Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Did Bush Steal the White House, Again?

 

People who saw Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 will recall the scene of Congressional Black Caucus members requesting a single member of the Senate to support their calls for investigations into the stolen election in Florida that put Bush in the White House in 2000.

Last week, that scene was re-enacted over disputed results in Ohio last November. Only this time, instead of responding with craven silence, Democratic senators–or at least one of them, Barbara Boxer of California–agreed to support a challenge to Bush getting Ohio’s electoral votes.

But after a few minutes of speechmaking on the importance of electoral reform, the Congress went ahead and dismissed the complaints about Ohio, certifying Bush as the victor in that state, and therefore the next president.

Bush’s opponent, John Kerry, was AWOL–having arranged for a visit to troops in Baghdad to coincide with the certification vote. In the Senate, only Boxer voted to pursue an investigation. In the House, 81 Democrats voted with the Republicans to dismiss the objections–and 80 House Democrats didn’t even bother to show up.

As Salon’s Tim Grieve described the spectacle, “There was no sense of history being made, no sense that anything was really happening at all.” In the end, the Democrats’ performance in 2004 was only slightly improved over their dive in 2000.

For more than two months since the November election, a number of activists have documented voter intimidation and dirty tricks carried out by the pro-Bush hacks running the Ohio election–starting with Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell–to suppress the Democratic vote. Similar hijinks took place in Florida, Georgia and other states.

But this doesn’t prove that Bush stole the election like he did in 2000–or that “Kerry really won,” as hundreds of Internet activists argue today.

If there was anything notable about the election and the dirty tricks involved in it, it was how similar Election 2004 was to every other election organized in the U.S. Alone among major industrial democracies, the U.S. leaves election administration in the hands of corrupt and partisan local officials–and vote-counting to the private manufacturers of voting machines. And the Electoral College–a relic of the pre-Civil War era–chooses the most important office in the country, not a nationwide popular vote.

That’s why even if it could be proved that Kerry really won Ohio, his victory would be tainted–for having been won in the Electoral College, while losing the popular vote. While the left was right to denounce Bush as illegitimate when he became president after losing the popular vote in 2000, it would have no moral high horse to ride if Kerry had become president under similar circumstances.

The dirty secret of American “democracy” is that neither major political party wants elections to be truly democratic and free. Instead, they want a system that predictably produces victories for their corporate money-soaked candidates.

Counterpunch’s Alexander Cockburn is correct when he argues: “Do I think the election was stolen? No more than usual. The Democrats are getting worse at it and the Republicans better. Back in 1960, it was the other way round. The best-documented stolen election in history is probably the one that put Lyndon Johnson in the U.S. Senate. Next came the one that gave JFK the White House. So, for sure, there’s vote suppression in Ohio and Florida. I don’t think it made the crucial difference.”

Many of the liberals who complained about voter suppression in 2004 were also the same people who spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours to make sure that Ralph Nader would not appear on ballots across the country. And a brewing scandal in California alleges that Democratic Secretary of State Kevin Shelley diverted some of the more than $3 billion in federal money appropriated to modernize the state’s voting system to cronies and his own partisan self-promotion.

The Democrats’ sorry performance throughout Election 2004 should show just how wrong is anyone who thinks that a party named after democracy would actually be interested in it.

LANCE SELFA writes for the Socialist Worker.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
October 18, 2018
Erik Molvar
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail