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Monday, July 12, 2004

Planning for the Election

A couple of weeks ago, I discussed a news story which said that a federal election commission was trying to come up with a plan for dealing with a terrorist attack close to the November election--should the election be postponed in that case, and what procedures should be followed to decide that? Most lefty bloggers and e-mailers on our local listserv suggested that this was a clear step towards stealing another election. But, contrarian that I am sometimes, I defended the commission chairman DeForest Soaries for having the guts to raise the question now. He said that he had asked for input from Tom Ridge and Condoleezza Rice, but hadn't gotten any. My feeling was and is that it's far better to raise the questions now--shine a light on it. If the Bushies are planning on stealing the election, they certainly can't be happy about one of their appointees raising the issue now.

Still I felt a bit alone in my own desolate corner of left field for defending Soaries. Fortunately, a much more widely read and well-respected blogger, Billmon, makes similar comments and expounds on them. He suggests a scenario where Democrats might be begging for the election to be postponed. Unfortunately, he says, it is hard to see any way that any decision about postponing or extending the election will be placed in the hands of someone impartial, given the Repugs control of the White House, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, I believe that the best thing we can do is make sure that the issue is discussed, and we should do whatever we can to encourage Soaries in developing guidelines, publicly, that will give us the best chance of having a fair election. Because if we don't, the Bushies will just make them up on the fly, and you KNOW they won't be impartial.