Saturday, June 03, 2006

How serious are we about this democracy? Do we think that government of the People, by the People and for the People is important enough to save?

George W. Bush says that he is sending Americans to die for democracy in Iraq. He says that's why he is sending them to die in Afghanistan. Apparently he likes sending them to die for democracy so much that he is looking for a third place to send even more. He says it so often that those words are some of the rare ones practiced enough to come out clear. To paraphrase one of our finest writers; he says and says and says those things, he says them but he lies them. We know he's lying because there is no prospect for democracy in Iraq and once he invaded there the possibility of setting up any real government in Afghanistan disappeared. Even if he hadn't invaded anywhere he had begun the dismantling of democracy in the United States before the ballots were counted in Florida. Republicans have proven over and again that they are determined to see democracy perish, if not from the face of the earth, certainly here.

But that's them. How much do we value democracy? What do you think of these three ideas?

Anyone convicted of vote tampering, vote rigging, voter fraud or any other crime against the right of the Poeple to an honest election should receive a mandatory twenty-five year sentence with no possibility of parole. Considering the consequences we are witnessing, twenty-five seems like a light sentence for the crime.

It will be an impeachable offense for any judge or Supreme Court Justice to prevent the counting of a legitimate vote cast by an eligible voter in any election. The right of the People to cast a vote and to have it counted overrides any state or local regulations. Too many of those are clearly designed to lessen voter participation to begin with. A judge who hampers voting has violated the most basic right of a citizen and is unfit for the office in a democracy. The same holds for any other office in any part of the government.

No President or governor should have the power to pardon someone who has tampered with an election for them or their party. If someone was to be convicted in the thefts of Ohio, Florida or in the forgotten irregularities in New Hampshire, Bush will pardon them and a deal for their silence will be worked out as quickly as you can say Cap Weinberger. If you doubt this look at the millions of dollars the RNC gave the recently convicted James Tobin. And that was just for some petty phone jamming in a Senate race. I'm just about certain that the idea of a pardon after the fall elections will have been considered.

The scholars, such as are always called upon to lull us with the assurances that we are wrong about things going to hell, rhapsodize about the three branches. The three branches in balance that protect our liberties, each keeping the others in check. Here's something that always seems to be lost on those brilliant thinkers, branches die without roots. The voters keep the whole thing alive. A tree that gets cut down might send up new growth, if the roots are destroyed the whole tree rots in place. Our roots are shriveled. They require attention and I mean now. The branches are loaded down with leaves. You want to keep that tree, it's time for emergency pruning.

Odd, this escaping the notice of Farmer Hanson. I'll bet you anything he just works for the camera.

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