Although it's depressing and counter-intuitive, I've been accepting the reality that Bush won the election in November with upset victories in Ohio and Florida.
I've been swallowing the statement that the exit polls (which showed Kerry with a 53 to 47 percent lead in Ohio) just must have goofed -- despite expert, scholarly analysts saying the chances of the polls being that far off are about 100 to 1.
I've been reading, but discounting a) the steadily mounting documentation that tens of thousands of Kerry ballots were not counted in Cuyahoga county, b) the evidence that thousands of provisional ballots cast for Kerry were not counted in other precincts, c) the documentation of more and more voting machine irregularities, d) the increasing number of eyewitness accounts of seeing ballots cast for Kerry counted for Bush, e) verified stories of provisional Kerry ballots being carried out to trash cans, f) the secretive behavior of Ohio election officials who are Republican, g) the obstructive behavior of Republican electoral personnel in distributing voting machines -- which produced thousands of people who stood in line at the polls without voting, more who may have been discouraged from showing up at all.
I've been aware of the lawsuits before the Ohio Supreme Court throughout the ongoing counting and recounting process. But I haven't had a real belief that Kerry actually got more votes than Bush in Ohio.
The more I read about this, the more I believe it may be true that Kerry won (without even considering the reported irregularities in Florida, New Mexico, and other states).
As some of you know, Rep. John Conyers, the Black Election Caucus, and several other groups plan to issue a challenge to the election certification process that will take place before a joint session of Congress on January 6th. In order to do this, they need the support of at least one U.S. Senator. (The Black Election Caucus challenged the Florida certification on their own in 2000 and, ironically, were gavelled down by Al Gore, as president pro-tem of the Senate.)
When this subject comes up among pragmatic Democrats, I've seen it dismissed on the grounds that "even if they get one Senator to support the challenge, so what? The Republicans outnumber the Democrats in both the Senate and the House. They'll just vote to certify the election, anyway. So why waste the effort to lobby for the challenge?"
The quick answer is that forcing Congress to hear the arguments against certification of the Ohio electoral votes will result in media coverage -- which may be useful in focusing public attention on the issue of election fraud.
The not-so-convincing argument (for pragmatists with not much spare time) is that it's existentially important to challenge the lie.
PS (about the picture): It's Jonathan from the "Superstar" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jonathan was the most recognizable representation I could think of (for Livejournal purposes) of "reality gone gloppy, till someone breaks the spell." I'm not usually big on using metaphors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as motivators for Existential Right Action. They can cut in a number of directions. I haven't forgotten one pro-war blogger's early comparison of the United Nations to the Council of Watchers -- with the U.S. as the heroine who has the moral courage to take a stake to Saddam Hussein. (Ycch.)
Feel free to substitute Batman shaking free of the Mad Hatter's spell, if you wish, as a spur -- or George playing his copy of "With A Little Help From My Friends" in The Lathe of Heaven.
Whatever it may actually take to restore reality to its proper shape, I think it's worth a couple of minutes to write a letter to your Senator urging support of the Ohio election challenge.