|October 25, 2004||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
It Is The Wolves In The White House Who Are Preying Upon Democracy, And Gorging On Its Carcass
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Here's the crucial difference between the GOP theft of the election in 2000 and their efforts to steal the 2004 White House campaign.
In 2000, they were outside the government trying to steal their way in, with Florida as ground zero in the mugging of democracy.
In 2004, they ARE the government: controlling the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
They have appointed enough federal judges, combined with past right wing appointees in the Reagan and Bush I administrations, so that any election initiative that they support or oppose will be upheld or struck down by an ideologically driven right wing judge somewhere along the appellate route. Their moles are in place and ready to do what they were appointed to the bench for: to protect the Bush regime and the interests of the Republican Party and its fundamentalist supporters over the rights of Americans to choose their government.
It is like trying to win a football game when all the referees work FOR the opposing team.
If you are voting in a state with a Republican Secretary of State and a Republican Governor -- such as Florida and Ohio -- you are voting in an environment where the Bush Cartel is using its surrogates to try and suppress every Democratic vote that it can.
Already, through a variety of schemes, including working to ensure that provisional votes are not counted, felon purges, the organized dumping of Democratic registration forms, improper registration of Democrats (to ensure that their right to vote will be denied when challenged by a "rent-a-thug" poll watcher), to mysterious phone calls to Democratic voters telling them to vote in the wrong precinct, to the collection of absentee ballot requests for Dems that never show up at the election office, to the illegal registration of students and naturalized citizens as Republicans -- and including many, many more GOP dirty tricks -- the Republican Party has nationalized their Democratic voter suppression activity, using the multiple strategies that they tried out in Florida -- and many, many more new ones. Most of them are actions that are punishable as felonies.
But nothing will be as disgraceful an assault on democracy as the hiring of 2,500 "rent a Republican thugs" -- at $100 a day -- to intentionally intimidate minority and other Democratic voters from exercising their democratic and constitutional right by creating chaos and a menacing environment through challenging voters in Democratic (primarily minority) districts in Ohio. Such an onslaught of challenges on election day has the intent of tying up polling booths through lengthy challenges (a process that was successful in dooming the ill-fated voter recount in Florida in 2000 even before the Supreme Court stepped in), thus forcing voters to abandon unfathomable waits as each voter is challenged, requiring a lengthy review process of each individual's right to vote. Secondly, the very presence of hostile GOP thugs -- and the boastful public promotion of this strategy by the Republican Party of Ohio (at the behest of Karl Rove, you can be sure) -- is meant to keep fearful minority views from coming to the voting booths in Ohio at all. This is Jim Crow redux.
Such an effort, among a multitude of voter suppression tactics adopted by the male Katherine Harris of Ohio, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a right wing Bush puppet (he's even foamingly at the mouth anti-gay a la Rick "bestiality" Santorum), can impact tens of thousands of votes to the detriment of John Kerry in what as shaping up as the pivotal state of the election. Current projections indicate that Bush cannot win the election without winning Ohio, where he is currently behind in the polls.
That is why Blackwell -- like Katherine Harris, a Bush state campaign co-chair -- has gone to such lengths as requiring that voter registration forms would only be accepted on paper with a certain weight (which he only announced shortly before the registration deadline), until he was forced to stop implementing the requirement.
The refusal to honor provisional ballots in Ohio cast in a different precinct, first struck down and then upheld by a federal appeals court, could result in the loss of tens of thousands of Kerry votes. Although the justice department had no standing in the case, John "Bush owns my butt" Ashcroft filed an amicus brief on a similar provisional voting case in Michigan, even though the federal government was not a party to the suit. He was signaling to Republican office holders throughout the U.S. that the Bush Cartel was going to do everything possible to squash hundreds of thousands of provisional votes, and that they should assist in anyway they could. That was his message in the Michigan case. So you can see that this is an organized effort of disenfranchisement, involving every level of the Bush Cartel and their hired "consultants."
With all the right wing judges now sitting on the federal bench, not to mention the 5-4 "Bush at any price, democracy be damned" majority on the Supreme Court, it is only a matter of time before any appeal that favors democracy and voting rights is struck down in favor of Bush by some judicial ideologue who takes orders from the Federalist Society and the Bush Administration.
It should not be forgotten that William Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and one of the felonious five of 2000, got his start in right wing Republican politics by serving as a "poll watcher" in Arizona and aggressively challenging the rights of minorities to vote as a means of disenfranchisement. (This was something that Rehnquist committed perjury about in his confirmation hearings, by the way. But the Democrats, when the truth emerged, were forgiving, as always, and didn't put up a stink about our Chief Justice being found out to have lied under oath.)
So even before most of the country votes on November 2, it is likely that John Kerry will have been denied thousands upon thousands of votes, well in excess of one or two hundred thousand possibly, due to a national GOP strategy of voter suppression, intimidation and dirty tricks, using multiple strategies.
If this is the kind of democracy that Bush is having our soldiers die for, it is only further proof that he is a fraud. In his mind, a democracy is the exercise of voting by white Christians who want to turn America into a theocracy. The votes of minorities and Democrats are to be discounted as much as possible because they do not represent votes of "saved Christians" who are attempting to impose their faith and morality upon a nation they consider "fallen from God."
The denial of voting rights as a national strategy is not just a return to the days of Jim Crow, it is an indication that the Bush Cartel has a different perspective on democracy than what is guaranteed under our Constitution. It is the right to vote based on one's faith and party affiliation. It is the structuring of a state apparatus aimed at stifling democracy as we know it and replacing it more with something that is a cross between Franco's fascism and Stalin's Soviet style of rule.
In a story in the Boston Globe, it was revealed that White House Chief of Staff of Andrew Card recently told a gathering of Maine Bush supporters that the man in the White House regards Americans as 10-year-olds who need a strong father figure to lead them in this time of peril. That is the model upon which a fascist leader rules, not the model of Constitutional democracy upon which our nation is founded.
The pre-election voter suppression currently being carried out by Rove and company is an attempt to further erode our democracy, as the Bush Cartel has begun the dismantling of the democratic process ever since it first hijacked the election in 2000.
The Bush Family knows that Jeb Bush will carry Florida for Bush no matter what. He has already succeeded in using multiple tactics to suppress Democratic voters, particularly minorities, including minority voter intimidation in Orlando using state police and the second round of a felon's purge that was allegedly halted, but not really stopped by the individual Republican-run counties. As Tom DeLay has done in the House of Representatives several times in the past four years, Jeb will use a variety of means to make sure that his candidate (in the House it was Bush-backed bills) "wins" even if by one vote. If push comes to shove, there are always the Diebold electronic voting machines. Jeb has allowed Diebold to keep its software counting system "proprietary," meaning that the votes in Florida and wherever electronic voting machines are used (there are two other pro-Republican companies supplying such machines) for the counting of our votes has been "privatized." Republican-affiliated companies are counting the votes of America, and we don't have the right to know how they are counting them.
And don't forget that it was the CEO of Diebold, which is ironically located in the Buckeye State, who pledged that he would do everything possible to carry Ohio for Bush.
We take him at his word.
We trust the Kerry campaign, which has said that it is prepared to take on all legal challenges, has listened closely to that pledge. It is a pledge of allegiance to the Bush Cartel, not to America.
The institutional integrity of our democracy is at stake in this election.
Having once gotten away with the theft of the voting process, the Bush Cartel has had four years to plan its second national robbery, now operating from inside the government itself. They don't just have Jeb to do the dirty work for them; they have the entire national government, including the Department of (In) Justice.
Iraqis should take note that when Bush talks about freedom and democracy, he is using code words for a rigged election.
That is what democracy means to the Bush's: winning at all costs, the voters be damned.
What they have done in the pre-election period is to literally make Democratic votes vanish before they can even be cast. That is what they did with the infamous felon's list in Florida in 2000. Now, their system of disenfranchisement is much more multi-pronged and elaborate.
And now, like a cancer upon our Constitution, they have spread the disease throughout the nation.
If Kerry wins, Karl Rove plans to cry fraud at the polls, and then shop around for a judge who agrees with him that the Democrats stole the election.
If you think that is brazen hypocrisy, just remember Rove doesn't give a damn.
He knows that Nino Scalia will be camped out at the Supreme Court willing to rescue Bush from defeat, using whatever illogical partisan argument is necessary to get the dirty deed accomplished.
After all, the Bush Cartel, their corporate cronies, and the theocratic right own our government, don't they?
If they didn't, they might ironically argue, then how did they come to power? They weren't elected in 2000; that's for sure.
They run elections by a different set of rules. The voting is just an inconvenience to them. Their challenge is to come up with foolproof ways to rig the election.
Let's just hope that their plans have a fatal flaw, such as the will of the people triumphing over the treachery of the Bush thugs.
It's the only thing that can bring an end to an administration that has betrayed the American Revolution, our Constitution, and the right of one-person, one vote.
On September 11th, 2001, more than 3,000 people were horrifically murdered by terrorists as the "leaders" of this nation ignored warnings of an impending strike. It was an assault upon the United States.
But it is the wolves in the White House who are preying upon democracy, and gorging on its carcass.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL