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No postponement, just bedlam at the polls and a low turnout on the west coast is Bush's plan for 'victory'
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You have to give the right-wingers credit. The fear tactics they learned from arch-Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels remain at the front of their political playbook. First, they put out the notion that in the event of a terrorist attack around the time of the November 2 election, a postponement of the vote may be necessary. Second, they start talking about the Federal government’s response to such a scenario. It’s the second item we must all be focused upon.
The idea of terrorism affecting the election was first proffered by Reverend DeForest B. Soaries Jr, the Bush-appointed chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries is a right-wing New Jersey Republican Secretary of State who has been living under the small “fanatics only” revival tent of the Christian fundamentalist crowd for some time. Soaries’s job is to ensure that there is no repeat of the 2000 Florida fiasco. However, he and his friends in the Bush administration (read that as Karl Rove and Tom DeLay primarily) may have their eyes set on causing a major West coast electoral disruption in 2004 that will make Florida 2000 look like a minor glitch by comparison.
As expected, suspecting a Bush conspiracy to cancel the election and remain in power until a determination would be made by Homeland Fuhrer Tom Ridge that an election was safe, the moderate, liberal, progressive, and libertarian communities cried foul. Postponing an election without a constitutional amendment would be a major breach of the Constitution (not that Bush has ever worried about his constitutional oath) and that would be impossible with only a little over three months before Election Day. Those who respect our Constitution pointed to the fact that President Abraham Lincoln did not cancel the 1864 presidential election during the Civil War – a war which saw this nation more at danger than it is during the current cable news bite-driven and somewhat sensationalist “Global War on Terrorism.”
The right wing had a different take on the possibility of an election postponement. Neo-fascist babble mongers like Rush Limbaugh said, “No!” to a postponement of the election. They argued that if a terrorist alert or attack were to occur, the election should go on and only those votes cast should be counted. Bingo! The plan for a second Bush administration became clear as day. And that plan’s target is California, with its whopping 54 electoral votes, and possibly Washington State’s 11 electoral votes, at stake.
In 2000, Bush and the election fraud cabal that included his brother, Florida Governor “Jebbie” Bush, and Jebbie’s old flame, Florida Secretary of State (now Congresswoman) Katherine Harris and Fox News election analyst John Ellis (Bush’s first cousin), engineered Bush’s phony Florida “win” using a combination of scrubbed electoral rolls that disenfranchised almost 100,000 African-Americans, confusing “butterfly ballots,” an early Fox projected Bush “win” in the Sunshine State, and voter intimidation at mainly rural polling places. As with Osama bin Laden and his band of zealots, the Bush team never uses the same tactic twice. Therefore, all eyes should shift from Florida this Election Day, to California, where one of Bush’s new minions, the Nazi-admiring Arnold Schwarzenegger, engineered a gubernatorial coup d’etat with the help of Enron’s Ken Lay and his Texas oil cronies, to seize control of the governorship from the reelected Democrat Gray Davis.
Clues to Republican motives are found back during that awful day in 2001. On September 11, the day of the terrorist attacks, New Yorkers were heading to the polls to vote in their mayoral primary. Under the direction of the outgoing incumbent mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, city election officials quickly postponed the election. Giuliani, one who never misses an opportunity to emulate the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, toyed with the idea of amending New York City’s term limits law so that he could run for mayor for a third consecutive term. Another Giuliani plan would have postponed the primary and regular mayoral election for one year, giving him at least one more year in office with the possibility of a change in the city law to allow him to run for a third term. Another plan would have made Giuliani a write-in candidate. Wary of Giuliani’s various proposed election contrivances and his intention to use the attack on the World Trade Center for his own political advantage, New York’s City Council and the New York State Legislature quickly put the kibosh to Giuliani postponing the election indefinitely, extending his term for one year, or amending the city’s term limit statute. The mayoral primary took place on September 25, two weeks after the terrorist attack, and the general election occurred on schedule on November 6. Michael Bloomberg was sworn in as the new mayor on January 1, 2002.
After having Tom Ridge drop the media bomb that an election cancellation was a possibility and then having National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice declare that no such plan existed, the cat was out of the bag. No, do not expect an election cancellation but be prepared for a terrorist “event” during the election. That is what the Bush White House and their media prostitutes are spinning.
Here’s the scenario we must be all be prepared for:
If the pre-election internal tracking polls and public opinion polls show the Kerry-Edwards ticket leading in key battleground states, the Bush team will begin to implement their plan to announce an imminent terrorist alert for the West Coast for November 2 sometime during the mid afternoon Pacific Standard Time. At 2:00 PST, the polls in Kentucky and Indiana will be one hour from closing (5:00 PM EST – the polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST). Exit polls in both states will be known to the Bush people by that time and if Kentucky (not likely Indiana) looks too close to call or leaning to Kerry-Edwards, the California plan will be implemented. A Bush problem in Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST would mean that problems could be expected in neighboring states and that plans to declare a state of emergency in California would begin in earnest at 3:00 PM PST.
The U.S. Northern Command, which has military jurisdiction over the United States, will, along with the Department of Homeland Security and Schwarzenegger’s police and homeland security officials in Sacramento, declare an “imminent” terrorist threat – a RED ALERT -- affecting California’s major urban areas.
Although the polls in California will not be closed as a result of the declaration, the panic that sets in and the early rush hour will clog major traffic arteries and change the plans of many voters to cast their ballot after work.
That terrorist emergency declaration could be made around 5:00 PM PST and with only three hours left for voting throughout the state, a number of working class voters in urban centers will either be caught up in California’s infamous freeway traffic and be too late to get to their polling places or be more concerned about their families and avoid voting altogether.
Without a doubt, many Democratic voters might simply opt to pick their kids up from day care centers or relatives and then go home without voting. These would tend to be the lower and middle income Californians and the Democratic base. The affluent voters in California who vote Republicans and can easily vote early (and be late for work) or have the option of leaving work at any time during the day to vote will have likely already cast their ballots. Therefore, the recipe of a White House-induced California terrorist alert and a low Democratic turnout could toss 54 electoral votes into Bush’s lap, especially if the scare tactics affect the turnout in such urban and typically pro-Democratic vote-rich areas as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.
At 7:00 PM EST (4:00 PM PST), the polls will close in Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. A half hour later, they close in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. If Kerry-Edwards wins Florida and that is coupled with similar pickups in Ohio, West Virginia and too-close-to-call races in Virginia and maybe North Carolina, the Bush team may seek to extend the terror alert to other Western or even Midwestern states, particularly Washington State (since Oregon votes by mail, it would be largely immune from any polling manipulation on Election Day). A terrorist alert for the Seattle area after 5:00 PM PST would result in a similar situation to that of California’s, with the exception that many potential voters could be trapped on Seattle’s commuter ferries. Washington’s polls close at 8:00 PM PST (11:PM EST). A low Democratic turnout in the vote-rich Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area could be offset by a large Republican turnout in eastern Washington, thus possibly throwing the state’s 11 electoral votes to Bush – a net pick up 65 electoral votes from the West Coast, adding those votes to California’s. If Kerry picks up Ohio and some border states, the Bush team will be looking for a West Coast electoral offset and a terrorist alert would be the key to replacing lost Bush electoral votes in Ohio (21 votes), Florida (25), and West Virginia (5), a total of 51 electoral votes for Kerry.
With the stage set for a terrorist alert on the West Coast and with the polls closing at 8 PM EST (5:00 PM PST and launch time for the terrorist alert) in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, we might be looking at the following electoral vote tally:
Florida (25); New Hampshire (4); Vermont (3); Ohio (21); West Virginia (5); Connecticut (8); Delaware (3); DC (3); Illinois (22); Maine (4); Maryland (10); Massachusetts (12); Michigan (18); New Jersey (15); Pennsylvania (23). Total: 176 (needed to win: 270).
Indiana (12); Kentucky (8); Georgia (13); South Carolina (8); Virginia (13); North Carolina (14); Alabama (9); Kansas (6); Mississippi (7); Missouri (11); Oklahoma (8); Tennessee (11); Texas (32). Total: 152 (needed to win: 270).
At 8:30 PM EST (and a half hour into the West Coast terror alert), the polls close in Arkansas and its 6 electoral votes are added to Bush’s column, giving him 158 to Kerry’s 176.
At 9:00 PM EST, the polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. With Kerry picking up Louisiana (9 votes), Minnesota (10), New Mexico (5), New York (33), Rhode Island (4), and Wisconsin (11), his vote total would stand at 248.
With Bush picking up Arizona (8), Colorado (8), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), and Wyoming (3), his vote count would stand at 188.
At 10:00 PM EST, the polls will close in mainly Bush states. With Bush picking up Idaho (4 votes); Montana (3); Nevada (4); and Utah (5) and with Kerry likely grabbing Iowa (7), the vote count would stand at: Kerry: 255 and Bush: 204.
With an hour to go before polls close on the West Coast and the region enmeshed in a major terrorist alert with cops and National Guardsmen now adding to the mix and possibly closing roads and delaying traffic to the polling places, Bush’s team in Washington and Sacramento would be poised to deliver the death blow to Kerry-Edwards.
At 11:00 PM EST and 8:00 PM PST, the polls close in California, Oregon, and Washington. The fix is in: with California (the mother lode of 54 votes) and Washington (11 votes) going to Bush and Oregon (7 votes) possibly going to Kerry, the vote count stands at: Kerry: 262 and Bush: 269. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning of November 3, Alaska (3 votes) is declared for Bush and he is declared the winner with 272 votes to Kerry’s 266 (with Kerry’s pickup of Hawaii’s 4 electoral votes). It’s a down-to-the wire race with Bush being declared a winner without a Supreme Court fight but using his “homeland security” powers to ensure his re-election and Alaska putting him over the top.
That is what all this talk about a terrorist attack on Election Day is about. It is to prime the population and allow Bush surrogates at Fox News, CNN, and MS-NBC to begin their perception management campaign that an attack will occur around the election. But there will be no postponement of the election or cancellation – this is simply another plan to manipulate the public through the use of phony threats and fear tactics. The problem is that it just might work for Bush and his cabal of “the ends justify the means” manipulators.
This article is a wakeup call to all those who can try to forestall such a series of events. California’s Democratic majority in the state legislature and its Democratic Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General must take steps now to ensure Schwarzenegger does not conspire with his fellow Republicans in Washington to do to California in 2004 what Jebbie Bush and his people did to Florida in 2000. Similarly, Washington’s Democratic Governor Gary Locke and all the Democratic officials, including the two Democratic U.S. Senators, must take similar action to avoid a similar scenario in their state.
Action needed now includes:
1.Informing all state election officials about such a scenario and its potential impact on voter turnout. 2. Making contingency plans now to keep the polling places open to ensure that people can vote later or after any state of emergency is lifted. 3. Prevent the National Guard from being used to facilitate such a state of emergency. 4. Close coordination by the Democratic Party, smaller parties, and minority and labor rights organizations to respond to such a scenario.
To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s California and the voter turnout, stupid!” Forget about canceling or postponing the election. Keep your eye on a “Red Terrorist Alert” on the West Coast for Election Day. That doesn’t take a constitutional amendment, merely an okay from Bush and his homeland security team. They must be stopped – the future of this nation is at stake!
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II." His forthcoming book is titled: "Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates."
Madsen can be reached at: [email protected] July 14, 2004
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