Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hoist By Their Own Petard

Mission accomplished:

How to Keep Your Base at Home

"Despite a generally buoyant Democratic Party nationally," the New York Times reports, "there are worries among Democratic strategists in some states that blacks may not turn up at the polls in big enough numbers because of disillusionment over past shenanigans." What shenanigans would those be? The paper explains:

"This notion that elections are stolen and that elections are rigged is so common in the public sphere that we're having to go out of our way to counter them this year," said Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist. . . .

Democrats' worries are backed up by a Pew Research Center report that found that blacks were twice as likely now than they were in 2004 to say they had little or no confidence in the voting system, rising to 29 percent from 15 percent.

And more than three times as many blacks as whites--29 percent versus 8 percent--say they do not believe that their vote will be accurately tallied.

Voting experts say the disillusionment is the cumulative effect of election problems in 2000 and 2004, and a reaction to new identification and voter registration laws.

Who exactly made the notion that elections are stolen or rigged "so common in the public sphere"? Wouldn't that be the Democrats, who never got over their grudge over Al Gore's photo-finish loss in 2000, who preposterously claimed Ohio was stolen in 2004, and who are already warning that if they don't do as well as they expect this year, it will be because of Republican dirty tricks?

Given that many of the Dems' complaints are made in expressly racial terms--e.g., blacks were disfranchised in Florida, or a requirement to show ID to vote is racist--why should it be surprising that blacks are more "disillusioned" than whites?

Furthermore, isn't there something patronizing about the whole complaint? Many Republicans in Washington state believe that the Democrats stole the razor-thin 2004 governor's race there, but does anyone think a New York Times reporter will go to Walla Walla and write a sympathetic piece about white conservative voters who are so disillusioned that they plan to stay away from the polls?

It seems to us that the real problem here is that the Democrats have outsmarted themselves. By creating the false impression that black voters are victims, they have discouraged blacks from going to the polls.

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