While there seems to be a general expectation that
Democrats will make significant gains in next week's election, and
possibly even capture a majority in the House and Senate, Democratic
hopefuls and premature celebrants seem to forget whom they're dealing
with. As a reminder, former White House Counsel, John Dean, in his
new book describes Republican leadership as Conservatives Without
Conscience "capable of plunging this nation into disasters
the likes of which we have never known”, while Matt Taibbi in this
Stone writes that this Republican-controlled Congress is "the
worst Congress ever... a stable of thieves and perverts."
Still not convinced?
John Conyers in his August report, “The
Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception,
Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Cover-ups in the Iraq War”,
charges that the level of misconduct by this administration in leading
the nation into war rises to the "level of impeachable conduct."
But even though much political ire, justifiably, has
been directed at Bush and the Republican Congress, we seem to have
forgotten how pre-election polls and even exit polls taken on election
day have consistently-- since the year 2000- -born little relation
to the "official” voting tallies. Yet Democrats have raised
little hue and cry over the Republican-funded and Republican-controlled
voting machines that now record eighty per cent of the nation's
votes. Nor, Congress be damned, have Democrats called our attention
to the Republican strategy of capturing the office of Secretary
of State in key battleground states (in preparation one assumes
for the election of 2008) so that they can replicate one, two, many
Katherine Harrises and Ken Blackwells across the land.
So what can the citizenry do against the tactics of
machine manipulation, voter suppression and voter elimination too
numerous to go into here?
Shall we look to the Bush v Gore Supreme Court for
relief? Or perhaps Alberto Gonzales's Justice Department? Or to
the state authorities in the twenty-eight states that have Republican
governors? Maybe we should appeal to the Republican-Lite Democratic
Leadership Council or the Democratic National Committee or maybe
to the Pope-except Bush ignored the late John Paul's plea not to
go to war.
Perhaps it is time for a new politics; one adequate
to the menace that threatens us.
[Programming note: HBO will show a documentary,
Hacking Democracy,which is going to be shown November 2nd, with
It exposes "the vulnerability" of electronic voting machines.]
Why will no one say they've been rigged?
BC Board Member William L. (Bill) Strickland is a founding
member of the independent black think tank in Atlanta, the Institute
of the Black World (IBW), currently teaches political science in
the W.E.B.DuBois Dept of AfroAmerican Studies at the University
of Massachusetts at Amherst.