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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/8/14

How the Aristocracy Steals "Elections"

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In the U.S., the methods are more subtle than in places like Afghanistan, where theft of "elections" is clearly done by local aristocrats, who are warlords, either clerical-tribal Taliban, or else aristocratic tribal chieftains.

Deception of the public is a much more important method in the U.S., used by the aristocrats here -- not vote-buying or ballot-box-stuffing, or etc., like in Afghanistan, Ukraine, etc.

For example, the public here are overwhelmingly deceived by our aristocracy to favor voter-ID laws, which are pushed by Republicans so as to reduce the numbers of poor people who will vote. (The vast majority of aristocrats hate and despise the poor.) On 11 August 2012, the Washington Post headlined, "Poll: Voter ID Laws Have Support of a Majority of Americans," and reported that, "Almost three-quarters of all Americans support the idea that people should have to show photo identification to vote." (Overwhelmingly, it's the poor who lack the required types of ID.) That same day the same newspaper also headlined, "Election Day Impersonation, ... Impetus for Voter ID Laws, a Rarity, Data Show," and reported that, "A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has [but only according to Republicans] prompted 37 [Republican] state legislatures to enact or consider tougher [that's a euphemism for 'more restrictive against the poor'] voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent. The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found [only] 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation [nationwide] since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters." This was the most exhaustive study that had ever been undertaken of the issue. Furthermore, the Post'  s poll showed that, "Asked to trade off the two, slightly more Americans are concerned with fraud than with voter suppression," even though, in fact, Republican legislators had passed those laws solely in order to suppress the Democratic vote, not to make elections honest (which those laws definitely do not).

For example, on 25 June 2012, Think Progress headlined "Pennsylvania Republican: Voter ID Laws Are 'Gonna Allow     [Republican] Governor Romney To Win'," and reported that, "At the Republican State Committee meeting, ... Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike ... Turzai took the stage and" he bragged, "'Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.'" Turzai was applauded by his fellow-Republicans. Video of this disgusting clip was attached. It gave the lie to Republican claims, across the country, that the reason they had rammed these bills through their state legislatures was to prevent "voter fraud." The reason was purely to disenfranchise poor voters. On 5 July 2012, the Philadelphia Inquirer bannered "Voter ID Law May Affect More Pennsylvanians Than Previously Estimated," and reported that, "More than 750,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo identifications" as required in the new law, "representing 9.2 percent" of the state's voters (which could easily be enough to throw the 'election,' as Turzai hoped), and 18% of Philadelphia's voters, who could thus be rejected on Election Day. (A Democratic judge overturned that law.) Though voter fraud did not actually exist, political fraud on the part of the Republican Party did exist, and it was rampant, not much changed from the "Brooks Brothers Riot" and other such tactics that the Republican Party had employed to get the American public to think that G.W. Bush and not Gore had won the 2000 Presidential contest. Deceit is the way of aristocrats in the "developed" countries.

Another study of the whole question of "voter fraud" was commissioned by the Brennan Center at NYU's Law School. They headlined their report, "Myth of Voter Fraud," and linked to their detailed findings, titled "The Truth About Voter Fraud." That "Truth" can easily be summed up: "voter fraud" is itself a fraud. The only purpose of the "anti voter fraud" laws is to defeat Democratic candidates and elect Republican ones instead -- not to achieve honest elections. Those laws achieve dis honest "elections."

Every study that has been done shows that whereas upper-income voters tend to vote for Republican candidates, lower-income voters tend to support Democratic ones; this has also been shown extensively in exit-polling. The poor consist more of minorities than of white Christians; but the Republican Party wins many votes from specifically extremely religious poor white Christians; and, where that is the case, the laws that are passed are designed so as to provide those voters a pass, such as by providing conservative pastors with literature on how to obtain the required IDs.

However, a small number of Democratic office-holders also try to slant elections toward Republicans, even though they (but merely verbally) condemn the tactics that Republicans use to do that. Such conservative "Democrats" are the ones that America's aristocracy fund to win major Democratic primary elections, and so they tend to rise to the top and become Democratic Presidents. Hillary Clinton was one such, but so too was Barack Obama; so, in 2008, the support of the aristocracy was split between those two candidates to become the Democratic nominee (and then it turned out that Obama had lied promising a "public option" and much else, for which he "negotiated" with Republicans as badly as he was able to -- often stripping from his original negotiating position what should instead have been held until the end, if ever, such as he did with the public option). 

Here is how President Obama's secret support for strengthening the Republican Party, and for weakening the Democratic Party, has shown itself:

On 7 April 2014, NPR bannered "Welcome to Voting Rights Boot Camp," and buried in it the piece's money-quote, which came from a group in Atlanta, the Campaign Legal Center, who were challenging the Republican Georgia legislature's recently-passed law for reducing the percentage of Blacks who could vote. The method used in the law was, of course, voter IDs. This liberal group, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), were teaching poor people, much as conservative pastors there teach poor Whites. Basically, whereas the conservative pastors were teaching poor white Republicans, the Campaign Legal Center was teaching poor liberals, many of whom are Blacks; so, this was a "racial issue," and not just a class-issue. Gerald Hebert, one of CLC's officials, was then quoted: "Hebert, one of the sponsors of the training, said the Justice Department [Attorney General Eric Holder] has failed to follow up with lawsuits against many of those cities and counties. 'They have a responsibility to go out and do something about the fact that they previously found laws to be discriminatory that are now being implemented at the local level... but I haven't seen actions by DOJ, so I've been disappointed.' Hebert said victims of discrimination will now have to shoulder the burden of suing," which they couldn't afford. In other words: Despite Barack Obama and his Attorney General talking up a storm against the Republican U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that had gutted the Voting Rights Act, they were leaving it to small and hardly wealthy liberal nonprofits to sue to overcome these Republican-passed laws. And, at least some courts in the South would hear these cases: On 28 March 2014, Ryan Reilly at Huffington Post bannered, "Republicans Must Turn Over Emails On North Carolina Voting Law, Federal Judge Rules," and reported that a Democratic judge had ruled against the Republicans' keeping secret their emails on the case. 

Another heavily Democratic category of voters tends to be Hispanic. The Wall Street Journal headlined on Saturday 5 April 2014, "Immigration Activists Call on Obama to Stop Deportations," and reported that, "Immigration activists demonstrated in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, placing the blame for record deportations of illegal immigrants on President Barack Obama and calling on him to stop them. The demonstrations, called 'Two Million Too Many,' coincide with the date when the Obama administration is believed to have surpassed two million deportations, a figure that is higher than that reached by any previous administration." Already, only 6 years in office, Obama had exceeded President Bush, for example, who had been in office for eight years. The Obama Administration blamed Republicans in Congress; and, of course, it's true that they had done everything they could to suppress the Hispanic vote. And no one was proposing that illegal aliens should be allowed to vote. But, still, there were many things that our "Democratic" President could do; he simply refused to do them. "'There is another branch of government--the executive--that has wide authority to do more in the absence of immigration reform,' said Lorella Praeli, a leader of United We Dream, a national group of young immigrants. ... They are urging President Obama to use his executive authority to stop what they characterize as suffering inflicted by deportations that separate families." This had nothing to do with voting-rights, but rather with suppressing the Democratic vote in a different way: by causing millions of Hispanics to decide not to vote on Election Day because "Democrats" don't care about Hispanics any more than Republicans do. "Mr. Obama said last month that his administration would review its deportation policy. But administration officials signaled that any adjustments are likely to be much less sweeping than activists would like. For instance, one option under consideration would have officials pledge to do a better job following guidelines already in place." By Obama's pursuing that line, he was increasing the likelihood that the Republican Party will win not just the House but also the Senate this year. Of course, if that happens, then the lame duck "Democrat" really will be in a situation where he will have to sign either Republican legislation or else no legislation at all; and the only defense by Democrats in Congress will be from Senate Democrats using filibusters as much as Senate Republicans have been doing.

That control of the Senate would make a big difference. For example, the Democratically-led Senate finally was able to vote, on 3 April 2014, to restore extended unemployment benefits, but the Republican House remained a block against it. Jobs in the Obama-Republican economy are hard to find, and are lower-wage than the ones that were lost from the Bush-Republican crash; and people who have been out of work for over six months are basically banned from private employment, because employers just don't trust them, no matter how good they are. Furthermore, congressional Republicans refuse to allow the increases in federal spending that would be needed for a public jobs program to rebuild crumbled highways, etc., and to hire them; so, the long-term unemployed are now desperate, and their increasing bankruptcies are dragging down the entire economy.

Republicans in Congress have done everything they can to block a restoration of extended unemployment benefits. They're demanding that in order to stop, they'll need still-more giveaways to their rich backers, whom they call the "job-creators" (their financial contributors).

If you follow the floor-votes in Congress, here's what you see: The Republican-controlled House refused even to consider taking up legislation to restore extended unemployment; but, in the Senate, the Republican leader Mitch McConnell finally got enough goodies-for-the-rich so as for him to allow enough Republicans to vote with the Democrats on this to end the Republican filibuster on April 3rd. (All Senate Democrats, all Senate Independents, and finally 6 Senate Republicans in at-risk Senate seats, voted for it. 100% of the votes against it came from the Senate's Republicans.)

But, then, House Speaker Boehner demanded still more.

People long seeking employment in this jobs-market are getting more desperate by the week, since nothing's coming in. They are just pawns to be used by the aristocracy to lower their taxes and reduce regulations so that they'll be even more unaccountable to the public than they already are, and the public will increasingly come under their grip.

The idea that conservative Democrats are Republicans with liberal rhetoric, and are sustained in power by the aristocracy just like Republicans are, is documented in considerable detail by this writer's articles at both Huffington Post and OpEdNews, as well as elsewhere; and the core of it is that the aristocracy controls by means of deceiving the public. Consequently, the Republican U.S. Supreme judges who gave us the Citizens United decision and other rulings to unleash aristocrats' money into political campaigns, are not fundamentally different from the judges in Afghanistan or any other kleptocracy, even if the method here employs deceit more, and vote-buying less

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
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