The principle of democratic elections is “one person, one vote”. But in the US in 2004, you could also add: “one particular person — Karl Rove — millions of negative votes”.
BBC reporter Greg Palast has 500 emails from Karl Rove (mistakenly sent to email addresses at spoof site georgewbush.org instead of RNC site georgewbush.com) that detail the process of “caging”. The basic idea is that the RNC would take addresses of typical Democratic voters (blacks, hispanics, etc.) and send them letters first-class marked “do not forward”. Each letter returned undeliverable was used as evidence that the registered voter was not entitled to vote. Of course, many of them were returned because they were sent to soldiers away in Iraq or Afghanistan. Overall, more than THREE MILLION votes were challenged. Soldiers sent home absentee ballots only to have them invalidated, and they never suspected a thing. How can democrats compete in elections decided by thousands of votes in the face of dirty tricks like this?
This video of Palast answering questions about his book is required viewing. It details the whole program, and how it’s connected to the US Attorney purge, the Iraq war, and even the high price of oil.
I’m really, truly depressed by the state of this country right now. The government is corrupt. The election system is broken, and Palast doesn’t hold high hopes for the 2008 election either. And the democrats, as judged by their recent capitulation to Bush with the no-strings-attached war funding bill don’t seem to be able to do a thing about it.