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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bravery, Sour Grapes, Sore Cheaters, and Elephant Turds

Two thumbs up to Barbara Boxer!

Barbara Boxer was courageous enough to stand with the Democratic Ohio representatives to challenge the electoral votes in Ohio this time around. Make sure to call her to say “thank you for having the courage to uphold real democracy.”

Her number is

(909) 888-8525 phone

(909) 888-8613 fax

Here’s her statement:

As all objective viewers of the 2004 election know, whether Americans or unofficial international observers reading the papers abroad, there were tens of thousands of incidents of so-called “irregularities” in voting, especially in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

No other democratic country, whether in “old Europe” or Israel or more recently democratized countries in South America would ever stand for the kind of elephant crap that happened in the 2000, 2002, or 2004 elections.

No other democratic country would even dream of allowing privatized secret software for computerized voting machines that have no paper trail.

Ohio’s Secretary of State Blackman did everything he could to marginalize Democratic voters, starting with the “80-lb paper” shenanigans (only voter registrations on 80-lb paper would be accepted, meaning registrations that were submitted after newspapers published voter registration forms, and the like would be ignored), continuing with the intentional lack of voting machines in heavily Democratic leaning districts, allowing bogus Republican “challenges” at polls, doing everything possible to interfere with voters either voting or having their votes counted… the list could take up the whole Internet.

It’s clear to everyone who wants to see it that there was interference with a clear, clean electoral process, and it was mostly—hell, almost entirely—carried out by Republicans.

Now that Boxer has had the courage to do what no senator did in 2000, the bad apples and sore cheaters in the GOP are calling it “grandstanding,” “sour grapes,” “sore losing.” Heh. Tom DeLay even called it “President Bush’s historic reelection,” and called Democrats who were questioning the fairness of the election followers of the “X-Files wing” of the Democratic party.

What a hero, eh?

Unfortunately, I can’t yet find his speech on the House floor today about it. Trust me, it was shameful, exclusionary, accusatory, and full of lies and misrepresentations. He, and they, consistently talk about integrity, rights, trust, all that highfalutin stuff, but will not acknowledge the concerns of millions of Americans about the sanctity of their votes. Nice.

So basically, the leadership of the GOP is going to pretend that everything was normal, the elections were fair and balanced, and that this is simply a political stunt by Democrats to take away Bush’s power and question his legitimacy. Of course, they should know, because that’s their standard operating procedure, but actually, they’re wrong.

This is about democracy here at home. Who the hell are we to talk about democracy in the world when 50 million Americans believe that there was something dreadfully wrong with the process here? And GOP leaders do everything in their power to sideline election reform, from insisting on NO PAPER TRAIL for, and NO FREE ACCESS TO THE CODE of electronic voting machines, not even acknowledging that electronic or not electronic voting machines were unevenly distributed in critical states like Florida and Ohio, and on and on and on.

Who screams the loudest about reform and fair play? The GOP leadership. Who does everything they can to avoid it? Same folks.

I do have some compassion for regular folks who don’t know who to believe, who don’t know where to find information, don’t know who to trust, or what have you. It’s inexcusable, but I have compassion for them.

But I can’t believe that the GOP leadership is fooled into believing their own lies and paranoia. It’s purposeful. It’s intentional. It’s a strategy. Don’t fall for it. And don’t let anyone get away with repeating it.


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