Monday, July 10, 2006

Politix & Dirty Trix~ A Thoughtful Reader's Primer

Well, by my count there's not much time until the November elections. Let's take a moment to see where things stand.

Demon Princess, like a lot of you, would prefer to anticipate more positive developments in the future, but I fear the signs that that may not be realistic, given the fact that the Neocons have had 20 years, give or take, to build the vote-getting machine.

You have to give them this: their strategy has worked, so far: formulate a clear plan, decide who your target consitituencies are, bombard them with simplistic soundbytes designed to prompt & build on their worst fears & basest instincts (be they fear of liberals, the Godless, homos, socialists &/or all of the above), insist on rigid conformity within your own party, build your very own media, populate it with shameless foaming-at-the-mouth demagogues..y'all get my drift.

Create & exploit a culture war with rifts so deep & intransigent it's tantamount to a civil war. Divide populations & even familes on bogus political issues.

Engineer a war (that you could have avoided by paying attention to your own intelligence) based on very little evidence. Separate the hawks from the doves, & at the same time, use it as an excuse to promote a unitary executive theory completely above the law it's taken us, collectively, to build over a 200-year period that has included the worst World Wars ever visited upon humanity.

Declare that your war (of choice) is unlike anything this country has ever experienced before, even though it's really just a tempest in a teapot compared with WW's I & II. Even when laws exist that demand evidence of a connection to terrorism to spy on your own population, ignore them & lie about the fact that you've been covertly marshalling the most invasive information on everyone, here & abroad, that you can get your hands on, & use it to discredit political enemies.

Do all this, always, simultaneously with selling out to special interests (rich ones, of course), & get them so hooked on pay-to-play politics & resultant profits that they get so entrenched they'll never let go.

And if all this still doesn't work, steal elections.

Kids, this is where things stand: the USA is looking more & more like a Third World country everyday.

1. While the GOP won the jerrymandered redistricting case in Texas which is Tom DeLay's legacy, there's the uncertainty of the New Hampshire Democratic call-center phone jamming case that's wending its way through the courts. I blogged on this case some time ago. It has to do with mysterious phone jamming of lines to prevent Demcrats from getting out to vote in New Hampshire, and where the GOP was definitely behind the hijinks. As usual, the small potatoes on the ground get prosecuted, & the big guys wash their hands, stick them in their pockets, & stroll away whistling as nonchalantly as possible. It may turn out to lead all the way to Ken Mehlman, formerly in the White House. (He's so talented, he was promoted to the RNC.)

2. On the issue of controlling lobbyists’ access to government: If this report doesn’t outrage you, nothing will, but it's business as usual for the GOP.

Here’s a heretical idea advanced by the Baltimore Chronicle: end war profiteering by the likes of Halliburton, Boeing, etc. by taking the Military-Industrial Complex out of private sector:

Even the maker of the buggy-software voting machines, Diebold, has been making campaign contributions to the GOP, and, of course, the story of the past Presidential election in critical Ohio (Diebold’s home state, as it happens) is one for the history books in terms of pure & unabashed corruption: (warning—long article but stunning): What happened, exactly, in Ohio & how is still a matter of dispute, but we are, in any event, living with the results now.

The question of Diebold’s actual machinery being susceptible to all sorts of untoward things was addressed in an op-ed by the Sacramento Bee regarding a recent election in California that went to the GOP:

3. Meanwhile, back at the ranch,very weak campaign reform is legislation stalled in Congress:

4. As is the re-authorization of Voting Rights Act :

More info from the ACLU & Action:

Additional reading, for those still with me:

A primer on campaign reform issues by non-profit org Public Agenda

And the audacious idea of publically financed campaigns, which would even out the playing field:

The Federal Election Commission

So, in conclusion, you know what to do. Bombard your representatives in Congress over every single one of these issues.

And there's a big test on the topic of whether democracy really works coming up shortly. In November.


Blogger Cranky Liberal said...

Thank you for this. This is a great breakdown. Of course I'm ready to pull my hair out

7:18 PM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

What'd I say, Cranky; what'd I say?

Didn't intend for readers to rush off to commit suicide. Just a dose of reality re what liberals/ progressives are really facing so we can counter it, that's all. It's clear that we have to change the terms of the debate.

Of course, it was pretty depressing to write..the instances of GOP hijinks at the ballot box just kept growing.

Just stirrin' things up, is all. The sooner we get on it, the better.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Cranky Liberal said...

Funny, I live in FL and let me tell you that this whole "we've made strides" thing seems silly after the 2000 and 2004 election and the way blacks were targeted for intimidation. Sucks to be the South, but you know there is a reason.

4:17 PM  

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