These people never die. They just morph into ever-more determined monsters, and this time they have the imprimatur of the Supreme Court for a key tactic. This time 4 years ago, Citizens United was merely Karl Rove's wildest dream. It's no longer a dream. It's a very real monster now and make no mistake, it's Godzilla.
They've also managed to kill ACORN since then, which was strategically important. ACORN was involved with helping the powerless learn how to be less so, part of which was encouraging them to begin to vote. And since newly empowered formerly powerless people often begin voting for their own interests -- which is never good news for an oligarch -- ACORN simply had to go. They've been trying to kill ACORN since the US Attorneys scandal in 2006. It was a big win.
They've also shifted into high gear to put voter-suppression laws into place. Because even without ACORN's annoying habit of registering people the election thieves think are more likely to vote for a Democrat than a Republican, they still have a significant numbers problem. The party of mean old white men is losing ground fast. To neutralize that inconvenient fact, they're relying heavily on a strategy that losers have been using for millennia: if you can't win fair and square, cheat. And these guys aren't just good cheaters. They're formidable ones. They'll do absolutely anything they can get away with to eliminate, once and for all, our ability to have a say in the fate of the country we love, by having a vote that can't be stolen. By having legitimate elections in other words.
This once shady, but newly-sanctioned voter suppression strategy may be our biggest challenge this time. We don't have time to repeal the laws they've used every dirty trick in the book to put in place. We've got to hit the ground running and get those people the ID those voter suppression laws mandate. Somehow, that has got to be done. It will be no small effort. But if we don't re-enfranchise the millions of voters that highly successful effort has disenfranchised, it could easily have the grim, totalitarian effect they hope it will, which is a giant step toward removing, finally, whatever power the will of the people, expressed through their votes, still has over who runs this country and how they run it.
I have to say at this point, that I am not talking about your ordinary Republican voter next door. They remain, by and large, decent, patriotic people. The organized, well-planned theft of recent elections IS largely a Republican effort -- but the Republicans in charge of it bear very little resemblance to your Republican neighbor. They really aren't Republicans so much as they're oligarchs. If they thought the Washington Democrats might be as easy to control as Washington Republicans have proven to be, they'd be Democrats. They're not driven by ideals, or hopes, or aspirations, or love for this country. They're driven by money and power. There's nothing wrong with ethically acquired money and there's nothing wrong with a little principled power, but these people are different. They can't ever get enough of either. No matter how much they have, they will always do anything they need to do to get more. If the day ever comes that your honorable Republican neighbor really begins to understand the extent to which he has been used by them, to do some pretty awful things to the country he no doubt loves every bit as much as you do, the oligarch's days are numbered. I pray for that day.
I published this same article in August of 2008. Consensus seems to be that the theft the Dark Side was poised to pull off, in the 2008 presidential election, was averted by exploiting an important vulnerability in their apparatus: that if turnout is massive, AND the winner wins by a genuine landslide, of massive proportions, it can be foiled. It's hard to get deep enough into their well-protected world to be sure, but apparently the machine can eliminate only up to about 20-30% of the votes they don't like. If more than 20-30% of people vote the way they don't want them to, it's harder to pull it off. I suppose it's possible they could have plugged that hole somehow by now. It's just extremely hard to tell, before the vote is taken. You have to reverse engineer these things to figure it all out. And even when they get caught absolutely in flagrante delicto when it happens, it just never seems to matter. Not to anyone in a position to do anything about it anyway. Like the fourth estate for instance. The ENTIRE fourth estate. It's got to be more than just Greg Palast. And thus far, the fourth estate does nothing. The 2000 election was stolen, the press absolutely knew about it, there were a few outraged stories by a few people outside the beltway -- and then nothing. 99% of them rolled over. In 2004 -- ditto. It was one of the saddest things I've ever had to watch.
One of the most wonderful things I've ever watched though, is the way that the voting integrity activists, including millions of ordinary Americans like you and me, have never let up. They have been vigilant, focused and determined to do everything possible to foil these sick, turncoat, conscienceless, un-American traitors. They haven't broken stride since 2008. The mainstream press is still meek little mice, but the rest of the guardians of this country's elections remain a formidable force. It's going to be a little harder this time. But we can do this again. We have to.
It's also been refreshing to see so much strong, critical coverage of Citizens United in the mainstream media. Also to see voter suppression being covered in the mainline press/media, finally. FOX is, predictably, doing an atrocious job of it, but even they are being forced to mention it, if only to deny it. That's progress of a sort, anyway.
So, I thought I'd dust this off, update it a little bit, and re-publish it. Wonder how it will all go down this time.
The Greg Palast/RFK, Jr, investigative team has been watching the Republican-centric election-theft machine like eagles, the way that all real journalists used to watch such things, since the last presidential election. I can't recommend reading about it highly enough. This is a killer book, a fast read, and if you ever felt lackadaisical about voting, and the vote itself before, you won't ever feel that way again when you're done with it.
Click http://ballotbandits.wordpress.com/ and read all about it. If you'd like a free copy of the "Steal Back Your Vote" comic book, click http://www.gregpalast.com/store/?sbyvfree (It's a lot of fun. Well worth the click.)
If you can also contribute to their effort, do that too. And never forget: the money you send them is going for something much more important than helping one candidate or the other win. It's going to help us make sure that our elections produce the president that most of us actually voted for. I can't think of anything more important than that.