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Reply #19: Explains why when we elect Al Gore, we get George Bush. [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Explains why when we elect Al Gore, we get George Bush.
Also explains why Diebold and ES&S aren't worried about any hand-counted paper ballots soon, if ever.


Joan Mellen
Stewart Mott House, Washington, D.C., September 14, 2007.

I like to begin my talks with a mantra. It goes like this. Jim Garrison, district attorney of Orleans Parish, whose investigation into the Kennedy assassination is the subject of my book, A Farewell To Justice, after it was all over and Clay Shaw was acquitted, was asked: how could you ever have believed that you could convict CIA operative Clay Shaw for participation in the conspiracy to kill President Kennedy in a state court in Louisiana?

I guess I thought I was living in the country I was born in, Garrison said.

This line has particular resonance today. Many of us were not born in a country where martial law was legitimized; where the President could countermand any law he wanted to with promiscuous signing statements; where there was illegal government surveillance of citizens accompanied by neither warrants nor probable cause; where what library books you took out could become known to the government; where America, having legalized the use of torture, was defined as a country inevitably pursuing preemptive foreign wars, and where, as in George Orwell's 1984, war was a permanent part of the country's identity. You all know the litany.

It also has become clear even to those in deepest denial that the Democrats are not about to reverse these assaults on the U.S. Constitution. In policy, in principle and in action, the Democrats are revealing themselves as offering no substantive difference from the party in power. Howard Zinn made the point that there was little difference between the two parties in A People's History of the United States, first published in 1980. Zinn's observation is more true than ever today as some people, albeit half-heartedly, continue to be tempted to place their faith in a change of administrations in the hope of reversing the damage to the democratic fabric we have witnessed in the past eight years.

In our continuing attempt to understand when this assault on the Constitution began in earnest, so that in the administration of George W. Bush it accelerated at so astonishing a pace, I would like first to raise the question of whether it is in to fact true that with Bush and Cheney we have seen an inflation of the power of the Executive. Or has the power of the president in fact shrunk so drastically that it is entirely inappropriate to blame Bush for the war, or for the assault on the Constitution? Let me suggest that it is the organ grinder with whom we have to be concerned, rather than the monkey.


In many ways, Professor Mellen reminds me of you, Beffers.
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