Suspending, Not Postponing Elections; It COULD Happen Here;
by Rob Kall
I had nightmares last night after reading the news that The Bush Team is considering legislation (meaning planning to implement) allowing the November elections to be cancelled.
DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission failed in his effort to get ELECTED to congress on a Republican ticket. Now, as Bush's new appointee to the election Assistance Commission, this S.O.B. head of a large Church in north jersey is pushing for a plan to cancel the presidential elections. Maybe he's hoping Bush will arrange to have the Supreme court declare the election un-necessary for a few years, and that they'll also appoint him as a congressman.
This is a huge threat to democracy. Soaries says, "we have to set some standards for the suspension of voting." Notice he doesn't say postponement of voting. He says suspension. This is an abomination. The idea alone should be shouted down. The congress should pass a bill banning it and while they are at it, add an amendment keeping the supreme court's damn noses out of election decisions.
This Soaries, who the Center for American Progress suggests could be the next Katherine Harris ( she should be in jail or on death row for corrupting the 2000 Florida elections) is another sellout to America and humanity, who the Bush admminstration has lured into the sewer. He needs a message sent home. A few thousand people should march on his church next Sunday and maybe, on his home. This is personal. This man who is a sell-out to fascism deserves to have the backlash for this ugly idea confront him right in the face, metaphorically.
But, if Soaries' idea for a bill that allows suspension of elections passes in congress, and the elections are cancelled, you may want to learn how to disappear, study the tactics of the French underground during WWII and go underground. Assume the nation has been taken over by the worst internal enemy-- business-funded fascists. I have nightmares because I'm afraid that if the criminals in the Whitehouse steal or cancel the next election, they'll have no restraints left to stop them from ending outspoken criticism. Maybe I'm being paranoid and hysterical. I wonder if the French, the Italians, the Poles in the Warsaw ghetto felt they were being paranoid in the late 1930s.
The stated plan is to have a rule in place that allows cancellation of the election if there's a terrorist attack. But, knowing the way the Patriot Act was written, I fear the actual bill will go much further. It could authorize martial law, extend the terms of the president and the members of congress indefinitely-- until the president or the supreme court decides things are safe, or stable. That will maintain the status quo, with Republicans in charge. The bill could broaden the definition of the event that could set off the election cancellation. An attack on our troops in Iraq could be used by our lying, dissembling, fraudulent president as the trigger to cancel the elections. A jump in chatter, reported by Tom Ridge could be used as the excuse to put into action the delay.
Apparently, Tom Ridge has asked the Justice Department for an opinion on the legal considerations of this treacherous idea. Isn't that funny... asking John Ashcroft. That should make us all feel safer.
These "trigger events" might not even meet the written criteria that passes congress (assuming the spineless democrats and fake democrats like Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller sell out to the right wingers.) Once the idea of canceling the election has been put on the books, it's just a matter of degree, of interpretation. The Bush administration or its surrogates in the Homeland Security or election assistance commission can make the claim that an event has occurred that meets the criteria. And we already know how the Bush administration can magically create threats and dangers that don't exist. Even if the event really doesn't come close to meeting the criteria, they can trigger the cancellation and then ... the supreme court will decide--another nice option.
Something drastic needs to be done now to let legislators know that this "election suspension" idea is totally unacceptable, along with counting votes that can't be counted.
We need to get out on the streets and make it clear that if the elections are cancelled, or if un-recountable votes are counted. we will not only be in the streets, we will be in in the streets and very angry.
If the extreme right tries to go another four years, or longer without an election, the citizens of this nation must face the facts that the US is no longer a democracy, that it has been taken over. They must face the reality that the constitution and democracy need to be defended. We will be facing a moment like the founders faced, when the British brought the tea into the Boston Harbor, when Paul Revere rode to raise the alarm, when the second jet hit the World Trade Tower.. and we realized the first crash was no accident. .
If you can't imagine an America taken over by fascists, read Sinclair Lewis's classic, IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE. American writers should be writing books, stories, screenplays that portray this dark future. Imagine walled ghettos in Berkeley and Manhattan. Imagine NPR shut down, or it's hosts replaced by right wingers. It's not so far-fetched. Right winger Tucker Carlson now has a slot on NPR. Imagine the main TV networks taken over by the extreme right wing. Ooops. They already are, aren't they? See Outfoxed, if you aren't convinced just how bad the media are propagandists for the far right. Imagine Americans arrested and held without bail, without the right to speak to a lawyer. Oops, that's not fiction either. Imagine the president believing he is above all laws. Again, already happened. Maybe what we need is a reality TV show that clearly shows what's happening. Too bad the right wing controls the media. We need writers to get out satires and fictional predictions of life after cancellation of the elections. Will there be a fight? Will the 50% of the nation that votes against the fascists who are trying to steal the nation actually fight back when it becomes clear that the court system has been rigged? Will the fascist right wing government begin silencing the most outspoken?
This is serious talk. But ending democracy is darkly serious too and we must not let these perpetrators of evil think they can get away with it. My nightmares were about being captured under the patriot act for speaking out, for advocating action. I don't want to see violence, but I don't want to see America's democratic core rights dismantled either, until we can't fight back.
I don't think writing this will help my nightmares any. A clean election in November will. Then, once the criminals are out of the Whitehouse, we can begin cleaning up their mess-- rescinding the Patriot Act, rescinding deregulation of environmental protections, rescinding deregulation of industries that are out of control. We can start evaluating which Bush Whitehouse criminals deserve jail time-- DeLay, Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Foster (who refused to allow the Medicare numbers out.)
Rescuing America won't happen by magic. What are you doing today to fight Bush's cabal and extreme right-wing fascism? What do you plan for the rest of the week? You have to get your contributions in before the Republican convention. How much more can you scrape together to give to Kerry, to Moveon.org (for their anti bush ads) to EMILY's List (for their support of progressive candidates who have a chance at beating right wing incumbents,) to America Coming Together (grass-roots get out the vote operations supporting anti-right-wing candidates.) How much have you contributed to the internet-based progressive / liberal media who bring you the news you don't see on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, or your local newspapers? It's been estimated that the Iraq war will cost each family over $3000. You can assume that if Bush is re-appointed president, by electronic voting fixes, by the Supreme court, or by cancellation of the elections. that you will pay a lot more than $3000 in the next four years. So give all you can before then, to insure he's sent back to texas. Give, and then dig deeper and give again. Then find out how you can get active until the election. Even if you live in a red state, even if you live in a conservative town, you can make the other side work harder, spend their money where they might not otherwise do so.
Do something now or IT WILL HAPPEN HERE.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is publisher of progressive news and opinion website www.opednews.com and organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached. Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall
I feel your fear. The reptilian crowd in DC reminds me of the
dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park". In one scene, the beasts
are rushing their highly-charged electric fences, trying to determine
the weakest point. One of the scientists says, "They're
learning." These monsters are "learning", in the
narrow sense of seeing what they can get away with. If you really
want to scare yourself, read an article at truthout.org by William
Rivers Pitt entitled "Only Cowards Cancel Elections."
There is a section which discusses the totalitarian powers granted to
FEMA via executive orders. My conclusion is that all this
administration needs to seize total power is to stage a large enough
"terrorist" attack on its own people.
About all I can say of comfort is that I believe there are many out here like myself who are not so liberal they would not take up the gun to defend or reclaim a semblance of democracy. I think if the insane clown posse in DC atually tries to go ahead imposing a right-wing religious dictatorship, it means civil war. I don't want to move to Canada. I like it here. And I'm a neo-Nazi's worst nightmare - a liberal who's not a pacifist.
I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that. But the fear has a real basis. We already have illegitimate elections, everywhere that paper ballots are not counted by hand and considered the definitive result. I put nothing past these a**holes. So I'm going to make it as hard on them as possible, any way I can. Hell, they can't even pacify Iraq, and they think they're going to control the half of this country that knows what's happening? Bring it on.
Somewhere in Florida