12 October 2008

How McCain Will Steal the Election from Obama (Sort Of)

Tom Matzzie - October 12, 2008

Imagine an election where one of the participants calls foul. Investigations are launched or at least called for. Prosecutors raise the specter of charges, the U.S. attorney and FBI get involved. No voter fraud is ever actually found. But by the time that conclusion is reached, the myth has been solidified both to soothe the loser's supporters and condemn the winner.

Sound familiar? Sound like the recent ACORN scandal?

Well, actually I'm talking about the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. That Nixon was cheated out of a win is the stuff of legend on the Right. The allegations say that Kennedy loyalists fixed the vote counts in Illinois and Texas--swinging 51 electoral votes and a majority in the Electoral College to Kennedy. In more hyperbolic versions there is alleged involvement by the mob, the Teamsters Union or legendary Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

The story goes on that Nixon, "for the good of the country," conceded honorably and exited the scene. No matter that Nixon was later chased out of the White House for cheating in an election. The myth endures.

This whole story--maybe to be replayed with Obama playing Kennedy and McCain playing Nixon--is a canard. It is a fable. A lie made up by the conservative movement to hold together their fraying coalition.

In 2008 the stakes are bigger than they've ever been before for conservatives and the canard is that much more important to them.

In the case of Obama the conservative movement is lining up a serious of story elements. They are:

• Obama was a community organizer.
• ACORN, a group that does community organizing, has committed voter fraud.
• Obama is from Chicago.
• You know what happens in elections in Chicago. Remember the 1960 election.
The story is half true and half lies. As we all know, Barack Obama is from Chicago and was a community organizer. Those are the only true parts of the conservative story. But the other two facts are myths: the 1960 election wasn't stolen (says the conclusion of recounts and investigations in 1960 and numerous academic studies since). And, ACORN has not committed voter fraud. Not one bit.


No comments: