Tuesday :: Jun 27, 2006

If It Wasn't For Diebolding The Vote, ...

by pessimist

Reader Zak44 referred us to an article written in the July/August 2006 Washington Monthly by Alan Wolfe entitled Why Conservatives Can't Govern.

Wolfe, who clearly leans conservative in his outlook, says:

As a way of governing, conservatism is another name for disaster. And the disasters will continue, year after year, as long as conservatives, whose political tactics are frequently as brilliant as their policy-making is inept, find ways to perpetuate their power.

Contemporary conservatism is a walking contradiction. Unable to shrink government but unwilling to improve it, conservatives attempt to split the difference, expanding government for political gain, but always in ways that validate their disregard for the very thing they are expanding. The end result is not just bigger government, but more incompetent government.

The collapse of the Bush presidency... is not just due to Bush's incompetence (although his administration has been incompetent beyond belief). Nor is it a response to the president's principled lack of intellectual curiosity and pitbull refusal to admit mistakes (although those character flaws are certainly real enough). And the orgy of bribery and special-interest dispensation in Congress is not the result of Tom DeLay's ruthlessness, as impressive a bully as he was.

This conservative presidency and Congress imploded,
not despite their conservatism, but because of it.
Deprived of both a church and state to defend, American conservatives became advocates for privileges determined by birth, suffrage restricted to an elite, and rural virtues over urban realities. A conservative in America, in short, is someone who advocates ends that cannot be realized through means that can never be justified, at least not on the terrain of conservatism itself.

The conservative vision of the world, because it is so hostile to government when government is so essential to the way we live now, remains unattractive to most Americans...

Bad government--indeed, bloated, inefficient, corrupt, and unfair government
--is the only kind of conservative government there is.

Despite Wolfe's complaining about the lack of quality conservative governance, these very complaints are what made the most recent version of 'conservative' governance possible in the first place.

I received today an email alert concerning a new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll, conducted between May 20 and May 25, 2006, which indicates that swing voters are very angry:

* 73 percent say the country is on the wrong track

* 66 percent disapprove of the performance of George Bush

* nearly half (49 percent) strongly disapprove.

* By nearly a 2:1 margin, voters describe the economy in negative terms;
nearly one third struggle to make ends meet.

These swing voters must thus understand from personal experience the observation of Alan Wolfe that "[U]nder the imperatives of the K Street Project, it took [the conservatives] just five [years] to abandon their belief in laissez faire to support a corrupt business-government partnership bearing striking resemblance to feudalism."

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner reports on what the surveyed swing voter wants instead:

It is almost impossible to overestimate the anger of swing voters. These voters embrace an agenda of change, an agenda that invests in the future and focuses on improving lives of average people, not subsidizing corporate special interests and the wealthy.

The agenda’s focus on improving education (including child development, preschool, public schools and college aid) expanding affordable health care and addressing energy independence drive support for the agenda.

These voters support paying for these investments
by rolling back the Administration’s tax cuts
for the wealthy and big corporations.

If these were normal times (whatever that is supposed to mean), such findings would indicate that the control of the national government would be changing hands. Alan Wolfe describes what this change should involve:

Indeed, as the Bush administration fully proves, conservatism remains a force of opposition even when it purports to be a governance party. And so the best that can be hoped for is that American voters will do for conservatives what they are unable to do themselves: to vote them out of office.

But, sadly, these times are anything but normal.

The Democrats don't deserve receiving the reins of governance, considering their lame opposition to the usurpation of power in 2000 - and to the continued manipulation of the vote in 2002 and 2004 through nefarious means. Too many DINOs (this means Hillary and Joe in particular - but not exclusively; think Dianne and Mary Landrieu!) appear to be lining up with the next Rupert Murdoch plot to establish his own private political party, which (if I read the political chickenhawk bones correctly) is the third (and economically viable) political party recently predicted by Alan Greenspan.

There is some general support for this third party sighting:

All her adult life, [Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan] said, people have been saying that the two-party system is ending, that the Democrats' and Republicans' control of political power in America is winding down. According to the traditional critique, the two parties no longer offer the people the choice they want and deserve.

This observation - by someone I would normally dismiss as not credible - does tend to support what I've been seeing and hearing, even from a few Red Staters. One also gets confirmation of this view when DINO Joemental is getting 'run as an independent' advice from the Connecticut GOP State Party Chairman while the Journal Inquirer of North-Central Connecticy asks "Would Senate Dems bankroll a 3rd-party Lieberman bid?".

These items also tend to reinforce Greenberg Quinlan Rosner's report
of swing voter concerns about government accountability.

GQR believes that this current dissatisfaction with both parties inspires a demand for "fundamental change in the direction of the country."

This is where Diebold and their ilk enter the picture. The autumn vote, according to Greg Palast, is already planned for manipulation to ensure that no such change comes about. In addition to manipulating vote counts, he says that with the failure to extend the vital Voting Rights Act:

Republicans have promised to no longer break the law — not by going legit… but by eliminating the law. This is a strategic stall — meant to de-criminalize the Republican Party’s new game of challenging voters of color by the hundreds of thousands.

In the 2004 election, over THREE MILLION voters were challenged at the polls. [V]oters were told their registrations had been purged or that their addresses were “suspect.” Denied the right to the regular voting booths, these challenged voters were given “provisional” ballots. Over a million of these provisional ballots (1,090,729 of them) were tossed in the electoral dumpster uncounted.

This isn’t a number dropped on me from a black helicopter. They come from the raw data of the US Election Assistance Commission in Washington, DC.

Funny thing about those ballots. About 88% were cast by minority voters.
The Republicans target Black folk not because they don’t like the color of their skin. They don’t like the color of their vote: Democrat.

For that reason, the GOP included on its hit list Jewish retirement homes in Florida. Apparently, the GOP was also gunning for the Elderly of Zion.

If the Voting Rights Act dies in 2007, the 2008 race will be open season on dark-skinned voters. Only the renewal of the Voting Rights Act can prevent the planned racial wrecking of democracy.

And that renewal didn't happen.

I don't know what it's going to take to counter this action on the part of the GOP through the inaction of the Democrats. Everyone (even GQR) can talk all they like about how attitudes have changed in this nation among those who once swallowed the kool-aid, but until we remember - and take steps to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of - the following subject of Joe Stalin's wise observation ...

""It's not the people who vote that count;
it's the people who count the votes"

... nothing is going to change.


Do YOU care?

Copyrighted [©] source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.


This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

pessimist :: 7:19 PM :: Comments (6) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!