If GOP Steals the Election, November 5 May Be the Day Obama Gets Too Black For America

Those of us concerned about democracy, and about winning, should prepare not to leave Obama in the awkward position of being the first black candidate and defending black voters' right to vote.
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Whilst polls and the unhinged berserker campaign of McCain-Palin signify an avalanche of Obama, an Obamalanche if you will, McCain still could win. I assume that when McCain says "we've got them where we want them," it's more of the same curmudgeonly ranting, but maybe he knows something we don't. In light of the election-rigging tomfoolery Team Rove executed in 2000 and 2004, we must be prepared for the possibility that Republicans will try yet again to hijack democracy.

Stories about voter fraud to deter likely Democratic voters have coincided with a debate about whether or not there is a Bradley Effect. The Bradley Effect exists. It doesn't. There's going to be a movie version with Ashton Kutcher. There's a "reverse Bradley Effect," in which white voters pretend to be more racist than they are to impress their bigot friends. Or vote for Obama against their better judgment so no one thinks they're racist. The possibilities are endless.

The polls could end up being wrong because people lied about their intentions for wanting not to appear racist. This is hard to imagine because sheepishness about flaunting one's bigotry is not among the many oozing pustules bulging on the body politic this year. Who's shy about saying something untoward to a telephone pollster? I worked as a telemarketer once, and trust me, nobody holds back.

Meanwhile, Greg Palast seems to think that Steve Schmidt will perfunctorily reassign black voters in Cincinnati to fictitious polling places in Brunei, and the assembled forces of civilization will be impotent to stop him. If the GOP succeeds in their plan to purge 2.7 million voters, as Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. report, that could bring it home for McCain. At this point, massive fraud may be the last, best, hope of GOP victory. The person who faced the worst consequences for voter fraud in recent years was sacked US Attorney David Iglesias, so why not?

If Palast and RFK Jr.'s fears are born out, and such an atrocity befalls us, November 5th could be the day Obama gets too black for America. While the significance of Obama as the first black president cannot be exaggerated, he has at the same time become white America's black friend. He's gotten so far without being too black, which means having an agenda seen as narrowly black. As George Will alluded, he's no Jackson or Sharpton, and those guys make white folks uncomfortable. Like getting hyphey at the debutante ball. But voter fraud is such a distastefully racial issue.

In my spooky campfire tale, November 5 will see a flurry of sober commentary on how the Bradley Effect is real after all, and America is sadly still too racist for a black president. Amid this din, raising the alarm over disenfranchisement of black and latino voters will be handily characterized as sour grapes and reticence to accept the immutability of the Bradley Effect. Instead there will be a stampede to unify the county and get on with transforming Dick Cheney's undisclosed location into the Palin Leisure Zone, tricked out with Versace porcelain vases, where the Coors shall flow like a mighty river and the only printed material will be Louis L'Amour books.

Those of us concerned about democracy, and about winning, should prepare not to leave Obama in the awkward position of being the first black candidate and defending black voters' right to vote. Should McCain win with the vaguest whiff -- like vermouth in the driest of martinis -- of disenfranchisement, white people, Senators especially, need to sharpen our javelins to fend off declaring a victor until justice is done. Reid? Boxer? Clinton? Your barricade is ready.

Nato Green is a San Francisco-based comedian. He'll be underemployed on November 5.

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