Excerpts from a significantly longer interview. Boldface mine.
Mark Crispin Miller Connects the Dots on Election Problems
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
Mark Crispin Miller: Let me begin by making a general point. When a movement tries to force an alien agenda on a democratic nation, it must devote itself full-time to that endeavor. The subversion of electoral democracy must be the movement's overriding goal, because it's very difficult to disenfranchise a majority. It takes vast planning and tremendous effort, and a ton of laundered cash. In short, it has to be that movement's main concern; and I believe that it is Bush/Cheney's main concern, and that it is the main concern of the regime's most fervent backers.
Because the US press refuses to go near the issue of election fraud, it's easy to assume that Bush & Co.'s subversion of the last election was just one of many dark endeavors. That assumption would be dangerously wrong. The subversion of American democracy is the primary interest of the Bush Republicans, whose vast electoral shenanigans were but a part of their ongoing program—a program not at all conservative, but anti-democratic and anti-republican.
BuzzFlash: Let's talk some more about the silence of the press. Last year it was reported in the Boston Globe that one James Tobin, who was Bush/Cheney's Northeast campaign coordinator in 2004, was convicted of overseeing a phone-jamming operation in the 2002 elections in New Hampshire. Tobin's aim was to thwart the Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts in four cities in the south part of the state. The conviction was reported in the Boston Globe and by AP, and that was it. The press ignored the story, even though it seemed to point to a far larger, deeper scandal. According to the Globe, the RNC was paying Tobin's sky-high legal fees—somewhere over $700,000 by August of 2005. By now, the total may well be a million dollars.
This is not a major story? The man who ran Bush/Cheney's re-election campaign in New England is convicted of election fraud for having violated voters' rights two years before, also in New England; and his sky-high legal fees are paid by the Republican National Committee, which is, these days, an arm of the Bush/Cheney White House. Why is this not a story? Officially it is as if it didn't happen.
Mark Crispin Miller: That's a good example of precisely the kind of evidence that the Republicans—and many Democrats, and the US media—keep telling us does not exist.…
BuzzFlash: I'd like to go back to the Tobin case for a moment. I think it's significant that Tobin, who ran Bush/Cheney's re-election campaign in New England, was indicted for wrongdoing not in that race but in the one two years before. It was the off-year election in 2002 - the Senate race in New Hampshire. So, after the 2004 election, the RNC spends big-time on the legal fees of an operative who stood indicted of malfeasance only in the previous election.
Why does this not a raise a certain question in the press? No inquiring journalist has asked why the Republicans spent so much on Tobin's legal fees for a crime that he committed in 2002. Would it be improper to suggest that maybe Tobin also broke election laws in 2004, and that the party paid his tab because they wanted him to keep his mouth shut on the subject?
Mark Crispin Miller: Nationwide, with little fanfare, the party is continuing to do what it did on a grand scale in the 2004 election. Its goal is the permanent disenfranchisement of the majority, through both legal (or rather "legal") and illegal means - whatever it may take to turn the entire nation into Texas, where a rich white party illegitimately rules the roost. It's crucial that we put the Georgia situation in that larger context.
Georgia law - essentially the re-imposition of a poll tax - relates to the Republicans' intentions vis-à-vis the Voting Rights Act, which they intend to gut. That law's up for renewal - and the party is purporting to desire certain "improvements" in it, which should make us very nervous, because their aim is to "improve" the Voting Rights Act much as they attempted to "improve" Social Security. "Improve" is Bushspeak, or Orwellian, for "destroy." What the party wants is to excise certain provisions from the law, so that it can then be invalidated by the Supreme Court. Once the Voting Rights Act is kaput, the states like will be emancipated to pass ever more laws like the Georgia law: laws that then won't be repealed. Similar laws have been passed recently in Indiana and Arizona. All of this is meant to help ensure the party's permanent majority—or perhaps "dominion" is a better word.
Remember, that is the party's fundamental goal. It relates to efforts to extend the disenfranchisement of felons, which has proven an effective way to disenfranchise countless law-abiding Democrats. The party's also taking steps to make it harder for immigrants to vote—a way to further limit the Hispanic vote, which also tends Democratic. (Even the Cuban and Nicaraguan communities have been drifting from the GOP.)…
You connect those dots, and then connect them to the scandals now racking the GOP, because they also have to do primarily with election fraud. Tom DeLay's troubles stem directly from his close involvement in the party's efforts to subvert democracy through the construction of a permanent "majority." The gerrymandering in Texas, and the program to monopolize K Street, were both intended to help further weaken the electorate.
Although the national press has shied away from it, the "Coingate" scandal in Ohio also has everything to do with the Bush Republicans' crusade against democracy. It was all about laundering enough cash to cover the huge off-the-books expenses of election theft, not only in Ohio, but from coast to coast. In fact, I believe that we will soon discover that the whole vile web of bribery and kickbacks—and no doubt extortion—that is just now making so much news, was ultimately at the service of the party's anti-democratic plans.
So the Georgia law is quite significant, as is the status of the Voting Rights Act—as significant as the scandals currently rocking Washington. But there's been little coverage, as you note. And what finally could be more important than the preservation of American democracy. That the US press is AWOL on that fundamental issue indicates how far the Fourth Estate has fallen from the crucial task envisioned for it by the framers of our Constitution.
[Part 2 of this interview to follow ...]