Monday, November 07, 2005

Kerry: Shit tastes good 

Edited transcript from Amy Goodman's recent discussion, on Democracy Now, with Mark Crispin Miller and Mark Hertsgaard about their recent publications on the stolen election:

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: ....Speaking of John Kerry, I have some news for you. On Friday, this last Friday night, I arranged to meet Senator Kerry at a fundraiser to give him a copy of my book. He told me he now thinks the election was stolen. He said he doesn't believe that he is the person who can go out front on the issue, because of the sour grapes, you know, question. But he said he believes it was stolen. He says he argues about this with his Democratic colleagues on the Hill. He had just had a big fight with Christopher Dodd about it, because he said, you know, ‘There's this stuff about the voting machines; they’re really questionable.’ And Dodd was angry. ‘I don’t want to hear about it,’ you know, ‘I looked into it. There’s nothing there.’

Well, there's plenty there, and let me add one thing: This is not a criminal case, okay? We don't have to prove guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is our election system, right? This is a system based on consent of the governed. If many, many millions of Americans are convinced that they got screwed on Election Day and couldn't vote, or if 3.4 million more Americans claim that they voted than the actual total of voters -- this is what the Census Bureau told us last May – this is grounds alone for serious investigation, and I think Mark would agree with me here. We have to have serious investigation.

AMY GOODMAN: Did Senator Kerry say, when he said on Friday night, according to you, that he does think the election was stolen, did he say why he raced out the next day after, for months, the Democratic candidates had assured the voters that they would make sure every vote was counted? I mean, Mark Hertsgaard says in his own piece in Mother Jones, “It didn't help that Kerry conceded immediately, despite questions about Ohio. The American press is less an independent truth seeker than a transmission belt for opinions of movers and shakers in Washington. If the Democratic candidate wasn’t going to cry foul, the press certainly wasn't going to do it for him.”

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, that’s true. That was a real body blow to the democratic system, and it demoralized a lot of people when Kerry pulled out. It’s hard to forgive him for that. Why did he do it? Well, according to my evidence and I’ve got this in Fooled Again, Kerry was swayed by the brain trust around him. These are people like, you know, Bob Shrum, Mary Beth Cahill – they’re, you know, Democratic Party war horses. I don't think they have a stellar record of winning campaigns, and I don't really understand how it is that they were hired to do this, but they persuaded him up in Martha's Vineyard that he should pull out, otherwise, he told John Edwards in his call, Kerry said, “They say that if I don't pull out, they are going to call us sore losers,” as if there’s –

MARK HERTSGAARD: I think Mark Crispin Miller has given us a major news flash here.... If Kerry thinks that the election was stolen, that is big, big news. And I think that it is very unfortunate that it took him 12 months to come around to that conclusion....

John Conyers, God bless him for pushing his own investigation, but he was stonewalled by Ken Blackwell, the Secretary of State of Ohio and other officials, including the Triad Computer Company, who basically refused to answer his questions. Had he or another agency with subpoena power should go back and get that, because I agree with Mark entirely. Look, this is the essence of our democracy. We deserve to have a persuasive answer to what happened in 2004. We probably would have gotten it if Kerry had shown the courage to say, on Election Day – on the day after Election Day a year ago what he apparently told Mark Crispin Miller the other night. If he had said then that “I suspect this election was stolen,” believe me, even the corporate media would have investigated this. It’s too juicy a story, but because Kerry dropped the ball there, you know, it’s now a year later, and it’s only the outsiders who are talking about it.

AMY GOODMAN: Are you saying, Mark Crispin Miller, that John Edwards didn't want to concede?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Absolutely not. I spoke to someone, a relative of his who was with him when the phone call came from Kerry. This is this in the book, Fooled Again. Kerry called him on the cell phone, and don't forget that Edwards himself, four hours before, had just been on national TV promising righteously to count every vote, got a big hand. Now he felt he was being made to look like a fool, and he argued with Kerry vehemently. He said, “It’s too soon, you know. Wait.” Kerry, you know, said this thing about how they will call us sore losers, as if that’s worse than the country, you know, going fascist, whatever. And Edwards said quite understandably, “So what?” You know, “So what if they call us sore losers?” I mean, they are going to call them names in any case. But it’s true, Mark is right, Kerry's caving in like that gave an enormous gift to the right wing. They could now claim, “Well, even their candidate doesn't think it was stolen.” And they left, you know, the American people hanging out to dry there.


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