Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Ipsi Dixit Spider

Senator Obama's most important task over the next several months is making sure that his voters are allowed to vote. His seconds (VP candidates, people like Governor Richardson, Nancy Pelosi, etc.) have to take bogus Republican complaints about "voter fraud" and turn them on their head. His muscle need to make sure that voters in African American neighborhoods in the Midwest and the South actually have the ability to vote during their lunch hour.

No one should need 4 hours to vote, as happened repeatedly in 2004. I am generally in and out of my polling place in under 10 minutes.

I don't know if Obama should trust a large wide-spread use of absentee balloting or not. I would think that the absentee ballots would be destroyed by officials prior to election day, but then I am a student of history. Obama's pollsters and election lawyers need to get past the paranoia of people like me, and figure out what is most likely to happen in this particular case and act upon it. I think it could be a difference maker.


Obama has his work cut out for him.

You have a recent Supreme Court decision affirming the use of voter ID in Indiana (birthplace of the KKK). The rest of the States can now follow Indiana's lead. The decision seems to say that in balancing the fundamental rights of voters under the 14th Amendment and the poll tax amendment against a legislative finding of widespread voter fraud, it is sufficient that the legislature just has a bad feeling. An actual factual showing is not required.

And then, I know I keep beating this to the ground, but suppression of Democratic voters was the entire point of the U.S. Attorney firings 18 months ago. That nasty business seems to have receded, but the jack-in-the-box is about to come out again.

The Democrats needed to follow up on this harder. Just being angry at Harriet Miers and Karl Rove does not do the trick. Congress did not follow up because it was too "inside Beltway," and it might make too many "swing voters" angry coming into the Presidential election. But the job of the Congress is to be in Congress today, not to worry about the Presidential elections in the future.

The U.S. Attorney scandal, and more particularly the insistence that the President has the right to suppress Congressional subpoenas just "ipsi dixit" is an impeachable offense because it goes to the core of the Article I -- Article II relationship. (And lets not forget that the Constitution gives Congress top billing for a reason. Newt Gingrich never forgot it.) Should Congress have actually impeached the President over a thing like that? Congress should have at least debated it to see where it went, both inside Congress and in the nation as a whole. Now is already too late.


I will say this about my Democrats in the House and Senate. I never expected them to get anything done, with the Bushes making all the lobbyists so much money, and the Republican governing philosophy that a Republican President is King. However, I did expect endless hearings. Maybe an impeachment -- of anyone -- just to flex their muscles.

You just have to want it more than they seem to.