Playin' With Five Aces - All Up His Sleeve
The following is a comment I left on Paradox' comment thread for his fantastic post below. After I'd saved it to the thread, I thought that it should be out front where all can see it.
Let's say that for some inexplicable reason, Kerry wins a clear victory on November 2 - one without any visible signs of interference from the GOP. Should this be the case, the battle is only just beginning.
The inauguration is on January 20, 2005, 79 days after the popular election, and just about a month after the (S)electoral College meets. That gives Bu$hCo 79 days to create or allow an incident which negates the election.
During this period, Bu$h is still pResident. If another 9/11 were to occur - say, nuking San Francisco (something that would thrill the Religious Rite [sic]), Bu$h merely exercises one of the numerous Executive Orders sitting on the Oval Office shelf and declares martial law.
Kerry will have no course of action. The Congress is at best going to be deadlocked, and the Stupreme Courtiers' allegiances are already known to us. The USA Patriot Act will see to it that no successful popular uprising can take place, and the fascist wing of the Republican Party will purge out undesirables like McCain, Hagel, Lugar, Chaffey, Snowe, Collins, ...
Bu$h has only one thing to lose - the appearance of a legitimate electoral victory. He had to have been ribbed about the results of 2000 repeatedly by the other world leaders, and a guy with his personality won't take that humorously - it will grate on his ego incessantly. Thus the reason for us going through the process, even though Kerry is successfully nudged aside by the compliant American media each time he makes gains on Bu$h. He - Bu$h - has to be a winner, so we have the election.
But he will not forget the ultimate prize he's after - power. He knows, as I state above, that he holds all the face cards up his sleeve. He'll use them to keep power, and appearances be damned.