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(en) US, The Bring the Ruckus website has been updated (including The Coming Post-Election Chaos)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(Mike Kramer mkramer666-A-yahoo.com)
Date Fri, 29 Oct 2004 22:31:30 +0200 (CEST)


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With the following articles:
-After the Election, Then What? by Joel Olson
-What's Left? Anti-Electoralism and Moving Beyond the
Political Spectacle by Roy San Filippo
-Anti-PAN Work: Engaging with Communities of Color by
Shiu-Ming Cheer and Luis Fernandez
-Los Angeles Residents Fight Proposed Jail Tax by Roy San Filippo
-and The Coming Post-Election Chaos by John W. Dean which follows below.
For these articles and more information on BTR, go to
http://www.agitatorindex.org/

The Coming Post-Election Chaos:
A Storm Warning of Things to Come If the Vote Is as
Close as Expected
by John W. Dean

[NOTE: John Dean's article has generated discussion
with Bring the Ruckus. Dean was the attack dog of
Richard Nixon and did federal prison time for it. He
knows the Karl Roves and Republican fundamentalists of
the world because he trained them. In the spirit of
generating debate, we repost this article here. Should
radical activists be prepared to take it to the
streets after November 2? If so, what should we be
prepared for?
In many cities throughout the United States, there
will be many reasons for revolutionaries, radicals,
and progressives to be in streets the night of
November 2 and the days following the election. There
are reactionary ballot measures attempting to ban gay
marriages in a number of states, there is a racist,
anti-immigrant proposition in Arizona, and a ballot
measure in Los Angeles to raise $500 million a year to
put more people in cages. There is also the prospect
of a contested or illegitimate election; not to
mention the very real possibility that either Bush or
Kerry might actually get elected.
It is not inconceivable that the election will be
stolen again. Far more important than whether or not
you voted for Peltier/Nader/Kerry, or didn't vote at
all, is that you be prepared to take to the streets
after November 2.] -the Agitator Index Eds.


Friday, Oct. 22, 2004

This next presidential election, on November 2, may be
followed by post-election chaos unlike any we've ever
known

Look at the swirling, ugly currents currently at work
in this conspicuously close race. There is
Republicans' history of going negative to win
elections. There is Karl Rove's disposition to
challenge close elections in post-election brawls. And
there is Democrats' (and others) new unwillingness to
roll over, as was done in 2000. Finally, look at the
fact that a half-dozen lawsuits are in the works in
the key states and more are being developed.

This is a climate for trouble. A storm warning is
appropriate. In the end, attorneys and legal strategy
could prove as important, if not more so, to the
outcome of this election as the traditional political
strategists and strategy.

Let's go over each factor that spells trouble - and
see how they may combine.
A GOP Disposition For Nasty Campaigns

Before this year's race, the 1988 presidential race
between George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis was
well-known as the most foul of modern campaigns. The
Bush campaign used Willie Horton to smear their way to
the White House - with Lee Atwater playing the hardest
of hardball.

Horton was a convicted murderer. Massachusetts
Governor Dukakis gave him a prison furlough. Once
furloughed, Horton held a white Maryland couple
hostage for twelve hours, raping the woman and
stabbing the man. By using these facts - and Horton's
mug shot - in a heavy-handed negative advertisement,
Atwater turned the election for Bush. As a Southerner,
especially, he must have understood how the ad catered
to racial prejudice.

In the 2000 Republican primary race, George W. Bush
used similar tactics against Senator John McCain.
That's no surprise: Bush's political strategist Karl
Rove, and Bush himself, were protges' and admirers
of Lee Atwater. To my knowledge, all of Rove's
campaigns have accentuated the negative - often
dwelling exclusively on nasty attacks. This one is no
exception.

Thus, if Bush narrowly prevails on Election Day, the
Democrats are likely to be in a less than congenial
mood - and especially likely to go to court. And there
will doubtless be fodder for litigation, given the
GOP's propensity to try to disqualify votes and
voters.
The GOP's Campaign Tactic Of Attempting to Disqualify
Votes And Voters

In 1986, former Assistant United States Attorney James
Brosnahan (today a noted San Francisco trial attorney)
testified - based on an investigation the Justice
Department had dispatched him to conduct - that as a
young Phoenix attorney, Justice William Rehnquist had
been part of conservative Republicans' 1962 efforts to
disqualify black and Hispanic voters who showed up to
vote. Brosnahan's testimony was supported by no less
than fourteen additional witnesses. Rehnquist
nevertheless became Chief Justice - thanks to the
continued support of conservative Republicans.

During the 1964 Goldwater versus Johnson race, when I
first heard of such tactics, I was appalled to hear
friends bragging about excluding Johnson supporters
from voting. Later, when I found myself working at the
Department of Justice for Richard Kleindienst, we
discussed such tactics.

Kleindienst served as director of field operations for
Goldwater in 1964, and for Nixon in 1968. Remarkably,
Kleindienst confided that he had engaged in fewer
dubious tactics in 1968 than in 1964. If such efforts
were mounted by the Nixon campaign in 1972, when I had
a good overview of what was going on, I am not aware
of it.

Even Nixon had his limits, and he was more interested
in wooing white Southerners into the Republican ranks.
He did so, successfully, when such Southern Democratic
stalwarts and pillars of bigotry and racism as
Senators Strom Thrumond and Jesse Helms joined the
GOP. They renewed the party's effort to disqualify
voters who, and votes that, did not see the world as
Republicans did. The racism became less blatant. After
all, it had become a crime -- which called for new
tactics. Yet the revised stratagems were (and remain)
anything but subtle.

The 2000 presidential race in Florida is an excellent
example. Reportedly, Bush's Florida victory came
courtesy of 537 votes out of some six million. It's
plain from this slim margin that the GOP's voter and
vote disqualifying tactics cost Vice President Al Gore
the presidency. (In the October 2004 issue of Vanity
Fair, an excellent article entitled "The Path To
Florida" explains how the Republicans nullified and
disqualified literally hundreds of thousands of
Florida votes.)

This lesson has not been lost on the Democrats - who
are likely to refrain from conceding if they are
losing in 2004 until all of the dubious
disqualifications in closely-won swing states are
sorted out.
Rove's Refusal To Accept Defeat: The Knee-jerk
Response of Suing

And it won't only be the Democrats heading to court.
Indeed, in Florida in 2000, it was Bush who sued first
-- while later falsely accusing Gore of starting the
litigation.

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't merely the
closeness of the tallying in what appeared to be
unique circumstances in Florida that spawned
litigation. To the contrary, suing is a standard
operating procedure for Karl Rove when he is losing
(or has lost) a race.

A recent profile of Karl Rove in the November 2004
Atlantic Monthly, entitled "Karl Rove In A Corner,"
examines how Rove operates in a close race. While Rove
has had only a few, his tactics are never pretty.

The article describes "Rove's power, when challenged,
to draw on an animal ferocity that far exceeds the
chest-thumping bravado common to professional
political operatives" - and notes that "Rove's
fiercest tendencies have been elided in national media
coverage."

Consider Rove's role in a 1994 judicial campaign for
the Alabama Supreme Court. Election returns showed his
candidate had lost by 304 votes. But Rove went to
court - not only suing to overturn the election, but
at the same time, further campaigning to garner
support for these efforts.

These maneuvers went on and on and on. Rove's
candidate and his opponent both appeared for
Inauguration Day ceremonies, although neither was
seated. Rove moved the matter from state to federal
courts. And he appealed whenever he could - all the
way up to the U. S. Supreme Court, which stayed the
case almost a year after the election. In the end,
Rove's man won -- purportedly by 262 votes.

Doubtless, Rove was similarly prepared to take Bush's
2000 lawsuits as far as necessary. Had the U.S.
Supreme Court bumped the case back to the Florida
Supreme Court, and allowed the recount to conclude,
doubtless Rove would have again challenged the recount
- all the way back up to the U.S. Supreme Court if
necessary.

Make no mistake: If Bush loses, and it is very close,
Rove will want to litigate as long as possible, going
to the U.S. Supreme Court (again) if possible.
Still Too Close To Call: The Conspicuous Closeness Of
The 2004 Race

So far, no incumbent modern president has won or lost
in a squeaker. Even races that looked close in the
polls were subject to a last-minute surge in one
direction. But we are now ten days away from the 2004
election, with no surge yet in evidence.

A late "October Surprise" might change that. Osama's
arrest would likely cause a surge for Bush. New and
unequivocally damning evidence about the justification
for the Iraq war could create a surge for Kerry.
(Suppose, for instance, it became incontrovertible
that Bush and Cheney knew that Saddam not only did not
have WMD but also had terminal cancer.)

Still, without such a surprise, this race may be an
historical photo finish. The electorate is deeply
divided. Most of the undecided are now decided. So a
true surge for either candidate is unlikely.

There is one wild card: Both sides - as well as many
independent groups -- have recently registered
hundreds of thousands of new voters. Historically,
newly registered voters have often not voted in the
first election for which they were eligible. But that
could change; it's impossible to know.

Exactly how close will the race be? Of course, polls
are an imperfect measure, and they tend to be less
reliable the closer it is to Election Day. Still, as I
write, and based on the consensus of polls I believe
(historically) to be the most reliable, the situation
appears to be this:

There are a total of 538 electoral votes. A simple
majority of 270 wins. (If the candidates tie at 269,
the tie is broken by the House of Representatives.)

President Bush seems to have a lock on 176 electoral
votes from twenty states: AL-9, AK-3, AZ-10, GA-15,
ID-4, IN-10, KS-6, KY-8, LA-9, MS-6, MT-3, NE-5, ND-3,
OK-7, SC-3, TN-11, TX-34, UT-5, VA-13 and WY-3.
Senator Kerry seems to have a lock on 153 electoral
votes in ten states and the District of Columbia:
CA-55, CT-7, DE-3, HI-4, IL-21, MD-10, MA-12, NY-31,
RI-4, VT-3 and DC-3.

Six states with 51 electoral votes tilt toward Bush:
AR-6, CO-9, MO-11, NV-5, NC-15 and WV-5. But six
states with 63 electoral votes lean toward Kerry: ME-3
(note that Maine apportions its four electoral votes,
and one vote still appears to be up for grabs), MI-17,
MN-10, NJ-15, OR-7 and WA-11.

Suppose all the tilting states indeed go in the
direction in which they are tilting. That gives
Bush/Cheney 227 electoral votes, and Kerry/Edwards 216
votes.

There are still eight true swing states. In total,
they have 95 electoral votes: IA-7, FL-27, ME-1, NH-4,
NM-5, OH-20, PA-21, and WI-10.

It is in these states that election 2004 will
ultimately be resolved - either in the voting booths,
or in the courts. And note that none of these states,
alone - even Florida, with its 27 votes - will give
either candidate a win.

That means we could see simultaneous litigation in a
number of states - chosen either because the polling
was especially close, or because there are significant
numbers of vulnerable votes to try to disqualify. It
will be recalled that the possibility for multi-state
litigation arose in 2000, before Florida became the
focus; it could easily become a reality in 2004.
An Election For Attorneys: Neither Side Will Budge If
Litigation Begins

When I discussed this situation with several attorneys
on both sides, I realized none are likely to back
down. The Democrats intend to play hardball to win
this time; the Republicans feel that Democrats aren't
adhering to the letter of the law in registration
efforts - and want to hold them to it.

It is impossible to get a complete count, but it
appears that at least 10,000 - and possibly as many as
150,000 -- attorneys, paralegals and law students will
be working as observers, or handling election
problems, on November 2-- just in the swing states.
They have been trained in the relevant state's
election laws, and they will focus on the casting and
counting of votes.

With so many legal minds looking for problems and such
combative attitudes on both sides, litigation seems
inevitable - especially if the November 2 tally is
close. And if litigation starts, it won't stop soon: A
game of litigation chicken -- testing who will fold
first - seems likely, with each party bent on holding
out.
The Nightmare Scenario: An Election Up in the Air For
Months

It may be days or weeks, if not months, before we know
the final results of this presidential election. And
given the Republican control of the government, if
Karl Rove is on the losing side, it could be years: He
will take every issue (if he is losing) to its
ultimate appeal in every state he can.

The cost of such litigation will be great - with the
capital of citizens' trust in their government, and
its election processes, sinking along with the
nation's (if not the world's) financial markets, which
loathe uncertainty. After Bush v. Gore, is there any
doubt how the high Court would resolve another round?
This time, though, the Court, too, will pay more
dearly. With persuasive power as its only source of
authority, the Court's power will diminish as the
American people's cynicism skyrockets.

It does not seem to trouble either Rove or Bush that
they are moving us toward a Twenty-first Century civil
war -- and that, once again, Southern conservatism is
at its core. Only a miracle, it strikes me, can
prevent this election from descending into
post-election chaos. But given the alternatives, a
miracle is what I am hoping for.

Fair use: This article was originally published on
Find Law. It is being re-published for non-profit,
non-commercial, educational use. Deal with it.


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