Friday, October 22, 2004

My, what big teeth you have, grandmother

Seen the Bush “Wolves” ad yet? Others have dealt with the ongoing slander on wolves and the fact that the intelligence cut Kerry supported was a Republican plan. I want to highlight two words: “In an increasingly dangerous world, even after the first terrorist attack on America ... John Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to slash America’s intelligence operations.” What was the first terrorist attack on America? The assassination of McKinley? The bomb-thrower at the Haymarket riot? I presume they mean the first attack on the World Trade Center, but if the casual viewer understands it to mean 9/11, that’s just fine with the RNC.
(Update: and what do the wolves have to say, you ask.)

A reader wrote to ask, “How long do you think it will take to have a decision on the presidency? I mean assuming the Republicans don’t steal it outright.” As I thought about all the factors involved--the inevitable court challenges in close states, voting-machine meltdowns, dirty tricks, felon purges, voter suppression, incomplete voter lists, etc--it became clear how much the legitimacy of the electoral process has been damaged (good Orcinus post, with lots of links, on these issues). When you think of Bush or Kerry or Nader or Pelletier “winning the election,” do you think that he will have 1) won the most votes, 2) won the most electoral votes, 3) won the most Supreme Court justices, 4) won the most state Supreme Court cases? The link between votes cast and outcome seems to be more and more attenuated. We won’t really believe the final vote count. We will know that many who wanted to vote were disenfranchised, one way or another. I really don’t want to spend another 4 years putting the word president inside quotation marks.

The same reader has brought my attention to Ohio’s Issue I. 11 states have anti-gay marriage measures on the November ballot. Ohio, which already bans gay marriage, will vote on whether “This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.” This is a roll-back of rights going far beyond marriage. Civil unions, which exist in some localities, would go, but the phrasing is so vague that it might also ban gay adoption, domestic violence provisions for unmarried couples, insurance coverage, etc etc.

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