Fooled Again: On the 2004 Election

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465045792
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/18/2005
  • Pages: 384
  • 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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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2005

    If you CARE at all about our democracy, you must read this

    This is a meticously researched book about what really went on in 2004. It is terrifying and the media won't touch it. That leaves it up to those of us who are not afraid of the truth and who want our once great country to become great again to do something. START by reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    Crisp Writing That is Hard to Read

    Fooled Again convincingly tells a shocking tale. If you ever had any doubt that George Bush won an election, read this book. This is one of those great open secrets nobody can quite believe, but this book lays out all of the devastating facts. People may scorn the conclusion, but nobody has, or could, challenge the facts that compel the conclusion that Bush supporters stole the Ohio election. I am left wondering why there is no major media coverage of this book. It may just be nobody wants to know that the second term should never have happened. From a Democrats' perspective, I find this book heart wrenching because it describes a crime that has spawned now three more years of an incompetent, malicious, and dictatorial president. Reading this book is a bit like reading a history of the Mai Lai massacre, before you begin you know that attrocities occurred, but actually reading the details can make you nauseous. At the same time, while people are still denying the truth there is an urgent need to understand what actually happened. For those that have the stomach for it, this is an excellent, well- written expose.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    Very Well Researched

    He lays it all out in frightening, well researched detail. Even if it does not convince you that the election was stolen, after reading this book you will have no doubts that our current election system has serious problems that need fixing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2005

    A Must-Read on An Urgent Topic

    Hooray for Mark Crispin Miller for tackling this too-hot- to- touch topic! This book should be in the hands of every citizen who truly cares about democracy, and that should be all of us. Along with Miller, and many others, I have also been researching this issue and attempting to alert media and representatives to investigate it for the past year. And I concur with Miller's conclusion: there is an enormous SILENCE on this topic in the mainstream media. But what is not fully understood by most Americans (yet), and what Miller understands very well as a seasoned critic of the media, is this: we no longer have an independent free press in America. That is why this issue has been so downplayed and why very little investigation has occurred. The Fourth Estate of our strangled democracy has been essentially silenced by virtue of ownership by a small handful of corporations with heavy investment in defense spending and deep conflicts of interests favoring the right. Twenty or thirty years ago ABC, NBC, major papers and the like were stand-alone operations, run by journalists. Now over 90% of all media in this country are owned by fewer than 11 corporations. And many of the same wealthy individuals sit on their various boards. And the journalists who work for them know what their editors and ultimately their owners will publish and what they won't - what gets them promoted and what gets them demoted. The example of Dan Rather should make that clear. The result? A massive failure by the leading media outlets (and the local ones who follow their lead) to properly investigate such an important matter as potentially massive election fraud, or even to respect the concerns of millions of voters about the obvious lack of security and verifiability of paperless electronic voting. Many of those raising these questions, like Miller, are academics or professionals with a solid grounding in investigation, analysis, computer science or statistics. Finally, after much citizen lobbying and the leadership of a handful of US representatives, the relatively non- partisan Government Accountabilty Office investigated the matter. Just this past month (Oct. 21) the GAO CONFIRMED Miller's and others' contention that there are serious security holes in our voting system such that just a handful of individuals could alter large numbers of votes electronically. 'Fooled Again' is an important book. Read it. Ponder it. And then put it in the hands of your local election offiicals and representatives! Nothing less than American democracy is at stake.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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