When Republicans win elections, liberals are quick to cry fraud. But when actual fraud is found, they are just as quick to deny it, if Democrats are the ones who benefit.

Just before the 2004 election, the influential blog DailyKos.com warned of a “nationwide” wave of voter fraud against John Kerry. After the election, liberal blogger Josh Marshall urged Mr. Kerry not to concede because the election had been “too marred with voter suppression, dirty tricks and other unspeakable antics not to press every last possibility” of changing the outcome. When Congress met in January 2005 to certify the election results, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D., Ohio) challenged Mr. Bush’s victory and forced Congress to debate the issue. Months later, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean maintained that blacks had been the victims of “massive voter suppression” in Ohio.

But now liberals are accusing the Bush Justice Department of cooking up spurious claims of voter fraud in the 2006 elections and creating what the New York Times calls a “fantasy” that voter fraud is a problem. Last week Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, claimed that the administration fired eight U.S. attorneys last year in order to pressure prosecutors “to bring cases of voter fraud to try to influence elections.” He said one replacement U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo., was a “partisan operative” sent “to file charges on the eve of an election in violation of Justice Department guidelines.” But the Kansas City prosecution was approved by career Justice lawyers, and the guidelines in question have since been rewritten by career lawyers in the Public Integrity section of Justice.

But last week also brought fresh evidence that voter fraud is a real problem and could even branch out into cyberspace:

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