Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time to ask: Why Does the GOP hate the democratic process?

The time has come to ask, in all sober seriousness, What do the Republicans have against democracy?   I mean they SAY they love Democracy with all their hearts. Indeed, You can hardly get the president to shut up about it.   He seems to believe that once people go to a ballot box  (and have are assigned a Color-Coded "revolution" brand (Orange, Purple Cedar, etc )all their problems disappear and the sky starts raining puppies and unicorns (neither of which are noted for their aerodynamic properties so even under the best of circumstances this is a messy proposition.).  

In practice however,  the GOP has been showing an increasing contempt for the democratic process both here and abroad, particularly when they don't like the results.  Consider the following  and see if maybe just maybe you don't see a trend there that's worth framing and getting people talking about:

1)Tom Delay's Texas two Step: Now any rational Observer of the saga I like to call "the Hammer gets nailed" knew that Tom Delay's chance of standing in the general election in November (or indeed not being under federal indictment by then) was  about the same as Mel Gibson's chance of joining B'nai Brith.  

Nonetheless Tom Delay ran in the Republican primary for his house seat and nary  a word  of protest was uttered by local party officials.  Why?  because apparently the Democratic process was entirely to messy for DeLay & Co.   Tom didn't approve of the people actually willing to RUN to replace him.  So he decided to win the election THEN resign and hand pick his successor on the ballot rather then letting the actual party faithful  have a say in the matter.

Even though his  plan was monkey-wrenched by a federal Circuit Courtpanel that had the Temerity to actually . Enforce Texas election law despite a furious lobbying campaign by his supporters (which will no doubt get them labeled "activist Judges"  by the GOP)   the Local party STILL can't be bothered to ask  their  member what they want.  Instead they hold a secret closed door meeting  to hand-pick who the write in candidate will be.

2) Bob "all Opposed Say" Ney:  Like his career, his electioneering is almost the mirror image of Tom Delay's only on a smaller,  more venial scale. As nearly any Washington observer with a pulse can tell you, when you are referred to as "Representative #1" both in the press and  in a federal indictment, your political career isn't long for this world.  Yet  Ney ran in the primary, with his local party's blessing, again depriving the GOP rank and file of making any meaningful choice in their primary election.   Worse yet, in Ney's case, There is a law that specifically requires a special primary  in such a case, to preserve the right of voter to chose who they have on their ballot.   However Ney is is carefully timing his withdrawal letter to try to circumvent the law and allow for a selection not another election.  

3) Senator "Santorum" (ewww) : So you are Sitting Senator that's getting beaten Like a rented Mule in every election poll taken what do you do?  Do you:

A) start seriously reconsidering your positions and try to re-connect with your constituents.

B) Start really appreciating all the little joys of being a Senator and the Beauty of Washington in the Summer as you spend your last days packing your office on capitol Hill OR

C) Call up your big-donor buddies and convince them to Create a third party Candidate from scratch to try to steal votes from your opponent?

This is a particularly egregious offense to Democracy for two reasons.  First it is a neat-handed way to let all of Santorum's richest friends ignore campaign contribution limits, and effectively double-dip,  More importantly however, but it also makes a complete mockery of the democratic process itself.   NO ONE giving money to, or organizing for, Carl Romanelli actually wants him to win and be the next Senator from Pennsylvania , or cares about the causes or ideas he espouses..  Instead, they are hoping that his candidacy will  ensure the victory of someone who stands for  the diametric opposite of every Romanelli professes care about.   In essence, they are using election rules to try to confuse and confound voters.

4) "Say it Ain't So" Joe Lieberman:  Again, we see  the Powers That Be,  dissing the local voters, and not making any secret of it.  Sure he has An apparent Gambling problem, and unfortunate penchant for Porn-star sounding  Pseudonyms but the Republican voters of Connecticut went into the booth on election day and said "Alan You're the guy to lead us to victory come November".  Unfortunately back in Washington he's been about as welcome as Jack Abramoff with  a digital camera.

Not only has Bush refused to endorse him he's actually had his chief campaign  strategist call Another party's candidate, and offer to help him (a Party of One , but a party nonetheless).  Once again the actual  voters are treated as sheep who will do and vote for whom they are told to, and  whose input is neither accepted or desired by Party elders.  

And of Course who could forget

5) Katherine "I'm not batshit Crazy, I just had Surgery to look that way" Harris:  Again, the National and state GOP is trying to knock the duly selected party Nominee out of the race.   Now granted Her campaign has become about as well run (and comically embrassing) as a Spinal Tap Tour and she is, personally speaking Joan Crawford level Crazy (yes that IS in the DSM-IV, thank you very much), I'll give them a pass on that one.

Worse yet, this is not Solely a domestic phenomenon  either .  In the last few years Bush and Company have not hesitated  to Criticize and punish countries that have had perfectly free and fair elections that have had results we don't like.   Bad as the Domestic shenannigans are, this is far far worse.  At a minimum it is extremely damaging to our international credibility and leadership on human rights, I think.

 But this diary is already a Monster so stay tuned for that in part II.


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