Sunday, October 12, 2008

Desperate Republicans Have No Intention Of Going Down To Defeat With Either Dignity Or Honor


It has finally dawned on Republican Party leaders that they are in the middle of Desperationland. Easy enough to sneer and say they earned it-- and more-- but desperation is leading them down some unhealthy paths, unhealthy for all of us.

Republican office holders are aware that McCain's coattails are not just negative, but positively toxic. The three special election House candidates he campaigned for-- all in very Republican districts-- all lost in upset elections. GOP strategists are starting to whisper the word "landslide," and they mean a Democratic one that could leave the Republicans with impotent rump caucuses in both houses of Congress.

Everywhere, Party leaders are starting to finally realize the trouble they're in. Asked if McCain could win Wisconsin, former Republican Governor and McCain friend Tommy Thompson claimed it isn't impossible but when he was asked if he's happy with his friend's campaign, he said "No; I don't know who he is." And that's a feeling that people all over the country are having about McCain, who has tried to do everything he could to make Americans feel that he's someone they know and trust-- no one does-- and that Obama is "not one of us" and scary and different and unknown. It's almost funny when it comes from Sarah Palin who no one but Alaskans and a few religious extremists ever heard of before a month and a half ago.
Several party leaders said Mr. McCain needed to settle on a single message in the final weeks of the campaign and warned that his changing day-to-day dialogue — a welter of evolving economic proposals, mixed with on-again-off-again attacks on Mr. Obama’s character-- was not breaking through and was actually helping Mr. Obama in his effort to portray Mr. McCain as erratic.

Former McCain colleague and ex-Missouri Senator John Danforth said “This is a year where everything that could go in Obama’s favor is going in Obama’s favor. Everything that could go against McCain is against him. It’s absolutely the worst kind of perfect storm.”

The campaign itself is as confused, dysfunctional and erratic as the candidate. There's conflicting advise coming from every direction, poll numbers that look less and less likely to turn around and criticism from state party leaders who see their own fiefdoms in jeopardy because of McCain's inept performance. Endangered GOP incumbents like Gordon Smith of Oregon and Lee Terry of Nebraska are starting to take out ads that look like they're trying to distance themselves from McCain and tie themselves to Obama. McCain and his advisers blame his reputation for running a gutter campaign on everyone but themselves-- even on some of his own supporters who they call "nuts." McCain doesn't want to be identified with the "nuts" and he seems to have hoped Palin could placate them. But the party itself is almost nothing but nuts now. One far right extremist who runs the Colorado GOP, an unsavory and corrupt Dick Wadhams, best known as a kind of junior Karl Rove, is demanding that McCain needs more mud, not less. He thinks the campaign-- even in the face of the economic collapse threatening families all over the country-- must be all about Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. The nuts love hearing about them.

So what's the game plan for the next 24 days? I think the media has scared the McCain camp away from depending on blowing up and antichrist argument and taking it out of backward hellholes like Lynchburg and into places where normal people live like Florida, Virginia and Ohio. So how is he going to try to win in post-medieval parts of the country. Steal it of course.

They're already setting up the backdrop by screaming ACORN, ACORN, ACORN, as though it had any relevance to anything-- other than GOP paranoia and projection. Just the way found McCain's pie-in-the-sky claims about a conspiratorial relationship between William Ayers and Obama "groundless, false, dubious... and malicious," the hyped up slander of Acorn is being debunked as well. Adam at Progress Illinois is doing great work to get behind the media-generated hysteria that McCain's camp is demanding. He absolutely tore CNN's sensationalistic and completely misleading report to shreds on Friday.
CNN's Drew Griffin took his network's Special Investigations Unit to Lake County, IN yesterday in an attempt to document election problems in the area. Did he discuss the active and legitimate voter suppression campaign taking place there, in which local Republicans are blocking early voting in three Democratic leaning cities? Not at all. Instead, he focused on faulty registration cards submitted by the current bete noir of the conservative movement, the community organizing group ACORN. What's worse, his report (and most other media accounts) grossly misrepresented the intent and professionalism of ACORN's registration efforts
While McCain and his allies at Fox have persuaded lazy journalists that ACORN has been up to something nefarious by turning in fake registration forms, they never mention that ACORN is required to turn in all forms they collect and that ACORN has been flagging the suspicious ones for the registrars. Only a Republican trying to muddy the waters and set the stage for an argument that "everybody" cheats, would claim that there is some kind of equivalency between systematically disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters in Democratic leaning areas of battleground states and someone turning in a registration form claiming to be Babe Ruth or Richard Nixon. Can anyone with a straight face claim that "Babe Ruth" or "Richard Nixon" is going to try to vote in November? Or what about 7 year old O'jahnae Smith? Are Republicans worried that she's going to show up on election day and demand to vote? Believe it or not, the Wall Street Journal had a calmer and more reliable report.

Meanwhile, though, the Republican Party apparatus has moved into high gear to actually steal the election, as we reported last Wednesday. Last week the NY Times reported on illegal efforts in Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina to remove eligible voters from the rolls. Republicans have already been challenging military voters in Virginia and Montana, although when their scheme was discovered and exposed in Montana they quickly backed down. suggests 7 steps to protect yourself from GOP voter suppression
STEP 1:  DON'T DON'T DON'T mail in your ballot!! Absentee ballots are often not counted for the weakest of reasons. Furthermore, there are new rules in many states that you must photocopy your ID and send it with the ballot. However, they often don't even tell you that. So hundreds of thousands of absentee votes will not be counted for this reason.

STEP 2:  VOTE EARLY ...VERY EARLY! Many states are already allowing you to vote. Do it NOW. That way if you're not listed on the voter roles, you have plenty of time to get your complaint heard.

STEP 3:  REGISTER AND THEN REGISTER AND THEN REGISTER! There is a TON of purging of voter rolls going on. It's not enough to think you're registered. Double check twelve times. You can check online at Once you're done with that, go register. ...Then go register.

STEP 4:  DO NOT FILL OUT A PROVISIONAL BALLOT if your vote is challenged!! In 2004 the Republicans challenged a ridiculous number of voters. The voters were then told by a sweet little lady at a table that their "provisional ballot" would be counted, BUT IT WON'T. Don't listen to the little old lady!! DEMAND that poll judges make the judgment ON THE SPOT. Demand a call to the supervisor of elections. If you have to, go home and come back with a better form of ID.
If you need help, call ELECTION PROTECTION at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. And help those around you when you're at the polling place. Look for people having trouble. Call the number for them. Tell them not to fill out a provisional ballot!

STEP 5:  STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER!  Walk out your front door and get active!!  Volunteer to help with the campaign. Or ignore the campaign and do something on your own. It's as simple as printing out these ELECTION PROTECTION steps and leaving them at people's doors. Hell, you could hand them out outside the polling places. Don't sit still or this election will be stolen. And go to a swing state if at all possible.

STEP 6:  FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS VOTE WITHOUT FRIENDS!  Don't go to vote alone. Bring friends!! Lots of them or only one of them. Make it a date. Arrange to have lunch with everyone after you vote. Whatever it takes. And have your election protection phone number WITH YOU (1-866-OUR-VOTE).

STEP 7:  IT AIN'T OVER 'TILL IT'S OVER! If the election is indeed stolen, don't throw in the towel! The day after is CRUCIAL! Three words need to be chanted over and over again: COUNT EVERY VOTE. For example, in 2000 Al Gore lost because of a Supreme Court decision that was 5-4 against him. Imagine if he had won that court decision. But if half of America had not chanted COUNT EVERY VOTE after election day, we would never have gotten to the Supreme Court. Half of America could've thrown in the towel on election night, but thanks to people in the streets, it was fought to the end.

And if you think the idea of GOP dirty tricks exaggerated, please treat yourself to the amazing Lee Atwater documentary. Atwater wrote the playbook for Karl Rove and Steve Schmidt. Watch the trailer

As for how McCain and his media allies are twisting ACORN into a scandal they can use for cover for their own plans... take a look at the kind of coverage this made up "news" has been getting:

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