America's Internal Pro-Democracy Movement

It has been quite a few months since the election, and the fact that we still live in the Modern Babylon is kind of vexing, but our nation's shitty electoral system makes me angry too.

It's a good thing, then, that Brad Friedman of BradsBlog, along with the support of many miscellaneous groups, has started an organization called "Velvet Revolution" to agitate for better electoral systems here, and accountability from officials who try to obscure how flaky those systems really are.

It is a little unfortunate that the Velvet website has the tacky yellow-caps headline style and whirling police light alert of the BradBlog; it appears they just tweaked Brad's layout a bit. Nonetheless they are trying with good faith to raise noise about some shame National Election Reform Commission, which has all sorts of top Bush apparatchiks all over the place,led by none other than James "Stop Counting you Filthy Swamp Yokels" Baker. Jiminy Carter comes along to provide some feelgood vibes, and the whole thing looks like a farce just ginnin' up... A RawStory feature breaks down the lineup. On April 19 the WaPo reported on the panel's initial hearing, which I suppose at least entered a number of disturbing problems into the record.

John Conyers is getting into the blogging game now at, and he's pushing reform:

As you may be aware, on March 25 it was announced that former President Jimmy Carter and former Bush-Cheney Campaign lawyer James Baker, III, would co-chair a Commission on election reform. I think bipartisanship is desperately needed in the area of election reform. However, for many of us, Mr. Baker will be forever remembered for his ultimately successful efforts to stop the counting of legally cast votes in the 2000 election. Had these efforts not succeeded and had the true will of the voters been ascertained, Al Gore would have been elected President.

How can an individual who played a critical role in the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of Floridians now co-chair a Commission which should have as its mission ensuring that every vote counts?

One of the appointees, Wall Street Journal lackey John Fund, was caught on tape talking about tossing out provisional ballots of people who "Don't look like they live in the neighborhood," and Conyer's blog provides the link.

This column below quickly recalled for me the bitter feeling of realizing that thousands of votes were prevented in the last election, and many more recorded on insecure machines. A columnist from Tribune Media penned the following recently:

The silent scream of numbers

The 2004 election was stolen — will someone please tell the media?

As they slowly hack democracy to death, we’re as alone — we citizens — as we’ve ever been, protected only by the dust-covered clichés of the nation’s founding: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

It’s time to blow off the dust and start paying the price.

The media are not on our side. The politicians are not on our side. It’s just us, connecting the dots, fitting the fragments together, crunching the numbers, wanting to know why there were so many irregularities in the last election and why these glitches and dirty tricks and wacko numbers had not just an anti-Kerry but a racist tinge. This is not about partisan politics. It’s more like: “Oh no, this can’t be true.”

I just got back from what was officially called the National Election Reform Conference, in Nashville, Tenn., an extraordinary pulling together of disparate voting-rights activists — 30 states were represented, 15 red and 15 blue — sponsored by a Nashville group called Gathering To Save Our Democracy. It had the feel of 1775: citizen patriots taking matters into their own hands to reclaim the republic. This was the level of its urgency.


In contrast to the deathly silence of the media is the silent scream of the numbers. The more you ponder these numbers, and all the accompanying data, the louder that scream grows. Did the people’s choice get thwarted? Were thousands disenfranchised by chaos in the precincts, spurious challenges and uncounted provisional ballots? Were millions disenfranchised by electronic voting fraud on insecure, easily hacked computers? And who is authorized to act if this is so? Who is authorized to care?

No one, apparently, except average Americans, who want to be able to trust the voting process again, and who want their country back.

There will be more to be seen, thank God.

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