Outside the Asylum

taz6_0.jpg

I’ve said many times that I’m writing my last essay about elections. It’s become almost a joke, since every week’s essay is “the last,” and there’s always one more essay I need to write. Well, this is (finally!) the last electoral essay.

Now that I've had some time to think about it, I understand that it's less that I've stopped talking and thinking about elections, and more that my way of talking and thinking about them has completely changed. Like most Americans, I used to see our elections as contests that shifted our politics according to the will of the people. These shifts in politics then necessarily led to changes in policy.

I no longer see elections like that.

I don't even see American elections as contests that shift our politics according to the will of wealthy donors (though that is closer to the truth). I think most politics, and most policy, is going to remain the same regardless of how elections turn out, or whether we have elections at all. Or, to put it more precisely, America is going to continue in the same policy direction, and in the same political direction, regardless of who gets elected.

It's not our politics or policies that will change as a result of elections; it's our beliefs and assumptions: our expectations of our political system, our country, and our lives. The purpose of elections these days is not to make political or policy changes--as a member of the Obama administration said of single-payer healthcare, "All that was decided when Barack Obama was in law school,"--but to make psychological and cultural ones. The idea is to move the American people's expectations ever downward and to the right. Elections do not alter the political map of America; that stays mostly the same. Elections rarely alter American policy, foreign or domestic; our policies are more unchanging than our politics. What changes as a result of elections is our minds, and they almost always change in the same direction: making the unacceptable acceptable, disposing of principles, standards and norms. Elections are the tool that move the goalposts for us, that tie us to a Procrustean bed and lop off inconvenient bits of us that, if they do not provide us with a way to effectively oppose our elites, provide us with a too accurate, too unflattering, assessment of them.

Political administrations, once seated, have been doing this kind of cultural engineering for decades. The issue of torture provides a good example of how it works. Although American government officials did indeed torture people (both overseas, via the CIA and other organizations, and domestically, in our prisons) for many decades prior to George W. Bush, the idea of torture was not acceptable in this country for most of my life. Torture was what other countries did: Nazi Germany, the Stalinist Soviet Union.

It’s easy enough for a leftist to say “Well, that was just a lie!” and leave it at that. “Well, America is a pack of lies; what do you expect?” But in fact something very important was lost when the American public decided that "torturing some folks" was not something one should get sanctimonious about. Torture became acceptable, normative—and like most normative things, it promptly disappeared from view. How many years has it been since torture was even a serious topic of discussion? Even as the establishment told me that Trump was a Manchurian candidate and an existential threat to American democracy, the fact that he inherited a presidency that allowed him to torture and assassinate at will never came up.

Before Bush, America had to hide its torturing ways. Meaning that, if America got caught torturing, it would look bad. People would be shocked, and there would be repercussions. Bush took away the possibility of repercussions. But Obama took away the possibility of being shocked. He rewrote the American culture to make torture fundamentally acceptable. That was, in essence, Obama's job: to make Bush's authoritarianism normative.

Since 1988, the electoral process itself has been used to shift the American people’s fundamental cultural and political expectations (and thus re-engineer the culture). As I wrote two weeks ago, the 1988 presidential debate was a highly successful piece of propaganda that convinced the American public that being liberal automatically disqualified a person from holding public office. This use of electoral campaigns (and elections themselves) as a propaganda tool has continued and intensified in the 21st century. I don’t have the heart to catalog the horrible ways in which the 2016 election re-engineered our culture, except to cite one example: instead of politicians having to measure up to voters’ standards, voters are now blamed for not being loyal enough to politicians—an idea that would have seemed ridiculous to everyone in the nineties, when we believed that one’s vote was a matter of almost sacred privacy, like choice itself. And now, in the 2020 election, Americans are being asked to embrace the concept of an executive figurehead, to vote for someone knowing that he is not competent to hold the office—meaning god knows who will actually be holding the reins. The vote itself has become nothing but a loyalty oath to one party over another. What has been lost is the idea that the citizen has any influence over who becomes chief executive; indeed, the citizen has no idea who she’s voting for when she votes.

That is how I see American elections now: tools of psychological manipulation that provide, to the analyst, a map of how the elites would like American culture to look, and a view of the mechanisms by which they are reshaping the culture by changing our expectations. But there is one thing about the 2020 election I haven’t yet said; a leftover from the time I responded to elections as if they were genuine. This is the last time I am going to analyze an American election as if it were the determinant of our political and policy future.

Here, at long last, is the last thing I have to say.

Many of you know I spent many years working in electoral politics. I don’t want to mislead you; I’m not saying I was a David Plouffe-style mover and shaker. I never held an official position on a statewide or national campaign. But I did successfully manage a race for state senate, and I worked on many campaigns in a lesser capacity. I also studied campaign politics, the way you study something that you think will be your lifelong vocation. I signed up for every workshop I could find and talked to anyone who could teach me something. Getting Democrats elected was my main purpose in life and my highest priority other than my family. It’s based on this experience that I must point out, as my final statement on American elections, the utter absurdity of what we are expected to believe happened on Super Tuesday, 2020.

We are supposed to believe that Joe Biden won almost every Super Tuesday state on earned media alone.

In other words, we are supposed to believe that Joe Biden won almost every Super Tuesday state without campaigning.

Not a dime spent on ad buys in those states. Not a single phone bank. Not a single door knocked on. No GOTV on Election Day, or before. The doors of his campaign office in southern California were literally locked.

When I was in college, my Latin professor once said to me, “FDR proved that one can become President any number of times. Truman proved that anybody can be President. And Reagan proved we don’t need a President.” Well, Joe Biden has not only proved that you can run for President any number of times; in 2020, he proved we don’t need presidential campaigns.

When does a presidential candidate refrain from campaigning in a state? Or, to put it more broadly, when does any candidate for political office refrain from campaigning in an area? It’s when they have no doubt of the outcome. They either know they’re going to win, or they know they’re going to lose. If the issue were in doubt, they would campaign to get the outcome they desire.

When does a presidential candidate refrain from campaigning in all the Super Tuesday states? Ordinarily, that would signal that the candidate knew he wasn’t going to win the nomination; it would be a sign that his campaign was winding down its operations. Because, unless you are an incumbent president, you cannot be sure that you will win your party’s primaries in that many states while making no effort whatsoever to win them. With that many delegates at stake, only a crazy person would be so confident as to make no effort to win. Unless, of course, he or his staff knew that his victories would be arranged for him.

I’m now going to ask you to put yourself into the shoes of various people. First, imagine that you are a high-level Biden staffer. Your candidate has decided he’s not going to campaign in a single Super Tuesday state, even though he has so far won only one contest while his biggest challenger has won three. Polls in many Super Tuesday states are looking good for your candidate’s challenger. And your candidate has decided not to campaign in any of them. (You must also imagine that the election is honest and not rigged.)

How would you react?

I know how I’d react. I’d be tearing my hair out. And if I couldn’t convince my candidate that we should actually try to sway people to vote for our cause by running campaigns where they live, if I couldn’t bestir him to make some effort to win on Super Tuesday, I would quit. That’s grounds for firing your client. I am not joking.

Now put yourself in the shoes of the media. You are watching the weeks tick by. Joe Biden is not campaigning in any Super Tuesday state, even though Bernie Sanders has won in New Hampshire, Nevada, and has won the popular vote in Iowa. Biden has won South Carolina. That’s it. One win to three—or, if you don’t choose to regard the popular vote in Iowa as indicative of anything, one win to two. And Biden has decided to rely solely on earned media.

How would you react?

No major candidate, no-one remotely considered to be seriously contending for the Presidency, has ever NOT campaigned in so many delegate-rich states, unless he or she was an incumbent President. Not in the 52 years of my life, and probably not in the 72 years of my mother’s life, has anything like this happened in American electoral politics. Ever.

Why wasn’t this the primary topic of concern amongst media covering the Democratic primaries? Why was it only on alternative media that this was a serious topic of interest?

Stay in the shoes of these imaginary journalists. Because now Joe Biden has done the unthinkable. He has won almost every Super Tuesday state—without campaigning in a single one. Quite apart from the shock of something that unlikely happening, something which hasn’t happened in the past fifty years, this phenomenon presents profound questions for the future. It implies that presidential primary campaigns might be unnecessary. Think for a moment what a huge change that is, and how it is a change without explanation. You are a journalist who habitually covers American electoral politics. Is this not the very definition of news?

Let me put it this way. If you are that journalist, your question the next morning would not be “What did Bernie Sanders do wrong?” It would be “What the hell is going on?” Even if your bosses’ bosses were backing Biden with all their resources, you wouldn’t be breaking out the bubbly or engaging in schadenfreude. You’d be engaging in some of the deepest, most serious analysis of your life. Because American electoral life just turned upside down.

I’ve been talking, so far, as if Joe Biden were just an Everycandidate, as if his earned media were equal and interchangeable with every average candidate’s. But Biden’s earned media is not average. It is abysmal. It is worse than Hillary Clinton’s or Mitt Romney’s, which is saying something. It is even worse than Donald Trump’s, because Donald Trump’s flaws are marketable to a certain kind of right-wing American. Biden’s flaws, visible in his earned media, are of such a nature that they make Americans ask whether or not he knows where he is and what he's doing.

You are a political journalist. Joe Biden has just won most of the Super Tuesday states on earned media alone. And he has the worst earned media of any candidate in recent memory. It’s Wednesday morning.

What do you say?

Share
up
34 users have voted.

Comments

Cassiodorus's picture

characterized a period of American history in which the Democratic Party surrendered all branches of the Federal government, 900+ state legislative seats, and 12 governorships to the Republican Party. It's the primary fact of American politics today.

At the beginning of 2009 at around the time of Obama's inauguration, Markos Moulitsas was crowing that the only place in all fifty states of America where the Republicans were gaining any adherents was Appalachia. He had a broad array of statistical fact to back up this assertion of his. Nobody in the Democratic Party, much less Markos and his group of sycophants, has even so much as batted an eyelash in response to the vast evaporation of Democratic power that occurred subsequently. The academic historians, idiots all, now rate Barack Obama as one of the best Presidents in history. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is near the bottom of the pack, down there with James Buchanan. None of them bothered to ask: "If Obama was one of the best, how was it that..."

Here on the front page I've done my part for politics, by publicizing the downticket candidates. Maybe a couple of people here cared. The fact of the matter is that if y'all can't be bothered to pay attention to the downticket candidates, the Dem party won't even bother trying to fool the public, because they'll know the public doesn't care.

up
29 users have voted.

"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus

because of my particular history. I don't blame you for caring about them, and I respect the way you've "walked the talk," putting work behind the principles you hold. I'm certain that more people here care than you think, mainly because a lot of people here are still invested in the idea of change through elections. Just because something does not elicit a lot of comments does not necessarily mean it's not being read.

up
23 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus

with you about Obama and the massive destruction of the Democratic party's power under his administrations. I should have included that as the second thing he was there to do. First, normalize the Bush administration's authoritarianism and vicious, drown-'em-in-the-bathtub budget and tax philosophy (on everything except military and security spending). Second, destroy the power of the Democratic party, because it's embarrassing for them to have power (if they have power, they can't pretend to be virtuous while doing the bidding of rich psychopaths). The Dems want, above all, to be helpless hand-wringers. Third, expand the number of wars from 2 to 7. And fourth, above all, weaponize identity politics so that you can hide any atrocious political or policy decision behind a leader's skin color, gender, or sexual preference.

up
23 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cassiodorus
political candidates is to find those not yet co-opted and corrupted and then try to mold them, to sell them not only on platforms and policies beneficial to the people, but on the need to be willing to lose rather than to sacrifice their principles, integrity and honor, regardless of their party and then give them support, assistance and reinforcement of their stance and their ethico-moral position and integrity for so long as they maintain it. Sadly, such folk are very few and far between.

be well and have a good one.

up
14 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cassiodorus's picture

@enhydra lutris about those I interviewed?

https://caucus99percent.com/content/interview-terrie-martin-candidate-ja...

https://caucus99percent.com/content/interview-margot-black-candidate-por...

https://caucus99percent.com/content/interview-albert-lee-candidate-congr...

https://caucus99percent.com/content/interview-nick-heuertz-candidate-con...

up
9 users have voted.

"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cassiodorus

right up front, Albert Lee would get my vote, no question. He not only seems unlikely to cave, he seems ready to take on the establishment on all fronts.

Nick Heuertz says a lot of good stuff, though I dislike this bit:

The US would be a War and Peace Doctrine. It would outline when we do, and do not go to war. We would only go to war in order to stop humanitarian injustice like genocide, or when our national security was at stake. It would be illegal to go to war for profits.

We NEVER ostensibly go to war for profits. Stopping humanitarian injustice is utter bullshit, an oft used and overused excuse for wars for profit or regime change, and not really our job until we stop all domestic humanitarian injustice. Natinal security is only at stake if and when somebody launches a serious armed attack against us. Everyting else is propaganda.
I'm also not convinced that he wouldn't soon cave and become one who just goes along to get along, "we need to take both houses big time and the presidency, for 4 years to stark making change, and some changes like MFA will have to wait until Joe gets his way first." Compared to Albert Lee (let's change the party and get rid of the toadies) he seems likely to be "whatever the party brass wants".

Margot Black has a lot of good ideas and a determination to do the right thing, and some practice and knowledge in getting it done, or so it seems. She seems unlikely to cave to anybody.

Terri Martin also gets my vote and seems unlikely to cave.

up
11 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

TheOtherMaven's picture

was Warren G. Harding in 1920.

He's still listed among the Top Ten Worst Presidents Ever, not at the top (that's James Buchanan, at least until someone else blows off an incipient Second American Civil War) but somewhere around the middle.

up
16 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@TheOtherMaven

so thank you for this comment. I was wondering how far back I'd have to go to find someone who simply chose not to campaign in a vast amount of states.

up
10 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

orlbucfan's picture

@TheOtherMaven responsible for Teapot Dome. It was a yuge scandal and very similar to all the corporate crap we deal with now. I recall his croaking in office but not 100% sure. Rec'd!!

up
1 user has voted.

Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

RantingRooster's picture

it's a color revolution, ie #VoteBlueNoMatterWho being waged on our home soil, engineered by Saint Obama, the DNC and the Democrat party. If voting in American actually changed public policy, it would be illegal. America has become nothing more than a giant crime syndicate.

Who ever thought self interest and the accumulation of wealth were the two things to base a society on, I hope someone tortured the shit out of them! We the People are being slowly tortured to death by the slow drip of our rights, our wealth (what little we have left), our dignity, and most importantly, the very fabric of our society (rule of law) is all being systematically stripped away, and there seems to be nothing we can do about it.

There is something very wrong in this country but people are stuck in the right/left paradigm, not able to see the class war being waged from the top down. And depressingly, Saint Bernard caved in and left us high and dry. We are on our own.

up
22 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@RantingRooster

It's difficult to get a feel for how many of us there are because we have so few public vehicles. The massive support for Sanders in 2016 and now, the large number of independents even in a political system that disadvantages independents, even certain poll results--all these things tell me there are a lot of Americans who are not going along with establishment narratives. It's taking a budget of billions to hold them back.

I'd say that the massive response to Sanders in 2016 was an unwelcome surprise for the establishment, and a surprise even for him. I doubt he'd ever seriously considered challenging the Clinton political machine. I think he just wanted to keep some ideas alive. Because another thing that's been happening is a giant eraser being passed back and forth over political and policy possibilities. The elites know that they can't justify their choices, their desired results, so they have to make them look inevitable. The best way to do that is to make alternatives inconceivable. Hillary v Trump creates a political world in which even that which used to be called "center-left" vanishes from view. Sanders actually laid a serious blow on the establishment in an Overton window sort of way (which is why they were so pissed off--they knew he had no chance of actually taking power; they, as Podesta famously said, "had leverage.")

up
16 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

America is going to continue in the same policy direction, and in the same political direction, regardless of who gets elected.

If the super Tuesday results don't convince you that they are monkeying with the machines I don't know what will. DWS and the Tim Canova election proves the meddling also. If you can't believe the vote, what is the use of voting?

Somehow we need to walk away from this system. I wish I had a strategy.

All the best. Hope you're warmer there than here on the Mt. 30's this AM.

up
23 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

But it's warmer than it is up on your mountain. Smile

I love our eastern mountain ranges. I really hope I get to see them again.

up
11 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

leaves little room for doubt that rampant cheating occurred again.

When does a presidential candidate refrain from ... campaigning in an area? It’s when they have no doubt of the outcome. ... If the issue were in doubt, they would campaign to get the outcome they desire.

When does a presidential candidate refrain from campaigning in all the Super Tuesday states? ... With that many delegates at stake, only a crazy person would be so confident as to make no effort to win. Unless, of course, he or his staff knew that his victories would be arranged for him.

up
25 users have voted.

I don't want Trump to win, but I do want the establishment Dems to lose due to their cheating and undemocratic practices in the primary. And I will do whatever I can to help that happen.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@entrepreneur

The lack of logic out there drives me a little crazy sometimes. If I publish this anywhere but here, I know I will get slammed as a conspiracy theorist and a meanie. Maybe as a racist, though it still blows my mind that someone could think NOT supporting Hillary or Biden has something to do with racism. Two rich white people, well-connected?

up
19 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

I have friends who are like-minded at heart, but they watch MSNBC. And they are quick to defend establishment Dems of any criticism. And they are oblivious about any irregularities in the 2020 primary. I complained to one that the DNC screwed Bernie twice in a row, and he responded "What do you mean? Bernie didn't run for POTUS in 2012."

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

up
18 users have voted.

I don't want Trump to win, but I do want the establishment Dems to lose due to their cheating and undemocratic practices in the primary. And I will do whatever I can to help that happen.

Lily O Lady's picture

@entrepreneur

seen the American Experience episode on Dubya and his administration? It was praising with faint damns. I mainly watch fiction on PBS, and that with skepticism.

up
11 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

bits of NPR, and I am sometimes shocked at how slanted to the right it can be.

@Lily O Lady

up
7 users have voted.

I don't want Trump to win, but I do want the establishment Dems to lose due to their cheating and undemocratic practices in the primary. And I will do whatever I can to help that happen.

Lily O Lady's picture

@entrepreneur

with the ombudsman being fired, IIRC. And then the name change, where they said that NPR would no longer stand for National Public Radio. It apparently doesn’t stand for much anymore. Corporations like Kaiser Permanente supply content (and funds) instead of impartial journalists.

All part of the class war and the war on government that represents and serves the people. Taxation without representation.

up
9 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lily O Lady

I hate that thing they're doing more than just about anything else. How dare they try to wipe the hands of that murdering bastard just by standing him next to a racist narcissistic rodeo clown.

up
8 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lily O Lady's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

expend so much energy hating Trump when we will be expected to embrace him ten years down the road? It may be hard to imagine, but then who thought we’d see Michelle Obama hugging Dubya?

up
2 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Thumb's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Reddit's WayOfTheBern would love this. I plan to make a crosspost shortly.

up
6 users have voted.

"Polls don't tell us how well a candidate is doing; Polls tell us how well the media is doing." ~ Me

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Thumb

I sure appreciate it. I guess wotb is Way of the Bern?

up
4 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Thumb's picture

up
1 user has voted.

"Polls don't tell us how well a candidate is doing; Polls tell us how well the media is doing." ~ Me

orlbucfan's picture

@Thumb Thumb, come on by TPW. We're alive and well, and would love to read you. z:-)

up
1 user has voted.

Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@orlbucfan

I Googled it, but got Texas Parks and Wildlife, Tactical Provost Wing, and Toledo, Peoria, & Western Railway.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Steven D's picture

Closed polling places and rigged or hacked e-voting machines. That and Obama clearing the field of all other Centrist candidates.

up
24 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Steven D

IA on, except that Buttigieg and his wife didn't manage to fund the creation of an app that worked. Had it worked as it was supposed to, I think (and this is just my guess) that the caucus would have gone as smooth as silk and Buttigieg would have "won."

I still wonder what happened in Nevada. Wish I had the connections to find out. The NV Democratic party was a nest of vipers in 2016. This time, they just said, "Nope, not gonna use Petey's app," and suddenly produced a massive Sanders win.

I guess it's possible that that win was also engineered, so that our hopes would be elevated to create the maximum amount of demoralization when they were all brought crashing down, but I'm not at all sure about that. I don't think they'd do that. It seems, for all the world, like somebody with influence in NV said "Back the fuck off. This has gone far enough."

up
23 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Bernie's team was tracking and tabulating the results independently. Right after they found out that someone else was keeping an independent count they announced that their computers may have been "hacked".

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

up
23 users have voted.

I don't want Trump to win, but I do want the establishment Dems to lose due to their cheating and undemocratic practices in the primary. And I will do whatever I can to help that happen.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@entrepreneur

about the Sanders team's motivations and actions.

up
2 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

up
3 users have voted.

I don't want Trump to win, but I do want the establishment Dems to lose due to their cheating and undemocratic practices in the primary. And I will do whatever I can to help that happen.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Steven D

Amazingly, the exit polls for the primaries in 2020 are hoarked in the same places with the same discrepancies with the same statistically impossible anomaly: Every single discrepancy in every state favored Hillary/Biden every time. No mistake was ever made favoring Sanders.

The only reason I didn't write this up in this election is because it's not news anymore.

Wildly divergent exit polls in South Carolina and Massachusetts, and documented voting problems in California and Texas, have prompted veteran election watchers to suggest that there may have been election fraud and voter suppression on Super Tuesday, always at the expense of the Bernie Sanders vote.

Edison Research/CNN polls show 4-point and 7-point discrepancies in South Carolina and Massachusetts, respectively, between the computer-tallied vote totals and exit polling. Exit polls are considered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to be one reliable—although not in itself conclusive—indicator of election fraud. Election fraud may be perpetrated by the hacking of vote tabulation machines or reporting incorrect results that are different from the tally tapes from each machine.

Although exit polls may be wrong, which even among experts are considered just one limited but useful tool for detecting fraud, it is more unusual when the errors always point in the same direction. Both the SC and MA exit polls showed Sanders doing better than the official vote tallies.

In South Carolina, where Joe Biden scored what was described extensively in the media as the "Biden Bounce," Biden gained nearly 5 points in the official tally over the exit poll projection, and an astonishing 7 points in the official tally in Massachusetts. The typical margin of error for Edison Research polls is 3%.

Owner of TDMSResearch.com Theodore de Macedo Soares wrote of Massachusetts after the primaries:

"The 2020 Massachusetts Democratic Party presidential primary was held on March 3, 2020. Election results from the computerized vote counts differed significantly from the results projected by the exit poll conducted by Edison Research and published by CNN at poll’s closing. As in the 2016 Massachusetts primary between candidates Sanders and Clinton, disparities greatly exceed the exit poll’s margin of error. Sanders won Massachusetts in the exit poll and lost it in the computer count."

Soares has noted that it is particularly suspicious when other exit polls seem to be quite accurate in other contests, or with respect to candidates of little interest. In 2016, exit polls between Hillary Clinton and Sanders were off in a manner that favored Clinton, but were always within a point of being accurate in other races.

It should be noted that Soares' calculations are based on early, "unadjusted" exit polls, which are based on surveys alone. Controversially, polling companies often "adjust" the numbers to more closely match the machine-count totals. A New York Times article says of this year's Michigan primary exit polls:

"The numbers on this page are preliminary estimates from exit polls. They will eventually be adjusted to match the actual vote count."

Polling companies have never adequately explained how it is scientific to fudge the results of raw data.

https://soapboxie.com/us-politics/Super-Tuesday-Biden-Victories-Question...

I read elsewhere that every state with machines that generate paper backups, that feature was turned off. In all states using paper ballots, those were destroyed within 24 hours. Which is against election laws. However, Primaries are "Voter Preference Polls" and not elections.

History repeats. Thought you might like to know.

up
19 users have voted.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Thumb's picture

@Steven D

And keeping Warren in to split the remaining "progressive" vote.

up
6 users have voted.

"Polls don't tell us how well a candidate is doing; Polls tell us how well the media is doing." ~ Me

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Sorry I'm late. I have been having a hard time sleeping lately.

up
11 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Steven D's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal A lot of insomnia.

up
9 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Steven D

Anxiety is counter-productive, but I can't seem to defeat it altogether.

up
10 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

and yes I'm a believer, NOT

We are supposed to believe that Joe Biden won almost every Super Tuesday state on earned media alone.

In other words, we are supposed to believe that Joe Biden won almost every Super Tuesday state without campaigning.

Not a dime spent on ad buys in those states. Not a single phone bank. Not a single door knocked on. No GOTV on Election Day, or before. The doors of his campaign office in southern California were literally locked.

up
22 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh

good, as always, to know I'm not alone

logic appears to be held in even less regard than evidence, these days

up
2 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

material in all Jr. High and High School US history and civics classes:

The idea is to move the American people's expectations ever downward and to the right. Elections do not alter the political map of America; that stays mostly the same. Elections rarely alter American policy, foreign or domestic; our policies are more unchanging than our politics. What changes as a result of elections is our minds, and they almost always change in the same direction: making the unacceptable acceptable, disposing of principles, standards and norms. Elections are the tool that move the goalposts for us, that tie us to a Procrustean bed and lop off inconvenient bits of us that, if they do not provide us with a way to effectively oppose our elites, provide us with a too accurate, too unflattering, assessment of them.

Somewhere along in there one might note that GHR Bush (CIA Bush) was but a placeholder, an interregnum, after which Clinton openly declared that the Democratic Party was ended and that New Democrats were replacing it, and replacing the remnants of FDR-LBJ "liberalism" with a continuation, extension and expansion of Reagan, Reaganism and Reagan's goals and ideology. This set up GWB and all who followed as if somebody had chucked an up the middle waist high fastball to Ted Williams. If there had been anything to politics before that, it was over after that.

You are a political journalist. Joe Biden has just won most of the Super Tuesday states on earned media alone. And he has the worst earned media of any candidate in recent memory. It’s Wednesday morning.

What do you say?

"Hey, that was a good one; I was sure they were going to wait and do the brokered convention rip-off. So now its done and over and we can start talking about swing states, or maybe governors."

be well and have a good one

up
21 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris and I think enhydra lutris hit the two best parts of your essay. I agree whole heartedly. I have been feeling very similarly about our political situation lately. Great essay. Thanks.

up
14 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wouldsman

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

That's very kind of you. I usually feel like I'm pointing out the obvious, and I feel that way in this essay too, but, as Orwell said:

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

up
2 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

The way any election result anywhere at any level can be falsified.
That is enough to make me walk away from an electronic voting machine.
This essay is brilliant on so many levels, just where to begin?
Elections are geared to instill hope, while hope has been murdered and disappeared.
I have visited camps and personally seen torture chambers all over Europe. My fellow tourists would come away hating Nazis, Stalin, Vlad the Impaler, the Inquisition...I walked away hating the US.
My own damn Dad was nearly blown in two fighting Nazis, then at his end, he watched how his honorable brethren in arms were torturing Muslims in secret detention center with the assistance of former Allies. He saw Napalm and Agent Orange. He left this world having everything he believed pulled out from under his boots like a cheap rug.
I do not give a flying fuck if TPTB go right.
I was formed to think left. Far left. I gave a damn about voting in 2008, 2012, got carried away with Bernie 2015, finally got all enthusiasm torn out of my head.
Elections are now a thing to observe to learn propaganda tactics, as pointed out in this essay. They are mostly "forewarned is forearmed" events to me. The more you observe them, the more prepared you become on protecting yourself.
Thanks, CTMS.

up
20 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@on the cusp

I'm sorry about your dad. America behaves abominably towards patriots from its own 99%. Not as bad, perhaps, as America behaves toward foreigners, but it all comes from the same poisoned well.

I wrote this and then I realized that I haven't put it right--

The moneyed interests who control America use the concept of America to fuck everybody who isn't rich right in the ear. This is particularly painful to those who are devoted to America as a concept.

There. Fixed.

up
6 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

up
1 user has voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

studentofearth's picture

is having elected leaders of the people. Your election series lays out some of the the reasons why. Electoral process is an effective method to change opinions of a population. The ruling elites and their minions have become more effective over the years of installing leaders via ballot box. Less reliance on military installment of a leader via a coup. Now reserved for when countries don't elect the "correct" leader.

One of the challenges is who and why? Is it simply a sick game of competition by a small group, such as an extended family (European royalty?) or religious rivalries (Abrahamic religions?) over the centuries? It is easy to get caught up in the foliage of new growth during one's own lifetime and locality, never address the roots. The benefactors have never seemed to care about the impact on indigenous cultures and individuals.

BBC did an interesting series on the Celts that sparked some interesting thoughts.

(11:34 to 13:40)

Knowing the enemy is the first step to identifying motivations, leading to potential responses with longterm effectiveness. Elections disruptive effect appeared to work for a while and became important enough to compromise.

up
13 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@studentofearth

the Celts are one of my longtime interests, quite apart from lessons to be gained that are applicable to our situation now.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention. And that's an insightful point about the CIA using other countries' elections as a psy-op. That connection between the foreign and domestic needs to keep being drawn over and over again, IMO.

up
2 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

This essay is the most important thing I've read in quite a long time. Brilliant work and I'm grateful for it.

Your essay lays out the folly of believing in our elections and working and donating and oh my god, hoping so much for the entirely impossible dream. Where does that leave us---I'm not ready yet to admit that I know the answer to this question.

(I quoted two of the paragraphs on wotb.)

up
18 users have voted.

NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

wotb=Way of the Bern, right?

I certainly appreciate the cross-posting by so many people here. Y'all are very kind, and I'm glad my work is helpful to you.

up
3 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

I think the mask is off of this so-called 'Democracy', elections are, at best, a tug of war between competing elites and their puppets.

Many times looking at your title, "Outside the Asylum", I've thought about a very favorite classic film from 1966, "The King of Hearts".
It is a great anti-war film, something that doesn't get made anymore and considering what this Country really looks like with its mask pulled down, I don't think any person should expect see a new anti-war movie.

As for anti-war classics I'd rank it right there with the 1938 film by Dalton Trumbo (who was blacklisted) "Johnny Got His Gun", and "All Quiet on the Western Front", only there is no humor in those films, while 'King of Hearts' is full of laughter

(Wikipedia) "The film is set in a small town in France near the end of World War I. As the Imperial German Army retreats, they booby trap the whole town to explode. The locals flee and, left to their own devices, a gaggle of cheerful lunatics escape the asylum and take over the town — thoroughly confusing the lone Scottish soldier who has been dispatched to defuse the bomb"

If anyone has never seen that film they should take a look at it and the first time I saw it my impression was 'who really were the "insane" ones, the ones that were from the asylum or those outside the walls of the City that are bombing and killing one another even though the end of the war was nigh.
In fact in one scene troops from both sides inadvertently cross paths in the City and they all die, while the asylum 'escapees' look on as if it is just a performance and "a bit over the top".

"Charles Plumpick (Bates) is a kilt-wearing French-born Scottish soldier of the Signal Corps, caring for war pigeons, who is sent by his commanding officer to disarm a bomb placed in the town square by the retreating Germans.

As the fighting comes closer to the town, its inhabitants—including those who run the insane asylum—abandon it. The asylum gates are left open, and the inmates leave the asylum and take on the roles of the townspeople. Plumpick has no reason to think they are not who they appear to be—other than the colorful and playful way in which they're living their lives, so at odds with the fearful and war-ravaged times. The lunatics crown Plumpick the King of Hearts with surreal pageantry as he frantically tries to find the bomb before it goes off. "
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Hearts_(1966_film)

One more 'Trailer'

up
9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@aliasalias

for the crosspost. That sounds like a very cool movie I've never heard of, so thanks for the reference too. That might turn up as Something Old one of these weeks.

up
2 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ovals49's picture

It implies that presidential primary campaigns might be unnecessary.

This is the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the past several election cycles. Primaries are absolutely pointless when our party imposes their choice, regardless of the people’s preferences. The mask is off, and the underlying visage is a shameless horror. We’ve been duped, repeatedly. We will be duped again, because it keeps getting them what they want.

As long as we have only the two current (largely indistinguishable) parties, this con will continue, and become even more brazen.

up
18 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

Also, this is one hell of a good essay. Really good.

up
11 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Snode

up
1 user has voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Pluto's Republic's picture

I was wondering as I read along:

If you could change your past, would you go back and turn that revelation on earlier in your life?
Or is now just the right age?

That is how I see American elections now: tools of psychological manipulation

Voting is indeed a psyop. I assume intellectually honest people know this at some level. :::The easiest way to enslave a man is to give him a vote and tell him he is free::: But even the intellectually honest tend to retreat into denial rather than acknowledge the reality. Society's voting covenant with the government is a FIRST PRINCIPLE. Voting supports the divine concept of Democracy and fairness. USians are heavily conditioned to believe that democracy justifies every evil their nation commits, no matter how horrific and inhumane. The People's collusion is the reason there will be no prosecution. That's one button I try not to push. If you deconstruct "voting" — everything safe comes crashing down, with nothing to replace it.

Your final understanding about voting in the US is an intellectual burden that you will have to bear. It reminds me of another intellectual burden that few have the stamina to carry: We the People now have undeniable proof that shows what happens to a civilization that blindly follows the hopelessly obsolete, slave-owners Constitution into the future. We can look around and see it. We don't have to wonder where the Constitution will leads us. We have arrived!

"Hello... Where is everybody?"
"Everybody's in denial."

You are correct, though. Elections and voting haven't changed our destination. The oligarchs have always been with us. The political philosophy of elite rule has held steady from the nation's genocidal birth. There was never a Party of the Left in the US. The nation had no history, it was a slave colony, the Oligarchs were designing it, so why not exclude the Left from the start? It was easy in an isolated nation to demonize the political philosophy of the Left and denounce such ideas as the criminal plot of America's enemies who are determined to destroy our prosperity. Down through our brief history — from the American Revolution to the Russia Hoax to Communist China — the political Left has had no enduring political voice. This is so normalized that the People cannot see it. But a shocked world is talking about the insane greed of the US Ruling Elite and the plight of the American People, who have been stripped of their rights, their assets, and the nation's natural wealth that they rightfully inherited.

The Pandemic turned on the lights.

up
11 users have voted.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic
btw. the same is true for Germany not as harsh yet as in the US, but it will come.

the political Left has no political voice. It is so normalized that the People cannot see it. But a shocked world is talking about the insane greed of the US German Ruling Elite and the plight of the American many European countries' people, who have been stripped of their rights, their assets, and the nation's natural wealth that they inherited.

The Pandemic turned on the lights.

I can't unsee that.

up
11 users have voted.

“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

If you could change your past, would you go back and turn that revelation on earlier in your life?
Or is now just the right age?

I would absolutely want to have that revelation earlier. Much earlier. I've wasted a lot of time. If I'd had the revelation earlier, I'd probably have a working eco-village up and running by now. If I put the amount of time, thought, and money behind that idea that I put behind the Democratic party and their election chances, I'd have a pretty good shot of that. Hindsight is 20/20.

I just didn't want to believe that civilization was going to go down the tubes. I also wanted to believe that republics could work. Fool me three times, shame on me.

This is a deep and important insight:

Society's voting covenant with the government is a FIRST PRINCIPLE. Voting supports the divine concept of Democracy and fairness. USians are heavily conditioned to believe that democracy justifies every evil their nation commits, no matter how horrific and inhumane. The People's collusion is the reason there will be no prosecution. That's one button I try not to push. If you deconstruct "voting" — everything safe comes crashing down, with nothing to replace it.

Especially the parts I italicized. I experienced that sensation of crash in 2000, during the first Bush election fraud. I remember my best friend at the time said "It'll be all right." I said, "No, it won't." I experienced it again, much worse, in 2004, during the second Bush election fraud. For some reason, though, I still believed we could beat them via the system, mainly because I still believed I had powerful allies--leaders, if you will--within the system. In 2010, I was starting to know the score; by 2011, I realized the complicity of the non-profit Left (even the best of them); by 2014, I realized the pointlessness of traditional protest (the show-up-for-a-day variety).

In 2016, I perceived that Sanders was reaching out a hand, in honest concern for the people, the country, and (I believe) the world. I still think that was true (there was nothing for him to gain in starting that campaign; he had no way of knowing it would have the effect it did, and nor did the Democratic leadership, or they never would have allowed him to run.) I realized he didn't have a plan for taking political power, much less keeping it, and I pretty much realized he didn't have whatever it takes to actually go mano-y-mano with the Clinton/Bush cartel. But he was trying to keep certain ideas alive, or, in other words, trying to strike a blow in a very different fight, one that I also care about, and he was motivated by unselfish concern. So I couldn't leave him hanging. I met him halfway. I even rejoined that thrice-damned party. Never again, though. I didn't do it in 2020.

Your final understanding about voting in the US is an intellectual burden that you will have to bear.

Honest, accurate assessments of things are usually intellectual burdens these days. They mean you have to face pain and sadness head-on, and they mean that you will end up alienated from many, many people, including some you love.

up
6 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

The Pandemic turned on the lights, yes--it's like a sped-up version of climate change, one people can't ignore.

up
5 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

of one soul at a time

up
2 users have voted.

Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Most of the US backed into a corner, stripped of it's veneer of "freedom", means of earning a living and with a limited means to distract themselves. Kind of sets the scene where Joe and Josie Citizen begin to confront the reality of America. Maybe we'll wake up after all.

up
1 user has voted.

conservative and spiteful/hateful at their core.

Bernie's numbers only looked good as long as everyone else was splitting the vote. He only won the states he won because everyone else split the vote so much. Among democratic voters, 65% were not interested in voting for Bernie. In a more "normal" election--one where a jewish democratic socialist wasn't running--Biden would very likely have had to campaign. What '16 and '20 have both showed is that democrats motivated to vote in a primary aren't interested in changing anything, and any effort to win with a progressive agenda in the democratic party will have to overcome that.

I think your assessment that Biden didn't campaign because he knew the outcome is correct, but the implication regarding how he knew this isn't clear from your essay. I don't believe these elections were illegally rigged. I believe Biden (and Obama, and everyone else in the democratic party leadership) were working actively to get all of the vote-splitters to drop out at the correct time to kill Sanders' campaign. He knew the outcome because he had confidence (justifiable, based on polling) that once his colleagues dropped out the overwhelming majority of their voters would go to him or, in some cases, have ballots with their names checked be considered spoiled (in which case he wins anyway even fewer votes--the same share of a smaller vote pool overall).

up
2 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@BayAreaLefty

then you don't even KNOW what a rigged election is. Hard to blame you, it's been so very long since we've had one that wasn't rigged. "Rigging" has been the New Normal since at least 2000 and probably much longer.

up
6 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven

N/T

up
0 users have voted.
orlbucfan's picture

I'm going to keep staying informed, active and vote. The FRightwingnuts and their business pals started plotting in earnest after the 1964 slaughter of Goldwater. They focused on destroying unions, destroying free/cheap public education, and ramping up all the religious fever that has cursed the nation since its inception. When stupid becomes a virtue, bloody revolt eventually follows per recorded world history. Hope this finds you well, CStMS. Greetings from the east central part of the state. Smile

up
2 users have voted.

Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@orlbucfan

I was just thinking about you with that mildly intrusive unease that plagues me when someone I like online hasn't spoken for a long time. So glad you're OK--well, as OK as any of us is!

And I don't have a problem with people voting--I still believe that a vote is a matter of sacred privacy. I might have a problem with who people vote for, especially as it gets more and more extreme, but their freedom to decide whether or not to participate and to choose a candidate is still sacred to me. Even though it isn't sacred to very many people at this point.

up
1 user has voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

orlbucfan's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I wander over here several times a week. I love the Friday Photo Diary. My usual cyber spot is LD's The Progressive Wing (TPW). The site is doing very well, and has transitioned into a progressive political site from its start supporting Bernie.

up
1 user has voted.

Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

How Landslide Lyndon" stole Senate race in 1948?


"The disclosure was made by Luis Salas, who was the election judge for Jim Well's County's Box 13, which produced just enough votes in the 1948 Texas Democratic primary runoff to give Mr. Johnson the party's nomination for the United States Senate ...

'Johnson did not win that election - it was stolen for him and I know exactly how it was done,' said Mr. Salas, now a lean, white-haired 76 year old ...

George B. Parr, the South Texas political leader whom Mr. Salas served for a decade, shot and killed himself in April of 1975. Mr. Johnson is dead and so is his opponent ... Mr. Salas said he decided to break his silence in quest for 'peace of mind' ... 'I was just going along with my party' ...

He said Mr. Parr ordered that 200-odd votes be added to Mr. Johnson's total from Box 13.

I was eleven years old in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson won a landslide victory against Barry Goldwater. My parents were very active Democrats and I was an enthusiastic pre-teen who was harboring dreams of my own political career to come upon becoming a grown-up. There were several anti-LBJ books pushed hard by the Goldwater fans, some of them claiming that Johnson had stolen the Texas primary election of 1948. At the time, all the established authorities and main stream media treated those accusations exactly the way that the MSM today covers allegations of election fraud -- with a curt dismissal followed by an accusation of insanity.

As the quoted article reveals, ooops. LBJ did steal that election. I first ran into that fact when reading excerpts of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon. The implications of that historical fact are profound.

There is nothing new about Machine Politics.

Mr. Salas said he had seen the fraudulent votes added in alphabetical order and had them certified then as authentic on order from Mr. Parr ..

Parr was the Godfather ... He could tell any election judge: 'give us 80 percent of the vote, and the other guy 20 percent.' We had it made in every election …"

George Parr was also known as The Duke of Duval.

This utterly "debunked" and mocked tale was connected to another conspiracy theory from the era that has not ever been proven with an admission (the only way you can prove such a thing) -- the claim that both Texas and Illinois were stolen from Nixon by LBJ and Dick Daley, respectively.

I dunno.

I just bring the parallel tale up to demonstrate how machine politics has always worked. Everybody on the team knows that the only way we all have jobs is to win. Nobody gives a flying fuck about how fair or reasonable or honorable it is to win by cheating. Just win, Baby.

This past week in the USA we saw a new kind of Machine Politics -- you don't stuff the ballot box with bag men any more. You just intercept the count in cyberspace and change it. And, now, you don't just have a crew of County Payroll Goodfellas, and a few friends in high places. Now you have Mike Bloomberg in your gang. And you have all the Cable News Networks on board. The Legacy Newspapers including the Amazon Post.

I have to take my hat off to the precision timing and the aesthetic beauty of the operation. With dozens of moving parts, the bureaucracies of four separate presidential campaigns, with ground agents in literally hundreds of locations. To the folks at home, the story of Joe Biden's collapse from Frontrunner to Biggest Loser went swooshing down the Memory Hole. Even voices who are critical of aspects of the Final Result of Super Tuesday are all buying the core assertion that several million Americans saw the results of the Nevada Caucus and said, "I need to get behind that Biden fella."

One reason why some people may have actually made that decision, was that The Machine had blasted that idea out of every news platform in the universe for several days running. See how this works? Why just steal votes when you can turn votes by "free" media? Or, why waste effort on "free" media if you can just steal the votes? Ah, that is the beauty of doing both. It makes the cause of strange results like Biden's Miracle Comeback that much harder to pinpoint.

There are so many wacky elements to this story that you lose sight of the most obvious things. No matter how you slice it, Biden's surge was not the result of anything he said or did. It just happened while he was napping. Of course, the Machine's mouthpieces will focus on the actual votes counted while making the standard Sour Grapes accusation against anybody who challenges the count after a loss. OK, but that still does not explain how all these politicians fell into line like members of The Rockettes.

The answer you will hear is that Fear and Loathing of Sanders vs. Trump "forced" them all to give up their personal dreams and political goals due to the crying need of Stopping Bernie Sanders. Uh huh. Well there is no law against deciding to withdraw from a political race.

So there you see Machine Politics at work. Just win, baby. Pretty damn stout Machine where Big Buckeroo Bloomie is but a cog.

up
2 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.