First of all, the idea of not voting in this particular election should be discarded. The thought of Republicans controlling the House and the Senate again would be too detrimental to America. The Republicans have proved to the nation that they are ineffective lawmakers. They have the Presidency, the House and the Senate, and they still couldn't get anything done. Instead of trimming government, as the Republican mantra states, they have built the largest Washington Bureaucracy since the Roosevelt years. The Department of Homeland Defense is a huge white elephant that was politically motivated, and poorly planned, and now eats tax dollars faster than the government can appropriate them. It is a bureau of redundancy. Just about everything that makes up the DHD is duplicated in another department of the government. This massive entity could have been averted by putting the NSA, or the CIA as the oversight agency responsible for making sure that all agencies were on the same sheet of music, and cooperating with each other. Instead of making one agency more powerful than the other agencies so that somebody was running the show, the administration saw fit to enlarge government by creating this unwieldy monster.
The Republicans not only gave us a more government, they also saw fit to deprive Americans of their "certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This government has seen fit to negate Habius Corpus. This is the right of the accused to face his accuser and be presented with the evidence against them, and the right of the accused to stand trial and defend themselves against the charges, and the right to a speedy trial and to know how long they will be held. It started with the Magna Carta back in 1215, when the King was grabbing Lords and throwing them in dungeons. They also call it "due process". In reality, it is the cornerstone of human rights. I have seen this administration throw it away as if it were excess baggage. Americans should know that if the government designates anyone, even an American citizen a terrorist, that you can just "disappear". You may be "rendered" and taken aboard a charted jet with no markings, and taken to a country that allows torture, and be tortured. This is a "gift" from your government.
That isn't all. The United States also has decided, with help from this Republican-led Congress, that the Geneva Conventions, the rules of warfare that I learned in the Army, are open to our interpretation. No longer can I give my name, rank and service number and expect any country not to torture me for information. Because of the actions of our government, it is now perfectly acceptable for other countries to interpret the Geneva Conventions the way that they want to. Quid pro quid. John McCain, himself a prisoner of war, should be ashamed of himself. The reason he is alive today is because of the Geneva Conventions. Many people say that other countries don't follow them anyway. Some people kill other people. Should we make murder legal too?
The list goes on. The Federal minimum wage. Stuck on $5.15 since 1997, and Congress has yet to raise it. Why? Does it cost the "Republican base" too much to pay people a living wage? Here again I hear people say that only kids will work for minimum wage, it isn't a real issue. That is a "lie of convenience". I worked for a year for the Florida Workforce. I saw the refuse to put the "real" wages in the field on the computer program that averaged wages in Charlotte County. If the wage was under $8.00, they put the wage in the "remarks" column. When I went to my Republican State Senator to complain, I was told that there is no "whistleblower" protection for Florida State workers, to do so at my own risk. I didn't speak up, and I should have. I was terminated anyway, with no reason, a month before my probation was up anyway. I could care less, I'm just pointing out that plenty of people besides kids are working for minimum wage. They are probably working more than one job too.
This prescription drug benefit for Medicare is a giant scam. If you don't need many drugs, then fine. If you need a great deal of drugs for a catastrophic illness, then fine. If you are like most people and only spend a couple of grand for drugs, you are footing the bill. It is a bad benefit, poorly planned and poorly executed. The Republican political ads even have the nerve to point out here in South Carolina that certain people (Democrats), voted against the prescription drug bill. I would have voted against it too.
Congressional oversight has been non-existent. I blame both parties for this. This "Unitary Executive Branch" authority is not in any Federal law. "Bush has used presidential "signing statements" - statements issued by the President upon signing a bill into law -- to expand his power. Each of his signing statements says that he will interpret the law in question "in a manner consistent with his constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch."
When President Bush signed the new law, sponsored by Senator McCain, restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees, he also issued a Presidential signing statement. That statement asserted that his power as Commander-in-Chief gives him the authority to bypass the very law he had just signed. (Jennifer Van Bergan: Findlaw 01/09/06)
Where is the Congressional oversight when this president refuses to obey the letter of the law? He is in reality, using a line-item veto, which is illegal by the way, on laws that he doesn't want to adhere to. The total number of "signing statements" by all Presidents before King Bush was 322. This President issued 435 in his first term alone! Where was congress when he was busy usurping their authority?
Hurricane Katrina. Need I say more? Where was the Federal response when it was needed? This administration was thinking about conquering the world while our own people were drowning in New Orleans. We responded to Pakistan's earthquake better than we responded to New Orleans. This was despicable. Congress did nothing. "Old Brownie" was doing a particularly good job, until public outcry forced the President to fire this man. His background was as a horse auctioneer. Was that the qualification to head FEMA? Still, Bush vetoed Congress when they decided that there should be a qualification description for all similar posts. The President claimed that it "tied his hands".
These are some of the reasons why I am going to vote for the Democrats in this election. You can call it number 1 in a series of articles I plan to write. I don't believe that OPEDNEWS has the space to putt all the reasons in one article. I just want you to remember, I don't make this stuff up.