There was lots of excitement today in the House and Senate. As I am sure you all know by now Barbara Boxer (God bless her) signed on with the House members to challenge the Ohio vote count. Of course we knew nothing much would come of this but it certainly was a refreshing change from the usual Democratic cowardice. Interestingly enough, the Senate voted 74 to 1 against the challenge, with Boxer being the only positive vote to uphold the challenge. I don’t quite know what to make of this as I do not really want to believe that all Senators are in favor of denying people, especially minorities, the right to vote. Nor do I want to believe they all think Barbara Boxer is some kind of mentally handicapped person. There has to be an explanation that I do not as yet understand. But it was certainly no surprise to learn that the Senate, just like the House, is basically unconcerned about the voting rights of minorities – especially blacks.
The House vote was not much different. I forget the precise figures but I think it was something like 267 against the challenge to 33 votes in favor. I assume that most or all of the 33 votes in favor were from blacks. If you are still foolish enough to believe that the U.S. is not a racist country I will sell you the Bonners Ferry bridge over the Kootenai river cheap. Very cheap.
What was the most interesting about the challenge and the subsequent 2 hour debates was that it was as if the two parties were debating entirely different things. For the Democrats, they seem to have been debating the question of voting rights for all, and the fact that such rights were systematically denied to minorities, especially blacks. The Republicans were seemingly oblivious to this problem and were simply debating whether or not the Democrats were merely complaining in the sense of “sour grapes.” In other words Republicans simply ignored the question of whether or not there were irregularities in the voting in favor of castigating Democrats for even raising the question. This is not surprising, given the ill-disguised racism of the Republican party.
Even more interesting today was the confirmation hearings for Alberto Gonzales. Obviously I did not watch the entire day of hearings (I’m sure I would have had a heart attack had I tried). I did hear the testimony of the Dean of the Yale Law School and the Dean of another Law School (a retired Admiral). If Gonzales is confirmed after the testimony of these two individuals you might as well wave goodbye to the rule of law, as well as common sense, in the United States. Gonzales is the mother of all toadies, a lawyer that believes his role is to serve the President no matter what, an absolute and total yes-man. I bet he still gets confirmed because no matter what, he is an Hispanic and better than John Ashcroft (as if anyone could possibly not be better than Ashcroft).
Perhaps the best news of the day is that CNN is getting rid of Tucker Carlson and probably Crossfire. It is not at all clear what is behind this but CNN seems to think Crossfire has worn out its welcome (it certainly wore it out with me many months ago), and that Tucker Carlson’s talents might be better used somewhere else. Frankly, I wasn’t aware that Tucker Carlson had any talents.
Will Barbara Boxer suffer any damage because of her support of the Challenge? I don’t think so. In fact, I think she will have earned the respect of the entire country, minus, of course, the utter nitwits that make up the Republican party. After today I do not believe there is any chance whatsoever of any bipartisan legislation, nor do I believe there should be. Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet and invited something they are going to eventually regret. The question of what is best for the United States has long ago been abandoned in favor of what is best for Corporations and the Republican party.
Oh, and by the way, things are going really well in Iraq; remember Iraq, that helpless little country that we illegally, unconstitutionally, and unnecessarily invaded in order to steal their oil and enrich Halliburton and others of the same ilk (not to mention Dick Cheney, the Bush family, and the rest of their crony capitalists)? But not to worry, we are spreading Democracy and Christianity around the world.