What didn’t happen in the midterm election

We spent most of the past week talking about what happened in the Midterm Elections of 2006.

We know what happened: Democrats won, Republicans lost. Voter anger triumphed.

Now let’s take a look at what didn’t happen.

In the months leading up to the election, paranoia reigned supreme and conspiracy theories ran rampant through the Internet. A lot of predictions of doom and gloom dominated political debate.

Most of those predictions turned out to be pure fantasy.

So, in no particular order, let’s highlight the big predictions that didn’t come true:

VOTE THEFT BY DIEBOLD: One of the more popular conspiracy theories bandied about concerned a perceived plot by Republicans to rig the vote by hacking voting machines. Didn’t happen. Dire predictions of massive glitches by computerized voting never materialized.  For the most part, this was one of our smoother elections.

KARL ROVE’S OCTOBER SURPRISE: This kept many Democrats cowering in fear and predicting the worst. Rove fueled the conspiracy theories by telling Republicans that he had some tricks up his sleeve for the closing weeks of the election. They must have stayed up the sleeve because all the October surprises played against the GOP: Mark Foley, a worsening situation in Iraq, etc. The man who drafted me into political work in 1981, Eddie Mahe, told me that "you’re only as good as your last election." Take that, Mr. Rove.

THE CAPTURE OF OSAMA BIN LADEN: Some claimed U.S. troops captured the al Qaeda leader months ago but that announcement of his capture would be dropped on the American public about a week out from Election Day. Another pipe dream. Osama, if he is still alive, remains the world’s most-wanted fugitive – a monument of the failed "war on terror."

BUSH WOULD SEIZE POWER: This spread through the Internet like wildfire. Bush would suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and cancel the election. Although the military has a plan to institute martial law in times of national emergency, our enemies apparently didn’t think enough of Bush to create one.

In nearly every case, these conspiracy theories – and others, — were spawned on the Internet and spread through blogs and partisan "news" sites.

In an election where a lack of honesty by the Bush administration drove voter anger, we didn’t need more lies and deception to cloud the real issues of this campaign.

Voters tossed out the GOP leadership of Congress primarily because they were unhappy with an Iraq war that was "justified" through deception. Bush’s many attempts to falsely link his failed Iraq policy with his highly-politicized "war on terror" fell on deaf voter ears.

In the end, voters saw through the lies and myths created by the Bush White House and the GOP-led Congress.

In the coming months, as we continue to try and regain control of our country, let’s hope we can do so without having to hack our way through more myths, distortions and conspiracy theories from the fringes of either the right or the left.


  1. Lysistrata

    The exit polls matched the actual count this time.
    Last time around Gore/Kerry won the exit polls and Bush the actual count.
    I for one still believe the exit polls.

  2. Rhonda

    This is no time to go all soft and amnesic on the GOP neocon attack on American values. Election fraud is real and nothing has been done to fix it. Democrats have a couple of years to get things right for 2008. That’s when the neocons will pull out all the stops. Their legislation has made the president a virtual dictator, and they’re not going to let a populist Democrat quietly take over the levers that radical neocons so urgently installed.

  3. Wayne K Dolik

    Well there still is a little problem in Florida with 18,000 ballots. You say no voter fraud?

    Speaking of Limo liberals i’m seeing evidence that a lot of “throw aways” didn’t get backed by the House Committees. A real shame because quite a few more Democrats could have won. We had quite a few with a mear 40k who got no backing and still pulled 40%.

    As far as those Republicans, in the end they betrayed their own and got everything they deserve.

    Cudos to Dean for at least trying a 50 state strategy.

  4. Ron Alexander

    The midterm election was WAY too close. My theory is that the Diebold machines WERE tampered with. Otherwise, the results would have been on the news 5 minutes after the polls closed.

    It’s like this: it’s easier to pass a counterfeit $10 bill than say, a $100 bill. The machines were designed to err on the GOP’s side just enough to make it appear honest. Problem is, the folks at Diebold underestimated the anger of the electorate.

    Explains the long faces at the White House. They thought the fix was in.

  5. Sandy Price

    I think that the bloggers and posters were very aware of the dirty tricks of both parties who have in their day manipulated the machines and voter registration cards to give them more votes.

    The fact that we were waiting for the corruption made it more difficult for either party to change, add or subtract the numbers.

    We must always be skeptical of how these elections are done and counted.

    I’m also interested in why so many Republicans backed out of voting for their candidates. Could it be that they were tired of being threatened by the Conservatives that their personal lives would soon be under the scrutiny of the federal government? The same government who approved of torture?

    We have two sets of numbers that have never honestly been totalled or published. The first is the number of Gay Americans who are still hiding in the closet.

    The second are the number of Atheists who are hiding in another closet terrified of public opinion on their lack of God.

    I came out of the closet in 1999 when I admitted that I was an Atheist and resented the Federal government assuming I was part of the religious right.

    Atheists are still the most hated groups in America judged even lower than Nazis. It’s true folks. I even had my life threatened. I’m not supposed to exist in America but suddenly I find myself in large groups of like-minded Americans. Many don’t use the word Atheist and are called Secular Humanists. No matter, they are standing up for individual freedoms and I can only hope they can take a stand for limited government as well. What could be better than that?

  6. Doubtom

    Doug, stop the scolding and get rid of the sneer.(IdiotBush and DarthCheney sneer a lot). People were showing the only sensible response to a government that is untrustworthy. We should always suspect power and once proven corrupt we should always distrust it.

    By parading our fears of further corruption we were insuring against more of the same. Now Impeach the bastards!

  7. Thing is Doug,

    That the election corruption was overwhelmed by the masses. The Dems beat the vote rigging by voting far higher than what was expected. The close results only verify that fact. If there wasn’t any vote tampering the final numbers would have been much further apart. And still most of the absentee ballots were never counted.

  8. South Point Man

    Remember Y2K? And the possible computer glitch that had a whole lot of people running around worried about the fall of civilization? And then Jan. 1, 2000 rolled around and nothing happened?

    And you know why nothing happened?

    It was because a whole lot of people spent a whole lot of time and effort making sure it didn’t happen. To late at night, they would be at their computers, rewriting code and making patches.

    As long as the abominations of evilness KNOW they are being closely watched, there is less chance they can get away with whatever they want. If it weren’t for the internet, we would have been absolutely screwed, blued and tatooed, as the lamestream media obediantly grovels to whatever the abominations of evilness dictate.

    Thank you, thank you, internet. Bloggers, keep blogging. Say what needs to be said.

    It’s better to cry wolf then not because if you don’t, the wolves will figure no one is paying any attention and then rush in for the attack.

    (This is just a metaphorical statement as I don’t really have anything against actual, biological wolves. I rather like all species of canine. I’m just doing the boy-who-cried-wolf allegory thing as you all know the story.)

  9. Rich

    Paranoid? Who me? Should I be? Maybe we were just lucky. Take careful note of the very last sentence from the great warlord:

    President Bush: “One freedom that defines our way of life is the freedom to choose our leaders at the ballot box. We saw that freedom earlier this week, when millions of Americans went to the polls to cast their votes for a new Congress. Whatever your opinion of the outcome, all Americans can take pride in the example our democracy sets for the world by holding elections even in a time of war.”

  10. Painless

    Remember Viet Nam? As a result of their widespread and persistent lies, the government lost credibility for many years. It takes a long, long time to regain that credibility, so it shouldn’t be surprising that “conspiracy theories” should abound in that environment.

    A voting system which has proven to be vulnerable to hacking and which leaves no paper trail is bound to be viewed with skepticism, and it doesn’t need to be that way. We need a more transparent and secure electoral system.

  11. jason Shapiro

    Sandy Price – right on! i know exactly how you feel. I’ve been an atheist for probably 40 plus years but I certainly don’t go around advertising or throwing it in peoples’ faces (unlike your basic evangelical, for example).

    As for the “nothing happened,” all I can say is “Good, we dodged a bullet,” because NOTHING is too outlandish, absurd or improbable anymore. These people stole two presidential elections and then govern like they are Mussolini or Louis XIV. Karl Rove is not immoral, he’s amoral and there is nothing that is beneath him. These guys make Nixon’s crew look like choir boys.

  12. ADB

    It is difficult to prove a negative or the absence of an event. That there were no clear examples of voter fraud may be simply good luck; or, as is more likely, increased voter awareness made it too difficult to bring off.
    And objection, of sorts, though… The Democrats did NOT win this election! The GOP lost it, and the center held. For the Democrats to claim a win they have two years to get their “stuff” together, sustain this new found unity, and deliver on their promises.

  13. keith

    Once again, Doug, maybe the reason we didn’t see all these horrific predictions come true is that they were specifically designed not to…this time.

    That is, Bush’s grand strategy all along might have simply been to throw his Republican cohorts in the Congress to the wolves NOW so as to get the Democrats in power in time to let THEM screw things up for 2008. If not, why wait until AFTER the election to fire Rumsfeld if doing so might have kept the Republicans in power?

    No, the way things turned out gives Bush and his neocon handlers the chance to amass enough “cannon fodder” on the Democrats to once again go after the “big prize” …putting another one of “their own” in the White House bully pulpit come 2008.

    Like I said, I don’t trust ANY of these proven prevaricators to say what they mean or mean what they say (or do).

  14. SpaceLifeForm

    A very important thing for the Dems to remember:

    The NSA spying is still going on, and the Dems will be targets of that spying.

  15. David

    Hacking of voting machines didn’t happen? How do you know? The machines are just as unverifiable now as they were in 2004 and 2002.

    According to pollster Andrew Kohut, interviewed by Ray Suarez on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer last Wednesday, there was once again a disparity between the exit polls and the official results. Once again, the disparity suggests either an overstatment of Democratic votes by the exit polls, or an understatement by the voting machines. This disparity remains unexplained.

  16. Kent Shaw

    As posted below a previous rant:

    According to evote.com, whose accuracy I cannot verify, the following has occurred.

    In 2000, Phil Giordano (R) lost to Joe Lieberman (D).
    Giordano got 448,077 votes.

    In 2006, Ned Lamont (D) lost to Joe Lieberman (I).
    Lamont got 448,077 votes.

    But, I guess, If Ned Lamont chooses not to make this an issue, why should I? There are some shenanigans being reported re: the electin in Florida. So, let’s not assume it was a clean vote this time around.

  17. TRUTH 101

    Good Morning,

    Well, it appears I do have considerable company in believeing that nothing outrageous or catastrophic happened before this mid-term election ALL BECAUSE of the “bloggers” statements, predictions and writings in general.

    It is still my belief that had this not been the case, the move would have been made in DC by PNAC to seize control of the Government after some event, real or imagined “for the safety and security of the nation”

    The bases were well covered IMO. Anything tried would have looked very suspicious.

    However, on the point of American’s taking back their government we must look at the numbers that voted, the total numbers and convert to a percentage of eligible voters.

    Anger or not, THAT NUMBER and THAT PERCENTAGE will tell you how much Americans are actually paying attention.

    I expect the NSA Spying thing will be repealled and re-written with HARD specifics and require court approval. To do less is STILL a violation of the Constitution, no matter who is in power.

    Nancy Pelosi says that the impeachment of George W. Bush is OFF THE TABLE.

    Mr. Bush, like it or not as CIC is in violation of his oath of office withbthe words to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and impeachment is OFF THE TABLE. ???

    Is it because if he gets impeached and thrown out of office we get Cheney…what we have really had all along, so GWB now becomes sort of a buffer by the title he holds?

    Bill Clinton couldn’t keep his pants on and he got impeached. I don’t recall seeing that as a violation of the Constitution or oath of office.

    Just goes to show you how the laws of the land apparently don’t mean much when you’re in power.

    Yes, things can now be better, IF the American People stay awake and monitor this new body polotic. If not, all bets are off.

  18. Mark-NC

    In a day when the White House has gutter-level credibility, the a Republican Congress is there to lick the dirt off the bottom of his boots, we have watched as Republicans fought to back distributing voting machines with NO paper trail.

    The potential for abuse is there and apparently easy to do.

    AND, voting from Ohio in 2004 certainly looked tampered-with.

    I’m betting that the high level of “sunshine” is why there was so little evident cheating!

  19. keith

    Doug, the fact that all those conspiracy theories ran rampant just before the election is simply another indicator of just how corrupt and untrustworthy our government has become.

    That is, if all these clowns WEREN’T totally corrupt (a fact you continually remind us of in your periodic rants) the rest of us “mere mortals” would have absolutely NO reason NOT to take them at their word, right?

    You simply can’t have rampant corruption in government without it ALSO generating wild speculation as to what chicanery they’ll launch next.

  20. TRUTH 101

    Good Day All !!

    My guess is that SO MANY LIES were told and it was SO OBVIOUS and EVIDENT even the Administration was having an awful time keeping them in check and straight, that THIS IS WHY they Gave it up at the last minute.

    I CREDIT the bloggers, myself included for these Stories that didn’t happen for GETTING THEM OUT THERE ahead of the ROVEite types

    Otherwise a couple may have come true. The bloggers had every dirty potential trick covered.

    Bush is STILL rewsisting but i also think finally waking up to the fact that the responsibility for this monumental “thumpin” wasn’t a large part of his fault, it was ALL his fault as CIC.

    However Rumsfeld and Cheney deserve to be honorably mentioned at least. Rumsfeld is now gone but the real potential problem remains in my opinion, just back in the garage for another look.

    Keeping quiet now ( for the moment at least) is the ONLY WAY they will last another two years…and now thank God, no more rubber stamp

  21. Darevrap

    Kieth is right. It is the systematic destruction by the GOP since the “election” in 2000 of Americans’ belief that our system of politics works that led to the fears you mentioned.

    When you are discovered as a liar, trust is gone.

  22. Diane Beckman

    I can go buy gas and get a piece of paper showing what I baught. We need a paper trail for the elections in 2008. The Dems need to get this done for all our sakes.
    I have friends in Ohio that are convinced voting machins were tampered with but how do you prove it?
    We must keep the most important thing in our government, voting, legal and above board. We must know the will of the people is the end result of any election and not manipulation by a corrupt GOP.or the Dems.

  23. Johnny Flatline

    Voter fraud is more like a cancer. It happens so slowly, so organized, so far in advance, you don’t see the source. You don’t see it on election day. But the last two Presidential elections were largley stolen, each time by tactics not anticipated. Like insergeants the theives constantly readjust their tactics to something that nobody is watching, and we have suffered 8 years of theft from the will of the people for it. So people have a right to imagine the worst, considering all of the other successful attacks on our Constitution the past 6 years. I mean, who would have thought today, we would be running secret prisons, defending torture, & tapping phones without warrants? Underestimating the enemies of democracy has cost us dearly. So let’s not rub our defenses in our noses. It’s hard enough keeping track of all of Bush’s lies, so how can you blame us for wondering where it all ends or leads? And can I remind you once again of the 8 stolen years of a stolen presidency that we can never regain?

    What’s worse? Wild ideas of worst possibilities on the internet? Or blind obedience on network tv? Who is more irresponsible? Perhaps a bit of paranoia helped. I for one, was happy to finally see some of these worries getting expressed in the major media after years of near silence. One way to discourage a criminal, is to let him know you are watching.

    The public won this time, but not without some effort. And some did what they could, even if it was a mere desperate cries from a weak, poorly informed, amateur reporting positions. You should be grateful, because it’s nearly the last defense we have left against the bold and arrogant trillion dollar power sitting at the top. It remains to be seen what we actually accomplished.

  24. DOBRO2837

    If the democrats had not won we would still be reading about election fraud, the stolen election, the black vote was suppressed and only God knows what else.

    Post election: We have not heard of the first dead person who voted, more than likely because in this election, no dead people voted. Really!

    Unfortunately, the number of ideologues has not been diminished by any vote, nor is it likley to be, given the political climate of the United States.

  25. One prediction held true. The Democrats will be pretty much the same on Iraq. As long as there are taxes to be laundered and weapons to be made, we will stay.

    As for all the rest, they seem to be running late on their evils.

  26. anthny

    Conspiracy of voter fraud is still on, it was taken off because of lack of a certain win. The regime knew that the percentage of throwing another election would do them more harm then good.
    When the regime saw a certain loss they through in the towel.
    When Berstein’s book came out it had a lot of negitivity about the policies of this regime.
    The second negitive brought out about the regime was more scandel and Foley went down with a frown.
    The third was the National Intellagent Report on winning in Iraq. It was a total disaster, we were getting our ass kicked by a few insurgents and a couple of small electronic devices.
    So all the little scandels began to be a heavy weight and the straws that broke the camels back.
    So as things went from bad to worse, Bushs’ handlers thought that another vote theft was not very healthy for Repubs.
    So a couple of scandels here and their and the house of cards came down.
    MORE SCANDELS TO COME Waxman and Conyers are a couple of bull dogs when it comes to American’s Freedoms.
    Iraq is costing us billions of dollars a month and the deaths of our son’s and daughter’s are unbearable compared to the costs of oil and its by-products.
    An end of Iraq war is in sight and the sooner the better.
    This is not a country that was built on aggressive wars and killing of inocent women and children.
    We as a country are on the verge of a dictatorship and we need more honest politicians who care about our CONSTITUTION and know that is more then just a piece of paper.