I must admit that I feel that I'm watch an episode of Pinky and the Brain. It seems that Karl Rove is the Brain. World domination is what he is after or more correctly the ability to control Congress with compliant Republicans.
By evil chance, I spent the Saturday night before Election Day 2000 at a jolly dinner for high-level Republicans. Most of the talk over the entrees concerned why then-candidate George W. Bush had been too pusillanimous to tell the voters that Al Gore was not just a liberal, but a Soviet-style Marxist-Leninist. But as the desserts circulated, so too did a piece of comic relief -- an anonymous leaflet explaining to voters that because of heavy voter registration, the rules had been changed: Republicans would vote on Tuesday, Democrats and independents on Wednesday.
I think of that dinner whenever I read about the widening scandal of the U.S. attorneys and the politicization of the Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzo is probably the most endangered man since William Tell's son Walter. The pattern behind the scandal, however, transcends Gonzales' fate or that of his underlings.
At least part of the U.S. attorneys plot seems to derive from the "election fraud" hoax that Republicans are trying to perpetrate in order to gain control of the country's voter lists. So nailing this inept crew of thugs won't be good enough. We need laws protecting the right to vote from the kind of phony, partisan prosecutors that Gonzales, Rove and Co. were trying to put in place, and from the punitive, restrictive voter-ID laws that are a prominent part of the far-right political agenda.
Republicans do cherish their little practical jokes -- the leaflets in African-American neighborhoods warning that voters must pay outstanding traffic tickets before voting; the calls in Virginia in 2006 from the mythical "Virginia Election Commission" warning voters they would be arrested if they showed up at the polls. The best way to steal an election is the old-fashioned way: control who shows up. It's widely known that Republicans do better when the turnout is lighter, whiter, older and richer; minorities, young people and the poor are easy game for hoaxes and intimidation. (more...)