October 7, 2010
Democrat Dirty Tricks: A Primer on Stealing Elections
Halloween is approaching, but the true horror for Democrats will happen two days later on Election Day. Democrats have much to fear, and they have already reached into their bag of tricks to try to derail Republicans across the nation.
Democrats are desperate to stop the red tide spreading from the heart of the nation and heading toward the coasts. They are eager to preserve and protect their liberal agenda and extend it in the years to come. They fear that Republican ascendancy in the House might lead to the defunding of several elements of ObamaCare and thus put it on life support until they can deliver the coup de grace in 2012 under a veto-proof majority or a new president.
Democrats tremble at the prospect of Congressman Darrell Issa (whose Chief of Staff has earned the sobriquet of The Democrats' Worst Nightmare) investigating a wide range of government programs and agencies. Issa Investigations would encompass the waste and fraud associated with the misnamed Stimulus Bill (that mostly stimulated political allies of the Democrats, among them public unions) as well as dereliction of duty at the Department of Justice as political appointees bend and break the rules regarding the Voting Rights Act to favor the Democratic Party.
Congressman Issa and others can gum up Obama's agenda by the use of subpoena power -- for instance, by repeatedly calling to testify the various czars and czarinas who escaped Senate scrutiny courtesy of Barack Obama's machinations. One of the most potent blows to the Democrats would be Republicans winning in state races and thereby having the power to gerrymander districts based on the 2010 census -- this power would sway elections until the next census ten years from now. Public unions would find it harder to shake down taxpayers, and other unions would lose all the favors the Democrats have bestowed upon them.
Truly, a parade of horrors is in store for the Democrats if the Republicans rise.
Democrats are reaching into their bag of tricks. They are going beyond garden-variety tactics such as push polls and misrepresenting their own records, positions, and even identities (including stripping their party designation, the Scarlet D, from ads; hiding the fact that they are incumbents; denying one's paternity, as in the case of Harry Reid's son, who went the way of Cher during his campaign and used just his first name, Rory; running away from Barack Obama and their own votes on ObamaCare and the stimulus; pledging to vote to repeal ObamaCare and extend tax cuts for one and all; misrepresenting the views of their opponents; and portraying themselves as Blue Dogs despite being Pelosi Lapdogs). And, of course, they are postponing ethics trials of prominent Democrats until after November 2.
Democrats have also been very busy keeping initiatives regarding ObamaCare off state ballots, fearful of giving citizens an even greater reason to go to the polls. Jobs were offered to weak Democratic candidates to take them out of the running so stronger candidates would have the field to themselves -- a violation of federal laws that clearly will be part of the Issa inquiry.
That is old school.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we are beginning to see the Democrats start to rely on "dirty tricks" to spoil the fun (because if you have to run from the policies that are destroying your party's popularity, you have to resort to all means, fair and foul -- and mostly foul -- to win). Politics is war by another means, and when the Democrats are led by the Cook County Gang that could not play straight, all sorts of tactics will emerge.
Let's take a tour across the political landscape and catch some highlights.
The Department of Justice
Under what used to be our system of government, the Department of Justice was charged with maintaining the integrity and honesty of the voting process. Since Eric Holder became Attorney General, the DOJ has become a political tool to protect Democrats. ACORN and other community organizing groups that have engaged in a nationwide pattern of voting abuse have seemingly all but escaped the attention of the DOJ. The New Black Panther Party's videotaped example of voter intimidation has been given a pass by the Department -- a scandal that has brought forth responsible lawyers in the DOJ to testify about race-based policies of the political appointees heading up the Civil Rights division.
The DOJ has also pressured communities to change their election rules to boost the number of likely Democratic voters -- as the DOJ did with the city of Kinston, North Carolina regarding back voters and as they did in Ohio to boost the number of Puerto Rican voters. The DOJ has also been remiss enforcing one aspect of the "Motor Voter" law passed in 1993 -- a law that expanded the voting rolls by requiring states to offer voter registration material at numerous state offices, especially the Departments of Motor Vehicles. The aspect that the DOJ lawyers seemed to have missed is Section 8 of the Voting Rights law, which requires states to cleanse their voter rolls of people ineligible to vote -- including felons and dead people -- and to ensure that people are not allowed to register and vote multiple times for the same candidate.
The potential for fraud that favors Democrats is made clear by two recent examples where citizens' groups have actually done the job the DOJ refuses to do and have uncovered violations of voter laws by Democratic-linked groups.
The Secretary of State Project
The role of Secretaries of State should not be ignored, either.
These are the officials charged with ensuring the integrity of the voting process. Yet many of them have been elected through the efforts of the Democracy Alliance, a group of super-wealthy liberals (led by George Soros), Democratic operatives, and union leaders. This group's agenda is to ensure that politicians they choose to support are elected to these crucial posts. These are officers who are responsible for voting rolls being purged of ineligible voters.
Minnesota's Secretary of State was helped by this group, and it appears that Democratic Senator Al Franken may very well been elected in a narrow win over Republican Norm Coleman with the help of votes that should never have been counted. Ohio's secretary of state during the 2008 election, Jennifer Brunner, was also elected with the Alliance's help -- and had a "see no evil" approach toward ACORN voter fraud in that state. The push for increased early and absentee voting by Democrats and allied special interest groups is ripe with potential for fraud, especially if used in conjunction with street money to encourage votes for particular candidates.
While trying to expand the ranks of likely Democrats, the DOJ is also actively trying to suppress the votes of those in the military -- likely Republican voters -- by giving states a pass regarding their adherence to rules regarding sending soldiers absentee ballots.
The upshot: our soldiers, who are risking their lives to defend us, are risking the loss of their voting rights at the hands of the Department of Justice while the ranks of likely Democratic voters -- including ones that should not be allowed to vote -- expand.
Darrell Issa will have fertile fields to plow at Eric Holder's Department of Justice.
Smear campaigns are the "wetwork" of politics. They are hit jobs, meant to assassinate the character and careers of conservatives. We saw them employed most viciously against Sarah Palin when her entire family came under assault -- a type of collateral damage that is fine by Democrats. During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama warned the GOP to "lay off my wife" and that to make "Michelle an issue in the campaign" would be "unacceptable." Yet he had no problem with the scorched earth, take-no-prisoners hatchet job on the Palin family committed by his minions.
This gang seems inspired by the Cook County mores exemplified by the movie The Untouchables. (Capone: "I want to find this nancy boy Eliot Ness, I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!" See also Barack Obama's threat during the campaign that if they bring a knife to the fight, "we bring a gun," borrowing a line -- as Obama is wont to do -- from Sean Connery's character in the movie.) Lately we have heard the vice president threaten to "strangle" the GOP if any Republican brings up the deficit -- a figure that has significantly worsened under the regime of Obama-Pelosi-Reid.
The ends always justify the means with the gang that cannot play straight.
Democratic candidates are throwing chum in the water to churn the wheels of the rumor mill. The New York Times reports that Democratic strategists are planning the most negative campaign in years and helpfully explained that they were doing so to distract voters from their own records. Democrats are trying to distract voters from their own vastly unpopular policies by focusing on such items as tax liens and divorce records of their opponents. The Obama message of hope and change was "just words."
Sometimes the rumors are started by liberal bloggers. One blogger started a rumor that Republican Congressman Dave Reichert was suffering from a brain injury, making him unfit to serve in Congress (untrue). Another of these creepy critters tried to start a rumor that John Boehner was having an affair with a lobbyist by loudly asking him about this faux-scandal in front of a crowd of people. This blogger -- whose hero has to be the Nixon-era Donald Segretti -- has made a career of following GOP candidates around the country with a handful of mud ready to hurl (hoping it sticks).
Perhaps he was inspired by the insipid example of the New York Times, which ran a huge front-page story right before the 2008 election intimating that John McCain had also had an affair with a lobbyist. Indeed, during the campaign season, the New York Times is transformed into the National Enquirer -- only when it comes to Republicans as targets.
A determined group of activists can gin up a controversy and rely on the echo chamber outlets in the media to broaden and magnify the smear (see Fred Barnes' superb article, "The Colorado Model: The Democrats Plan for Turning Red States Blue," for a template of how this strategy successfully worked in that state).
Perhaps one of the worst purveyors of smears (and other assorted dirty tricks, as will be seen below) is the bombastic Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, who, when he failed to depict his opponent Dan Webster as a Vietnam War draft-dodger, resorted to the video chop shop and patched together a video portraying Webster as "Taliban Dan" concerning his views of women -- an effort that would make Michael Moore proud (but seems to have backfired by its sheer clumsiness).
The smears will become worse in the days ahead -- whether it is a fake controversy involving the Republican candidate for Governor of California Meg Whitman's former housekeeper or the making of phone calls mischaracterizing the positions of Republican candidates (as Democrats did regarding Scott Brown's pro-life position in Massachusetts before that important election for the people's seat -- formerly known as the "Kennedy seat"). Gossip sells -- especially when it is supercharged by Democrats lapdogs in the so-called mainstream media.
A common tactic has been to try to link Democrat opponents to Wall Street and the mortgage meltdown; long-time Democratic dinosaur John Dingell even tried to link his Republican opponent, a cardiologist, to Wall Street. But I have seen it over and over -- always promoting the canard that opponents of the Democrats are profiteers from the 2008 crisis (a disaster that greatly enriched George Soros, the Democrats' number-one patron and the top funder of 527 groups such as MoveOn.org, and a major backer of influential think-tanks such as the Center for American Progress, Obama's Idea Factory -- all tools of the Democrats to gain and keep power).
One could go on and on in this theatre of the political.
Death to the Tea Party
One of the most potent movements in modern American politics has been the breathtaking rise of the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal discipline and responsibility -- traits antithetical to most Democratic politicians. The movement is gaining not just self-described adherents, but also large numbers of sympathizers. The Tea Party has focused attention on areas that make many Democrats vulnerable. Hence, the Tea Party has earned the wrath of Democrats.
We are all familiar by now with the wild charges Democrats and their lapdogs in the media make about the Tea Party, heavy on the Alinksy-style of ridicule: it is racist, retrograde, composed of wackos and pawns controlled by the Koch brothers (wealthy funders of Libertarian causes) and corporate interests, led by profit-making Elmer Gantrys, and mere astroturf groups being controlled by wealthy string-pullers. The reliable bogeyman Karl Rove has also been invoked by the Democrats as way to demonize the Tea Party. Conservative bloggers have been getting this treatment for years; now everyone who opposes Democrats and their agenda is a target.
Democratic Senator Max Baucus has used his power as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee to ask the IRS to investigate a panoply of groups that can be considered part of the Tea Party movement, and -- lest we forget -- Barack Obama ominously "joked" about siccing the IRS on people while he planned to expand the ranks of IRS agents prepared to audit us into submission. Liberal watchdog groups make noise by calling for the IRS to investigate a group linked to Karl Rove. The more chaff in the air, the more the Democrats distract people from the Democrats' collective record.
Democrats uphold the First Amendment when flags are burned and brandish it when Muslims want a mosque built near the 9/11 site -- but they try to chill free speech when people want to express their views towards Democrats. (Hence Barack Obama's disgraceful attack against the Citizens United decision during the State of the Union address; when Democrats want our opinions, they will give us them.)
These efforts have been defeated for the most part. The charges of racism leveled by Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, who said he was spit upon by Tea Party members, led to the offer by Andrew Breitbart of a $100,000 reward for any evidence that such an attack took place. None has surfaced, and videos of the event where this supposedly had happened show no indication that it did occur. The Koch brothers have been pilloried, but when information apparently taken from their confidential tax records was made public, an investigation into possible abuse of IRS information was launched by an inspector general. Others have challenged the hypocrisy of Democrats turning the Kochs into piñatas by highlighting the role of George Soros, the sugar daddy of the Democratic Party. For every Karl Rove claim, one can be made about the maestro of astroturf groups, David Axelrod -- Obama campaign strategist-turned-chief domestic policy advisor.
However, there are trickier and more dishonest tactics being used by Democrats as they tamper with Tea Party. In fact, black ops against the Tea Party are happening throughout the nation -- a vast left-wing conspiracy.
A counter-"people's movement" called the Coffee Party was launched last February and already has seemingly flopped, embarrassing the media which eagerly hyped it at its debut. Groups have been formed by the aforementioned George Soros to monitor Tea Party activists -- meant to expose extremism and racism in the Tea Party. Will this racism charge stick if liberals plant agent provocateurs at rallies -- as they already have done by infiltrating Tea Party rallies to give the impression they are rallies for racists?
A plant, a crude KKK-like sign or T-shirt, and a camera crew -- snap, crackle, and pop: the Tea Party morphs into neo-Nazis.
The Democats' black ops can be creative. Following the adage of divide and conquer, there have been more than a few examples of candidates being put on ballots as a way to siphon support away from Republicans considered tough challengers to Democrats. In Michigan, a group claiming to be the "Tea Party" put 23 candidates on ballots around the state; this was a plot engineered by a Democratic operative to split the Republican vote in November. The affidavits to get on the ballot were notarized by this operative -- possibly a crime.
The ever-creative Alan Grayson also was the wizard behind the curtain in setting up a fake "TEA Party" group in Florida. This TEA party was a shell group set up by liberals to siphon votes away from Republican candidates. Several of these "candidates" had ties to Grayson, and he paid almost $28,000 to the man who turned the (fake) TEA Party into an entity that ran its own (fake) candidates. The Nevada Tea Party candidate running for the Senate (who recently tried to hurt Sharron Angle's chances by secretly taping her) has also been accused of being a fake Tea Party candidate who is trying to help the Democratic Senator and Majority Leader Harry Reid retain his seat.
Democrats are helping such false-flag Tea Party candidates nationwide.
Voters should not judge a book by its cover (or title).
In Pennsylvania, a group called "VoteVets.org" has absurdly tried to link the GOP candidate for the Senate, Pat Toomey, with Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A voter might see the word "Vet" in the name of this group and give its view credence since the military is one of the most trusted institutions in America. However, such trust would be misplaced. This group is a liberal veterans' group based in Oregon (not Pennsylvania) that somehow found hundreds of thousands of dollars to drop into the Pennsylvania race. Another veterans' group has condemned VoteVets as being a political group masquerading as a veterans group and has charged that VoteVets is a small group of veterans bought and paid for by the Democratic Party to run hit ads.
Another example of this kind of dirty trick comes from Nevada, where the Tea Party-sounding group Patriot Majority has been attacking Sharron Angle. Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post investigated and found that this group was formed by Harry Reid's former spokesman and is funded by the SEIU and the AFSCME (the government workers' union).
There are many of these types of groups running ads and endorsing or criticizing Republican candidates around the nation; they may sound legitimate, but they are camouflaged liberal hit groups flying false flags -- like pirates steeling for an attack.
Be forewarned: this essay is only a flyby through the dark Democratic alleys of American politics. There are powerful and wealthy special interests (unions, members of the Democracy Alliance, and many others) determined to retain the reins of power because of the benefits that flow to them -- regardless of what happens to the rest of us. Undoubtedly, new schemes are being hatched now to swing the election their way come November -- and we may never discover them.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.