What They'll Say When They Lose

The panic of an impending landslide is beginning to set in with Republicans.

Over at HuffPo, Tom Matzzie posted an important historical primer for what GOP excuses to expect when McCain loses big. Here's Tom's underlying observation (it's worth reading the whole thing):

Imagine an election where one of the participants calls foul. Investigations are launched or at least called for. Prosecutors raise the specter of charges, the U.S. attorney and FBI get involved. No voter fraud is ever actually found. But by the time that conclusion is reached, the myth has been solidified both to soothe the loser's supporters and condemn the winner.

Sound familiar? Sound like the recent ACORN scandal?

Well, actually I'm talking about the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. That Nixon was cheated out of a win is the stuff of legend on the Right. The allegations say that Kennedy loyalists fixed the vote counts in Illinois and Texas--swinging 51 electoral votes and a majority in the Electoral College to Kennedy. In more hyperbolic versions there is alleged involvement by the mob, the Teamsters Union or legendary Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

The story goes on that Nixon, "for the good of the country," conceded honorably and exited the scene. No matter that Nixon was later chased out of the White House for cheating in an election. The myth endures.

This whole story--maybe to be replayed with Obama playing Kennedy and McCain playing Nixon--is a canard. It is a fable. A lie made up by the conservative movement to hold together their fraying coalition.

In 2008 the stakes are bigger than they've ever been before for conservatives and the canard is that much more important to them.

In the case of Obama the conservative movement is lining up a serious of story elements. They are:

   * Obama was a community organizer.
    * ACORN, a group that does community organizing, has committed voter fraud.
    * Obama is from Chicago.
    * You know what happens in elections in Chicago. Remember the 1960 election.

And of course today's ACORN accusations are just as bogus as Nixon's lies were decades ago.

I quickly parsed the lie on Friday, but Tom sums it up succinctly:

The stunning con of this whole thing is the assumption that bad voter registration cards being submitted will lead to vote fraud. If somebody submits a card for Mickey Mouse it isn't like Mr. Mouse is going to show up to vote. There is no voter fraud if nobody votes.

So what's the intended result of this year's lie? It's two-fold.

First, it's used to justify Republican attempts to purge new voter registrations. We're seeing this storyline Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin (the sleeper voter suppression story of the cycle).

Second, in the likely event of a McCain loss, Republicans will use the lie of election fraud to both: a) de-legitimize an Obama administration, and b) deflect blame from rejected conservative ideology.

Matzzie concludes:

The best way to deflate the conservative fable is to win with an overwhelming landslide that guarantees there won't be a dispute of the results.

We also need to confront the Republican vote purging and suppression. Already big efforts by the Obama campaign, the DNC and independent groups are working on this. Progressives and Democrats are united in this effort.

But we also need to make sure the ACORN canard doesn't get to live in daylight. It is time to circle the wagons and make sure John McCain and the Right can't steal the election...even if we win.

For progressives, the ball is in our court.

So the next time a conservative friend repeats the ACORN smear they heard on Fox News, call them out.

Tags: Election 08 (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

There's additional reasons they push ACORN...

A. It makes it harder for ACORN to register voters

B. It puts all ACORN registrations under scrutiny with local election officials.

C. It makes people who registered via ACORN nervous about whether they are actually properly registered or not.

D. It casts doubt on all voter registration efforts boy other groups -- including the Obama campaign. The latter because of the GOP's efforts to tie this all to Obama.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-10-13 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: There's additional reasons they push ACORN...

All true and a great distillation of the strategy behind the tactics.

This should come as delicious irony, then.

For Immediate Release:                        For More Information Contact:
October 13, 2008    Brian Kettenring: (727) 692-7215 or flacornho@acorn.org

ACORN to McCain: Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?

Senator Allied with ACORN as Recently as 2006, Now Turns Cold Shoulder

October 13, 2008, Miami, FL - U.S. Senator John McCain's recent attacks on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), are puzzling given his historic support for the organization and its efforts on behalf of immigrant Americans.  As recently as February 20, 2006, Senator McCain was the keynote speaker at an ACORN-sponsored Immigration Rally in Miami, Florida at Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus.

The rally, co-sponsored by ACORN in partnership with the New American Opportunity campaign (NAOC), Catholic League Services - Archdiocese of Miami, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Dade College, People for the American Way/Mi Familia/Vota en Accion, the Service Employees International Union, and UNITE/HERE, was intended to call attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Senator McCain spoke at the rally attended by hundreds of ACORN members, most of whom were dressed in the red shirts typical of its members.   Senator McCain's speech focused on the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, a bipartisan, comprehensive reform bill, which McCain sponsored with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer of ACORN, said, "It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans. Maybe it is out of desperation that Senator McCain has forgotten that he was for ACORN before he was against ACORN; he was for immigration reform before he was against immigration reform; and he was a maverick before he became erratic.  We were thrilled to partner with him to help reform the outdated immigration laws in this country, and were pleased to work closely with him on this issue."

Lewis continued, "We expected Senator McCain to support our efforts to give voice to millions of American's who have never participated in an election before.  We are surprised at his efforts to vilify an organization that, until recently, he saw as an ally.  Maybe this surprise attack and change of heart is indicative of his state of mind, and the way he would govern."

Senator McCain and his campaign have recently launched a series of coordinated attacks on ACORN, the nation's largest community organization of low-and middle-income families.

Ms. Lewis went on to say that, "We are sure that the extremists he is trying to get into a froth will be even more excited to learn that John McCain stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN, at an ACORN co-sponsored event, to promote immigration reform."

Senator McCain was joined at the rally by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), leaders from both political parties, immigrant communities, and members of labor, business, and religious organizations.

About ACORN
ACORN is the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country.  Since 1970, ACORN has been building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy and voter participation.  ACORN helps those who have historically been locked out become powerful players in our democratic system.  The organization recently completed its national voter registration drive by registering 1.3 million new voters across 21 states.

###

by nathanhj 2008-10-13 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

FOX NEWS IS PISSING ME OFF

I mean all the ticker at the bottom of the screen says is

ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN

enough!!!!!!

by wellinformed 2008-10-13 05:15AM | 0 recs
Question

Is it even possible that non-ACORN entities submitted those fraudulent registrations on behalf of ACORN, with the intention of discrediting the group?

I haven't read about it extensively, so I don't know if this may even be a possibility.

by Sieglinde 2008-10-13 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

there weren't progressive blogs and a progressive movement before.

The GOP fights the same fight thinking the Democrats are the same opponents, they are losing because they still don't consider the Progressive movement credible, or they haven't figured out how to fight people powered politics.

by TruthMatters 2008-10-13 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

If they use "circumstances" to explain away their losses, let them. The GOP is in desperate need of a major change as a party, and such a self-delusional denial of reality would just make it easier to beat them again in 2010, and perhaps beyond.  

Right now people are done with conservatism. That ideology is at odds with where the American people are.  I WANT them to claim that not to be so, to suffer defeat after defeat at the ballot box in the foreseeable future.

by devilrays 2008-10-13 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

Actually, I disagree that people "are done with conservatism", what people are done with is the Republican party in it's current state, which has as much resemblance to the conservative philosophy as a fish does to a bicycle.

by skohayes 2008-10-13 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

Really? You really believe conservative ideology is still relevant today as a majority ideology?

 I would like to find out what part of that ideology you think resonates with a majority of the American people?  The "lower tax" herring is thoroughly gone, as people below the higher-income brackets have become wise to the real facts about who benefits when conservative Republicans engage in lowering taxes.  "Get government out of the way" is a staple of conservatism and is absolutely dead in the water.  People want government involved more than ever in most facets of business and public life, just NOT in our bedrooms and with the reproductive choices people make (conservatives had that one grossly backwards.)  People are sick and tired of the conservative foreign policy doctrine, which makes us the muscle-flexing bully, the UN the enemy.  They want diplomacy, working with our allies together to find solutions for crisis abroad, now more than ever.

No, conservatism in its rawest form has been debunked as unworkable.  Sure, its demise was helped along by the hypocrisy of those practicing the doctrine, but that is what usually happens when someone actually puts a bougs ideology to the test of time and finds that it sounds plausible in theory but is not at all workable in reality.  

by devilrays 2008-10-13 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

Lower taxes. My the taxes on my house when Bush came into office were about 1/2 what they are now. The trick the Republicans lead by Fox News / Grover Norquist use it that they lowere your taxes by 10 cents and the rich get theirs lowered by thousands of dollars.

by hddun2008 2008-10-13 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

I would like to find out what part of that ideology you think resonates with a majority of the American people?  The "lower tax" herring is thoroughly gone, as people below the higher-income brackets have become wise to the real facts about who benefits when conservative Republicans engage in lowering taxes.

You know, I've never met anyone who wants higher taxes, including myself. I certainly see the need for them when our budget deficit is nearing 10 trillion dollars, we're borrowing money from China to pay for the wars and our economy has just hit the skids.
I'd rather see a balanced budget, balanced trade, and lower taxes as a result of those things, wouldn't you?

"Get government out of the way" is a staple of conservatism and is absolutely dead in the water.  People want government involved more than ever in most facets of business and public life, just NOT in our bedrooms and with the reproductive choices people make (conservatives had that one grossly backwards.)

So did you stand there and applaud when Bush created the mammoth called the "Department of Homeland Security"? How has that worked out for us so far (see FEMA and New Orleans, and Galveston Texas for examples of how more government isn't always better)?
I wouldn't mind seeing a more efficient, less bureaucratic government. Because people turn to the government for help in times like these does not mean they want the government involved in their  lives "more than ever". The less I deal with the federal government, the better off I am.

The problem is that since the days of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have overspent, grown the government and produced huge deficits every time they've been in office. 70% of our current deficit can be attributed to the last 3 Republican presidents, which tells you that they weren't conservatives, but they were Republicans.

by skohayes 2008-10-13 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

So, you bought into the "lower tax" herring the GOP sold to you?  It is nothing but bullcrap.  Look at reality instead of the sales pitch.  They WANT to forcefeed you the line "hey, 5% of the taxpayers (the rich) pay 95% of the taxes, so they deserve the huge tax breaks.  Yes, you get nothing but crumbs, but don't fret. Eventually it will trickle down to you as well."

 You actually BELIEVE that conservatives have anything else in mind (other then helping their cronies and buddies) when they say "TAX CUTS"?   Laughable.  Bill Clinton started the process of the long slow death of conservatism, as he proved that you can be a Democratic president, balance the budget while having a healthy economy, giving tax cuts to the lower-income bracket (via Earned Income Tax Credits) and keeping the taxes on the upper income earners on a fair level.  NOBODY wants to bring the taxes on the upper earners back to 70%, as it was before 1980.  Now we are seeing the completion of the relegation of conservatives to the dustbin of politics, utterly irrelevant for the foreseeable future.    

As for the second part:  You are simply not getting it.  I ALREADY stated that we don't want the conservatives idea of government. Policing people's personal choices, using a war to tear apart the constitution and call it "The Patriot Act."   OF COURSE I did not applaud the creation of the "Dpt. of Homeland Security."   Conservatives are bent on building a police state, which is par for the course.  "Privatizing" social security was another such idiotic idea only "conservatives" could come up with.  We can thank our lucky stars that was shot down, since solid stock market performance was at the root of that boondoggle.  

We need stronger government involvement as it is common in European nations in areas like health care, research.  The MARKET based approach has gone down the tubes and we are now taking a bath for it - housing market, financial market, automobile industry, and so on, are now on the verge of becoming government takeover targets because of the constant "Let the markets handle it and police themselves. Get government out of it" yelping, which was quite obviously the exactly wrong approach.  

by devilrays 2008-10-13 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

A Sign of the Times:

I am a Democrat who lives in a very pro-Republican, Navy town (my hubby grew up here). This past Saturday morning, while attending my son's soccer game, I saw two very nice European cars (Elitists!!) slowly driving around and around the parking lots. Both cards had nylon flags attached to the tops of the front doors, flapping in the breeze, and large magnetic signs on the side doors. One of the cars even had a speakerphone on top, with the driver urging all folks to register to vote. Here's the sign of the times: the flags and signs all read "OBAMA-BIDEN." The sight nearly brought me and mom to tears (of joy). I cannot emphasize enough how Republican a town this is, yet, yet, this was the latest sign that more and more Dems are coming out of the closet, so to speak, on The Rock! Yeah!

Obama/Biden, the SANE choice!

by CeeMac 2008-10-13 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

I live in the weirdest of all cities I think--Houston. Its about 5 million people and about 80% are working class or poor. About 19% are upscale middle class and of course 1% are very wealthy. My neighborhood is Mid-Middleclass. I see some of the weirdest things. Since 1994 the Republicans have conducted a incessnant war on the Middle Class in the USA. When Bush took over that warfare escalated on both fronts against us--economic and civil rights as granted by the Constitution. Here is what I think is so weird. All along Bush worked to enhance the wealth of the rich 1% group. My next door neighbor setup a McCain / Palin sign in her yard. I had it at that point. She is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. I went over and asked her if she had completely lost it--Bush VETOED funding for stem cells for research including cancer research which could save her life and yet she is voting for MCCain.

by hddun2008 2008-10-13 09:28AM | 0 recs
And Once Obama's in Office

There has to be federal legislation that puts a stop to voter suppression.

by kaleidescope 2008-10-13 06:34AM | 0 recs
Why this is not Kennedy/Nixon

Kennedy won a VERY, VERY close election against Nixon in terms of the popular vote. Just 100,000 votes, or one-tenth of one percent, separated the two in the popular vote. Easier to make that charge.

This election is not going to be close. Obama will win this election by at least 6 points, and an electoral college majority of at least 335.

Of course, reality has never stopped these clowns from such delusions. In a way, I kind of hope the do cling to this delusion. It will make them only that much easier to beat.

by bushsucks 2008-10-13 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

See, I always remember the story as Nixon dropped out because his people did the same thing in Peoria and downstate Illinois that Daley did in Chicago, so a big to do, would have but him at political risk as well.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-13 06:51AM | 0 recs
The nutbars will believe anything..

It's the islamofacist-Jewish Banking-New World Order-Sixties Radicals-"Arab---he's an Arab" crowd....

And, the people that actually know will still use excuses to cover their complete lack of a policy that Americans can get behind.

I also agree, Kennedy BARELY squeaked by, If Obama wins, it will be significant, and not a few thousands votes here or there...

Won't stop em from complaining, cause Faux has to fill those hours of TV time with something...

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-13 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose

I agree with pretty much everything in the thread, but I have to admit, when I started reading, I thought Matzzie was talking about Ohio 2004, not 1960.  Don't get me wrong, I don't know what actually happened there, and I agree as much as anyone that Bush was the debacle of the century, but let's never forget what we look like in the mirror.  That's how you end up back on the short end of the stick eventually.  (Actually, that must not be the right metaphor, it seems that Fox News Republicans these days don't look at anything else besides themselves in the mirror).

by cat 2008-10-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: What They'll Say When They Lose
Ohio 2004. Kerry whimped out. He should have stuck it out for a total recount. Same as Al Gore--what happened to that guy. I don't like to say it but in retrospect I think the RNC got to Gore with something that was personally very bad. He said he was dropping the counting in Florida due to the Supreme Court. "BS"-the Supreme Court has NO jurisdiction in a decision on the Presidency--just go over the entire Constitution and find me the part that shows the Supreme Court can decide who is the President. The Founding Fathers did not even put in it that the Supreme Court could review laws when it was written in 1787--That power came under John Marshall about 25 years later.
I think the RNC is having a tougher time now because  many state governments have turned blue thanks to Howard Dean. What that means is that the States are run by Democrats up and down the line. So, if Karl Rove sends in his Diebold team of ELECTION MACHINE FIXERS they stand a good chance of getting caught and sent to jail. You tell me who would go to jail now for BUSH, Cheney, McCain, or Palin--no one. Bush / Cheney can still get prison time when they leave office and the Dems get a person with some spine to go after them.
by hddun2008 2008-10-13 09:37AM | 0 recs
"Stabbed! In the back!"

Torchlit parades to follow sometime shortly thereafter.

You'd think they'd have something....newer by now, wouldn't you?

by palamedes 2008-10-13 09:33AM | 0 recs

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