This site was among the first, if not the first, to warn that the Bushies and the rest of the cadre of radical conservative Republicans are so anti-democratic that they were capable of–and sounding out ways of–postponing or even canceling elections after Junior’s second term in order to maintain their power. Radcon Pub operatives had raised the possibility of repealing the Constitutional Amendment–passed by Republicans after FDR’s death in order to make sure that no Democrat could ever again dominate the national political scene as he had–in order to accommodate a third Bush run, for example, raising the specter of Bush as our first Perpetual President.
Well, it turns out that as paranoid as that sounded, we underestimated them yet again. We warned, baldly, that if BushCo won this election it might well be the last one any of us saw in our remaining lifetimes and speculated that BushCo would use Diebold’s open political support and the demonstrated corruptibility of its voting machines to steal it. We did not think they would dare to postpone this election. Well, we were wrong. As little credit as we gave them, we gave them too much.
July 19 issue – American counterterrorism officials, citing what they call “alarming” intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, NEWSWEEK has learned.The prospect that Al Qaeda might seek to disrupt the U.S. election was a major factor behind last week’s terror warning by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Ridge and other counterterrorism officials concede they have no intel about any specific plots. But the success of March’s Madrid railway bombings in influencing the Spanish elections—as well as intercepted “chatter” among Qaeda operatives—has led analysts to conclude “they want to interfere with the elections,” says one official.
As a result, sources tell NEWSWEEK, Ridge’s department last week asked the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to analyze what legal steps would be needed to permit the postponement of the election were an attack to take place. Justice was specifically asked to review a recent letter to Ridge from DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries noted that, while a primary election in New York on September 11, 2001, was quickly suspended by that state’s Board of Elections after the attacks that morning, “the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election.” Soaries, a Bush appointee who two years ago was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Congress, wants Ridge to seek emergency legislation from Congress empowering his agency to make such a call. Homeland officials say that as drastic as such proposals sound, they are taking them seriously—along with other possible contingency plans in the event of an election-eve or Election Day attack. “We are reviewing the issue to determine what steps need to be taken to secure the election,” says Brian Roehrkasse, a Homeland spokesman.
In the warped, backwards DoubleSpeak that is the hallmark of this Administration, ‘secure the election’ clearly is a half-phrase, the rest of which is ‘for Bush’. They as much as admit it when they point to the Madrid elections: America is too big and Al Qaeda too small for a physical disruption to affect more than a tiny percentage of voters; what they’re afraid of is a sea-change in American attitudes a la Spain when a terrorist incident coalesces the dissension that is building anyway and focuses it like a laser.
Because the thing I don’t think anybody has made clear enough is that the bombings in Madrid could NEVER have pushed the Spanish people into voting against the govt that backed Bush’s imperialist ambitions. People forget that demonstrations against their govt’s support of Bush before the war were MASSIVE–hundreds of thousands of Spaniards were in the streets chanting anti-war slogans two years before the incident in Madrid. The Spanish population was already leaning–heavily–toward throwing the govt out; polls showed that the govt was in deep trouble in the weeks and months before Madrid, hanging by a fingernail onto an extremely thin lead.
All the bombings in Madrid did was pull the feelings Spanish voters had already expressed questioning their govt’s joining the COW, because THAT’S ALL THEY COULD DO. If the population had been behind the Spanish govt, the bombings would only have pushed them toward even more intervention in the name of ‘security’, just as it has the israelis. BushCo can read polls as well as we can; they know bloody well what happened in Spain and why, and they know that the same momentum that was running against the old Spanish govt is running against them now–we are waking up, we are beginning to see the Second Gulf War for the sham, the blatant power-grab, the oil-centered imperial maneuver that it is, and we’re turning away.
BushCo must stop that AT ANY PRICE. Look, we just had an instance when the Pub leadership delayed a vote almost half an hour beyond its scheduled time until they could strong-arm the result they wanted; this is just more of the same tactic. If they ‘postpone’ the fall election using the excuse that ‘the danger of a terrorist attack is imminent’, then if they decide to allow the election, they will time it after a Bush-Bump in the polls when he has the best chance of winning. The supposed terrorist attack–which may never come–has NOTHING to do with it. This will be–as almost every other Bushian decision has been–a purely partisan political decision based on polls, not anti-terrorist intelligence. If there is a genuine danger of another terrorist attack on US soil timed for the elections, as in Madrid, they will postpone the election if it looks like the public is responding as the Spanish public did; if, instead, it works to Bush’s advantage and increases his support, the election will not be postponed, no matter how great the danger may be.
What we are seeing is the trail balloon: ‘How much can we get away with? How far can we go? How much will the American people swallow?’ If the trial balloon isn’t shot down in no uncertain terms, expect to see small, incremental steps taken in the direction of legitimizing Bush’s retention of power by whatever means necessary. They’ll get us used to the idea that we ‘have no choice’ if we want to be safe; they will pass legislation late on Friday nights (without informing the opposition) that gives Bush or a Bush appointee the power to decide when and if an election can be held, using New York’s decision as the precedent; they will set their puppet Mighty Wurlitzer press machine on the ‘war president’ meme, the ‘You can’t change horses in mid-stream’ meme, and the ‘if you don’t support the president you’re aiding and abetting the terrorists’ meme; and they will use the ‘9/11 changed everything’ mantra to excuse and explain all of it.
If we fall for this bullshit, we pretty much will deserve what we get.