The War at Home

Derail the vote 2004: A Karl Rove production

But this is different. I believe we are seeing a war over voting rights on a scale no American has seen since the fight that culminated in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and no Northerner has seen since the age of the utterly powerful and utterly corrupt urban political machines. The Rove-led Republicans do not seem to care if they lay waste to public confidence in the ballot box once and for all. They care only about holding on to the White House, and they appear to be making all due effort to render it as difficult as possible for people to turn out in large numbers to vote against them. If they fail in this, they at least will have created a legal foundation for conjuring a crisis of succession that can be kicked upstairs to the Supreme Court once again.

God knows I'm no Democrat. I voted for Nader in 2000, and the time before that I was proud to be one of a couple of dozen signers of a New York Times ad endorsing his candidacy on election eve. I think eight years of Bill Clinton played a vital and as yet unacknowledged role in setting the stage for George W. Bush in the first place. But the first order of business now is to understand what the Republicans are up to, and to combat it tooth and nail. At this point, our job as small-d democrats and small-r republicans is to turn out for Kerry (the only not-Bush vote that counts this time) in such numbers as to ensure that Bush/Rove cannot hijack the outcome.

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