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CrisisPapers Donating Member (271 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:09 AM
Original message
How to Keep Democrats From Blowing the November Election
Edited on Tue May-09-06 07:13 AM by CrisisPapers
| Bernard Weiner |

I know it doesn't make much sense, given how the Republicans seem to be imploding every day in new scandals and corruptions and reckless policies -- and with the Administration's approval numbers about to head into the 20s -- but I can't shake the fear that somehow Bush&Co. will keep both houses of Congress in the November election.

This anxiety was heightened the other day when, in a local supermarket, I ran into Stephen Rosenfeld, one of the key electoral-integrity activists in this country.

Since he had been examining electoral chicanery in the 2004 balloting for more than a year-and-a-half, I asked Rosenfeld if he was close to finishing up his research.

My simple question released a torrent of information from him about how the Republicans were able to steal the election in Ohio, and thus the Electoral College vote that elongated the HardRight's hold on power, with Bush as their front man.

Customers who were reaching around us to get to the bread and cookies were party to the rush of facts about how and why pundits are not now analyzing the presidency of John Kerry -- but I don't want to diminish Rosenfeld's thunder by listing the details here, since he (with co-author Bob Fitrakis) has a book on the subject coming out in the Fall.

Suffice it to say that the information he laid on me, along with what has been picked up from other electoral-fraud experts -- Mark Crispin Miller, Ernest Partridge, Steven Freeman, Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman, Brad Friedman, Alastair Thompson, Bev Harris, John Conyers, et al. -- makes it clear that Kerry was robbed. In some states, it's likely that the Republican vote-counting corporations massaged the numbers to create a Bush "victory." But it's equally clear that, in key locales around the country, the GOP might not have needed to fiddle with the computer software since enough votes were stolen from the Democrats by other slimy methods.

HOW TO HIJACK AN ELECTION

As many have noted, the Bush campaign was aided enormously in this thievery because their campaign co-chairs in key states were also the Secretaries of State -- that is, the officials in charge of conducting elections and certifying the vote results: Katherine Harris in Florida in 2000 (with brother Gov. Jeb Bush overseeing her work), and, in 2004, Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, Terry Lind in Michigan, Matt Blunt in Missouri, Glenda Hood in Florida, et al.

It has been widely documented that nefarious techniques were employed in key states to aid Bush's "victory," such as: removing hundreds of thousands of likely Democratic voters from the voting rolls; rejiggering the precincts so that when those voters went to their usual polling place, they were told they had to go vote elsewhere and when they got to the new place, they had to vote by Provisional Ballots (in Ohio, thousands of those ballots apparently are still uncounted!); making sure the voting machines in heavily Democratic wards were out of commission or malfunctioning or too few in number for the crowds who wanted to vote, thus forcing working-class citizens to stand in line for many hours, with the result that many gave up and went back to their jobs; thousands of unstamped ballots that were moved around to various precincts; locked warehouses in which various electoral irregularities were carried out; dirty tricks to keep likely Democratic voters from showing up (supplying them with the wrong voting date, telling them that anybody with unpaid parking tickets would be arrested at the polls, that sort of thing); not always catching that e-votes for Kerry automatically, either deliberately or because of technical malfunctions, were being switched into the Bush column, etc. etc.

With several hundred thousand voters kept from casting their ballots in Ohio, for example, the ultimate conclusion is that Kerry would have won that key state, and other close states, had the election been conducted honestly, absent the dirty tricks and fraud. But, of course, before any serious recounting could take place, Kerry, despite his promise to fight, quickly threw in the towel, as had Al Gore four years earlier, which haste and timidity permitted Bush&Co. to continue on their corrupt, incompetent, deadly ways.

These were shameful, cowardly Dem retreats by the candidates in the face of fire. Only now are Gore and Kerry starting to behave and speak out the way they should have during their campaigns, at least about the environment and civil liberties and the war in Iraq, leading one to believe that those two are readying themselves for another go in 2008.

TIMID DEMS ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

And where were the rest of the Democrats during all this electoral thievery? Lost and asleep at the wheel, as usual.

One can't escape the conclusion that even five years out, the Democrats in general just don't know how to respond to cutthroat aggressiveness and criminality on the part of the Republicans. They never knew what hit them in Florida in 2000, in Ohio in 2004 and don't really have their oppositional act together now in 2006, with the midterm election just six months away.

On occasion the Dems display a bit more starch in their spines, but in general liberals remain locked in a more naive frame of mind, from an earlier era, when elections, no matter what their deficiencies, were more or less on the up-and-up and fair-mindedness was the operational mode for politicians: Elections were held and the declared winners got to rule, but they governed by taking into account the legitimacy of the opposition minority. Those days are long gone, thanks to Rove's bullyboy tactics.

The Democrats just don't want to deal with, or don't know how to deal with, the reality that in the Bush/Cheney/Rove era the Republican leadership has a singular goal in mind -- to win, by whatever means necessary -- and that it has a meticulously worked-out system for victory that violates every rule and tradition set up in years' past. The lasting legacy of Karl Rove.

And yet the Dems are planning their first weeks in office post-November, as if all they need to do is to watch the GOP sink further in the polls and then waltz into control of the House and/or Senate.

PERMANENT CAMPAIGN, PERMANENT WAR

Why am I so snarky here about the Dems? Because there is a too-long history of Democrats tending to gear up once every two and four years for an election campaign, refusing to face the fact that the Republicans are in campaign mode every minute of every day, with the goal of decimating and destroying their political opposition. It's the permanent campaign which, not coincidentally, ties in to their permanent war ("the war on terrorism," a war against a tactic) that serves as the underpinning for their domestic and foreign agenda.

The end result has been an increasing slide into a homegrown kind of American fascism: a desire by the HardRightists for one-party rule; Bush's fondness for dictatorial governance; his 750 "signing statements," where he asserts that he can override laws passed by Congress whenever he so chooses (see Charlie Savage's mostly-ignored Boston Globe story, "Bush Challenges Hundreds of Laws: President Cites Powers of His Office"; and Bob Egelko's "How Bush Redefines the Intent of the Law"); his conviction that he has a blank-check to initiate wars of choice; his authorization of torture; his ordering the NSA to spy on millions of American citizens; his attempts at neutering the Legislative and Judicial branches of government, etc. etc.

And permitting all this to pass beneath the public radar is a cowed, cooperative mass-media, whose reporters serve mostly as stenographers rather than as true journalists holding government officials' feet to the fire. Clearly, if a Democratic President had behaved himself as Bush and Cheney have done -- lying in order to foment a war, breaking the law on innumerable occasions, leaking classified information for political reasons, authorizing torture, etc. etc. -- he would have been impeached and removed from office with extreme haste before he could do any more damage to the Republic.

WHAT ORDINARY CITIZENS CAN DO

So, if all this is true, with Karl Rove (assuming he's not indicted shortly for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plamegate case) unleashing his campaign and foreign-policy "surprises" during the next six months, what do we ordinary citizens do about the situation? Specifically, what can we do about the reality of a corrupted election system?

Thankfully, many citizens and public-interest groups have become involved in the electoral-integrity issue, both on the national level and in various key states, challenging the reliability and transparency of e-voting machines and vote-tallying procedures, suing voting officials in civil courts when honest elections and verified means for re-checking the votes are not satisfactory, etc.

But angry citizens are ignoring another powerful avenue to counteract election fraud, and the increasing chances for more such illegality: They should demand that their state attorneys general and local district attorneys bring criminal charges in their jurisdictions against the GOP, Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, et al. Were this to happen, the "discovery" process might well yield an abundance of incriminating documents that would have an enormous impact on national politics. Example: the phone-bank sabotage case in New Hampshire, where GOP officials with ties to the White House were convicted of interfering with the Democrats' phone system in that state just prior to the 2004 election.

But whether all these good-government moves will be enough to guarantee honest elections in November is up in the air, especially with many Bush-appointed judges on the federal appeals courts. The point is that by and large these legal moves are being initiated by citizens and organized groups, not by the Democratic Party.

(I have been following the suggestion of Ernest Partridge and others: I return solicitation letters to Democratic Party headquarters with a strong note saying I will send no money until the Democrats decide to fight like an opposition party should for honest, transparent, verifiable elections. No action, no donation. Similarly, many progressives are telling MoveOn.org much the same thing: stop being so timid; electoral integrity and confronting electoral fraud needs to be front and center for progressives. We can have all the good candidates and popular policies in the world, but if the opposition is running the vote-counting mechanism, goodbye honest elections and the chance to defeat the GOP and begin to restore America's traditional values to our political system.)

DIEBOLD MACHINES DANGEROUSLY VULNERABLE

New revelations about electoral integrity and fraud, both good and bad, keep breaking all the time. As I write this, more states have become aware of built-in problems with computer-voting systems and are being forced, at least temporarily, to consider more secure methods for voting and ballot-tabulation. Brad Friedman reports:
"We've now been able to gather a great deal of additional information concerning details about the story we first posted yesterday on the official Pennsylvania state warning issued about the new 'security vulnerability' discovered in all Diebold touch-screen electronic voting machines.

"That warning, which has now brought a lock-down on all Diebold systems in PA, where early voting is about to begin prior to their upcoming May 16th primary election, was reported by the Morning Call yesterday. The warning says the serious security vulnerability could allow 'unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system'."
ADVICE FOR DEMOCRATS

Many liberal pundits and thinkers are out there, many based on the internet, with solid ideas and suggestions for how the Dems might position themselves for victory in November and in 2008; for just one, see the new book "Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics," by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga ("Kos") and Jerome Armstrong. But it's not clear if the party establishment is open to what its base is telling them. If such blindness and deafness continues, this ignorance and timidity will guarantee a continuing series of losses at the polls, despite recent public-opinion surveys indicating how poorly the Republicans are viewed in the country, including, most importantly, by those calling themselves conservatives.

Perhaps the worst crime of the Democrats these days is their failure to recognize that ordinary citizens, including many of those moderate Republicans and independents, are way ahead of them in wanting a quick exit from Iraq and in approving impeachment hearings. That Dem timidity does not give evidence of a robust opposition party, willing to fight for what is best for the country; many moderate Republicans and independents may choose to vote for the devil they know than one about which they're uncertain and apprehensive.

So what can you and I do to alter this picture of Democratic lassitude and possible defeat in November?

As with BuzzFlash.com's handy list, "What You Can Do," the first and most important task is for all of us to educate ourselves on what's going on, and then spread the word, light fires of activism in our friends and neighbors, organize ourselves politically (whether running yourself or becoming active in the campaigns of Dem or third-party candidates), relentlessly demand that our elected representatives stand up for the Constitution and not roll over when the Administration continues its illegal rampaging at home and abroad, constantly call the mass media on their biases and deficiencies of investigatory coverage of the Bush Administration, and support the nation's largest and most effective alternative press: the progressive websites and bloggers on the internet.

GOP IS COLLAPSING FROM WITHIN

Finally, realize the import of a good share of the conservative Republican movement abandoning the extremism of the Bush Administration. All those conservative generals and Bill Buckley are just the tips of the iceberg of resentment and appalled anger at what Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove are doing to the once-respected Republican Party and to this country in terms of our stalled economy, the humongous deficits being racked up, the unending wars of choice our young troops are dying in (with Iran fast coming up as the next reckless-insanity theater of war), the ever-expanding levels of corruption in the Republican Party, the outsourcing and privatization of so much of traditional, established government functions -- outsourcing even to potential enemies abroad!

These moderate and conservative Republicans are ripe for making alliances with progressives, populists and libertarians in opposing the dangerous, reckless policies of the Bush Administration. Smart Democratic policy would devise ways to lure those folks into the impeachment camp.

But, if the kinds of changes discussed above are not made, and the Dems lose both houses of Congress in November and still no radical changes are made in how to approach the 2008 presidential election, it may well be time for serious consideration of a third-party alliance. In short, 2006 may be the Dems' last reasonable shot and they'd better not blow it. Let's put our activism into hyperdrive in the next six months and make sure they don't.

-- BW
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niceypoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. The time is now......
Victory has basically fallen into the dems laps. If they blow this one I have lost all faith in them and this country. If the dems blow it this time, it will be time to form a third party as the democrats will have proven themselves to be 100% ineffectual and not worthy of another wasted vote. America is screaming for these GOP losers to go away. Wake up dem leadership.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Is it time to realize the role of NSA spying in all this?
Look ad DiFi yesterday, cowering and whimpering at the thought of questiong Herr Heyden. Look back over the years at all the democrats who've rolled over at the first opportunity to endorse the next BushCo nightmare assault on our constitution. We now know that Heyden doesn't believe in the "probable cause" aspect of the Fourth Amendment, and his admission-by-omission of spying on Bush's political "enemies." So who is going to stand up? Who is willing to face up the skeletons in their closets that will be dragged across the front pages should they speak up? Think about it. These are powerful people with lots of money -- you KNOW they have some shit in their files. Weird sex, some drugs maybe, that old rape charge they thought was secreted away -- BushCo has it all. And I think they've been using it, and will us it again. We need some serious heroes now. Are there any left, or has BushCo managed to crush their will?
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. I still can't find the answer
to why the HAVA nice day Diebold salesmen every single time do their con job in the local media and to the local pols as if everything is not only just great but in near ignorance of everything that has transpired. Sometimes at the most they THINk they have got the smarts because they raise questions and try to almost lobby the salesmen for a paper trail, nearly reversing their roles. All this without the outrage or tar and feathers that an honest or dishonest pol should have against a blatant fraud controlled by outsiders. And the local newspeople are rarely much better, with a bland "gosh golly look at the gizmos Maude" type that make Disneyland the template of world view.

As with the MSM is it a blend of career arrogance, stupidity, conflict of interest and sometimes collaboration plus the eternal love affair with the lobbyist and federal money pouring in? Still, in a few brief minutes I can outline basic points and facts that can backed up easily about the inherent unreliability of secret digital translation of the vote in several interfaces, the inherent untrustworthiness of the companies and the clunky complex and privately guarded software, the constantly violated certification and last minute "repairs", the list of discovered back doors and the history of what has happened so far from ES&S's president Hagel on the road to becoming president
from his first "upset" victory using his own machines.

In five minutes the ordinary citizen is convinced of the fraud. In five years the jackhammer of activists, scientists and plain old common sense reality has not penetrated the concrete head of the party on the whole. As with activists it is here and there, often learning the unnecessary hard way, that SOME Democrats and regions are fighting the tide. And what do they think they are doing in creating an archipelago of fair elections when the national scene keeps increasing the amount of possible theft every day? How could a national party be that feckless on this issue even if the Third Way watch word is submission in silence?

So how goes it lately with those in direct contact with national party leaders? Are they subject to the rampant American career plague of being occupied doing something else than the job(in this case politics) and driving the nation into the ground?
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. They don't want to face the dragon
There's a reason why the myth of the knight facing the dragon (when the rest of the villagers won't) holds power over us. All sorts of people don't want to face their own dragons. Maybe someone doesn't want to face a spouse's drinking problem, or a their own overeating problems, or the fact that their employer and employment depend on abusive labor practices overseas. We all have dragons to face and I'm sure I avoid more than I face. Perhaps the people who work for corporate news stations, underneath all the makeup and local celebrity, fear finding out that their world is manufactured and that economic forces bigger than them ask them to play their part in keeping the vote down.

It's not like stuffing the ballot box, this Diebold thing, it's a darker world of manipulated electronics, untangeable things. I find it scary to face it too. Slaying this particular dragon would require a real knight with some pretty tough armor. It doesn't surprise me mainstream media aren't tackling this. The lie is so much more comfortable.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Comfort
seems the ecstatic state of our false paradise, our escape from mortal stress. But I don't read it as fear but as a zone of ignorance that is quickly becoming unreal, absurd and transformed into something totally decadent while the rich, the pols and the media become ever more wide-eyed and innocent in the comfort of the illusions. Maybe it IS because the illusions are the only thing sustaining this optimism that they are so darn superior to hard-edged reality. The slick, futuristic voting machine delivering great comfort is a prize beyond measure because it affirms the fantasy concretely while rendering the uncomfortable truth invisible and malleable by Comfort Masters.

I don't think it is fear. It is the Isle of the Lotus Eaters, the Kool-Aid drinkers, backed up by American wealth, power and technology to whom we have delegated our individual souls with the trust of infants. Unless you accept Diebold as a little child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Comfort. For the rest who are suspicious or alarmed on the local level it is like watching a drunk blinking and trying to "sober up" and go into action that demands a clear and steady mind. They too assure themselves they know what they are doing.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
25. I think that severely underestimates the impact of redistricting
there are only but a handful of competitive districts, if the Dems "blow" it, it will be as much about that as anything else.

It will take almost a near sweep to just gain the thinnest of margins.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. Hate to say it but IMO they've already lost it by their timidity.
Edited on Tue May-09-06 07:37 AM by Stevepol
All it would have taken, all it would take, is the courage to call a spade a spade. WE DON'T HAVE A DEMOCRACY ANYMORE and until the vote is counted fairly again, we can't have a democracy. It's as simple as that.

What's the difference between an all-powerful state counting the votes and proclaiming somebody -- Saddam or Khruschev or somebody the winner with no way to check the validity of the election -- and Diebold or ES&S or Sequoia or Hart Intercivic or Micro-Vote or any of the other vote theft companies giving us the results and asking us to accept the result without qualm or quibble?

Either way by definition it's not democracy. Parse it how you may.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. Gore and Kerry?
With several hundred thousand voters kept from casting their ballots in Ohio, for example, the ultimate conclusion is that Kerry would have won that key state, and other close states, had the election been conducted honestly, absent the dirty tricks and fraud. But, of course, before any serious recounting could take place, Kerry, despite his promise to fight, quickly threw in the towel, as had Al Gore four years earlier, which haste and timidity permitted Bush&Co. to continue on their corrupt, incompetent, deadly ways.



This is exactly why I can't get excited about either Gore or Kerry "testing the waters".

Both deserve to be on the side lines looking in.

Give me a Feingold, a Boxer, or a Conyers any day! At least these Dems have spine.
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Notoverit Donating Member (302 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Comparing Kerry to Gore is unfair! Gore fought - that's why we all KNOW
2000 was stolen, but most ignore 2004 was too.
Not saying I want Gore to run or anything, but history should not be rewritten.
And I'll shout from the rooftops against Kerry if he tries to con us again. No matter how many fans/operatives he has on this site, his silence on the theft disquilifies him. In perpetuity. Same goes for Edwards.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Gore disappeared after 2000.
He folded like a cheap suit and went into hiding.

Your memory is selective.
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Notoverit Donating Member (302 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #10
13.  I do appreciate Gore fighting for my vote in 2000.
Edited on Tue May-09-06 08:42 AM by Notoverit
More than Kerry in 2004 - he let us think we lost.
Not saying Gore is the ultimate fighter, just not as bad for us as Kerry was. I said, I don't want Gore to run either. You are right about post election. But making it known it was stolen - no one can take this from Gore. And nobody cam whitewash this from Kerry.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. They both folded
That being said....I would have them over Hillary.

But they are not my 1st choice.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Gore was among the first to call Bush et al. on their bull.
Gore went into seclusion to recoup from a brutal campaign and brutal aftermath. Then, he pulled himself together and was practically the only prominent Democrat to come out against the criminality of the Bush administration in a series of soul-stirring, passionate speeches as early as 2002; he hasn't stopped speaking out since then.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Exactly!
He disappeared for 2 years!

Case in point.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. Exactly -- not!
Al Gore recouped and re-grouped, but he did not go into hiding or disappear for two years.

A quick Google search reveals what he did in 2001:

Professor Gore

Following his election loss, Gore accepted visiting professorships at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Middle Tennessee State University, University of California Los Angeles, and Fisk University. In late 2001, Al Gore became a Senior Advisor to Google and Vice Chairman of Los Angeles-based financial firm Metropolitan West Financial LLC.

On September 23, 2002, Gore spoke in San Francisco to The Commonwealth Club and made a controversial speech blasting Bush on the timing of the Iraq war....

Visiting professorships at four universities, senior advisor to a multi-billion dollar internet company and vice-chairman of another huge company can hardly be referred to as hiding and disappearing.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. It's not as though he was
front and center challenging the stolen election. And it took him until September 23 to challenge Bush on the Iraq war.

No, my friend, Gore did very little to stand up for himself, and while I have respect for the man, neither he nor Kerry deserves to even think about running again.

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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. What do you think he was doing until December 12, 2000?
And note, my friend, he was challenging Bush on Iraq in 2002, well before the invasion launch in 2003, and at that time, sticking his neck out to do it, as hardly any other Democrat was even willing to lift their eyes up from the carpet in defiance of Bush, after "the events of Sept. the 11th."

Al Gore has my vote a thousand times over if he decides to run. I have to remain in strong disagreement on this with you.
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FighttheFuture Donating Member (748 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
38. Your interpretation of history is defective.... a common mistake.
Gore relented after the Supine Court's decision. He did not agree with it, but he accepted it; being a man of the rule of law. Then he gave Bush deference, as any candidates have done in the past. Keep in mind we were coming off of 6 great years of prosperity under Clinton/Gore and no one thought Bush would be has bad as he turned out (well, I did, I saw Sociopath from the get go, but I did not think he would be able to pull off the BS--have the media in your pocket helps, a lot).

To help further with your history lesson, Gore then went on what I would describe as a "walkabout". Reflecting on what happened, what went wrong. In the meantime, Bush was becoming a Lame Duck until 9/11 happened; 8 months after he assumed office. Them the world rallied behind the doofus, for the most part. Criticizing him then in any official way would have been not only ignored, but jeered.

You keep saying he should have kept fighting. How? All lawful remedies were exhausted. The only thing Gore could have done is call for armed insurrection. Even now, we are not quite there for that--give Bu$hitCo a little more time.

No one was prepared for a $election like 2000, except, perhaps, those who stole it. Even then, Jeb screwed up and they had to fight and pull out all markers--like Scalia/Thomas.

If anyone should have fought more, and been prepared, it was Kerry. After seeing 2000, 2002 and the resultant antics and the warnings about the electronic voting. Instead, Kerry folded like a house of cards. I suspect he was overwhelmed and confused at how bad the media and compromised our election process has become. Being stuck in Washington, the Chocolate city with the Marshmallow center and the crunchy crust of corruption, can do that to you. Even Edwards did not agree with it. Kerry may have had strategic reasons, and he has used his warchest for positive things, but he still looks like he ran.

As for Gore, he taught college, spoke with people, refined his ideas of the media (read this months Wired article) and then started speaking against Bush and other issues in 2002. All his speeches have been insightful and powerful warnings. Real truth to power.

Try to keep in mind the events AT THAT TIME. What I see you doing is applying your current knowledge of past history since 2000, and the resultant outrage, to events in the past and blaming people, such as Gore, for not acting as you think they should. Assuming they had foresight of 6 years into the future at their fingertips. Ridiculous.


GORE IS THE BEST MAN FOR OUR FUTURE AT THIS TIME, AND LIKELY IN 2008!!!




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oc2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. Even Ken Mehlman is concedeing the house and senate to the dems in Nov.

The only hope they have is wedge issues vs the real issues.

Only the hardcore right is going to vote for GOP candidates.

I am not a dem or rep, but a liberal independant that wants a accountable government with checks and balance.
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Notoverit Donating Member (302 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Accountable government with checks and balances - good times. good times!
It seems almost unreal - the damage to our constitutional system these thugs did in such a short time!
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Don't believe it.
I doubt he was doing anything as sneaky as trying to make Democrats be complacent and overconfident--it was just one interview you read where he said that. Maybe in a moment of despair or off-guardedness Mehlman recognized that their fortunes are bleak. But come September it's gonna be all trash all the time--gay marriage, gay adoption, abortion, Schiavo2.0 (whatever that will be), followed by a small battery of Iran-related October surprises, followed by anecdotes of Democratic ballot fraud (real or imagined, they always accuse us of their faults). It'll be ugly. They won't give up without a fight.
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. You left off "Beat the shit out of Bob Shrum"
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
14. In Maryland, the Democrats support Diebold
Diebold was brought to Maryland by state elections administrator Linda Lamone, a Democrat. None of the state's Democratic leaders will step on her toes and demand to get rid of Diebold. Her position is that they spent all this money so they have to use it.

When my husband wrote to Doug Duncan, one of the two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for the governor race, about getting Lamone fired and dumping Diebold, Duncan sent back a really nasty letter and defended Lamone.

And I can't find any information on Martin O'Malley's position. I wrote to him yesterday asking that he get on the side of the angels and oppose Diebold machines.

It scares the daylights out of me that our Rethug governor, Ehrlich, is just about the only leader opposing Diebold's use in Maryland.

Diebold is said to have wined and dined Lamone and other elections officials on a Potomac River cruise, before she ok'd the purchase. I wonder if she got anything else out of the deal.

I am disgusted and embarrassed by the behavior of Maryland Democrats.

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FighttheFuture Donating Member (748 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Maybe she'll run for Guv next, ala Ken Blackwell!!
That'll be a sure sign!!!
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Minnesota_Lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
16. We also need to publicize the Mariannes Islands sweat shops,...
Edited on Tue May-09-06 09:22 AM by Minnesota_Lib
...sex trade and forced abortions that the Republicans endorse and make possible to maintain. To me, this is a perfect example of their hypocrisy and corruption. This should be thrown in the face of any incumbent running for re-election who voted to maintain the status quo in Saipan and took money from the Mariannes Island garment industry lobby. This is totally sickening and indefensible.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
18. Lock Up All The Democratic Bureacrats--With the Exception Of Howard Dean
and send Hillary out to Mongolia on a special mission....that's the only way I can imagine saving the Democratic Party from defeat from within.
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Apollo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
19. FACT: Gore kept fighting for 36 days!
Al Gore did not throw in the towel.

Gore fought hard for 36 days - using all the options that were open to him.

He continued the fight as far as he could ... right up until the Supreme Court voted to stop the recounts (Gore made it clear to everyone that he "strongly disagree"d with that decision).

Continuing the fight in a Congress with Republican majorities would have been fruitless. The mainstream media were calling for closure and the Republicans were calling Gore a "Sore Loserman".

We have been over the facts so many times ... I am amazed that anyone here could accuse Gore of caving.

With hindsight, it's very clear that Gore needed more and stronger support from (a) Congressional Democrats - especially Senators and (b) the American People. It's easy to blame Gore for what happened in 2000 - but if the election was stolen, then its wrong to blame the victim.

But in general I agree that electoral integrity is a crucial issue that deserves more attention than it gets.

In Gore We Trust
www.algore.org :)
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Only the Black Caucus fought tooth and nail.
I didn't see Gore stand with them after their constituents were ripped off. I was ashamed for my party when virtually no one stood behind the Black Caucus.


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Apollo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. In defence of Al Gore
I strongly sympathize with the stand made by the Congressional Black Caucus.

However, at the same time I fully understand why Gore decided to concede the election after 36 days.

After he had conceded the election, it then would have been pointless and potentially costly (I mean in terms of the political fallout and Gore's public image) to continue raising objections.

Gore respects the US Constitution 365 days a year (not just when it's convenient for his side of the case). That means he respects the institution of the US Supreme Court, even when he strongly disagrees with the opinion of the majority of its members.

Once it became clear that nothing could prevent Bush being inaugurated as President, there was a change of circumstances. Fighting "tooth and nail" without any chance of winning does carry consequences. Sometimes the smart path is "live to fight another day". This is the path that Gore chose to follow (but only after he had exhausted all the realistic alternatives that were available to him).

Certainly there would have been no point in Gore using his position as VP to raise objections to Bush's inauguration, when you take into account the fact that overwhelming majority of Senate Democrats would not have supported him. Like it or not - it would have allowed the Republicans to paint Gore and all Democrats as "unsportsmanlike", "sore losers" and "cry-babys".

The American people wanted closure, and they would not have thanked Al Gore if he had attempted to roadblock Bush's inauguration. It's not my view but it was the majority view: "Basically the election was kind of a tie. The Democrats have been in the White House the last 8 years, so now we should let the Republicans have their turn."

While you and I know that the 2000 election (like other recent elections - including 2004) was not run fairly - the sad truth is that a majority of Americans want to believe that the system works. This was especially true in 2000. It may be less true today.

In Gore We Trust
www.algore.org :)
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Al Gore is a good man who didn't support the Black Caucus.
They had a fair and valid complaint and he disappeared along with almost everyone else.Because it was an uphill battle doesn't mean you walk away and hide. he hide for almost 2 years. Now it is someone else's turn I think. If he runs and is the Dem's choice i will support him 100%. Not at this stage though.

Did that Chinaman in Tienanmen Square stand in front of the tank and stop it? I think he did. Could have Al? Maybe, maybe not but he should of tried.
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Apollo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. In defense of Al Gore - part 2
The difference is that the guy in Tiananmen Square is saying that the whole system of Government in China is wrong. It's a military dictatorship and he just can't take it anymore.

Back in 2000 - Gore was saying something different. He was saing that he believes in the American Constitution. And that means he has to accept the rulings of the Supreme Court - even if he strongly disagrees with them.

This is what allows Gore to stand on the moral high ground and criticize the Bush Administration when it takes action that goes against the US Constitution.

Don't forget - Al Gore is a patriot first and a partisan second.

That's another reason why Gore would make a great President, if people - including his lefter than left critics - would give the guy a break once in a while.

Did Gore walk away and hide? No. He took a break away from the glare of the media spotlight, did some thinking, and decided to use his name and his experience to make a positive contribution - not only to America but to saving the planet.

It makes me sick to see people here pissing on his name ...

In Gore We Trust
www.algore.org :)
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. A retort


The difference is that the guy in Tienanmen Square is saying that the whole system of Government in China is wrong. It's a military dictatorship and he just can't take it anymore.


I would call stealing an election the installation of a "dictatorship". Wouldn't you?

Back in 2000 - Gore was saying something different. He was saying that he believes in the American Constitution. And that means he has to accept the rulings of the Supreme Court - even if he strongly disagrees with them.


This isn't about the Constitution. That's a Straw Man argument. This is about the right to vote. Blacks had their rights taken away and tried to fight for them and Al Gore and a whole bunch of panty waste Dem's went into a coma at precisely the wrong time.

This is what allows Gore to stand on the moral high ground and criticize the Bush Administration when it takes action that goes against the US Constitution.


A day late and a dime short.

Don't forget - Al Gore is a patriot first and a partisan second.


Yes he is a patriot, but that doesn't preclude him from being partisan to the facts.

That's another reason why Gore would make a great President, if people - including his lefter than left critics - would give the guy a break once in a while.


I voted for him and that gives me the right to criticize him I think.

Did Gore walk away and hide? No. He took a break away from the glare of the media spotlight, did some thinking, and decided to use his name and his experience to make a positive contribution - not only to America but to saving the planet.

It makes me sick to see people here pissing on his name ...


I am not pissing on anyone. What I am doing is holding him accountable for his actions or lack thereof. I would love to see him stay involved and I am excited he has taken up the fight with the * crime family but I only wish he had done so earlier. More so with Kerry.
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darkmaestro019 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. Me too. That bit in F9-11
Edited on Tue May-09-06 05:41 PM by darkmaestro019
where not one (Senator?) would stand with the Black Caucus to fight the FL theft--the lady that says "I do not have one and I don't care if I have one" (roughly--Corinne Brown?) brought tears to my eyes. NOT ONE? just ONE? I think I knew that before I saw that movie, but knowing a thing and SEEING that thing are not at all the same.

Forgive my memory; I woke up like fifteen minutes ago.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
23. It's difficult to escape the conclusion that while the Neocons
Edited on Tue May-09-06 11:01 AM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
seemed to be perpetutally furious that they were not in Government during Clinton's tenures, almost all of the Democrats seem content to remain in opposition - even when they know they won both the last elections by large margins.

They seem to be like victims of sexual abuse with very low self-esteem - as if they were, themselves, in some way guilty, and deserved no better.

What a contrast to the bemused reaction of Repug maverick, Pat Buchanan, after the 2000 count, when he expressed surprise, indeed incredulity, that he had won his seat! I don't find it at all surprising Hunter Thompson got on well with him. He's a one-off in politics. Twisted, all right, if he's a racist as alleged, but still somehow managing to preserve a pristine, oddball integrity.
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FighttheFuture Donating Member (748 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #23
40. Hmmm... victims? Or pigs sucking at the same corporate teat?
Public Financing of Elections is the only way to stop this slide to obliviion.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #40
45. Some of them, surely. But , it's totally surreal that your
elections are not publicly financed, in any case, including of the course the counting and any judicial investigations of seeming irrelularities. The whole box and dice.

Also, if a President is impeached his right to grant a pardon to his criminal friends and associates - which brings such disgrace and ridicule upon your country - should automatically be forfeited. It would make the latter think twice about suborning presidents to commit any "high crimes and misdemeanours" at their behest.

That would be a start. But, really, it's difficult to justify even that. The whole system is rank and an utter disgrace.
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emcguffie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
24. Gives me one idea --

Since I worry about this all the time. I KNOW it's going to happen, no matter how low shrub's numbers go.

We could go to our local libraries and request all these new books on election fraud, and if they don't have them, I guess then they would get them. And if possible, encourage them to display them prominently. Many copies.

We could also piggy-back onto the organized campaign calls before the elections and suggest people inform themselves by reading these books, or looking at this or that. The thing is to be able to mention this to those who really aren't already on our lists. Lots of Republicans are looking to vote not-Republican. How do we get to them?

Somehow.

emcg
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
30. Don't forget the gerrymandering
US News&World report has an article in this weeks edition detailing the inheirent difficulty in causing a voter revolution due to redistricting. Thanks to modern software and information technology, one aide can sit in a Starbucks and play with district boundries over a latte, instantly examining changes in overall demographics as borders are changed around.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060515/15incumbency.htm

The redistricting truce of the last decade or so has led to nearly all of them being "safe" for their respective parties. Damn, I'm pretty sure that that was not what the Founding Fathers intended!!!

I think that we need a federal law that in states with multiple representatives the districts can only be drawn on the map with 8 lines. A line is either the shortest point from A to B, or a section of a national or state boundry, or a decent-sized waterway of some kind like a river or Great Lake. And the politcal aides with their laptops and lattes can sit at Starbucks and sweat over making their districs safe using only some sort of misshapen octogon.

And if the weasels get too good at that, take away more lines. A heptagon, a hexagon, hell, maybe even a pentagon. Rhombus, anyone? How about a scalene triangle?

Can we please, please, get some kind of representative democracy again? A 98%+ incumbency rate can't be good!
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
32. What we most need to keep front and center
is that those currently in power came to power in a coup, and they will not willingly give up that power, least of all in something so silly as a free, fair, and honest election.
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FighttheFuture Donating Member (748 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. Totally Agree!! Bu$hitCo & the Rethugs will not go quietly....
the same goes for their backers and the media whores. We are coming into the most dangerous time for our country, for the world, yet.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
33. At least we have Ralph Nader and the Greens to fight fraud
it is obvious that the dems "can't imagine" that such things could occur.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
41. kick
:kick:
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Mr_Jefferson_24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
42. K & R. "Smart Democratic policy
...would devise ways to lure those folks into the impeachment camp."

The impeachment movement is gaining strength...feed the wave!!!

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
43. CA's Dem's AG voted for ARNOLD. Needless to say, he aint moving
against Diebold.

It is very likely vote manipulation helped Arnold get in office. The energy crisis that Republican policies created but was blamed on our Democratic governor definitely helped Arnold.

A handful of Democrats in our state legislature take this issue seriously, including the one running for Secretary of State, but even though they are the majority, you would never know it from their actions--they let the GOP chase out our previous Democratic Secretary of State who caught Deibold red-handed installing uncertified software, and then let Arnold pick his successor rather than leaving the position open.

Like their colleagues in DC, most are either epically corrupt or epically cowardly.

If we win this election, it will largely be IN SPITE of the Democrats.

I will now await my bashing by the regular DLC bootlicks and apologists, who think we can win by pretending to be republicans and not saying anything that offends anyone ever (except of course actual Democrats--they tell us to fuck off regularly).
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radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 01:57 AM
Response to Original message
44. Excellent Post
The underpinning points raised in this cogent and well articulated treatise is essential for ALL DEMOCRATS, from the elected officials, to hopeful candidates and the CONSULTANTS to grasp and to ACT ON..

and the time to demonstrate that eveyrone "gets it" is slipping rapidly.

I am horribly reminded of Kerry's 2004 campaign (and Gore's 2000 campaign for that matter) how clumsy, inept and most importantly how lame responses by so many "democratic consultants, advisors and other functionaries that appeared on tv or in the press or sadly the candidates themselves.

It's very depressing deja vu experience..

why so many are in denial about it is astounding.

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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
46. The GOP will try to rig the election, they just need an excuse for the
rigged win. Homosexuals marrying, abortion etc... I think they will pull the race card on illegal immigrants or some other perceived threat.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
47. Peaceful Revolution Is Necessary, NOW!
Bernard,

In your latest Crisis Papers essay, your concerns and criticisms of the Democratic Party are valid. Your recognition of the scope of our electoral system's flaws is also appreciated. However, there is a big disconnect between the two. Election conditions do not currently provide any rational basis for confidence that voters are determining election outcomes. We therefore cannot rely on this traditional method of shifting the balance of leadership power between the two major parties.

Perhaps even worse, if we could return the Democrats to power we will only perpetuate the fascism driven by the corporate-military-government-media juggernaut. We may want to wish otherwise, but sadly, there is not a movement within the Democratic Party to abolish corporate personhood, eviscerate astronomical military spending or return the airwaves to the People along with equal time requirements, let alone ensure every vote is verifiably counted.

I haven't even begun to touch on the rampant lawlessness, including surveillance that has removed all expectations of privacy, the "free speech zones" which demonize dissent, and the lost presumption of innocence that quite frankly means we are not a nation of Free People. The Democrats will not "solve this problem," especially without a recognition and determined resolve to address this AS the problem.

I hope you and all your readers will consider that no single step will restore all our freedoms and institute an actual democracy through our election process. To be blunt, peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW! For more thoughts on how this can be done, please see my new book, We Do Not Consent, available as a free download here: http://tinyurl.com/rlnr2

In Respect and Peace,
Dave Berman
Eureka, CA
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
48. K & R
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cyr330 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
49. Don't let the DNC make all the decisions
They called me for a donation last week, and for the first time, I gave an emphatic, "NO." I told the woman to call me back in 3-4 months in order that I may evaluate whether the Dems are trying to run pussified campaigns as they did under Tom Foley in 2004. If that's the case, I'd just as soon buy a ticket to Hawaii or purchase a new television, or even better, give the $$ to the Human Rights Campaign who will at least direct the funds to gay-friendly politicians, unlike that sow, Hillary Clinton.
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