Category Archives: Holt Bill

I Am Not Naive About the Democratic Party, Part Two

Mark Crispin Miller gives us the rundown on the Voter Reform movement after the election. He criticizes these nonbinding resolutions so he won’t be invited on the Daily Kos Blogroll anymore, not that he ever made that blogroll.

I‘m going to repeat the whole thing here:

The Senate unanimously punks out

If the Senate Democrats weren’t suffering from a severe collective case of battered spouse syndrome, they would be all fired up about the sorry state of our election system, and doing everything they could to make it better. By “better,” I mean, basically, “more honest,” which, in this case, could work only to the Democrats’ advantage. After all, the party’s top dogs tend to care far more about (a) their own careers and (b) the party’s welfare than they do about the state of the Republic.

Such short-sightedness is all too human, and so there’s little point in our decrying it. In any case, such self-interest would at least help save us from the looming fascist order–if (again) the Democrats would only act out of self-interest, rather than continuing to acquiesce so masochistically in BushCo’s grand subversion of American democracy, or what’s now left of it. They cannot, will not, face the truth about the nature of BushCo’s regime. Thus they keep rubber-stamping Bush’s steps toward absolute control of the election system, as they just did last night, approving the appointment of an outright Bushevik to Bush’s EAC.

This cave-in–and the current rush to pass Rush Holt’s bill’ which will finally do more harm than good–make clear that the Democrats feel much assured by their big “victory” in November. They tell themselves that they gave Bush the “thumpin'” that he so quaintly mentioned in his first press conference after E-Day. They tell themselves that their big win of 29 House seats was a sort of proof that things can’t really be so bad, or they would not have been permitted to perform so well.

What they cannot, will not, face is the unpleasant truth about that last election: that there was vast election fraud from coast to coast again; that the volume of complaints from the grass roots (remember them?) was evidently greater than it was two years before; that the Dems arguably won not a mere 29 states but at least 50 (and probably did better in the Senate than they think). In short, they will not, cannot, face the fact that Bush did not just get a “thumpin’,” but was routed–and that it was not Rahm Emanuel/Chuck Schumer who deserve our praises for the (actual) devastation of the Bush Republicans, but the people, who turned out in record numbers, and with a new doggedness, to vote against the Bush regime and all its works. The Democratic party will not give them any credit for that action, or help those who were disenfranchised once again.

There are currently four Democrats, all of them in Florida, challenging the outcome of the 2006 election, and collecting evidence of election fraud in every case; and they’re doing it with no help from the party, which also pressed a number of other “losing” Democratic candidates to do the “gracious” thing and shut their mouths–as if it were “ungracious” to assert, and to defend, the right to vote.

Before Election Day, Republicans refused to talk about election fraud because it would hurt their interests, they having lately “won.” Now it’s the Democrats who play the issue down, or keep ignoring it, for the very same reason. Thus both parties seem inclined to sell the voters out.

This is not about affixing printers to the DRE machines, or any other trivial (and useless) technical adjustment. It’s about confronting those who can’t and won’t confront the enemies of what was once was the world’s most promising democracy. We must confront them now, and force them to confront and overwhelm those enemies, or we can kiss the Constitution, and the Planet Earth, goodbye.

Let me add a few thoughts to this: One of the advantages of controlling the ballot isn’t just controlling when you win, but controlling when you lose. In a chess game sometimes its to your advantage to sacrifice a queen or a rook or even a mid term election (What better way to quiet the critics? See Steve Gilliard.) in order to better position yourself for a long term win. Right now it looks as if the dems retook the congress in order to continue the war. Long range that sucks for the dems. It was great knocking on doors against the republicans last fall. It won’t be so great in 2008 when you’re the party that did nothing to stop the war, an evil unjustified war of imperialist greed at that. True, there’s hope on the Murtha front but he won’t even get help from the more powerful blogs and he’ll get killed by the Corporate Press. Murtha will need all the help he can get.

One more thing: there is vast disagreement about the merits of the Holt bill as its currently authored. People for the American Way supports it. Here’s the best critique I’ve read so far from Josh Mittledorf.

I think the argument that this is “achievable” doesn’t carry much weight, when it is likely we will get only one bite at the apple this legislative session. The threshold for support has to be higher than simply “doesn’t hurt” or even “better than what we’ve got”.

Consequently, I hold any election legislation accountable for making a significant improvement in the situation. I don’t think the Holt bill rises to this standard because

  1. Effective legislation must be explicit about consequences and remedies when, inevitably, their mandates are violated. There are already ample rules, especially at the state level – some might say more than ample rules – that are not being enforced. For example, tens of thousands of precincts have suffered violations and corrupted vote counts, while the only prosecutions of which I am aware are the two Democratic officials recently convicted in Ohio. Another example: Pennsylvania, like many other states, provides that computer code for electronic voting machines must be certified by the state; but in practice, the code is routinely altered by manufacturers up to the day of the election, with no possibility of state supervision. Whom do we sue? What are the appropriate remedies?

  2. There is a huge loophole in Sec 327, providing that when states recount an election because it is close, they don’t have to use the very paper trail that the bill works so hard to provide! So when exactly are the paper trails counted?

  3. The bill is likely to entrench both DREs and the EAC as albatrosses on our voting system for years to come.

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