Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bush, Gonzales Attorney Firings Suppressed the Black Vote

Originally posted by Nadir at

Embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refuses to step down over the politically motivated firing of eight US attorneys. His boss, President George W. Bush, continues to support Gonzo despite bipartisan calls for his ouster. However, new information about the attorney firings may take on greater relevance in a post-Don Imus world.

Reports have surfaced
that at least two attorneys in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division were fired because they failed to file charges that would have helped disenfranchise Black voters.

From Democracy Now:

Former Justice Department attorneys have publicly accused the Bush administration of politicizing the department’s Civil Rights Division which was formed 50 years ago to protect the voting rights of African-Americans. According to a recent report by the McClatchy newspapers, the Bush administration has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration did this in part by alleging widespread election fraud in largely Democratic areas and to push new voter ID rules. Civil rights advocates contend that the administration’s policies were intended to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor and minority voters who tend to support Democrats.

Let’s not forget that Bush emerged the victor in two highly contested elections where Black voter disenfranchisment was a key strategy. These new charges offer evidence that this practice has continued.

The chorus of voices that forced Don Imus’s firing over racist and sexist remarks should rise up for another refrain. Gonzales should also be fired, and investigations into voter fraud and misconduct by the Bush administration should commence immediately.

If all of these civil rights leaders, and journalists can work so hard to get a talk show host fired, certainly they can put just as much effort into firing the attorney general, the president’s chief advisor and the president himself for a conspiracy to suppress the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of Black Americans.

Democracy Now


Blogger Paul Hue said...

I don't see how any of these claims amount to attempts to "disenfranchise black voters.".

Democrats and Republicans both accuse each other of dirty election tricks; shouldn't the claims of each side be investigated? I would certainly like investigations into the claims that repos circulate false info about voting sites in black areas. But how can we investigate that without also investigating republican claims that in democratic voting districts people are voting for each other and for dead people?

Speaking of which, I cannot imagine a maximally efficient voting system without people proving who they are via photo ID as one of several obvious steps.

April 26, 2007 11:03 AM  
Blogger Nadir said...

The point is that they wanted the attorneys to investigate Democrats, but not to investifate Republicans. Little action has been taken on claims in either Florida (2000) or Ohio (2004). The process was completely politicized by not investigating all claims.

Additionally, the firing of those attorneys because they didn't file charges against Democrats, and the pressure placed on them to do so in the first place is unethical, and probably illegal.

Challenging voters with questions about ids doesn't increase voter participation. It restricts it. Especially when there are many elderly people who don't have ids especially.

April 27, 2007 10:13 AM  
Blogger Paul Hue said...

I agree that the AG attorneys should have investigated claims from both sides. If the Bushies attempted to file charges only for Demo election crimes while ignoring real Repo crimes, I agree that was unethical, provided that the fired attorneys weren't themselves attempting to cover for real democratic crimes.

Election photo IDs would certainly restrict the voting of people attempting to vote multiple times, vote in place of others, or vote without US citizenship. If there are indeed voters out there who lack any govt-issued photo identification, forcing them to either get such ID or blocking them from voting seems to me a very acceptable price to pay for increasing the integrity of the voter ranks.

Conversely, enabling legitimate voters who refuse to get govt ID cards at the cost of enabling illegitimate voters represents too high of a price in my assessment, thus I vigorously support photo IDs as one of several obviously (to me) necessary voter reformations.

April 30, 2007 9:52 AM  

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