The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, November 29, 2004


The Facts Machine will be back in something like full force tomorrow. It's been a fascinating week, let's recap!

--Colombian Marxists with, let's say, a tenuous understanding of the Presidential line of succession were apparently planning to assassinate the President during his visit, in the city of Cartegna. Okay, guys, that's nice and all, but let's think about this. Bush is a 2nd-term President and cannot run again. His VP, Cheney, is unlikely to ever run for elected office ever again. The effect on American policy your act would have would be virtually nil, or even to bring about policies even less desirable to you (they'll declare "war" on you, first off). The sympathy vote might be added to the GOP's 51% electoral coalition. Brilliant idea, guys.

You'd think that of all people, Marxists would put more thought into their plans.

--Ahh, the Ukraine. Exit polls give the lead to one guy. Final results show the other guy winning. Our State Department waxes indignant. Chernobyl spews a radioactive cloud of pure irony, choking all in the area.

Which brings me to my question about the 2004 election, and heck, about the 2000 election. John Kerry, Al Gore, in the aftermath of your close defeats, neither of you did the one thing that seems to work in these situations abroad: Assemble large crowds. Think about these three historical locations and times: Moscow in August 1991, Belgrade in 1999, and Kiev this week. What do they all have in common? A just change in leadership/election results, or at least a possible one, helped along by large crowds. Yeltsin overcame the last-ditch pro-Soviet coup in Russia. Milosevic's shady re-election was negated by hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of Belgrade, and mass outcry in the Ukraine has contributed to the election results there being tossed out.

So where's our mob, guys? There's nothing fundamentally UnAmerican about peaceful assembly. Hell, the Republicans shut down the legal counting of ballots in Dade County in 2000 with a dozen paid staffers shouting. Couldn't some of that surplus money Kerry had left over at the end of the race gone to filling some damn buses?

I'm not saying that hundreds of thousands of people from MoveOn or ACT's mailing lists should clump together and bully a handful of Ohioan electors towards faithless status. What I am saying, though, is that when people join together like that, people take a serious look at things. We would've had a much more serious examination of Jeb Bush's "felon" purge in 2000 than we did. I'd say "oh well", but I don't think that covers it.

We at TFM will get on the ball tomorrow...


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