Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Reading

The following is an excerpted chapter by Steve Rosenfeld from the new book "Loser Take All," edited by Mark Crispin Miller (Ig Publishing, 2008).

Jim Crow has returned to American elections, only in the twenty-first century, instead of men in white robes or a barrel-chested sheriff menacingly patrolling voting precincts, we are more likely to see a lawyer carrying a folder filled with briefing papers and proposed legislation about "voter fraud" and other measures to supposedly protect the sanctity of the vote.

Since the 2004 election, activist lawyers with ties to the Republican Party and its presidential campaigns, Republican legislators, and even the Supreme Court -- in a largely unnoticed ruling in 2006 -- have been aggressively regulating most aspects of the voting process. Collectively, these efforts are undoing the gains of the civil rights era that brought voting rights to minorities and the poor, groups that tend to support Democrats.

In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which for decades had fought to ensure that all eligible citizens could vote, now encourages states to take steps in the opposite direction. Political appointees who advocate for stringent requirements before ballots are cast and votes are counted have driven much of the DOJ's Voting Section's recent agenda. As a result, the Department has pushed states to purge voter lists, and to adopt newly restrictive voter ID and provisional ballot laws. In addition, during most of George W. Bush's tenure, the DOJ has stopped enforcing federal laws designed to aid registration, such as the requirement that state welfare offices offer public aid recipients the opportunity to register to vote.

The Department's political appointees have also pressured federal prosecutors to pursue "voter fraud" cases against the Bush administration's perceived opponents, such as ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which conduct mass registration drives among populations that tend to vote Democratic. Two former federal prosecutors have said they believe that they lost their positions for refusing to pursue these cases.

The proponents of this renewed impetus to police voters comes from a powerful and well-connected wing of the Republican Party that believes steps are needed to protect elections from Democratic-leaning groups that are fabricating voter registrations en masse and impersonating voters. Royal Masset, the former political director of the Republican Party of Texas, said in 2007 that is an "article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections." While Masset himself didn't agree with that assertion, he did believe "that requiring photo IDs could cause enough of a drop off in legitimate Democratic voting to add 3 percent to the Republican vote."

@ Alternet


Subterfuge - something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity; "he wasn't sick--it was just a subterfuge"; "the holding company was just a blind"

The entire RNC is guilty of treason. This qualifies any legal definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors". To deliberately divide the voting public in attempt to alter the outcome of an election is more than bad, it is despicable.

To use RNC computers to circumvent reporting laws, to fire prosecutors for not following party lines, to use the Justice Department as their 'tool' of choice, that is high treason and should be treated as such.

The people need to have their citizenship revoked and expelled from the USA.




DEN said...

Sorry no pic, the googles won't let me post my pic of chimp and rover conspiring to steal votes.

I am being monitored for content, only they don't think I know it.

Do Now!! A--holes!

Delete this you fascists!

Coffee in the corner and bagels on the side for your nibbling pleasure.

DEN said...

Obama is rocketing skyward, Newsweek poll gives him 20% over miss happy face.

Target gets bigger, will the neo-fascists attempt to stop the Obama freedom train by force?

They better NOT!

*fingers crossed*


micki said...

Gee, DEN, I posted a downer article on Friday Funnies Day, but you seem sound kinda bleak for a Saturday morning. I hope you have some fun today.

We woke up to SNOW on the ground! April 19th!!!!!!

My niece in Lynwood, just north of Seattle, reports about 6" at her place.

DEN said...

I did not intend the post to be a downer, rather an awakener.

The more we know the better decisions we can make.

Sorry to hear about the snow up there. cool here today, 65 max.

Fun? working in the garage and on bikes too, fun sorta.

DEN said...

Hey pic is up!

The googles must be sleeping.

DEN said...

Time to get a haircut, I'll check back later.

Saladin said...

And 98% of the dems can follow those assholes to hell as far as I'm concerned! They have been rubber stamping every damn thing those psychos come up with.
And Obama has a freedom train? I think he views freedom the same way they all do, starting with Iran, God help them.
We have a warm, blustery day here in Bishop. All my poor little seedlings can't even have a peaceful day in the springtime sun, I had to run out and rescue them from the hurricane wind! VERY annoying! Guess I should be used to high desert springs by now.

micki said...

Well, an "awakener" can be a "downer" and vice-versa. One can learn from both...

But, ick! That photo! Eeeeeeeeek! It's repulsive.

David B. Benson said...

Pop quiz time!

Who wrote

The liberty of democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in essense, is fascism.

Extra credit: Discuss regarding whether or not we now live in a fascist state.

DEN said...

Franklin D. Roosevelt:

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any controlling private power.

We are there now.

The current administration is composed of corporate power applied to everyday law and governmental entities to favor the corporations and circumvent regulation.

In other words the foxes guarding the hen house.

The American people have been dumbed down and assumed to be irrelevant.

DEN said...

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

You were saying? Who said that?

Times up!

Sinclair Lewis

DEN said...

Fascism needs Authoritarianism to maintain control, without control fascism would wither and splinter.

Fear maintains an unsteady populous willing to tolerate Authoritarianism to feel more secure.

Bring Democracy back, I like it better.

Sometime before I am dead please!

Hajji said...


Bucks County absolutely beautiful...and so's the weather!

Carry on!


micki said...

Re: Fascism

I'll bite.

As a nation, we now have little understanding of who and what we are. There are many definitions of fascism floating around. If fascism is defined as: the union of economic and military power to promote a nationalist ideology which views dissenting voices as enemies, then we live in a fascist society.

Fascism can take many forms, just as totalitarianism does: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, Mussolini's Italy come to mind, of course.

The Bush Administration claims ever sweeping powers, in the name of fighting terrorism, disregarding Constitutional limits and the role of the people as a voice in governing. Cheney/Bush exhibit total disdain for restraints on governmental power and they count on citizen/political apathy and propaganda-driven divisiveness to achieve their goals. We still have elections, but they are ultimately controlled by special interests, lobbyists, big money people, and most of those elected respond to corporate interests, not to the people.

The Cheney/Bush machine has enfeebled the Democratic Party by forcing it to become more like the Republican Party; the result being we have the image of a 2-party system, but, in fact, we don't.

If the United States isn't a classic fascist state in 2008, it's a darned good facsimile -- our government has become desctructive and there is no easy solution to fix it. We've passed the "tipping point."

Are we up to the challenge? I don't believe we are.

micki said...

Go to TNYT today -- an example of fascism at work:

David Barstow, reporting for The New York Times, writes, "In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantanamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded 'the gulag of our times' by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure. The administration's communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantanamo... Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse - an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks."

DEN said...

post up!