Election 2004


Backbone Campaign a grassroots, progressive effort to embolden the Democratic Party
Expats Against Bush
Fund Race look up your neighbors' contributions, also by city
How the Ohio Election Was Rigged for Bush a clear pattern and practice of voter disenfranchisement... many voting machines were not put out, so lines in Democratic districts were extremely long
How to Take Back a Stolen Election "Instead, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (Madeleine K. Albright, Chairman) has joined up with a similar organization affiliated with the Republican Party (the International Republican Institute - John McCain, Chairman), other NGOs, and US government agencies to support the use of exit polls and statistical analyses to challenge national elections in Ukraine, Serbia, Belarus, and the former Soviet republic of Georgia.... In three of those four nations they succeeded in not only mounting a national challenge, but in reversing the outcomes of elections."
New Democracy Project a New York City-based national/urban affairs public policy institute
One Thousand Reasons Not to Vote for Bush
Progressive Vote coalition
Republicans Against Bush
Topple Bush
Votergate film about how Bush stole the 2004 election


"My criticism of the Democrats in Boston [Dem. National Convention] is that they didn't accentuate their differences with Bush, especially on the Iraq War.

"But how could they have? Kerry now has almost the same approach to Iraq as Bush does, a conscession...

"...(Kerry did engage in some historical distortion, however, when he said the United States has a "time-honored tradition" of fighting wars of necessity. How about the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, and the first Gulf War, just to name a few?)" (Matthew Rothschild. "Kerry's Mistake." The Progressive, Sep. 2004: 4).


"...the very notion that they were considering postponing the election should give us pause.

"Part of the problem with the way Bush has been waging the war on terror is that his rhetoric makes it appear as though America has never been so threatened. But that is not the case. Our country was much more in peril during the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War than it is now. And we still had elections during these conflicts" ("Election Terrors." The Progressive, Sep. 2004: 10).


"...the contradictions and craziness of an America no longer red, white, and blue, but on yellow and orange alert" (Leah Samuel. "Margaret Cho Goes to Extremes." The Progressive, Sep. 2004: 40).


"Nader and his supporters are what you get when you hve a weak and centrist Democratic Party that is constantly outwitted by or appeasing the radical right. Had things been reversed, do you think the right would sit back and say, "Let's wait for the election and get rid of the lying President"? Hell no! Even if they didn't have enough time for an impeachment process, they'd start it. They'd be spitting and fighting their way all over Washington. They'd be attacking on multiple fronts. They'd even (gasp!) cheat and lie to win, because they believe their cause is just. Democrats' perceived inaction and lack of ferocity in calling Bush what he is makes them seem like losers" (Letters. The Nation, Sep. 13, 2004: 2).


"The President runs on fear and character assassination--big fear and big lies... Bush's claims and insinuations are utterly distant from the truth...

"Anything that polarizes public opinion about unknown dangers is assumed to help Bush. Meantime, his war planners are suddenly escalating the "threat" rhetoric surrounding Iran and its nuclear bomb-making. Anything that changes the confersation from Iraq can be helpful too... another attempt to change the subject...

"Bush's great challenge is to divert people from the hard facts of his presidency and get them to focus on a set of fantastic smears of his challenger" (Rick Meyerowitz. "The Republicans Arrive in New York." The Nation, Sep. 13, 2004: 5-8).


"Here [the liberal] was beating the drum for a man who stand for everything he opposes: war in Iraq, war in Colombia, war on drugs, war on the deficit, war on teen morals. Oh, he said, the day after we elect John Kerry we'll go to war on him. Yeah, right! Back in the early and middle 1990s the liberals and progressives were exactly as indulgent to Clinton as they are to Kerry now...

So the Democratic Party, from DLC governors to liberal public-interest groups, mustered around their leader and marched into the late 1990s rm in arm along the path sign-posted toward the greatest orgy of corporate theft in the history of the planet, deregulation of banking and food safety, NAFTA and the WTO, rates of logging six times those achieved in the subsequent Bush years, oil drilling in the Arctic, a war on Yugoslavia, Plan Colombia, a vast expansion of the death penalty, reaffirmation of racist drug laws, the foundations of the Patriot Act" (Alexander Cockburn. "Zombies for Kerry." The Nation, Sep. 13, 2004: 18).


"...we have only one political party in the United States, the Property Party, with two right wings, Republican and Democrat... citizens find it difficult at election time to tell the parties apart... The Republicans are often more doctrinaire than the Democrats, who are willing to make small -- very small -- adjustments where the poor and black are concerned while giving aid and comfort to the anti-imperialists" (Gore Vidal. "State of the Union, 2004." The Nation, Sep. 13, 2004: 23-29).


"Mad Cowboy Disease" (protest sign at the Republican National Convection)

"Support the troops, Fire the Commander" (protest sign at the Republican National Convection)

"George Bush, Our First Retarded President" (protest sign at the Republican National Convection)


The largest convention-related protest in U.S. history was peaceful and passionate [and unreported in the media]. On August 29, as many as half-a-million people marched past Madison Square Garden in New York City, the site of the Republican National Convention. On the way, they displayed an extraordinary amount of creativity and humor in the service of tremendous anger.

"They carried signs with slogans such as "Quagmire Accomplished," "Mad Cowboy Disease," "Support the Troops, Fire the Commander," "George Bush Our First Retarded President," and "No More Years." On their t-shirts were statements that ranged from the bawdy to the subversive to the comic: "My Bush Would Make a Better President," "George W. Bush Billions of Corporations Served," and "Republicans for Voldermort," (referring to a character in the Harry Potter series)" ("Message Parity." Texas Observer, 9/10/04: 3).


"The fact is that antiwar activists are campaigning for a candidate who is promising to escalate the war, in part because of the Bush blindness Klein describes. Therefore, if Kerry is elected, and fulfills his promises, which I predict wil involve an application of the Chechen solution to Iraq, antiwar Kerry voters will have no recourse to the "he misled us" argument to justify their vote. The record willl be unambiguous, and Kerry will be clearly fulfilling his mandate. Faced with this, antiwar Kerry voters will have two choices: Accept the truth and their own complicity in the atrocities that will continue in Iraq for years to come or protect their conscience and deny reality by maintaining that Kerry's actions in Iraq somehow represent a progressive break from Bush, and that it is all Bush's fault anyway for getting Kerry stuck in Iraq in the first place.

"I predict, against my hopes, that a large percentage of the left, Michael Moore included, would choose the latter, thereby sealing their complicity with the war. If this all comes to pass, it will constitute a disaster for the left, not only by creating deep internal divisions, but by revealing an intellectual and moral bankruptcy from which it will be difficult to recover. Such are the dangers of opportunism and lowest-common-denominator politics" ("Letters." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 2).


"What this country needs between now and November 2 is not a debate over who will be a better "war president." We need a debate over how to extricate America from Iraq, and how to attack the demons of poverty, joblessness and sickness that threaten so many American every day. Jingoism and fearmongering are cheap ways to avoid hard issues" ("The GOP Hijacks 9/11." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 2).


"On Sunday, August 29 [during the Republican Convention], United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) led half a million people in a peaceful march through Manhattan past Madison Square Garden, where the Republican would convene the next day. Many were mainstream and patriotic. (One sign read, OUR FLAG SHOULD STAND FOR PRIDE, NOT ARROGANCE.) Although the whole gamut of liberal-left cultural and ideological tendencies was on display, the marchers were united in their opposition to George W. Bush and his right-wing agenda....

Of more than 1,700 arrests through the third day of the convention, some were deserved (a crew of knuckleheads who purposely set a dragon puppet on fire during the march, for example). But many people were targeted by police for reasons unclear. Bycycling demonstrators, obviously nonviolent, accounted for many of the arrests. On Tuesday, 1,187 people were arrested, many of whom were simply standing on the sidewalk protesting. Across the street from Ground Zero, 200 quiet, peaceful demonstrators, led by the War Resisters League, were trapped by police in a huge orange net. Those arrested were charged, absurdly, with "obstructing governmental administration," although earlier that day the Mayor himself had given them permission to march on the sidewalk...

"Many RNC protesters, according to Simone Levine of the National Lawyers Guild, were being held well over the legal limit of twenty-four hours. "The goal is to keep people off the streets," Dobbs explained. Many were denied the right to counsel, and Pier 57, where many protesters were held, has asbestos and fire-safety problems. Some of those detained said the floor of the former bus terminal was a virtual oil slick; they had to sleep on the floor, and some emerged with serious chemical burns" (Liza Featherstone. "Defying Convention." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 4-5).


"... unemployed, underemployed, hurting economically in some way. This group of Americans, who number in the millions, harbors deep-seated anger over corporate shenanigans, their lack of healthcare and good jobs, yet in interview after interview I found they are often the most fervant in their support of George W. Bush and his tough rhetoric.

"Why? One answer is that Republicans have used "social issues"... to speak to these Americans; they mine the anger... deflecting attention from the true cause of their problems. And the Democrats have been timid, or unable to form a message to break through to them...

"...the workers' growing wrath -- he was seeing it mature into xenophobia and right-wing radicalism. "It's not unlike the anger in prewar Germany and prewar Italy," Russo said...

"In 1920s Weimar Germany... with economic deprivation came growing anger. What did the government do? Instead of raising taxes on the rich, who could pay, it lowered them. The terrible conditions were actually good for the industrialists and landlords. They wanted the mark to tumble, because they were able to erase debts by paying them off with worthless marks...

"In America, too, there were stresses in the 1930s... what if there had been no FDR? Walter Lippmann wrote that the nation would have "followed almost any leader anywhere he chose to go"...

"Talk-radio is but one example of how the anger has grown... Now there are 1,300 all-talk stations, and conservatives rule. It's no coincidence that their popularity rose concurrent with the decline of the manufacturing economy, as anger deepened in American society...

"There are tens of millions of American workers living in a virtual depression, in a virtual Weimar. Their anger is real, as is their fear... The right has been addressing it in the form of appearing decisive with "preventive war," or by cranking up the xenophobia...

"The solution lies in doing something both parties have ignored in their free-trade euphoria: helping working-class Americans with jobs and healthcare. That will not erase the fear of another terror attack, but it will dissipate some of the anger resulting from economic hardship. It would tip the margin back to a saner political course...

"If John Kerry wins, the right margin will rage against him, as it did against Clinton before him, and against FDR in the 1930s. The anger found in America is not going to dissipate. It must be dealt with. And that will take leadership" (Dale Maharidge. "Rust & Rage In the Heartland." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 11-14).


"... anti-Bush demonstrators.. include 100 women draped in American flags and wearing "protest panties" so they could perform a "mass flash." They did and were arrested. Mimicking Paul Revere, bicyclists rode down Lexington Avenue shouting, "The Republicans are coming!"

"In 1952 the main television networks gave a total of 300 hours to the two major-party conventions. In 200 they gave them a total of 18 hours, and this year their convention airtime was a total of three hours each, with one night blacked out entirely" ("With Two Months To Go, The GOP Convention Aired a Lot of Distortions." Washington Spectator. Sep. 15, 2004).


"...Global Exchange has invited high-level election experts from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, India, Mexico, Canada, Chile and several other democracies to monitor and report on the fairness of the American electoral process." For more information, see their website at http://www.fairelection.us/("Advertisement." The Nation, Oct. 4, 2004: 7).


"When it comes to presidential politics there seem to be a half-dozen narratives favored by big (and small-minded) media: Who's ahead?, "Gotcha!", the (cynical) assumption that all policy announcements are explainable as political maneuvering, the idea that a campaign is being run by either skilled pros or incompetent losers, and here's what [name your candidate] ought to do, etc...

"...pressure was put on Killian to "sugar coat" Bush's National Guard record, that Bush got into the Guard via favoritism, that he got paid for meetings he didn't attend, that he missed the physical he signed up for, and all the rest...

"If indeed Bush skipped out on his National Guard obligations at the time, that does not speak well for his character then. And if he arranged to have this dereliction expunged from his file after he became President, that does not speak well for his character now. (It may also be a violation of the law)" (Victor Navasky. "Where Rather was Right." The Nation, Oct. 11, 2004: 5).


"...much is off the agenda in this miserable joke of an election... Kerry.. told women's leaders he would treat them at arm's length because they are a "special interest"" (Alexander Cockburn. "C'mon Ralph, You've Nothing to Lose." The Nation, Oct. 11, 2004: 11).


"The challenge facing Kerry is how to respond to a relentless stream of attacks from GOP hit squads. This is what Bush is good at. He isn't particularly curious about the world, doesn't care much about policy and is AWOL when it comes to running the government. His passion, as a protege of the late Lee Atwater, hired gun of Jesse Helms, is gutter politics" (Robert L. Borosage. "Kerry: Fill in the Blanks." The Nation, May 17, 2004: 2).


"Instead of a manifesto for change that might attract new support... the [Democratic] platform that delegates to the Democratic National Convention are expected to approve without debate is a tepid document largely defined by Senator Kerry's fear of being identified as a liberal...

"Republicans recognized something in the 1980s that Democrats still have not figured out: that a platform ought to be a rousing call to arms, a powerful signal of what the party would do if given power, rather than a dull recitation of platitudes, conventional wisdom and established stances... Democrats write platforms from a place of fear; they do everything in their power to avoid giving Republicans new targets for criticizing the party and its candidates...

"... the Backbone Campaign, a grassroots movement to push the party in a progressive direction" (John Nichols. "A Platform for the Timid." The Nation, Aug. 2/9, 2004: 4-6).


"This summer, some 50 of the [DNC's Florida] leaders suddenly began getting the knocks on their doors from plainclothes -- but pointedly armed -- state police. These community leaders, mostly elderly black women, were understandably shaken to be confronted in their homes by armed troopers interrogating them about their electoral actions and motives...

"Ashcroft has jackbooted into the fray, sending federal agents to investigate voter registration drives, including questioning new registrants at their homes, starting in the swing states of New Mexico, Ohio and West Virginia.

"Other ugly election day tricks to look for include turning away voters who show up without photo IDs, rather than providing them with an affidavit option as required by law, and telling college students they can't vote in their college locales, which they have a clear legal right to do" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer. The Hightower Lowdown, Sep. 2004: 1-4).


"Above all Kerry can be counted on not to disturb the party's uptight wariness toward big ideas and adventurous goals. His meticulous self-caution may be the unspoken reason he was picked as everybody's default dandidate. With Kerry, the long-stewing intra-mural arguments over what exactly the Democratic Party stands for could be deferred once again... They expect Kerry to win the people's gratitude for not being George W. Bush...

"The Democratic Party has been stuck in slow gear for two decades... the party chose accommodation or shyness...

"John Kerry did not create this ambiguity of purpose, but he also does not intend to resolve it. His career and carefully nuanced positions suggest he is comfortable with straddle politics, and may not even regard it as a problem...

"The contemporary Democratic Party has also drawn back from the kind of up-close engagement with ordinary people that used to be its hallmark. It is still very much a top-down operation...

"The warrior President is breaking up before our eyes -- trapped by the consequences of his own dumb arrogance and cynicism... the clever manipulations of popular emotions are no longer able to override the visible facts. People can see the man is inadequate, also fraudulent...

"...the policy adviser Kerry assembled... are Clintonoid retreads, both in economic and foreign-policy, schooled to think small and adhere to the conventional center-right principles.... they would deflect any serious pursuit of many large issues that animate the party's rank and file: globalization, corporate power, ecology, public investment on a major scale, getting out of Iraq and not repeating that bloody folly elsewhere" (William Greider. "Slow-Gear Democrats." The Nation, Aug. 2/9, 2004: 8-10).


"... Bush is a very good campaigner... he is campaigning with such determination and verve that... backers... describe his appearances.. as "electrifying"...

"Bush, happy to let others do the thinking, just wants to campaign...

"Bush... clearly enjoys campaigning a lot more than he does presidenting. And why not? Everywhere he goes, he appears before congenial, generally pre-selected crowds, with the most loyal backers up front where the TV cameras can capture their cheers--and with tents full of phones at the rally site so the inspired can start making calls for the campaign as soon as the President finishes speaking. Those not likely to be so inspired are unwelcome at the rallies or near them...

"For the crowds that come to cheer, Bush puts on a good show... While his foibles convey an aw-shucks folksiness, he carefully follows a script designed to connect with the crowds: Evangelicals will hear a rant about "activist judges," small business owners a call for "tort reform." And the rant is updated with each day's talking points...

"Observers who make the slightest attemtp to analyze Bush's statements see through them... But that's of little concern to the Bush team; they're more interested in direct contact with voters. They know that Bush the man polls better than the Bush presidency, and they're convinced that the way to retain the White House is to rally the base personally" (John Nichols. "Campaigner in Chief." The Nation, Nov. 1, 2004: 4-5).


My opinion: Kerry should have refused to concede. He should have told the country that Bush stole the election and that Bush was not the rightful president and that he, Kerry, refused to concede the election. The Democrats are going to have to get some backbone, or they will never win another election against the Republicans, who are willing to pull anything illegal to get their way.


"The Bush campaign can be boiled down to three words: fear, smear, and God" (Matthew Rothschild. "Fear, Smear, and God." The Progressive, Nov. 2004: 4).


"What might the Democratic Party learn from this election? First, that a posture of meekness, resignation and accommodation leads to failure... Second, that money, while it can indeed make a major difference, is not the party's problem; the familiar excuse that Republicans raise more campaign funds was extinguished this year...

The Democratic elite are out of touch... John Kerry did not lose this election in the South (those defeats were fully expected). He lost it in leading industrial states that, given their economic condition, should have belonged to the Democrats. Kerry advocated establishment views... that distanced him from his natural constituency... He did not offer plausible remedies to their pain...

"...[the US is] burdened by swollen US trade deficits and towering indebtedness to foreign creditors, including major trading partners like China. The establishment in both partiees avoided this subject throughout the campaign, perhaps because they know it will mean a very painful economic reckoning...

"The Democratic Party is not the only vehicle for change. Historically, that party's finest moments have come when it was pushed into action from outside by popular movements, from the labor movement to the civil rights movement to the women's movement to the gay-rights movemenet. Such movements--independent of the Democratic Party but powerfully influencing it--must foster and increase their strength" ("Stand and Fight." The Nation, Nov. 22, 2004: 3-4).


"Maybe this time the voters chose what they actually want: Nationalism, pre-emptive war, order not justice, "safety" through torture, backlash against women and gays, a gulf between the haves and have-nots, government largesse for their churches and a my-way-or-the-highway President" (Katha Pollitt. "Mourn." The Nation, Nov. 22, 2004: 10).


"You know it's time for a [regime] change when you hear that Kerry and Edwards both wrote their own riveting, galvanizing acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, heartfelt and effective rhetoric that gives you hope not for the quality of polished oratory but for genuine, refreshing political intellect, and verbal acumen, as you offer deep thanks that at least some politicians can still speak coherently and cogently without mangling the goddamn language at every adjectival clause.

"Whereas you just know Dubya isn't capable of writing a single word of his own speeches, and will employ entire squadrons of lackeys to do it for him at the RNC, and will regardless still insist on mispronouncing "nukuler" and "'Murka" and "terrist" and "gin bender at Yale," and will doubtlessly say something like, "We must stamp out evil in all its forms because evil wants to do evil things to us and evil don't know the depths of its own, uh, evilnesses. Praise Jesus."" (Mark Morford. "How Do You Know It's Time for a Major Change in American Leadership? Let us Count the Signs." http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0811-14.htm. 8-12-04).


"Barack Obama, who gave the Democratic keynote address, delivered a message of uplift and hope. Zell Miller, who gave the Republican keynote, declared that political opposition is treason: "Now, at the same time young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats' manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief." And the crowd roared its approval.

"Why are the Republicans so angry? One reason is that they have nothing positive to run on (during the first three days, Mr. Bush was mentioned far less often than John Kerry)...

"But the vitriol also reflects the fact that many of the people at that convention, for all their flag-waving, hate America. They want a controlled, monolithic society; they fear and loathe our nation's freedom, diversity and complexity...

"...Jerry Falwell, who suggested just after 9/11 that the attack was God's punishment for the activities of the A.C.L.U. and People for the American Way, among others" (Paul Krugman. "Feel the Hate." Unknown source via email, 9-8-04).


I have said from the beginning that the election would be stolen by Bush and company. The hallmark of Bush, Cheney and Rove has been dishonesty and dirty tricks. Now the evidence is coming out about how they stole the election:

Evidence Mounts that the Vote May Have Been Hacked
Do Not Concede election fraud
E-Riposte dedicated to tracking 2004 election fraud
Voters Unite grassroots network for fair and accurate elections
Petition Requesting an Investigation into Election 2004
Congress Must Investigate Election 2004 for Fraud sign up here to request an investigation
Cobb-LaMarch Sues for Recount
Badnarik Sues for Recount
Kerry Won article by Greg Palast
Twelve ways Bush is now stealing the Ohio vote article from Free Press
Learning From the Winners the right won because of a long history of building a grassroots base; the liberals are going to have to do the same thing to beat them


"...life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning...

"To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world. There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people's thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible...

"Looking at this catalog of huge surprises [in history], it's clear that the struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. That apparent power has, again and again, proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars: moral fervor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage, patience-whether by blacks in Alabama and South Africa, peasants in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Vietnam, or workers and intellectuals in Poland, Hungary, and the Soviet Union itself....

"We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't "win," there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something" (Howard Zinn. "The Optimism of Uncertainty." Published on Monday, November 8, 2004 by CommonDreams.org).

What needed to happen:

The (Un)Concession Speech That Could Have Been by Megan Tady


"...The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called "spoilage." Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded. When the bobble-head boobs on the tube tell you Ohio or any state was won by 51 percent to 49 percent, don't you believe it ... it has never happened in the United States, because the total never reaches a neat 100 percent. The television totals simply subtract out the spoiled vote.

"And not all vote spoil equally. Most of those votes, say every official report, come from African American and minority precincts...

"Exactly how many votes were lost to spoilage this time? Blackwell's office, notably, won't say, though the law requires it be reported. Hmm. But we know that last time, the total of Ohio votes discarded reached a democracy-damaging 1.96 percent. The machines produced their typical loss—that's 110,000 votes—overwhelmingly Democratic...

"...these funky "provisional" ballots—a kind of voting placebo—which may or may not be counted. Blackwell estimates there were 175,000; Democrats say 250,000. Pick your number. But as challenges were aimed at minorities, no one doubts these are, again, overwhelmingly Democratic. Count them up, add in the spoiled punch cards (easy to tally with the human eye in a recount), and the totals begin to match the exit polls; and, golly, you've got yourself a new president...

"What now? Kerry won, so hold your victory party. But make sure the shades are down: it may be become illegal to demand a full vote count under PATRIOT Act III..." (Greg Palast. "Kerry Won." http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won.php, Nov. 4, 2004).


"More than half the public, in opinion polls over the past six months, had declared their opposition to the war. Neither major party candidate represented their view, so they were effectively disenfranchised...

"...our soldiers going innocently into Iraq, but becoming brutalized by the war, practicing torture on helpless prisoners, shooting the wounded, bombing houses and mosques, turning cities into rubble, and driving families out of their homes into the countryside...

"The Bush administration, riding high and arrogant, adhering to the rule of the fanatic, which is to double your speed when you are going in the wrong direction, will find itself oing over a cliff, too late to stop" (Howard Zinn. "Harness That Anger." Progressive, January, 2005: 20-21).


"... 77 percent of the gay vote went for the Democrats. They did not deserve it. Their public silence on the anti-gay-rights initiatives in eleven states was shameful. If eleven states were attempting to pass intiatives limiting the civil rights of Jews or African Americans or Hispanics, there would have been an outcry" (Kate Clinton. "Girly Mandate." Progressive, January, 2005: 40)


"A pre-election study by the conservative Cato Institute... concluded that voters were largely uninformed about both the candidates and the partisan issues, and they had "little incentive to gain more political knowledge." The result: "A large political-knowledge underclass of "know nothings," constitutes from 25 to 35 percent of the American public" (Ben A. Franklin, ed. "For the Democrats, Happy Days Aren't Here Again and May Be Far Away." Washington Spectator, Jan. 1, 2005: 1).


"At kiosks and bus stops all over New York, there are posters for the movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse. And almost on every poster, someone has graffitied a very tasteful P at the beginning of the first word. That about sums up the election for me...

"W stands for War on Women. The administration's policy...

  • "proposes a constitutional ban on abortion

  • "pledges to support only anti-choice judges

  • "enforces a law banning abortion without any exception for the woman's health

  • "maintains a law blocking abortion for poor, young, and military women

  • "submits a Human Life Amendment conferring personhood on the fertilized egg

  • "funds abstinence-only sex education

  • "extends the global gag rule on contraceptive education worldwide

"Meanwhile, Bush gets away with all this by "feminizing" some of his rhetoric" (Kate Clinton. "Extreme Makeover." The Progressive, Nov. 2004: 42).


"This was never about John Kerry.

"It was always about the hope of establishing a semblance of sanity in our foreign policy, decency in social policy, and respect for the basic tenets of our democracy" ("The Meaning of Defeat." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 8-10).


"There is also something to be learned from places like Columbia County, Wisconsin, which picked Bush over Kerry, but gave Feingold--the lone vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act--a very comfortable margin of victory.

"Feingold stuck his neck out with votes that Democrats and Repubicans alike warned would be his undoing: against the war in Iraq, against the Patriot Act, against the major free trade agreements. And he campaigned on those votes... even Republicans like that...

"Bush has the same thing going for him... He's seen as resolute, steadfast, and moral...

"In the Presidential election, the Democrats were cast, once again, as unprincipled and purely political, Blodgett points out.

""We weren't seen as believing in anything," he says... "Bush had no problem conveying his strong beliefs. Instead of alienating people, they connected with people...

"We must unify on issues like health care... more than that, we must recruit new candidates and train them...

"Five graduates of Camp Wellstone, which does just this kind of recruitment and training, won local races in Minnesota this year... "We're going to have to take back our country one state at a time" ...

""We need to do that local candidate recruitment and training now, though, so that we are ready when the pendulum swings the other way," he says" (Ruth Conniff. "Reasons for Hope." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 12-13).


"Medea Benjamin ran as the Green Party candidate for Senator of California in 2000...

"Kerry lost because he never provided a clear message or an inspiring vision about the direction this country should take. And we have to admit that Bush's fearmongering and gay-bashing worked. Bush kept on message, while Kerry didn't...

"...those of us from the anti-war movement grimaced every time Kerry would open his mouth...

"This whole Presidential campaign has been devastating for the Greens... We didn't come out of this campaign with a strong sense among progressives of the need to build a third party...

"In Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, there are movements that actually brought progressive movements to power... And elsewhere in Latin America, you have strong grassroots movements, from Mexico to Chile, that are extremely active and energizing" (Elizabeth DiNovella. "Interview: Medea Benjamin." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 33-36).


"Like virtually everyone I know, Dionne finds the Democratic establishment "flaccid" and lacking in conviction: "afraid of being too liberal, afraid of being weak on defense, afraid of being culturally permissive, afraid of being seen as apologizing for big government" (Kate Clinton. "Our Favorite Books 2004." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 41).


"Well, look at it this way: You cannot keep a dog that kills chickens, no matter how fine a dog it is otherwise.

"My friend John Henry Faulk always said the way to break a dog of that habit is to take one of the chickens the dog has killed and wire the thing around the dog's neck, good and strong. And leave it there until that dead chicken stinks so bad the dog won't be able to stand himself. You leave it on there until the last little bit of flesh rots and falls off, and that dog won't kill chickens again.

"The Bush Administration is going to be wired around the neck of the American people for four more years, long enough for the stench to sicken everybody. It should cure the country of electing Republicans.

"I can think of nothing more likely to convince the people not to vote for Republicans again for a long, long time than four more years of George W. Bush" (Molly Ivins. "A Rotting, Dead Chicken." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 50).


"The New York Times columnist Maureen dowd wrote that "the president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagrees to hell"...

"...fact-checking by the nonpartisan Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania found so many twisted fictions and outright falsehoods in both Republican and Democratic campaign speeches and broadcast ads that an inglorious record may have been set. The dreary list can be seen on-line at www.factcheck.org" ("Mission Finally Accomplished--Four More Years of the Political Right." Washington Spectator, Nov. 15, 2004: 1, 4).


"I'm not coming to Texas on vacation. I'll be spending my vacation money on BIBLES. Apparently the bibles we have here in Maine are MISPRINTS. They MUST be wrong! That is the only explanation for the fact that so many Texas folks voted to retain a president who demonstrates a total reversal of the teachings of our (Maine) Bibles!" (Letters. Texas Observer, 11/19/04: 2).


"I detest the wimpiness of these people, upon whom, far more than Bush, I lay the blame for our predicament. Bush and Co. were only being what they are--and what they clearly show themselves to be--greedy, power-grasping thugs and criminals. Of the Democrats we expected better.

"In all truth, when the people we expect to be better just turn tail and run, leaving the nation at the mercy of pure evil, how can we expect the voters to trust them for leadership and courage in times of international peril--real or otherwise? And where has the community of serious Christian believers been while the Devil himself parades around with the cross of Christ as both shield and weapon?" (Letters. Texas Observer, 11/19/04: 2).


"We may never reach a consensus on just what it was about George W. Bush that led so many millions of Americans to ignore his Administration's dishonesty, incompetence, ideological fanaticism and corruption and vote for the guy...

"...like it or not, the perception of "strength" is the sine qua non of American politics. As Bill Clinton famously observed, it is politically safer to be perceived to be "strong and wrong" rather than weak and right" (Eric Alterman. "Big Ideas Need Sharp Elbows." The Nation, Dec. 27, 2004: 10).


"...the so-called liberal media's abdication of its constitutional role--together with an active campaign of deception by the right-wing media, on Fox and elsewhere--is a nation voting in profound ignorance of what its votes will mean... 72 percent of Bush supporters operate in ignorance, and believe Iraq had actual WMDs... 75 percent of Bus supporters believe Iraq was providing significant support to Al Qaeda... A mere 31 percent of Bush supporters are aware that most of the world continues to oppose the US invasion of Iraq... and more than a quarter believing that the rest of the planet approves.

"It's hard to argue that democracy can be said to be functioning under these circumstances" (Eric Alterman. "Faith-Based Journalism: The Refs Work Themselves." The Nation, Nov. 15, 2004: 11).


"Barack Obama, who gave the Democratic keynote address, delivered a message of uplift and hope. Zell Miller, who gave the Republican keynote, declared that political opposition is treason: "Now, at the same time young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats' manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief." And the crowd roared its approval.

"Why are the Republicans so angry? One reason is that they have nothing positive to run on (during the first three days, Mr. Bush was mentioned far less often than John Kerry)...

"But the vitriol also reflects the fact that many of the people at that convention, for all their flag-waving, hate America. They want a controlled, monolithic society; they fear and loathe our nation's freedom, diversity and complexity...

"...Jerry Falwell, who suggested just after 9/11 that the attack was God's punishment for the activities of the A.C.L.U. and People for the American Way, among others" (Paul Krugman. "Feel the Hate." Unknown source via email, 9-8-04).


after election 2004

"...life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning...

"To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world. There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people's thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible...

"Looking at this catalog of huge surprises [in history], it's clear that the struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. That apparent power has, again and again, proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars: moral fervor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage, patience-whether by blacks in Alabama and South Africa, peasants in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Vietnam, or workers and intellectuals in Poland, Hungary, and the Soviet Union itself....

"We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't "win," there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something" (Howard Zinn. "The Optimism of Uncertainty." Published on Monday, November 8, 2004 by CommonDreams.org).

What needed to happen: The (Un)Concession Speech That Could Have Been by Megan Tady


Post Election Websites:

Do Not Concede election fraud
E-Riposte dedicated to tracking 2004 election fraud
Voters Unite grassroots network for fair and accurate elections
Petition Requesting an Investigation into Election 2004
Congress Must Investigate Election 2004 for Fraud sign up here to request an investigation
Cobb-LaMarch Sues for Recount
Badnarik Sues for Recount
Kerry Won article by Greg Palast
Twelve ways Bush is now stealing the Ohio vote article from Free Press
Learning From the Winners the right won because of a long history of building a grassroots base; the liberals are going to have to do the same thing to beat them


"...The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called "spoilage." Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded. When the bobble-head boobs on the tube tell you Ohio or any state was won by 51 percent to 49 percent, don't you believe it ... it has never happened in the United States, because the total never reaches a neat 100 percent. The television totals simply subtract out the spoiled vote.

"And not all vote spoil equally. Most of those votes, say every official report, come from African American and minority precincts...

"Exactly how many votes were lost to spoilage this time? Blackwell's office, notably, won't say, though the law requires it be reported. Hmm. But we know that last time, the total of Ohio votes discarded reached a democracy-damaging 1.96 percent. The machines produced their typical loss—that's 110,000 votes—overwhelmingly Democratic...

"...these funky "provisional" ballots—a kind of voting placebo—which may or may not be counted. Blackwell estimates there were 175,000; Democrats say 250,000. Pick your number. But as challenges were aimed at minorities, no one doubts these are, again, overwhelmingly Democratic. Count them up, add in the spoiled punch cards (easy to tally with the human eye in a recount), and the totals begin to match the exit polls; and, golly, you've got yourself a new president...

"What now? Kerry won, so hold your victory party. But make sure the shades are down: it may be become illegal to demand a full vote count under PATRIOT Act III..." (Greg Palast. "Kerry Won." http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won.php, Nov. 4, 2004).


"On December 6th, 2004 , The BRAD BLOG (www.bradblog.com) published a sworn affidavit by Florida software programmer Clint Curtis. In his affidavit and videotaped sworn testimony presented before members of the U.S. House Judiciary committee, Curtis claims to have been asked by U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) to design a "vote-rigging software prototype". This request took place in October 2000 during meeting at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI), a computer consulting firm in Oviedo , Florida .

"Curtis, a life-long Republican up until then, had been a programmer at YEI, which had several top-secret clearance contracts with the state, NASA and other government agencies. Curtis' understanding at the time was that the prototype he was being asked to create (built to the very precise specifications of Feeney) was to address Feeney’s concerns that the Democrats might attempt to electronically rig the election and Feeney wanted to know what to look out for in that event After informing YEI CEO Mrs. Li-Woan Yang that he would not be able to hide the vote-flipping routines in the software source-code as Feeney had requested, Curtis testified that Mrs. Yang informed him that the program was needed to "rig the vote in South Florida "." (email, 3-22-05, A summary of the key points in the story so far… Based on the Reporting of Brad Friedman; Additional details and a list of key articles can be found at www.BradBlog.com/ClintCurtis.htm).


"The Church of Bush... These are the people who, even in the face of evidence of his casual cruelty, of his unchristian contempt for weakness, of his lying ways, see something angelic in George W. Bush and love him unconditionally" (Rick Perlstein, Village Voice, http://www.alternet.org/, 8-2-04).


"Researchers: Exit Polls were right... Freeman and Mitteldorf write: "In fact, data presented in the report serve to rebut the thesis, and bolster suspicions that the official vote count was way, way off. The report states that the difference between exit polls and official tallies was far too great to be explained by chance ("sampling error"), and that a systematic bias is implicated."

"On average, across the country, Bush did 6.5% better in the official vote count, relative to Kerry, than the exit polls projected. The study found the greatest variance in precincts with touch screen, optical voting and punch-card systems. Only in precincts that used old-fashioned, hand-counted paper ballots did the official count and the exit polls fall within the normal sampling margin of error...

""The exit polls themselves are a strong indicator of a corrupted election. Moreover, the exit poll discrepancy must be interpreted in the context of more than 100,000 officially logged reports of irregularities during Election Day 2004. For many Americans, if not most mass-scale fraud in a US presidential election is an unthinkable possibility. But taken together, the allegations, the subsequently documented irregularities, systematic vulnerabilities, and implausible numbers suggest a coherent story of fraud and deceit.

""What's more, the exit poll disparity doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't count those voters who were disenfranchised before they even got to the polls" ("Dispatches." Progressive Populist, March 15, 2005: 5).


"The Bush family and friends stole both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. The covert operations long associated with George Herbert Walker Bush, former President and CIA director, are now overtly practiced in key battleground states...

"In order to believe that Bush won in Ohio, you have to ignore deadly accurate exit polls and all observable data to avoid the Bush family theft. By refusing to consider this CIA-connected family’s history, one must accept the following ridiculous political conclusions: that Bush supporters were shy in Ohio and Florida and reluctant to answer exit poll questions, but not shy in Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana; that pollster Zogby’s Election Day calls for Kerry in Ohio and Florida were wrong, as well as the Harris poll; that Mitofsky’s exit polling is flawed in the U.S. but an accurate predictor in the Ukraine for fraud; that Kerry easily carried the metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Columbus but lost due to an unobserved Bush surge in rural Appalachia; that Bush won despite an incumbent approval rating under 50%; that Bush got 80% or so of the undecided vote although all professional pollsters agree that undecideds generally vote for the challenger; and private partisan companies that secretly count the vote without paper trails are fair and honestly doing their job...

"...no presidential campaign in recent memory – perhaps ever, has attracted so much support from the intelligence as the campaign of former CIA director George Bush.” Bush and his ex-CIA buddies secured the Vice Presidency in 1980, the Presidency in 1988 and have now rigged the 2000 and 2004 elections for Bush the Lesser" (Bob Fitrakis. "The sun revolves around the Earth and George W. Bush won the election in Ohio." The Free Press. March 8, 2005).


Colby Glass, MLIS