Re: Tamper Proof

1

Shouldn't the title be in orange?

This is a kind of hilariously low-tech form of vote tampering, though. It looks like the poll workers did it by convincing voters that they were done and to leave the voting booth before they hit the "cast ballot" button, and then just went back and changed the vote. Makes you wonder about the people who were duped...


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:48 PM
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This is a kind of hilariously low-tech form of vote tampering, though.

I had the same thought. There's nothing actually specific to voting machines about this style of fraud, in that it could be perpetrated on old graphite-n-scantron style ballots as well. (Still would be prevented by a paper trail, though.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:57 PM
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Those mugshots are so Kentuckian. And one of them has the middle name "Cletus"!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:01 PM
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Scantron ballots are a paper trail, aren't they? And erasure marks often show.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:07 PM
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It appears no one has been convicted of anything yet which makes "proven" a bit of an exaggeration.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:09 PM
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Scantron ballots are a paper trail, aren't they? And erasure marks often show.

Not pre-electronic voting, when it was the only proof of ballot. I think "paper trail" involves redundancy. (And I'm sure you could buy a snazzy pink pearl that minimized eraser marks, if you were one of these types.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:12 PM
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If paper trail is a technical term involving redundancy, ok, but there's still a physical ballot in a scantron ballot. I can't remember if I've used a scantron ballot. But I remember sealing the non-electronic ballots I have case before handing them over. Seems like it would be harder to convince someone an envelope is sealed when it's not than convince someone they're done voting electronically when they aren't - partly because sealing envelopes is still a more familiar action to most people.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:27 PM
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Just curious, how many of you believe the 2000-election-was-stolen voting machines story, a la Palast?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 5:23 PM
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And erasure marks often show.

Do these get filled out with pencil? In both of the states where I've used them (MO and MA), you use a black marker. For both the fill-in-the-oval and the connect-the-arrow kind. If you mess up, you have to ask for a new ballot.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 5:33 PM
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I'm pretty sure I used pencil in Texas; can't remember in Michigan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 5:35 PM
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I think I've always used pen, but by "erasure" I just meant whatever would be used in the corresponding process to cover up/remove the original vote.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 5:41 PM
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I've only voted three times, different methods each time.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 5:42 PM
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how many of you believe the 2000-election-was-stolen voting machines story, a la Palast?

I've encountered a surprising number of Americans, even those who never voted for Bush even once, who really do not want to believe it: they'd rather believe Bush got elected twice than accept that the US suffered a not-too-well-concealed coup...


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 5:46 PM
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I've encountered a surprising number of Americans, even those who never voted for Bush even once, who really do not want to believe it...

Maybe because that's because it's really implausible?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:22 PM
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Which is not to say that the state of electronic voting security isn't a disgrace (and probably a criminal fraud perpetuated on the purchasers thereof), but really, in 2000? Before HAVA and the widespread adoption of e-voting? As far as I know even the Palast and BlackBoxVoting people don't think that.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:27 PM
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There were multiple factors making the Florida election dubious. Republican PR was very successful in channeling the argument into the least likely and most jokeworthy channels ("hanging chads", ha ha ha), while also pulling every string possible to get their way.

Jesse Jackson was tracking voter intimidation in N. Fla., but Gore called him off because, you know, niggers. Pandering to the base.

As it was, Gore unquestionably won the popular vote. Bush won in the electoral collge, something that the Republicans would have screamed furiously about if it had happened to them.

Glenn Greenwald has a piece up about how Americans aren't even angry about events that cost them a third or more of their retirement.

Since 1948 the Democrats have been so intent on keeping things on a calm, reasonable, detached, administrative, technocratic, anti-populist plane that only Republicans have any oomph any more.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:38 PM
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15: Actually they do. And they have a fairly good circumstantial case.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:39 PM
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There was some kind of serious problem with BlackBoxVoting but I think Palast makes a good case.

He should be published in a major American Newspaper, of course. He does lots of original reporting and his opinions are more sensible (to say nothing of better-informed) than those of most editorial page columnists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:50 PM
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snarkout: Maybe because that's because it's really implausible?

Reality is frequently implausible. Nonetheless, after all the votes were counted, in October 2001, the actual result in Florida was: Gore won. Bush lost. By the usual democratic measure, count each ballot where the voter's intention is clear: and by that measure, Bush was never once elected President of the United States.

It is also implausible that the Republican candidate's brother would be governor of a key state, and would expunge so many people from the electoral register of his state, in a fairly obvious measure to reduce the number of people likely to vote either for him or for his brother: that the Republicans should fight so hard against allowing a recount - indeed, a straight count, since so many ballots were never officially counted.

It is also implausible that ...

...oh, you know: I do understand how implausible the whole thing was. But, you know: these implausible things are all verified. They all happened. Bush lost. Gore won. You suffered a coup under the form of law, and got 9/11 and the Iraq war and Guantanamo Bay as a direct result.

It's really kinda fucking unbelievable. But it happened.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:54 PM
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Bush was never once elected President of the United States.

Well, except for 2004.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:55 PM
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Wait, I forgot, I'm wrong. 9/11 was a big conspiracy. My bad!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:56 PM
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I basically agree with Jesurgislac. Also bizarre things like roadblocks set up on major thoroughfares through black neighborhoods in Sarasota, and an outrageously aburd butterfly ballot in whatever key county.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:58 PM
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There's another really implausible coincidence, which is even more sick-joke-satisfying.

After Katrina, some corporation was hired to collect all the dead bodies lying around New Orleans. Big fat government contract.

That corporation was the same one that was being investigated for corruption in Texas when Bush was governor. George W. Bush was subpoena'd to testify, summer of 2000. But, a Republican judge in Texas decided that if Bush had to give evidence that he'd known this corporation was corrupt, that might just bias the out-of-state voters against this Texan governor, and that wouldn't be fair, so... the judge canceled the subpoena, the case trailed on without Bush's testimony (he seems to have a real problem with testifying under oath) and finally, in 2001, it just collapsed: so the corporation flourished, and was well and healthy to pick up corpses for Bush in New Orleans...

Isn't that a set of implausible coincidences?


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:02 PM
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It looks like the poll workers did it by convincing voters that they were done and to leave the voting booth before they hit the "cast ballot" button, and then just went back and changed the vote. Makes you wonder about the people who were duped...

It makes me think they trusted the poll workers to tell them how to work the machines. This is gullibility now? People are dumb unless they suspiciously shoo poll workers away out of fear that they will steal their votes?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:02 PM
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19 and 23 are all true. What do they have to do with voting machines?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:03 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:04 PM
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Sifu: Well, except for 2004.

*blinks* You mean you believe 2004 wasn't stolen? I have this bridge in Brooklyn you might like to buy. Also, a bank in Nigeria wants to send you ten million dollars.

I concede it's possible that the hijackers might have managed to crash their planes even if Gore had been President. But you do know about the anti-terrorist work that was being done under Clinton, that would have been continued under Gore, that was just ditched by Bush's administration in favor of important stuff like cancelling international treaties and reinstating the Global Gag Rule? Also, you know Bush was warned al-Qaeda intended to attack in September and reacted by going on vacation? I mean, yeah, totally implausible... but it happened.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:06 PM
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27 also has nothing to do with voting machines.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:08 PM
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I do not think the 2000 election was stolen by tampering with electronic voting machines, for the record.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:08 PM
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You laugh, and I would too, if I didn't know SQL so goddamn well.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:10 PM
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29: I concur.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:11 PM
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19 and 23 are all true. What do they have to do with voting machines?

Oh: Palast also pointed out that one reason so many Democratic ballots were never officially counted, one reason for all the hanging chads, etc, was that the voting machines in predominantly black counties were (a) elderly and likely to produce errors (b) set so as not to reject faulty ballots to give voters a chance to redo. The former is the result of the US's unenthusiastic, piecemeal funding of democratic elections: the latter, which is determined by whichever party is running the state elections, just plain determined to make sure as few Democratic ballots as possible were counted.

I find the US's failure to run fair, open, and democratic elections that will be upheld by independent electoral observers completely implausible. A country that touts itself as an inspiration for democracies round the world, nevertheless has a cockanamie unfunded amateur crappy voting system that depends so much on volunteer party workers? It's abso-fucking-lutely unbelievable - but reality trumps plausibility.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:12 PM
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*blinks* You mean you believe 2004 wasn't stolen? I have this bridge in Brooklyn you might like to buy.

No, 2004 wasn't stolen, as far as I'm aware. Care to explain? What state do you think was the problem, Ohio? I don't think there were problems there severe enough to explain 2004. (I was really suspicious for a while at the time, but I don't think there was a preponderance of evidence that enough shenanigans went on to explain Bush's margin of victory.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:13 PM
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Okay, so you're NOT claiming there's any evidence that actual vote tampering was involved. So what's #13 all about?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:16 PM
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essear: No, 2004 wasn't stolen, as far as I'm aware. Care to explain?

Nah. I just did a bunch of rants. I'm trying to ration myself. If you're really interested in finding out how the Republicans stole the 2004 election, you should go read Rolling Stone, Greg Palast, and the Black Box voting site.

If you just want to convince yourself that Bush was elected, twice, you should stay away from all that kind of information like the plague: it'll only worry you when, in 2012, a Republican candidate somehow comes from a point or two behind Obama to win by 4 points or so... and all the media have to hastily re-adjust their exit poll data to conform to what your voting machines are reporting.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:18 PM
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19 - Sure, but what does that have to do with electronic voting, which wasn't in widespread use in Florida in 2000? Good old fashioned vote suppression, of a type that could have taken place in 1960 (or 1920, for that matter) seems to have been the issue, followed by the peri-legal post-election maneuvering and the instantaneous claim that Gore was a whiner for complaining about getting his election snatched away from him.

Is your claim that Volusiawas what a stolen election in Florida hinged upon? Because, hell no: it was the purge of legal African-American voters, which I understand isn't as sexy as someone doing something bad with computers.

Again, none of this is a defense of the Diebold/GES people, who are at best criminally incompetent.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:20 PM
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I don't think there were problems there [Ohio] severe enough to explain 2004.

You may be right. My most vivid memory of the 2004 election coverage, though, was Dave Brooks chiming in with perfect timing to say exactly that, long before he could know that it was true. I was seeing the received opinion being produced right in front of my eyes.

No, you're not David Brooks, and you're not like David Brooks. But it was amazing how quickly Brooks figured out what he was supposed to say.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:21 PM
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We believe all that stuff already, Jesurgislac. You seemed to have some sort of claim that you believed vote-tampering by manipulating the voting machines was involved, which isnot something we've heard before. And indeed, you now suggest no evidence for such a thing.

Also, you're acting like a condescending asshole. If you think people at this website are overly gullible about the good intentions of our leaders, and insufficiently mistrustful of the Bush administration, you'd really hate meeting any other people from the USA.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:21 PM
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34: In 2000, the votes weren't tampered with: the electoral roll was tampered with, and thousands of ballots were never officially counted.

In 2004, electronic voting machines made it much easier to tamper with the vote directly, and we have accordingly so much less evidence... just a series of suspicious results all of which seem to hinge on a Republican candidate apparently magically getting as much as 6% more votes than the polling data suggested they would. (Sarah Palin, polling neck and neck in Alaska with the sitting governor, then magically won by 6%: wasn't that cool?)


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:22 PM
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No, 2004 wasn't stolen, as far as I'm aware.

Well, there were some very strange numbers from New Mexico. From a source whose credibility I won't vouch for, but a quick search found it:
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4193

I know I saw the official undercount numbers by precinct somewhere, but I can't find 'em. They were suspicious.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:23 PM
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Hey, evidence! Thanks, Michael H Schneider.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:24 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:26 PM
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40: New Mexico was suspicious, but not enough electoral votes to swing the election the other way. Bush had 286 electoral votes.

I actually spent a fair amount of time after the 2004 election digging through all the numbers I could find online and trying to figure out if there was a plausible case that Kerry really won. I concluded there wasn't. There was a lot of sketchiness in Ohio, but it just didn't seem to add up to enough to swing the election. But I might have been missing information that wasn't easily available at the time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:27 PM
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If you think people at this website are overly gullible about the good intentions of our leaders, and insufficiently mistrustful of the Bush administration, you'd really hate meeting any other people from the USA.

Last time I visited the US the friend I was staying with made me promise not under any circumstances to mention elections or politics to her mother, a devout Republican who'd voted for Bush in 2000 and planned to vote for Bush again in 2004.

Naturally I didn't. Her mom was a sweet little old lady who totally deserved to get verbally beaten up for being such an idiot, but she's also my friend's mom, so I just put on my sweetest smile and talked about the weather a lot.

But yeah; as far as I've been able to tell, even on left-wing / Democratic-leaning blogs, Americans who accept that Bush was never elected are in a distinct minority.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:27 PM
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Well, kinda sorta evidence. I vaguely remember Palast being all over the New Mexico numbers story from 2004. But that was long, long ago, when I was young. Someone with good Google Fu would be able to find all kinds of reports - but I don't have the statistics fu to really understand, either - all I can say is that the numbers surely look strange. But I'm happy to throw questionable evidence into the pot.

Yeah, NM has only 5 electoral votes. But still, if it happened here, it's some evidence that it might have happened in enough paces to make a difference. It remains possible, if not proven.

But you add voter purging, and voter ID, and tampered machines, and caging, and bad machines in well selected precincts, and felons denied the vote, and suddenly you're looking at a really big question about whether we have free and fair elections.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:32 PM
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I summoned a beast!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:35 PM
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I started a joke!


Posted by: robingibb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:36 PM
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felons denied the vote

This, at least, is legal, unlike Harris' disenfranchisement of "felons".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:38 PM
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It's legal, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate in an election system we want to call free and fair. Denying women and blacks the vote was legal, too. Havng one party control the broadcast media is legal, too, but I'm not sure it allows free and fair elections.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:41 PM
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The lack of discussion in the media is at least as bad as what actually happened.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:45 PM
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The media was more a symptom than a cause, I think.

One of the things that finally soured me on the Democratic party here was realizing that the party didn't want a free and fair system. The party far prefered a system the party could successfully game. I believe the Republicans agree, as long as they think they can game it better. So the media's lack of interest is merely a reflections of the parties' happiness with a deeply flawed system.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:52 PM
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50: Everyone says that. Why? I'm getting the feeling that talking about the media is in some way uncool or passe. The Republicans are beat at the moment, but their media apparatchiks are functioning normally.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:03 PM
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I don't have enough information on whether it was fraud or not, but it is pretty clear that a computer vote error (apparently now known as the "Volusia error") did play a big part in the networks calling Florida for Bush, which set the tone for everything which followed. I recall this episode personally from following the vote counts obsessively.

"DELAND, Fla., Nov. 11 - Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters."

- Washington Post Sunday , November 12, 2000 ;

The count was corrected fairly quickly, but it gave Bush a "significant" lead (by standards of that nearly impossibly close vote).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:09 PM
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Each party primarily represents itself (its paid staff and contractors). They both cut deals with the money people, some of which play the two parties about even, and some which put their money on one party. So paid Democrats would rather lose if the interest-group money keeps coming in.

But the media is similarly bought. Right now, the media, the Supreme Court, the filibuster, etc. are the Republican firewall. A neutral media would be taking for granted and broadcasting everywhere that the Republicans are a dying party full of dupes and liars that totally disgraced itself 2001-2006. But they're doing everything they can to keep the Republicans in the game.

As it is we have Krugman, Stewart, Olbermann, and Maddow. If there's a fifth person, who is he?

Actually, the semi-retired NPR guy whose name I always forget. But who is the sixth?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:10 PM
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53: I don't have enough information to form an opinion on whether it was fraud or not,


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:11 PM
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#49 assumes the media wisdom that a problem is only a problem if one of the parties says that it is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:12 PM
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56: Yeah, Tim Russert was waiting for his phone to ring. Why, oh why, did it not ring? What's a news program to do?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:16 PM
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Just dropping back in to mention, in response to 27, that the presidential daily briefing Jesurgislac mentions was actually dated August 6th, not September anything. But since that is just a poppy seed of uninformedness in an Manhattan-sized bagel of half-bakedness, probably best to let it pass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:26 PM
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#49 assumes the media wisdom that a problem is only a problem if one of the parties says that it is.

In that case I wasn't clear. I meant to controvert that wisdom.

I'd love to have media that acted upon a belief in the importance of fair and free elections. I'd love to have a party that acted on such a belief. I think I expected more from the Democratic party, because I thought they claimed to represent me, while I knew that the media represented only their advertisers, shareholders, and owners.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:27 PM
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58: I bet "September" is modifying when they're planning on attacking, not when he hears the warning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:30 PM
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Just dropping back in to mention, in response to 27, that the presidential daily briefing Jesurgislac mentions was actually dated August 6th, not September anything.

Correct. I present you with a cookie award for knowing that, at least. You can dunk it in your tea and eat it when you learn to read. "Bush was warned al-Qaeda intended to attack in September" does not mean "Bush received a warning in September that al-Qaeda intended to attack" - at least not to any one who knows enough about 9/11 to know (a) Bush was warned on August 6th; (b) Bush then went on vacation (c) the attack happened on September 11th.

Have a cookie, Sifu. They're made with rolled oats and cocoa nibs and will sweeten your sadly gullible state. Then, there's this bunch of people here who have lots of money to give away and want your bank details....


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:31 PM
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Oh my god. I had no idea. Thank you, Jesurgislac, for showing me the light.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:33 PM
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Back to the original topic: who were those Kentucky votes going to after they were (allegedly) changed?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:35 PM
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62: No, really! Cookies made with rolled oats and cocoa nibs are so good.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:36 PM
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Let's go to the tape, shall we?

I'll be damned! It makes no mention of the attack happening in September.

Good try, though. Next time you're going to patronize people maybe you should try YouTube threads. You know, just as practice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:37 PM
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64: You'll have to be sure to put the recipe on AWB's wiki.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:42 PM
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58: Do you go somewhere for chickenshit training Sifu? Even if you hadn't misunderstood Jesu, that would have been pretty dumb.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:43 PM
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65: *And* the briefing was given while he was already on vacation. And Bush responded, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:43 PM
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67: John you're like the St. Francis of Assisi of commenters who can't find their ass with a flashlight. Really, it's honorable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:45 PM
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65: Geez, gullible Sifu, you think the briefing you can see online is the real briefing? Obviously the real one not only had the true date of the attack, it included secret messages to Bush from his pal bin Laden about how their joint conspiracy was all going according to plan MWAHAHAHAHA.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:45 PM
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Various people, Clarke and I think Beers and others, had spent the transition period trying to bring al-Qaeda to Bush's attention. But besides being deliberately ignorant and lazy as a stump, he also made of policy of ignoring anything anyone connected with Clinton ever said.

But you know, Jesu made a slip.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:46 PM
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71: wow, I hadn't realized. Did anything bad come of that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:47 PM
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A neutral media would be taking for granted and broadcasting everywhere that the Republicans are a dying party full of dupes and liars that totally disgraced itself 2001-2006. But they're doing everything they can to keep the Republicans in the game.

No -- it's a two party system. Parties don't die, we just had ample proof of that with the awful state the Democratic party was in in 2002 and the resurgence today. (Well, the only time in American history a party did die and get replaced was 155 years ago as the precursor to a civil war -- pretty apocalyptic precedent).

Since it's pretty damn obvious that the Democrats have a seriously difficult path ahead of them because of how fucked up the economy and the world is, writing off the Republicans would be dumb. History says that when the anti-Democrats emerge, it will be from the Republican party in some way. (Even though the reasons the Demcrats are in trouble have nothing to do with being "too far to the left" or anything like that).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:49 PM
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the Democrats have a seriously difficult path ahead of them because of how fucked up the economy and the world is

It's a testament to our truly fucked up media environment that this statement makes any sense at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:51 PM
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PGD, that's an interesting point but I think that Sifu v. Jesu will be the topic for awhile.

There's an asymmetry in the media that has favored the Republicans since at least 1988. When the Democrats were down in 2002 the media were not helping the Democratic Party stay alive. They were relaing Republican spin, just like now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:53 PM
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PGD, that's an interesting point but I think that Sifu v. Jesu will be the topic for awhile.

Oh god, please, no.

Yes, PGD has made an excellent point! The malleability of the two party system was most recently in evidence post-WWII; I suspect we'll see a similar kind of bogeyman-finding mission on the part of the GOP. Woe betide whoever that bogeyman ends up being.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:56 PM
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only time in American history

Anti-Federalist.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:57 PM
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The Bull Moose party isn't in very healthy shape these days.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:57 PM
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The Bull Moose party never was a major party.

The Jacksonian version of the Democratic Party emerged out of the one-party system* of the 18-teens and 20s (but the Whigs ended up being the ones with the new party). 1824: four major candidate, one party, no electoral winner.

*Federalists survived on the state and local level until about 1820, but they still don't count.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:02 PM
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electoral vote winner


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:03 PM
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Oh, and the 1824 election was STOLEN.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:04 PM
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1860-1940 every good thing the Democrats did was done under pressure from third parties (which no longer exist) and dissident Democrats. During that period a number of leaders ran for election under four different designations (Republican, Democrat, one of the third Parties, and independent).

But now the party bureaucracies have everything locked up, and the party base is the enemy. True here in Minnesota: our Blue Dog Congressman doesn't evne bother to talk to the local parties or the party activists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:08 PM
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Unfortunately, during that era there were both dissident Republicans and dissident Democrats, and the Republicans were far less reactionary than today. Thus, no one can play the two parties off against one another, and anyone to the left of Rahm Emmanuel is dead meat. The insane Republicans still control the show.

The two party system indeed does rule. But the lesson isn't that Nader was an idiot. The lesson is that we're pretty much whipped.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:11 PM
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eb's got me dead to rights. Still, y'all get what I meant.

John raises the populism vs. technocratic liberalism issue, as usual...unfortunately neither works well alone...populism occasionally riots and hangs some random malefactor, technocrats issue a timid report...they have to work together in some way even though they are tempermentally oil and water.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:14 PM
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So it's pitchforks as usual then, I suppose.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:16 PM
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during that era there were both dissident Republicans and dissident Democrats, and the Republicans were far less reactionary than today.

this is very true. The Republicans still have tremendous party discipline behind an ideology that is profoundly at odds with itself and therefore has become utterly divorced from the real world. The Democrats are far from contact with a genuine popular base, and the party power centers have lost touch with the capacity for genuine critique of the existing system, which is a problem right at this historical moment.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:19 PM
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I really think that the populist v. progressive dichotomy is fake. Some progressives were populist, some were anti-populist, some populists were progressive, others not. The two groups didn't coincide for long. A caricature of Populists from some bureaucrat's hysterical reptile brain seems to be the canonical picture of the group (Hofstadter). The most successful American left-of center was Minnesota's Farmer Labor Party, which was Populist, left-labor, progressive, and liberal in about that order. But it died in 1938 (formally, not until 1946.)

Non-progressive populism isn't a thing to fear. I'm not sure that progressive populism is anything to hope for either, unfortunately. The more identified with the Democrats someone is, the more adamantly anti-populist they are.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:21 PM
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Given the insane* amount of attention I paid to the 2000 election, and the stacks of documents about the subject that I collected at the time and have since then, I'd be really grateful if someone would explain to me the case, apparently rooted in some kind of technological conspiracy, that Gore should have won. I mean, other than the obvious: he did. I'm being neither flip nor a jerk; I'm genuinely interested.

As for 2004, I paid only somewhat less attention than in 2000, including reading every website known to humankind. And I never found a single thing that suggested that e-voting fraud had swung the election. When one strips away all of the questionable evidence, the case always seems to boil down to Ohio. And I remain pretty well persuaded that Bush won there, in large measure because People Who Know Things in Ohio (who are also VERY skeptical Democrats) warned me in the days leading to the election that Bush would win there by about the margin that he did. I saved their e-mails, by the way, correspondence that allowed me to remain sane as the leaked exit polls were debunked by returns.

Again, though, I'm happy to be told that I'm wrong. I'd just like the argument to be relatively clear and accompanied by some evidence.

And no, I'm still not over the 1824 election, eb, but only because it led to Jackson's win in 1828. Fucking Jackson. And fucking S/ean W/ilentz.

* Literally. I barely slept for two months.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:25 PM
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Could you rephrase the 2000 question? Sentences 1 and 2 don't fit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:28 PM
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Sorry, that was confusing. I have a terrible headache and haven't slept in days. Anyway, my point was that I know Gore won. And that I know the election was stolen. I've just never heard a case made that the theft happened electronically.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:31 PM
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I just convinced my wife that Grapeheads (used to be Alexander the Grapes) are all natural and organic. She has a headache, too.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:34 PM
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See, I could have engaged things like Ari did, but what's the point? It's like arguing with 9/11 truthers -- which connection I apparently was too subtle about.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:36 PM
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As far as I know, no one made that claim. The original post was about cheating and electronic voting, but Gore 2000 entered the discussion in 8, 13, and 19, none of which mentioned electromic voting. It was a more or less deliberate change of topic, as sometimes happens outside EOTAW. And then we got Sifu.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:38 PM
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I really think that the populist v. progressive dichotomy is fake.

I wasn't talking about the populist/progressive split. I was talking about the gut/brains split that seems to be endemic these days. The inchoate populism out there doesn't have any kind of coherent ideology, it seems there aren't the local institutions any more that could structure opposition. The original populists had a brain, an internally coherent ideology that cohered with their actual interests, an organization -- they emerged out of pre-existing farmers cooperative organizations.

McManus, in one of his many intelligent comments, once said "the masses are numbers and emotion". Right.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:39 PM
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Yeah, and the Bavarian Illuminati and Hitler and all the other bad things in Sifu's teeming imagination.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:39 PM
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I just fuck everything up, don't I? It's a good thing I don't comment at the trollblog!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:39 PM
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And then we got Sifu.

You misspelled Jesurgislac.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:40 PM
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No no, essear, I'm the neocon frat boy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:40 PM
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I'd delete you.

Why are you so fucking whiny? It's not like you're Mr. Nice Guy yourself?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:41 PM
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Why are you so fucking obsessed with me? Because I called you a crank like a week ago? Really? I think winter's made you sensitive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:42 PM
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Okay, so I'm right that there's nothing new to be said about 2000? Except that Yanks are a credulous lot, too scared to cope with the hard truths of stolen elections. And also that some kind of cookies are really good. By the way, did you all know that Grapeheads are organic?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:44 PM
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The Democrats renounced The People around 1948. Since then it's been competence. There was a little trace of populism in Kennedy-Johnson, but they didn't mean it. Since the Humphrey, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama. Humphrey and Clinton were the only ones could even fake it a little.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:45 PM
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Today I'm obsessed with you because of your posts on this thread. But yes, we don't like each other.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:46 PM
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Are historians still searching for progressivism, or have they finally found it?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:47 PM
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88, 90: Other than the Volusia error I referenced above (which likely influenced the election night call but not the official reported result), I have seen nothing credible on any digital theft in 2000.

If you have collected a lot of material, am wondering if you have Julian Pleasants' Hanging Chads: The Inside Story of the 2000 Presidential Recount in Florida, which seems to consist mostly of interviews with principals (I think it did not come out until 2004, he was a history prof at Florida)? I've wanted it, but did not want to pay $40+ dollars (Although see it available used now for ~$17). And I seem to be recalling another book by a prof down there (Pol Sci at FSU?) that came out much later that I wanted to buy, do you know of any such animal? (I need a better reminder system.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:48 PM
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Roosevelt, LaFollette, Wallace. Simple.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:49 PM
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103: up until this absurdness lately, you didn't bother me. But if your idea is to harumph pointlessly at me until I stop participating in any substantive thread, so you can better bore the fuck out of everybody with your three hobbyhorses, well, yes, you're getting very close to achieving your goal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:50 PM
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John, when you think about these things -- populism, Populism, the trajectory of the Democratic Party -- where does race fit?

And JP, yes, I've got the Pleasants book (though it's in a sealed box, along with most of the other stuff I have on the topic). But I'm not sure about the other book you mention. Sorry.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:54 PM
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You really wrong-footed me in your campaign to drive Stras away, because I was feuding with Stras then and couldn't plausibly defend him. But now I miss him. He was right that no one has to be a Democrat. You have to work with one party or the other, but that's a crippling disaster. That's the point of what I've been saying about 1860-1940.

Sifu, you're not a mild-mannered nice guy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:54 PM
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Sifu, you're not a mild-mannered nice guy.

Thank god.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:56 PM
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GET A ROOM, YOU TWO.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:57 PM
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I had a campaign to drive stras away? Really? Dude John what role am I playing in your cosmology? I'm like Darth Vader mixed with Hofstader, over here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:58 PM
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MAY BE OPINIONATED, BUT ALSO SLOW. DEAL WITH IT, I'M OLD.

111 NOT A RESPONSE TO 110.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:58 PM
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Dude John what role am I playing in your cosmology? it is what it is.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:59 PM
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111 NOT A RESPONSE TO 110.

I don't believe that for a minute, OPINIONATED GRANDMA you perv.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:00 PM
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For fuck's sake, Sifu, Hofstadter. Now you're pissing me off.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:00 PM
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Whatsisface, the historian, Hasselhoff.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:01 PM
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You know, Emerson and I come from a state where not only was the original bill to create the state capital stolen, but BUSH KILLED WELLSTONE. So no conspiracy is too implausible to be believed.

Having said that, I think we need to take a more nuanced view of the 2000 coup d'etat and the 2004 scam election. If we had an independent and autonomous fourth estate in this country, as pointed out above, it's likely that those things would not have transpired. Similarly, if the major parties were democratic rather than oligarchical, it would have gone a different way. Also, if the electorate was not so alienated (cf. Nader and the Margin of Despair), things would have turned out differently. Finally, if the broad mass of people in this country had even the beginnings of class consciousness, the results could easily have been nullified by massive collective action. Yes, there were active conspiracies around those elections, but those conspirators working alone would not have been enough to produce those results.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:01 PM
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108.2: Thanks. I'll probably go ahead and get it. I've not read anything comprehensive with a bit of distance from the emotion of the actual events.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:01 PM
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HOFSTAEDTLER ONCE GAVE ME A NICE PEN SET AT A PARTY, BUT I DIDN'T KNOW WHO HE WAS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:02 PM
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Little known fact: Lucas wanted Richard Hofstadter, not James Earl Jones, for the voice of Vader. Emerson, of course, had long since poisoned Hofstadter. What an ignorant fuck Lucas is.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:03 PM
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But yes, we don't like each other.

This statement loses some power in the context of your attitude towards the commentariat here. Besides, I thought you said your mission to the liberals (which apparently consisted of annoying the ever-living fuck out of them until they agreed with you) was a failure and you were done with it?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:03 PM
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It's a good thing I don't comment at the trollblog!

I love the idea of a pathologically even-handed commenter in a flamewar.

"You're a fucking numbnuts loserpigface."

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

"Fuck you, trust fund scumbag!"

"Well, that was uncalled for"

"I'm going to ass-rape you with a folding chair!"

"Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree."


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:04 PM
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I would pay a lot to see Hasselhoff lecture on populism.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:04 PM
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Finally, if the broad mass of people in this country had even the beginnings of class consciousness

Dude, if I find out you're secretly W/ill Sh/etterly, there will be hell to pay.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:04 PM
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Populists and Progressives in the South were racists, like everyone else in the South. Any Populist who worked within the national Democratic Party had to be somewhat racist, because of the Southern vote. (Wilson was an active racist, and FDR made major concessions to racism). I'm not sure that populists anywhere were more racist than the ambient population.

This is an issue that really steams me. The Minnesota FL Party was populist (broad sense) if anyone was. (One elected Senator campaigned wearing bib overalls). They also had a major Jewish presence, strongly supported civil rights in the South (against Roosevelt's wishes) and were ultimately defeated by Jewbaiters. (In all fairness to the local Republican Nazis, some of the FL Jews were Communists, and some may have been involved in organized crime.)

My beef with Hofstadter is based on fn. 3 p. 80, where he excuses Republican anti-Semitism (which defeated the FL Party) while exaggerating Populist anti-Semitism.

As I understand, per your information, historians have gone beyond Hofstadter, but the Democrats and educated public opinion have not.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:05 PM
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Whatsisface, the historian, Hasselhoff.

You have him confused with the journalist. You know, the guy who ran the Knight Ridder papers until they were bought by the Baywatchy chain.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:05 PM
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Dude John what role am I playing in your cosmology? it is what it is. I'm not here to make friends.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:06 PM
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Shorter 118: it's not a conspiracy; it's a cock-up. True enough.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:06 PM
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Sifu, the day Stras left you were hammering him relentlessly. It was as nasty as anything I've ever said to you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:07 PM
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Sifu, the day Stras left you were hammering him relentlessly.

Man, now I'm offended. Don't I count as even a pawn in Tweety's master plan to drive stras off?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:08 PM
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You're forgettable, Josh. Sifu has presence.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:09 PM
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I love the phrase "in all fairness to the local Republican Nazis".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:09 PM
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I don't think I've ever approached being actually nasty on this blog. I generally like y'all too much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:10 PM
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You're forgettable, Josh. Sifu has presence.

It's the lack of a pseudonym, isn't it? I knew I should have switched to something different.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:11 PM
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Joshu Joshty?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:11 PM
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135: Turgid Joshathon?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:12 PM
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I'm thinking "Just Kidding".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:13 PM
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S.T. Joshi.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:14 PM
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Or I could go with "Rogan Josh".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:16 PM
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134: I don't think you understand how cutting you can be. Although I always do get the sense that even when you are nasty, you don't fully realize or necessarily intend it, which I guess could make you non-nasty. It might just be some kind of weird excess of critical high spirits.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:17 PM
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Caught House of the Dead on SciFi tonight. As good as I remember it, particularly the way the director intercut clips from a zombie video game. Also good? The American flag unitard worn by the hot Asian zombie killer. Off to walk the dogs.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:17 PM
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141: You're piling on? Really?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:19 PM
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141: Is that a single or double strand of pearls you're clutching there?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:22 PM
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Poor Sifu. People are so mean to him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:23 PM
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In what bizarre world is Sifu mean? I'll buy "blunt", "not afraid to call a dumb idea a dumb idea", and "willing to escalate when talking to trolls", but that's hardly being mean.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:23 PM
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ALL THE COMMENTERS ON UNFOGGED ARE LITTLE SOBS


Posted by: OPINIONATED GABBO | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:23 PM
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Shit, can anyone find the thread when stras finally left, or the one where he came back with a new pseud? My google-fu is weak.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:24 PM
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148: There were a couple of threads where he came back. Here are the ones you're looking for.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:27 PM
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126: (One elected Senator campaigned wearing bib overalls).
Why, I'm wearing bib overalls right now! Laydeez.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:27 PM
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150: But do you have a stalk of wheat between your teeth?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:31 PM
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The Farmer's Daughter is a good movie having to do with 1930s politics. Also a romantic comedy.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:33 PM
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Huh, it was 1947, not 1937. Still had the feel of a movie about pre-World War II politics, though if I'd been alive then maybe I'd think differently.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:35 PM
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I suppose it really is time for me to leave. I swore an oath in 2002 to pretend to be a Democrat for awhile, but now Obama is President and "awhile" is over. And I was curbing myself all that time, believe it or not, though not always successfully.

So anyway, the end of my mission to the liberals meant that I became less nice. I hope for the best from Obama but the bad signs from his finance appointments have been confirmed by their actions. The bailout / stimulus package is the biggest thing that he'll do during his Presidency (one of the biggest things any President has ever done), and he seems to be fucking it up.

It would be nice if the funny interesting Emerson were separable from the mean leftist Emerson, but he's not. If politics is on the table that's the way I am.

I agree that I was too nasty to LB yesterday and I've emailed her to that effect. I'll email Stras too, and McManus who doesn't read his email, and even Sifu.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:39 PM
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No need for a self-criticism session. A certain freedom to skirt the edge of nastiness is necessary to keep threads interesting.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:42 PM
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Optional archive link.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:42 PM
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The bailout / stimulus package is the biggest thing that he'll do during his Presidency

God, I hope not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:43 PM
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Come back, stras! All is forgiven.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:06 PM
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Hush your mouth, nosflow.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:13 PM
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No.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:15 PM
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It was worth a shot.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:18 PM
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Hush your nose, mouthflow.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:20 PM
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It's pronounced "NOSSflow".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:22 PM
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And it's Nimajneb Nosflow to you anyway, pal.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:22 PM
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163: Whatever, nozzleflow.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:24 PM
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And it's Nimajneb Nosflow to you anyway, pal.

The word "pal" inevitably brings to mind this sort of thing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:32 PM
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Impressive beard on Jimmy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:35 PM
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Jesus-H-Fucking-Christ. It's the goddamn internet.

It's my sense that Emerson and Sifu are both acting on varying senses of "I've-been-called-a-dick-so-now-I'm-going-to-be-a-dick."

My vote: bury the hatchet already, and let's move on. And I'd also like stras to come back under whatever pseud. I think he adds to conversation, even while pointing out debatable issues.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:39 AM
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Stras! Come back, stras!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:45 AM
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"The URL contained a malformed video ID."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:49 AM
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Also, rereading 168, I used the word "sense" more than I wanted to. Sense! Sense! Sense!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:52 AM
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Fixed.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:58 AM
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140 wins the thread.

Also, goddamn, jilted in our troll war, just because I had to go to sleep.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 3:16 AM
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If you won't accept that you lost an election when you clearly did you're effectively not a (small d) democrat. This doesn't tend to escape people as much when the other side is doing it.

Of course it's a bit different when you r typical conspiracy cranks do it, because they never seem to take action. If I thought an election in my country had been stolen I would react accordingly.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 4:07 AM
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i like Blume's attitude in this thread, recalled the fairy tale where the granny always approves what the old man did, very silly transactions, like changing the cow he was to sell in the market to the goat, the goat to a dog, the dog to a cat, i forget all the details, but finally all this was rewarded for his kindness
i thought IIR was SMJ in disguise and ST and JE are mean to each other b/c one always asks more and strictly from the near/dear people, if they were indifferent to each other, they would just let their different opinions pass unmentioned


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 6:34 AM
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I would be seriously annoyed if this thread caused either John Emerson or Sifu Tweety to decamp.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 6:48 AM
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176: It would engender fin de siècle tristesse in me. And it's not even the fin of the siècle for another 90 years.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:30 AM
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I second 176.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:46 AM
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176-178: Yes, but how would you feel if both of them left?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 12:09 PM
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179: My tristesse would be accompanied by nostalgie.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 12:29 PM
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90: I've just never heard a case made that the theft happened electronically.

Well I'm not really in a case-making mood and a)the evidence is not 100% (i.e. I find it strongly plausible rather than certainly true) and b) I don't have it in front of me anyway. But the general gist of the scam is this:

You're some flunky in the office of the Florida Secretary of State. You've got a huge problem, because loads of felons are voting left and right. So what you do is hire an outside firm to make sure there aren't any felons on the voting rolls. You get other states to send you databases of felons to add to your own (this step may itself be illegal, but IANAL.) You tell the firm (Diebold-Choicepoint or some such), take these names of felons and compare it to our lists of voters, and give us a list of people to disenfranchise. But be really really loose with the name matching so we get "Jimmy" matching "James" or "Jamie" or "Janie" or "Johnny". Now this will get you a lot of false positives, but it won't get you an electorally significant result, just more mistakes. What you do then is apply a necessarily more strict match criterion to race (there are only like 5). So for the felon "J. M. Wilson - White", both false positives "James Wilson-Black" and "J. N. Wilson-White" will meet the name criterion, but only the white guy will meet the race criterion. Thus, with a race match criterion the high rate of false positives will propagate into the disenfranchisement list at rate proportional to race in the source data set, i.e. felons. And you can truthfully say "No, Senator, we did not use race as a search criterion".

It sounds complicated, but its really not to anyone who's worked with this stuff, hence my 30.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 12:40 PM
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That's not electronic vote machine tampering, that's voter registration tampering.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 12:51 PM
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Well, it is electronic.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:08 PM
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181: I'm aware of those allegations (some of which were proven, if I remember correctly). But as eb says in 182, we're back to talking about voter registration, which is a different kettle 'o fish from electronic vote fraud. And to be clear, I'm really not being argumentative. It's just that I'm something of a connoisseur of 2000 electionana. So I just want to make sure my collection is current.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:11 PM
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Slightly off-topic, but ari (or anyone else), how would you compare the 2000 election with Hayes-Tilden in 1876? (apologies if you have covered this in your other blog). Nothing too electronic about 1876, I guess, unless there was some telegraphy fraud.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 1:32 PM
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Jamie Galbraith, who spent Election Day in Columbus, on the 2000 election. He makes this excellent point on electronic voting (which may not be original to him):

Many who fret over electronic voting worry -- with good reason -- over the possibility that the machines can be hacked, though there is no firm proof they actually have been. But machines are a serious problem in a more obvious way, affecting every election. They are a bottleneck to voting.
If a precinct has less [sic] machines than it needs, the number of people who can vote in that precinct is automatically limited to the flow-capacity of the machines. When this happens, as it certainly did in Columbus, Ohio in 2004, get-out-the-vote efforts are automatically frustrated. It is easy to fix an election, in practice, by rationing the number of votes that precincts on one side or another can cast. That's what happened in Ohio. Whether it was by design or incompetence, whether it made enough difference to change the outcome -- it doesn't matter. If large numbers cannot get in to vote, the election is illegitimate on its face.

Elsewhere, he explains why he believes there wasn't enough ballot tampering to have thrown the election.

ari, I don't know if you have a take on Galbraith.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 3:53 PM
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And because the thread would be incomplete without it, this.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 4:36 PM
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186: I recall following a bit of the Columbus (Franklin County) testimony on voting machines. Here is an analysis that shows how it possibly had some differential effect, although not large. And the data are hardly clear-cut. Somewhere later, I thought I read some testimony from election officials. Once again there was nothing startling as I recall, more negligence, but as might be expected, negligence which tended to have a bigger impact on inner-city areas. (Things like broken machines being requested and replaced more quickly in suburban areas and the few truly indefensible WTF allocations of machines concentrated in inner city areas.)

The whole electoral climate in Ohio was totally fucked in 2004 under the leadership of Blackwell, but I have also seen nothing on large-scale "counting" fraud.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 4:38 PM
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OT: If you havent read Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone, you should.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/26793903/the_big_takeover/


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 7:10 PM
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Has someone written a script that filters out meth-addict pope examples from Taibbi's writing to make it more readable?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:08 PM
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Supposedly, those are the kinds of examples that make him worth reading.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:13 PM
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190:

He is entirely too impressed with his own wit. The article is still good though.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:14 PM
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I'd momentarily forgotten about Taibbi until the mention upthread, then looked him up again; the overkill in his writing is unfortunate. I have seen him in a couple of interviews, and he drops that for the most part.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:20 PM
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I think he can't decide whether he's Hunter S Thompson or William Greider. So he tries to put in elements of both. He'd do better (in my opinion, maybe not his current readership) if he stuck to trying to do a good job of the latter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:49 AM
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I don't read much Taiibi, so maybe that explains why I think the meth-addicted Pope stuff is cute and not at all tiresome. As will says, very good article otherwise.

I've made a hobby of trying to understand this stuff, and Taibbi gets everything I know about correct - plus, it was news to me that OTS was the primary federal regulator for AIG. That explains a lot.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:13 AM
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176: Agreed.

Now and then I've worried about a fragmenting of the non-Republican coalition now that Obama is in office and stuff, just from a purely selfish/vapid standpoint. For the last eight years, it has been easy to form political opinions: if the Republican Party generally supports something, then it should be opposed. Now, though, we have to think about stuff like whether the stimulus is too big or too small or mistargeted, and thinking is boring. Who will I find myself disagreeing with, what previously reliable commentator will start saying something completely ridiculous, etc.

I've usually thought of it in terms of the sane right wing getting whittled off, like John Cole and Andrew Sullivan deciding that Obama has gone too far. But Emerson here is a reminder that the left has its reasons to split too. Fair enough. This is not inconsistency or trolling (well, not necessarily), it's simply a reflection of the fact that for the first time in eight years (painting with a broad brush here, of course), differences among different parts of the left matter. Disagree with Emerson and Jesurgislac on whatever specific issues you want, but personally I'll try to ignore the annoying bits out of gratitude for them doing the heavy lifting on moving the Overton Window that I can't be bothered with.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:22 AM
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Disagree with Emerson and Jesurgislac on whatever specific issues you want, but personally I'll try to ignore the annoying bits out of gratitude for them doing the heavy lifting on moving the Overton Window that I can't be bothered with.

Yep, this. It seems shallow thinking of politics as a team sport, but it makes sense to remember when you've got a disagreement over specific tactics or facts with someone who basically shares your goals, and when you're dealing with someone who's out to get you. No coalition is going to remain in lockstep all the time; we just need to keep a basic level of goodwill so that we can keep on working together on the obvious stuff.

Man, that was incredibly nonspecific, wasn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:47 AM
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197: Man, that was incredibly nonspecific, wasn't it.

Not to worry, Rodney King couldn't have said it better himself.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:49 AM
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I yield to none in my platitudinousness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:58 AM
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Don't make me go all double Kobe on your ass, woman.


Posted by: Rodney King | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 12:46 PM
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IT'S ALL GOOD.


Posted by: OPINIONATED PLATITUDYPUS | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 1:16 PM
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