Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Deconstruction Era

Rumsfeld is gone. The new Secretary of Defense thinks we should leave Iraq by summer if no major progress is seen. The war will be an admitted loss.

Attorney General Gonzales now appears not only to have given control of the hiring and firing of the Justice Department's fangs - their U.S. Attorneys - to Karl Rove in the White House, he also appears to have limited all hiring to Republicans. A Republican Justice Department.

This means that in the Civil Rights Division only two of the fifty attorneys are African-American. Even the interns had to be Republicans.

Needless to say, many of them did their part to fulfill the Republican agenda. Rove gave the word early on that the name of the game would be "voter fraud".

So right before the election, a number of U.S. Attorneys across the nation announced investigations and indictments for Democratic voter fraud. Many were directed against Acorn, a grass-roots organization that registers voters. The stink was enough to turn several elections from likely Democratic victories to Republican victories. The fraud cases were later thrown out of court for lack of evidence.

Now it appears that this was a concerted effort by one party in the election to use a national resource - the Justice Department - to help that party win.

There are certainly criminal indictments to come. But what about civil suits?

Justice falsely indicted Acorn. Will Justice be sued? Karl Rove subverted Justice so that they would falsely indict Acorn. Will he be sued? Rove acted on behalf of the Republican Party. Will they be sued?

The Justice Department has an internal rule against interfering in elections. The cases they brought, they say, were an "unwritten exception to the rule". One wonders how many other "unwritten exceptions" they have to the rules. Can they write them down? Make a list? Can they say why they have rules?

How soon before law firms are tripping over each other, hoping to get Acorn to sue for big bucks? Congress is eliciting testimony. It is a public record. Shouldn't be long.


But the Justice attack on voter registration workers was only half the show. Rigged touch-screen voting machines were the other half.

While the Acorn indictments may have dampened the vote, they also dampened peoples' expectations about the vote. That made it easier for people to accept the kind of surprise ending that can come when voting machines are rigged to guarantee a vote for one side. It would then appear that disgusted voters sat on their hands and didn't vote.

A one-two punch. Unfortunately, the rigged machines were so obvious that they attracted attention, and the changes to the vote began to fall apart when the returns proved dubious. Both their own voter fraud and the phony indictments have proven a profound embarrassment for some Republicans, who themselves may now sit on their hands and choose not to vote.

Bush's administration is coming down piece by piece. Rumsfeld is gone. Gonzales is tied up preparing testimony for Congress. His minions are resigning. Impeachment talk is afoot, and bills have been filed. Head by head, bad government is being deconstructed. As the bad falls away, the good remains.

"The Party Of The People, By The People, And For The People" is at risk of losing its Lincoln heritage. If a certain tall young lawyer from Illinois starts using phrases like "shall not perish from the earth" in his campaign speeches, then surely Lincoln will belong to another party, a party of the people.

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