Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Presidential Coup

A majority of people vote for the losing candidate. A group of people take thousands of names of minority voters off the official rolls in a key state. The supreme council overturns a recount in order to "save the republic."

No, I'm not talking about Iran, of course, I am talking about Bush vs. Gore 2000. Many scholars felt that this election was a gift to the Republicans from a clearly partisan court. The popular vote was won by the Gore - Lieberman ticket by 543,816 votes.

Here is the wikipedia page on the election. And here is an interesting page that postulates that by any fair accounting, Gore, won the actual election, hanging chads or not. Now, as Antonin Scalia is fond of saying, "it's water over the deck, get over it, that's so old." But before we get all huffy about voting irregularity in Iran, perhaps we should examine our own conduct.

One of the interesting things that happened in Florida was that many legal voters were illegally purged from the voting rolls. Analysts believe that 7 out of 10 of those largely african american voters in the state would have voted for Gore, clearly putting him over the top. These voters were wrongly identified as felons by Secretary of State Katherine Harris. An article on the great voting heist of 2000.

The current election in Iran is tragic. The Guardian Council admits that the vote was flawed but will not overturn the result. There were more votes tallied than actual voters in over fifty cities. The families of opposition candidate Mousavi and ex president Rafsanjani have been detained. Protesters are now being reframed as terrorists and the ayatollah is promising swift retribution for protests. Many conservatives have castigated Obama for not being more forceful on the Iranian issue. The same people who criticized President Clinton for "Nation Building". I think that his actions have been proper, measured and appropriate. He does not want to endanger the opposition by appearing too close to them and causing forceful repression from the elite who have been branded the great satan by his predecessors.

The Iranians will have to take matters in their own hands. They have done it before. There was an excellent interview with Iranian political analyst Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Terry Gross today that lauded the President and said that his gentle and respectful tone with Iran actually helped empower the opposition. You can listen to the interview here. There is a dichotomy and cultural war between the forces of fundamentalism and freedom in Iran today that unfortunately seems vaguely familiar.

Kent State and Tiananmen Square

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I told you, shit for brains, that the Africon-Amerikan vote was registered in at 13%, in Florida, in 2000, but they voted at 17% of the total!! Now how were they disenfranchised? Get outa my face with your illinformed Robert Kennedy Jr-fied, Greg Palastly bull shit. You pinkos lose an election and you wanna leave the country, or the machines were fixed. Well just leave!!