Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Don't fixate on a video of a tough black guy with a stick in Philly, 'cause he's not what's threatening our rights
If there's evidence of widespread and consequential voter fraud, I haven't seen it yet, but I remain very concerned about the clear evidence of widespread fraud in voter registrations because I don't think people commit that crime unless they intend those registrations to count for something.
I'm more concerned, though, about Obama's illegal, and deliberately invited, campaign contributions, which I think casts an ethical shadow over his upcoming administration.
This late-Election Day guest post at HughHewitt.com was intended to express these concerns.
[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]
(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)
Lots of conservative blogs and websites that I'm browsing today have the same video that's posted at Hot Air, or something similar, which suggests that there are a few tough-looking black guys with nightsticks and paramilitary uniforms intimidating potential voters — presumably, I suppose, white ones who would otherwise have voted McCain-Palin. I pick Ed Morrissey's post because he, in typical level-headed fashion, merely says: "Hopefully, this kind of thing will be kept to a minimum today." Others are making a bigger deal.
Friends and neighbors, one or two such guys, at one polling place in one state, is not a meaningful piece of information. It makes a great video clip precisely because it plays on some very ugly stereotypes.
I am untroubled by anecdotal events like these, which are obvious and easily remedied.
Instead, I am deeply troubled by the fact that it's Election Day, and yet Barack Obama has still not identified — much less fired — whoever it was in his senior campaign staff who ordered that his website's credit card anti-fraud protections be turned off.
Those hundreds of thousands of small credit card transactions zipping across fiber optic cables around the world make lousy video clips. But the Obama-Biden campaign has given us no credible explanation for why those safeguards were turned off (other than the obvious explanation, i.e., to facilitate illegal and fraudulent contributions). Nor has it given us any credible reason to believe that those transactions didn't accumulate into millions, and even tens of millions, of dollars in fraudulent and illegal campaign contributions.
Racial fears, nightsticks, tough guys with huge biceps — that's actually 19th and early 20th Century stuff. I'm much worried about bits and bytes, about ISO credit card protocols and pre-paid, untraceable credit cards bought by the case offshore.
Next to that — but frankly, right now it's a distant second — I'm worried about fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent ballots.
Bob Caro's fabulous book about Lyndon Johnson's ramrodding of the little-remembered Civil Rights Act of 1957, "Master of the Senate," quotes LBJ's explanations as to his focus on voting rights ahead of other attacks on Jim Crow laws. Without an effective right to cast a meaningful vote, no other rights mattered. With it, all other rights could be protected. LBJ's threading of a legislative needle in 1957 became the precedent for, and necessary precondition to, the better known and more substantive Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is inconceivable that Barack Obama could be receiving tens of millions of votes today but for those landmark reforms.
But voting rights are under attack again. Not based on race. Not with uniformed officials wielding fire hoses and barely restraining Dobermans, nor with literacy tests or poll taxes. But through garden-variety fraud grown to gargantuan levels and fed with a Niagra of cash.
Win or lose today, my conservative friends, the elimination of financial campaign fraud and voter fraud must become central issues around which our politics revolve, and they must remain such way until we get this fixed. Nothing except national defense is as important.
Brilliant sunlight; instant, continuous, and absolute disclosure; rigorous sourcing back to individuals, through layers of dummy organizations and aggregators — these things, and not dollar limits (which can never work), are the financial reforms we must insist upon. Rigorous and verifiable pre-election registration — again with transparency and online accountability — plus picture-ID presentation at the polls.
If we do not achieve reforms to protect our voting rights, we'll lose not just them, but, eventually, all of our rights.
UPDATE (Tue Nov 4 @ 7:45 p.m. CST): Please note that you ought not attempt to further confirm the fact that the Obama campaign's anti-fraud software is turned off. It is turned off. The Obama campaign has publicly admitted that it is turned off. There have been hundreds of "test donations" in phony names which more than establish this. And even if done exclusively for purposes of confirming these reports, submitting a donation with a phony name or address is, arguably, technically, campaign finance fraud on the part of the test-contributor. Please don't break the law further.
On the other hand, I've been asked by readers whether anyone's "doing anything about this." The answer to that, so far as I know, is still "No." Hence my post. If this becomes, as some predict, just something that's the subject of a ceremonial slap on the hand and even a multi-million dollar fine for the Obama campaign many months from now, that will be a disgrace and a positive incentive for further fraud in the future. Someone needs to be fired. Someone probably needs to go to prison. We need a convincing and satisfactory answer to the questions: "What did Barack Obama know? And when did he know it?" And laws definitely need to be changed.
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