Friday, April 20, 2007

Bush & Alberto Gonzales: Undermining elections & the Kansas connection

By Diane Silver

Like the Energizer Bunny, the U.S. Attorney scandal keeps going and going. Whether you're a conservative or a liberal, I suspect, it also keeps getting more and more horrifying.

If you're a Bushie, the sight of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in front of Congress probably didn't brighten your day, no matter what the White House claims. The New York Times editorializes this morning:
If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had gone to the Senate yesterday to convince the world that he ought to be fired, it’s hard to imagine how he could have done a better job, short of simply admitting the obvious: that the firing of eight United States attorneys was a partisan purge.

Mr. Gonzales came across as a dull-witted apparatchik incapable of running one of the most important departments in the executive branch.

Meanwhile, McClatchy Newspapers has uncovered a Bushie campaign to limit voter turnout in what appears to be a bold attempt to undermine elections in favor of the GOP.

For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.


Questions about the administration's campaign against alleged voter fraud have helped fuel the political tempest over the firings last year of eight U.S. attorneys, several of whom were ousted in part because they failed to bring voter fraud cases important to Republican politicians.
The push for Voter ID laws, like the one in Kansas, is also part of this.
Joseph Rich, who left his job as chief of the section in 2005, said these events formed an unmistakable pattern.

"As more information becomes available about the administration's priority on combating alleged, but not well substantiated, voter fraud, the more apparent it is that its actions concerning voter ID laws are part of a partisan strategy to suppress the votes of poor and minority citizens," he said.

The Kansas Connection

The Kansas bill, which would require voters to bring identification to polling places, was narrowly defeated in the House during the regular session. However, it could come up again for a vote in the wrap-up session, which starts on Wednesday.

This bill is up for consideration despite the fact that, as the Lawrence Journal-World reports:
Supporters conceded they had no evidence of illegal immigrants trying to vote in Kansas, or other forms of voter fraud.
Scroll down to find the Voter ID section in this Journal-World capitol briefing.

So here we sit, far from Washington, and it seems clear: Kansas is caught in a nationwide GOP effort to repress voting by minorities and the poor.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration claims to be exporting democracy to the rest of the world. How can they possibly do that when they don't seem to believe in democracy at home?


Blablawoofwoof said...

A "dull-witted apparatchik." Priceless! I'd always thought of him as an inept sycophant.

Unfortunately, there is a surplus of both in this administration.

Diane Silver said...

Oh, your choice of words made my day!

The Bushies provide us with so many opportunities to trot out our vocabulary around the topics of ineqpt, dull-witted, etc.

Jenny said...

Thanks for your perspective - I'm with you! As a native Kansan and a true Dem, I'm appalled by this development. And as for Gonzales... this article just MADE my morning:

They believe what they want to believe, I suppose.