Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mark Crispin Miller: How They're Gonna Keep Control of Congress -- Part 2


Even while the NYT continues to print Page One upbeat articles about the coming November elections, ("With Guarded Cheer, Democrats Dare to Believe This is Their Time," by Adam Nogourney and Robin Toner, 10.22.06) the issue of the Republican plan to steal the election once again by means of electronic voting manipulation, control of voter rolls, suppression of the Democratic vote and other such means continues to be virtually universally ignored not least by John Kerry and the Democratic Party.

That the plan is currently firmly in place was revealed in a glaring example in a California by-election this summer that Mark Crisipin Miller cites in the second part of his essay on our election process. Note that not even Democracy Now noticed or bothered to report on this outrage and they have been covering the issue far more than others. --RB

Mark Crispin Miller writes:


BRAZEN BEHAVIOR—While the [Republican] party has pre-empted innumerable votes below the radar, it has also shown a steely willingness to thwart the voters openly, if they should dare resist the party's will. Take, for example, last summer's special race in San Diego to fill the empty seat of the felonious Randy Cunningham, a former Republican congressman who is now doing time for accepting bribes. Although leading in the pre-election polls, the Democrat, Francine Busby, lost to Brian Bilbray of the GOP; and then it came out that the party's poll workers had been ordered to take the e-voting machinery home with them for several days before the vote.

At the news of this jaw-dropping wrong (it being a very simple task to fiddle with the gadgets' memory cards and thereby fix the final count), San Diegans called for an investigation and a new election. A week after the election—and seventeen days before the vote was even certified—Bilbray flew to Washington, where he was summarily sworn in by House Speaker Dennis Hastert. In late August that amazing move was, still more amazingly, approved by Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann, who argued that the state of California had no jurisdiction once the Speaker of the House had made the people's choice.

If Dennis Hastert can choose Brian Bilbray for that seat, irrespective of the will of the electorate, why bother having House elections anywhere? Indeed, why bother with elections? Why not just have Congress's membership decided by the Speaker of the House—or by President Bush himself? Maybe that imperial arrangement would amuse the press as much as it appeals to Bush & Co. Otherwise there might have been some coverage of the scandal by the news media, which has largely disregarded it (while Hastert's role in Foleygate is a huge story).

The other new point that Miller makes is that if by chance the Republicans lose either House of Congress they have a plan to counter the Democratic victory. While it's far from clear that it will work, we should be aware of the danger.

ELEVENTH-HOUR PLAN—Such journalistic silence [about Republican plans to steal the election once again] makes it all the likelier that the Republicans will get away with it again—although it's also possible, of course, that they will somehow fail to steal it on Election Day. Chance, accident, imperial over-reaching and/or popular resistance can thwart the best-laid plans. If that should happen, though, the party has a plan to fix the problem; and the press's eerie silence on the danger of election fraud could help that strategy succeed.

If the GOP should lose the House or Senate, its troops will mount a noisy propaganda drive accusing their opponents of election fraud. This is no mere speculation, according to a well-placed party operative who lately told talk radio host Thom Hartmann, off the record, that the game will be to shriek indignantly that those dark-hearted Democrats have fixed the race. We will hear endlessly of Democratic "voter fraud" through phantom ballots, rigged machines, intimidation tactics, and all the other tricks whereby the Bush regime has come to power. The regime will, in short, deploy the ultimate Swift Boat maneuver to turn around as many races as they need so as to nullify the will of the electorate.

For the full text of Miller's article:

Two NYT articles in mid October provided evidence that Bush has signaled to all who are interested: Republican solons, members of the Justice and Homeland Security departments, the entire Fed bureaucracy, the army of Washington and local lobbyists, that they needn’t be concerned about a possible loss of Congressional control of congress.

1.Bush Joins Hastert at Rally, And Lavishes the Praise,” Jim Rutenberg, NYT, 13 Oct 2006

We might expect that if the elections were fair, Bush would distance himself from the tainted Hastert

2.. Jim Rutenberg “President Sees Signs Favoring GOP Victory,” NYT, 12 October 13, 2006

The fix is very much in.

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