What It Is Really About – 2008 Of Course

March 26, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, Democracy, Democrats, George W Bush, Republicans, Voter Suppression | Leave a comment

You know why Rove hatched up his plan to remove those US attorneys? The states they are in are key. It is all about the elections. It is all about 2008.

See, McKay, up in Washington didn’t press ‘voter fraud’ against Democrats (because of course the evidence was scant and flimsy—but of course Republicans never cared about actual evidence—see Iraq WMD for example), and he was outed. Iglecias in New Mexico didn’t rush a possible indictment against Democrats in 2006 and even got pressure calls from Rep Wilson and Senator Domenici (at home no less!!!). He didn’t budge (because that was the law) and he was outed. So on and so forth.

This is about elections, it always was and always will be. Think back to Tom DeLay’s attempts to redefine Texas politics with his illegal redistricting plan. It’s always about getting just enough seats to keep their party in rule? Why? Take a look at the past three months of Democratic control and all the skeletons they have found in the Bush administration closet by just barely shining a small light of oversight. Power corrupts, everybody. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Power is also very addicting. The more you get of it, the more you want.

The more I think about it, the more I fear what might happen in 2008. What cards does the Bush administration have up its sleeve to ensure that a Democrat does not win the 2008 election? Will it come again to a Supreme Court decision? They’ve got their conservative judges on the court as they wanted. Will it come to ‘voter fraud’ cases? If they have their way, their USA attorneys will press false charges against Democratic voters, suppressing just enough votes for a win. Can everyone not see how this stuff just stinks of tyranny?

Last April, while the Justice Department and the White House were planning the firings, Rove gave a speech in Washington to the Republican National Lawyers Association. He ticked off 11 states that he said could be pivotal in the 2008 elections. Bush has appointed new U.S. attorneys in nine of them since 2005: Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico. U.S. attorneys in the latter four were among those fired.

Rove thanked the audience for “all that you are doing in those hot spots around the country to ensure that the integrity of the ballot is protected.” He added, “A lot in American politics is up for grabs.”

The department’s civil rights division, for example, supported a Georgia voter identification law that a court later said discriminated against poor, minority voters. It also declined to oppose an unusual Texas redistricting plan that helped expand the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. That plan was partially reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Frank DiMarino, a former federal prosecutor who served six U.S. attorneys in Florida and Georgia during an 18-year Justice Department career, said that too much emphasis on voter fraud investigations “smacks of trying to use prosecutorial power to investigate and potentially indict political enemies.”

Several former voting rights lawyers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of antagonizing the administration, said the division’s political appointees reversed the recommendations of career lawyers in key cases and transferred or drove out most of the unit’s veteran attorneys.

Bradley Schlozman, who was the civil rights division’s deputy chief, agreed in 2005 to reverse the career staff’s recommendations to challenge a Georgia law that would have required voters to pay $20 for photo IDs and in some cases travel as far as 30 miles to obtain the ID card.

A federal judge threw out the Georgia law, calling it an unconstitutional, Jim Crow-era poll tax.

In an interview, Schlozman, who was named interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City in November 2005, said he merely affirmed a subordinate’s decision to overturn the career staff’s recommendations.

He said it was “absolutely not true” that he drove out career lawyers. “What I tried to do was to depoliticize the hiring process,” Schlozman said. “We hired people across the political spectrum.”

Former voting rights section chief Joseph Rich, however, said longtime career lawyers whose views differed from those of political appointees were routinely “reassigned or stripped of major responsibilities.”

In testimony to a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing this week, Rich said that 20 of the 35 attorneys in the voting rights section have been transferred to other jobs or have left their jobs since April 2005 and a staff of 26 civil rights analysts who reviewed state laws for discrimination has been slashed to 10.

He said he has yet to see evidence of voter fraud on a scale that warrants voter ID laws, which he said are “without exception … supported and pushed by Republicans and objected to by Democrats. I believe it is clear that this kind of law tends to suppress the vote of lower-income and minority voters.”

Other former voting-rights section lawyers said that during the tenure of Alex Acosta, who served as the division chief from the fall of 2003 until he was named interim U.S. attorney in Miami in the summer of 2005, the department didn’t file a single suit alleging that local or state laws or election rules diluted the votes of African-Americans. In a similar time period, the Clinton administration filed six such cases.

Those kinds of cases, Rich said, are “the guts of the Voting Rights Act.”

Our democracy is under attack by Republicans who are trying any trick they can think of to limit the number of Democrats voting. They know they don’t have the actual physical numbers in a straight fight—in our nation, more people align themselves with Democrats than with Republicans—so they have to get dirty in order to get even. This from the party that claims is in line with Christian principles.

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