Who Really Won?

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Raspberry From The Washington Post

William Raspberry, Washington Post columnist:

So what am I to think about all the allegations I've been reading in the noncertified press since November? That the left-wing bloggers are blowing things out of proportion? That the mainstream press is being properly circumspect? That nothing much happened in Ohio?

But "Preserving Democracy" belies such a benign conclusion. Listen:

"We have found numerous, serious election irregularities . . . which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. . . .

"In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio."

Presumably Conyers is being careful not to draw conclusions because he wants Congress to have a look. But we're talking about a Congress whose members often pass important legislation without bothering to read it. What makes him think anyone is going to read his report unless he waves it about like a smoking gun?

Instead, he and a few other Democrats offered a formal challenge to Thursday's ceremonial counting of the electoral votes from November, forcing a brief delay in the official certification of President Bush. The point, he said, was to "maximize the seriousness of the issue," not to overturn the election results.

Well, I don't want to overturn the election, either. But I would like to know if public officials and private citizens engaged in a significant and concerted effort to steal the election in the event the wrong person seemed to be winning it. And if so, I'd like to know who the miscreants were, what they did and what heads are going to roll.

Because if all we get are a few hearings and empty promises, it's a safe bet it'll happen again.