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"Shallow Throat" on Nov. Vote: It's Now or Never

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Message Bernard Weiner
I needed to talk to "Shallow Throat," to get some perspective on the upcoming mid-term election, now 90 days away.

The GOP mole, a high-ranking official in the Bush Administration, was on vacation, but I knew the private cell-phone number, and we arranged to meet at an out-of-the-way cove along the Connecticut shore. It was very hot, even at the beach.

Per usual, Shallow Throat wasn't happy: "I can't believe your Democrat friends. They've got issues staring them in the face with which they can beat the GOP candidates over the head, and yet, by and large, they still appear disorganized, timid, afraid to deal forthrightly with what's on most voters' minds: the Iraq catastrophe, Bush's renewed attack on Social Security, the huge trillion-dollar deficits that are stagnating the economy and hurting the middle class, the lack of real homeland security, the demonstrated incompetency of this Administration, and on and on.

"It boggles my mind. With less than three months to go before midterm Voting Day, there still is no massive national campaign to make this election a referendum on the Bush Administration! Polls keep demonstrating that the American people are way ahead of the politicians: They see Bush as a failure as president and are ready to change the makeup of the House and maybe even the Senate; in short, they see this election as a chance to express their no-confidence vote in the corrupt, greedy, power-hungry Republicans.

"But the Democrats, dazed and confused, refuse to unite and mount a vibrant national campaign with which to connect, and shape, that public discontent. The Dems seem incapable of going for the jugular. Instead, they're running individual races in individual districts, mostly on local issues.

"Do you Democrats still have your death wish? Can't you see that this may be your last chance to take the country away from the extremists that have hijacked my party and to start moving America back to the rational center?"


I countered: "But the Democrats have started to move in that direction with their 'Six for '06" campaign, the six major issues as their doable platform to run on. They--"

Shallow Throat interrupted: "Do you know any of your friends or neighbors that are even aware of this feeble exercise? Where's the money behind this campaign? Where's the publicity, the daily pounding of those talking points into the public arena? Where are the high-level leaders and speakers touring the country? Where are the network and cable ads? To me, it looks like your Dem friends are counting on popular revulsion against Bush to do the work for them, so they won't have to actually say something that could backfire on them later. They think the polls showing a potential Dem sweep will do the job for them, that they can sit back on their butts and watch the Republicans implode."

"Well," I said, "what would you have those national TV ads focus on, for example?"

"Let's just take the most obvious one," said ST, dabbing on a bit more sunscreen. "The American people as a whole, and most importantly the generals and colonels inside the Pentagon, have made their judgment about the Iraq War: It was a bad mistake, built on false information and outright lies; it's unwinnable; it's time to develop a plan for getting us out of there. Why can't your liberal friends devise a united position built around what the American people already have decided? Are the Dems lazy? Afraid of being accused of being 'unpatriotic' and 'not supporting the troops'? Wanting to see if Murtha survives his Swift-Boat sliming before they organize themselves? Waiting to see how badly Lieberman gets his ass kicked before they move? Waiting for MoveOn to make exiting from Iraq a major issue?"


"Then there's the other issue that the Democrats are avoiding as if it's toxic: electoral integrity. Rove for the past three elections -- in 2000, 2002, and 2004 -- has orchestrated dirty, corrupt campaigns, and has stolen elections in the process, and yet the Democratic Party has said nary a word in official objection. As usual, because they know the American people support their issues more than they do the Republican issues, they think that automatically transfers to the ballots as counted.

"But electoral-integrity experts have demonstrated overwhelmingly that those elections were fiddled with and manipulated to guarantee Republican victories in the various states. Hundreds of thousands of likely Democratic voters in many states, mostly in minority districts, were kicked off the precinct rolls in advance; even if some of them ever got to vote, they were often given provisional ballots, which tended not to get counted.

"Computer voting machines, either by malfunction or deliberate manipulation, often kicked Democrat votes over to the Republican candidates. Republican districts had many working voting machines; Democrat districts had few machines available, and many of those weren't working. In 2004 Ohio, for example, this meant that working people had to stand in lines for up to 10 hours to vote; many gave up and went back to their jobs. Black voters in urban areas were warned that if they had any unpaid parking tickets, they'd be arrested when they showed up at the polling stations, etc. etc.

"Did the Democrats, as a party, register any official objections? Nope. It was left to mavericks like Rep. John Conyers to convene unofficial hearings and issue an unofficial final report on the electoral crimes carried out. The one person who could have made this a major issue, the Dems' 2004 Presidential candidate, simply conceded early and disappeared from the scene of the crime. Unconscionable! And Kerry now wants to run again, as if his activist base will ever forgive him for his cowardice on this issue."

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Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer-editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (more...)
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