Hey, don’t blame Kerry

This is just to make sure that no one thinks John Kerry is some sort of anomaly out there with the overheated rhetoric.

This companion piece came to me this morning, from Paul Begala, under the headline "Voter Intimidation":

Dear Brad,

Everywhere I go, people ask me: "Are the Republicans going to steal another election?"

They’re right to worry.  With the Mississippi governor challenging new voters and angry crowds intimidating early voters in North Carolina, they’re trying to do what they’ve done before.

It doesn’t have to be like this.  If you give the DSCC the resources they need, they know exactly how to fight the dirty tricks over the last four days and make sure every vote counts. 

We have a team of experienced lawyers and trained poll watchers, ready to jump at any sign of trouble.  And we’re getting every last voter to the polls to win these Senate races by so many votes that this election can’t be stolen….

You know what really cracks me up about this? That it is an article of faith among Democrats that Republicans are "fear-mongers," while Democrats just make up stuff to be afraid of, all in the cause of raising money.

Let me ask you something, however you plan to vote: Do you feel intimidated? Do you know anyone who feels intimidated, as a voter? One more: To quote Ferris Bueller’s garage attendant, "What country do you think this is?" Haiti? Russia? Get a life.

John McCain and Russ Feingold were exactly right to try to limit the impact of money on our politics, and George Will is full of baloney on the subject, with his "money equals speech" spiel.

17 thoughts on “Hey, don’t blame Kerry

  1. Lee Muller

    Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
    By Matthew Mosk
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, October 29, 2008; A02
    Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed.
    Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged.
    In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama’s accounting team as
    it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama’s finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.
    The Obama team’s disclosures came in response to questions from The Washington Post about the
    case of Mary T. Biskup, a retired insurance manager from Manchester, Mo., who turned up on
    Obama’s FEC reports as having donated $174,800 to the campaign. Contributors are limited to
    giving $2,300 for the general election.
    Biskup, who had scores of Obama contributions attributed to her, said in an interview that she never donated to the candidate. “That’s an error,” she said. Moreover, she added, her credit card was never billed for the donations, meaning someone appropriated her name and made the contributions with another card.
    —- Donations from Palestine ———-
    According to the FEC report of October 21, Obama refused to hand over the names of 2,113,000 of his donors.
    Of the 335,000 unique donor names, 37,000 of them had over 100 contributions, many totaling $10,000 or more, which is illegal.
    Many people named as donors and checked by reporters said they had made one small donation or no donation to Obama. Their names had been used with untraceable cash cards from retail stores like Wal-Mart.
    The online store had a large suspicious activity, with $65,000,000 in “sales” but only $2,000,000 shipped according to sales tax reports.
    $32,500,000 of the online store sales came from Palestine, with untraceable cash cards.

  2. Brad Warthen

    To quote my wife’s first cousin, Tim McCarver: "Oh, baby, I love it!"

    I post something about how the Democrats are paranoid for thinking the Republicans are out to get them (which they are, but that doesn’t mean they’re not paranoid), and Lee immediately gives us some GOP paranoia about those dastardly Democrats who are plotting against America…


    And all without any apparent consciousness of irony.

  3. Susanna K.

    I talked to some friends in Columbia yesterday who voted early. The only thing they found intimidating about the experience was the length of the line they had to wait in.

  4. bud

    Brad, there are dozens of articles about voter disenfranchisement during the last 2 presidential elections. In Florida in 2000 there were certainly enough black voters who were not allowed to vote because of FALSE accusations that they were felons to tip the election. The reason ALL the networks projected Gore the winner was because the exit polling showed him well ahead. But the INTENDED vote was different from the COUNTED vote because of the disenfranshisment issue, the butterfly ballot and other factors that favored the GOP. Exit polls are probably the most accurate of all polling because they measure who people actually claimed they voted for. If that claim was not consumated by an actual recognition of their intent then the poll won’t match the final tally. But the poll will, in fact, be more accurate of voter intent.
    So of course the Democrats are wary. That’s a whole lot different from being paranoid. The Dems have been burned before and they’re not about to take this again.

  5. blackflag

    the significance being that the democrats are just (just!) afraid certain segments of the gop base might pull some stuff to discourage poor, black, etc people from voting…this are just political fears, and given watergate, these fears are not to be given short shrift.
    conversely, the right is all to ready to convict we liberals of not just political hanky panky, but must paint us into anti=american stereotypes.
    that is not a fair swap for liberals and democrats, they cannot just get by with being guilty of political skullduggery, hardly something radical or alien, no, they must be made into terrorists, traitors and transvestites. i resent to implications

  6. p.m.

    So, bud, it favored the GOP that its voters knew or could actually figure out how to punch a ballot?
    That says something, don’t you think?
    If those who don’t know and can’t deduce are voting Democrat, what does that tell you?

  7. Lee Muller

    How does an article from the Washington Post become “GOP paranoia”?
    Apparently, any facts about Obama just bounce off the tinfoil hats worn by former journalists like Brad Warthen.
    The major “disenfranchising” of voters is when real voters have their voice cancelled by the massive fraud of the Democrats and their operatives like ACORN.

  8. bud

    So, bud, it favored the GOP that its voters knew or could actually figure out how to punch a ballot?
    Now you’re just showing your ignorance. The problem with the butterfly ballot was not that it was confusing. Rather the problem was that it’s confusion was biased in favor of George W. Bush. Bush’s name matched up well with the place where you made the choice. Gore’s positioning on the other hand, was such that it was likely that a voter intending to select Gore actually chose Pat Buchanan. Heck, even Buchanan acknowledged the votes in the heavily Jewish area of South Florida were skewed in his favor. That problem alone no doubt cost Gore 2-3 thousand votes.

  9. Lee Muller

    In other words, Democrats depend on an illiterate and uninformed voter.
    As decent Americans abandon them, the Democratic Party reaches for new voters among illegal aliens, felons, and the deceased who are still on the voter rolls.

  10. martin

    illegal campaign contributions are bad.
    what’s worse was having a bought and paid for US Supreme Court in 2000, making a ruling that their history showed they would have opposed in any other circumstances.

  11. Brad Warthen

    A "bought and paid for US Supreme Court" … now ya see, he said, speaking very slowly and carefully, this is just the sort of wild and loony observation that gives partisans a bad name in sane society.

    So help me understand here. Was the Florida court that the Supremes overturned "bought and paid for" by the other side? Or could it be… and I’m just throwing out a conjecture for consideration here … that all the jurists involved interpreted the law to the best of their ability, and reached different conclusions.

    The "Gore won Florida" crowd continues to ignore what actually happened. Folks, it was really, really close — so close that it could have gone either way, and NEITHER campaign had any room to claim the election was "stolen" if the other side won.

    And folks, Bush won — just barely, but he won. Certainly not by enough to have anything to brag about, but he won, however many times you run the instant replay. I remind you of the recount the media did (fully expecting, I suspect, to find that Gore would have won):

    George W. Bush would have won a hand count of Florida’s
      disputed ballots if the standard advocated by Al Gore had been used, the first
      full study of the ballots reveals. Bush would have won by 1,665 votes —
      more than triple his official 537-vote margin — if every dimple, hanging
      chad and mark on the ballots had been counted as votes, a USA TODAY/Miami
    /Knight Ridder study shows. The study is the first comprehensive review
      of the 61,195 "undervote" ballots that were at the center of Florida’s disputed
      presidential election.

    The newsies counted it four different ways. Three ways (including the way Gore insisted it should have been counted), Bush won. One way, Gore won. Overall conclusion: Bush won.

    As USAToday reported:

    The results reveal a stunning irony. The way Gore wanted
      the ballots recounted helped Bush, and the standard that Gore felt offered him
      the least hope may have given him an extremely narrow victory. The vote totals
      vary depending on the standard used…

    In other words, if Gore had won his battles to recount his way, he’d have lost, by his rules.

  12. jfx

    And yet, if Gore had been President, we wouldn’t have blundered into this stupid war in Iraq. Nor would we have tortured prisoners, or spied on fellow Americans. Nor would we have totally botched the Katrina response. Nor would we have turned budget surpluses into massive deficits. Nor would we have lost eight critical years on energy, the environment, education….
    Truly, Bill Clinton’s Oval Office BJ was the most destructive sexual indiscretion in the history of human civilization.

  13. Ish Beverly

    My friends in Florida, a reliable source, tells me the voters were turned away because they were not registered, wrong precinct, and/or trying to vote more than one time. Of course the news media only reported that they were turned away, not why.

  14. p.m.

    No, bud, I’m not showing my ignorance. I’m just reasoning based on my real-life experience with Democrats.
    But if Gore lost two or three thousand votes because the ballots were confusing, well, I guess we should just count ourselves lucky.

  15. Lee Muller

    Gore supported authorization of bombing and invading Iraq in 1998, as did almost every other Democrat. President Bush had that authority to continue the war begun by President Clinton from the very day he took office.
    Democrats insisted in voting again in order to go on record supporting “the removal of Saddam Hussein by any means possible” (their original 1998 words).


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