Category Archives: 2004 Elections

A Brief History of the Republican Majority

Jonathan Chait with an excerpt of his book The Big Con:

I have this problem. Whenever I try to explain what’s happening in American politics-I mean, what’s really happening-I wind up sounding a bit like an unhinged conspiracy theorist. … So please give let me a chance to explain myself when I tell you the following: American politics has been hijacked by a tiny coterie of right-wing economic extremists, some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane.

Reagan Diaries on George W: “Find the Kid a Job”…

Most likely fake. Sorry.

(via)

‘A moment I’ve been dreading. George brought his ne’re-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.’

Florida Bans Electronic Voting Machines

One small step:

Florida has abruptly reversed course after the debacle of the 2006 election and banned electronic voting devices from all state elections. Florida was at the forefront of the electronic voting revolution after the disaster that was 2000 where Russia considered Florida a backwards democracy. However, since 2000 the machines themselves have been under scrutiny as being easily hackable, prone to error, and of questionable quality. Florida is spending $26 million to replace the electronic machines with the optical scan type. Electronic machines will still be available for handicapped individuals as a result of Federal law mandating their use in elections. The eVoting machines cost Pinellas County alone $14 million in 2001 and there are a total of 15 counties in Florida using these machines. All of them will be scrapped (hopefully not to hackers) and replaced.

Frank Rich to GOP: Reagan is Dead

Richie Rich writes:

Wrongdoing of this magnitude does not happen by accident, but it is not necessarily instigated by a Watergate-style criminal conspiracy. When corruption is this pervasive, it can also be a by-product of a governing philosophy. That’s the case here. That Bush-Rove style of governance, the common denominator of all the administration scandals, is the Frankenstein creature that stalks the GOP as it faces 2008. It has become the Republican brand and will remain so, even after this president goes, until courageous Republicans disown it and eradicate it.

Call Your House Reps: Floor Vote on Cheney Impeachment Tomorrow (Wednesday)

(Update below)

Put up or shut up. Do you have a whole 2 minutes of your day to express your dis-satisfaction? Hell, you can do this on your way to get your afternoon latte.

Go to http://house.gov, look up your Congress rep and tell them about the impeachment vote tomorrow.

In an 18-page draft resolution, Kucinich outlined three charges against Cheney: that he “manipulated the intelligence process . . . by fabricating the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” to justify the war in Iraq; that he deceived citizens and Congress “about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda” to justify the war; and that he has “openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran, absent any real threat to the United States, and has done so with the United States’ proven capability to carry out such threats.”

The Democrat House Speaker is pushing this vote as soon as possible to get it out of the way.

Here is the text and support docs about the resolution.

This sort of pisses me off. Kucunich should have announced the documents available on his site a week before his announcement and then given the activist organizations enough time to generate buzz and support and then introduced it in the House. He should have produced an air tight case including a YouTube video – done a total multimedia onslaught of incontrovertible proof in as many formats and venues as possible.

Update: After I slept on this I realized how much this really pissed me off. With Maxine Waters impeachment resolution that went nowhere and now Kucinich’s that will probably go nowhere, I think this just further undermines the important and magnitude of the impeachment process – and more importantly, the high crimes of the elected leadership. Filing the articles should be the last thing you do after you’ve done all your legwork with your colleagues and constituents. Is Kucinich doing this so he can say he did something? Is this railroading (showboating?)? Very shitty, sloppy execution and a bit selfish. Still, I called Rahm’s office. I think people perceive Kucinich as a nutter-dwarf jabbing and jumping and this reinforces that perception.

Gary Kamiya: How Bush Made the GOP Commit Suicide

This from my buddy Kevin:

Democrats should give two cheers for George W. Bush. He and his political mastermind, Karl Rove, dreamed of achieving a permanent Republican majority. Instead, his disastrous presidency has dealt a devastating blow to the GOP, one from which it may not recover for many years. That’s the inescapable import of a major study of American voters’ values and attitudes by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, released March 22. The study finds that voters have turned dramatically away from the GOP since Bush took office…. But even more troubling for Republican strategists is the fact that underlying attitudes and beliefs are trending against them. The study’s implication is that the GOP, especially in its current far-right incarnation, was facing serious structural, long-term problems anyway, and that Bush delivered the coup de grâce.

American Coup D’etat? Nope. But Erosion…?

Harper’s got together a quartet of military experts to examine the eternal question: Could it happen here?

UTTWAK: What about a situation in which the military was ordered to start a war that it did not believe could be won?…
BACEVICH: The military would leak it to the Washington Post, and the war would never happen.

BACEVICH: Here we don’t need to conjure up hypothetical scenarios of the president deploying troops, etc. We have a president who created a program that directs the National Security Agency, which is part of the military, to engage in domestic eavesdropping.

LUTTWAK: I don’t know if this would be called a coup.

KOHN: Because it’s so incremental?

LUTTWAK: It’s more like an erosion. The president is usurping additional powers. Although what’s interesting is that the president’s usurpation of this particular power was entirely unnecessary.

Nice articulation of various incidents in US History where the Executive, Congress and the military are at a crossroads.

Andrew Bacevich is the author of the stunning The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War is excellent and just came out in paperback. I’m reading it again. (Recommended to me by Republic of T)