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COUP WATCH: Political Projection Drives Rightwing Coup -- Red Rock Eater News

by Phil Agre Friday, Nov. 24, 2000 at 3:18 PM

The projection here is staggering. This has been the pattern for ten years: preternaturally aggressive people who falsely accuse others of doing what they are doing themselves. They project their aggression into the objects of their aggression, so that as they attack others they experience themselves as the objects of the attack. This makes them even angrier and intensifies their displays of aggression.

COUP WATCH: Political Projection--Driving Engine of Rightwing Coup -- From Red Rock Eater News Service COUP WATCH: Political Projection--Driving Engine of Rightwing Coup -- From Red Rock Eater News Service

By Phil Agre

Thu Nov 23 08:51:21 2000

Something happened today that epitomizes the last decade of American history. As election workers in Miami sat recounting the votes in the presidential election, a right-wing mob screamed outside, pounded on furniture, attempted to force their way into the building, surrounded a Democratic Party official and falsely accused him of stealing a ballot, and kicked and punched a Democratic spokesman as he attempted to hold a news conference. Amidst this evil display, Republican representative John Sweeney of New York announced that "thugs in that building are trying to hijack this election". Shortly afterward, the Miami election commission abandoned its attempt to count the votes.

The projection here is staggering. This has been the pattern for ten years: preternaturally aggressive people who falsely accuse others of doing what they are doing themselves. They project their aggression into the objects of their aggression, so that as they attack others they experience themselves as the objects of the attack. This makes them even angrier and intensifies their displays of aggression.

This positive feedback loop is not just a personality problem, but is abetted and encouraged by irrational rhetoric that is mass-produced by right- wing think tanks and recirculated without question by the mainstream media. Thus, for example, the mass-produced lies and exaggerations to the effect that Al Gore lies and exaggerates. And it has escalated to the level of physical violence and an attempted coup d'etat. Listen to one of the most extreme of the propagandists for the coup:

    Republicans are convinced, and for good reason, that Bill Daley, who learned at his father's knee, and Al Gore, who learned at Bill Clinton's, are fraudulently attempting to carry out an anti-democratic strategy that is a classic of vote stealing: Keep counting until you win, and the minute you "win" announce that the American people are tired of waiting for an answer and deserve to know who won.

    Peggy Noonan on the op-ed page of the 11/17/00 Wall Street Journal
This is surreal: the "strategy" she is describing is precisely what the Republicans have done. That "the American people are tired of waiting for an answer and deserve to know who won" is virtually word-for-word the Republican talking point that the media has been iterating since the first count of ballots on election night. The Republicans' own campaign co-chair illegally halted the hand counts that are provided by Florida law, and ever since then they have engaged in a vast range of tactics to sabotage the vote-voting: frivolous lawsuits, spurious challenges of unambiguous ballots, deliberately bad legal advice to county election officials, false claims that institutional stability and popular opinion both require an abrupt end to the count, a propaganda campaign organized by the same operatives who destroyed John McCain in South Carolina, and now physical threats and violence. Meanwhile, Republican legislators in Tallahassee and Washington talk openly of overturning the vote if their candidate does not win.

This is what it's like when the far right is taking over your country. This is a coup. That's what it's called. It is entirely clear that Al Gore won the election, and that is why the votes aren't being counted. Our nation is being abolished before our eyes. It lasted for 225 years and very soon, barring a miracle, it will be gone. It wasn't perfect, but it was good -- precisely because of its commitment to get better. And it will get better in the fullness of time. But for now a dark age is upon us, and we must learn to confront it and nonviolently resist it.

I enclose URL's for news reports etc with details. Thanks to everyone who contributed.


A Wild Day in Miami
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23DADE.html

"I'm Going to Win", Bush Says
      http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53375-2000Nov22.html

GOP Expresses Rancor Over Ruling
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23CONG.html

Flurry of Activity in Cheney Case Left Bush Struggling to Keep Up
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23BUSH.html

GOP Leaders Back Plan to Block Gore
      http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52946-2000Nov22.html

For Texas and Other States, a Bump Is Sometimes a Vote
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23DIMP.html

Florida Legislators Consider Options to Aid Bush
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23LEGI.html

Bush Campaign's "Talking Points"
      http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/11/22/talking

Recount Halts in Miami-Dade Over Deadline
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23ELEC.html

Bush Takes Appeal to US Supreme Court
      http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/politics/23SCOT.html

It's Not as Easy as 1-2-3
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42416-2000Nov19.html

The Republicans' Type-A Politics
      http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/11/22/cheney/

Florida Legislature Mulls Electoral Coup
      http://www.salon.com/politics/wire/2000/11/22/coup/

A Few Good Conservatives
      http://www.prospect.org/webarchives/00-11/mooney-c1121.html

The Unexamined Man
      http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0011a/default.html

Gore's Florida "Victory"
      http://www.consortiumnews.com/112200a.html

Bush petitions to US Supreme Court in Palm Beach County cases
      http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/election2000/bushptn11th.pdf
      http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/election2000/bushptnflsc.pdf

Elections Director Doubts Fraud, Defends City Vote
      http://www.jsonline.com:80/news/metro/nov00/vote21112000a.asp

Wisconsin Governor: Bush Doesn't Want Recount
      http://www2.startribune.com/stOnLine/cgi-bin/article?thisStory=8299112

Marquette U. Freshman Retracts Claim of Voter Fraud
      http://news.excite.com:80/news/uw/001117/politics-31

GOP Threatens Electoral Challenge
      http://www.salon.com/politics/wire/2000/11/22/gop_electoral/

Law Offers Two Paths to US Supreme Court
      http://www.cnn.com/2000/LAW/11/22/supremecourt.guidance.pol/

Leahy Statement on Florida High Court Ruling
      http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/Current_Releases/1122-114.html

Burning the Village in Order to Save It
      http://www.tompaine.com/opinion/2000/11/20/

Request that Florida S.Ct. Consider Constitutionality of the Recount Statute
      http://www.firn.edu/supct/pubinfo/election/ButlerRequest.pdf

documents from the Presidential election cases filed in Palm Beach County
      http://www.pbcountyclerk.com/courtdocuments/ballot.pdf

In Reversal, Bush Uses Gore Playbook
      http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/politics/AP-Recount-Legal-Duel.html

Spinning the Supreme Court
      http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/11/22/points/index.html

David Corn: Popping Dimples
      http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=special&s=corn1211

George W. Bush -- Concede Now!
      http://207.228.234.134/elandslide/petition.cfm?campaign=trustthepeople

Tensions Escalating Over Recount
      http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/politics/AP-Recount-Escalation.html

Poisonous Rhetoric Shows Bush Is Dividing the Nation
      http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/story.asp?ID=3489

Judge: Dimples Must Be Considered
      http://www.gopbi.com/shared/news/ap/ap_story.html/Elections/AP.V0408.AP-Recount-Palm-Be.html

The Angry-Men May Sweep Us Away
      http://www.dailyhowler.com/h112200_1.shtml

more screaming insanity
      http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49846-2000Nov21.html

basic US Supreme Court sites
      http://www.supremecourtus.gov/
      http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/docket.html
      http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/supreme_court/resources.html
      http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/supreme_court/orders/index.html

Bush OK's US Supreme Court Appeal, Sources Say, Also Seeks Florida Suit
      http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/vote2000/decision/main1122c.html

Bush OKs Lawyers To File Appeal
      http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20001122/el/recount_legal_184.html

end

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