Republican Election Fraud and the Firing of US Attorneys
The latest scandal rocking the Bush administration has its provenance in the issue of alleged "voter fraud." The original intention to fire 93 US attorneys and the eventual dismissal of seven of them was largely based on questions of political loyalty. The apparent litmus test for said loyalty was the willingness or lack thereof for prosecuting cases of so-called "voter fraud." Those who showed promise for prosecuting so-called "voter fraud" were considered "loyal" to the Bush Republican regime, and those who didn't, were not.
"Since the 2000 election ended in dispute in Florida," MSNBC reports, "Republicans at the national and local levels have repeatedly raised concerns about possible voter fraud, alleging that convicted felons and other ineligible voters have been permitted to cast ballots to the benefit of Democrats." Imagine that, the Republicans complaining about FRAUD in connection with VOTING! Now isn't that the most ironic idea you can imagine? Perhaps not as ironic as it might be, if one considers the administration's subtle shift in terminology.
One should note the White House and Justice emphasis on voter fraud, as opposed to election fraud. The distinction is not a minor one. Voter fraud places the blame for election scandals on so-called felonious and 'dead' voters whose votes are reputedly cast for Democrats. These felons and dead-men-voting are the old boogie men of Republican rhetoric regarding elections.
Election fraud, on the other hand, might include organizational, party-level, state-collusive manipulation and/or purging of voter rolls, the failure to count or the miscounting of ballots, the destruction of ballots, the failure to recount ballots when legally required to do so by state laws, the illegal use of election facilities for party purposes, the state-sanctioned targeting of precincts for faulty or inadequate amounts of equipment, and of course, the manipulation of electronic voting machine tabulations.
In short, election fraud includes the very serious and major problems that did account for the election thefts of 2000 as well as 2004. While voter fraud is a notorious boogie man-the alleged dead-man-voting that no one can locate on the ground.
What then could be the reason for the White House's and Justice's emphasis on voter fraud? Might it have been means by which to distract attention away from the systemic and well-documented election scandals of the past six years? Might it have been a form of retribution against Democrats for the well-founded accusations, lingering anger and outrage, and possible investigations regarding the last two presidential "elections" that resulted in utterly discredited results-the "elections" of GW Bush? Might the attempt to replace US Attorneys have been an attempt to refocus any possible future investigations toward VOTER as opposed to the well-known and utterly outrageous practices of ELECTION fraud undertaken by Republican party operatives during the Rove era?
These motives, probably combined, account for the move to dismiss these and more US attorneys, and also explain the intimate involvement of Rove (and probably Bush) in the firings.
Remember, Bush and his ilk are going down soon, but they want to leave a judicial legacy that will survive them for decades, if not half-centuries. This legacy will, they hope, include prosecutors who will turn a blind eye to the kind of systemic election fraud that Republicans routinely undertake, while shifting attention to the minor issue of dead-men-voting. Voter fraud is a red herring and the firing of the US attorneys is apiece with the vast rightwing conspiratorial practice of ELECTION FRAUD.
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Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.
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