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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

 

Welcome to redwavemusings!

One week to go before the election. Sleep now, it could be a long night Nov. 2. After my prediction four years ago that the election would not be decided for some time after, at least until absentee ballots were counted, I almost hesitate to press my luck this time. However, I am pretty sure that this time we will know the result by bedtime, whenever that is. The popular vote will be another tie, but the battleground states should mostly break the same way, and so the electoral college will be won decisively. The hard part is, which way will they break? The polls suggest Bush, but I don't believe it yet. There are so many unknowns, polling is so imprecise, since cell phones are not polled. It really is too close to know.

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One thing I do know is the stupidest scheme ever devised is "provisional voting." Imagine that anyone can show up anywhere, cast a ballot (even if he is not on that precinct's rolls), and eligibility will be determined later. It's not hard to imagine both parties recruiting legions of folks willing to vote early and often under such conditions. What have they got to lose? People worry so much about someone's vote not counting, but what about the legitimate voters whose votes are offset by people who haven't registered, vote twice or more, or are actually dead? Voter fraud is a major problem in this country. To vote, a person should be registered, show up at the correct polling place (or legitimately obtain an absentee ballot), and ideally, show some ID, at the very least in the form of a verifiable signature.

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George Bush may not be the greatest incumbent candidate, but when you consider the handicaps under which he and his administration have labored, it's a wonder he has a chance at all. Consider, the previous administration left him a recession and burst stock market bubble. He endured half of his first term with an incompotent and renegade Treasury Secretary (partly his fault for hiring him). He has had to deal with a State Department and CIA in virtually open revolt. And 9/11 occurred in his eighth month in office, while still getting organized. On top of that is a media bound and determined to see him defeated.

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It's amazing how the media has been able to spin the 9/11 commission report, considering most have never read it. In the report it states very clearly the connections between pre-war Iraq and Al Queda, yet most people believe it says the opposite.

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Nonetheless, the Bush people have blown their explanation for the rationale behind the war. I don't recall them ever saying that Iraq was attacked because of terrorist connections, though many inferred that (since they wanted to believe that the administration picked the fight) and that view has stuck. The reasons for war actuallywere to remove WMD and a mass murderer willing to use them against us. The CIA said there were WMD, and though this was apparently wrong (either the WMD were destroyed or moved to Syria), everyone on both sides of the aisle believed those reports. Even so, what was wrong with removing a mass murderer? History is replete with instances where mass murderers were allowed to continue their violent ways. We should be proud we took Saddam out, and only regret that we have made some tactical errors in the aftermath. The Bush people should be reminding the electorate of the noble reasons for this war.

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The Kerry doctrine ('we will only go to war when we have to") is an appeasement approach, nothing more. We will wait until we are hit first. Iraq was not a threat (just then). Won't people ever learn? We have lost less than1500 brave men and women in this war so far and that's bad enough. We lost 300,000 in WWII, the direct result of an appeasement philosophy gone terribly wrong.

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