Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ohio

Much has been written about Ohio lately in the blogosphere. Too much. So much in fact that people have started to tune out, get nasty, and become obsessed. To quote Marcos' now infamous "fraudster" post:
George Bush won. It may not have been "fair and square", not when you run a campaign based on lying about your opponent's record, but he did get more votes than our guy, both in the popular column, and in the Electoral College. We hate it. it sucks. But it's reality.
But you know, all this talk, right or not, leaves me hollow. In the pit of my stomach I know such talk is wrong. Not that it is wrong because I think Kerry won, or that I think Kerry was cheated out of the White House. It's wrong because it focuses on the result rather than what happened in Ohio.

Bush winning, even if he didn't win "fair and square", does not negate the fact that something happened in Ohio. And this "something" needs to be looked at for at least three reasons: What happened in Ohio was wrong. What happened in Ohio was a miscarriage of the fundamental tenets our democracy. What happened in Ohio should never be allowed to happen again.

So tomorrow congress meets in a joint session to ratify the results of the Electoral College. If one representative and one senator object to these results, then real debate and investigation, as well as media attention and investigation, might actually happen. Representative John Conyers, ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, will object to the counting of the Ohio Electors. But in a repeat of 2000, as of yet there is no senator to object with him.

The one man most affected by this, John Kerry, has gotten out of Dodge for the week on a "13-day fact finding" mission to the middle east. Again, if I was him, I might have done this as well. But this also leaves me hollow. Kerry was suppose to be our leader. The man we rallied around. The man we fought for. The man who promised every vote would be counted. Yet with 100,000 plus votes uncounted, Kerry has removed himself from the process. This disappoints me to no end, but I'm not in Kerry's shoes.

So who's it going to be. Word on the blogs has it that Senator Boxer (D-CA) has said she is "considering it", whatever that means. But everyone else has remained mum. This leaves me feeling disappointed beyond belief. Why are the Democratic Senators all running and hiding? Bush won. So what. Ohio election laws were violated repeatedly. Things happened in Ohio, that if allowed to become the norm, will undermine our democracy. Where are our Democratic leaders? Where are these people who are suppose to stand up and represent me? Why are they not en masse lining up as a group to force an investigation into what happened in Ohio? Why? Will somebody represent me in Washington? Please?

I just don't get it. If we as a democracy value the right for everyone to vote, why are our elected leaded allowing this to happen without so much as a whisper? If ordinary bloggers and professors and amateur journalists can did up concrete violations of Ohio election law, why are none of our elected leaders standing up for and questioning the results. To quote Michael Moore of all people:
Congressman Conyers and a dozen other members of Congress have some serious questions about how the Republican secretary of state in Ohio (who was also the state's co-chair of Bush's reelection campaign) conducted the election on November 2. The list of possible offenses of how voters were denied access to the polls and how over a hundred thousand of their votes have yet to be counted is more than worthy of your consideration. It may not change the outcome, but you have a supreme responsibility to make sure that EVERY vote is counted. Who amongst you would disagree with that?
Who amongst them indeed. Georgia10 has an excellent post on dKos about some of the documented irregularities that occurred in Ohio. Irregularities like Bush precincts certified with 98-124% turnout, reducing voting machine numbers in 85% in Democratic precincts, and every irregularity favoring Bush. Every one.

So I ask it again. Which one of our Senators is going to represent me, an American voter? Or will we begin Bush's second term in the same way we began it last time: by capitulating, giving up and giving in.

Will somebody represent me, please?