Friday, January 07, 2005

An Historic Day

Yesterday was an historic day indeed! Senator Barbara Boxer of California brazenly stepped forward and supported the Congressional Black Caucus in objecting to the Ohio vote count from the Nov presidential election.

"Four years ago I didn't intervene, I was asked by Al Gore not to do so, and I didn't do so,'' said Boxer. "Frankly, looking back on it, I wish I had. I do. I have to admit that. I'm not one that likes to admit mistakes. But, it really wasn't about Al Gore, it was about the voters, and I made a mistake."

Frankly, four years ago, her opposition may have made a difference. This year, however, after less than two hours of debating, most of the Democrats fell right in line in accepting the Ohio certification. Boxer was the only Senator to vote against the resolution to accept the 20 certified electoral votes from Ohio and only 31 House members voted against it.

I listened to a couple of the speeches that were given on C-SPAN radio yesterday afternoon during my lunch. It was extremely enlightening. The parties involved in the objection of the vote knew that they had no chance of overturning the election and instead used the opportunity to shine a bright light on voting irregularities and problems in the US. Jesse Jackson, Jr. went so far as to reccommend ammending the Constitution to ensure a federally guarateed right to vote.

I have to say that the response from the republican speakers was especially odious. They basically accused the Democrats of playing politics. Said things like, "you lost, get over it," "sore losers," "move-on," "American people don't want this." They acted like it was a travesty that anyone would dare raise a question. The official version was already decided. Get over it, move-on, whiners. It was just awful.

Much has been made by the republican party about the Democrats being the loyal opposition party with most of the emphasis being on "loyal." We are the loyal opposition to the party that has control right now, but nobody said that loyalty=silence. I certainly hope that is not the case. I did not agree to be silent. I view loyal oppostion as, loyal to America, oppose republican agenda; will continually work to promote liberal/democratic/progressive values unceasingly.

There is nothing un-American with having a hearty and vigorous debate. The attitude that we all have to fall in line with the official version of events unquestioningly, is.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed that more of the Democratic leadership did not vote against the Ohio count.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Breaking Electoral News!!

It looks as though Barbara Boxer will be the brazen US Senator to step up and challange Ohio's vote!

I personally commend her character to stand up and shine a light on an issue that I think needs to be addressed: the way we vote and tabulate votes in this country. As much as I and other Democrats/liberals/progressives would like to see this overturn the election results, we are well aware that the chances of that happening are nil. However, it is truly important that we address the election problems we have in this country. We cannot and should not sit idly by while our electoral process if rife with even the slightest hint of fraud or voter manipulation. We are the biggest and best democracy on the planet. If our elections cannot stand up in the cold hard light of day, how can we call ourselves a democracy? So, let's examine the process and improve it for future elections.

I say, "Bring it on!"

Electoral count?

According to Keith Olberman, the only mainstream reporter who has consistently tracked the voting irregularities in Ohio, there may be as many as 6 Senate Democrats who join with the House Democrats to oppose the vote totals in Ohio. And I heard on Democracy Now that, as of last night, Barbara Boxer, Senator from California, was considering signing the objection. Only one Senator is needed, but it would really be a statement if 6 signed the objection.

It would be a clear vote of no-confidence in the Ohio, if not the US, electoral process and agaisnt GWB by congressional Democrats. Once the objection is made with at least one House and one Senate signatory, each of the houses (Senate and House of Representatives) must meet separately to discuss and vote on who should receive Ohio's electoral votes. All of the opposition will not mean a changing of the guard in the White House, barring any direct Divine Intervention, as the Republicans control both the House and the Senate. But the objection will stand on record and perhaps force the whole Congress to revisit the Help America Vote Act and put into place better standards to ensure the integrity of future votes.

I suggest that you tune into C-SPAN for live coverage of this event. I wish that I could, but I do not have a TV at work.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A Gutsy Lady Remembered

Shirley Chisolm, the first black woman elected to Congress, died Saturday. She was 80 years old. She will be missed.

Cnn story.
"She refused to accept the ordinary, and she had high expectations for herself and all people around her."

Being True to Our Values

Here's another great article by Anna Quindlen "The Ghost of Politics Past."

"And while I don't believe in ghosts, I hope the memory of Paul Wellstone will haunt the Democrats as they go about the very public business of finding themselves in the wake of their November defeat. Not because they will necessarily embrace his positions, but because they ought to assume his legacy of passionate conviction. "

So refreshing to read this in the sea of doom and gloom being touted by Republicans and conservative political pundits. I was sick all weekend listening to C-Span Radio's rebroadcast of Fox News Sunday on which the pundit stated that the Democrats fear Bush's policies because it will create an army of new Republicans. Then the group of right wing pundits all guffaw and chuck each other on the arm to show just how clever they are to have outsmarted those damned liberals once and for all.

There is no discussion of issues or healthy debate of ideas, just one side purporting itself as political news.

We need to get away from all this nonsense...and a Democrat who can assume Paul Wellstone's legacy of "passionate conviction" and resolve to do the right thing for the American people is just what I think we need.

More on Moral Values

I like this article by Jennifer Wheary, "Who Owns American Moral Values." Her argument is that moral values and American values belong to every American, not just Christians or red-state republicans and that values held by others who do not subscribe to a monolithic view of christianity are also valid, moral and American.

"American moral values do not belong to just one side, to one Western religion or Christian tradition, to so-called red states - or to blue ones, for that matter. American moral values are, by definition, ours - all of ours. These values include equality, social and economic justice, environmental responsibility and democracy. They are rooted in philosophical and ethical beliefs that run deep and over which no one group has a monopoly.

One of the most dismaying aspects of this year's election was the attempt and relative success on the part of extreme partisans and conservatives to hijack the meaning of moral values and to recast guardianship of them as the special privilege of a few. More than a few of our officials owe their election or appointment to this hijacking."

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