as they are, will want the count to be correct once the voters reach the polls. THAT is OUR issue, and WE must stay on point!

Don't defend lax voter ID requirements in the same breath as advocating voter-verified paper ballots. They are two different issues that need not be conflated. Let our own party hacks debate the voter ID laws in the legislatures. They are very good at that! Write to them and tell them what you want! Advocate for voting rights because they will be the ones who have to defend them in the legislature! But when talking to Republicans, the issue should be VERIFIED (and UNVERIFIED!!!) VOTING, LAW AND ORDER, MOM AND APPLE PIE.

On edit:

It is essential to show them the hypocrisy of their own position. If they favor stronger voter IDs, etc. they MUST be in favor of Verified Voting. Don't let them spin the debate! You will NEVER convince them that voting rights need to be enforced, or that voter ID laws are too strict. You MIGHT be able to convince them that the count can not be trusted!

On edit again:

Before I am accused of being a racist, etc., I am talking about talking to people who can not be reasoned with. Hateful people. Brainwashed people. Neo-Natzi types who don't recognize themselves as being such. I'm sure there is a time when it is appropriate to make them feel the guilt, the shame, and so on. But like any cult members, they are not in a position to acknowledge this at this time. The best course would seem to be to use their own arguments against them.

Of course we also need to protect voting rights! But with these people, it would be like talking to the KKK. Somewhat fruitless if you ask me.

I hope I've made this clear because it can be controversial and I don't mean for it to be.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
17. Thanks for the information. Tell the DNC and let us know. KICK/NOMINATE
I agree with you, the case for fraud is made and there needs to be a clear manual for all Democrats everywhere to stop this creap.

One big problem: Our Party Denies the Need

I think that should be the big push, getting the DNC to wake up and do something. There is time.

If they blow you off on this one, get names and numbers.

In the mean time, if there is an effort ongoing to push the DNC and you need helpers, let me know. I'm in their 'hood.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
18. BTW, I thought River City was in IA! nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Dee625 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
19. My brain spins reading that
So...the Democrats are stealing elections and that's why we would NOT want verfiable voting. Okey, dokie. I suppose it makes since since the Democrats are fixing the voting so that the Republicans win. /sarcasm

You would THINK that if they really thought Democrats were "fixing elections" that easily audited voting records would be a priority for them also. By the way - I'll give them a bit of credit on the fact that paper ballots are easy to fix. As I said, I watched the Republican Election board member with the stickers and marker. It works real well.

Certainly Democrats are completely not on message about this issue from what I've seen (obviously not referring to people in this forum). It ought to be a priority.

Sending good thoughts to you and your FRIEND demodonkey. :pals:

(o/t - bet you'll never follow me through a city again)

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
21. Keeping plugging away at that mountain
don't get discouraged! If you repeat the truth enough you'll hear
an echo!

Miss Waverly
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
23. In MY opinion, the Dem leaders should be explaining the difference
The DNC should launch a counterattack.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Nightjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-05 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
24. Is this what it felt like in Nazi Germany?
That good, decent folks who love thier country have lost thier minds?!
How the hell are we fixing elections when they control all 3 branches???!!!!

I can't believe what has happened to America. I can't wait until this administration is brought down and bush does the Nixon goodbye wave in disgrace.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-05 04:45 AM
Response to Original message
25. One thing I notice here.
Edited on Fri May-20-05 04:45 AM by Carolab
You say you targeted rabid Republicans. And it sounds like there were just a few you actually spoke to. Not a truly representative sample, then, perhaps? Maybe you should have tried some reluctant Bush responders...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. No "Shy Republicans" here that I can see...
Edited on Fri May-20-05 12:24 PM by demodonkey

... Oh, that's right, they only get shy AFTER they leave the polling room, and then only at certain hours of the day in certain precincts. Dumb ol' me, I forgot that.

Seriously, this wasn't meant to be a scientific poll or anything, just sort of an informal face-to-face with a few GOPers. I have been chatting with these same folks on their way out of the poll for years, and I wanted to try and gage the current attitude of a few key local players. Their attitude is, as I said, totally on message... in typical Rovian style they are indignant with the Dems for alleged Dem election-stealing tactics, when you know that THEIR party is the one doing it. Obviously THEY are the party that is benefiting from it... geesh, it's maddening!

What I didn't mention in my original post (and should have), is that their usual sense of GOP entitlement, the attitude that THEY have an absolute RIGHT to control EVERYthing, was at what I thought was an ALL TIME HIGH. Especially with the plastic-fetus lady, who is a GOP Committeewoman, and a couple of others.

(so shut up and keep your poll book you peon pollworker or we'll get rid of your crooked Dem ass too)

Scary stuff coming from scary people... No matter what the DNC does, I'm telling you guys we HAVE to get the cats in a row, get our side ON MESSAGE, and start getting our story out there better than we have been. If it's not going to come from the top in a big way, it needs to come from the bottom in a million small ways. Just like what Mrs. Plastic-Fetus is doing for the other side.

We must hang in there -- NGU and NSU (never shut up)!


(PLEASE yall, please keep praying for my FRIEND -- a wonderful person who is VERY sick and has had a awful lot on their plate lately -- and someone I love and care about VERY much!)

Thanks and Hi to all my other friends who checked into this thread... :hug:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Heres to being healthy and fighting back and winning--cheers
By spinning the need to dump DRE's I like the cost issue. They are 3 times more expensive than the next cheapest system that also qualifies for Fed funds--

Cost analysis studies:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
28. Horse Kick
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
29. I don't think that I agree with you
It is not possible for us (meaning DUers and like minded Democrats and other progressive thinking people) to "stay on message" as the Republicans do. By our very nature, we tolerate difference of opinion, and even welcome it as a means of exposing ourselves to different ideas, so that we can better keep ourselves informed. That is what makes us strong, and that is what will make us prevail in the long run -- not "staying on message".

I agree that we are in a very bleak situation, and that we are up against a formidable power. But if we try to emulate the Repukes we will defeat ourselves without their help.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. "Time for change," I agree that becoming Bush "pod people" (people...
...who repeat lines like "up and down vote"--heard so often in Congress yesterday, or who mindlessly regurgitate other Bushite talking points with no regard for the facts) is not the solution. However, I think demondonkey's suggestion that our side "stay on message" is more an expression of frustration with the Democrats' LACK OF message on election fraud 2004 and election reform than it is a call for Bush-like lockstep thinking.

How can you "stay on message" when there IS no Democratic Party message (on election fraud and reform)?

Millions of Democratic voters and others who voted for Kerry (including, I am convinced, a significant number of Republicans) DON'T KNOW what happened in the election. Many may have a gut feeling that something is very wrong, but they don't have the facts. And this is partly a failure of the Democratic Party leadership, which should have cried foul on this election system long before the election, and most certainly should be doing so now.

Why aren't they? I think the answer is complicated, and involves various levels of corruption, cynicism or fear (or combinations of all three). The fear--in addition to just naked fear of the Darth Vaders in the Bush Cartel (fear of getting anthraxed, fear of having your plane fall out of the air, fear of their secret dossiers on you, etc.)--may have led to a judgment of the hopelessness of getting any attention and investigation from the news monopolies on this matter. The news monopolies participated in COVERING UP major evidence of fraud--the true result of the exit polls--on election day. They gave the American public falsified numbers. And they've black-holed the election fraud story ever since. Black holes are cosmic objects that emit no light. How can the Democrats shine light out of the black hole they have been consigned to? It is physically impossible. The news monopolies WILL NOT COVER IT.

They may make an exception for some limited stories that will further the goal of federalizing elections under Bush Cartel control--which I suspect is the real goal of this phony, private Baker-Carter "commission"--but they will NEVER permit the full story to come out, because they are COMPLICIT.

Further, we have a Congress full of Bush "pod people." They have zero interest in truth and justice. Many of them probably owe their own seats to election fraud. And now they're trying to pack the federal courts with OTHER Bush "pod people."

So, this is a very dire situation for Democratic Party leaders. And we really need to understand how these dark forces are distorting the minds and the messages of otherwise good people (those who are not corrupt and/or cynical). This is WHY we have almost no leadership on THE MOST IMPORTANT MATTER THAT OUR REPUBLIC HAS EVER FACED: 2004 election fraud (and its direct connection to unjust war and other nefarious deeds).

Our only recourse is, a) continuing to get the facts out by other means (than the news monopolies or Dem leaders), being the media, reaching out to groups and individuals, and supporting efforts like US Count Votes, and b) working for election reform at the state/local level (where ordinary people still have some influence).

OUR message--those of us who have figured out what happened--IS simple, in essence, and we must, indeed, stay "on" it: Our country does not have a transparent, verifiable election system. We have an extremely fraud-prone, unreliable, hackable election system that produced a fraudulent result in 2004. The will of the majority is being ignored and thwarted. We must change this.

This message is not for Bush "pod people." It is for KERRY VOTERS, of whatever political affiliation. We include Nader voters, Green voters, independent voters, new voters and Gore 2000 voters, and, I am convinced, a significant number of Republicans. And we ARE the majority.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Very well said
And I agree with you about 95%.

I do believe that this is the most important matter that our republic has ever faced, and that is why I have spent more time on it than I ever have on any other national issue.

Also, I am very concerned, as you are, about the lack of response from our Democratic party leadership, and wish I could understand it better than I do. Sometimes I think that people like John Kerry really believe that Bush won this election, and at other times I think that they know that Kerry won, but for political strategic reasons feel that they can't come out and say so.

But I wouldn't characterize the problem as "Democrats don't stay on message". I guess that I just don't like that term, because to me it implies a lack of openess to honest discussion and thought.

There may be, and probably are, many Democrats who are in denial about this -- including Democrats in the House and Senate. Denial is a great force in history. It helped lead to the Holocaust, it helped to perpetuate slavery and many other great wrongs in this country, and now I believe that it is one of the biggest forces that is contributing to lack of progress towards saving our democracy.

So, I think the bottom line is that Democrats and others in this country need to wake up and smell the coffee, and that those of us who "have figured out what happened" (and I'm only about 97% confident that the election was stolen), as you put it, need to facilitate that process, since nobody else is going to do it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
40. I was just kind of brushing the "stay on message" thing aside, and saying
they don't have ANY message--on election fraud or election reform. There is nothing to stay ON.

But I'll say this: They did seem to have an anti-message which they did "stay on," and it was: NO election fraud, Bush won, get over it. And they repeated it over and over, just like Bushite "pod people." No evidence could move them off of it. People here were tearing their hair out over this. How can you not SEE, you idiots!

And the Democratic leaders furthermore influenced others--MoveOn, Al Franken, Michael Moore to SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

Every Dem speaker who got up on Jan. 6 took pains to say, "We are not challenging the election." Over and over they said it.

If that's the kind of brainlessness and mindlessness--and avoidance of overwhelming facts--that you mean by "staying on message," I agree with you. We don't want people "staying on" messages dictated from the top, that are very harmful to our democracy.

I also agree that the notion of "staying on message" can be insidious. It causes the message-writers to over-simplify what they have to say, and it encourages the hearers not to think about things too much. It's a public relations phrase (and technique). In the hands of rightwing ideologues, it has been lethal.

However, we can't avoid the realities of media today--bad, bad, fractured-attention-span news media, aimed at people who are too busy or too distracted to pick up more than a sound bite. If you want them to cover a story, you MUST write a pithy press release. And you MUST hammer pithy "stay on message" phrases into their heads, over and over again to get any attention. IF you want their attention.

Granted, these news monopolies kill thought. And their impact on political debate and on political campaigns (and consequently on our elected officials) has been something akin to a nuclear device.

But they are a reality--as the major influence on political debate, the major forum in which issues get known, and the major umbilical cord between most people and this entity we call our "nation." In order to get anything known in that IllusionLand, you have to simplify it into near brainlessness, and repeat it endlessly ("stay on message").

In normal times, in a normal democracy, it would be just one of many tools by which you conduct a political campaign (a campaign to get peoples' attention on something). You have banners. You have posters. You have rallies all stating a "message." You get a 3-second sound bite on the evening news and you say your thing. And your various campaign spokespeople all try to get that message across. BUT--a big but--this should be just one thing that you do, not EVERYTHING that you do. And it should be occurring in a context of strong investigative reporting, real news, real debates, and extensive sources of detailed information easily available to all--speeches, papers, articles, documentaries. "Messages" should succeed not because they're simplified and oft repeated, but because they are based on extensive thought and on thorough investigation of the facts. People who hear "the message" should be able to--and should want to--seek out the source and learn more.

This is the problem. "Staying on message" is not occurring in this context of deeper debate and thought and information gathering. In the case of the Bush "pod people," "staying on message" is all there is. There is often NOTHING behind their messages. They are simply brainwashing people. Facts don't matter. Truth doesn't matter. Getting that sound bite on TV, and getting it repeated over and over and over, is all that matters. It is downright Stalinist. ("Democrats are obstructionist." "Democrats are obstructionist". "Democrats are obstructionist." Over and over and over again. With no consideration of the RIGHT of Democrats to obstruct something they don't like; positive avoidance of any substance; and no desire for a real debate--just "talking points" and repetition.)

"Staying on message" in that way makes people stupid, and tires them out--rather than intriguing them and inspiring them to learn more. The repetition makes them feel that there is some sort consensus on the matter, when there is not. It doesn't invite; it shuts out. And in this current context of superficial, highly manipulated "news," it means that MOST PEOPLE are stupefied by and shut out of political debate.

I wouldn't mind, though, if every Democratic leader prefaced every speech they gave, and arranged a thousand sound bits on the "news," with the following message--and "stayed on" THIS message like ferocious stingrays: "George Bush does not represent the majority of Americans. Everybody knows it. The facts of the last election point overwhelmingly to election fraud. Take a look at the facts!"

Because THAT "message" is TRUE. They have only to look at the facts. And, boy, would THAT soundbite wake people up!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. "We've got trouble in River City." This is a line from "The Music Man,"
and the meaning of "River City" in that musical is "mainstream America."

Bush and his "pod people" (those who mindlessly repeat Bushite "talking points") do not represent the majority of Americans. The majority of Americans--as time and again expressed in opinion polls, and as demonstrated in the true vote count in 2004--are very anti-Bush. They still oppose the Iraq war (nearly 60%). They oppose torture UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES (63%). They oppose every major Bush policy, foreign and domestic, in very big numbers.

These are tolerant, fair-minded, generous, common sense people--the majority of Americans. They do not exist in some mythical "Main Street" America, or in some Norman Rockwell painting. ("River City.") They live mostly in dense urban areas, in a great cultural and racial and religious mix, and use computers and fly in airplanes and engage in scientific research and read books (in great numbers) and love sports (and fair play!), and own businesses, and seek college educations, and work at three jobs to hold their families together, and fight fires and collect garbage, and run Little Leagues and administer local agencies, and hold society together in a thousand different ways, and want a decent, representative government that benefits everyone and treats people fairly.

Bush's "pod people"--including extremist "Christians", his yes-men in Congress, his lapdogs in the news monopolies, and people like the woman described in this post who believe that Democrats steal elections even though we're losing--get way, way, way too much attention. Their views are trumpeted way out of proportion to their numbers.

And we, too, are influenced by that trumpeting (we are not immune, even those of us who have unplugged the TV)--we overreact to their views, and are sometimes gripped with fear that the whole country has gone nuts and is no longer capable of rational thought.

It is not so. The majority are disenfranchised and disempowered--and very puzzled, I think--but they are not fooled (they voted the Bush Cartel out!); they are not inclined toward extremism of any kind--religious or political--and they don't like it; and many of them strongly suspect that Bush stole the election.

What I'm saying is: Don't equate people who speak irrational Bush-Republican "talking points" with "River City" (mainstream America). They are NOT mainstream.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. Progressives CAN present a unified message without becoming the Borg.
We already do this on many issues. Progressive people become aware of issues, learn about them, and take a stance on them based on progressive values. Not that we agree on every detail of every point, but obviously progressives do have basic unity on many things.

Where I think we sometimes come up short is being able to clearly explain our values and being able to persuade others to understand, accept, and adopt them.

We MUST do this on Election Reform and Voting Rights. And that's what I mean by "getting on message".

First, we must get the word out and EDUCATE our people, because many are not even aware that there IS an issue with our voting process. And of those who are aware, many are not aware of how critical this is to our Democracy.

I have been doing a lot of grassroots public speaking lately, to small local groups, and generally many folks are SHOCKED when they hear what has been going wrong with our elections. And by that I mean the process, not just the recent outcomes. Once folks understand that there is a problem, most people WANT to do something, and to take a stand or a position.

It behooves those of us who are progressives and are active in the Election Reform and Voting Rights movement to help educate and prepare people to discuss what is wrong with our elections. Our people need to know what needs to be done and how take action on this issue -- and how to explain it. Our people need the information and background in order to be able to make a cogent argument.

If we don't do this, Mrs. Plastic-Fetus and her ilk up though ranks of the republican party WILL, and they will spin it THEIR way.

And what is scary is that they are very, very good at what they do. If you meet Mrs. Plastic-Fetus, you see that she absolutely IS a citizen of mainstream, main street music man "River City" -- and she lets you know that. Her people may not represent the majority, but they do a very good job at getting others to THINK they do.

Our values of truth, transparency, and open fair elections DO represent the will of the majority of Americans. Certainly we can come together, get information to our supporters, and clearly let the world know our values with unity -- without becoming "pod people".


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Well, when you put it that way I agree with you
I guess I just have a natural aversion to the term "stay on message". In the course of my career, whenever I'm told that, what it usually really means is "spin it to make us look good, whether it's true or not."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
32. They always accuse us of what they're doing. It's a tactic!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
36. My success story dealing with a Republican
Edited on Sun May-22-05 12:26 AM by GuvWurld
The Voter Confidence Committee recently conducted a town hall forum in Eureka, CA under the sponsorship of two of our City Councilmembers. The topic was Ranked Choice Voting. After the event, we divided up the names of the people who had attended and we called everyone to thank them for coming, to hear their feedback, and to invite their participation in our ongoing election reform efforts. This was just standard phone banking.

Well I had the good fortune of calling K.M., Executive Director of the local Republican Party. While opposed to RCV, he was pleased at the respect I showed him by calling to listen to his point of view. Our conversation went so well, in fact, I was able to get him to agree to meet me for coffee. That meeting went so well that he has invited me to speak to his whole group. The date and time have not yet been set but I'll report back afterward.

What did I do right? Well, aside from making sure that he always felt respected, I zoomed in on his traditional pathological hypocrisy by selectively responding only to things I knew I could show him were in direct contradiction to other things I knew he believed. My aim was to trigger his sense of cognitive dissonance, the same one that we all find so maddening and debilitating. We don't want to come out at such people with our "facts" so much as use their own facts against them. We have to show them where they are lying to themselves, really a challenge we face even with people on our side - an argument I've made many times, including how calling for a re-count of a sham "election" makes no sense when the initial count is known to be bogus.

The most amazing thing I kept thinking about after meeting with K.M. was how he kept saying I made sense, I was reasonable and calm, and I wasn't attacking anybody. I had no idea, but he claims that he is routinely harassed, spat on, and worse. I found myself wanting not only to sympathize and empathize, but to somehow show him that I could contribute to protecting him from this. My way of doing this, I told him, was building a bridge with the Republicans on goals we could share (mind you, I'm neither Dem nor Rep and think partisanship is treason). Ultimately he accepted that I am interested in pursuing non-partisan systemic reforms that create a basis for confidence in election results and ensure conclusive outcomes (see the Voter Confidence Resolution). I know that anything I want to achieve will be more likely to occur with him on my side. How am I doing at winning him over?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
New Earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
39. of course
they have to blame it on the voters, it's all our fault. that is the exact reason i always fought people who say voter fraud when referring to election fraud. they are using the phrase to hide the truth. they think if they use it enough, people will forget what the problem really is: the machines owned by companies that support Republicans and the local officials who are set in place to disenfranchise the voters any way they can.

what a crock of bullshit, keep fighting it - the words we use do matter!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue May 21st 2024, 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC