Rick Perlstein in the Village Voice writes a very convoluted essay that both chides the Democrats for spewing insane conspiracy theories about the 2004 election, and at the same time spins an even more ludicrous paranoid fantasy about why Democrats keep losing elections. He wants Democrats to shut up about what he sees as trivialities and easily-explainable happenstances and instead focus on the eeeeeevil genius of Karl Rove:
It's possible that their vindication will come, that what's already being referred to as the "vote fraud community"—the allusion is to the "JFK assassination research community"—won't disappear up its very own grassy knoll. But the charges producing the greatest heat online often turn out to have the most innocent explanations. The recount isn't amounting to much, either. Last week the Franklin County Board of Elections did discover one extra vote for Kerry—offset by the extra vote they found for Bush. The irregularities volunteers have pointed to in the recount process itself are often picayune.
In many Americans' minds, it's not too hard to imagine, this will all be received as further evidence of the activist left's irrelevance. Which would, in fact, be a tragedy. For elections in America are indeed broken, badly, and vulnerable to fraud. That fact is not politically neutral: The problems in America's election system have advantaged the Republicans, in significant and consistent ways.
If the Democrats had a Karl Rove—a cunning master strategist who thinks so far in advance that he wins new wars before the other side even wakes up to discover there's been a fight—setting up an election reform movement might be the first thing he would do. It just wouldn't look anything like the reform movement we have—so uncoordinated, strategically unsound, and prone to going off half-cocked that it may end up hurting the crucial cause it seeks to help.
This article, in itself, amply demonstrates the Left's irrelevance. Perlstein writes this essay as if our election system transformed itself in 1992 from perfection to fatally flawed, with all the flaws running in favor of the GOP. That's hogwash. The electoral system we have now is the exact same system that kept Democrats in power for over four decades -- until their stridently socialist message started coming through loud and clear. Perlstein does not produce a single example of an electoral-system change to support his reasoning that the system favors the Republicans. All he can do is allege that Karl Rove and the Republican party somehow -- he doesn't explain how here, either -- game the system to GOP advantage.