White House seeks postponement of election.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by mindseye, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. mindseye

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    Reuters reports that the Bush administration -- even though they concede they have no specific intelligence about terrorist plots -- are looking for a way to postpone the national presidential election in case of an Election Day attack.

    Red flag, anyone? In previous years, we've had specific knowledge of natural disasters -- late-season hurricanes, for example -- and allowed elections to proceed on schedule. Even though they have no evidence whatsoever that something will happen, this administration wants the privilege of invoking "emergency powers" to keep Bush in office for an unspecified period of time -- perhaps until he's ahead in the polls again?
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    That guy Unnamed Sources must have the biggest ears in Washington.
     
  3. KinkGuy

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    At this point, nothing that comes out of this administration would surprise me. Shock, horrify and frighten, maybe. Surprise? No.
     
  4. Imported

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  5. mindseye

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    I'm retracting the following post that I made in this spot earlier, and appears below unaltered. It was an unwarranted ad hominem attack. I offer my public apologies to Pecker and to anyone else who was offended by my remark.


    Yet another dismissive one-liner in lieu of a thought-out response.

    Here's a source: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/11/...tion.day.delay/
    [/b][/quote]
     
  6. BobLeeSwagger

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    Fear-mongering aside, there are some legitimate concerns here. Federal law dictates when the general election is held, so federal law can create contingency plans. There is plenty of time between election day and inauguration day to figure something out if the worst should happen. The key, I think, is that all of the states would still have to vote on the same day, not in some piecemeal fashion.

    And it's not at all clear that postponing the election after a terrorist attack would help Bush get re-elected. The New York city mayor's election was delayed after the 9/11 attacks and held at a later date with no repercussions or controversy. (Granted, that was a much smaller logistical feat than a national election would be.) But Spain's election turned not on the terrorist attacks in Madrid by themselves, but in the government's rush to blame Basque separatists instead of Muslim extremists that voters might connect with the Iraq war.

    If a terrorist attack were to happen just before the election, and the scenario was such that it was something that the post-9/11 federal government should have been able to prevent, it could decisively turn voters against Bush. I really doubt the administration wants to depend on that. More likely, it's just the latest in the national security phase of the Bush campaign, trying to remind people that an attack could happen and the president is being vigilant to protect Americans.

    And, of course, there really is plenty of reason to believe that terrorists might want to strike before or during the election. But what might they hope to accomplish? As foils go, Bush is a good one for Islamic extremists. It might be in their interest to keep Bush in power for another four years. On the other hand, knocking out Bush might seem like a coup for them, the way they seemed to be emboldened by the Spain election results. Pretty hard to predict what might happen. One thing I'm sure of: the Bush administration has made so many enemies around the world that, for better or worse, nothing they do is considered on its merits anymore.
     
  7. mindseye

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    I'm still not convinced, aloofman. In fact, US law already provides an emergency contingency plan on a state-by-state basis -- the state legislatures may choose the state's electors without holding a popular election in that state. This right was explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court as recently as 2000, although the last time any legislature exercised that right was 1816. (And if any legislature actually tried to do so today, I'm sure there'd be quite a stink!)

    What BushCo is seeking to do is to take that power away from the state legislatures and vest it in themselves -- to trump all 51 state-level elections with the stroke of one pen.

    In a practical sense, this is absurd. Suppose there were an Election Day disaster of such monumental proportions that no state could continue with their elections. Would FEMA be able to handle such an enormous disaster? Is the National Guard sufficiently staffed at home? How much blood does the Red Cross have on hand? We haven't seen the administration making those kinds of preparations for an attack; they're too self-concerned with staying in power.

    Rescheduling an election would introduce a bias into the results. Low-income Americans who work more than one job to make ends meet may have to take additional time off from one of those jobs to vote in the rescheduled election; single parents might have to make child-care arrangements; both of these demographics are likely Democratic voters.
     
  8. BobLeeSwagger

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    I think it's a red herring. There's no way to know whether a postponed election would favor Bush or not and the administration would be foolish to take that chance. What if it were rescheduled for a Saturday? Then more of those low-income Democrats would have a bigger turnout, right? Can you back up the assertion that any demographic group has trouble voting because of their job?

    US law defers to the states on the manner of how electoral votes are awarded by each state, so it's the states that require contingency plans for how to conduct such an election. Congress chooses the general election day and the day the electoral college meets, so those dates could be adjusted if necessary.

    I don't subscribe to the belief that everything the Bush administration does is sinister. Sometimes it's just dumb or irrelevant.
     
  9. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Erm, what's the point? Wouldn't "team evil" just reschedule?
     
  10. KinkGuy

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    And in either case, it is frightening.
     
  11. jonb

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    Ridge actually held a press conference about it and admits there's no evidence terrorists will attack on Election Day. So pardon my skepticism towards the idea that al Qaeda will attack. Of course, this doesn't mean Bush won't institute martial law or whatever he's planning to do.
     
  12. Imported

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  13. B_JohnTheHorse

    B_JohnTheHorse New Member

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    I have the opinion that while Terrorists may feel that an attack could influence our upcoming elections like they may have in Spain, their goal would be to prevent John Kerry from winning over their preferred candidate George Bush. John Kerry would repair the frayed alliances and tattered image of the US unlike Bush. He would restore respect for America that has all but been decimated under Bush. Bush has been a terrorist's dream for recruitment of future terrorists, splitting world opinion and endless foreign policy blunders. Bush's policies and those of the neoconservatives who have free reign in his administration have given truly unwarrented legitimacy to those who would gleefully behead innocent aid workers and translators, those who aspire to aquire and use weapons of mass destruction, and who gleefully commit mass murder on the populations of their own countries and cultures in their mindless insane jihad against the 'west'.

    Bush has been a disaster, and coupled with his own personal ties with the taliban, the saudi's and the bin ladin family the sooner this near treasonous 'president' who in all truth probably stole the previous election, the better.

    As for postponing the 2004 vote? I fully expect some sort of fraud or manufactured emergency to justify Bush's continued mis-rule.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  14. KinkGuy

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    Thank you for posting. :)
     
  15. madame_zora

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    Expecting same, Johnthehorse. Nothing surprises me more than the stupidity of the American people.
     
  16. Imported

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  17. SpeedoGuy

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    Is there any precedent for postponing a U.S. presidential election?

    If its true that a sitting incumbent administration is suggesting altering a national referendum without any direct evidence of an impending attack or other interuption, then I'm worried by that.

    And why not move the election forward rather than delay it?
     
  18. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

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    The idea of a contingency plan to replace the President, Vice President, and members of the House and the Senate, if needed, makes sense to me. In fact, I am surprised that we do not have federal legislation left over from the Cold War dealing with these issues. In any event, I think it is time the Congress got down to work on something of substance and reviewed the national need and began to draft legislation.

    jay
     
  19. mindseye

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    There are already contingency plans in case a presidential election can't take place as scheduled. The Supreme Court outlined them in Bush v. Gore.

    In the event of a disaster whose magnitude is such that it casts the results of a presidential election in doubt in one state, that state's legislature has the power to not certify the votes of the election in that state and to choose a slate of electors itself.

    This is obviously not a desirable outcome -- it's far less democratic for the legislature to choose the electors, rather than the people -- but IMO, it's intentionally undesirable in order to ensure that this power is used only for extraordinary emergencies, and not for political purposes.

    The full legalese is here:

     
  20. KinkGuy

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    I may have had a nightmare regarding this...and I am looking for info, but I thought there was a law on the books left from the WWII era, that during a time of extreme national crises (war?) that Congress could postpone the general election and leave the current administration in power. Please, please correct me.
     
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