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Kerry campaign leaves nothing behind

The truly bad news is the 9/11 nuts have relocated to Stolen Election. My inbox is awash with their ravings.
November 20 / 21, 2004

At least when Duffy's Circus left Youghal there'd be piles of dung from the horses and the elephant. The Kerry campaign leaves nothing of fertilizing potential, not a single creative idea, only grim advisories like not running any nominee from the north-east in 2008, and we all know the probable life-span of that particular piece of useful advice.

How quickly the caravan moves on! The Brookings crowd sadly pull their resumes from the fax machines. John Kerry resumes his ghost-like sojourn in the US Senate, where perhaps he might apply himself to improving his attendance record, the worst in the upper chamber. He missed no less than 76 per cent of the Senate Intelligence Committee's public hearings over the course of his 8-year tenure on that committee. Teresa returns to full-time work at the Heinz Foundation, dispensing money to neoliberal environmental groups, though alas she has had to dispense with the wise counsel of Ken Lay, formerly of Enron, who adorned her board of advisors until last year.

Pockets of Kerrycrats fight on, like Japanese soldiers on atolls in the Pacific. No doubt there are 527s still nourishing themselves on the money of men like Soros. There's even been some talk about Kerry keeping his hat in the presidential ring, but we shouldn't take that too seriously. Over the next few months his horse-like visage will fade in the murk of memory, amid kiss-and-tell memoirs about his indecision and arrogance plus the ultra-high maintenance required for his consort.

The political consultants pocket their retainer fees, their 10 or 15 per cent commissions on hundreds of millions worth of campaign ads and march on to the next electoral rendez-vous . Before the election a Washington Post profile of Kerry's manager, Bob Shrum, disclosed that he stood to make $5 million out of the 2004 presidential campaign, win or lose.

The truly bad news is the 9/11 nuts have relocated to Stolen Election. My inbox is awash with their ravings. People who have spent the last three years sending me screeds establishing to their own satisfaction that George Bush personally ordered the attacks on the towers and that Dick Cheney vectored the planes in are now pummeling me with data on the time people spent on line waiting to vote in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, and how the Diebold machines are all jimmied. As usual, the conspiracy nuts think that plans of inconceivable complexity worked at 100 per cent efficiency, that Murphy's law was once again in suspense, and that 10,000 co-conspirators are all going to keep their mouths shut.

Do I think the election was stolen? No more than usual. The Democrats are getting worse at it and the Republicans better. Back in 1960 it was the other way round. The best documented stolen election in history is probably the one that put Lyndon Johnson in the US Senate. Next came the one that gave JFK the White House. So, for sure there's vote suppression in Ohio and Florida. I don't think it made the crucial difference.

"Stolen election" is one way to divert attention from the fact that the Democrats had a lousy candidate and gave up on most of the country, investing everything in two or three states. Small wonder they lost the popular vote, not to mention other minor details ,like the US senate.

The months will pass and then, most hideous of hideous thoughts, we'll have to put up with three solid years of talk about Hillary Clinton. Her in the White House, Bill running the UN. There'll be nowhere left to run.

Those who argued Bush's reelection would, by and large, do more to sap the American Empire already detect pleasing omens of enhanced discord among the Allies. Out goes the oiler of troubled waters, Colin Powell. In comes fractious Condoleezza. Would you really have preferred Richard Holbrooke, shuttling between Paris, Bonn, and Madrid amid relieved shouts that here after four dark years was a man who respected Euro-feelings?

And talking of the Euro, down down down goes the US dollar against all the major world currencies. Soon we'll be getting news footage of US tourists pushing airport trolleys piled high with worthless greenbacks along the rue St Honore and into the Ritz to settle their bills before camping out under the bridges. In the last two years the US dollar has declined 52 per cent against the Euro, which many people used to think had about the same substantive brawn as a UN blue helmet.

Here's a sign of how bad things are. Speaking honestly, can you remember the name of the Treasury Secretary? Aha! And no, it's not Evans, who's quitting the Department of Commerce. It's John Snow. Now, in the old days everyone knew the name of the Treasury Secretary, the guy who protected the money and strutted the ramparts of Fort Knox. Not any more. These days he's a harrowed mendicant who spends most of his day on the line to Beijing imploring the Chinese not to join up with the Japanese to ditch the dollar as a global unit of account, heeding Jude Wanniski's thought that they could join up to fix the yuan and yen to gold in an Asian Bretton Woods.

The neocons? They're are holding on, probably aware that if they quit government they'll live like hunted things, fleeing lawsuits down the years. They'll cling on and then hope Bush will pardon them on his way out of Dodge in 2008, same as his dad did Weinberger and his CIA buddies.

Fallujah has now supposedly been "won". For how long? Sometimes the parallels drawn between Iraq and Vietnam have seemed a bit theatrical. Not any more. No hearts and minds have been won in Fallujah any more than they were won in the Vietnamese countryside around My Lai. The city has been destroyed in order to save it for democracy. The language of the US military commanders, and of the journalists who relay their press releases echoes with eerie and horrible fidelity those press releases from US military hq in Saigon 35 years ago. LBJ handed the quagmire on to Nixon. It's Bush's poisoned chalice bestowed by his first to his second term, the cup he'll be hoisting on Inauguration Day.
What a Shill 22.Nov.2004 07:16


-'As usual, the conspiracy nuts think that plans of inconceivable complexity worked at 100 per cent efficiency, that Murphy's law was once again in suspense, and that 10,000 co-conspirators are all going to keep their mouths shut.'-
What an idiot.
All it takes is an operational group of compartmentalized agencies, hiding under 'national security' pursuing plans that produce a huge benefit to the planners. And a corporate media that share these benefits. It's called conspiracy. Are you and David Corn related?

Dearest AL , 22.Nov.2004 10:32


i don't believe that any 9/11 researcher worth his/her salt would waste their
time trying to communicate with a corporate bootlicking gatekeeper like yourself.
you need to find yourself a nice comfy little slot with fox or clear channel
where you could parley your narrow minded views into some bucks.

bummer 22.Nov.2004 11:17


and i thought counterpunch was cool. boy this is great, at least all of these fake left cointelpro ops are exposing themselves in not covering this fake election.

like john stewart- man what a funny guy- but now he's got nothing but diversions on his show- not a damn thing (that i've seen, don't watch TDS everyday) regarding the vote fraud. c'mon man- Bev Harris found signed voter rolls, the official docs from election night, in the stinkin garbage... and none of these fools will even acknowledge it.

anyone else have the feeling they are just stalling, waiting for the next attack which will (in their opinion) allow them to completely bury this vote fraud as we all have to 'support the president in this time of crisis' again... i can hear bush warming up his 'yer with us or yer with the terrists' line already.

cockburn=moron 22.Nov.2004 12:23

"9/11 nut"

what a jerk

Right On 22.Nov.2004 14:57


When are the Kerrycrats going to admit that they backed an awful candidate and a war monger who ran arguably the worst campaign in history? Even if it does turn out that Kerry won Ohio, and even Florida, it would only mean that he won the Electoral College, not the popular vote. So all the people screaming about Bush's illegimaticy for the past four years because he lost the popular vote by about 500,000 votes are now arguing that a man who lost the popular vote by a wider margin, over 3,000,000 votes I beleive, should be president now. Consistancy is the Hobgoblin of little minds.

One could see a silver lining in all of this: The American people are difficult to fool and the razor thin margins of these two most recent presidential campaigns tells us this. The tactics the fear mongering left uses to try to scare people into voting for the Democratic candidate produced less votes for their candidate this time around because more people saw through this deceit. This idea that the presidential candidates represented two stark contrasting choices was less true in 2004 than it was even 2000.

We've got an occupation in Iraq to campaign against and putting Kerry into office won't end it. We need to get back out onto the streets and start campaigning for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq regardless of who is in office.

cockburn=moron - excellent 22.Nov.2004 15:26


I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thanks for posting this lunacy here. I wrote up my own version:


Cockburn also shills for the Warren Commission 22.Nov.2004 17:21

reposted from indybay


a great article on Alexander Cockburn's twisting of facts in his defense of the "Warren Commission"

Let's see --

he defends the Warren Commission (which covered the coup against JFK)

he says that 9/11 was a surprise attack (which there's no evidence for)

he says, in effect, that depriving African Americans (and liberal
white college students) of their votes is OK as long as they were
planning to vote for Kerry

Is this a COINTELPRO campaign, or merely a crazy ultra-sectarian point of view of the type lampooned in Monty Python's The Life of Brian?

Cockburn's above piece more revealing for 9/11 comment, than election 22.Nov.2004 19:00

counterpunch reader

haven't seen much specifics of Cockburn's opinion on 9/11 except for the secondhand reference to it above.

lumping the 'vote fraud conspiracists' directly in with the '9/11 conspiracists' (as he would call all of us) is a mistake, though.

Perhaps Mr. Cockburn would care to explain for all of us the "official" events-of-9/11 story? It's certainly been proven - even partially shown by the 9/11 Whitewash Commission - NOT to have been a total "surprise" attack . . . (on that note, I'd also be interested to know Mr. Cockburn's 'historical analysis' surrounding the events of December 7, 1941).

he even admits in the piece above that US vote fraud does, in fact, exist (yes of course it does how could he *deny* it, and electronic voting machines are entirely sponsored by GOP stockholders/corporations) and may actually be more prevalent and common today.

Does Mr. Cockburn actually "believe" in the 'democratic process', or is it simply very-similar *bad corporate candidates* which cause these 'democratic elections' to be so meaningless/vacuous? Also, it seems his third-party-hero Ralph Nader is leading the charge for 2004 re-counts. Is a demand for proper, systematic vote re-counts simply a dog-and-pony show, an insignificant waste of time, sour grapes on the part of 'loser Democrats', or what? He should get his story straight . . .

although I do happen to concur with his analysis of the 'bandwagon' effect of the democraticunderground.com crowd's sudden rapid interest in vote fraud:

""Stolen election" is one way to divert attention from the fact that the Democrats had a lousy candidate"

also interesting about Cockburn / CounterPunch 22.Nov.2004 21:01

counterpunch reader

I've always seen Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair over at CounterPunch as the leading-edge far leftist pundits, rather than front-rank grassroots activists of any sort. I really appreciate and respect most of their opinions, which I find far more relevant, incisive and enjoyable to read on politics than almost any other contemporary news source.

that said, there are certain topics which old Alex just doesn't warm to, and classic political/investigative 'muckraking' apparently isn't one of them. Those you'd think would be their far-left comrades in arms - e.g. Dr. Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman over at The Free Press  http://www.freepress.org/index2.php, currently leading a valiant fight to expose Ohio vote fraud (as they have been for years *before* Nov. 2004) - basically get the snub from Cockburn & Co. . . . although, you've got to wonder - Jeffrey St. Clair and Harvey Wasserman - environmental activist mavens, both, oughta be good buds, no? (St. Clair is more of a 'protect-wilderness-er', and Wasserman more of an 'anti-nuke-toxics-er')

CounterPunch's style has always been more of a 'sum-it-all-up' left-anarchist-fringe opinion journal than anything else, and perhaps that's all it's worth.