Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dawn over Boulderhead

So... I'm confused.

The fix was in, right? I mean, we all believed it. The polls might have shown the Dems with pretty big leads -- 5, 6 percentage points going in to the elections -- but we all knew that, between reprogramming the electronic voting machines, and all the other dirty tricks Rove would pull, somehow, when the smoke cleared, the Republicans would have just barely squeaked through with their majorities intact.

We all knew that. Many of us blogged about it with enormous indignation. Hell, they'd stolen the last three elections with exactly the same bag of rat fuck. We knew they'd never let the Dems take majorities in either house. It was pretty clear they were desperate to stop it. Elizabeth Dole was raising millions for Republican campaign war chests by warning that the Democrats might actually investigate Bush. Clearly they were running scared.

And it's been obvious from the start of campaign season that this was going to be a historically nasty, dirty campaign. The Repubs were stooping to new lows in their attack ads. The Administration had done nothing to make the actual vote counting process more transparent or accountable since 2000, or 2004. And inexplicable glitches were already cropping up when the voting machines were test run. What's any thinking being to conclude, given all this data?

The fix was in.

Hell, most of us spent the entire month of October waiting for the inevitable October Surprise. Billmon was worried Bush was going to nuke Iran and declare martial law... and nobody was laughing at him.

But nothing much happened. John Kerry shot off his yap, but there was no way a dumb joke was going to offset all the Foley damage. And it didn't. The Democrats won. Not just the House, but the Senate.

And it baffles me.

I mean, I sat there with SuperFiancee yesterday, watching Fox News talk about the Virginia Senate race, and I told her, with that weird combination of smugness and cynicism that all us types who read Talking Points Memo every day affect: "Okay, well, the full fury of the Rovian jerrymandering machine is about to descend on Virginia".

And it hasn't.

And I don't understand it. How can the Republicans let this one go? If they managed to successfully dispute even one Senatorial election, they could get the Senate back to 50-50. A tie is a win for them, because Dick Cheney would break ties, and Cheney is wildly unlikely to ever vote on the Dem side of any issue. I honestly think he'd die first, although I'm sure he'd prefer to shoot someone before it got to that point.

But, they let it go. They didn't fight. I mean, yeah... most vicious political campaign since Stephen Douglas called Abe Lincoln a damned dirty ape... but still. Once the votes were in... they didn't fight it.

I just don't get it. Can't figure it out.

Couple of theories:

Alpha -- The fix WAS in. But Rovian politics are based on a particularly noxious two part harmony. First, you polarize your electorate with wedge issues into roughly equal parts. Then, you hijack 3% of the opposing vote, anyway you can. When you sing this little ditty correctly, you end up with anything between 51 and 53% of the vote. Not exactly a sweeping mandate, but Fox News will call it one anyway, so what the hell.

The beauty of this system is that the 3% you steal from your opponent, by hook or by crook, is always within what the pollsters like to call 'the margin of error'. This means that it is virtually impossible to prove vote fraud by any statistical method. But that 'margin of error' can contain thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of votes (see 2000 Presidential election). And those votes, in a close election, are usually all you need to win.

Obviously, both parts of the equation need to work. If you don't divide your electorate in half, or very close to it, then stealing 3% isn't going to get you where you need to be. And if you have to steal more than 3%, you're outside that magical 'margin of error' window, and suddenly, statistical analysis can reveal your chicanery. Don't want that.

In this case, the Rove model broke down, because, well, considerably more than 48 to 50% of the electorate was pissed at the Republicans. Between the calamitous misconduct embodied by the War on Iraq, the crappy domestic economy (which has only started to go into free fall as we begin to feel the first effects of the housing bubble collapse), record profit making by Big Energy, corruption scandals breaking out like a plague of boils all through the Republican Congress, and this whole frickin' Mark Foley/page boy thing, well... there wasn't a wedge issue in the universe that was going to get Rove the 48 to 50% vote share he needed. Polls going into the election indicated, as I mentioned way at the top, that in most races Democrat challengers to Republican incumbents were leading by 5 or 6 points. That means Rove had 44 to 45% of the electorate. That wasn't gonna get there.

As I noted at the time, and still believe, reports that the races were 'tightening' in the last few days were little more than smoke, meant specifically to cover the usual 3% vote hijacking already programmed into the results before the election even happened. But in this case, 3% wasn't enough. It certainly cut the Democratic margin of victory way down, and probably saved quite a few Republican seats that, had the elections not been rigged, would have gone blue.. but, still, it wasn't enough. The Dems just had too big a lead in too many places. And, like they said in GOODFELLAS after they whacked Joe Pesci's character, there was nuttin' they could do about it.

That's my first theory, what we call the Sunshine and Bluebirds Hypothesis. Snidely Whiplash did his best, but in the end, wrong failed and right prevailed, and the good guys foiled his nefarious plan. Democracy works! Moon pies for everybody.

One final, somewhat tangential note, before we move on to my beta speculation:

I'm seeing a few idiots here and there on the 'net bitching along the following lines: "Gee, you Dems were so sure the elections were rigged. You were ready to protest about every result, so certain your votes were going to be stolen. But, now that you've won, you've forgetten about all of that. The electronic voting glitches, the miscounted ballots, the disenfranchised voters -- none of that matters to you anymore. Seems like if you win, all of a sudden, the election results are completely valid, and you immediately forget about all the whining you did before about how unfair it all was."

Let me, as the big lizard guy in GALAXY QUEST might put it, explain it as I would to a child (a deeply retarded child, at that):

If you're playing in a casino you know is crooked, and somehow or other, against all odds, you manage to beat every dirty trick the management throws at you, well, as the croupier is pushing this huge stack of chips over to you, it is not wise, nor even remotely sane, to at that point leap up and shake your fist and scream "THE GAME IS FIXED, MOTHERFUCKER! I DEMAND YOU SPIN THAT WHEEL AGAIN!!!"

I mean, you beat the system. You don't call for an investigation before you cash in your chips. You wait, and after you've got the money, then you call in the state inspectors.

Now, as you walked in the door, you may have said to your buddy walking next to you, "This place is really crooked." You may have even shouted, as you walked by all the suckers playing the nickel slots, "You guys can't win! The machines are rigged!" You may have repeated these accusations at varying levels of volume and shrillness to the croupiers, the cigarette girls, and the pit boss. You may even be wearing a t-shirt saying THIS CASINO SUCKS THESE GAMES ARE A TOTAL RIP OFF while you play.

Even so, assuming you win, there would be no point, at that point, in reiterating your complaints. You won. Take the money. Investigate later.

And only a gigantic gaping orifice -- I mean, just a huge vast enormous pulsating hideously flatulent rectum of truly galactic proportions -- would possibly find anything to criticize in that behavior.

Abandoning the analogy -- the Dems can't do real election reform until they get into power. If they manage to win the rigged elections without having to drag everybody into court all over again, well, what do you want them to do? Take everyone into court anyway?

Hopefully, that's clear even to the morons in the audience.

Although with some morons, you never know.

Moving on, my second theory in regard to our inexplicable election result is somewhat darker.

Beta: They're throwing us a bone. And none of this will make any difference.

You have to go deep to get your head around this one. Accept, as I do, that the Big Dogs were in on 9/11 since long before 9/11, that they let the whole thing happen, and you have to accept a few other things, too. One of them is the idea that we no longer have a free press; that, in fact, our media has been entirely co-opted, and the news we read in the papers, see on the tube, and hear on the radio is only what the Big Dogs want us to know about.

(If we tin foil hat types are right about 9/11 -- and we are -- then this has to be true. Our national journalists aren't incompetent, and there's plenty of irrefutable evidence of U.S. government collusion in 9/11 out there, easily accessible. It's the biggest story of the 21st Century. If it's not being reported, it's because the Big Dogs don't want it reported.)

Assuming the entire media is in the Big Dogs' collective corporate pocket, as is nearly irrefutable if you believe the things I do, then, well... that means pretty much EVERYthing we read in the paper, or see on the news, is pre-approved by our corporate masters. We never see anything they don't want us to see. And even the things we do find out about (somehow) get spun however it is the Big Dogs want them spun.

Now, this entire election has hinged on breaking news. The Mark Foley page boy scandal, especially. Assuming the media is co-opted, how in the world did something that damaging to the Republicans ever come out, a month before a big election? They'll cover up government conspiracies to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but they won't cover up a high ranking Republican Congressman who has been stalking 16 year old page boys for ten years? How does that make sense?

Then there's the polling data. Most of my first theory is based around polling data. Nearly all the election speculation and reportage we see leading up to an election, and nearly all the analysis afterward, is based on polling data. Where do we get the polling data? We read it in the papers, and we see it on the TV news. So if the media is completely corrupt... how can we trust the polls? And why in the world would the Big Dogs tell us, going into a big election, that the enemy is leading by 5 or 6 points? Why would they get our expectations up like that, if they intended to yank the elections out from under us again?

Now it could be a straight up show of megalomaniacal strength. That's what I believe the whole 'Cheney shoots a guy in the face' thing was. That could have been kept out of the news easily. Cheney didn't bother, because he's above the law, and he wants us to know it, and to know that there's nothing we can do about it. What's the point of being the 21st Century equivalent of a Roman caesar, if you can't strut your stuff every once in a while?

That is, it could have been a straight up show of megalomanical strength, if the Republicans had won. They release the poll data showing the opposition has a chance, and then, they crush us like gnats at the last second. Message: there is no hope. Give up and do what you're told.

But the Dems won, largely due to scandals reported in a media feeding frenzy a month before the elections. And if the Big Dogs do control the media -- as they must -- then the only way that makes sense is if the Republicans threw the election.

And I couldn't figure that out. Why would they throw the election? But this is one of the nearly infinite reasons I love SuperFiancee. She's just smarter than I am. I was talking to her about this while I was on break a few minutes ago, and she knocked it out of the park. So... forget all that stuff I said about throwing us a bone. As the guy and the two chicks say in the song, I can see clearly now.

The Republicans did indeed throw the election, but it wasn't to placate us. It's worse than that. The Republicans are going to let the Democrats take the blame for... well... for everything. They know the bills are about to come due. They can't pay them... nobody can. So they're skipping out for a couple of years.

Let the Dems raise the minimum wage and close some corporate tax loopholes. Won't matter. With the housing bubble burst, we're heading into a killer recession if not an actual depression. A higher minimum wage won't mean a thing when nobody has a job. You think the fat cats won't be able to hire all the help they want for $2 an hour under the table? It's the answer to their prayers, actually; they can deport all the Mexicans and still get someone to cut their lawns cheap.

That's an oversimplification, but I really think SuperFiancee has hit the bullseye here. The Dems are being set up as national, and international, fall guys. They can't save the economy after eight years of Republican corruption run amok. They can't save the environment after centuries of abuse, and a decade of willful, obstinate, insane profiteering in defiance of every urgent scientific recommendation otherwise. They can't bring gas prices down if the Big Dogs don't want them to. They can't make us win a 'war' that we aren't fighting for any reason any of us would understand, where the entire purpose seems to be to spread as much chaos as possible rather than to establish any kind of unified government structure.

And the Republicans are tired of taking flak over the consequences of their own actions. So they're going to slip out to the pub for a few beers, and leave the Dems holding the bag.

Let the Dems try to dig us out. Any plan with a remote hope of accomplishing anything whatsoever will have to require massive sacrifice on the part of the American people. The Republicans certainly don't want to take the blame for any of that. Let the Dems try. They'll fail miserably, and in 2008, whoever gets the nod -- assuming whoever is pulling Dubya's strings doesn't decide to just keep him on the throne indefinitely -- will run with a campaign of uplifting, semantically meaningless nonsense (like "it's morning in America") and suddenly, the Repubs are the saviors of the Republic.

Okay. Now for a few depressingly cynical predictions:

Last night, I saw Nancy Pelosi talking about the Dems' six point plan to make American a better place. One of those six points was to eliminate the financial incentives given to Big Oil and use the money thus raised to invest in alternate energy research.

Here's what will actually happen: The Dems sit down at a meeting with, say, Dick Cheney. He says "You try to do that and oil prices will go through the roof. Your constituents will be paying $5 a gallon for gas for the next two years, if they're lucky." And the Dems will quietly steal away into the night, and never say a word again about messing with Big Oil's profits.

My second prediction is kinda related, but even more depressing. You know how we all want to bring the troops home from Iraq? Here's what will happen with that -- assuming the Dems even try to push that, Cheney will essentially tell them the same thing: no troops in Iraq, no cheap oil. He might even call a press conference to tell the American people that directly. Watch how fast our idealistic desire to support the troops dries up when we're looking at five bucks a gallon to fill up our SUVs.

After all, the American way of life is worth any sacrifice... as long as, you know, someone else is making it.

Hey, I'm not confused any more.

Just depressed.

Time to go do a post on the other blog about HEROES. Ah, sweet sweet fantasy eases the pain...

POSTSCRIPT: Gigantic gaping orifi -- and by that, I mean, huge vast enormous pulsating hideously flatulent rectums of truly galactic proportions -- should not get all giddy when they notice the comment threads on this blog are not moderated. I was not willing to tolerate their vacuous twaddle in comment threads on previous blogs, and that remains unchanged. Said doodie-heads know exactly who they are, they have their own electronic soapboxes to avail themselves of if they wish to respond to any of my points, and any attempts on their part to clutter up my corner of the Internet with their flailing, drooling, dumb ass dipshittery will not be countenanced any longer than it takes me to log back in and get to the delete screen.

You have been so advised.


At 6:41 PM, Blogger AaA said...

Oh? So, you saw it too?

Of course, you're missing some of the bigger parts of the picture...

Throwing the prez's second term midterms is nothing but set-up for an 'October surprise' from hell. After all, an October surprise that happens on your watch is more than a little suspicious; but if the 'nasty ole Dems' are in charge of Congress; and manage to put a few 'namby-pamby, soft on terrorists' judges on the big boy's bench... well, NOW it looks a lot more credible that they're to blame for what went horribly, oh-so-horribly, awry.

We're gonna lose a city. Maybe a couple of 'em. They're gonna be cities that are too important to simply evacuate and abandon after the 'incident', too. And Halliburton, Inc., or one of its innumerble subsidiaries, will win that clean-up contract.

Timetable? Fuck, for all I know, it just happened. Now's the perfect time to declare martial law.

No, scatch that. It'll be right after Congrees does something significant to limit or remove the Homeland Security Act's more invasive violations of our privacy.

Then we'll come screaming for their blood, and hand their heads to Dubya ourselves.

And democarcy dies, to thunderous applause. (Forgive me, couldn't resist. At least I gave the line a good home.)

At 6:47 PM, Blogger AaA said...

Ugh, shoulda previewed. Sorry for the spelling errors.

Also, I forgot to mention the cities will be very populous, so there will be enough survivors to be rounded up for the internment camps. Gotta protect Halliburton's profit margins.

Hopefully there some some fellow tinfoil-hatters out there keeping an eye on iodine purchases, so we get some advance warning. 'Course, if it's biological, even that won't help us.

At 5:34 AM, Blogger Handsome said...

Start going down this reality tunnel and there's no end to it. There are rumors the government can actually create and roughly steer hurricanes now. What if Katrina was a test run?

See, some stuff just doesn't bear thinking about it.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger AaA said...

Sigh... I think I have a good idea of how they'd go about it, too. There are a lot of exothermic reactions of a non-toxic nature that produce copius amounts of heat which require fairly cheap mass-produced materials.

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous The Aberrant Eye said...

As I started typubg this, I was listening to 2 the Ranting Gryphon talk about the Snooze Button, and I realized that was what They hit a week ago.

I don't think They actually threw the election so much as decide to let it proceed honestly for once. (At least, I hope that was it.) They presumably knew people were watching Them, and that They couldn't silence all those people without it being obvious enough that the survivors would have to take to the streets. Ever-alert for the sound of tumbrils, They presumably decided to let the will of the voters prevail in the booth itself, and hope that Their noise machine had catapulted the propaganda sufficiently to sway those voters' wills.

I suspect aaa's right about the next stage of Their plan, but if I were They, I'd wait until the people went back to sleep before I sprang the trap. Then comes the fire, and the order, and the willingness to let anything be done to us, even if it's something else, for a safe and secure society that will last ten thousand years.

At least, that's the plan or something like it. We have to hope that people will see it coming, that our warnings will have an effect.


At 2:39 PM, Anonymous The Aberrant Eye said...

"Tex"? I swear I meant to type "Tux". (Well, my first name is Austin...)


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