There is a ton to catch up on heading into the election’s final week: Palestra has the latest on vote fraud committed by Barack Obama staffers camping out in Ohio. Naysayers repeat the mantra that this fraud can’t possibly affect the election, because it’s on such a small scale. Focused so intently on potential direct impacts, they miss the point. The ever expanding, yet unknowable, scale of voter registration fraud has been part of feeding a public perception. Based on what we know about human nature and behavior, it will have some effect – how so, it’s too hard to say.
To further understand the concern, think instead about what this says: the bare minimum of electronic controls to cover his online donations, allowing for myriad kinds of shenanigans. Millions of dollars that came from … where? And as Beldar writes, this should create some anger among Democrats:
For a start, every honest Democrat should demand that everyone associated with the decision to disable the most basic anti-fraud mechanisms from the Obama-Biden campaign’s credit-card donations systems be publicly identified and immediately fired. Every honest Democrat should demand the immediate and full cooperation from the campaign â€” pointedly beginning with Barack Obama â€” in seeing them prosecuted and convicted.
And then, we have a media establishment that couldn’t care less, and in fact – has thrown its weight behind the Barack Obama campaign, giving the distortions an undeserved credibility. But as ashamed journalist Michael Malone points out, its coverage of the 2008 campaign has hastened its dive into oblivion.
Finally, you read poll results that are all over the place. Zombie’s brilliant and thought-provoking essay takes some unconventional tacks to posit a plausible theory:
The entire Democratic strategy in 2008 revolves around the unproven theory that polls do create reality. Otherwise, there would be no point in continuously striving to inflate Obama’s perceived public support.
Has there ever been anything so wildly divergent since the science of polling began? The disparities are so great as not to be explained by statistical sampling and standard margins of error. Are the assumptions based on a distorted view created by an agenda media narrative? I don’t know. Most likely, Barack Obama indeed is in the lead at this point. Nevertheless…
Hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations. Millions of dollars in anonymous, insecure online donations. A media establishment bent over backwards with bias. Wildly inconsistent polling results. These are some of the major pieces of the puzzle that lead me to wonder if Zombie isn’t right, that the manipulation isn’t a “disastrously counter-productive strategy.”
Now, look. The John McCain crew has run a less-than-stellar campaign, to put it mildly. But, from what I’ve seen, the vast state of uncertainty fed by all the factors explored above has not yet dispirited the Republican ground game. In fact, it may be motivating the volunteers to work even harder. On Saturday I saw a very busy crew of volunteers walking precincts and making phone calls – and this in just one office. Whether or not the uncertainty has inflicted the other side with overconfidence I am not qualified to say.
But since we have no idea what is going to happen, I urge the Republican team in Colorado and nationwide to heed Abraham Lincoln’s example in 1840. Quote Lincoln to the media establishment, to the naysayers, and to the wavering who say it’s all over:
Address that argument to cowards and to knaves; with the free and the brave it will effect nothing. It may be true; if it must, let it. .â€‰â€‰.â€‰â€‰. The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. .â€‰â€‰.â€‰â€‰. Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if after all, we shall fail, be it so.