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It’s Not Paranoia If They Really Are Out To Get You

27 October 2008
McCain/Palin

McCain/Palin

What’s wrong with the media?  They still are failing to follow up on the growing unrest that the McCain/Palin campaign is stirring up among rural white voters by demonizing Barack Obama.

Sen. Barack Obama

Sen. Barack Obama

I would rather be wrong about this whole thing.  We as Democrats have so much to be confident about as the lead Barack Obama has in the polls holds strong.  McCain, despite what many Republicans claim is a closing race, looks to have a 45% ceiling that he cannot get above.  There’s also the growing numbers of Republicans from the moderate and fiscal-conservative wings of the party that are fleeing for the exit as the Hate Talk Express scares them for their political futures.  Yet, there are many, notably Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan, who use their television platforms to lend legitimacy to the divide-and-conquer, win-at-any-cost strategy being run by John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Barbara West, WFTV Ch 9

Barbara West, WFTV Ch 9

This morning on Morning Joe, which I am beginning to call Morning Whine, there was a clip of an interview of Joe Biden by Florida’s WFTV Channel 9 anchorwoman Barbara West.  She asked

Mika and Joe

Mika and Joe

Senator Biden if Barack Obama was pushing a Marxist agenda with his tax plan. Biden was expectedly taken aback by the phraseology of the question and responded, “Are you kidding me?”  Ms. West assured him that she, indeed, was not kidding.  Biden explained the tax plan of Barack Obama.  Joe Scarborough, with the air-headed Mika Brzezinski singing backup, accused Biden of being testy.  Whining Joe didn’t see anything wrong with the casual throwing around of the word “Marxist” by the woman.

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Well, Joe, let’s put the shoe on the other foot for just a second.  What if one of those evil left-wing media types you are always ranting about asked this question?  “Senator McCain, aren’t you promoting a fascist agenda when you allow your supporters to demonize Senator Obama as a Communist, Marxist, and socialist while sending your running mate out to say Obama ‘pals around with terrorists’?”  Come on, Joe, you would go ballistic, just like you did when a hero of the civil rights movement, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), compared McCain and Palin’s tactics to those of Governor George Wallace.  That’s right, you did.  It seems, Joe, that as election day gets closer and closer, your whine gets more and more shrill and that what I find most refreshing about you, your ability to see both sides most of the time, has disappeared from your act.

McCain Supporters in SC

McCain Supporters

As I said before, I would rather be wrong about my fears and not descend into a paranoid, fearful place where I stay curled up in a fetal position until election day.  But, my alert was issued yesterday, in the wake of a much more fun essay on shoes, because of some troubling information posted by my friend over at Willpen’s World.  If you still haven’t gone there to see the video clip of every-day folks going into a McCain/Palin event shouting derisive and inflammatory names at Barack Obama, I suggest you do.  In case that is more time than you have to spend today, I will attempt to summarize what I found so troubling yesterday.  It was a video clip of people walking in an orderly fashion along a fence into a McCain/Palin event.  They were shouting at the camera, which I guess they could readily see, that Obama was a “Communist,” “socialist,” “terrorist,” and “Muslim.”  It wasn’t just a few of the attendees shouting at the camera, it was an overwhelming number of them that took a low-blow shot at Senator Obama as they passed.  It was chilling.

As I have reported before, I am an avid historian of pre-World War II Germany and what brought that country into the control of the Nazis.  I’m sorry to report that it was exactly this kind of demagoguery that propelled Hitler to power.  Adding to my fears that we may be closer to such a thing than I ever imagined was a re-posting of an article from the Huffington Post which outlines a number of vicious attacks against Obama supporters across the nation.  The mainstream media has given no attention to these stories at all.  But they did rush to put out a false report – spurred by a McCain campaign communications director – of a McCain worker being viciously attacked by a big black man who carved a “backward B” in her cheek to chastise her for supporting McCain.  The whole thing was a fabrication by the campaign worker who has a history of mental problems.  Yeah, that liberal media really was unfair to the McCain campaign when reporting that.

I also went to a site, rjjrdq’s America, run by a guy who almost immediately responded to my “alert” posting yesterday – indicating that he hadn’t had time to visit Willpen and get the stories I was pointing to.  I was, however, glad that I visited his site because he addressed the dangers posed to the security of the election by Diebold voting machines.  Ohio chose Diebold machines for their electorate before the 2004 George W. Bush re-election campaign.  Oh, and by the way, Diebold was a major contributor to the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign.  Seems they can easily be hacked, thus enabling those of such a mind to steal an election without leaving any trail whatsoever.

Ohio Secy. of State Ken Blackwell, in Diebold's pocket?

Ohio Secy. of State Ken Blackwell, in Diebold's pocket?

I was aware of this back before the re-election of George W. Bush and have always felt that, with the help of Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell of Ohio, who purchased the Diebold machines, the Ohio Republican Party stole the election in Ohio for Bush last time.  The studies conducted by Princeton University clearly show that such a thing is possible.  This is a problem that both Democrats and Republicans should be deeply concerned about.  In almost every state in the nation – I don’t know of an exception – some party-affiliated person is in charge of elections: some Democrat, some Republican.  This is not a partisan issue.  This is about maintaining democracy.

Diebold

Diebold's AccuVote-TS

The re-emergence of the voting machine controversy drug my mood to an even darker corner of the room, and I would rather not go there.  Concerns about voting machine irregularities and the lack of a paper trail to ensure a proper tally of votes has led to a lawsuit in federal court; however, it is still tied up there and will offer no relief for concerns this year.  In fact, relying on their buddies on the Supreme Court of the United States to intervene, that august body has now ruled on an unrelated case that in fact hamstrings efforts by the plaintiffs to push forward with their suit.

Sealed Paper Ballot Box

Sealed Paper Ballot Box

Mrs. Jack often accuses me of being a “Luddite.”  Now, if you are a Luddite you probably don’t know it, but if you are a tech-savvy computer geek you know us on sight.  Call me a Luddite if you like. I would like to see us return to paper ballots and the old ballot box.  I know that it slows down the count and keeps us up later on election night, but at least a recount can be conducted in case of questions.  When we are seeing anything-goes campaigns and win-at-any-cost campaigns, and take-the-election-to-the-Supreme-Court elections, we need to be sure that the will of the people is being followed.  That is the essence of democracy and should not be swept away for the sake of instant gratification on election night.

Go Vote!

Go Vote!

November 4th is only eight days away, and we are going to have to rely on the honesty of partisan election officials to patriotically do their jobs and uphold the tenets of democracy.  I have decided that I will not dwell on these issues until I can’t sleep at night, but I have also decided that I will be watching closely on election night and the days following to see if democracy still exists in America.  If Barack Obama goes into election night with the kinds of leads he is holding right now and John McCain pulls off a “miraculous” victory, I will never believe it.  Such a thing will plunge this nation into an extension of the divisiveness that is currently tearing us apart.  Let’s hope there is a clear winner with a clear indication that things were above board.

That’s it for today.  Keep fighting the good fight!  Just eight more days of holding my breath and counting.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 October 2008 1:56 pm

    Jack,

    Another great piece. You talk about sleep. Well I have apparently been dwelling on this way to much, since I have not been able to sleep well at all the past few nights. My mind is working overtime after seeing and reading about the insanity that is ensuing out there.

    I will be leaving for Spain at the end of this week, on a trip that I have planned for some time now. When I planned it I figured that getting my vote in early would be enough, but I am now in a completely distraught state over this election and my concerns are growing every day. I know that I should stay away from the news a bit, but I can’t. It is like watching a train wreck. You know you should not be looking but you can’t help yourself.

    I will be quite interested however, to see how the people of Spain and Europe are perceiving this election. At least I know that I will be around people who will obviously be rooting for the same guy that I am rooting for. As they say in Spanish, Ay Dios Mio.

  2. 27 October 2008 1:57 pm

    One more thing. Thanks for the continuing heads up.

  3. morelightthanheat permalink
    27 October 2008 4:49 pm

    Jack,
    For your geekier readers, a quick Google search of “ed felton princeton” will take them to, among other things, a paper on the Diebold issue. It goes into far more detail than the YouTube clip.

    On the main topic of your post, you may have seen the report that ATF has busted a couple of Neo-Nazi, skinhead types, and with their arrest has broken up a plot to kill and behead a number of African-Americans at a school with their ultimate goal being to assassinate Barack Obama. While this may be an isolated incident, it is the unavoidable result of the tone the Republican campaign has taken of late. Meanwhile, Obama speaks of unifying the country. It will be interesting to see if McC/P finally make any sort of definitive statement disavowing and condemning such actions or if they continue to maintain they are but isolated, random events. He surely found his voice in demanding that Obama disavow Rep. Lewis’ statement. But Lewis seems to have been far more prophetic in his assessment than John McCain is willing to admit.

    Stolen yard signs are the beginning and on one hand a mere nuisance. But at the bottom of such acts is a disregard for free speech. With rights such as free speech come the responsibility to use them responsibly. And stolen yard signs seem to be the beginning step along a slippery slope that includes hate-speech, threats, slurs, and finally action.

  4. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    27 October 2008 5:40 pm

    @Willpen

    Enjoy your trip to Spain, and get some sleep while you jet across the Atlantic. There’s not much else to do on one of those flights.

    While there is cause for concern, I choose to believe that everything will turn out fine in the end. If not, I will cross that bridge when we get to it. I will always have the opportunity to send out fiery blogs in dissent.

  5. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    27 October 2008 5:57 pm

    @Moreheatthanlight

    I had to go into Houston for a doctor’s appointment today after I wrote my post and was greeted by Mrs. Jack with the news of the assassination plot against Barack Obama on my return. I was not surprised. I have feared for his life from the very beginning.

    I do not, however, expect John McCain or Sarah Palin to do the right thing and denounce these right-wing terrorists. I have long since believed that John McCain has any good left in him. As for Sarah Palin, she is driven by such an ambition to move onto the national stage that nothing is beneath her.

    American politics have sunk to the lowest level I could ever have imagined, but I fear that someone will come along that will make these two egomaniacs look like a couple of Sunday school teachers.

    Thanks for the info on further research into the Princeton Study of Diebold voting machines.

  6. 27 October 2008 9:27 pm

    I have been letting my mind wonder past the election allowing myself short bursts of joy and glee, before I sink back into nervous despair.

    The one thing that did come to mind, while I was momentarily allowing myself to frolic in the Garden of Eden where Obama would lead, was the fact that our job will not be over on Nov. 5th. We must remain vigilant and keep after Sarah the Terrible and not allow her to get her sea legs back under her. She will be hitting the ground running towards 2012 once November 5th comes and goes, and we must continue to work to undermine her and keep the public aware of her duplicitous and under handed nature.

    We MUST NOT allow her to get any ground….

  7. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    29 October 2008 2:59 pm

    @Willpen

    I agree that it is a shame that we can’t even dare to begin enjoying what may well be a historic election victory for our candidate. Unfortunately, we Democrats have a way of blowing elections, and the Republicans have a way of “miraculously.” wink, wink, winning elections in places like Florida and Ohio.

    As far as Governor Palin is concerned, I think we have some unexpected allies in our quest to keep her star from rising beyond it’s current latitude. There are a number of high-powered Republicans who want to be the candidate in 2012, and guess what? They have friends in Alaska that can take them right to where the bodies are buried about Governor Palin. I think it is no mere coincidence that the McCain operatives who are suspected to be the “leakers” calling Mrs. Palin “diva” and “a nut job,” are former Romney campaign workers.

    It’s hard to tell at this point, but Sarah Palin may be just a footnote to the 2008 election campaign by the time 2012 comes around. If not, I feel that her support is from a fringe element of the Republican Party and may not be great enough to take over the party. Palin definitely possesses the raw political talent to be formidable, but I think a greater risk is posed by some other yet unknown leader to step out of the shadows of the radical right and take up their sick cause.

    In any event, we must remain vigilant under any circumstances. Democracy is always vulnerable to run-away radical groups. Complacency among the electorate is their ally, so we must continue to watch and speak out against them.

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