1. Anonymous says:

    And then there’s the fact that their numbers don’t add up:

    Some of Bush’s focus more recently has been on helping GOP candidates who are in less intensely competitive districts, she said, citing recent presidential stops on behalf of California Reps. John T. Doolittle and Richard W. Pombo. â€For Democrats to take back control of the House, they have to go to this outer ring,†she said. â€One of the things that’s important now is to make sure this outer tier is solid and candidates have the resources they need.â€

    Help me out here, Mimikatz, but we’ll have the House long before we get a hold of Doolittle and Pombo’s seats. Right?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rove is planning on stealing it. Maybe something big to turn the polls around, maybe Diebold-diddling, whatever. These people will not go quietly, and they know that the only thing seperating them from two years of 24/7 hearings, subpoenas and the jail terms that will inevitably follow. If they lose, the next two years are all about staying out of jail. I imagine Rove is thinking about staying out of jail a lot already, since Ralston left. He is going to have to steal this one. Again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How many Democrat candidates would need to be declared Enemy Combatants to ensure the republicans retain the House?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Rove is confident because he has already seen the official vote totals. With computer voting that has no audit trail, one does not need to wait for the rubes to show up at the polls to vote. It was a close election, but the Republicans held both House and Senate.

    Why do you think the Republicans are making sure that no election paper trail can exist?

    He who counts the votes will always win. (fortune cookie)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Republicans did not steal 2004 (they did steal 2000). Bush won because of the GOTV.

    Diebold is a red herring. True, election reform is a priority. True, paper trails are essential. But there’s three weeks left. If there are no concrete proposals to do something (and in that short a period of time, other than volunteer poll watching, there’s little to do), all this Diebiold talk just serves to convince marginal voters to stay home. It’s worse that stupid, it’s extremely counterproductive.

    It is not a staple of the left that Ohio was stolen, and very few American voters think that. Voter suppression, otoh, is a staple of American politics and was certainly practices by Katherine harris in 2000 and Ken Blackwell in 2004. But that’s quite different than Diebold.

  6. Anonymous says:

    He who counts the votes will always win.

    Tell that to the Dems in charge of Iowa and New Mexico during the 2004 elections, when both states narrowly shifted from Gore to Bush. Or the Dems in charge of NH in 2000, when the Nader vote total was greater than the margin by which Gore lost to Bush.

    Oh, wait, those examples don’t fit the â€Diebold controls the universe†theory…

  7. Anonymous says:

    And to answer emptywheel’s question about Pombo and Doolittle, yes, we’ll have won the House before those seats are likely to come in to play.

  8. Anonymous says:

    RoveCo probably HOPES they can â€steal†this election – probably (with a nod to DemFromCT) less as a result of Diebolding, and more the result of good old tried and true voter suppression. I really like the idea Soto just floated that we get busy right now making a list of those competitive districts where the Rs control the local voting â€machinery†(i.e., especially the Katherine Harris, Ken Blackwell type bureaucracy) and get everybody on the watch – including the media – before election day. That is, hold democratic processes to account in very practical ways before it’s too late to affect the result.

    As to reported Bush and Rove â€confidence†that they will hold both houses – look, they are facing a highly disaffected electorate this time, including their fundy base. People don’t like to vote for losers. Of course Rove is exuding â€confidence†on the eve of battle. He’s a regular Henry the Fifth, that Rover.

  9. Anonymous says:

    He’s a regular Henry the Fifth, that Rover.

    So when Rove urged Foley to run again, he said: â€Once more into their breeches, dear friend!â€

    :skittering back into the shadows:

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes, EW, we can win control of the House this way:

    First, the 5 â€scandal seats†(FL-16, NY-26, OH-18, PA-10 and TX-22), then 5 out of 8 open seats (AZ-08, CO-07, FL-13, IA-01, IL-06, MN-06, NY-24 and WI-08).

    That means the Dems need to take only 5 incumbent seats to get control, and there are 10 seats where the Dems are leading the incumbent in independent polls. CT-02, CT-04, IN-02, IN-08, IN-09, NC-11, NM-01, OH-15, PA-06, PA-07. And there are another 22 seats, any of which the Dem could win if things fall right. Pombo falls into this category. And then there are 15 or so races where there could be an upset. Doolittle falls into this category. We will get only a small fraction of the latter, possibly 3-10 of the middle group, and potentially as many as all of the first group. Added to the scandal and open 10, that is how I calculate that 30 seats is realistic, and I agree with Crawford that it is probably more realistic than just 15.

    Shoring up Pombo and Doolittle means they are trying to limit the damage to a very narrow win for the D’s, or even for the R’s. That doesn’t seem possible without a â€gamechanger,†as Bush likes to say, and in the present climate some of the possibilities like a strike at Iran might very well backfire.

    Dem is right about the â€Diebold†factor. It is an excuse not to get involved, not to commit any passion or time or money. It is defeatist and cowardly, not â€realisticâ€, as some would have it. I do like Steve Soto’s idea of identifying in advance districts vulnerable to shenanigans, and I alswo think it woiuld be good for Dem Governor candidates in Ohio and elsewhere who are leading to suggest that there would be a probe if there are allegations of vote manipulation of suppression.

    Rove has failed before, as EW shows. He and Bush overestimate the value of what they do to ordinary people, and don’t see how dissatisfaction with the reality of Iraq and of their lives has turned so many people off. Their method depends on over-confidence to carry the day, so of course they are practicing it now.

    I think they are counting on their GOTV machine and can’t conceive of the possibility that the people they have bamboozled for so long won’t hang with them one more time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Unless there is outright fraud which is very difficult to pull off across 30-40 races or a major Dem sex scandal or OBL is captured or killed, its getting increasingly unlikely that the Repubs can hold the House. Rove is running out of time. The better Repub GOTV can impact those very close races where the polls are essentially tied within the margin of error. However, on the flip side the Dem base seems very motivated and may turn out in record numbers or at least in better numbers than 2004. And its also likely that some Repubs not liking the choices and current situation may stay at home. Just like in 1994 when 50,000 votes in 15 districts gave the Repubs those seats – meaning many races were decided by margins of just a 1000 votes – this election will be very close. The number of votes separating the winners from losers will be extremely small in many races. That’s why turnout will be the key deciding factor. Hopefully the Dem base and activists see the criticality of this election and vote even if they are unhappy, frustrated or busy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well think about it, Bush is going from closed fund-raiser to closed fund raiser promising to further loot the treasury for his contributors’ benefit so what’s he gonna say – he thinks they’re in trouble? They’re not gonna get the big bucks by dithering now are they?

    On the other hand, we really DO need a county-by-county map to show the risk of vote fraud: add one point of risk for using Diebold equipment, another for previous allegations of fraud, a third for a republican secretary of state and so on. Color those counties brighter shades of red for higher risk point totals and make sure the media prints it. After the election compare the spread between votes and exit polling for evidence of fraud. Set up a gambing site to let right wingers bet on low fraud vs lefties betting on high fraud to attract media attention. I’ll help. Where do we start?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Mimikatz. Your clear description suggests either that 1) Rove (predicting they’ll lose just 10 seats) is lying his ass off (per wfeather), or he thinks that he can retain some of the Scandal 5 (maybe they can keep OH-18?), the majority of the open seats (though several are so far out of the margin at this point that’s silly, even for Rove), and just one or two of the threatened seats (which is unlikely, but possible if Rove’s predictions about turnout are correct). Which is why they’re dumping money into the negative advertising in precisely those threatened seats. Though, as you say, the fact that they’re investing in Pombo’s and Doolittle’s seat suggests either that they’re a lot more worried (and spread thin) than they let on, or they’re just trying to protect the guys who know where the bodies are buried. (Or, alternately, trying to make sure CA’s delegation doesn’t turn effectively blue, turning it into a remarkably powerful block even if the GOP retained the majority.

  14. Anonymous says:

    In CA we need Pombo and Doolittle to be gone, but, as MK deploys the profile, Democrats win irrespective of those two outcomes in CA; Pombo loses the environment committee chair either way, and local press is depicting him losing; his district is about fifty miles from where I picture MK living. Doolittle’s turf has had an infusion of moderates, and the press has developed the view that the Doolittle foothills region as looking like the Democrat is the winner, as MK mentioned.

    There has been some news recently, since ew mentions the after US November 2006 elections plan with Baker-III leading, about the early phase of Bush-II administration-I, and I found myself again reflecting on some of the early posts at dKos and some of the folks here at TNH who published to both websites regarding Bolton’s-Judy’s role promoting the exile group as the interim government, but how the exile transition government plan evanesced around the time of the precipitous replacement of the US’ first postbellum administrator of Iraq after a short time in charge. There are several histories in print already about why the replacement governments failed. I was wondering while reading about a new FOIA relaxation uncharacteristic of Bush-II, whether more than Woodward has printed would reach the press regarding that timeframe now more than three years ago. What occurred recently was a barely noticed proviso in a TSA authorization which created the possibility of the press’ having better footing for making freedom of information requests for material kept secret more than three years. This would put the 2003 timeframe open to more FOIA due process, though TSA is about as far as one could imagine from happenings in postbellum Iraq in 2003.
    As for KR’s preelection plight; he works with the material he has.

  15. Anonymous says:


    when you dare to dream big, you also fail big. The wins just obsure that fact.

    In Tech it is quite common. The daring young men and women fall from the trapeze occasionally but they attain the heights.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Fact 1: Bush needs a big national security event to avert the loss of his Republican legislature.

    Fact 2: Republican strategists are confounded by Bush’s over-confidence in Republicans regaining the legislature.

    Fact 3: Israel says Iran paid North Korea to run the recent missile tests and underground nuclear test.


    Fact 4: The U.S. plans naval exercises for the Persian Gulf, to begin October 31.

    Plausible inference: military attacks on Iran to begin in early November, for the stated purpose of preventing Iran from benefitting from its deal to acquire nuclear weapons from Korea, and for the actual purpose of securing Republican victory in the November elections.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As Lenin explained, elections are won by who counts the votes. The WH is not worried because they know who will count the votes.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bush is just putting on the â€Confident Face.†It is useful sometimes, some places.

    The problem Bush has always had, is that he is not able (or at least not willing) to step off a distance and look back and see what is happening.

    Now another argument can be made that he is thinking of posterity, and hoping that like some historical notable, ex. Winston Churchill, he will be looked back on in History as Visionary.

    (Pardon my lanugage now, you sensitive eared people.)
    Hell, I don’t know what he is thinking. But his actions are stupid, and have been since â€Mission Accomplished.â€

    He is too young to be Senile? You think?

  19. Anonymous says:

    We got blindsided and ambushed (at best) by the moral (read:homo) amendments proposed in various states last time. Funny, I don’t hear any examination of these hidden persuaders again.

    Here in my state, Florida, we have a couple of very significant amendments in my view, but only one is a moral-esque issue: should the state stop the transfer of private property to private individuals as it pertains to eminant domain. Now there’s a doozy. (The answer is of course, dimwit).

    I hope Dean, et al are focusing on more than the candidates this go ’round. Or else Rove may be smug for a very good reason.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The current White House attitude reminds me very strongly of the mindset of the Enron management team in the Fall of 2001 (I had a front row seat for that one). Rove has been involved in building the political equivalent of a Ponzi scheme for the last decade. His only chance to avoid a total debacle is to engage in preposterous happy talk. His political â€investors†(the Christianist Right, the monied class, and the fearful) are all starting to get antsy. He’s run out of political tricks to turn to win elections. The only question left is whether or not they can pull off one last â€wag the dog†adventure. I think not. When the Foley scandal pushed their dictatorial power grab off the front page, not even the North Korean business could rescue them.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “But that’s quite different than Diebold.’’

    A vote suppressed counts the same as a vote stolen. One less vote for the D. is the same as one more vote for the R. Why should we regard vote suppression as less reprehensible than vote stealing?

  22. Anonymous says:

    rove is an incompetent – an angry, vindictive incompetent – or, more accurately,an incompetent because he is angry and vindictive.

    rove has not shown an iota of understanding of how american democracy works – by negotiating among large competing groups. his focus has been on manipulating the emotions of ignorant american citizens so he can have just enough troops on his side to win each election.

    he has destroyed the bush presidency (which implies of course that bush was emotionally and intellectually in absentia during his presidency).

    rove’s strength is picking candidates who will acquiesce to his campaign style,

    using sexual innuendo to attack his candidate’s opponent, and

    bullying opponents once he and his â€manchurian candidateâ€, are in office.


    in a nut shell (so to speak)

    is rove’s CV.

  23. Anonymous says:

    ew states, â€And I do wonder whether [Rove] hasn’t strongly underestimated the degree to which reality matters.â€

    Bush, Rove, Condi, Cheney, Rummy, et al are incapable of grappling with facts that can’t be Photoshopped, digitally corrected, or otherwise made to fit their reel world views. They’re finally in a situation where it’s evident that better lighting won’t solve the problems they face.

    As for the concept of an early Nov military kerfuffle — BushCo wouldn’t think twice about cooking up a kerfuffle if they thought it would prevent a Democratric Congress (i.e., investigations and jail). However, I’m skeptical that the military will continue to be played for stooges in order for Bush/Cheney to retain control of the political apparatus. (Is there a serious military problem? Yes. Does the timing suggest it must be dealt with BEFORE the mid-term elections? No. )

    Per Wm Ockham, I take the view that Rove and Bush are cornered. The political Ponzi scheme has run its course, and I’d expect their Happy Talk to be fast, furious, and antic in rough proportion to their degree of desperation. What does alarm me is that BushCo will engage in riskier behavior as it becomes ever more apparent that the gig is up.

    They didn’t believe reality mattered, which meant they didn’t have to worry about ethics. If you can manipulate reality, then you can lie, cheat, steal, pillage, and torture with no fear of ever being held accountable.

    Karma, calling on Line 12 for Mr. Rove… (….mwhaahahahahaa…!)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Don’t discount the usual Rovian tactics:

    Military exercises leading to â€precision pinpoint bombing†of â€Iranian nuclear weapons facilities†(which will later turn out to be apartment buildings full of women, children and elderly men but that news won’t come out until after the election so who cares?)

    Another Osama videotape in which he â€supports the Democratsâ€

    Orange alert moves to red alert within 10 days before election

    Major scary terror plot foiled three days before election (consisting of two actual clueless young Muslim males and 18 agent-provocateurs) whose vaporous nature is revealed only after the voting so who cares?

    Gasoline prices hit historic low on Nov. 4th

    As Karl would say, success is in the details. And he’s got ’em covered.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Rove was not out trumped. He wasn’t in this game.

    No one can handle 2,800 dead. 26,000 wounded.
    A House Leadership that looked the other way.

    2,800 dead, 26,000 wounded

    I find it really interesting in that everyone here hasn’t relaxed, and gotten a new bottle of something light out of the cooler, and dropped down to the floor on a soft cushion.

    Watch an interesting game on TV.