Smile Politely

There Will Be Civil War

John McCain’s biggest problem might be honesty. If he were dishonest, the companies that fix elections might ensure his victory tonight.

Unfortunately for McCain, he truly has spent his career fighting pork and the special interests who feast on it. Take, for example, his earnest assessment of The War Indu$try in Eugene Jarecki’s masterpiece Why We Fight.

If McCain would only act as a conduit, taking dollars from you and giving them to Diebold, Blackwater and Halliburton, he could be celebrating his victory right now (even though the polls are still open). If we find out, ‘round midnight, that the polling data has been stunningly wrong (again!) and the Obama landslide was actually a near miss — we’ll know that McCain’s conversion to the dark side is complete: that he’s a ghostly shade of his 2000 character.

I’m very much in touch with the American electorate. I have voted for the winner in every presidential election: Clinton, Bush, and Kerry. As it turns out, Kerry didn’t get to be president. Like Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1960, Karl Rove stole the 2004 election by determining the number of votes needed, and then providing them.

Daley got help from the dead. Rove got help from computer technology — simply adjusting the figures until they worked out in his favor. His coterie of shadowy operatives, led by the Diebold Vote Generator Company had a trial run in Georgia, in 2002. War avoider Saxby Chambliss never persuaded Georgians of his patriotism advantage over Vietnam veteran Max Cleland. Electronic vote fraud just made it seem that way.

Diebold, in an effort to stymie criticism for its complicity in this theft, changed its name.

Diebold is not the only offender. Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel owns the company that tallied his remarkable landslides. His moderate, responsible Senate career mitigates the turpitude. But election stealing is wrong, even if the bad guy is the victim.

Congressional Republicans, the beneficiaries of electronic vote fraud, had no interest in investigating. The Democrats did investigate.

Intriguingly, only a few people really seem to care, or even notice. It could be that most of America believes its vote doesn’t count anyway. Perhaps it’s only WASP-y, center-right, culturally-Episcopalian voters like me who really ever thought they had a voice in governance. Everyone else views vote stealing with resigned disdain, as a source of excellent satire.

But not this time. This time, Black America has a horse in the race. Indignance of fraudulent results will not sufficiently vent its frustration. If electronic voter fraud changes significant Obama leads into razor thin McCain margins, in just enough states to get McCain 270 electoral votes, I predict — and don’t much discourage — a violent, armed uprising. Watts, 12th Street, and Rodney King hold no candle to the rampage you would see beginning sometime in the next ten to 15 hours.

It could happen. Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman spell it out:

Like Ohio in 2004, where Karl Rove and his Republican operatives spun a tail of a last minute voter surge from right-wing evangelical Christians including homophobic old order Amish in horse and buggies, the Pennsylvania narrative is already obvious. It includes the following elements: Hillary Clinton beat up on Obama in Pennsylvania, the Bradley effect of closet racist Democratic voters, and Obama’s comments about “bitter” people clinging to their guns and religion. All of these will be used to explain away Obama’s double-digit lead when, in the wee hours of the morning the Republican cybervote comes in.

This country was founded via armed insurrection. The American Revolution was just the start. Shay’s Rebellion provoked our Constitution. John Brown’s raid incited northern abolitionists to a redefining war — America 2.0 if you will. We’ve encouraged and funded “freedom fighters” in places so far flung as Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and French Indochina.

Waging war against a tyrannical central power is in our genes. It’s the reason we maintain a 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

But the companies that steal elections aren’t motivated by principle. They have only one motivator: money. And John McCain — unlike the tax & spend “Republicans” who usurped the GOP in recent years — really has preferred to limit windfalls for corporate special interests.

Or at least John McCain 2000 felt that way. The John McCain we once knew preferred that. We’ll know in a few hours whether that John McCain still exists. If so, his integrity will be the end of him. His failure to play into the hands of evil will have written his final chapter on the national stage.

We can only hope.

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