General Question

segdeha's avatar

Will the U.S. have elections in November?

Asked by segdeha (1699points) March 7th, 2008

According to this article the structure is in place for Bush/Cheney to suspend elections in the interest of “national security.” They wouldn’t… Would they?

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27 Answers

Kurtosis's avatar

Oh man, people would go apesh*t. Can you imagine them trying that? I don’t think Bush could get away with it this late in the game.

Doppleganger's avatar

There’s no way that would happen. People would freak and it would also be terrible for the Republican party. Not to mention how many “rules” that would go against. Elections are big deals within a republic (and we are a republic, not a democracy), even if our country were falling apart they’d still hold elections at the correct time.

Imagine for a second that you’re a terrorist. Wouldn’t you just wait for Bush to be kicked out of office instead of killing him, or even a candidate that might make things easier on them?

I definitely wouldn’t worry about that happening.

squirbel's avatar

It “could” happen. And “The Decider” would stay in office… let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

I don’t think Americans would do anything. They are too passive as a whole, and swallow whatever their government gives or does to them. They are activists with the mouth, rather than with pitchforks :P

Our government must be scared of the people, not the other way around.

Perchik's avatar

Well…it is feasible. I mean if we protest it we could be declared enemy combatants and thrown in jail. A lot of things this Administration has done have been just plain scary. They do have the framework in place if they wanted to. We actually had a panel conversation at my university on a very similar topic.

cwilbur's avatar

In theory, it could happen. In practice, the backlash against it, both at home and internationally, would be so severe that it would in all likelihood destroy any gains that Bush & Company might get from it.

Karl Rove is scheming and manipulative, but not stupid. He knows just how far he can push things.

Doppleganger's avatar

squirbel, you severely underestimate Americans.

squirbel's avatar

I’m basing it on our current record. We’ve allowed so much crap to happen, and only complained without pulling out “pitchforks” and demanding changes or disapproving outright.

You call that “underestimation”? More like expecting Americans to stand up for themselves is “over-expectation”.

Doppleganger's avatar

I think you’re generalizing what you see as American, where you live, with the entire country. America has the largest voluntairy (in percent) military service, the largest and most active militias in the world, and more than doubles any other countries help in fighting things like sex slavery, camps in Uganda, and other things similar. We’ve also done more for medical advancement than any other country, and when we were attacked on September 11th, we banded together, whereas most countries would have experienced an attempt at overthrow.

Are you still convinced Americans are lazy and don’t care?

squirbel's avatar

Military doesn’t mean crap in this context. I’m talking about civilians.

Here’s a for-instance: When Sarkozy [current French leader] passed a law mandating that Frech schools instill a sense of humility in French children for the wrongs done to Jews during the Holocaust, people took to the streets. This is what I am talking about.

I am not talking about American achievements – you’re way off point. I am talking about American democratics. I’m not talking about the good we’ve done elsewhere – I’m talking about keeping our own house clean…washing behind our own ears.

Doppleganger's avatar

Are you saying we don’t have high standards of living? Because I’m pretty sure we do. I’m not sure where you’ve travelled, or where you’ve even lived in the US, but we do a very good job of keeping our own house clean.

As far as military, every serving man and woman was at once a civilian, and they made the decision to give that up to serve our country. Most other militaries need to force civilians to join. This should tell you something about the American people.

America has only been an effective country for about 200 years. This is an extremely short time compared to other countries. We’ve gone from “owning” black people, to them being just as equal to everyone else, we’ve also taken women from being “items” or housewives to productive members of society. This has only taken less than 200 years. Take, for example, the current presidential election. This should tell you something about our republic (it’s not a democracy, but a republic) and how we are able to get things done.

I mean this in as little offence as possible, but it is because of people with an attitude like yours, that Americans are often portrayed as lazy and gluttonous.

squirbel's avatar

OMG. You are so not reading the main question or what I have written.

I have said nothing about standards of living.
I have said nothing about military being anything.
I have not said anything about the effectiveness of America in the world arena.
I have said nothing about America’s history and progress.
I have not said Americans are devils and lazy and gluttonous and stupid and dumb and retarded but you….well.

What I am saying is this:
– Americans have the democratic right to oppose their government.
– American civilians are a major part of the checks-and-balances of the democracy.
– Americans allow the government to tell them what to do in every facet and swallow too much.
– Americans need to stand up to their government.

Do not misunderstand me and place me in some box. If you look at my profile, you will see I have lived in every corner of this country – Michigan, Texas, California, Alabama, New York and my homeplace – Puerto Rico. Don’t treat me like I’m some @#$%-tard who is ignorant and ashamed of my country.

Take your nationalist crap elsewhere and don’t put it on my shoe.

[Sorry Fluther-ville, hopefully this will be the last time I let my anger get the better of me.]

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

@those who think people will go apesh*t

Lets have a little review shall we.

Since 9/11,

we found out our govt had foreknowledge of possible attacks,
we find out the 9/11 Commission Report was whitewash,
we have never been shown a video of a plane hitting the Pentagon,
we occupied Iraq, at our expense (possibly $3 trillion),
we have been spied on,
we have lost Habeus Corpus,
our kids play with lead filled toys,
we eat food that contains god knows what,
our dollar is worth crap,
inflation is running rampant,
corporations are lying to us every day via “mainstream media” and the “news” majority of Americans watch,
the govt HAS signed into law a martial law plan.

Is a little canceled election with 3 candidates that are exactly the same really gonna make people angry? What are they gonna do, go to work the next day, pay their dues to the man, and tell their coworkers how angry they are? Are they gonna keep talking about how bad we are being screwed right now?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Oh yeah, I forgot.

voting machines that can VERY easily be hacked in seconds.

Kurtosis's avatar

@Doppleganger: are you even reading squirbel’s posts? You are talking about something completely different. Volunteering for the military is great, but it is a different thing that taking an active role in civic affairs. Domestically we are less involved than most western countries.

And unfortunately, our foreign aid per capita is well below that of Europe, Canada, etc. You said something about us giving double the aid of any other country – considering we are much more than double the size of any comparably developed country that’s not saying much.

And 200+ years is a long time for a nation (not a society) to exist. Germany and Italy only came into being as unified nations in the 19th century! The fact is, we have had a stable, consistent form of govt for much longer than most parts of the world.

But squirbel – I think you are exagerrating a bit to say no one would protest – people are really worked up about the primaries right now, it would not go down smoothly to call off the elections.

squirbel's avatar

It is an exaggerration, yes, but the media would portray them as a small nuisance or even imply that they are anti-American, or worse yet, terrorists.

Kurtosis's avatar

Really? The same media who have been totally head over heels for Obama, and are having the time of their lives covering this campaign? They would have a lot to lose with no election to cover. I can understand the cynicism, but I think in this case the momentum is going the other way.

segdeha's avatar

I agree with squirbel that the media would “cover” any protests, then move on to the next Brittany Spears breakdown. There have been plenty of protests over the last 7 years, but—and this is, I think the biggest problem with the current administration—it doesn’t seem to make any difference. Bush just makes a speech to the effect of “It’s come to my attention that some people want the terrorists to win.” and everyone thinks they’re being protected.

Perchik's avatar

@seq- exactly. If we speak against the country, or the war, we’re obviously anti-American and therefore a terrorist. And if you’re a terrorist, you don’t get rights. No habeus corpus and your phones aren’t safe. But guess what? Bush is the Decider, he decides if you’re a terrorist.

If there were any major protests, I’d be willing to bet the leader (s) of said protest would disappear or be jailed.

segdeha's avatar

The leaders might not be disappeared (this hasn’t happened AFAIK), but you can be darn sure their phones and emails will be tapped, with or without a court order, Constitutional protections be damned! This has happened, and probably 1000 times more often than we know. It’s why the tel-cos are pressuring Congress to grant them retroactive immunity.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Tucker Carlson Unintentionally Reveals The Role of The American Press

trainerboy's avatar

Talk about pandering to people’s fears. No way will that happen. All those who are looking for the “vast right wing conspiracy” must have to work pretty hard to drum up things like this.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Thanks to the internet, trainerboy, you don’t have to work that hard. I dont get much of my news from the corporate owned media. I have learned where to get my news from. I have been following it very closely for the past 2 years and see what is going on. Read the article below for an example. Do a google search to read more about it. With the economy the way it has been going, I’m sure an economic disaster would be a great reason for Bush.

Bush’s Martial Law Act of 2007

By Kurt Nimmo

On October 17, with little fanfare, the unitary decider signed H.R.5122, or the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. “The act provides $462.8 billion in budget authority for the department. Senate and House conferees added the $70 billion defense supplemental budget request to the act, so overall, the act authorizes $532.8 billion for fiscal 2007,” explains Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service.

According to a press release from the office of Senator Patrick Leahy, however, the bill takes a “sizable step toward weakening states’ authority over their [National] Guard units, according to the congressional leaders who are leading the fight for Guard empowerment.” Leahey and senator Kit Bond, a Montana Republican, “said the conference agreement is expected to include a provision making it easier for the President to declare martial law, stripping state governors of part of their authority over state National Guard units in domestic emergencies. The provision is opposed by the National Governors Association and by key leaders in both the House and Senate.”

Frank Morales, an Episcopal priest and activist in New York City, writes that the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 actually encourages the establishment of martial law “by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President’s ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Bush demanded Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco yield to him the command over any National Guard troops sent to the area. “Bush wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would have allowed him to take control over all armed forces deployed, including Louisiana’s National Guard troops. But under the terms of the act, he had to get the assent of the legislature or the governor of the state. The legislature was not in session and Blanco refused,” writes Deirdre Griswold. As of September 11, 2005, Griswold notes, citing the Los Angeles Times, “Bush has not yet invoked the Insurrection Act, but his administration is still discussing how to make it easier for the federal government to override local authorities in the future.”

Leaning on Blanco was considered politically sensitive. “Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?” an anonymous senior administration official told the New York Times on September 8, 2005. Blanco “rejected a more modest proposal for a hybrid command structure in which both the Guard and active-duty troops would be under the command of an active-duty, three-star general—but only after he had been sworn into the Louisiana National Guard,” the New York Times adds.

Bush’s Martial Law Act of 2007 modifies the Insurrection Act and deals yet another blow to the Posse Comitatus Act. “Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, ‘Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,’” explains Morales. “Section 333, ‘Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law’ states that ‘the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of (’refuse’ or ‘fail’ in) maintaining public order, ‘in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.’”

For the current President, “enforcement of the laws to restore public order” means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against “disorderly” citizenry—protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called “illegal aliens,” “potential terrorists” and other “undesirables” for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That’s right. Under the cover of a trumped-up “immigration emergency” and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

Back in January, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a $385 million contract to construct detention centers at undisclosed locations in the United States. As usual, the New York Times either missed over glossed over the significance of this development, characterizing it instead as a waste of taxpayer money. Peter Dale Scott, however, hit the nail right on the head. “For those who follow covert government operations abroad and at home, the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 ‘readiness exercise’ in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary ‘refugees,’ in the context of ‘uncontrolled population movements’ over the Mexican border into the United States. North’s activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.”

As Scott notes, plans for detention camps are nothing new, and indeed “have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for ’suspension of the Constitution’ and ‘declaration of martial law.’ The martial law portions of the plan were outlined in a memo by Giuffrida’s deputy, John Brinkerhoff.”

Brinkerhoff told PBS: “The United States itself is now for the first time since the War of 1812 a theater of war. That means that we should apply, in my view, the same kind of command structure in the United States that we apply in other theaters of war.”

Giuffrida was the Reagan administration’s first director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1981 to 1985 and was the head of then-Governor Reagan’s California Specialized Training Institute, a National Guard school. In “1970 he had written a paper for the Army War College in which he called for martial law in case of a national uprising by black militants. Among his ideas were ‘assembly centers or relocation camps’ for at least 21 million ‘American Negroes,’” writes Sam Smith. “During 1968 and 1972, Reagan ran a series of war games in California called Cable Splicer, which involved the Guard, state and local police, and the US Sixth Army. Details of this operation were reported in 1975 in a story by Ron Ridenour of the New Times, an Arizona alternative paper, and later exhumed by Dave Lindorff in the Village Voice…. Cable Splicer, it turned out, was a training exercise for martial law. The man in charge was none other than Edwin Meese, then Reagan’s executive secretary. At one point, Meese told the Cable Splicer combatants: This is an operation, this is an exercise, this is an objective which is going forward because in the long run … it is the only way that will be able to prevail [against anti-war protests.]”

In response to Richard Nixon’s October 30, 1969, issuance of Executive Order 11490, “Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to Federal Departments and Agencies,” which consolidated some 21 operative Executive Orders and two Defense Mobilization Orders issued between 1951 and 1966 on a variety of emergency preparedness matters, Howard J. Ruff noted: “The only thing standing between us and a dictatorship is the good character of the President and the lack of a crisis severe enough that the public would stand still for it” (see Diana Reynolds, Civil Security Planning).

Not only is Bush’s lack of “good character” obvious, he also considers himself our unitary decider with the power to ignore over 750 laws. “Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ‘whistle-blower’ protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research,” the Boston Globe reported in April.

“From the inception of the Republic until 2000, Presidents produced signing statements containing fewer than 600 challenges to the bills they signed. According to the most recent update, in his one-and-a-half terms so far, President George W. Bush (Bush II) has produced more than 800,” explains the American Bar Association Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements and the Separation of Powers Doctrine.

“It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with the president’s polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes,” concludes Morales. “And so it is particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture to, in effect, declare himself dictator.”


trainerboy's avatar

Thanks Chris, I will read it after I finish building my bomb shelter.
And thanks for enlightening me on what I read and don’t read. I have access to many sources of information from many sides of the aisles, including many conspiracy theories, but hey, you know more about me than me I suppose.

trainerboy's avatar

Let me also add Chris, that I just plain disagree with you on this. I know, anybody who sees it differently than you is closed minded and a sheep as there is only one way to see things if you are truly open minded and a free thinker as all free thinkers think exactly alike. But alas, I read things from all sources, believing that all sources have their own inherent bias, and make the best decision I can at the time. Again, I acknowledge that is pretty closed minded and we all should just read form sources that agree with our perspective because then and only then do we show our open minds.
Thank you. I don’t want to be a sheep so I will only read the sources you suggest.

winblowzxp's avatar

I’m here to say fear not…elections will happen in November. If I recall, there was a lot of talk about Clinton doing the same thing that you’re claiming Bush will do. It won’t happen. Period.

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