Water Man Spouts

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Restoring Democracy in 2008

"In the course of American history the nation has been confronted with wrongful events that went to the core of its existence, and the resolution of these events spoke of who we are as a people. Beyond question, the U.S. Supreme Court’s handing the office of the presidency to George W. Bush by its ruling on December 12, 2000, was one of them. And with these epochal events there have been Americans who have stood up and spoken out against these wrongs: for example, Tom Paine against British control of the colonies; Edward R. Murrow against the vicious and false charges made by Joseph McCarthy; Daniel Ellsberg leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. With his article in the February 5, 2001, Nation magazine titled ‘None Dare Call It Treason,’ Vincent Bugliosi takes his place in this special pantheon of patriots with his powerful, brilliant, and courageous expose of crime by the highest court in the land. ….
"As Election 2000 recedes into historical memory, it is imperative that ‘None Dare Call It Treason’ be preserved in book form for future generations where it will provide a window on a contentious time and serve as a reminder of how democracy’s central function of letting every citizen express his or her choice in the voting booth went awry. ….

"We hope that as a book, Bugliosi’s dissent will in the months ahead alert a wider audience to the dangerous precedent set by Bush v. Gore. As one of our readers wrote: ‘I’ve never felt so disenfranchised in my life.’ Bugliosi’s words can help mobilize the forces of protest so that such an injustice never happens again."
--The Editors of The Nation; Preface; The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President

The 2000 election theft was one of the most obscene displays of political corruption in our nation’s history. While we might debate and even argue about the merits of one candidate, or piece of legislation, we recognize that there must be "One Person, One Vote" in order for our Constitutional democracy to survive. When there are forces that would deny the will of the people, we should be united in our opposition to them.

There are two issues that should be of concern to all of us in the democratic primary. The first is the fact that there are "super delegates." The idea of "super delegates" is too close to the idea that "all are created equal, with some being more equal than others." If one candidate falls behind the other in both the popular and delegate vote, will their campaign attempt to hijack the process by resorting to a super delegate coup?

If we oppose the Animal Farm swine, such as John Bolton and Karl Rove, who believe that they are "more equal" than the citizens of this country, should we be willing to accept similar behavior by democrats who behave like Bolton or Rove?

Two of the many repulsive personality traits of George W. Bush is his inability to either admit to making any mistakes – including his lying to the nation to bring us to war in Iraq – and his inability to accept that losing – which is why he thinks that cheating is an acceptable tactic to achieve "victory." These are traits that should never be considered as "strengths," or accepted as a toughness our candidates need to "win."

The second thing that should be of concern is the issues involving the disputes with Florida and Michigan. An article in today’s New York Times, "Obama’s Lead in Delegates Shifts Focus of Campaign," notes that:

"Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that it would be difficult for her to catch up in the race for pledged delegates even if she succeeded in winning Ohio and Texas in three weeks and Pennsylvania in April. …..

"With every delegate precious, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers also made it clear that they were prepared to take a number of potentially incendiary steps to build up Mrs. Clinton’s count. Top among these, her aides said, is pressing for Democrats to seat the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan …."

The democratic party needs to come up with a solution to the issues involving Florida and Michigan without resorting to the incendiary tactics of the republicans in Florida in 2000. And we should all reject any efforts by any candidate who cannot accept the fact that the voters support their opponent, to cheat to steal the victory.

Hopefully, we have learned something important in the years since the 2000 theft of the presidential election.


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