Pre-Empting The GOP By Going On Offense Down The Home Stretch
Several of you have smartly suggested an approach that I wanted to write about weeks ago but have yet to do. According to Charlie Cook, there are now several dozen GOP seats in play next month, and the DCCC is in position to pick up not just 15 but possibly several dozen seats, and perhaps over 30. We know that the GOP has its 72-hour operation and will dump millions the next three weeks into defending those GOP seats by smearing their Democratic challengers. But the one thing we aren't shining a light upon and forcing the media to look hard at is which of these 30-40 races will be determined by electronic voting machinery that is in the GOP's hands. After all, you can cover a fraud quite nicely by arguing that despite pre-election polls, voters had a polling booth conversion because negative ads gave them doubts about the Democratic challenger, when in fact it may not be true.
We know that the GOP took control in 1994 of dozens of formerly Democratic seats not by a national tidal wave, but rather by a small national aggregate margin of well less than 100,000 votes amongst those captured Democratic seats. Similarly, the GOP could maintain control this year through a small-scale district-by-district manipulation of only 15-25 seats involving a similar if not smaller number of "votes." Such a fraud would escape the scrutiny of the media if we don't set the narrative now and focus attention on this possibility so that if and when it happens the results would immediately be suspect. The DCCC needs to put together a data base now of who governs the election machinery in all of these vulnerable GOP seats, and on whose equipment each district's voters will be voting. The DCCC and bloggers can then begin pushing the narrative with local media in each of those districts to be on the lookout for possible election fraud by the local GOP election officials and their enablers amongst the election machinery contractors, an outcome that has already been documented in previous elections by John Conyers and others.
Having attorneys on the ground to deal with the issue after the fact isn't sufficient anymore. Our candidates and the DCCC need to have a counter message against the final GOP smears and money against us. We can put a pre-emptory message out there now that the only defense the GOP has left aside from an "October Surprise" is to smear and outspend their opponents, and failing that, to rely on suspect electronic voting and local GOP officials to carry the day for them. Democrats need to set the narrative and get the media's scrutiny ramped up now before the election for two reasons. First, we need to get these local officials under the spotlight now before the election so that they will think twice before manipulating a race or allowing a contractor to do so, as happened in Ohio and elsewhere. And we also need to do this now so that the public in each district is conditioned to question any outcomes that fly in the face of pre-election polls.
If you know your opponent is about to come after you, don't sit there and wait for it. Hit him and define him first.