Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The Big Post-Election Rant
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)
Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.
Well my friends, as of this rant, it is the day AFTER Election Day, and I’ve got a few things to talk about here.
First of all, YES I DID VOTE! I took time out from my bill-paying job, hauled my ass over to the polling place, went through all of the bells and whistles, and I VOTED! I did exactly what I said I would do, I voted with my heart and my conscience, and since I don’t like the way things are right now I voted AGAINST the incumbent in EVERY race, even the ones that were uncontested. (And yes, that means a LOT of write-ins!)
But I DID my bit! Unlike members of Congress, I did not tell people one thing and then did the opposite. I voted and I got my little "I voted" peach sticker to prove it.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not concerned somewhat about voter fraud. I DO have some concerns about the integrity of the voting machines. Now normally I’d dismiss such talk, but the one thing that bothers me is an alleged statement made by an executive of Diebold, the company that manufactures half of the electronic voting machines in America. In 2004, this executive ALLEGEDLY promised to help deliver the state of Ohio to the Republican Party.
Now I’d love to dismiss that statement as simply the PERSONAL expression of a Republican supporter during a very caustic political season. I really would like to dismiss it as that. Seriously. Except for two things… first, it was OHIO that became the most contested and closest state in the whole damned election, and second, this WAS a senior executive for the company that MAKES the electronic voting machines used in that election!
In order for you to understand how this could fire off some red flags here, I want you to go back to earlier this year to the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let’s suppose that the Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, went in front of a Steelers rally the night before the big game and openly PROMISED that Pittsburgh would win the Super Bowl. Since Detroit is supposed to be a neutral area as the host of the big game, one would have to suspect if Pittsburg’s victory had ANYTHING to do with their achievement, or did a little backstage manipulation give them an edge? Even if nothing can be proven, the mere implication of bias is enough to taint the victory.
Now let’s go back to Ohio in 2004. Here you have an executive of the company that MAKES these electronic voting machines making a clearly partisan promise… not a guess or a prediction but an ASSURANCE that OHIO will carry the Bush Imperium victory. Even if it isn’t true, even if there is NO evidence of manipulation, the mere implication of bias is enough to bring that state’s close results into doubt.
Of course you didn’t hear about any kind of investigation into that, did you? Nope. And you probably won’t. Because there’s nothing that can be done, even IF some kind of proof could ever be provided, which I seriously doubt would ever exist.
Look, whether you like them or not, electronic voting machines ARE the future of elections. After what happened with Florida in 2000, the whole election system was BOUND for change. And it’s not easy putting in a new method of voting, especially one that doesn’t leave a paper trail. Hey, I work with computers for a living, I KNOW that paperless isn’t always 100% efficient.
So it doesn’t help the integrity of that new method to have any kind of statement come into play like the one allegedly made by the Diebold executive. If you’re making the machines that host the election, then your company’s name and image should be as non-partisan as can possibly be.
Of course the TIMING of some of these stories about how accurate these voting machines are is also suspect.
HBO ran their special documentary on the subject pretty damned close to the election, and the rationality for THAT is questionable. If your mission is to alert the public about this kind of problem, then you don’t do it right before the elections when nothing can be done to change the process. You do this sort of stuff six months or even a year before the elections, giving the masses enough time to demand and carry out the needed changes in the state and local governments so they can be ready on Election Day. Alerting the masses RIGHT before an election that the machines they’re voting on may or may not be safe and secure doesn’t "inform" them, it actually DETERS them from voting! You’re not helping people… you’re actually INTIMIDATING them from fulfilling their individual responsibilities as citizens of the United States of America.
But then again, that is just a part of a much larger problem, which was made even clear in the past few days.
We have a political system that is obsessed with winning at ANY AND ALL costs! The two dominant parties no longer ask if a certain tactic is right; they ask if they can get away with it!
And that’s something that really needs to be put to an end RIGHT NOW! We have out-and-out cases of physical ASSAULTS caught on camera from Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s primary loss in Georgia to Senator George Allan’s GOP goon squad attacking a blogger for simply for asking a question. We have outright cases of voter intimidation on tape. And ALL of it… every single incident… will no doubt be easily excused and whitewashed by the government as simply part of the caustic campaign season. The assault caught on tape committed by Congresswoman McKinney’s staff was already excused by local police, and no doubt the GOP goon in Virginia will also get away with his criminal actions.
Anyone remember when the phrase "boys will be boys" was used to excuse some of the most vile criminal acts? It’s still used, but that doesn’t mean that it’s still an acceptable excuse. Well we need to apply the same thing here with the actions of ALL participants in the political campaigns. Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter. The dirty tricks and outright criminal activities need to come to an end. And the only way they will is when we start seeing campaign officials being led away in handcuffs. We need to see some perp walks. We need to see goon squad members hauled away by the police.
These are campaigns that are supposed to represent the honesty and integrity of their so-called "champions". Well those standards need to apply to their campaigns as well, and it is high time that they be BOUND to them.
And that of course brings us to the big news… the really, really big news for America. This Election Day was also JUDGEMENT DAY, not only for the GOP and their 12 years in control of Congress, but also to some extent for the Bush Imperium.
The White House spin doctors were pretty much planning on using the mid-term elections as their way of anointing their Machiavellian strategist Karl Rove as a GOP kingmaker, someone that can be trusted to carry the GOP on to further victory in the 2008 presidential elections and beyond. Rove himself even INSISTED that the GOP would continue their 2004 victory. The other week he told National Public Radio in an on-air phone call that he was looking at poll after poll after poll that said that the GOP would survive the election unscathed. He even went so far as to accuse NPR of looking at the WRONG polls.
Well guess what Karl? YOU were the one that was WRONG! And so were the Republicans!
The full numbers of course won’t be out yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this election produced the highest voter turnout for a non-presidential election in recent history. And that says something about how pissed off voters are, because that’s really the only thing that would bring them out to the ballot box, especially here in my home state of Georgia where it RAINED most of the day.
The end result is this: 12 years of GOP rule in the House of Representatives came to an end last night. The Democrats not only gained enough seats to take over control of the House, but they threw in several more for good measure. As of tonight, the GOP still retains control of the Senate, but that’s only by the slimmest of margins – with the obligatory recounts pending. That means that Vice President Dick Cheney may actually have to come out of his bunker more often to carry out his constitutional role as President of the Senate. The Democrats even took the majority of governors races, which really doesn’t give them any additional power, but it just shows how successful they were in putting an end to the "Republican Revolution".
New Hampshire voters voted for a DEMOCRAT to run their state. Massachusetts not only voted in a Democrat, but also their first black governor. US Senator Rick Santorum, the uber-conservative moralist, got kicked out of office. Kathryn Harris, who was told not to run for a Senate seat but did anyway by playing up to the religious extremists, lost badly.
And now of course the sour grapes will be coming out. The sour grapes will come out from the conservative talk show hosts. They’ll come out from the columnists and the radio callers and the ordinary people who have been conditioned like Pavlovian dogs to think in zero-sum terms. They will cry and wail and moan that America has somehow "lost the war" against the bad guys. They will wail and cry and moan that we gave up our security and our prosperity. And some of them will no doubt go so far as to claim that we even gave up GOD in this election.
Well the truth of the matter is that WE’VE BEEN LOSING the war against the bad guys. We’ve BEEN losing it because we lost focus of who and what the enemy is! The terrorists have continued to play this as being a battle of Christianity and Judaism versus Islam. And what have the Republicans been doing? Caving in on that argument. They’ve catered to our own religious extremists who ALSO subscribe to this idea that this is a war between Christians (and grudgingly the Jews) against Muslims.
Conservatives claim that we don’t know that we are in a war… I challenge them to specifically identify who we are at war against! I KNOW who and what the enemy is. I was doing college term papers on this very subject back when Rush Limbaugh was still trying to keep his marriage and his day job as a music disc jockey and back when most of today’s conservative attack dogs were doing Jell-O shots off of coeds and masturbating to pictures of Ronald Reagan.
You don’t "preserve" freedom by depriving it from Americans and calling it a "needed tool". You don’t "promote" freedom by simply advocating that democracy by itself will solve all of their problems. And you certainly don’t "defend" our own freedom-based framework by subverting it with signing statements and questioning the patriotism of judges who rule against you as part of their jobs.
As for prosperity? Well guess what? It really wasn’t as great as the White House has been spinning it. In the next two years, the bulk of the corporate layoffs announced over the past three years will start to come to fruition. The tax cuts that the Imperium have been touting will soon start to expire. The GOP-controlled Congress never did make them permanent. And it doesn’t matter which party is in charge of things, the economy is destined to sink around 2008 unless something DRASTIC is done to fundamentally change the economy for the better. It’s not a matter of "if"… it’s a matter of "how bad". The GOP has had two years of unquestionable control in Washington to change that forecast and it instead spent more time dealing with gay marriage and flag burning and coming up with new ways to keep us addicted to foreign oil and thus beholden to foreign nations.
Let’s get brutally honest here… the only reason why the Democrats won and won big in this election is because the Republican Party and the Bush Junior White House GAVE IT TO THEM!
The Democrats didn’t win because they had a better plan or gave any indication that they were the better alternative. They were JUST "the alternative", and not even a good one. They won because they weren’t Republicans.
The GOP pretty much pissed away any kind of confidence the American people had of them. They had unquestionable power to do whatever they wanted to do, and instead of less government and less government spending, we got more of BOTH. Instead of government officials with morals and integrity, we got hypocritical government moralists subverting the rule of law and imposing the rule of the Republicans. Mark Foley, Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, and Randy "Duke" Cunningham were mistakes that should have been quietly purged the moment the GOP hierarchy heard of trouble. Instead, they helped to drag the GOP into the toilet.
Let’s not forget the Bush Imperium. These guys played the FEAR card more times than George Romero! Cripes, I even thought I saw a zombie show up on camera at the White House… until I realized it was just Karl Rove pulling an all-nighter with his "infallible" polls. (Rimshot) Hey, here’s a quick lesson for the Imperium… when you have nothing to campaign on but fear itself, you sorta kinda start to act like the very bad guys that we’re going to war against. I mean, if you want to continue to play that card, then do us all a favor and grow a super-thick moustache so we can start calling you "Saddam".
And hey, I’m an equal-opportunity basher here… if the Democrats had failed to win control of either house of Congress, then I’d be telling John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Howard Dean to pack it up and get the hell out of Washington. But, of course, they won, so they get to bask in the glory of their victory for the next two years… except for maybe John Kerry. He probably should keep his mouth shut and keep his Clinton-coifed Worchester head out of the limelight for a while. Take a lesson from the GOP and let the people at the top of the hierarchy make their own mistakes.
Meanwhile, of course, the White House will have some serious rethinking to do as they chow down on their mandatory blue-plate special of crow. Some folks who thought their jobs were secure could seriously find themselves being the next Michael Brown. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense and Zen master of Pentagon poppycock, has already been given the boot, and it was believed that he was a permanent fixture of the Imperium’s inner circle. The Bush Imperium had to bet the farm in order to keep their power in Washington, and now they’ve lost. Now they have some serious explaining to do as they wrap up the last quarter of their two terms in office and I have a feeling that the American people are not going to like what some of those explanations will be.
(Computer – yeah, you know I’ll have some political mixes for you!)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)
Listen, folks, I’m a Libertarian, so I don’t have any grand delusions about what the next two years will bring with a mixed party running things in Washington. I’m not going to believe that people there will suddenly remember what freedom is or take even the vaguest measures of responsibility for their actions. The only thing that this election did was to slow down the expansion of government to a modest creep. And the word "creep" is aptly put given some of the dirty players in this political game.
I remember quite well the empty words of a certain narcissist when he described the last power-change in the House as being the end of the era of big government. Of course, as we all know, big government never did go away. It just gave itself a new moniker. Instead of "big brother", we started calling it the "nanny state", or, as I called it, "Big Babysitter". Now we just call it "9/11". If we want smaller government, then we have to vote for the people that will actually PROVIDE it instead of just wasting our time TALKING about it. We didn’t do that this time around. Maybe the next time we will.
This election is the GOP’s much-needed time out so they can clean up their act. They have pissed away our trust and our confidence, and now they have to atone for it and rebuild themselves so they can actually BE better the next time around. And if they want to PROVE that they really are better than the Democrats, then they would do well to follow my advice and take their defeat with honor and grace. Step down, step aside, and remember who it was that originally put you IN office and who it was that just took you OUT of office. They’re called your constituents. It’s about time that you reacquainted yourselves with them.
Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!
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