More Election Thoughts

A few election-related links, and some associated commentary, for your morning:

The people at whatreallyhappened.com are keeping track of stories regarding what some are alleging was the fraudulent nature of the Bush presidential victory: VOTE FRAUDArchives.

Some of the more-interesting analyses I’ve read on this topic are these:

My take on all this fraud discussion is that, at this point, I haven’t seen anything that seems to point clearly to large-scale fraud of the sort that would have delivered the election to Bush. Clearly, a very large number of disappointed Kerry voters have a powerful incentive to believe that the election was stolen. And clearly, there were a number of problematic or at least wacky-looking aspects of the election. Most of the ones I’ve seen so far, though, are either too small to amount to election-swinging fraud, even in aggregate, or seem more-easily explainable as random upfuckery or incompetence or anomalies that reflect non-fraudulent campaign strategies by the Bush team (e.g., focusing their GOTV efforts on rural Florida counties that also tended to lack touchscreen voting).

Which isn’t to say that I believe Bush didn’t steal the election. I certainly think he’s capable of it, and the fact that lots of us Bush haters are willing to believe it based on insufficient evidence doesn’t in any way prove he didn’t do it. But while I’m interested in seeing where the story goes, at this point I don’t think it leads anywhere in particular.

On the question of the big red America/blue America “values” debate, I’ve seen some interesting discussion that tends to discount the role of the anti-gay-marriage initiatives in the swing states as a key element in the Bush victory. (Update: Like, um, in this piece by Paul Freedman that everyone has been linking to: The gay marriage myth.) The reality is that the shift toward Bush in Heartlandia was more complicated than naked anti-gay bigotry; more-telling, apparently, was red America’s buying of the Bush campaign theme that Bush was better able to safeguard us from those scary terrorist wolves. That, and red America really, really hates John Kerry (again, thanks in no small part to the Bush peoples’ effective painting of him as a flip-flopping liberal traitor).

The most interesting link I’ve followed on that score was this one, from a southern 20-something single woman who claims to defy the more superficial aspects of the Superchristian Bush Voter stereotype (while doing a decent job of underscoring the reality of the red America/blue America divide that Rove & Co. exploited so effectively in the election): Open letter to the Democratic Party: How you could have had my vote.

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