Another stolen election

The web is abuzz with chatter, mostly innumerate and wildly misinformed, about the stolen election. Truly, we have become a global community when an event in Ukraine, where the rightful winner appears to have been cheated, can spark controversy in the United States. Unfortunately, the internet sparks in question are the product of rocks banged together by far—left bloggers hoping to fry a bigger fish. The election they're fixated on is, sad to say, the one we held here a few weeks ago.

You may have the impression that George Bush won a narrow but clear—cut victory, but there are irate citizens out there determined to wipe that smirk off your face. Here is a sample of the painstakingly dogged sleuthing, Dan Rather—style, that defines contemporary liberalism—— inspired reportage by one Wayne Madsen, described by Online Journal as an 'investigative reporter':
'According to informed sources in Washington and Houston, the Bush campaign spent some $29 million to pay polling place operatives around the country to rig the election for Bush. The operatives were posing as Homeland Security and FBI agents but were actually technicians familiar with Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S, Triad, Unilect, and Danaher Controls voting machines. These technicians reportedly hacked the systems to skew the results in favor of Bush.

The leak about the money and the rigged election apparently came from technicians who were promised to be paid a certain amount for their work but the Bush campaign interlocutors [our investigative reporter was groping for the word 'intermediaries'] reneged and some of the technicians are revealing the nature of the vote rigging program...'

Really, it's so hard to know where to stop quoting: it just gets better and better. There's something called Five Star Trust that provided the money; the Saudi royal family is involved; there are, of course, CIA types; adumbrations of James Bath and Arbusto; even Ollie North gets some ink. It's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, a fabulous Rube Goldberg construction, a conspiracy word salad packing in every leftist clich in the book. This sort of stuff transcends criticism.

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, a killjoy, subjected the splendid whimsy to the cold light of reason. Asking the questions that would occur to a sane person, he wanted to know —— 'If untold numbers of operatives really were dispatched to polling places around the country to enact the most nefarious political plot in this country's history [and, surely, the biggest in scope] why would the ring—leaders reveal to any of them any of the following:

The total amount spent on the plan?

The primary source of the carefully laundered cash (Madsen cites 'Five Star Trust')?

The sources of 'other money used to fund the election rigging' (Madsen lists 'siphoned Enron [he couldn't neglect Enron] money' stored away in accounts in the Cook Islands)?

Most importantly, having told their minions all of this damning information, having sent them out on an evil mission that if exposed could overturn an election and require the building of extra prisons just to hold all those who would be convicted in such an overarching scheme, why on earth would they try to get away with NOT PAYING THEM?'


By his belated embrace of rationality, Olbermann almost atones for his foolish flirtation with one of the earliest and silliest attempts to demonstrate Republican skullduggery. A 'web—denizen' (so called by a leftist blogger) named Kathy Dopp discovered that if you multiply the total number of votes cast in a county by the percentage of enrolled Republicans or Democrats, you get a number. Inexplicably, she decided to label that number the 'Expected Vote.' Don't sit there envying her creativity: you, too, can make an intellectual contribution of comparable import—exactly comparable, as a matter of fact. The suggested procedure is simple and will appeal to baseball fans of all ages. Here's what you do: take a player's total groundouts for the season and divide by the times he's been hit by a pitch. Voila! You get a number. You can call the number something that contains the words 'win,' 'average,' and part of your name—or call it something else. Then you can compile these stats for all major league players. Do it for every season, for everyone who has ever played the game. Now, one terrible day, someone will come along and inquire what the hell this number actually measures. This, you should know in advance, is the tricky part: you're on your own. But, rest assured that Kathy Dopp is in the same boat.

She experienced her epiphany on comparing the meager number of enrolled Republicans in Florida's Liberty County, 322, with Bush's robust 1,927 votes (to Kerry's 1,070). The 3,021 votes cast (there were minor—party candidates included in the total) multiplied by the 7.9% GOP enrollment should have, she believes, yielded only 238 votes. The wheels of the blogosphere started turning. Astonishing, heretofore undreamed of feats of hacking were proposed to account for the breathtaking anomaly. Brazen, broad—daylight vote—theft masterminded by Jeb Bush, that familiar villain, was alleged.

Except, there was no anomaly. A visit to the Florida Division of Elections website would have sufficed to reveal the voting patterns of Liberty and other Panhandle counties. In 1988, for example, there were precisely 51 enrolled Republicans in Liberty; Papa Bush beat Michael Dukakis 1,419 to 709. Olbermann, however, swallowed much of this nonsense until he was admonished by Ann Coulter to buy a copy of Michael Barone's Almanac of American Politics. A perusal of the trusty World Almanac, available for twelve bucks, would also have shown the consistency with which some deep—South counties with a heavy preponderance of enrolled Democrats vote Republican in presidential elections.

His redemption, as hinted earlier, was sullied by a concession he made to Madman Madsen: 'None of this is written to downplay the disturbing nature of the Warren County [Ohio] incident.' He is referring to Madsen's claim that the Administration Building there was locked down in response to a terror warning that the FBI denies making. Those Bush devils must have been up to something, as Dubya rolled up 72% in that county, a percentage, Madsen helpfully observes, that greatly exceeds the 51% he received statewide. Uh, he also got 72% four years ago, and the hapless Bob Dole managed 66% in 1996. If you didn't know better, you'd swear Warren County was a Republican stronghold. To his credit, Olbermann acknowledges: 'But that has been the only such report of a 'lock down'.'

The nonexistent anomaly is the outstanding feature of the 2004 version of the Stolen Election.