Two rigged votes, two reactions: in the USA, Democrats suck their thumbs and say sorry, while the Ukraine is in uproar.
In the Ukraine they are out on the streets, demanding the fruits of democracy, threatening general strikes. Fears of civil war. Headline news across the world.
Western observers report:
Abuse of state resources and "overt media bias" in favour of Mr Yanukovych
State workers pressured to give absentee voting certificate to their superiors
Intimidation reported at some polling stations
Suspiciously high turnout in two pro-government regions
In the USA, on the other hand, the media is almost completely dumb on the subject of:
inadequate access to the poll
malfunctioning machines in Democrat areas
serious and well-substantiated allegations of hacking of e-vote computers.
Nobody wants to look at the evidence.
Kerry, having conceded too early, is sitting on $50 million unspent electoral money, while the Greens raise $150,000 by public subscription to get a recount in Ohio.
Why the difference? I would suggest that the Ukraine knows what authoritarianism is like, having suffered it for half a century. Americans have waxed fat in the plenitude of liberty for too long, and have assumed that it is their inalienable birthright. Ukraine knows that the media can lie. America believes what it is told to believe. Ukraine is on its feet, America is on its butt - with the exception of Bev Harris and the Cleanup Crew and all the other brave dedicated volunteers who are the true patriots, the true descendants of the Minutepersons, defenders of the American way.