portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

government | human & civil rights | imperialism & war

Postponement of the November Elections

Organize now to stop dictatorship and the neocons.
What had been merely a rumor has now become fact.

The Bush administration has asked for legislation enabling it to postpone the November election as a result of a terror attack. While worded very carefully to suggest that an attack must take place for such a move; I do not see either of the below stories unequivocally state that, if granted, these powers might not also permit elections to be "postponed" on merely a well-publicized threat. Don't believe the press stories. Read the legislation when it is introduced to see what it says there. If that discretion is included then we are at the edge of an abyss more dangerous than anything we have ever faced.

These powers, if enacted, will go to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS would also be the entity to decide when, or if, postponed elections would be held.

Allowing suspension of the elections on just the threat of a terror attack would create a hole in the legislation big enough to drive an oil tanker, or an open dictatorship, through. Since the legislation has not been seen yet we do not know what it will say. Once introduced, the bill would then go into Senate and House Committees (Republican controlled) where the language could easily be modified to give discretionary power to the Administration. At that moment the Constitution would overtly cease to have any operational meaning at all. The separation of powers would vanish.

Judging from the news stories tonight we will probably see the legislation introduced fairly quickly. From the instant it appears, this legislation must be tracked daily, even hourly, at  http://thomas.loc.gov.

Does any one of us doubt that if threatened or desperate, the administration would use those powers without hesitation?

I ask those who read this to stop for a moment and consider what it would mean for all of us on this side of the fence if the Bush administration both acquired and used the power to suspend the election -- with or without an attack. What restraints would be left to prevent some of our worst-case scenarios from coming true? Why even maintain the illusion of democracy? All vestiges of accountability will have been removed.

We should each evaluate our own situations accordingly. Hopefully most of us will see that we have no choice but to bond together more than ever before. To quote Ben Franklin: "We must all hang together or else we shall surely all hang separately."

This is the moment at which it all becomes very, very real. Although there is strong Democratic Party opposition appearing with derisive statements from Rep. Jane Harman and Sen. Diane Feinstein, my initial assessment, after watching CNN, FOX and MS-NBC, is that the press is already "selling" us this legislation. Fortunately, early stories also report that the act would also require a constitutional amendment.

However, with this Supreme Court we can be assured of nothing. Yet, knowing this, we can be sure that there will be many chances to fight and beat this travesty. There will be many places at which our skills and resources can function to create and implement a coordinated response.

All the efforts put into 9/11 and into the anti-war movement will need to pale by comparison with the effort that must be put forth to prevent this legislation from passing. Every lesson learned about organizing; mobilizing; reporting; strategy; education; and influencing congress (if that's possible), needs to be remembered and applied now. There will be many tests to come.

May whatever form of divinity each of us holds dear give us guidance, wisdom and strength as we consider this.

For almost three years FTW, along with many other brave souls, has been saying that 9/11 was just the beginning. Tonight it seems that the next stage - whatever that will turn out be - is knocking tonight at everyone's door. Do not give up. Do not be afraid. If all this is true and comes to pass, then everything is as bad as we have been saying all this time. So we had that much of a head start, didn't we?

We are not defenseless. The cause is not lost. There is always a sense of relief when a dreaded event finally arrives because - only in that moment - can anything be done about it.

I don't usually quote Dianne Feinstein but she was right when she said that America holds elections in the middle of wars, earthquakes and disasters. No matter what, we must demand an election this November. Even the debates about which candidate is or isn't better, or whether one will or won't make a difference, are now moot.

Stop. Catch your breaths. Steel your hearts and minds in preparation. Soon we're all going to find out what we're made of. If we do not have an election this November then the world we have been fighting to change until tonight will become only a "pleasant" memory compared to the world that will follow.

Mike Ruppert

homepage: homepage: http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/061204_election_delayed.shtml

are people supporting this? 13.Jul.2004 12:46

rational human

Because, my understanding is that the republican logic goes something like this:
In order to prevent a terrorist attack from disrupting our elections we must pass legislation that guarantees that a terrorist attack will disrupt our elections.

I know that people living in fear are usually quick to line up behind whatever this administration says is necessary for our safety but this doesn't even make a bit of sense. But then, I suppose people who are that afraid aren't particularly rational.


Speaking for Forked Tongue 13.Jul.2004 15:12

North Portlander

If you follow this logic, then why weren't other major activities cancelled? No July 4th events were cancelled, even though there was a purported terrorist alert. The Olympics have not been cancelled and we are not forbidding our athletes to attend. After the 9/11 attacks and subsequent "terror alerts" the administration's mantra has been, "be on high alert, but go about your daily business so that the terrorists don't win. Shop! Fly!"

So, all of a sudden they are considering postponing elections because of yet another possible attack based on questionable intelligence?

There are so many ways to get around this that you know the real reason to delay elections has nothing to do with the threat of terrorism.

yes! 13.Jul.2004 17:32

this thing here

excellent points, both of you.

i can't believe this place is still called america.

ever since the morning of sept. 11th., we have had our chains yanked back and forth and back and forth.

"be afraid you might die. but don't stop shopping."

"be scarred of hijackers. but continue to travel like you normally do."

"we have no specific information. but we have intelligence sources. there could be a bio-weapons attack, but we don't know if, when or where. thousands of you and you neighbors may become infected with smallpox. or, maybe not. you might want to protect you and your family with plastic sheets and duct tape. but you don't have to go and buy plastic sheeting and duct tape and seal up your house."

or, like above, "this measure, which allows us to delay an election in the case of a terrorist act, will prevent terrorism from delaying or effecting the elections."

this is called intentional crazy making. this is called orchestrated psychological manipulation. to think that these "leaders" don't know they are yanking people back and forth, to think they aren't trying to intentionally perpetuate the wave of fear 9-11 generated, and ride it for years to come, is the hieght of naivety and stupidity.

Beginning not to care 13.Jul.2004 22:10

Anon

I'm beginning not to care what they do. Nothing anyone does will stop what they have planned anyway, and the best result we can hope for is to temporarily set aside the most odious provisions of their schemes only to see them quietly reinserted after the excitement dies down. History argues that the funds and human energies expended in futile protests against such ideologically-driven sociopaths would be better spent hoarding monkey wrenches and otherwise quietly preparing. If 9-11 and its aftermath have served to highlight anything, it's the number of people in America who actually support the sort of pernicious society that Bush and his gang of storm troopers are busily implementing. We're still fighting the same battles we were fighting fifty and a hundred years ago, battles we thought were long ago decided, and against the same enemies. Despite all the so-called successes of "effective" opposition - and I'll grant there have been a few - we find that for the most part only the form of the protested injustice/inequity/outrage is changed but never the substance. Any "reforms" that have resulted are therefore largely illusory. It's time to quit deluding ourselves that those who ostensibly represent us give a tinker's damn about anything more than being on the winning side and hanging on to power. And it's well past time to stop imagining that real problems can ever be resolved politically.