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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/8/10

Congress vs. SCOTUS: Let Democracy Prevail

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment, In Series: The Capitol Beat
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Marta Steele
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7 July 2010: Who Needs Voting Machines?

The election integrity movement, in existence for decades, climbed to huge numbers after the 2004 presidential election, simply because they felt justifiably that the instruments outrageous corruption, fueled by racism as well as fixed electronic voting machines, were blatantly stealing votes for Republican candidates.

The root of the technological coups was traced to a basement in Tennessee, where complex computer systems abetted the agendas of both the RNC and computerized voting machinery, a huge percentage of which was owned by Republicans who donated as lavishlyly as they could, both directly and through PACs, to Republican political campaigns.

Ohio in 2004 became Florida 2000, though the latter was won for Bush 43 through racism and blocking of other ethnic voting groups, a high percentage of whom were predictably Democrats. In Ohio, this bias, along with fixed voting machines, decisively snatched the victory from our Old Boy Kerry, perhaps too much of an Old Boy to do more than flip-flop when it came to challenging the Ohio results, though he did make token efforts to question the validity of his loss.

In 2008, Rove operative Jim Connell told enough of the story to allow the brave Ohio lawyer/academics to unplug the Tennessee machinery at the eleventh hours so that Obama swept the election. The people had finally been allowed their say, though when the deeply religious computer whiz indicated readiness to tell more, he mysteriously died in a plane crash in a vehicle he had been warned not to fly because, like the vast mechanisms he had presided over, his plane might have been "fixed" by his former colleagues.

So, to my mind, the hugely resourceful and crafty Republican machinery climbed to higher ground and, by means of SCOTUS, overturned congressional legislation barring direct gargantuan partisan corporate donations to political campaigns. Leaning heavily on the late nineteenth-century ruling that corporations had the same rights as citizens, the majority of five, which threatens to rule SOTUS decision making for many years to come, fueled a decision to extend this principle to corporate political donations. As citizens, corporations are allowed to donate directly to future political campaigns. According to Adam Cohen of Time magazine, "After the [SCOTUS] ruling, a poll found that 80% of Americans opposed the ruling -- 65% 'strongly.' The decision was as anti-democratic as any liberal ruling that conservatives have ever complained about."

President Obama remarked that the ruling opened the floodgate to special interests--a floodgate vastly different from the one allowed to burst in 2008. Congress is already working on legislation to reverse the SCOTUS decision.

"Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which was handed down in January, could permanently change American democracy," wrote Cohen, though Time also reported, in an article I can't find, that Congress blocked the same prerogative from the RNC, who wanted a piece of this action.


And what does this all portend for the future of democracy in our country? I wonder where Connell's machinery will be relocated. If it is, rest assured that the news won't reach the top headlines of Time or any other mainstream publication. Guess correctly that funds from foreign supporters of the GOP have been laundered in the past. Non-Americans helped by renegades Americans will obviously up their donations according to their own interests, which lean heavily to the right in areas most lavishly wealthy--globalization taken to one extreme disadvantageous to democracy. Even more power will be subtracted from the majority of American voters who currently include most of those foreclosed on, unemployed and frantically job hunting, snatched from the American Dream to a nightmare only Congress, in this case and predictably mostly Democrats, can mitigate through reverse legislation.

That political body, which received a lower popularity rating during the previous presidential administration than did Bush 43 at his nadir--a percentage in the teens, holds the key to the future of democracy. Otherwise the future of our sovereignty is bleak. The right wing will take over Congress as well as the executive branch. No Democratic legal/academic attorneys will be able to do more than protest, as long as the First Amendment survives. Think about it: the 5 to 4 majority in the January SOTUS decision was based weakly on a constitutional interpretation. Weakly. Any philologist will tell you that scholars bend literary interpretations routinely, pressured by the unwrittenlaw "publish or perish" to hand in lit crit and othersubjects pathetically distorted (a good amountof the time)to keep their names and "reputation" alive in academe.

Remember that kiddies' exercise song "Bend and Stretch; Reach for the Sky"? If members of the GOP sang it years ago, innocently, its exhortation is driving them down primrose paths that will, as I've said before, ultimately bring them down along with the rest of us, as we become colonies and territories again, if not worse. History repeats itself in strange and sometimes terrible ways. How often does it reverse itself? The French Revolution occurs to me as one example, if you equate monarchical tyranny with dictatorship, though Napoleon was far more popular than King Louis XVI.

We'll not even be eating stale cake. Congress, rise to the occasion and save our democracy. If your ratings don't rise, know that in this tiny corner of the world, one apartment in a building of hundreds of units, they will break the ceiling, far more than ordinary wear and tear. I'll pay for it as well as I can, if I escape from the hordes of those victimized by an economy steered by a risible minority of .5 percent. Meanwhile, I'll do what more I can, a scarce few miles from your chambers. And urge the election integrity activists along with all others who can help, to join me, in that their issues and principles have been globalized and we need to redirect our efforts at this exigent time. Keep on lobbying for democracy as the threat to it extends like lava far beyond our teeming shores, far beyond the domestic-level corruption we have so far defeated and need to continue to reverse, this time on higher ground.



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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for Opednews.com since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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