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Fooled Again: On the 2004 Election

Fooled Again: On the 2004 Election

by Mark Crispin Miller

For Republicans, the 2004 presidential election was little short of miraculous: Behind in the Electoral College tally in the days leading up to the election, behind even on the very afternoon of the vote, the Bush ticket staged a stunning comeback. The exit polls, usually so reliable, turned out to be wrong by an unprecedented 5 percent in the swing states.


For Republicans, the 2004 presidential election was little short of miraculous: Behind in the Electoral College tally in the days leading up to the election, behind even on the very afternoon of the vote, the Bush ticket staged a stunning comeback. The exit polls, usually so reliable, turned out to be wrong by an unprecedented 5 percent in the swing states. Conservatives argued-and the media agreed-that "moral values" had made the difference. In his new book renowned critic and political commentator Mark Crispin Miller argues that it wasn't moral values that swung the election-it was theft. While the greatest body of evidence comes from the key state of Ohio-where the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee found an extraordinary onslaught of Republican-engineered vote suppression, election-day irregularities, old-fashioned intimidation tactics, and illegal counting procedures-similar practices (and occasionally worse ones) were applied in Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and even New York. A huge array of anomalies, improper practices, and blatant violations of the law all, by a truly remarkable coincidence, happened to swing in the Bush ticket's favor.This pattern-not one overwhelming fraud but thousands of little ones-is, in Miller's view, the new Republican electoral strategy. This incendiary new book presents massive documentation that the election was stolen and describes the mind-set, among both the major parties and the media, that could permit it to happen again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this belated expos -and clarion call for electoral reform-Miller (The Bush Dyslexicon) accuses George W. Bush and his "theocratic militants" of orchestrating electoral fraud to "hijack" the 2004 presidential race. Miller relies on original reporting, secondary sources and unadulterated outrage to make his case, marshaling evidence (much of it circumstantial) of Democratic voter disenfranchisement, mysterious computer snafus and discrepancies between exit poll results and official vote counts. He is especially critical of the press for what he describes as silence in the face of Bush's and Cheney's denials of fraud. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is another target of Miller's ire, for ignoring warnings of coordinated Republican plans to cheat and for doing nothing to contest the vote counts, especially in swing states Ohio and Florida. "Election-stealing" in Florida in particular presages a dark future for the entire nation: "a system built specifically to disenfranchise an aroused and even militant majority, and to do so without leaving any traces." Though Miller's sometimes unclear sourcing puts the burden on readers to separate fact from hearsay, he gathers enough well-documented evidence that anyone who cares about fair play should find this book revelatory. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This narrative of the 2004 election, which Miller (media studies, NYU; Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order) calls "a national catastrophe," lapses into caustic language that rivals Tammy Bruce's (see p. 78). While this mars the author's presentation, it remains an unsettling account of the election and identifies some flagrant examples of unresolved voter fraud. The author recounts how computer errors resulted in lost votes from Democratic districts in Florida and Ohio and shows that too few voting machines were delivered to other similar districts. More disturbing are reports of verbal and physical intimidation against minorities seen as probable Kerry voters. Miller concludes that the "Busheviks" hate politics and want to manipulate and destroy the democratic process because it interferes with their agenda. He states that if the 2004 election were not tampered with by the Bush campaign, it would have resulted in a Kerry victory. Although this conclusion is controversial, the book is a wake-up call for election reform and is suitable for public libraries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Media-studies maven and dedicated Bush detractor Miller (Cruel and Unusual, 2004) argues that moving on and getting over it are exactly the wrong things to do. Setting forth a circumstantial argument that would probably not stand up in court but that serves fine for the purposes of speechifying and politicizing, Miller deems the Bush/Cheney victory in the last presidential election "startling. It was, in fact, miraculous, even if the US press chose not to point that out." And why miraculous? Well, for one thing, the exit polls in contested states such as Ohio and Florida gave Kerry/Edwards a slight edge; for another, a Gallup poll conducted just before the election showed that the incumbent's approval rating was at a dangerous low, and in all events, "Kerry's numbers were considerably higher in the swing states." So what happened? Well, Miller asserts, a theocratic, fundamentalist movement working in concert with sinister forces within the administration, and over a long and steady campaign: Its various agents saw to it that felons were disenfranchised (for criminals, presumably, vote blue), scared away minorities from the polls, capriciously closed voting places on Election Day, set up fewer voting machines in poor districts than in wealthy ones, kept the press from conducting exit polls, designed ballots so that Bush/Cheney were the first choice, rigged machines so that the GOP candidates somehow received many more votes than there were registered voters, tallied the vote in secret, made it difficult for Democrats to vote absentee and told many big lies. Miller's case relies strongly on anecdotal evidence, though a reader inclined to accept the very possibility might well imagine thatan independent counsel of the Ken Starr variety could easily turn up firmer proof; suffice it to say that Miller's argument is pitched to true believers against the vast right-wing conspiracy. A fascinating catalogue of impeachable offenses and prosecutable crimes. Is Miller right? Stay tuned.

Product Details

Basic Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.25(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media studies at New York University and a well-known public intellectual. His writings on film, television, propaganda, advertising, and the culture industries have appeared in numerous journals and newspapers, including The Nation and the New York Times . He is the author of The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder (2001) and Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order (2004). Miller has appeared on “Frontline,” “The PBS Newshour,” “The O'Reilly Factor,” “Washington Journal,” and Bill Moyers's “The Public Mind,” and has been a guest on countless radio programs. He is a regular commentator on Air America. He lives in New York.

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