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Steal This Vote
France's independence day seems a perfect opportunity, not to whine, à la Spano, while illegally smoking out the neighbors, but to mention this terrific advance review from Publishers Weekly, of Andrew Gumbel's book, Steal This Vote:

In a riveting and frightening account, Gumbel, U.S. correspondent for Britain's Independent, traces election fraud in America from the 18th century to the present, spotlighting the Hayes-Tilden election of 1876, vote buying in the Gilded Age and the history of black disenfranchisement in the post-Reconstruction South. The last 100 pages are devoted to the elections of 2000 and 2004. Gumbel rehearses the Florida mess and argues that those who care about voting rights should be terrified by Justice Scalia's argument in Bush v. Gore that the Constitution doesn't per se guarantee a right of suffrage. Gumbel shows that the confusion (at best) and cheating (at worst) that went on in Florida are not unusual, describing numerous county and state elections plagued with problems: registered voters purged from the rolls; queues at polling places so long that would-be voters gave up; and confusing ballots. Who are the villains? Not just the Republicans; he shows Democrats equally willing to play dirty. This book is sure to be controversial, and if it garners media attention, that's all for the good, for the issues Gumbel so winningly addresses are crucial to the future of democracy.

Posted by aalkon at July 14, 2005 6:32 AM

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You can see the report on the Y2K election at .

I don't think everyone is happy; of course, many people still live in denial of the plain fact that the electoral college elects the President. Despite his alleged experience in politics, Mr. Gore is one of these.

There are lessons to be learned from the behavior of all parties in close races.

Posted by: Radwaste at July 14, 2005 2:55 AM

I don't understand why anyone would vote for George Bush, much less half the country! It boggles my mind. Anyone caring about personal freedoms, the right to choose, native sovreignty, pot legalization, women's rights, gay rights, human/civil rights of any kind, protection of minorities, education, the environment, foreign policy, et al would not vote for Bush. Are there really that many fundamentalist xtians around? Was the voting stacked? Will we ever know for sure? Probably not.

Posted by: Goddyss at July 14, 2005 2:16 PM

I don't know, but it seems to me that denial takes many forms; one is accompanied by the objection you listed. If "probably never know for sure" *isn't* code for "I think the vote was rigged", please excuse me for thinking that; I see it a lot, from people who hold that view. The fact is, elections are close most of the time.

In both Presidential cases, GW Bush was opposed by a person who could not get *his own story* straight. You tell me: is that better than a businessman with big connections?

I'll answer that: No, it isn't. If someone like Paul Wellstone had been available, nobody would be talking about any of the mouth-breathers in the last two elections -- but somehow, Democrats picked people with no memory of how they got where they ended up. Businesses - the real economic driver of America - cannot back a candidate whose story changes with the audience.

By the way, I've seen a lot of discussion among Democrats about what their party stood for, and *I* can't believe anyone would buy their story: if we just get Federal involvement, we can govern our way to smarter children, and everybody who gets to the US gets a driver's license and the vote.


Posted by: Radwaste at July 14, 2005 5:14 PM

Actually, I'm almost as sick of the Democrats as I am of the Republicans. Both seem to just reek of hypocrisy and stupidity. A surefire way to tell if someone shouldn't be in office is if they *run* for office, regardless of their party affiliation. Can't we just throw them *all* out and have a do-over? Well, okay. Except for Barack Obama. He can stay.

Posted by: Goddyss at July 18, 2005 1:10 PM

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