C’mon people, this fake news isn’t going to report itself!

by John Holbo on October 21, 2008

Pity Jay Nordlinger: ‘A friend of mine writes this morning with a question: ‘At what point will Americans finally get fed up with voter fraud — with what ACORN is doing in Ohio, for example?’ … If something is in the news, they’ll think about it. If it is not — how can such thinking be triggered?”

In fairness, Republicans have to shoulder a lot of the blame. TPM reports on a conference call on ACORN-related voter fraud with RNC spokesman, Danny Diaz

… When we tried to follow up [on charges of vote fraud], Diaz cut us off and shifted the discussion toward a general attack on ACORN for submitting fraudulent registrations.

Yes, the RNC spokesman apparently cut off attempts by members of the liberal media to discuss the very thing Nordlinger thinks the media needs to focus on, in a conference call set up for that very purpose. Very mysterious, I call it.

{ 21 comments }

1

Ginger Yellow 10.21.08 at 12:15 pm

“At what point will Americans finally get fed up with voter fraud…”

Ooh! Ooh! I know. At the point when it becomes a real problem rather than an imaginary one resulting in, at most, a few hundred fraudulent votes across the entire country..

2

Pete 10.21.08 at 12:45 pm

I thought there was a real problem with hijackable electronic voting machines, or is this something different?

3

Michael Drake 10.21.08 at 1:02 pm

That’s not a vast right-wing conspiracy we can believe in.

4

Steve LaBonne 10.21.08 at 1:37 pm

This is priceless.

5

MarkUp 10.21.08 at 1:55 pm

”At the point when it becomes a real problem rather than an imaginary …”

But it is one, and now. Both parties abuse the game for partisan ends just like with drawing con-gressional district maps where they are allowed. They are the ones who put in place a system that in many many cases permits for such folly. As nice as it would be to lay all this on the lap of just one party, it would be wrong. Think about how else one could describe ACORN. Privatized voter registration paid for with donated funds [or a tax of choice]. A simple system needs to be put in place to eliminate the burdensome costs of ineffectiveness. The “real” problem may in fact be what’s happening on the other side of the room with backs turned; we [mostly] all recognize the politics of diversion yet can be quite dismissive.

6

Michael Turner 10.21.08 at 2:29 pm

Diaz doesn’t want people to “focus” on ACORN and the supposed epidemic of voter fraud for which ACORN is the supposed primary vector. Rather, he and the RNC want people to just skip past that inefficient, time-consuming “focus” part and simply be fed up with ACORN, so that any mention of ACORN and Obama in the same breath will erode support for Obama. Focus should be the last thing Diaz et al. would want. Focus is not just inefficient and time-consuming. Focus would make it clear that these are silly, trumped-up charges.

Besides, isn’t it enough to be fed up with Obama because he’s an Arab Muslim terrorist? Works for me. Let’s get the focus back where it belongs. Uh, I mean the lack of focus. Oh, you know what I mean.

7

Steve LaBonne 10.21.08 at 2:41 pm

Both parties abuse the game for partisan ends…

But only one actively tries to keep people from voting. Could there be a worse sin against democracy?

8

Nick 10.21.08 at 2:47 pm

Besides, isn’t it enough to be fed up with Obama because he’s an Arab Muslim terrorist?
No, no, no. He’s Saddam Hussein’s nephew. Or something. Some guy in a bar told me. So it must be true . . . right?

9

MarkUp 10.21.08 at 3:30 pm

”Could there be a worse sin against democracy?”

Yes, but that’s like arguing the proper positioning of Barrators ~v~ Sowers of Discord and Schism in Dante’s lower 8th ward. Maybe HAVA was the best compromise at the time; perhaps an incremental step forward, perhaps back owing to added complexities. If or when the D’s put forward a real plan that loses partisan affiliation to the process as a whole, we can discuss a place in Limbo.

10

Ginger Yellow 10.21.08 at 3:33 pm

“Think about how else one could describe ACORN. Privatized voter registration paid for with donated funds [or a tax of choice]. A simple system needs to be put in place to eliminate the burdensome costs of ineffectiveness. “

Oh, sure. I’m all in favour of standardised government registration as in the UK (and federalised elections, for that matter), but as Steve says, any attempt at equivalence is absurd. One “side” (and it’s only a side because the Republicans have abandoned the urban poor and minorities) produces a proportion of inaccurate/fraudulent registrations as part of a drive to increase participation (and arguably to advance its side’s favoured party), the other “side” (an actual political party) works to deny people (especially minorities and the urban poor) their votes to reduce participation and to advance itself.

11

Steve LaBonne 10.21.08 at 3:36 pm

Yes, but that’s like arguing the proper positioning of Barrators v Sowers of Discord and Schism in Dante’s lower 8th ward.

Sorry, this is reeking bullshit. Nothing the Dems have ever done in terms of redistricting or whatever even begins to compare with the massive Republican campaigns of vote suppression and voter intimidation.

But given your talent for false equivalence, may I suggest that you seek employment with one of our esteemed mainstream media outlets. You’re clearly a natural.

12

Nick Colgan 10.21.08 at 4:20 pm

ACORN isn’t an issue. It never was. A few canvassers looking to make quota handed in some fake registration forms. The net effect: negligible. There was no grand conspiracy to vote under fake names. Even if there were, the consequences don’t compare to those of say, electronic voting machines, for example.

13

MarkUp 10.21.08 at 4:39 pm

Who said anything about them being equivalent? It benefits your argument to place that label and add the false to it too boot. If I had intended to place them in ‘equivalence’ I perhaps would not have indicated two of Dantes ditches, when one would have sufficed.

OSCE/ODIHR seems to agree with many of my concerns about faults in the process. In 2000 GWB’s big money collection and playing for the EC win was the problem [aside from Chad Nader] now in the hand of the other it’s a credible way, the way, to win. Most of us know the R screams of fraud are mostly, but not all, pure BS. They’re playing the game to “win” with tools the game has to offer. They, singlehandedly, did not make the rules. If that says “false equivalence” to you, so be it, but it’s like saying the D’s do not participate in the Noble lie.

Toyotas’ Prius is wonderful, but does that excuse the falling standards of the rest of their fleet and their [combined with our big 3’s] attempts to block higher CAFE?

14

Steve LaBonne 10.21.08 at 4:50 pm

If I had intended to place them in ‘equivalence’ I perhaps would not have indicated two of Dantes ditches, when one would have sufficed.

Oh, that’s so very persuasive. Nice try. Well, not really.

They, singlehandedly, did not make the rules.They invented and perfected the tools of modern (i.e. post Voting Rights Act) voter suppression, and thoroughly corrupted the US Dept. of (what used to be) Justice in the process. There is not merely nothing equivalent on the other side, there is nothing that bears mentioning during the same week, let alone in the same breath.

Now, do you actually have something to say, or don’t you? I’m guessing in the negative.

15

MarkUp 10.21.08 at 5:37 pm

All hail the Savior then.

“There is not merely nothing equivalent on the other side”

Again, who said there was? How many D’s in “safe” seats favor coming up with an Iowa like redistricting plan when it may challenge the “safety” of their seat? There’s no real disputing the corruption that’s been wrought in the last 8 years, though there is much that can be said about what was done, or not, to at least try and stem the rising tide that did affect all boats. Omission can be just as dangerous as fabrication. I already voted, not for James, Brian, Ralph, Gloria, Bob, Cynthia, John, or Chuck, [tempting as some were] so I could be free on the 3rd and 4th to take care of other needed duties of the process, but that doesn’t mean I give up my skepticism of change just happening, or that what does is “good” for US like the bailout….

OTOH I could just be a carrier of Morgellons Syndrome.

16

Matthew Kuzma 10.21.08 at 6:46 pm

Also, voter fraud has been in the news lately. Namely, with the Young Political Majors in California.

17

lemuel pitkin 10.21.08 at 7:02 pm

ACORN isn’t an issue. 0

Well, except that they are doing really important, admirable work with minimal resources to register people to vote. Which is kind of important to democracy generally, and to lots of particular progressive causes.

It would be nice if once — just once — liberals could find a way to say something postive about ACORN’s work, instead of the faint praise that they are irrelevant. Seems to me the kid busting their ass for eight hours every day getting people registered has earned more praise from CTers than “not a crook … probably.”

18

MarkUp 10.21.08 at 7:49 pm

ACORN’s work is good and meaningful, and don’t leave out Project Vote and the others. Any group that aims to do that in a democracy is good even if they seek only like [wrong] minded folks. It’s a shame they are needed, that We can’t come up with a better way that doesn’t lend itself to such BS coming from either side. It’s not really that tough a problem to solve and could be far more effective than the ~30-40 million spent directly to sign up new folks each cycle + the additional costs of fending off or casting the real or perceived bias to the various programs.

19

roy belmont 10.21.08 at 10:37 pm

“that We can’t come up with a better way that doesn’t lend itself to such BS coming from either side”

The Man has some guard dogs. They’re not so fierce as they are quick and snappy, and there’s a lot of them. You can get into spots where you have to deal with them on their terms, but it’s better to just avoid them if you can. Because it’s why they’re there, to pull energy, to distract and waste time, to keep you from seeing clearly what it is they’re protecting.
Answering accusations of voter fraud made against ACORN is probably necessary in some venues some of the time, but the noise of the dispute masks the low rumble of the remarkably widely-held view that the last two national elections were rife with voter fraud, and that that fraud was entirely by and for Republicans, or whatever it is most Republicans are employed by.
So that engaging the ACORN slander at face value deepens the obscurity of that much larger and darker fraud.
Which is probably what prompted Cynthia McKinney to say on Democracy Now! on October 16:

20

roy belmont 10.21.08 at 10:39 pm

“blockquote cite” should be relabeled “disappear quote”
What McKinney said was:
“There’s something else that’s a bit more troubling. I’ve also been talking about election integrity as I’ve gone across this country. But, you know, I really don’t like the idea that the face of election fraud, given the past two presidential elections, is now a face of color and one of poor people.”

21

MarkUp 10.21.08 at 11:13 pm

Welfare Queen Redux. Again.

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