Robert F. Kennedy has an article in the newest edition of Rolling Stone which claims Bush stole the 2004 election. The assertion itself is ridiculous on its face, but his argument is even better. Kennedy bases his entire piece on this premise: the pollsters and their exit polls were accurate. The votes that were cast, therefore, were rigged.
Ed Morrissey has taken the time to refute Mr. Kennedy’s assertions. Here’s a portion:
Kennedy never addresses the ridiculous notion that a sample poll will have exquisite accuracy, while the real vote somehow is unreliable. As we often say, the only poll that really matters is taken behind the curtain and doesn’t rely on a pollster to conduct it. And his argument about the US government endorsing exit polling’s exquisite reliability is also fallacious. The government uses exit polling to look for massive vote fraud on a scale far outside the margin of error for exit polling, not to determine the accuracy of results to the tenth of a point. Only when exit polls show a remarkably different result than the vote counts do they come into play at all. The Ukrainian fraud did not involve a couple of percentage points, but rather a ten-point swing — and other obvious polling irregularities had already been documented, such as armed raids on polling centers.
Dan Riehl points out that NPR debunked Kennedy’s theory before his article even saw ink.
The Confederate Yankee is spot on when he said this hit piece was aimed at Ken Blackwell, a black, conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate in Ohio who, as Secretary of State in 2004, presided over and certified Ohio’s election results.
Take a look at what Kennedy says about Secretary Blackwell:
But in the battle for Ohio, Republicans had a distinct advantage: The man in charge of the counting was Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of President Bush’s re-election committee.(43) As Ohio’s secretary of state, Blackwell had broad powers to interpret and implement state and federal election laws — setting standards for everything from the processing of voter registration to the conduct of official recounts.(44) And as Bush’s re-election chair in Ohio, he had a powerful motivation to rig the rules for his candidate. Blackwell, in fact, served as the ”principal electoral system adviser” for Bush during the 2000 recount in Florida,(45) where he witnessed firsthand the success of his counterpart Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state who co-chaired Bush’s campaign there.(46)
Blackwell — now the Republican candidate for governor of Ohio(47) — is well-known in the state as a fierce partisan eager to rise in the GOP. An outspoken leader of Ohio’s right-wing fundamentalists, he opposes abortion even in cases of rape(48) and was the chief cheerleader for the anti-gay-marriage amendment that Republicans employed to spark turnout in rural counties(49). He has openly denounced Kerry as ”an unapologetic liberal Democrat,”(50) and during the 2004 election he used his official powers to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens in Democratic strongholds. In a ruling issued two weeks before the election, a federal judge rebuked Blackwell for seeking to ”accomplish the same result in Ohio in 2004 that occurred in Florida in 2000.”(51)
The Democrats just can’t accept that they lost in 2000 and 2004. As far as they are concerned, power is their right, their entitlement. Therefore, as they see it, Democrats don’t lose elections. The elections are stolen from them, which is why Kennedy puts all his eggs in his the-exit-polls-were-accurate basket. Now their target is Secretary Blackwell. And it appears that no smear is low enough for them.