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Tubbs Jones-Boxer Challenge in Congress a Big Progressive Win

Despite the betrayal by conservative Democrats, Kerry and a slimy Democratic leadership, the successful protest in Congress delaying confirmation of Bush's electoral win is a major progressive victory, permantly staining Bush's second term with the stench of illegitimacy.

It's easy to dismiss what happened in Congress Thursday, when several members of the House, led by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), stood up and challenged the awarding of Ohio's 20 electors to George Bush, as "poor losing" or "grandstanding" or "conspiracy theory stuff," as Republican critics and much of the media did.

Certainly the holding up of the official confirmation of Bush's electoral victory for a second presidential term of office was not going to lead to a real investigation of the massive electoral fraud and misconduct that marred the Ohio voting, much less an overturning of the results of that state's election or the outcome of the presidential race. Even if, as is probable, the election was stolen by Republicans, that party's majority control of both houses of Congress and of the machinery of the federal government's law enforcement and investigatory apparatus makes any legal challenge to the election impossible.

Still, the Democratic protest, led by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, was a critically important victory for progressives.

What happened in Ohio--and elsewhere across the country--during this recent election, was the deliberate, massive suppression of the votes of working class people, seniors and minorities, especially blacks, by the Republican Party, Republican election officials, and in Ohio, by the Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, a man whose job is to protect the right to vote, but who, because he also served as co-chair of the state's Bush reelection campaign, actively worked to subvert that right.

Most of the corporate media chose to ignore what happened, or to downplay it. Even the reporting about Thursday's historic challenge to Ohio's 20 electoral votes dealt mainly with the theatrical aspect of the event, not the abuses that it sought to highlight. And those abuses were horrific: deliberate shorting of voting machines in minority and Democratic election districts that led to hours-long waits in a cold rain for voters and that discouraged tens of thousands from even casting a vote; deliberate groundless challenging of thousands of black voters by Republican operatives aimed at further slowing the voting process; deliberately slow processing of absentee vote applications followed by an illegal refusal to permit those who didn't receive their ballots in time to cast provisional ballots instead; an illegal effort by Blackwell to refuse to accept voter applications that were printed on paper instead of card stock, and then a deliberate delay by Blackwell's office in certifying the vote count, so as to deny those seeking a recount sufficient time to have one done properly.

Those and other vote scandals (which when taken together almost certainly stole the Ohio election from John Kerry) sadly will go uncorrected and unpunished. But because of the efforts of progressive forces--the Congressional Black Caucus, union activists, Green Party and Nader activists and others--to demand a recount in Ohio and to air, in hearings conducted by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), testimony about the vote fraud and misconduct, Bush now begins his second term under the same cloud of illegitimacy as the one that shadowed his first term.

This sense of illegitimacy is critical, and needs to be continuously pointed out by progressives during the coming battles as the Bush administration and a strengthened Republican Congress try to ram through a radical right-wing agenda of undermining Social Security, the federal courts, women's rights, affirmative action, the Bill of Rights, labor rights, environmental protection, etc.

The president is weak (a new AP poll finds his disapproval rating at 49 percent, the lowest on record for a second-term president), and the Republican Congress is vulnerable, and this protest, if built upon, will further weaken them both.

Remember, prior to the 9-11 attacks, Bush was viewed as a poor president by a majority of the American public. Canny manipulation of public fears by Republican operatives after those attacks, and the engineering of a war against Iraq, bolstered the president's popularity and enabled jingoistic Republicans to make major gains in both houses of Congress in 2002 and 2004. Now, however, with the economy stumbling and the war in Iraq turning into a bloody disaster, Bush's standing is plunging back to its original low, and Republicans, in unquestioned control of Congress, will have to take the blame for everything that goes wrong, domestically and internationally, over the next four years.

The progressives who successfully organized the Congressional protest against Bush's second-term election win have fired the first shot in the fight against the Republicans' second-term agenda.

They did it with little help--indeed with considerable obstruction--from the desiccated and corrupt Democratic Party leadership, which predictably favored slimy acquiescence to the Republican victory.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

add a comment on this article

What progressives!!?? Feel victorious? You're NOT progressive!!! 07.Jan.2005 09:40

ahl

I suggest we start watching the influence of the whore media at least on this site - liberals and progressives are not the same. There are revolutionaries (chappeau), radicals, progressives, activists and liberals who insist on being on our side. I would say that the only people who can claim victory because of their compromised way of thinking and throwing their values to the dogs are the liberals - they may see something good emerging from the stunning charade of congressional prostitutes that we were forced to watch yesterday. The honorable exeptions did not change the tripple x rating of c-span for that ignonimous day because we were shown that the vast majority of all the whores in Congress are merely that and nothing else. We can feel victorious when we place all these low-lives in jail or smear their faces with rotten eggs but not for showing their filthy faces to a blushing nation. We are about to be subjected to the same kind of insulting spectacle of prostitution at the confirmation of the killer-torturer as AG of an even more embarrassed nation. Will that be cause for celebration if the donkeyrats make token delays to aussage our boiling anger at their shameful behavior?

"a critically important victory for progressives." uhhhh...what ?!! 07.Jan.2005 09:48

not insane

"a critically important victory for progressives."...are you on the same planet as me...? You are friggin nuts .

I don't know... 07.Jan.2005 10:21

I appreciated this perspective

Of course what we really need is a revolution. But I actually appreciated the reminder that, in spite of overwhelming opposition by the entrenched power and the corporate media, Senator Boxer and others actually did get this story on the record. It's little rocks that start a landslide.

Dear 'not insane' 07.Jan.2005 10:56

also not insane

I am sitting alone at the computer laughing out loud...at 'not insane's' comment because it is so bloody true.

This is a FASCIST REGIME.... NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW

Not From Here 07.Jan.2005 12:42

also not insane either

I couldn't agree more with "not insane" and "also not insane" definitely not a progressive victory. I think the word was "win"...Hmmn, How to define win...or victory? Spin, anyone?

win - Bushological definition 07.Jan.2005 14:17

really... seriously I am not insane either

win- to take it in the ass. examples: "Hey we democrats really had a win in the 2004 election." "Bush is winning the war in Iraq." "Wow look at Wyden win it for the people who have become disenfranchized due to fascistic tricks in the election."

Actually I do see a victory of one melee in a battle within a war. Many of us did not think even one senator had the guts to object. That was a victory in the sense that it may have openned the minds to some that there was election fraud, but from this point on it will only be independant media and grassroots efforts to get the rest of the population to even know there was election fraud accusations. I now know if I ever will trust a Democratic Senator again it will only be Barbara Boxer the rest can go to hell!

Watch Blackwell be delivered the governorship of Ohio 07.Jan.2005 15:23

Unless...

Freedom fighting and justice seekers Black-Americans, those who fought slavery and are still fighting racism and exclusion .... cannot possibly accept this guy as the future governor of Ohio!

And, HE WILL BE DELIVERED the governorship by Bush (who, remember, visited him the day before the election).

He has the whole set up rigged already and he has already drafted a letter reminding the Republicans that he has played a major role in "delivering" Bush to the Whitehouse.

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