Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Random observations, political and otherwise.

I will reiterate that it is blackly hilarious to see the 9th Circuit Court hold up the California recall, using the exact same tactics as used in Bush-Gore.
Some interesting takes on the whole charade, which may see the Supreme Court dragged into the fray, may be seen on the letters page of today's LA Times. A recap of the whole thing is here at the Washinton Post (caveat lector).

Speaking of caveat lector, it is also funny to see the Washington Post get shrill in today's leading editorial "It Isn't Florida." I don't know about that. Am I wrong in understanding that the Supreme Court's argument in Bush was that different types of voting machines constitute a violation of equal protection? Has it also not been documented that not only are punch card voting machines less reliable because they are so outdated, these old machines are concentrated in poor and minority districts, potentially disenfrachizing an entire bloc of the voting public? Do I really need to find a link for this information? I doubt it. But yet here's the Post saying that this really isn't a problem and subverts the will of California's voters.

The problem, in my opinion, is not the delaying of the recall; it's not even necessarily the recall itself, although this blatantly partisan move to undermine an already decided election is pretty close to treason by my definition (greater loyalty to the party than to the good of the nation). It's the partisan fashion in which the Court intervened in Bush-Gore. And the Court, argues Harold Meyerson (again in the Post, which can't seem to make up its mind on this one), may find itself in an uncomfortable position no matter what they do.
Now the 9th Circuiters have called Bill Rehnquist's bluff. Did he really mean all that stuff about extending the equal protection clause to voters who stood a greater chance to be disenfranchised by the absence of a uniform standard of counting votes? Was he really concerned about the tabulation disparities between one county and the next? Or was Bush v. Gore just a one-time-only decision crafted to elect a Republican president...
That move may soon be the Supreme Court's to affirm or overturn. And in that case, "There's no way to reverse [the decision] and not make Bush v. Gore into a laughingstock," says Mark Rosenbaum, the ACLU attorney who argued the case before the appellate judges. But that has not deterred this court before.

And the Democrats aren't exactly unhappy about this:
"We've been down this Supreme Court route before, so we're continuing to go full blast with our [voter mobilization] campaign," says Miguel Contreras, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and architect of the nation's most successful Democratic get-out-the-vote campaigns over the past decade. If the Supreme Court overturned the decision, says Contreras, it "would give us an issue with Democratic voters: There they go again, the Supreme Court playing partisan politics."

Let me just jump in for a minute with a broken bottle and some partisan hack ranting of my own (partisanship in moderate doses isn't necessarily a bad thing).
While the California recall is a horrifying affront to our democracy, the sight of these bastard, smartass, election-stealing republicans hoist by their own petard is extremely gratifying. There is something terribly droll about so-called right-wing conservative Republicans, who have spent the past... goodness gracious, the past 20 years, at least since the Reagan Administration, standing by their champion, pot-smoking, gang-banging, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Arnold Schwarzenegger, and seething with outrage that the Democrats would dare to make this an issue. It is very funny, at least to me, to see the Republicans livid that the Democrats would dare subvert the Supreme Court's partisan decision in 2000.
I have said it before and I will say it again. The real traitors to our country are those politicians who take party allegiance and dominance more seriously than they do what is best for the country. People like Tom DeLay. People like Karl Rove.
And people like Dick Cheney, who is still profiting, albeit indirectly, from Halliburton, winner of no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq after we destroyed it.
In the interest of expedience, I just did a Google search for "Dick Cheney Halliburton" and the results are here. caveat lector of course, but there is something for everyone here.
These revelations come as no surprise to anyone, and as the media gets more weary of his same-old, same old Iraq-9/11 story (trotted out to great disdain over the weekend), perhaps we'll see more attacks instead of just on the pages of the New Republic's "&tc" site.
By the way, the article cited above as "trotted out to great disdain" is simply a must-read editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Frankly, I don't know why Cheney's bothering to lie about Iraq anymore. No one else in the administration seems to think it's worth the effort.
More on Dick Cheney, his bald-faced lying, and the media's recent reactiosn to it can be found here and here