The New York Times has an unbylined editorial today, headlined "Neither Real Nor Free" which blasts the Iranian election, alleging that "it certainly looks like fraud."
Our friend Michael Jay, a former delegate to the California Democratic Party who amended their party platform to include language encouraging Democratic candidates to not concede until every ballot is counted, took the opportunity today to riff on our weekend comparison of Iran '09 to Ohio '04 with a letter to the NYTimes editors which begins as follows...
To The Editor:
I'm afraid your spell check software got the better of you in preparing "Neither Real Nor Free," (Editorial, June 15, 2009.) It appears both the country and a key political party were misidentified.
I've included a corrected, and abbreviated, version. Too bad the Times, and other news outlets, didn't publish such editorials following our 2004 election.
See Michael's "corrected" version of the piece, sent with his letter to the Times editors, below...
Neither Real Nor Free
There is no transparency or accountability in (many United States elections,) so we may never know for sure what happened in the presidential election (in 2004.) But given the (main stream media's) even more than usually thuggish reaction, it certainly looks like fraud.
Although a (challenge) was widely expected between the two top vote-getters, the (Ohio) polls had barely closed before (the mostly right-wing media) declared victory for the hard-line president, (George W. Bush.) And it was (inexplicable): (51) percent versus (49) percent for the main challenger, (John Kerry.)
We understand why so many (Americans) found that impossible to believe. Mr. (Kerry) had drawn hugely enthusiastic crowds to his campaign rallies, and polls (especially exit polls) suggested that he, not Mr. (Bush,) was the one with the commanding lead. Even more improbably, and cynically, authorities claimed that Mr. (Bush) carried all of (the swing states) - by (statistically impossible) margins.
If the election were truly "real and free" as (Fox News) insisted, the results would be accepted by the voters and the (right wing newscasters) would not have to resort to such (revisionism about exit polls.)
After four years of Mr. (Bush's) failed economic policies and ceaseless confrontations with the (entire world) many of (America's) voters clearly were yearning for a change. Mr. (Kerry) promised that change (--yet, irresponsibly, conceded before all votes were counted in the most important battleground state.) If (Democrats) refuse to recognize that yearning or respect the will of its people- the (Party) will lose even more legitimacy.
We know that some in this country will say that this election is proof that there can be no dealing with (electronic voting machines and Republican Secretaries of State who are also allowed to run their state's election campaigns,) and that (grassroots) action is the only choice.
The only choice is (for American voters to take a look in the mirror.)
P.S. I hope to have a bit more on all of this, including my own amplification on my Saturday piece, later today.