Bush's War against Civil Liberties

  • #26
JohnDubYa said:
The purpose of the postponement is to serve notice that elections will take place, regardless of whether or not terrorists strike. It is designed to keep the election process running smoothly.
Firstly, delaying the elections after a terrorist attack would only encourage them by showing them that they have power.

But seriously though, how would postponing the election by (say) two weeks subvert the democratic process? Explain how this changes anything.
Well, they get people used to the idea of elections being delayed and otherwise monkeyed with. Then, they probably hope, they can eventually turn elections into a farce (which the 2000 election was) or not have them at all.

The proposal would place control of the elections in the hands of one man, the Election Assistance Commission chairman.

This administration has a steady histor of saying, "give up your civil liberties and rights and dissent, and trust me to take care of you in these oh-so-dangerous times."

There would be no reason to think that we would need a national postponement. Individual States can already make postponements. Terrorists are not going to attack all the major cities. They just don't have the capability.
 
  • #27
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You mean forces like that entire army that wanted to crush the other side? You really think there were no attacks against civilians during that conflict?
Yes, there was John Brown's massacre of SOUTHERN civilians. But that had nothing to do with elections, and not even close to what could happen here.

I don't have any credible evidence that terrorists are threatening to disrupt the election process this time. Beyond the threats, I find it difficutl to believe that they could disrupt more than a single city. Of course, terrorism on an election day would not bode well for the Republican party, so a delay would be in their best interests, so they could spin the response.
It also gives the Democrats time to point the finger at careless Republican policies and security. The media will help that process along.

I disagree. The purpose of the postponement is to give Reublicans a chance to recover. Notice the devastating effect that the Spanish attack had on the elections for the warmongers. It is designed to protect the warmongers.
And you have evidence that a Spanish postponement of elections would necessarily have helped the "warmongers"?

OK. The Bushies are using fear as a primary tool to control the electorate. Fear enables them to control large amounts of people, and to steer them away from rational analysis of the major mistakes that Bush has made. Postponing the election would guide people to the idea that this fear is truly justified, and therefore that they had better stick with a go get em attitude like Bush.
So the terrorist attacks themselves would instill little fear, it is the postponement of the election that would scare the Hell out of people.

Suppose terrorists blew up Hoover dam, flooding the Imperial Valley and killing thousands of people. That alone wouldn't justify anyone's fears?

Therefore, the threat of an attack promoted by the white house, together with the threat that it may cause the elections to be delayed, is sufficient to raise this fear to a great level, which is of sufficient value even if such eventuality does not take place.
I very much fear a terrorist attack. I don't fear an election delay postponement. So how does this work again?


If it does take place, then a delay in the election would give Bush an opportunity to stress his war speech on a fearful populace, and time would be a distinct advantage for him. Either way, this typical (for him) scare tactic is a potent tool.
You talk as if the terrorist threat is purely imaginary, as if we are afraid of nothing. Terrorists are not monsters in the closet. They are very real and are definitely trying to produce as much mayhem in this country as possible. Didn't you see the towers fall? Didn't you see the Pentagon after they rammed an airplane into it? How can you say that the terrorist threat is overplayed when they have already demonstrated to us what they can do?

We have to pull out the stops to prevent them from doing it again. Pretending that there is no threat and this is all a big play by Bush to scare people is ludicrous.

How can you claim that delaying the election would not change anything at all of importance?
The Bush haters have an inconsistency in their argument:

They say that delaying the election would show terrorists that the terrorists have power.

But if you don't delay the election, they acknowledge that a terrorist strike would hurt Bush tremendously, and that he would need a postponement to regain popularity.

So by their logic, not delaying the election would also demonstrate that terrorists have power, because they could effectively force a President to lose an election.

How do you explain this inconsistency?
 
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  • #28
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Firstly, delaying the elections after a terrorist attack would only encourage them by showing them that they have power.
If you don't postpone the elections and the terrorist attack topples Bush' popularity, thus causing him to lose the election, that wouldn't demonstrate to terrorists that they have tremendous power? Do you really believe that?
 
  • #29
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There would be no reason to think that we would need a national postponement. Individual States can already make postponements. Terrorists are not going to attack all the major cities. They just don't have the capability.
Before 9/11, would you have said they have the capability of completely bringing down both world trade centers and destrying part of the Pentagon on a single afternoon? (And they came very close to destroying part of the White House.)

I wouldn't have thought so.

But terrorists don't have to stop the election process, only influence it. If they could pull off a terrorist strike near election day, they could cause Bush to lose support and the Presidency. Would this not influence our elections?
 
  • #30
NateTG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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This is Stupid

Under the constitution, the federal government is allowed to do the following regarding elections:
Create and enforce laws to insure that women are not denied the right to vote because they are women.
Create and enforce laws to insure that people are not denied the right to vote because of a poll tax, or similar requirement.
Create and enforce laws to insure that people are not denied the right to vote because of race or religeon.

Each of those three has an explicit sentence in the Amendment that grants it. Unde the constituition, the federal government does not have legislative jurisdiction sufficient to legally delay voting taking place in the states. Notably, under federal law, it is entirely legal for electors, or other federal representatives, to be appointed instead of elected, or even selected by lot. The election process is determined by the states (typically by state constitutions).

Hence, it is the state's responsibility, and authority, to deal with election problems, and, in fact, the Democratic primary scheduled to take place on 9/11/2001 in New York was delayed by the state's election board. Similarly, the states will individually decide how to react to any particular terrorist attack, or terrorist threat.

In more general, this is part of the general method of operation of this administration which involves the enlargement of federal power, secrecy, and newspeak, and is extremely alarming because, the jurisdictional power grab has been largely ignored in the media, and the public dicourse.
 
  • #31
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Under the constituition, the federal government does not have legislative jurisdiction sufficient to legally delay voting taking place in the states.
But I think the argument is that a terrorist attack constitutes an emergency situation involving national security.

I guess the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue.
 
  • #32
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JohnDubYa said:
I guess the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the election.
Again. I hope not.
 
  • #33
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JohnDubYa said:
But I think the argument is that a terrorist attack constitutes an emergency situation involving national security.
1. And the question remains : When is an attack (a violent event?) a terrorist attack? Is it the size of the event, the number of victims, the symbolic place ... ?

2. In the Madrid train blow the Spanish PM was pointing straight to ETA (that was the Bask organization he was fighting against all the time). Similar Bush would point to Bin Laden, his 'natural' enemy.
After two days the Spanish media started to point to Al Quada. The Spanish PM didn't like that because of his sending troops to Iraq. He prefered it was ETA. If the findings would not have been that fast the Spanish PM would have won, now he lost.
 
  • #34
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1. And the question remains : When is an attack (a violent event?) a terrorist attack? Is it the size of the event, the number of victims, the symbolic place ... ?
I don't know. I guess someone will have to define it.

2. In the Madrid train blow the Spanish PM was pointing straight to ETA (that was the Bask organization he was fighting against all the time). Similar Bush would point to Bin Laden, his 'natural' enemy.
After two days the Spanish media started to point to Al Quada. The Spanish PM didn't like that because of his sending troops to Iraq. He prefered it was ETA. If the findings would not have been that fast the Spanish PM would have won, now he lost.
So in this case, an election postponement would have hurt the incumbent, right? The Spanish, like the US, sent troops to Iraq. When AL Quada bombed Spain, it hurt the incumbent government when the election was not held right away. So a similar delay would hurt Bush, right? Or how does this theory go?
 
  • #35
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JohnDubYa said:
So a similar delay would hurt Bush, right? Or how does this theory go?
It's a spinning dime. What side will it fall?
If it's Al Quada or seems to be them Bush can have advantage or not. Some posters here said it would hurt him, but I am nor sure. Bush propaganda machine would try to monopolize the media and point to failed security of CIA & al. and would ask more powers. Probably Bush will be (s)elected again.
If it's not Bin Laden - but a Veigh-like US militia or Black Panther type group - the results of the investigation would be kept secret as long as possible by the Bush Administration till the elections are done.
 
  • #36
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Bush propaganda machine would try to monopolize the media and point to failed security of CIA & al. and would ask more powers. Probably Bush will be (s)elected again.
Again, if Bush is naturally going to label any attack as pointing to Al Quada, then he would not want to postpone elections, for this would give time to the media and government to identify the real culprits.

There is a huge inconsistency here. If an Al Quada attack is going to help me win an election, the last thing I want to do is postpone elections if an attack occurs. I want to label the culprits as Middle East terrorists and ride the surge in popularity as quickly as possible.

Or so the argument would go.
 
  • #37
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JohnDubYa said:
Again, if Bush is naturally going to label any attack as pointing to Al Quada, then he would not want to postpone elections, for this would give time to the media and government to identify the real culprits.

There is a huge inconsistency here. If an Al Quada attack is going to help me win an election, the last thing I want to do is postpone elections if an attack occurs. I want to label the culprits as Middle East terrorists and ride the surge in popularity as quickly as possible.
Yes, I agree it would be a question of timing relative to the type of event and magnitude. If it would be X then Bush react direct, if Y it would be another way. I am sure the 'thinktanks' have all scenarios.
 
  • #38
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Yes, I agree it would be a question of timing relative to the type of event and magnitude. If it would be X then Bush react direct, if Y it would be another way. I am sure the 'thinktanks' have all scenarios.
Every time I point out an inconsistency, the target changes.

Here is what you posted earlier:

OK. A cynical question. Sorry for that but I consider politics today that way. Who would profit (election-wise) from a terrorist attack? Bush or Kerry?

IMO Bush. He would be again "the President", "the Leader", "the Chief-in-Command".
I don't see anything in there about think tanks and timing.

And no one seems to have acknowledged the inconsistency I pointed out in my earlier post:

But terrorists don't have to stop the election process, only influence it. If they could pull off a terrorist strike near election day, they could cause Bush to lose support and the Presidency. Would this not influence our elections?
So how 'bout it?
 
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  • #39
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JohnDubYa said:
Every time I point out an inconsistency, the target changes.
I don't see anything in there about think tanks and timing.
And no one seems to have acknowledged the inconsistency I pointed out in my earlier post
The target stays but I just add some aspects.
Bush is surrounded by thinktanks (such as PNAC). Kerry too.

Bush has interest to have a juridical framework for the possible event of an attack. If such attack happens he can decide what happens: Postpone elections or not. What he will do will depend from the facts (size, place, victims, etc.) and what will be in his advantage.

So I am not sure at all that an attack would harm Bush.
He can use many simplistic arguments.

There is no inconsistency in this logic.
 
  • #40
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Oh, aspects. Okay, fine.

Now how about answering to the following inconsistency?

But terrorists don't have to stop the election process, only influence it. If they could pull off a terrorist strike near election day, they could cause Bush to lose support and the Presidency. Could this not influence the outcome of our elections? Does this not give terrorists power? And if so, what do you propose we do about it?
 
  • #41
loseyourname
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I propose we ignore the terrorists, leaving their act limp and meaningless, and vote for whoever we were going to vote for anyway.
 
  • #42
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I propose we ignore the terrorists, leaving their act limp and meaningless, and vote for whoever we were going to vote for anyway.
Good plan, if you can get everyone on board. You have four months. :)
 
  • #43
The reasons for rewriting the laws is a moot point. Surely the important thing is that the Bush administration is redefining what it means to be free in the US. I certainly hope you guys don't have any further catastrophies - we are told over here that an attack on the UK is inevitable - but I think that what is happening to your constitution is quite alarming enough.
 
  • #44
russ_watters
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I heard right wing crackpots arguing when Clinton re-structured FEMA that he was setting himself up to sieze dictatorial power. I didn't buy that either.
 

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