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Let him enforce it!
September 13, 2004 8:32 PM   Subscribe

"It's up to the judge to determine, based on the law, whether Nader should be on the ballot or not" - Jeb Bush. In fact, the court has issued an injunction barring placing Nader on the ballot. But today, Bush's Secretary of State issued an order [pdf] to local elections officials, telling them to ignore the current injunction and place Nader's name on the ballot anyway. [via Kos]
posted by falconred (44 comments total)

 
The majority of voters voting for Nader would have been Democratic. It is quite obvious the white house is getting dirtier as the race closes in.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:34 PM on September 13, 2004


Well, Jeb's right. But it shouldn't have been left to justices to decide the last election either.
posted by raysmj at 8:46 PM on September 13, 2004


If this sort of thing happened in any other "democracy", we'd all be shouting "Shenanigans."
posted by ColdChef at 8:49 PM on September 13, 2004


I'm not even worrying about this. Jeb will steal this for W if the election gets close. Is this self-servingly partisan? Sure, but it's closer to legal than other Jeb tactics: intimidating African American senior citizens, and resisting a paper trail that would expose faulty voting machines.

I say this as the son of a Floridian. Florida is a red-neck, cracker state-- as dishonest and ignorant as you'll find in the U.S.A.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:49 PM on September 13, 2004


As a Louisianian, I take exception to that.
posted by ColdChef at 8:49 PM on September 13, 2004


Hmmmm, what's the name for a type of government that allows a single person to unilaterally violate the law and subvert the due course of an election? Hmmmm.
posted by fleener at 8:51 PM on September 13, 2004


What's up with that picture of Nader? He looks like an extra from night of the living dead.
posted by weston at 8:54 PM on September 13, 2004


What's up with that picture of Nader? He looks like an extra from night of the living dead.

He always looks like that.
posted by republican at 8:59 PM on September 13, 2004


Two passages from the article:
In a memo to Florida's 67 county supervisors of elections, Division of Elections director Dawn Roberts said the uncertainty of Hurricane Ivan, which could hit parts of the state by week's end, forced her to act.

A hearing on a permanent injunction is scheduled for Wednesday. But Roberts said Hurricane Ivan, which is headed for Florida's Gulf coast, had raised "a substantial question as to when such a hearing" will be held.
Okay, let's get this straight.

Because of a possible hurricane, we need to make a decision now. Which could be overruled by a judge, but there won't be a hearing... because of the possible hurricane.

Are there people who are actually going to defend this?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:10 PM on September 13, 2004


Even more dramatically, W's campaign may have missed the deadline for filing in Florida. Florida has a Sept. 1 deadline for certification of the nominees and electors, but Bush's certification of nomination arrived Sept. 2 because he wasn't officially nominated until Sept. 1. Or something like that.

It won't be challenged, though, by the Florida Democratic Party, whose chair says, "To keep an incumbent president off the ballot in a swing state the size of Florida because of a technicality, I just don't think would be right."
posted by realityblurred at 9:12 PM on September 13, 2004


Just to keep in mind how much of Florida Ivan is likely to have any impact on...
posted by soyjoy at 9:25 PM on September 13, 2004


If this sort of thing happened in any other "democracy", we'd all be shouting "Shenanigans."

it's my general policy to shout "Shenanigans."
posted by quonsar at 10:05 PM on September 13, 2004


Hmmmm, what's the name for a type of government that allows a single person to unilaterally violate the law and subvert the due course of an election? Hmmmm.


Yeah it's so much worse than that other type of government that keeps others off the ballot so they possibly can't lose any votes to people not voting "correctly." Not that the GOP wouldn't do the same thing if the situation was reversed.

Look, given the closeness of the election and all that is at stake, if people are going to insist on voting for Nader, you're not really going to gain any votes from them even if you keep Nader off the ballots. All that's going to do is to force them to sit at home and hurt other Democratic candidates running for office.
posted by gyc at 10:07 PM on September 13, 2004


Because of a possible hurricane, we need to make a decision now. Which could be overruled by a judge, but there won't be a hearing... because of the possible hurricane.

and you people laughed when i said ashcroft controls the weather.
posted by quonsar at 10:10 PM on September 13, 2004


At night, after he lays down and shus his weary eyes, Jeb Bush sleeps and dreams :

In his dreams, he is the dictador of Paraguay.

These dreams leave him deeply rested and refreshed.
posted by troutfishing at 10:13 PM on September 13, 2004


The arrogance of the DNC toward Nader is a primary reason I will not be voting for a single Democrat on the upcoming ballot.
posted by RavinDave at 10:33 PM on September 13, 2004


... except maybe "Dean".
posted by RavinDave at 10:34 PM on September 13, 2004


The arrogance of the DNC toward Nader is a primary reason I will not be voting for a single Democrat on the upcoming ballot.

The arrogance of the DNC toward Nader is the primary reason I'm considering voting for Bush...
posted by iamck at 10:41 PM on September 13, 2004


The demonisation of Nader is going way too far this year. "There are only two parties! Anything else is a SPOILER! Grrr!"

Face it, Bush is pretty bad, but Kerry is a crappy candidate. Dean should've got the nomination. Or even Edwards would have been better (the old ticket-is-backwards theory). Of course, I don't live in 'merkuh, so it hardly matters what I think... but, you know, Kerry sucks. Vote third party!
posted by reklaw at 10:45 PM on September 13, 2004


Bush's Secretary of State

You're trying to imply that Jeb hand-picked his SecState. That's an elected position.
posted by MrAnonymous at 10:52 PM on September 13, 2004


You're trying to imply that Jeb hand-picked his SecState. That's an elected position.

Which makes it fit right in with the topic of this thread: does that mean anything in Florida? ; )
posted by namespan at 10:57 PM on September 13, 2004


"Partisan maneuvering..."

As if the Democrats getting a court order to keep Nader off the ballot isn't the same damn thing.

Still, there's standing up to see the law enforced and then there's skull-fucking the law while gargling bad tequila.
posted by scarabic at 11:01 PM on September 13, 2004


The demonisation of Nader is going way too far this year. "There are only two parties! Anything else is a SPOILER! Grrr!"

Unless a third party candidate is polling anywhere in the double digits, and probably even then, this is completely true. And I've said this before:
I think it's worth seriously considering what your vote *really* a means: are you trying to make it a means of expression, or are you really seeing it a means for effecting change in your government? If you're looking for a means of speaking out and baring your political soul, there are other avenues available like letters to the editor, letters to your congressman, political meetings, forums online, etc, and that's all well and good.

But a vote is entirely different. It is not a means of expression. It is a means of determining who is elected to public office -- and yes there's *meaning* in how people vote, but that's not the primary purpose. When that is the primary purpose we call those opinion polls. Voting is different, and you should treat it different, and that's why the lesser of two evils strategy makes sense. Voting is not about achieving integral union between your views and a candidate and expressing that -- it's about getting the best possible candidate into office. And anyway you slice it -- put him on the debates, give him funding and prime time -- it is extremely unlikely Nader could gather more votes than Bush this fall.
There's so many ways you could be out trying to change the system in between elections if you don't like it because it's given us a choice between Bush and Kerry. Use them to send your message -- and use your vote this fall to put a candidate in office.
posted by weston at 11:14 PM on September 13, 2004


"To keep an incumbent president off the ballot in a swing state the size of Florida because of a technicality, I just don't think would be right."

This is the thing about the Democrats that makes me absolutely livid. They just don't want to win.

Does anyone seriously think that, if the roles were reversed, Bush/Rove would hesitate for even a picosecond before trying to keep Kerry off the ballot?

Florida Democratic Party: This is election is important. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN, for fuck's sake.
posted by bashos_frog at 11:15 PM on September 13, 2004


They just don't want to win.

Until Democrats get over the inferiority complex that compells them to imagine that they must present themselves as a Lite version of their Republican opponent -- they are doomed to lose. Or, to put it another way: They just don't want to win.
posted by RavinDave at 11:21 PM on September 13, 2004


Very very well spoken weston. You define "vote" very clearly, and lots of people need to hear it. I still don't agree with you about the lesser of two evils approach being the *only* one that makes sense. It does make a certain sense. It isn't synonymous with defeatism. But it shouldn't be the only option of the conscientious *voter* either.

When a major party loses a significant number of real votes to a splinter group, they have to sit up and pay attention, build a coalition with them, address their concens, or continue losing elections. This is the natural process by which parties evolve over time. The alarmists who think the Sun will explode if Bush is re-elected would have you believe that that process must be suspended this year, at all costs. But it's tried-and-true and will prevail.

I didn't vote for Nader in 2000 and I won't vote for him this year, either. But those who knowingly vote for someone who won't win are willing to accept the greater of two evils *in the short term* to effect a long-term change, either in the major party of their choice, or by the eventual rise of a viable 3rd party. You need votes to carry weight. You need weight to win donations and support. And you need donations and support to get onto the next ballot. You don't build a new party overnight.

On the days when I'm most tempted to go Green all the way forevermore, I'm thinking mostly about how I would explain to a child, years from now, that I just couldn't bring myself to take a stand 20 years back, and so they're going to have to inherit the same cycle of lip service and pork distribution I hated so much when I was young. Somehow, I think they'll get an urge to kick me in the nuts when I reassure them that it's still a free country, and they can still "vote for the lesser of two evils."
posted by scarabic at 12:34 AM on September 14, 2004


Then there's the ol' 'Anarchists for Bush'/Greatest-of-Two-Evils theory, which I'm kinda partial to myself. (I quote now from the latter half of this article.)
"Hear me out:

Bush’s extremism has to some degree woken up some ordinary Americans — even if they’ve done it by scaring the hell out of them. People are registering to vote for the first time, just as they’ve begun to protest for the first time. The Bush administration’s war on working people has forced some out of their eat-shit-sleep lull, if only because they are increasingly losing the comfort of that lull.

Another four years could force more folks to think outside the cubicle, because they may in fact be living in one.

My friends and I call it the shit-hits-the-fan theory.

Not until the shit really hits the fan for ordinary people, not until the middle class in particular faces truly dire economic circumstances, will our controlled and managed compatriots recognize corporate rule for what it really is: the swindling of our happiness, our future, and our lives. They’re just too screwed up: lulled, anti-depressed, under-educated, over-criminalized, under-appreciated, overly victimized. "
The system is fukt, and any vote that slows the progression of that system (the so-called 'progressive' vote) is just prolonging the inevitable. A vote that progresses the system, on the other hand, makes its flaws that much more crystal clear, makes the whole thing come crashing down that much faster.

Which I suppose makes the hard right-wingers their own worst enemies. I dream some times of the looks on their faces when the looting starts. I wonder whether they'll first condemn the godless poor for the sin of theft, or themselves for whatever unnamable sin exempted them from god's protection. But never forget that in America, there's no such thing as class. There's no such thing as caste. And there's definitely, definitely, no such possibility as revolution.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:52 AM on September 14, 2004


>Or, to put it another way: They just don't want to win.

Do you really think they could stop Bush from being on the ballot? I mean for one second do you truly believe that. If they sued and pressed, they would lose in court. In the off chance they won, the governor would put Bush's name on there himself. In the end all the democrats have done is piss off a lot of florida (and other) voters by fucking with the system. It would easily go the supreme court if the democrats pressed Jeb and guess what, Bush would win in the supreme court. SCOTUS would see this as a technicality and dismiss it. Thomas and Scalia would wink at the cameras.

As far as fucking with the system when it comes to Nader, well, a good portion of his sigs are fraudulent. Signed by GOP operatives, underage kids, etc. His fail rate is pretty high and GOP organizations make no secret of their willingness to help him out with signatures, money, etc. If the dems were nice to Nader they would be "trying to lose."

Nader plainly admits he's fighting to win. He's being treated like a guy running for president. Go figure. Being challenged on signatures isn't some big conspiracy. You guys are quick to say "they want to lose" but then attack them when they attack the one guy who could help them win enough electoral votes to win the fucking election? Which one is it? Or is Ralph's new found coziness with the GOP something we don't want to address? His halo is dimming quite a bit lately.

You might not like the methods, but if he's showing up to the state legislature with a handful of fake sigs, then he's fair game.

Not to mention a lot of high-profile dems did try to "be nice" to Nader. Cut a deal or meet him halfway. Nader wants none of it, he's third party, and not known to compromise.
posted by skallas at 3:27 AM on September 14, 2004


I agree with scarabic. You're welcome to waste your vote on a third-party candidate, but in doing so you lose your right to complain about what the ultimate winner does.

Case in point: Michael Moore. Moore was a rabid Nader-ite in 2000 and his support and Nader's vote-siphoning in Florida alone was enough to give the White House to Bush. That said, it's hypocritical for Moore to complain at all about Bush.

That said, I agree with the maxim: The lesser of two evils is still evil. Or is it a truism?
posted by darren at 4:32 AM on September 14, 2004


I don't recall any significant overtures to Nader. All I see is the same galling pattern of arrogance we saw last time around (btw: isn't repeating the same mistakes in the same manner one of the key warning signs of mental illness?) It's a democratic blindspot; assuming that they are "entitled" to his votes and they need not even bother courting his supporters. They imagine they can blackball him from the political dialogue, villify him at every turn and ignore his ideological base as they trot toward the center -- and that we'll grudgingly support their business-as-usual-unelectable-nominee. They are wrong again. It is truly ironic that the DNC expended endless energy thwarting Nader all the while ignoring the deeply damaging attacks leveled against Kerry by the Swifties.

On Preview ... to darren

That's silly. One could just as easily claim that the Democrats gave up their right to bitch when they "nominated" yet another unappealing and unwinnable candidate. In the end, your vote will matter less than mine -- I'll at least be making a statement. You might as well write in "Mickey Mouse" for all the good it will do you.
posted by RavinDave at 4:51 AM on September 14, 2004


When did the president get the power to tell states to ignore the law?

It won't be challenged, though, by the Florida Democratic Party, whose chair says, "To keep an incumbent president off the ballot in a swing state the size of Florida because of a technicality, I just don't think would be right."

Yea. Just like how there was no challenge when Mr. Cheney was selected as the VP. (The part where no Pres/VP canidate can come from one state, then Mr. Cheney quickly moved outta Texas.) What is the point of laws when they can be violated willy-nilly?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:10 AM on September 14, 2004



posted by jpoulos at 6:24 AM on September 14, 2004


jpoulos - what was that ? My goddamn hearing aid battery died again.


Night of the Living Ralph
posted by troutfishing at 7:08 AM on September 14, 2004


The only way that the left can ever get a leftist nominated with a left-wing platform is to guarantee that any other type of Democrat will be defeated by third-party voting.

Although Kerry's left-wing sympathies are surely broader, he lines up with them on one issue alone: abortion. On everything else he's either not-quite-as-right as Bush, or staunchly opposed to straw horses. (For all that the Republican platform might talk about school choice and smaller government, there's not really much actual policy for the Democrats' ardent support of social spending and teacher unions to oppose.)
posted by MattD at 7:46 AM on September 14, 2004


The only way that the left can ever get a leftist nominated with a left-wing platform is to guarantee that any other type of Democrat will be defeated by third-party voting.

That's the scariest thing I've read in a long time.
posted by jpoulos at 8:02 AM on September 14, 2004


Do you really want idiots who would vote for Nader supporting your candidate (Kerry)?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:33 AM on September 14, 2004


JPoulos, it may be scary, but it is also true.

The willingness of radicals to be spoilers, in the early part of the last century, was what enabled Labour to oust the Liberals in the U.K., and transformed U.S. Progressivism from a fringe sentiment into a bipartisan consensus.

It was a similar willingness of abolitionists to be spoilers which transformed American politics between 1852 and 1860.

While I understand those who prioritize abortion rights sticking with the current Democratic aligment, I completely fail to see how someone who wants (for example) a pro-Palestinian policy or an anti-globalization policy or a return to more generous poverty programs seeing any future in it.
posted by MattD at 8:58 AM on September 14, 2004


I agree with scarabic. You're welcome to waste your vote on a third-party candidate, but in doing so you lose your right to complain about what the ultimate winner does.

Not according to the First Amendment. I'll retain my right to complain, regardless of whether I vote for Bush or Kerry or Nader or Jar-Jar Binks or no one at all, thank you very much.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:04 AM on September 14, 2004


Man, if Jar-Jar gets in I'm definitely moving to Tatooine.
posted by soyjoy at 9:56 AM on September 14, 2004


I'll retain my right to complain, regardless of whether I vote for Bush or Kerry or Nader or Jar-Jar Binks or no one at all, thank you very much.

True. It's not so much about right to complain as the fact that voting strategically makes sense. And I do agree with scarabics point that if a 3rd party candidate takes votes away from one of the big two, they're forced to consider their direction and appeal, and taking that into account is part of voting strategically. What I think you can't ever ignore, though, is the consequence of who your vote actually elects and the effects their policies will have.
posted by weston at 10:29 AM on September 14, 2004


Do you really want idiots who would vote for Nader supporting your candidate (Kerry)?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:33 AM PST on September 14


I thought Nader was the Republican candidate!
Wasn't it Republicans getting signatures for Nader?
Wasn't it Republicans financing him in many states?
How is he NOT a Republican candidate?

I mean, if its Republicans doing all the ground work, wouldn't it logically follow that Republicans would be voting for him, not possible Kerry voters? :-)
posted by nofundy at 10:54 AM on September 14, 2004


I fail to see how my right to complain goes away because too few people voted with me for someone better.

Anyway, no one and nothing has ever kept me from complaining.
posted by scarabic at 10:59 AM on September 14, 2004


That said, it's hypocritical for Moore to complain at all about Bush.

How do you figure? It may be hypocritical of Moore to complain about actions taken by Nader if he'd actually became prez. But I can't see how someone who is firmly opposed to Bush becoming president can then be called hypocritical for pointing out what a bad job Bush is doing after he is elected.

I got to ask all the lesser of two evils guys, if Cthulu were the republican candidate and Sauron the democratic candidate would you feel you were "wasting" your vote if voted for Nader?
posted by Mitheral at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2004


I can't see how someone who is firmly opposed to Bush becoming president can then be called hypocritical

It only makes sense if you assume that anyone who voted for Nader was really voting for Bush. Which, naturally, makes no sense at all. The logic can just as easily be turned around on the Dems: "If only all of you had voted for Nader instead of following that loser around, we mighta had a chance at a real candidate."
posted by scarabic at 1:20 PM on September 14, 2004


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