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November 30, 2004

Behold the power of delusion

The site I've been spending the most time on lately is Democratic Underground. Of course, I'm not permitted to post there, but registration isn't required simply to lurk, and I've been quite the lurker. At first I just came for some simple schadenfreude, to enjoy a little well-earned gloating, but now I simply can't look away. It's a fascinating glimpse into the minds of the delusional. A doctoral candidate in psychiatry could probably get a hell of a thesis out of it.

Not being a psychiatrist myself, I don't know if there's a formal name for the syndrome the DUers suffer, but it's most interesting. They hold an unshakeable belief, a belief not only that they are right, but that the rightness of their ideas is self-evident. They simply can't countenance the possibility that anyone would support Bush over Kerry, let alone a majority. This belief is so ironclad that evidence to the contrary must be explained away... no matter how preposterous the explanation, nothing is less probable than the chance that they are simply wrong.

How to explain Kerry's electoral defeat? The snap judgment was that the majority which supported Bush was stupid, misled, or both. That reconciles the outcome with the conviction, but it leads to an uncomfortable state of mind. People don't want to live in a country of fools and dupes. Furthermore, the tiny voice of rationality intrudes. Intelligent, clear-eyed Bush supporters exist, and they damn well know it.

So the story changed: the election must have been stolen. The majority did support Kerry, and did agree with their worldview, but Bush's evil cabal, led by the execrable Karl Rove, rigged the ballots. It's not enough to believe that Kerry's 160k margin of defeat in Ohio was the result of fraud, his 3.5 million margin of defeat nationwide was also stolen. Think of it: these people believe that Bush managed to steal over three million votes without leaving piles and piles of evidence. (This is difficult to reconcile with their belief that Bush is a low-grade moron, so of course the sinister plot is led by Rove and Cheney, the puppet-masters.)

But what of John Kerry, whom they had elevated to the level of a demigod? He's been silent about the fraud. How to explain that? On DU, no fewer than three theories have been proposed: he's biding his time and plotting, he's in league with the Bushes and was simply a prop, and he or his family have been threatened. All three have found their share of adherents. At first, the "biding his time" theory was most popular, but as the days tick by it's becoming less credible and the faithful are losing hope and drifting to the other two theories. It's fascinating to watch them turn on their man. The few faithful who remain have become ever more shrill as more and more of them break out the knives. The one theory which has not been widely proposed to explain Kerry's silence, of course, is that he really lost, he really knows it, and he's coping. That would shatter the myth.

A few DUers have suggested this, of course... not all of them are entirely insane. These poor voices of reason have been shouted down as "defeatists".

And now, the latest: Michael Moore. Appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Moore wore a suit and a clean-shaven chin, and spoke of Kerry's defeat. Not a fraudulent election, not a massive Republican conspiracy, but an electoral defeat. Moore tried to explain Kerry's loss... while everybody knows that he really won! The DUers are outraged. Some believe, as they did with Kerry, that Moore is plotting something, that his apparent joinder with the "defeatists" is all a scheme, a scam to get the Republicans off-guard. Some believe he must have been threatened. But most of them seem to think he's sold out. He's in the pocket of the Republicans. Think of it: Michael Moore in the pocket of the Republicans.

It's an awesome demonstration of the power of delusion. No theory, no matter how outlandish, will be rejected as long as it permits them to cling to their belief that their ideas are correct. It's fascinating to watch, and I encourage everyone to spend a few hours enjoying the spectacle.

November 30, 2004 in Election '04 | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

November 29, 2004

Election fraud proven!

The liberal sites are a-buzzin' with conclusive proof that the election in Ohio was stolen from John Kerry by George W. Bush. The evidence? The fact that C. Ellen Connally, the Democratic candidate for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, did better than John Kerry in certain counties.

This thread at Democratic Underground spells it all out, linking to the brave and intrepid reporter at FreePress.org who uncovered the fraud. Jesse Jackson has gotten into the act, saying that the situation does not "pass the smell test". Cliff Arneback, an attorney who is filing a legal challenge to the Ohio results, said "It's simply not credible that a vastly underfunded African-American female candidate at the bottom of the ticket could outpoll John Kerry in Butler County", and has also been quoted as saying that the "only possible explanation" is that votes were shifted from Kerry to Bush. Reportedly, Connally received over 257,000 more votes than Kerry.

This poster at DU sums it up nicely (emphasis added):

4 Counties in southern Ohio had big discrepancies between votes cast for Dem Prez (Kerry) and Dem Supreme Court (Connally)
Butler County: Connally got 45,457 more votes than Kerry
Clermont County: Connolly got 22,998 more votes than Kerry
Warren County: Connally got 24,785 more votes for Kerry
Hamilton County: Connally got 16,289 more votes for Kerry


Pls distribute this info!!! More to come....

Suspicious, very suspicious.

There's a slight problem, though. According to the Columbus Dispatch, John Kerry received 2,659,664 votes, while Connally received only 2,017,602. Far from a 257,000+ margin for Connally, this is actually a 642,062 margin for Kerry. So what gives?

Well, if you read deeper into the damning FreePress.org article, we find that they're actually referring to Connally's margin over her opponent, incumbent Justice Thomas Moyer, versus Kerry's margin over his. They're saying that ( Connally - Moyer ) - ( Kerry - Bush ) is 257,000+. Fair enough.

But there's still a problem. By the Dispatch's count, Kerry lost to Bush by 136,483 votes, while Connally lost to Moyer by 291,505, leaving Kerry with a margin of 155,022 votes. (Note that all these figures are preliminary, and the final tally including absentees and valid provisional ballots will alter them slightly.) So now what gives?

Well, it turns out that ace investigative reporter Bob Fitrakis of FreePress.org picked 37 of Ohio's 88 counties in which Connally's margin exceeded Kerry's, and summed the totals to get his figure of 257,546. Seems to me that this means that in 51 of Ohio's 88 counties, Kerry outperformed Connally by 412,568, but okay. If Fitrakis and Arneback claim that this constitutes incontrovertible proof, for which there is no other possible explanation but fraud, who am I to argue?

In the interest of promoting fair elections, I decided to apply Fitrakis's and Arneback's proven method to my own home state of Washington, and the results I found are truly shocking.

I compared Bush's performance vis a vis Kerry with the performance of Republican candidate for Attorney General Rob McKenna. McKenna's opponent was liberal hero Deborah Senn, who as the state's Insurance Commissioner took on the evil big insurance companies and brought them to their knees. Certainly no Kerry voters would have pulled the lever for conservative (and miserable bastard) Rob McKenna, right?

Let's start with the DU post, in which poster "mod mom" found a "HUGE OH 4 county discrep betw Kerry + Connally". Believe it or not, I found the same thing in Washington!

King County (Seattle): McKenna got 82,364 more votes than Bush.
Snohomish County (Seattle northern suburbs): McKenna got 18,529 more votes than Bush.
Pierce County (Tacoma): McKenna got 10,987 more votes than Bush.
Thurston County (Olympia): McKenna got 10,164 more votes than Bush.

Truly astonishing. Lest you doubt that these are, in fact, liberal counties, note that while Kerry carried Washington State by 205,307 votes, he carried these four counties by a combined 323,592 votes.

But does that really prove anything? Well, maybe not. Let's look at the all-important margin... that is, ( McKenna - Senn ) - ( Bush - Kerry ). Here's where we might find our smoking gun.

Fitrakis examined 37 of 88 counties, or 42%. I decided to go him a little better and examine 29 of Washington's 39 counties, fully 74%. The numbers, I think, speak for themselves.

County Margin
Benton 1948
Chelan 1406
Clallam 2561
Clark 11390
Cowlitz 1413
Douglas 103
Grays Harbor 3381
Island 4265
Jefferson 3025
King 240889
Kitsap 17699
Kittitas 1520
Klickitat 54
Lewis 599
Mason 4046
Okanogan 151
Pacific 636
Pierce 42515
San Juan 2021
Skagit 6276
Snohomish 56575
Spokane 16434
Stevens 114
Thurston 29763
Wahkiakum 35
Walla Walla 507
Whatcom 13134
Whitman 1562
Yakima 4953
Total 468975

Clearly, John Kerry stole Washington!! There's no way that George W. Bush's margin was legitimately 468,975 votes less than Rob McKenna's. Votes must have been shifted from Bush to Kerry. I call on Jesse Jackson to travel here and demand a full manual recount. I call on Cliff Arneback to file suit seeking to overturn the election results. I call on Bob Fitrakis to write a story exposing this obvious fraud. There is no possible other explanation.

Well... maybe there is. Maybe voters split their tickets sometimes. Maybe some people who voted for John Kerry also voted for the conservative Republican white male Rob McKenna. And also, maybe some Ohioans who voted for George W. Bush also voted for the Democratic black female C. Ellen Connally. I admit that this scenario is a bit more farfetched than the idea that a massive conspiracy stole Ohio for Bush and Washington for Kerry, but it behooves us to consider it. Just in case.

UPDATE: It turns out that "mod mom"'s figures were wrong. Actually, Connally got only 5,347 votes more than Kerry in Butler County, 4,146 in Clermont, and 2,143 in Warren. All three are dwarfed by Hamilton County, in which Kerry actually got 31,030 more votes than Connally. The figures "mod mom" used are the margin. Applying that to my own investigations into the obvious fraud in Washington, we get:

Thurston County: McKenna's margin exceeded Bush's by 29,763
Pierce County: McKenna's margin exceeded Bush's by 42,515
Snohomish County: McKenna's margin exceeded Bush's by 56,575

And the topper:

King County: McKenna's margin exceeded Bush's by a whopping 240,889.

November 29, 2004 in Election '04 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

A special offer for liberals

As readers of my posts on this blog and elsewhere are well aware, I'm a gambling man. I like to place wagers on propositions, especially against people whose vision of the future is somewhat clouded. "Put your money where your mouth is!" is my battle cry. I cleared over $600 wagering on the 2004 election cycle, much of it thanks to skittish investors who bid Bush futures down to the mid 20s when the first wave of exit polls was released.

I have a proposition that I'd like to offer to any liberal readers, particularly opponents of the war in Iraq. And the best part is that your stake will be fully tax-deductible and will go to benefit a charity... possibly even the charity of your choice, although I kind of doubt that.

The Long Bets Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to facilitating long-term wagers. Examples of current Long Bets are:

  • By 2030, commercial passengers will routinely fly in pilotless planes.
  • By 2010, more than 50 percent of books sold worldwide will be printed on demand at the point of sale in the form of library-quality paperbacks.
  • The US men's soccer team will win the World Cup before the Red Sox win the World Series.

That last was, of course, recently resolved in the negative.

All proceeds from a wager go not to the winning bettor, but to his choice of charity. I'm proposing a Long Bet, with the following proposition.

  • By 2024, George W. Bush will be widely considered a hero in Iraq.

Why do I believe this? Because his father is widely considered a hero in Kuwait for the same achievement: liberation from Saddam Hussein. Because I believe that within 20 years, Iraq will be a flourishing democracy, and they'll know whom they have to thank for it.

Why am I making this challenge? Because I'm sick to death of listening to liberals whine about how Iraq is a mess, how Bush has completely screwed up that country, how he "lied us into war", and I'm fed up with you guys screaming every setback from the rooftops while ignoring every success. Certainly, the situation in Iraq is far from perfect, but I believe there is more reason to be hopeful than to be pessimistic.

You don't have a crystal ball, and you don't know how Iraq will turn out. Neither do I, but at least I'm not the one phrasing my prediction as a certainty. I'm not at all positive that Bush's vision of a democratic Middle East will succeed, but I'm confident enough to put my money where my mouth is. Are any of you?

The amount I had in mind was $500 each, but I'd be willing to entertain alternate proposals. Ideally I'd like to go up against a prominent liberal blogger or commentator. I emailed this offer to both Ted Rall and Michael Moore, but neither saw fit to respond. Funny, that.

This is your chance both to demonstrate the courage of your convictions and to help a worthy cause. Who will take up the gauntlet?

November 23, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 16, 2004

The mental health of liberals

It took me awhile to figure out that this post at the Boca Raton News was not parody. Board-certified psychologists really have diagnosed Post Election Selection Trauma, and it really is known by the acronym PEST. Apparently, the defeat of John Kerry has caused an entirely new psychiatric disease in certain weak-minded individuals.

I don't know about that. I've spent a good bit of time studying the post-election liberal psyche at Democratic Underground, and it seems to me more like the left is progressing through the classic Stages of Grief.

1. Denial. "Kerry didn't really lose the election! Bush stole it!" In some cases, the denial is so advanced that the patient is determinedly convinced that Kerry will, in fact, be inaugerated... and yes, there are plenty of people who believe this. The delusion can progress to the point where the unfortunately afflicted individual believes that a candidate for re-election can improve his vote percentage in 49 of 51 states by fraud, and can steal a margin of over 3,500,000 votes without leaving huge red indicators.

2. Anger. "Everyone who voted for Bush is stupid!" This was a pretty predictable reaction to the election results. It's typified by people like Ted Rall and organizations like the Daily Mirror, and is espoused by many who hypocritically call the Republicans the party of cultural elitism. Close-minded partisans on both sides of the aisle believe their position is so strong, so clear, that they find it impossible to understand how rational people could disagree. They are left to conclude that their opponents are stupid, insane, evil, or a combination of the three. In this particular case, racism and homophobia often ride shotgun alongside stupidity.

Patients who are transitioning from Stage 1 to Stage 2 often direct their anger at John Kerry... not for being a lousy candidate, not for running an incompetent campaign, but for conceding the election when it became clear he had lost. Those who remain in denial console these people by pointing out that concessions are not legally binding and Kerry can still win.

3. Bargaining. "Maybe it's time to change" Finally, the grief-stricken individual starts looking for ways to deal with his loss, rather than denying it happened or reacting with rage. Liberals in this phase suggest looking for ways to appeal to the majority of voters who rejected them. Popular proposals include banning partial birth abortion or dropping gun control. Their comrades who have made less progress react with disproportionate fury to these modest suggestions. They object that this would amount to "surrender" or "becoming the Republicans". Or that they have no intention of debasing themselves to appeal to the aforementioned racist, homophobic idiots who comprise the majority of the voters.

4. Despair. "This country is worse than Nazi Germany!" Also known as the "wailing and gnashing of teeth" stage, symptoms include hysteria and dramatic attention-whoring. A patient in this stage may threaten to commit suicide by relocating to a frozen wasteland. The recommended treatment is to hand them a plane ticket and bid them bon voyage.

5. Acceptance. This stage is characterized by recognition that America is still America, and that while democracy means occasionally seeing your candidate lose, life goes on and the world does not end. To the best of my knowledge, no patient has yet advanced to this stage. The prognosis for most of them is grim.

November 16, 2004 in Election '04 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2004

Ford for nominee

In the aftermath of the disastrous performance by Democrats in 2002 and 2004, speculation has begun over who will carry their flag in 2008. Hillary Clinton is by all accounts the frontrunner, with universal name recognition and immense popularity among the Democratic faithful. The nomination is probably hers for the taking, and I can't help but view the prospect with mixed feelings. On the one hand, a Clinton candidacy would have many advantages for whoever is the Republican nominee. The intensely strong feelings she inspires among her opponents would guarantee a unified GOP base right out of the gate. A number of ready-made scandals could be resurrected and brought back into the light. She's another Northeastern liberal, who haven't exactly had the best track record at the top of the ticket lately. And so another Clinton candidacy would make the GOP's job a lot easier.

But on the other hand, I'd like to see the Democrats return to the mainstream. I want to see them shift to the center, reflecting the generally rightward shift of the country, and nominating Hillary would not be a step in that direction. And with that, I place into nomination the name of Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee.

Ford has many significant advantages that would make him a real threat to win the Presidency. He's a moderate, being a member of both the New Democrat Coalition and the Blue Dog Coalition. He's articulate and attractive. He's young; he will be 38 on Election Day 2008, just barely passing the Constitutional threshold of 35. His youth will be an asset for a party that desperately needs new blood. Despite his youth, he's not callow, and in 2008 he'll have 12 years of experience in the House. He's Southern, as have been the past three successful Democratic candidates for President.

Oh, and he's African-American. I mention this last because I feel it's a shame that race continues to matter in this country, but his heritage would be an undeniable asset in the election.

Harold Ford could win, and become our second President Ford as well as our second black President. If the Democrats are smart, he'll be the nominee.

November 13, 2004 in Election '08 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2004

Light blogging lately

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, folks. Stuff going on.

For now: needless to say, I'm quite happy with the election results. I'm enjoying a great deal of guilty schadenfreude reading the reaction of the left. But I've lacked the time to properly blog. Be back shortly.

November 10, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack