How the GOP Might Try to Steal the 2012 Election

Democrats had better hope that the coming elections are not too close because the GOP is honing its vote stealing skills in its own primaries:

GOP state party snafus all have benefited Romney:

As we wrote yesterday, the Michigan Republican Party voted Wednesday night to award its two at-large delegates to the statewide winner instead of dividing up proportionally, as we (and even the Michigan GOP chairman at one time) had assumed. That move gave Romney a 16-14 delegate edge in the state instead of a 15-15 tie, and it has produced a firestorm of controversy. What’s more, it’s the latest GOP state party snafu this primary season that’s benefited Romney.

Consider: The Iowa Republican Party originally declared Romney the winner there (and even once the vote count had changed, it was hesitant to declare Santorum the new winner). In addition, the Maine GOP badly mishandled its caucuses (one county wasn’t counted due to snow, other results got lost in a spam folder), and Romney narrowly won that contest. And now you have the delegate drama in Michigan, which now allows Romney to claim a win there in both the popular vote and delegate count.

It's important to remember that they have two main methods of stealing elections. The first is vote suppression, in which they make it difficult for their opponents to cast votes. This is nothing new historically and it's not been confined to one party. But the modern Republicans have put their very special stamp on the practice by using reverse psychology and whining about non-existent voter fraud to claim they have been the victims of the terrible ACORN conspiracy to cancel out their decent Real American vote. (This was one of the bogus arguments used inBush vs Gore, which serves as a sort of template for their various legal arguments.)

But there's always been a second piece to the puzzle and that is the local and state GOP institutions responsible for counting votes and interpreting the voting laws being trained to use that power for partisan purpose. There are many aspects to this (here's one example) but one of the most useful is the idea that being declared the winner can be more important than actually being the winner. Rick Santorum certainly is getting a big lesson in how that one works.

Karl Rove pioneered these close vote thefts many years ago as a political consultant. He and various others throughout the party have been building an infrastructure devoted to keeping Democratic election victories narrow through suppression and then taking advantage in states where they control the election machinery to tip the balance to the GOP. This isn't a conspiracy theory --- it's part of their long term strategy to stay competitive in a country in which their main constituency is becoming smaller and more intolerant.

It's fun to watch Rick Santorum squirm as this machine is unleashed against him but don't think it's confined to their party apparatus. They're just flexing their muscles in anticipation of the general election. If the party "establishment" exists at all, it's for this purpose

Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at March 2, 2012, 7:20am

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