Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Friday Night Politics Links: Kos, Endorsements, Fraud

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* This whole “Democrats for Mitt” idea is probably kos’s single stupidest self-inflicted wound since the whole mercenaries debacle. Given that his plan won’t work, it’s irrelevant—and even if it somehow does work, how does this idiotic game benefit any Democrat anywhere? That’s assuming it doesn’t completely blow up in the Left’s face by accidentally propelling Guy Smiley to the White House. In any event, this sort of nonsense invites, legitimately I think, cries of “dirty tricks” from the right, which is something we have no reason to invite. Kos should either promote the “Vote Uncommitted” movement on the grounds that Clinton should not be rewarded by her failure to remove her name from the Michigan ballot, or else do nothing at all.

* Arizona governor Janet Napolitano has endorsed Obama, a significant endorsement not only regionally but also because of the way it plays into the gender dynamics that are now characterizing the Democratic race.

Meanwhile, bestsellers Anne Rice and Michael Chabon have each chosen a favorite, Clinton and Obama respectively. Call me when Lethem weighs in.

* And of course there’s Kucinich’s decision to pursue a recount in New Hampshire. For what it’s worth, as someone who believes that both the 2000 and 2004 elections were influenced and perhaps stolen outright through manipulation of the apparatus of voting—cleansing of the voter rolls, selective closing of precincts, suspicious last-minute swings always redounding to Republican benefit, see RFK Jr. for more—I can perhaps regain some of my “sensible centrist” cred by saying I’m not at all impressed by the claims New Hampshire was stolen. For one, the exit polls I saw bandied about before the results began being reported already indicated that a blowout was not in progress; obviously the telephone polling missed a late surge in Clinton support probably generated in equal parts by sympathy for the beating she was getting in the press and by a belief that Obama couldn’t lose. Likewise, the difference in results between hand-counted precincts and machine-counted precincts, despite the many shouts of Diebold!, is almost certainly a function of the demographics of those areas, not prima facie proof of malfeasance. In short, there’s almost no comparison to 2004, where the exit polls were consistently wrong well outside the margin of error, and the irregularities were both more local and more pronounced.

The assertion of fraud whenever the results don’t go our way only serves to discredit valid claims about electoral fraud and suspicious results.

Still, if I’m wrong and it turns out Kucinich is somehow onto something, I’ll be the first one to admit it.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 11, 2008 at 10:47 pm

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