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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 week's Rolling 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 repeats. 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.


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November 2, 2006
Issue 204

is published every Thursday.

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