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 that an 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.