GOPranksters v. GOTV

It seems fairly obvious that humans of little practical talent have to survive by their wits and, given the length of their road to maturity, wittiness or witlessness depend largely on their linguistic skills. A good talker gets farther. So, we should probably expect that people who are “all thumbs,” are not infrequently linguistically adept. And, as they mature, being linguistically adept and able to talk themselves out of a jam makes them attractive as spokesmen or even historians. Newt Gingrich claims to be both. Newt Gingrich, I think it is fair to say, is a prototypical modern Republican politician — all talk and no action.

Do nothing politicians are not necessarily a negative, especially if what they are proposing is a regimen of deprivation. “I’m going to steal your pension,” is a less serious threat when it comes from someone with a reputation for not doing. Indeed, that’s the advantage the Party of No enjoyed, until they and their lackies on Wall Street actually managed to crash the economy. Then they gained credibility but lost voters.

Only, it seems, not enough. You see, despite their political operatives’ best efforts to trim the electorate down to the compliant, easily impressed core, the electorate had been not only growing, but becoming more demanding. Not to mention that some Democrats (e.g. Howard Dean) came up with a new and improved version of “get out the vote” — one that is focused on increasing the size of the electorate, rather than pruning the sprouts and radicals. Generating votes is different from getting them out. The linguistically adept appreciate that.

Anyway, the GOPrankster agenda was refocused in 2012 on GOTV with more vigor and vim. But, since depriving anyone of anything had become generally suspect (even austerity for Europeans was not well received) the trimming of the electorate had to be surreptitious and multi-faceted. Indeed, it now looks like some failed efforts, like tagging voters with IDs, were designed to fail and serve as a distraction from the “technical” adjustments such as equipment failures, data crashes and mechanical insufficiencies, which, in turn, may have been designed, as they were in 2004, to disguise the jiggering of the tabulating systems.

Karl Rove’s agitation over the apparent failures in Ohio to meet his expectations may well be based on the planned failure of the ORCA program on election day not serving as a cover for a successful jiggering of the vote tabulation, which Anonymous claims to have intercepted. In other words, the admitted failure of ORCA as an assist to GOTV in the Democratic definition of the term, was an unexpected failure in terms of trimming (get them out of the system) the votes after they had been cast. Makes sense. If enough voters aren’t deterred from casting a ballot, the fail-safe solution is to cancel the ballots after the fact, by adjusting the data. Which may have been what the last minute “patches” were supposed to do.

“Patch me through, Mabel.”

Votes are an ideal target or opportunity for perpetrators of “perfect” crimes. Not only are votes worthless, but whom they actually belong to is in dispute. So, once the votes are “stolen,” disposing of the evidence makes total sense, like throwing an empty wallet in the trash. There aren’t even any fingerprints to lift, unless, in this case, the keepers of the electronic data collection system laid traps for any potential intruders. Which they should have because, while logic would dictate that the same tactic won’t be tried twice, petty crooks and pranksters are creatures of habit. Husted following the same script as Ken Blackwell did in 2004 with the proprietary computer system from Cannon Technologies he had installed in the Secretary of State offices.

Does vote stealing by GOPranksters seem like a frivolous approach to a serious matter? I guess that depends on one’s attitude towards pranks. Pranks are, essentially, abusive, but classified as less serious than crimes because objects destroyed or taken are of little monetary value. The intent is more to annoy than deprive and, yet, what is more valuable than a person’s peace of mind, the ability to feel secure in one’s person and property? In a sense, the prankster “softens the victim up” for more serious stuff. Which is why I’m inclined to go with the Wilhelm Busch conclusion of the saga of Max and Moritz.

Final trick