The Fix is In – Again!
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
August 12, 2008
Better get used to the idea: John McCain will probably be the next
President of the United States.
The fix is in, as it has been in every election since 2000.
This follows from two overarching facts that the corporate media will
not report, and the Democrats choose to ignore:
1. The ruling oligarchy can not allow a
to occupy the White House.
2. They have the means to prevent it, as they did in 2000, in
2004, and as they might do again in 2008.
All other aspects of this “election” – issues,
personalities, media blitzes – are secondary and perhaps even irrelevant.
What “oligarchy”? It’s the “military-industrial complex”
that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in 1961, now expanded into a
“military-industrial-academic-media-congressional complex.” These
include corporate CEOs who earn more, in half a day, than their median
workers earn in an entire year. These are among
the one-tenth of
one-percent richest Americans (annual income of more than $1.6
million) whose income from 1980 to 2002 increased two and a half times,
while the median family income was essentially unchanged; the same
percent that received 15% of Bush’s tax cuts. These oligarchs sit on
each others’ Boards of Directors, and on University Boards of Regents.
They own the mass media and thus control the “news” that is fed the
general public. (See theyrule.net).
And they fund political candidates before elections and, quid-pro-quo, dictate policy after elections.
To be sure, the super-rich (and getting richer) include a few
progressive individuals such as Warren Buffet and George Soros, but they
are the “mavericks.” However, by and large, the “hyper-rich” (David Kay
Johnson’s term), own, operate and control America.inc.
And they have benefitted enormously from both Democratic and Republican
administrations, but most notoriously, from the administration of Bush
the Lesser. They have looted the U.S. Treasury, increased the national
debt to almost ten trillion dollars, hollowed-out and exported the
manufacturing base, promulgated foreign imperialistic wars and sent the
bill to future generations, and they have installed a tax structure that
systematically draws the national wealth “upward” from the middle class
that creates the wealth, into the pockets of those who own and control
The oligarchy’s surrogates in Washington have, in defense of this
corporatocracy, effectively put themselves above the law. Acts of
Congress, when found inconvenient to “the unitary executive” President,
are nullified by “signing statements.” Citizen rights, enumerated by the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights, have been swept aside, as have
numerous international treaties which have the force of law. The list of
illegal acts by the current administration is long and agonizingly
familiar. (See Dennis Kucinich's 35
Impeachment). And the Congress has steadfastly refused to apply the
Constitutional remedy of impeachment.
The oligarchs are not about to give up all this ill-gotten loot, and in
some cases find themselves before the bar of justice, by submitting to
something called “reform,” instigated by “the will of the people.”
And they are quite capable of preventing such reform, and frustrating
the people’s will.
Because, you see, they also own the privatized enterprises that count
the votes with no independent means of validation.
Hidden in Plain Sight
The undisputed facts about “direct electronic recording”
(DRE) voting machines should add up to a scandal. Instead of a scandal,
we get a yawn.
These are the facts: the software that records the individual votes, and
the software that “compiles” (collects) the vote totals, is
“proprietary” which means, in a word, secret. It is known only to the
private companies that write the codes, and these companies are owned and managed by Republican partisans. Accordingly, if the software
is programmed to “fix” an election, there is no direct way to expose the
fraud. Conversely, even if the vote tabulation is entirely accurate and
honest, there is still no way to validate the vote. It is, as some have
called it, “faith-based voting.” (See my
Greatest Story Never Told”).
Last April, the Democratic Congress attempted to pass a bill that would
fund state efforts
to replace DREs with paper ballots. The GOP members, at the
request of George Bush, defeated the measure.
Now why would they want to do that? With all the suspicion
of GOP election fraud at large in the public, one might suppose that the
Republicans would be eager to require means of validation. Yet
somehow they are not.
For while there is no direct means of validating DRE totals, there is
abundant statistical, circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that
numerous elections, including the past two presidential elections, have
in fact been stolen. (Because I have presented this evidence in
numerous articles on the internet, I won’t repeat it here. But for
documentation of these allegations, see my
We Don’t Want Your Stinkin’ Evidence!," then follow the links therein).
We’ve heard the rebuttal from the right: “These allegations of election
fraud are paranoid fantasies. The Republicans, and their friends in the
voting machine industry, wouldn’t dare fix a national election. Such a
conspiracy would be too massive to keep secret, and once it came to
light, it would destroy the GOP.”
Quite frankly, I once believed that eventually the truth would out, and
that it would devastate the Republicans.
But if the truth of election fraud were revealed, who would report it?
The corporate media? Gimme a break!
In fact, the truth has come out, and from the inside of the DRE
industry. A programmer, Clint Curtis, has testified under oath that he
was asked by Congressional Candidate, Tom Feeney, to write a program
that would fix an election and leave no trace of the crime. He
replied that it would be a simple matter to do so, but refused the
offer. Curtis later lost to Feeney in an election that posted
totals at odds with post-election surveys. (The Democratic
Congress declined to investigate). In California, word
processor Steven Heller
released confidential legal documents proving that Diebold violated
state law by installing uncertified software in state elections. For this
act of civil disobedience, Heller pled guilty to a felony and was fined
$10,000. And finally Steven Spoonamore, a McCain advisor and security
researcher, disclosed that Diebold tampered with the 2006 Georgia
gubernatorial and senatorial elections, in which the Republican
candidates overcame huge polling deficits to win the election. (Follow
this link for the first of an eight segment interview with
So the evidence of stolen elections, some from inside whistleblowers, is
“out there,” reported by citizen groups and by the progressive internet.
But not by the corporate media. And amazingly, the victims of this
fraud, the Democratic Party and its candidates, are also silent.
So the system remains in place: In the November election, 80% of the
votes will be cast or tabulated by computer, including 38% on DRE
machines with “proprietary” software.
Will the announced vote totals be accurate? Will the oligarchy-friendly
manufacturers and programmers be tempted to “fix” the results? You can
count on it. Will they in fact yield to the temptation, facing no legal
consequences if they do? Unknown and unknowable.
But given the evidence from past elections, I have grave forebodings
about the next.
The Diebold Zone
If, as in previous elections, the GOP friendly
privatized election industry is up to its undetectable dirty tricks,
then John McCain need not tally a majority of votes in key states to win
the election. All he needs is to gather as many as 45% – into “the
Diebold Zone” – and the DRE’s and the proprietary software codes will take
care of the rest. Just as, arguably, Bush and the Republicans did in
2004. In a stunning essay, read by very few,
Michael Collins explains how they did it. The DRE machines switched
and stuffed millions of GOP votes in the big cities, where they would be
least likely to be noticed. Collins’ evidence is compelling.
Again, not a word about this in the corporate media, and no
investigations by law enforcement or by the Democratic Congress.
And so, to put the matter bluntly, McCain does not need a majority to
win. Just plausibility. As in 2000 and 2004, a plausible win is a
The media will not dispute it, much less investigate it.
But what if, once again, both pre-election polling and exit polling
indicate an Obama victory, only to be overcome by a McCain “upset.”
When this happened in Ohio in 2004, the media and the GOP came up with
“the reluctant voter theory,” whereby it was suggested that Bush voters
were somehow less inclined than Kerry voters to talk with exit pollsters.
No independent evidence was offered to explain this remarkable
phenomenon, which seemed to be confined to precincts with DRE machines.
This time, if John McCain achieves a stunning upset, there will be a
more plausible explanation on hand to deal with any discrepancy with
poll projections: “the Tom Bradley effect.” This phenomenon, which gets
its name from the 1982 California gubernatorial race between Tom Bradley
and George Deukmejian, indicates that a sizeable number of white voters
who tell pollsters that race is not a factor in their voting choices,
will in fact vote against a “person of color” when alone in the voting
“The Bradley Effect” is extremely accommodating to the Republicans,
since there is no way whatever to gauge its extent, if any. Thus almost
any imaginable degree of “upset” can be explained away by this “effect.”
If McCain does win in a stunning upset, count on the corporate media to
grab onto “The Bradley Effect” in an instant. The pundits will deplore
the “fact” that racism still plays such a large part in our elections.
But it will all be a charade.
Just remember: thanks to “faith-based” voting and compliant media, for
McCain and the GOP a plausible victory is a victory. And “the Bradley
Effect” provides the plausibility.
Is There Any Hope?
Due to the aforementioned circumstances, an Obama victory in
November is unlikely. But it is not impossible.
The election is three months away, and the party conventions are just
ahead. Three months in politics can be an eternity.
First of all, the oligarchs might decide that a Democratic win might not
be all that troublesome, and thus might tell their friends in the
voting machine industry to cool it and let the voters have their way.
After all, there is an economic shit-storm in the offing, and the
corporatocracy might be more than willing to see it happen on the
Matt Taibbi has argued this week, the corporatocracy pretty much
owns Barack Obama anyway, and as the aftermath of the 2006 Congressional
elections has proven, even when in control the Democratic party can be
tamed and contained without much strain.
Second, the Obama campaign might come up with a brilliant strategy,
though there is little indication so far of any such development. The
Democrats have had four years to study the 2004 debacle and to plan a
counteroffensive. For sure enough, 2008 is turning out to be 2004 redux,
as Karl Rove and his acolytes dust off the old playbook and proceed
accordingly. They know full well that McCain can not win legitimately on his merits,
so instead, and predictably, they are attacking Obama: “an elitist,” “a
celebrity,” “not one of us” (i.e., he’s black and maybe a Muslim), “he’s
posing as ‘The One’” (i.e., he’s the anti-Christ). As in 2000 and
2004, the Republican campaign is attempting to define its opposition.
And once again, they appear to be succeeding.
So has the Obama camp at last come up with an effective way to deal with
the Sigretti-Atwater-Rove brand of gutter politics? To date, they have
largely responded by being “positive” and concentrating on “the issues.”
They should ask John Kerry how all that worked out for him.
It won’t do. It’s time for a Willie Stark moment. During his week-long
retreat, Barack Obama should read Chapter 2 (in particular, pages 136-144) of Robert Penn Warren’s
“All the King’s Men,” wherein Stark throws away his wonky, issue-clogged
speech, speaks from his anguished and angry heart, and turns his
Strange to say, in this strangest of political years, Paris Hilton has
shown the way. John McCain has to be taken down, and with ridicule. He
is, after all, a ridiculous figure, spewing forth gaffes and errors
almost daily, thus revealing his incompetence each and every time.. The McCain campaign, with its smears, innuendoes and
outright lies, has given Obama the license to go negative. McCain has
reversed himself on so many issues that his stand on any of them is not
credible. So show video clips of McCain vs. McCain. He is tied to the
despised Bush regime, so show those images of the Bush-McCain hug, and
do so repeatedly as the media did with the Clinton-Monica hug at the
rope line. Collect damaging video clips from You-Tube and let
McCain speak his own refutation and condemnation. Then offer something
better: an “audacity of hope.”
Can Obama and the Democrats overcome a rigged voting system and a
hostile corporate media?
Unlikely, but not impossible.
The public clamor for change combined with the widespread disgust with
McCain, Bush and the Republicans, must become so enormous as to
overwhelm the propaganda of the corporate media and the finagling of the
voting machines. Recall that despite all the media slander of 2000
("inventing the internet," "discovering Love Canal"), Al
Gore received a half million more votes than George Bush. And there is
good reason to believe that in 2006, the Democratic Senatorial
candidates in Montana, Virginia, and Missouri overcame GOP “fixes” in
In short, to win at all, the Democrats must win big. A close
“The Diebold Zone” will likely go to John McCain.
And that is reason enough for progressives to stay in the fight and to
redouble their efforts.