March 17, 2004
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Fellow Americans, beware o' The Ides of September. Of GOP Conventions in mid-town Manhattan, and of World Trade Center Anniversaries.
In the months leading up those events, two questions should be asked and addressed in our public discourse, as well as by Bush Administration officials:
That's right. Canceled.
it appear, by mid-September or early October, that he may be unseated,
what's to stop the commander-in-chief, in this era of amorphous
war on terror, from postponing our election for political gain, or simply
canceling outright? Surely not the Constitution. Or the Supreme Court.
Surely not a rubber stamp masquerading as the United States Congress.
Given the circumstances of the President's narrow electoral college victory in 2000, and given the subsequent secretive, divisive, and ideologically absolute manner in which he has governed, upon what remaining pretense of political and democratic decorum might we expect the President and his administration to allow the election to occur if the outcome appears to be close, and it looks as if they may lose?
A far-fetched, unpatriotic, and paranoid proposition? Yeah, sure. Unless you've been carefully watching how these people operate. For seasoned observers, a canceled election might seem like a logical next step. We live, after all, in uncertain, precedent setting times, with a terrible specter of homeland insecurity.
Not a seasoned observer? Alone or with friends, try some word association with the following phrases:
McCain in South Carolina. Florida Recount. Kyoto Protocol. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Enron Bankruptcy. Weapons of Mass Destruction. Doctrine of Pre-Emptive War. Valerie Plame Affair. Record Job Loss. Record Budget Deficits. Record Tax Cuts for Corporations and the wealthy. Secret Energy Commission. Massive Power Outages. Dick Cheney Duck Hunts. Sickly 9/11 Commission. Mad Cow Disease. Halliburton Government Contract Bids. House of Saud.
For consumer advocates, labor advocates, civil libertarians, environmentalists, or non-Americans, (say the French, Germans or Haitians), this roll call could continue on considerably.
So, here's to Karl Rove, Roger Ailes, Matt Drudge and some headlines of the fall: Terror Code Red! Election in Doubt! Terror Code Red! Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!
You don't have to be Bill Casey to appreciate the October Surprise Rule, simply stated, that crises which are genuine, manufactured, or even imagined have an eerie habit of materializing with a democratic election on the horizon. Given our country's current state, it shouldn't be that hard to put two and two together. Why should the 2004 Election, universally hailed as the most important in a generation, occurring at a unique moment when the stakes could not be higher, somehow be immune to the trappings of history? Or from chicanery? Certainly not because such manipulation might be judged as poor form.
And how would our President respond to such a crisis, should it occur? What evidence, in the three year old record of this administration, suggests that any action taken by this President would be anything other than assured, autocratic and conveniently self-serving, regardless of political skepticism or dissent?
Tossing around a few thousand punch-cards in Tallahassee while an incumbent, two term Democratic President and his Justice Department sit in Washington could be the child's play of yesteryear compared to what awaits us with this election. If you care about that sort of thing -- an election.
Of course, timely Presidential elections may be the last refuge of creeping, corrosive liberalism; skepticism the only recourse for those nattering nabobs of negativism who opposed President Clinton's impeachment or who voted for Al Gore.
Still, maybe someone, somewhere will indulge us and answer these questions:
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