Friday, November 03, 2006

RepubliKlan Bully Boys

What is it with Republicans? Bad enough that on all the policy issues people could disagree on – war, taxes, immigration, education, civil liberties – they are dangerously wrong. But they don't stop at being wrong; as I have written previously, they try to poison politics so people won't vote.

In every election, Republicans try to keep people from the polls, and they are usually minoritie and the poor. Just as in Congress where they have flouted or rigged the rulebook, in state after state, election after election, they try to win through intimidation, not on the merits of their position. Why? Because their positions are overwhelmingly unpopular among the American people. Unfortunately, most of the American people already don't vote, which is why we get moral monsters like Bush and his gang of neo-conmen.

So, I predict that how ever the Democrats do next Tuesday, it will be about 10 percent worse than they would have done with honest elections.

In Maryland, where I live, Republican poll watchers (usually the elderly) have been told in writing to challenge every voter if they have any doubt about eligibility. And to threaten Democratic poll watchers with jail terms if they protest. In Indiana, a new law so restricts people's right to vote by requiring only certain forms of picture ID – that a member of Congress with a congressional ID picture card was turned away at the polls during the primary election. In Georgia, a state with an odious history of jailing and lynching people for trying exert constitutional rights, a court threw out a similar law that would have required the people least likely to have a photo ID to have one or give up their right to vote.

Everyone knows how the presidential election was stolen in Florida in 2000, but fewer know how it was apparently stolen in Ohio in 2004. HBO has a fine documentary on the connection between the manufacturer of most of the country's voting machines and the Republican party. You may draw your own conclusions, but you won't have to go to art school to do so.

It was a Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, who first referred to the White House as a "bully pulpit." He meant that it is a mighty platform from which to argue your positions. The current Republican occupant takes it literally. He is the biggest bully on the world stage (saying in the morning that politics is too ugly and in the afternoon that Democrats support terrorism).

Want another example? The administration is, for the first time, denying funds for neonatal and infant care to babies of undocumented workers who are born in U.S. hospitals.Sounds like a good
plan to incentivize the illegals to go back home. Except for two things: 1) When you don't treat a newborn right away, the baby gets sicker and more expensive later. 2) The babies are American citizens the moment they take their first breath.
So, it is no exaggeration to define the Republican party as people who think their domestic opponents are terrorists, that terrorists are enemy combatants, that enemy combatants can be jailed secretly without charges or representation and that American babies can be condemned to illness, or death, based on their parents' nationality.

Kind of makes you wish for the good old days of the Ku Klux Klan. At least they said what they meant.

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