Karl Rove Tries To Discredit Exit Polls To Make Sure That Election Cheating Goes Unquestioned
And By the Way, Did You Know How Much He Likes Hillary Clinton?Guest Blogged by Allan Hunt Badiner
Politics makes strange bedfellows, and I am not one for conspiracy theories. Yet, when I read Karl Rove's recent pro-Hillary Clinton piece in the Wall Street Journal, particularly the part about how useless exit polls are, my mind began to seriously entertain a clever dirty tricks campaign to keep Obama from winning the Democratic nomination.
It's widely agreed that the Republicans are much more comfortable with running against Hillary in November with her high negatives. If there is going to be election fraud and cheating-- why wait until November? Why not take steps now to engineer success for the preferred opponent? Can anyone be sure Karl Rove is really "retired?" Our media culture endows polls," Rove claims, "especially exit polls -- with scientific precision they simply don't have."
Exit polls, unlike pre-ballot opinion polls, are clearly one of the best tools we have to detect election fraud. Widely respected in Europe, they are never more than a fraction of a point off the ballot count. Obviously pre-vote surveys can't be "scientific" since the voter has more opportunities to change their mind-- and many do at the last minute. Once voters emerge from the voting booth, however, there can be no surprise changes. To lump the unreliability of opinion polling with the established efficacy of exit polls is highly inaccurate, suspicious, and misleading.
I can understand why Rove is not fond of exit polls since the most compelling case made about the illegitimacy of Bush's presidency was the variance between exit polls and vote results in many specific precincts in several states. Diebold has been implicated in many of these instances. The vote in New Hampshire, it turns out, was overwhelmingly tabulated on Diebold scanning machines. To top it off, the percentages of the vote given for Obama and Clinton, according to which counting method was used, were almost precise mirror images of each other. If there was a hack, it may have been as simple as just switching the results without even molesting the numbers.
Rove's newfound admiration for Hillary is as unconvincing as his debunking of exit polls. Yes, he admits Obama is playing a historical role, but "not enough to push aside the former First Lady and senator from New York. She's an historic figure, too." In his criticisms of Hillary, "Obama comes across," Rove churlishly attacks, "as a vitamin-starved Adlai Stevenson."
A more mean-spirited and undeserved trashing of Obama has never been written, and coming from Karl Rove, his respectful if sympathetic view of Hillary is peculiar. In his post mortem, Rove repeatedly refers to the experience issue, and urges Hillary to more effectively "raise questions about the fitness for the Oval Office of a first-term senator with no real accomplishments or experience."
Obama was supported by New Hampshire's wine drinkers, Rove explains, but he was rejected by its beer drinkers. One wonders why the body of his NH analysis is then devoted to putting down Obama from a more sophisticated perspective-- certainly not the criteria used by the beer drinking crowd. "Obama," Rove writes "has failed to rise to leadership on a single major issue in the Senate. In the Illinois legislature, he had a habit of ducking major issues, voting 'present' on bills important to many Democratic interest groups..." He proceeds to add on more questionable vitriol: that Obama is "often lazy, given to misstatements and exaggerations and, when he doesn't know the answer, too ready to try to bluff his way through."
This country is no stranger to those who would "bluff their way through" elections. Last Sunday's New York Times Magazine cover story on the entire e-voting disaster titled, "The Bugs in the Machine," was well timed. Hillary's unexpected success (no doubt a big surprise to her) could possibly have been a massive failure for the nation. Election fraud and cheating is nothing new in American politics- save possibly for its present scope, sophistication and early deployment. Every citizen concerned about the viability of our democracy should be raising their voice loudly and firmly in opposition to elections using electronic voting outsourced to private corporations. Our government, in order to remain of the people, by the people, and for the people, is properly obliged to employ exit polling and should ensure our precious votes are hand counted on paper ballots.