I have voted in three cities — Philadelphia, New York, and Seattle — and to tell the truth, I miss those clunky, lever machines back East. Those big old booths with their dozens of levers made casting your vote feel physical and real; pulling that big lever at the end, hearing all those gears click into place and that curtain grind open, was the electoral equivalent of cracking your knuckles, or sinking your teeth into a thick, crusty sandwich… it delivered an odd, satisfying finality that you just don’t get from silently feeding your ballot into a scanner.
Ah well, the days of the voting machine are passing by. They are hulking and cumbersome, prone to breakdowns, and expensive to maintain, transport and warehouse. And while my personal experience as a poll worker assures me that they are exceedingly difficult to tamper with, recent events have left me more than a little uncomfortable with their inherent lack of an audit trail.
New York State is preparing legislation that would phase out mechanical voting machines, and replace them with newer technologies. Legislators will rightly require touch-screen voting machines to produce voter-verifiable paper trails, but as a recent New York Times editorial laments, they appear to be caving to lobbyists by ignoring a more reliable, cost-effect voting technology: good old, optical scan.
The big voting machine companies, which are well connected politically, are aggressively pushing touch-screen voting. These A.T.M.-style machines make a lot of sense for the manufacturers because they are expensive and need to be replaced frequently. But touch-screen machines are highly vulnerable to being hacked or maliciously programmed to change votes.
Security concerns should give Washingtonians pause as we rush towards voting reform in the wake of a disputed election whose main problem was its extraordinary closeness. Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org has made a sport of demonstrating to election officials how quickly their systems can be hacked. And Paul Lehto and Jeffrey Hoffman have produced a 29-page study documenting touch-screen irregularities in Snohomish County, that they say may have cost Christine Gregoire thousands of votes.
Given security concerns and high costs, the NY Times suggests that touch-screen machines should not be used at all.
The best voting technology now available uses optical scanning. These machines work like a standardized test. Voters mark their choices on a paper form, which is then counted by a computer. The paper ballots are kept, becoming the official record of the election. They can be recounted, and if there is a discrepancy between them and the machine count, the paper ballots are the final word.
Optical-scan machines produce a better paper record than touch-screen machines because it is one the voter has actually filled out, not a receipt that the voter must check for accuracy. Optical-scan machines are also far cheaper than touch-screens. Their relatively low cost will be welcomed by taxpayers, of course, but it also has a direct impact on elections. Because touch-screen machines are so expensive, localities are likely to buy too few, leading to long lines at the polls.
Of course, all this may end up being a moot point in Washington state, where two-thirds of the electorate chose to vote absentee during the last election; as this trend continues, the rationale for maintaining two distinct voting systems becomes less and less tenable. It seems likely that we will inevitably follow Oregon to an all vote-by-mail system, thus making Snohomish and Yakima counties’ spanking new touch-screen machines prematurely obsolete.
I’ll miss going to the polling place at least as much as I miss cranking the lever on those hulking, old machines. But at least I’ll be assured that my ballot will be counted using the most accurate and auditable voting technology available today: optical scan.
I think we should bring back the punch system, even though some people aren’t smart enough to break all the tabs. I guess it goes like the saying, you build an idiot proof product and they’ll produce a better idiot.
I’m with you on this one Goldy. With more and more people voting absentee, it feels like touch-screen polling place machines are going to be an incredibly complex, insecure solution that no one ends up using.
To me it seems like optical scan, combined with some small technological advances (like filling out the ballot online and then printing out a “perfect” ballot for the optical scanner to read) would be a great step forward, with none of the security problems that touch-screens have.
Sort of a “best of both worlds” approach: paper trail because the ballots are paper and human readable; and fewer human-caused errors, because the ballots would be printed by machines.
You could even have the same machines (simple kiosks with printers) at polling places for people who wanted to vote there. Just print out the optical scan ballots same as anyone who votes absentee.
If we wanted to get _really_ fancy the printed ballots could have encoded barcodes so you could verify your vote was counted and counted properly (or something like that).
Oh, and Adriel – punch card machines are notorious for breaking down at a higher rate than other voting technology. It’s not usually the “idiots” (otherwise known as voters), but the “products” that are at fault.
jcricket@2, Just because someone lacks the intelligence to operate the machine it doesnt make it the products fault.
Thank you chuck, I was refering to the voting device that is nothing more than a stencil with a tool that you manually push through the stencil to correlate with the canidate/initiative/etc you choose. There is nothing to break down on that one exept the “idiot voters.” Seriously if you don’t know how to put the end of a tool through the proper hole you probably shouldn’t vote, being that you are mentally incompitent.
Chuck – So what’s your solution – literacy tests and poll taxes?
I’m leaning towards the vote by mail system. It’s not a perfect system but the lessons of the last election lead to me to be in favor of KISUT: Keep it simple, uniform and transparent.
Then we have fewer partisan squabbles – now wouldn’t that be a nice change!
Some of these people might not legally be able to vote in New Mexico….
Idiots @ 3, 4
Thanks for demonstrating your complete ignorance of the mechanical vulnerabilities of punch-card voting machines, although I suspect most of us were already aware of it. You probably think if a 40-year-old lawnmower won’t start it’s the gardener’s fault.
Cricket @ 2
I’m in exactly the same place as you, namely, touch-screens are unacceptable, and optical scan is the way to go but only if a machine prints a clean ballot so the scanning machine can make sense of what humans do to ovals and arrows. Without the extra step, optical scan is a very unsatisfactory technology.
Daniel K spews:
What I like about touch screen is that you have a clear indication of a voter’s selection.
What I don’t like about optical scan is that we have to fall back on voter intent decisions when counting ballots that have been poorly marked.
What seems to me needs to be done is provide a means for people to better fill out their ballots. Why not have a touch screen system produce and optical scan ballot? You get the immediate feedback of the touch screen system to help you make a clearcut choice, the accuracy of the printing system filling in selections on the optical scan ballot that the scanners will always be able to read, and the paper trail so that the votes can be easily recounted.
I think this is somewhat what jcricket is suggesting.
BTW, regarding Adriel’s remarks that you have to be mentally incompitent if you can’t punch a punch card ballot correctly, she/he ignores the fact punch cards are the problem most of the time. A “chad” may become detacted by machinery or handling that was not punched by a voter, or it may not detact completely when initially punched, but look like it was. It isn’t just a voter that it to blame for such problems.
Don I keep trying to see the world from your point of view but I can’t get my head past my knees much less between my butt cheeks. They maybe “relics” however they are still fully funtional and harder to change someones vote.
Vince Callaway spews:
The old lever based voting machines are VERY easy to rig. For anyone that is interested I found a good book a few years ago called Votescam. It is available from amazon, but it documents just how vote systems have been rigged over the years.
I support the use of touchscreen voting but ONLY with a validated paper trail. Building such a system is not rocket science. It can be built secure.
D Huygens spews:
Optical scan is inexpensive and reliable; and for the ADA community, touch-screen and voice voting machines can be built that will produce a printed optical scan sheet that is the official record.
This is a non-partisan no-brainer. That is, unless your goal really IS to fix elections.
Vince Callaway @ 10
The words lever never came of this mouth, if your comment was aimed at me try reading, if not my bad.
The old lever based voting machines are VERY easy to rig.>>>
Judging from the “turnaround” on the 3rd vote count, so is the King County voting system!
I have voted in three cities – Philadelphia, New York, and Seattle
I’d expect nothing less from a Democrat… triple voting.
Yeah… I almost made a parenthetical “not at the same time” comment, just to defuse that tired joke.
Chuck et al,
I don’t want to spend too much time on this, but with proper procedures in place it takes a bipartisan effort to rig a lever machine. Unlike the software in an electronic machine, each lever is mechanically connected to a single counter. In Philadelphia, each machine was tested and inspected by both parties (and often the non-partisan observer) and sealed before delivery. Each polling place had a judge of elections, and a minority and majority inspecter (and sometimes nonpartisan observer). We broke the the seal on the back of the machine and inspected all the counters before the polling place opened, and then inspected them again, reported the results, and sealed the machine at the end of day. Our results were handed to a police officer.
Machines were then available for inspection to both parties and other observers in the weeks following the election.
I’m not saying Philadelphia has a history of clean elections, but rigging the machines was not how it was done. Mostly it was done the time honored way, by preventing people from voting. Broken machines might be sent to certain precincts, or their rolls might be mysteriously purged of many voters (the city routinely and illegally purged the rolls of students in my university precinct.)
So the lever technology really wasn’t that bad.
Perhaps the solution is to have a bunch of Dem, GOP & “other” volunteer election workers just sit down in giant warehouse with the list of registered voters and try to determine “voter intent” with their psychic powers. If they can’t agree, it would be passed on to a “cavassing board” to simply decide on our behalf what is good for us.
Mark @ 17
OK Ron Sims.
Adriel – http://www.usatoday.com/news/w.....voting.htm
Mr. Cynical spews:
So…how would the BIG BINDER fit into all of this??
You were the promiser that the BIG BINDER would be available and chastised all us Right folks to get off our lazy asses.
We take your advice….and oops!!, no BIG BINDER until 3/31/05.
So why should we think for a nano-second that any of the drivel in this post is fact??
I think you like pulling “the big lever” because it is truly a change of pace for a needle-dick like you.
“Among Saltman’s forgotten reports was a 1988 warning about pre-scored punch-card voting machines — the now-infamous Votomatics used in Florida. He wrote that they were hard to use and vulnerable to error and said they should be banned. Thousands of copies of his report were shipped to voting officials across the country — but were ignored.”
And the moon is made of green cheese.
check my above link what is hard about the process? tell me why it is hard for liberals to understand?
Wow, “the moon is made of green cheese” is such a well-thought-out, factual retort. I’m thoroughly convinced.
So by my count the score is:
Multiple studies conducted by professionals confirming punch-card voting problems: Found in 1 minute of google searching
Factual commentary by Adriel: None thus far.
Adriel’s “thorough debunking” of said studies by calling voters idiots and commenting about the contents of the moon: Priceless
BTW Adriel – I read the link. Seems like a lovely explanation of how one might use a punch card voting system. So?
I can’t count the manuals I’ve read through that make things perfectly clear while reading them, while failing to accomodate how things work in the real world. Whether it’s failure to explain things in terms everyone can understand, failure to accomodate the differening physical needs of the users, degredation of the materials used in performing whatever task is at hand, etc.
Why do you insist on blaming the people using the machines, since the machines seem to persistently have problems? Where I work, a large number of users “fail to follow instructions”, we don’t simply keep blaming the users. It’s better to revamp the instructions, or, better yet, change the mechanism to eliminate the problem (a la using optical scan ballots). Why is that so hard for you to understand?
It does seem that one of the core things you’re not getting is the difference between theory and practice: “The difference between theory and practice is that in theory, there is no difference, but in practice, there is.”
jcricket @ 23
“one study found that some punch card ballots were confusing to voters.”
Hey “mr. google” I just asked why it is so tough, can’t you answer a simple question? quoting others as saying punch system is difficult for some doesn’t prove your point, it just means others have the same opinion. try proving your point by answering the question of why it is harder than other methods? or maybe why they are having difficulty? could it be that they don’t read english and therefore any voting is difficult?
There is no mechanics to breakdown you RETARD! you just push a tool through a hole, no electronics, no touch screen, no lever, just a stream lined WORKING design.
I hate to say it but I agree with you on most of your points here. My first time voting was at the grange down the road from my parents small farm. The poll worker knew everyone, and it seemed like a rather big deal to go down and vote with my grandpa. What do you think of the all absentee thing? I am convinced it encourages an environment for problems.
FACT OF THE DAY; One study determined that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population.
The first graders are mad that you’re stealing their taunts.
I voted for years on Votomatic machines in Spokane. They’re awful. Once you’ve figured out how to set up your ballot under the flip book, the fun begins:
— If the card didn’t slide all the way down into the machine, you’re voting for the wrong candidates.
— The arrows from the candidates’ names often don’t line up with the holes you’re supposed to punch. This was a major issue.
— Pressing the punch through the hole, you can’t tell (by feel) whether it’s really pushed out the chad properly. You can’t see the ballot at all.
— Sometimes the machine gets filled up with chads, preventing you from punching out more.
— When you’re done voting, the act of pulling the ballot back out of the machine can flip ‘hanging chads’ back into place.
— Un-punched chads sometimes come loose.
— There’s no way to tell from looking at the punch card whether all the holes you punched (and only the holes you punched) are, well, holes.
I tell you what, Adriel: you and all your friends can use the Votomatic machines, while the rest of us go with more reliable technology like optical scan.
Cynical Idiot (everytime I read you)
What are you trying todo, fill in for JCH? Again your personal attacks on The poster, versus the information goes to show you are just a standard troll. As with the constant attacks on Air America, Michael Moore, and anyone trying to impart factual (not O’reilyish) information. You block out the info. and go after the source. the difference is, you have actually read what Goldy writes (comprehension is still in question) but you have never even taken the time to listen to the others. but will bash them anyway, cause it’s the RIGHT way.
You are Lazy….It’s easy to be a Republican. Easier to just let corporations do what they like, then to question them and ask them to do it better, for All America. Easier to accept paid reports on Fox about Global warming being a hoax, then doing the research form the rest of the world. Easier to believe there is a Liberal Mainstream Media because the sometimes question authority, then to believe that they are the last check left when they disagree with you. Easier to believe Stephans posts are biblical truth, then to find out that he lies more daily than Goldy gets caught jumping the gun. Easier to just say lower MY taxes, than to say I am willing to pay my share because I want a vibrant, healthy America.
The Me decade of the 80’s is over.
It takes advanced thought to be a democrat and some effort.
You are a lazy ME person, and we welcome a 2 party system (unlike you) so please stay on the right we need a poster child.
Adriel @ 13
Very cute Adriel but the fact is the punch cards and punching machines themselves cause problems. The knee-jerks who blamed all the Florida 2000 problems on “stupid voters” didn’t know what they were talking about. Punch cards are very far from being a foolproof technology, especially when the equipment is old and worn out. And guess what kind of equipment underfunded elections departments in poor counties have?
Chuck @ 14
Before you admire your humor too much, it isn’t nearly as clever as you think it is, and you don’t know what you’re talking about either.
bmvaughn @ 15
Good grief, three Republican comedians in one day.
The Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project has studied residual voting rates of various technologies, and their clear conclusion is that punch card systems BY FAR introduce the highest number of unintended residual votes. In jurisidiction after jurisidiction that has switched from punch cards to optical scan, residual vote rates have dropped by half or more. And in similar jurisidictions using different technologies, punch card systems have 1 to 2 more residual votes per 100 cast.
If the same people, using different technologies, have statistically different residual vote rates, then clearly the difference is attributable to how voters interact with the technology. Punch card systems simply do not measure up, unless your goal is to repress the vote of individuals who have trouble using punch card systems. Is that your goal?
Could’ve guessed this topic would bring all the wingnut ignoramuses out of the woodwork.
Personally, I don’t like vote by mail, but the die was cast when we made the decision to liberalize its use, years back. The market has spoken, and this is the way the majority of the electorate prefers to vote, and at some point it just won’t make economic or procedural sense to offer polling place voting as well.
With limited resources, we should concentrate on the system voters want, and spend our time and money improving vote by mail, making it more convenient, secure, reliable, and accurate.
Goldy @ 34
“we should concentrate on the system voters want, and spend our time and money improving vote by mail, making it more convenient, secure, reliable, and accurate.”
How far would you be willing to go in the area of identification, authentication and validation? Would you be for a thumbprint on every ballot? The signature on the anonymous envelope would be the only thing compared, but the thumbprint would serve as a deterrent to fraud. Even though it is on the ballot itself, the voter would not be readily identifiable (without a comparative print database). However, in a close race, you could run all of the prints to make sure there were no dupes or that they don’t match AFIS, etc. If there were dupes or illegal votes, you could purge them. You would also have a leg up on other fraud prosecution.
Me @ 35
What I mean about the envelope sig is that it would be the “front line” of validation as it is now. Only in the case of a close election or suspected fraud would the prints come into play.
”You could even have the same machines (simple kiosks with printers) at polling places for people who wanted to vote there. Just print out the optical scan ballots same as anyone who votes absentee.”
Just a few simple things to bring up Re; printing optical scan ballots at a polling place:
Ink or toner needs to be changed every so often. In my firm, it is not too difficult to replace ink or toner, but if we have not ordered the cartridge, we are waiting a few days.
Printers, due to their mechanical nature, break down.
Poll workers tend to be senior citizens, and I think it is great that they want to volunteer their time for the rest of us to go vote. But I would wonder just how user-friendly ink/toner/printer replacement would be for them? If voters are waiting for a period of time before a technical problem is fixed, that voter may decide lunch is more important than voting.
While I like the idea, my mind envisions these disasters.
Naturally, this would be moot if you go to universal absentee voting…but you then lose the interactive side of voting for those who consider such important. I don’t vote absentee unless I am actually traveling.
And Adriel, are you just being contrary for the sake of contrarians? If you are, then I agree that many people are not smart enough or do not take the time to check their punch card ballot. That said, punch card systems are an archaic medium. Transparency of process is better served with a more reliable technology.
Cynical Idiot at All.
Again you have shown, that it is not the message you disagree with but it is the messenger. As your ilk often does, when you hear somthing you don’t like, you blame the messenger. It is amazing the froth you all got over Dan Rather, you finally got to really attack a messenger, for shoddy journalism. (even you will have to admit it is probably all true, remember when you got your 4f deferment for YOUR pencil dick(are you related to Goldy?, because how would you know?)
It’s easy to be a Republican..all it takes is to be lazy. It is easy to accept that corporations are always doing what is right for America, then to ask them to be more concienous citizens. It is easy to accept the word of paid government shills that lie about the truth, then to find out the facts and question some of the choices our government makes. It is easy to attack the Messengers, like Moore, Dan Rathers, Air America, The Dixie Chicks ( did you have a redneck record burnin?). Than to listen to the message and do the research. It’s easier to say No taxes, then to say, I am willing to pay my fair share for living in such a great country but want accountabilty. It’s easy to believe that the there are no enviormental issues because of those same paid shills, then to look at the research from around the world (yes France too) says just the opposite. It is easier to believe there is a Liberal media, because you caught one journalist with faulty papers then to listen and to the question the DAILY LIES told by the Rushes and O,Reilys of our not so Liberal media.
Easy means lazy and you are the laziest of All. cause you are just copying the talking points.
Being a Democrat means advanced citzenship, To think and question and help come up with solutions to advance prosperity and a healthy lifestyles for the whole world, not just the select few cynicals of America.
We Believe in a 2 party system (unlike you) because we believe that checks and Balances are important in curbing coruption. But we do not want the Lazy….so stay Republican. Just think about getting control of the party, they are way out of whack now.
While you are correct, this is already a problem now. Many counties already have machines that break down, or too few machines (because the machines are expensive to buy and maintain), so there are regularly problems like the ones we saw during the last election – long lines, breakdowns that cause huge delays or lost votes, etc.
There are technological solutions to the issue you bring up – thermal printers (which don’t use ink/toner), industrial printers that use the pre-printed ballots (same ballots you fill out today) at polling places. Those printers would run out of toner far less often if they’re only filling in the ovals. I’m not saying the solution’s perfect, but it seems to have none of the problems that “true” electronic voting, and nearly all of the advantages. Plus I’m sure there are a million suppliers of computers + printers (since you don’t really require super-specialized software or hardware).
And yes, given that my suggestion work work well for the 70+% of people who already vote absentee, it just seems like a reasonable improvement to a system that’s already desired by the “market” (the market being the voters in this case). My guess is that by the next presidential election we’ll be at 75-80% absentee, which is getting close to the point at which (as Goldy pointed out) it’s not cost-effective to maintain two totally separate infrastructures.
Again, I’d still be supportive of consolidating polling places and using similar optical scan printing technology for people who want to go somewhere to vote.
Just as an aside, you could also print out bar codes on the ballots that contained the votes in an encoded fashion (along with the human readable ovals and what-not). Might make it quicker for the machines to tally and reduce the chance that an oval was off by 1/4″ or so. You could program the optical scan machines to read both the bar-code and the ovals, to ensure ballot security (i.e. someone’s not putting something into the encoded bar-code with something different than what’s in the human readable section). Any ballots where the bar-code and the ovals didn’t add up could be looked at, etc.
chuckie @ 3 hmmmm, some people think of thier brain as a machine, so in your case your statement is absolutely correct
adriel @ 4 listen dearie, I do not think you thought your post through. to your way of thinking you would eliminate 48.92% of all neocon voters.
LMAO@the 2 of you
adriel @ 25 and what is the difference if they do not speak English? You have your own ‘branded form’ of English and not many people here can understand you or your ilk
I understand your desire to vent, but:
”It’s easy to be a Republican..all it takes is to be lazy.[…] Being a Democrat means advanced citzenship, To think and question and help come up with solutions to advance prosperity and a healthy lifestyles for the whole world, not just the select few cynicals of America.”
I could substitute “Republican” for your “Democrat” and be equally right/wrong. Someone affiliating with a particular party does not automatically translate into unthinking partisanship.
We Believe in a 2 party system (unlike you) because we believe that checks and Balances are important in curbing coruption. But we do not want the Lazy….so stay Republican. Just think about getting control of the party, they are way out of whack now.
‘Scuse me? I would not be here if I did not have the same 2 party belief. In fact, I would prefer a 3rd party. Would I be wrong in pointing out that Democrats are currently under-represented in Washington, DC? In fact, that has been the case since 1994. Your party needs to do something to regain the ground you have lost. Living in the past is not helping that cause…
I know, your post was meant for Mr. Cynical, but I would ask that you temper your blanket (mis)characterizations in the future.
Jpgee @ 41
Take the time and read, I said READ not SPEAK.
Marks @ 42
I always appreciate your posts from the conservative side, you often add to the discussion with thought. I would assume that you have been a Republican for a long time, and go back to the beliefs of fiscal conservatism, and smaller government. I am not talking to those Republicans, but I wish I could. To do the research on how YOUR Party has been Hijacked. You need to spend some time reading, yes I am going to say it…National Liberal Media outlets. I would think only to see where we get our talking points. I know that Cynical would rather be caught giving Clinton a Hummer, than see a Michael Moore Film. But you need to hear what is said, then come back to them or us with proof that they are lying. It is not as easy as to do as you think. When you listen to Al Franken in the Morning, he usualy has a segement on quotes from either Oreily or Rush, then actually disputes them with Factual government information. He has no problem filling this segment up every day from their previous days brodcasts. This happens everyday, and it is the Cynicals and all those people from Kansas who vote against their own best interest who swallow this White House/Tom Delay propaganda. I respect anyone who believes in the Fiscal policies of the original GOP, but this is not your fathers Republican party…these guys are crooks. They make Nixon (who I like)look like a choir boy.
Even one of the most despised racists on TV Pat Buchanan, sounds reasonable in comparison.
Start here; from a post from someone yesterday.
Mr. X spews:
I at least like the fill-in bubble cards (though admittedly prone to human error) because you could see how you voted and it produces a countable paper trail.
On the other hand, I worked on a campaign in an election where they handed out Sharpies instead of ball point pens, and the bleed through from voting a certain way on one side influenced the votes in one race on the other side of the card due to the way the columns were laid out.
My bottom line – there has to be a hard copy ballot that is available for a recount (or three, if that’s what the law allows to ensure the most accurate possible count!)
Mr. Cynical spews:
danw @ 38–
Spewing is what LEFTISTS are experts at. Fear-mongering, anger and oh so serious and oh so self-righteous. Absolutely zero sense of humor. You are the poster-boy of PATHETIC!
Former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick had danw in mind when she said:
“Leftists can’t get elected unless things get worse.
And things won’t get worse unless Leftists get elected.”
I used to be a Democrat….in fact I voted for 7 Democrats in this election. Gregoire is a snake.
danw–I’m becoming more and more of a Republican because of a$$holes like you. But I’ll still always vote for Dems like Brad Owen, Sonntag, Jim Hargrove etc. IN SPITE of a$$holes like you!
47…..Mr. Cynical…..Cantwell goes down in 2006. You heard it here first. The backlash from the WASH State Democrats stealing, fraud, and cheating will lose them one Senate seat. Book it.
Just wanted to throw in that while I would miss the community of voting in person, I value the ease of absentee and the ability to sit down and really research the down ballot items. As far as security goes, I am sure that someone has looked at possible issues in Oregon. There is no need to go on about possible problems if we can look at how has it worked in the field. So anyone hear of major fraud in OR resulting from mailed ballots?
Goldy – would it be possible to implement an ‘ignore’ feature if you were doing a site redesign? Would help with wading through some of the trolls who just thread crap.
Why would Mr. Cynical give Bill Clinton a Hummer? They cost too much and guzzle too much gas… ;)
Seriously, while I agree with the general idea of balance in terms of countering the corrupting influence being in the majority can have, I honestly think the Democratic Party need to come up with the counter to the Republican Party. The option of a third party is available, but much harder to do.
It is easy enough for me to sit here and say I am king of the hill, as Republicans are in power. It is not so easy to develop a strategy for winning if all you do is bemoan your losses. I do not mean to insinuate anything there, other than at some point, someone in the democratic leadership will need to develop a series of messages/plans/proposals which make more sense than “You Republicans suck.”
I read the link. I saw plenty of hyperbole, some uncorroborated strings of unsubstantiated charges, extrapolation of questionable means, and conjecture. Kinda like a conservative blog, only liberal. They all lie/stretch the truth/exacerbate the rhetoric. In keeping with the good old fashioned American Polity…
Don@34. Maybe they could manage to test and rate touch screens like they test and rate cars. Most have seen those crash tests on TV, they use a dummy to see how the machine tests out over others. Mr. Cyncial would make a good model study.
Er, sorry, danw @45…
If you watched Dan Rather’s life replay out on TV last night, there would be little room to question the pressure tactics used against the media to hide the corruption going on under Republican domination. The reign of George Bush Senior and Nixon to name a few. Power corrupts and plays no favorite side of the board, any person in any political party can be drawn upon to fall in step with corruption.
(footnote)..Don’t think Bill will be giving a Hummer to Cynical, Bill is laid up right now. :-)
BOTH parties have been hijacked by power-obsessed idiots with “foot-in-mouth” disease. Unless the Dems give a few of their leaders some “re-education,” you’re going to keep hearing non-productive things like “I hate Republicans,” “Greenspan is a political hack” and comparisons of Bush/Republicans to Hitler/Nazis. And that will alienate swing voters.
At the moment, Hillary (with Bill’s help) is making some smart moves and triangulating herself into the apparent center, but all it takes is a “we are the President” or “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” to blow her credibility with the pragmatic middle. But with the DeanNC being so Left, her base has apparently developed some cracks and she’ll have to make some leans back Left to her roots.
nindid @48 – You are of course deluded. How many ways can one cheat the system when all you do is vote by mail? Why don’t you do your homework and show the many and sundry safeguards have been put in place assure liberty’s course in Oregon? The silence is deafening. Instead of arguing, here’s a link to a much more reasonable perspective:
A new perspective
From one lunatic fringe centrist to another; good point. :)
So the lever technology really wasn’t that bad.>>
Wow, while the recount was going on, I made mention of the old machines and you went on and on about the ineffectivness of them at recording vote…change of heart?
Mr. X spews:
Chee at 52
Watching the Dan Rather retrospective stuff over the last week, I couldn’t help notice that he has seen more actual combat himself than the entire Bush Administration has collectively.
mr x @ 57
now theres someting worth contemplating. I picture gwdummy in that pose on the aircraft carrier. p.o.s.
Really? Refresh my memory. Clearly, optical scan is a superior technology, but I don’t remember ever lambasting lever machines. My understanding is that in terms of residual vote rate, they fall closer to optical scan than to punch cards.
Diggindude @ 58
Somehow, one has a hard time taking a “gwdummy” insult seriously from a guy who calls himself “dude” in any way shape or form and hasn’t mastered basic punctuation.
you’ve conquered grammar Mark, now lets try something of substance.
Chee @ 50
I like your idea.
Mark @ 53
Maybe so, but the Democratic Party’s problems are puny compared to the GOP’s problems. At least our ideological development is somewhere on this side of the Neolithic Age.
zap @ 54
Try this perspective on for size: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....money.html
Excerpt from above:
“In 2003, according to the Tax Foundation data, the blue states contributed $966 billion to the federal Treasury and got $830 billion back. The reds paid $697 billion and received a whopping $909 billion.” Now you know who the welfare queens really are.
MrX@. For sure and the late Pres. Geo. Bush Senior rallyed against Dan after Dan’s insistent and pointed question was ignored by Bush, who talked around and over Dan. Bush called THAT experiance COMBAT. Must be in the gene pool, like father like son.
Cynical @ 47
You don’t even see what you type anymore. Again attack the Messenger, You called me an Asshole twice, are you projecting your issues? A double Asshole with a Pencil dick? Listen you need to get off the Blogs and go show Stephan how hide those Donations you sent from your BIAW membership. It’s tax time again. Did the IRS call on those Illegal Church Tithing write offs you did yet?
We are glad you USED to be a Democrat, I now understand Darwinism, and culling. You should be careful Chardonay (white Whine) doesn’t get her way, she would be in favor of Death Penalty for the Stupid Lazy people like you.
Marks @ 49
Yes the string at Salon has a lot of Conjecture.(but facts as well) But like Rossi is doing to King county now, Prove to us you did nothing wrong. But think if you changed the names from Bush Delay Chenney. to Clinton Kennedy. There would be more so commitees to investigate these, compared to Whitewater and Knobbergate.
Todays fun guy is Delay…changed the ethics commitee invesigating his new S Korea trips, to more friendly GOP senators who support him. Can we only investigate the party out of Power? Thank G-d we had tape on Gingrich, or he’d be president now, with Jerry Falwell the VP ( maybe not as bad as the guys we got now) They would be focusing on getting the Jews back to Israel for the Rapture.
It was in discussiopn of different methods of votindg and I mentioned that Pierce county was just fine with our lever machines until we were forced to change voting aparatus by the garner administration, your comback was that they were heavy, expensive, expensive to operate and unreliably (not verbatum but that was the drift) and didnt leave a paper trail.
Another TJ spews:
Chee @ 63
For sure and the late Pres. Geo. Bush Senior rallyed against Dan after Dan’s insistent and pointed question was ignored by Bush, who talked around and over Dan. Bush called THAT experiance COMBAT. Must be in the gene pool, like father like son.
I’m not a fan of former (not late – unless I’ve missed some big news this morning) President Bush, but he really did see combat. Sure, referring to a hostile interview as “combat” is hyperbole. But, when his country called, he answered, and that’s to his credit. His son, on the other hand…
Another Tj@57. `i am with you there pal, no regards to “his son on the the hand..,” Bush Senior’s military service should be honored and has been along will all others who serve country at war or are keepers of the peace via National Guard in times of peace or war. Appears Dubya was not green with envy over his Dad’s stint, a military record where he was the target of a planned assasination by Saddam. Purple hearts don’t go well with yellow.
danw @ 65
The Rapture can’t get here quick enough! We’ll get rid of 144,000 winger-freaks in a flash. Now there’s something you don’t see every day!
Duuude @ 61
And when you actually have a substantive thought of your own (name-calling and DNC talking points don’t count), we’ll have something to talk about.
Don @ 62
“…Democratic Party’s… ideological development is somewhere on this side of the Neolithic Age.”
You guys have yet to present any ideas besides socialized medicine, wealth redistribution and “whatever the GOP says is wrong.”
I think you would be at home on the king5 forum Mark.
Duuuuuuude @ 71
[yawwwwwnnnn] Oh, sorry. Did you have something to say?
So you admit you are voting in three different cities? All at once????
Mark @ 70
“You guys have yet to present any ideas besides socialized medicine, wealth redistribution and “whatever the GOP says is wrong. Comment by Mark— 3/11/05 @ 11:47 am”
Wrong-o! We’ve put our ideas out there for those who care to read them. With very little effort, you should be able to find detailed discussion of the Democrats’ positions on a wide array of polices.
VRWC @ 73
He’s already answered that, but you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t bother to read the whole thread, would you?
Don @ 74
So that I don’t mistake the rantings of your radical wings for your (the DeanNC’s) formal policies, why don’t you cite a couple of links to Dem “solutions” beyond the three I mentioned. And tweaks or mere criticisms of GOP plans don’t count.
“Todays fun guy is Delay…”
I see plenty of partisan scheming on either side. What I do not see, as noted by Mark @76 is a real alternative to the party in power. Alternatives are driven by ideas and proposals. You could call such serious proposals “Republican lite” if you want, but a simple way out for any minority party is to win the idea war. The Republicans did it in 1994. It will not come from a constant drumming of “We are against your idea because it comes from you” or worse, “We hate Repugs” or “Delay wears a bra”…
Simply throwing pasta charges at a wall in order to see what sticks is not leadership. The Republicans are running every branch of Federal government (it may not seem evident in the Judicial Branch, yet). Why is this so? If you can find honest answers to that question (there are several answers, but one overrides all others) you would do well to communicate them to your party leadership in DC.
The Republicans are running every branch of Federal government (it may not seem evident in the Judicial Branch, yet).
Which is why the Republican cries of “persecution” are hilarious…
Why is this so?
Personally, I think it’s because Republicans treat politics like a game with lax referees (think pro wrestling). Republicans will do whatever it takes to win the game, and aren’t above breaking the rules (usually through surrogates, to keep the penalties at bay as long as possible) – similar to having your friends in pro wrestling come up while the refs backs are turned and whack you with a chair.
Republicans, after massive defeats back in 64, built an infrastructure (talk radio, think tanks, etc.) to take advantage of the public’s appetite for digestible “plans”, scientific sounding catch phrases, and so-called “moral certainty” – even though, when examined closely, most situations are complex and require nuanced solutions.
You, and others, point out that the Republicans “stand for something”. But if you look at the actual track record of Republicans (Newt “do as I say, not as I do” Gingrich, Tom Delay’s ethical problems, Rush’s drug habit and three divorces, etc.), I believe what’s actually happened is that Republicans appear to stand for something, and, unfortunately, that’s good enough. Add to that the short memory that most people regarding politics and Republicans have figured out as long they need only do what’s necessary to appear “steadfast”, “resolute” and “certain” and their subsequent actions and being “right” matter little.
Simpler explanation (to quote Billy Crystal): “It is better to look good, than to feel good.”
(oops, sorry about the italics, they should only go around marks quotes… Goldy, preview would be great!)
jcricket @ 78
So we agree Goldy needs a preview…
Honestly, I think you’re not looking at the broader picture (no, not Ann Coulter)…
Ideas have a shelf-life. I have yet to see a fresh idea (no Malkin insinuations, please) from the Democrats.
The Republicans are leading, and that means both an implied and actual leadership position. How will your party find it’s way? I suppose they don’t need me to do it for them, since they have such a good infrastructure…
Banner headline on HA:
DEMS & GOP ALL AGREE
(that Goldy needs a preview feature)
jcricket, Don & others on the Left…
All you Dems say is “Hey, the GOP keeps grinding the car’s gears!”
GOP asks, “Think you can do better?”
Dems reply, “Hey, hey, hey, whoa… We’re talking about YOUR driving. We’re not the ones in the driver’s seat.”
GOP reiterates, “OK, what do you suggest we do, then?”
Dems mockingly reply, “Hey, not our problem. You’re the one driving. You just don’t know how to do it right is all we’re saying.”
GOP says, “Go ahead. Tell us what the right way is, then.”
Dems reply, “Hey! Cool! This car has Sirius radio! We can listen to Howard uncensored!”
Don@89. Toooo funny. The wit and humor of Don surpasses sound.
OOps. I surpassed your posting number Don. Sorry. Oh well, fits for any of your posts. :-)
Don@69. I found it, I was talking about your post @ 69 re The Rapture. Night.
GOP reiterates, “OK, what do you suggest we do, then?”
GOP says, “Go ahead. Tell us what the right way is, then.”
Please. That’s a ridiculous description of the situation that’s totally false on its face. Since when has the GOP (at least in the last 10 years) played anything other than lip service to listening to anyone, least of all Democrats? Republicans claim they want “bipartisanship”, but what they mean is “Democratic support for Republican bills”. There’s no room for dissent, discussion or productive disagreement – that’s the hallmark of the Bush presidency and the modern-day GOP.
Put more simply, there’s not even a footnote in the GOP play book that says “At this stage, ask Democrats for suggestions”.
The GOP continually insists on re-nominating rejected extremist judges or attempting to phase out Social Security, all while threatening to eliminate some of the democratic (small d) procedures that allow for dissent in Congress, I’ll have to take a pass at accepting your characterization of the situation.
It is principled, to stand up in opposition to what Bush and the GOP are trying to do (gut the social safety net, ruin the environment, destroy out international alliances, turn our legal system into a Christian theocracy). I think Harry Reid’s done a good job of uniting the Democrats recently, and I expect to see more unity in the future. He, and Dean, are also doing a good job of articulating what the Democrats do stand for, if you are actually interested in listening. Just because you disagree, or the Dems aren’t doing a good enough job with PR, doesn’t mean the Dems have no “stance”.
Besides, despite Republicans acting as if they’ve achieved a fait accompli in permanently destroying the Democratic party at a National level. I see no such evidence of permanent one-party rule. Dems solidified their base in most, if not all of the “blue states”, and have made great gains in CO and NM (not to mention Ohio). The Republican senators from Maine and Lincoln Chafee (from RI) are RINOs (who will be replaced with Dems when they retire). Yes, 1-2% more people voted for Republicans, nationally. However, despite all of Kerry’s failings, and all of the GOP’s advantages (incumbency, war-time president, etc.), the presidential election was lost by less than 200,000 votes in Ohio.
I’m not saying the Dems don’t face some serious challenges in regaining their majority status, or re-taking the White House, but let’s stop talking as if the GOP has magically won over 100% of the population. The facts on the ground just don’t bear that out.
correction: where I wrote – (not to mention Ohio), substitute Iowa for Ohio. Iowa and NM each were decided by a tiny fraction of votes. The overall points still stands.
As you wish, I will stop humming the requiem for the Democratic party…not that I was to begin with. I was trying to let you know that realism is necessary for foundational change. I guess it is easy enough to claim that I have no interest in the Democratic party’s advent…I am a Republican, after all…
I guess it is easy enough to claim that I have no interest in the Democratic party’s advent…I am a Republican, after all…
Truer words were never spoken! Put another way, and the same to you :)
You take care of your own, I’ll take care of mine, and let’s keep the debate to the actual policies.
I was trying to let you know that realism is necessary for foundational change
Which is what people like Harry Reid and Howard Dean know, and it’s why I support them. Republicans try to smear Dean, but it’s because they fear him. He’s not like the other Democrats who can be convinced that going along with the Republicans will provide the Democrats some “table scraps” they can live off of.
But, be careful what you wish for. True opposition parties don’t make like easy for the ruling party (see Britian for example), and the party in power doesn’t always stay in power.
I shall take your guidance as gospel. Thank you for being honest, and watch out for the lemming in front of you…
Funny story about lemmings. Turns out their reputation as stupid animals that commit mass suicide by following each other off cliffs is undeserved:
Basically “[during] the filming of the 1958 Disney nature documentary White Wilderness, the film crew induced lemmings into jumping off a cliff and into the sea in order to document their supposedly suicidal behavior”
Sounds like Tom McCabe and the BIAW was involved in the making of the documentary – start with your conclusion, try to find some supporting facts, but if you can’t, just make something up. :)
Now, jcricket, that just makes me mad! I had a presupposed position, and you debunked it! Shame on you! :)
Mark @83 – Hilarious.
Mark – Imagine you have two children. You’re standing in the kitchen and you watch one pick up the glass cookie jar and smash it on the ground. Do you then turn to the other one and say, “What’s your plan for cleaning this up?” or “I don’t want to hear about how your brother just smashed the cookie jar, let’s talk about your grades.”
Realism is not in the GOP’s version of the Revised Republican Bible according to King Bush. Your preaching to the choir. Good sermon.
jcricket @ 97
Poor example. Think more along the lines of:
Two kids are in the kitchen. While getting at the cookies TOGETHER, the jar falls and smashes to pieces. Both kids start squabbling over who is responsible. Finally, Kid1 takes the initiative and starts cleaning up — separating cookie pieces from porcelain.
Kid2, standing aside with arms folded, shakes his head and says, “You’re doing it all wrong.”
Kid1 replies, “Am not. Besides, the cookies are going to go stale if I don’t clean up.”
Kid2: “You have no idea what you’re doing. First, the cookies aren’t going to go stale. Second, even if they were, you’re cleaning up in the wrong way. You’ll never be able to put the jar back together.”
Kid1: “I know we can’t fix the jar. Besides, the old jar was too fragile. We’ll need to put the remaining cookies in a new jar. Besides, you don’t have a better idea.”
Kid2: “I do SO have a better idea. And you are totally screwing this up.”
Kid1: “So, what is your oh-so-better plan?”
Kid2: “I don’t have to tell you. Besides, I’m not hungry. So, who cares. You’re just doing it wrong.”
You claim it’s a poor example, but that relies on your false assertion that the Dems are equally responsible for the messes the Republicans have created (they’re not), and that Republicans are actually asking the Democrats for advice. Both are false, especially when you consider that Republicans control the white house, Congress and the Senate.
Republicans got us into this war in Iraq (by misleading us with trumped up evidence), Republicans are the ones threatening to dismantle Social Security (when it isn’t broken), Republicans are the ones whose tax policies have turned a massive surplus into a massive deficit and Republicans are the primary sponsors of the horrid bankruptcy bill (not a single one voted against it, while nearly all Dems did).
It’s not the Dems fault that the hallmark of the current GOP leadership is the “manufactured crisis”. Democrats have offered alternatives (don’t dismantle SS, don’t make the tax cuts for the rich permanent, stop peddling bogus science in your environment policies, stop pissing off our allies, etc.) – you just don’t like that they disagree with you, so you claim they’re not “offering solutions”
To apply it to the analogy:
The Republican kid says, “I want a cookie. I’m going to get it from that cookie jar way up there.”
The Democratic kid says, “Are you sure you should reach for that cookie jar? The step-stool looks unstable. Maybe we should look around for a more stable ladder.”
The Republican kid replies, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing” and hops on up the rickety step-stool. While reaching for the jar the step-stool crashes over, and the Republican kid knocks over the cookie jar and breaks mom’s favorite Vase and the Dad’s Jeff Gordon/Nascar mug.
Then the Republican kid yells, “Look what you made me do.”
A few nitpicks and we can go on… First, White House is capitalized. Second, Congress consists of the House (of Representatives) and Senate. Saying “Congress and Senate” is redundant.
As for SocSec being “broken,” that is a matter of opinion. The fact remains that it is, by strict definintion, a Ponzi scheme (albeit backed by the US gov’t.); the income/outlay graph lines are converging sometime soon; and it therefore needs adjusting, correcting, fixing or whatever hair-splitting word you want to use.
“horrid bankruptcy bill (not a single one voted against it, while nearly all Dems did)”
You really need to read the news and get your facts straight. From Bloomberg yesterday: “18 Democrats, including Minority Leader Harry Reid, joined 55 Republicans and the Senate’s lone independent in voting for the bill.”
“The Democratic kid says, “Are you sure you should reach for that cookie jar? The step-stool looks unstable. Maybe we should look around for a more stable ladder.”
I think that was one of the points I made @78 “What I do not see, as noted by Mark @76 [since turned to @77] is a real alternative to the party in power.”
What stable ladder are you referring to? Or are you simply saying we should look for a more stable ladder?
@91 you said “You take care of your own, I’ll take care of mine, and let’s keep the debate to the actual policies.
What policies are we debating as presented from the left? Seems we are stuck in a debate over the party in power and how they continue to do what Congress has always done: pass legislation, however good/bad.
BTW-Your @91 comment seemed to be inferring some sort of a Machiavellian plot on my part. Who, me? Nahhh…