News From The U.S. Election Reform Movement
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Breaking News: Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens, a Bush Supporter, Calls for Ohio Investigation: "There Is Something Wrong About the Ohio Election"
By Nashua ADVOCATE STAFF
[EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS STORY IS DEVELOPING].
From Hitchens' most recent Vanity Fair article:
Whichever way you shake it, or hold it up to the light, there is something wrong about the Ohio election that refuses to add up. The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush. But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many "vote hops" the computerized machines might have performed unnoticed....there is one soothing explanation that I don't trust anymore. It was said, often in reply to charges of vote tampering, that it would have had to be "a conspiracy so immense" as to involve a dangerously large number of people. Indeed, some Ohio Democrats themselves laughed off some of the charges, saying that they too would have had to be part of the plan. The stakes are very high: one defector or turncoat with hard evidence could send the principals to jail forever and permanently discredit the party that had engaged in fraud.
I had the chance to spend quality time with someone who came to me well recommended, who did not believe that fraud had yet actually been demonstrated, whose background was in the manufacture of the machines, and who wanted to be anonymous. It certainly could be done, she said, and only a very, very few people, would have to be "in on it."
Vanity Fair March 2005 [TOC]
Hitchens is a nationally-renowned columnist.
The Advocate expects this story to hit the mainstream media, and expects, indeed, some significant critical assessment and consideration of Hitchens' analysis, as the Vanity Fair writer is not viewed as a Kerry admirer or sympathizer. According to the high-traffic progressive website Daily Kos, Hitchens has said of Kerry, "I did not think that John Kerry should have been President of any country at any time."
In fact, Hitchens is a Bush supporter.
He announced his endorsement in this article, saying
Should the electors decide for the President, as I would slightly prefer, the excruciating personality of George Bush strikes me in the light of a second- or third-order consideration. If the worst that is said of him is truethat he is an idiotic and psychically damaged Sabbath-fanatic, with nothing between his large Texan earsthen these things were presumably just as true when he ran against Al Gore, and against nation-building and foreign intervention. It is Bush's conversion from isolationism that impresses me, just as it is the parallel lapse into isolationism on Kerry's part that makes me skeptical....The President, notwithstanding his shortcomings of intellect, has been able to say, repeatedly and even repetitively, the essential thing: that we are involved in this war without apology and without remorse. He should go further, and admit the evident possibility of defeatwhich might concentrate a few mindswhile abjuring any notion of capitulation. Senator Kerry is also capable of saying this, but not without cheapening it or qualifying it...
Despite his support for the President, Hitchens cites numerous voting and tabulation irregularities in Ohio, as well as personal investigation of electronic voting machine security, as the basis for his belief that a massive Congressional investigation into the 2004 presidential election is warranted.
Hitchens may be the most powerful and noteworthy non-politician "convert" to the "Investigate Ohio" troupe, particularly given his scathing comments for angry Democrats just days after the November presidential election. On November 9th, 2004, just one week after the election, Hitchens wrote in this article in Slate,
Many are the cheap and easy laughs in which one could indulge at the extraordinary, pitiful hysteria of the defeated Democrats. "Kerry won," according to one e-mail I received from Greg Palast, to whom the Florida vote in 2000 is, and always will be, a combination of Gettysburg and Waterloo.
According to Nikki Finke of the LA Weekly, the Fox News channel "called" Ohio for Bush for reasons too sinister to enumerate.
These days, the Democratic "hysteria" Hitchins derided after the election apparently doesn't seem so "extraordinary" or "pitiful" to the politically moderate commentator.
Perhaps it's because he took some time to look at the evidence, which the vast majority of the media has yet to do?
[The Advocate remembers, here, the recent release of Edison/Mitofsky's pathetic "report" on the November exit polls, which was unquestioningly released by the mainstream media as the final word on why last year's exit polls were the most "inaccurate," it would appear, in the nation's general election history. In fact, the report blamed Edison/Mitofsky's "errors" on bad weather and exit-pollsters with a media age in their thirties. Make sense to you? It hasn't thus far to any competent statistician who's read it, as our coverage in The Advocate attests. The non-partisan U.S. Count Votes organization says that there remains a distinct possibility the actual raw vote tallies from Election Day were "corrupted" either through fraud or machine error, a reality which, if proven, could have swung/could yet swing the election to the Democratic candidate for President, John Kerry].
The Hitchens article comes at a strange time in the post-election Ohio debacle, as Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, has just refused to show up to the first bipartisan yes, bipartisan Congressional hearing on the 2004 presidential election.
Said U.S. Representative and Republican yes, Republican Bob Ney (R-OH) of Blackwell's suspicious no-show, "[w]e can have disagreements, but you can't run and you can't hide."
Blackwell also recently made a bizarre filing in a U.S. Federal Court in Ohio, alleging that that federal court had no jurisdiction to oversee his actions in a federal election.
What is this man hiding?
Does The Advocate sense an assertion of Fifth Amendment rights in Blackwell's future?