Karl Rove scoots off the sunken White House ship with his plans for future neo-con dominance safe and secure---in the hands of Democrats unwilling or incapable of challenging his dirtiest deeds.
Elected to end a lunatic war, the Democratic Congress has prolonged it, earning approval ratings even lower than those of George W. Bush, whom Rove designated as a "war president" long before the attack on Iraq.
The Democrats have also signed off on the GOP's all-out assault on the Constitution, meekly certifying a "unitary executive" with totalitarian demands for a blanket suspension of civil liberties, arbitrary detention, official torture and more.
Once again voters will approach a presidential election asking themselves---why vote for Democrats who won't challenge the most catastrophic GOP outrages?
That question must now be asked again about the illegal destruction of 1.5 million ballots from Ohio's stolen 2004 election. The mass shredding includes a wide range of official documents critical to conducting a valid recount in the state that gave Bush/Rove a second term in the White House.
Breaking a total mainstream media blackout, the Cincinnati Enquirer has finally printed a front-page story on the felonious disposal of these federally-protected records by 56 of Ohio's 88 counties.
The records were shielded until September 2, 2006 by federal mandate, and since then by a federal court order obtained through a class action lawsuit. The counties were also required to inform the Ohio Historical Society before any such records were destroyed.
The counties have responded to critics with an absurd array of "dog ate my homework" excuses reminiscent of Rove's laptop during his lighter moments. Some of the ballots were ruined by a coffee pot, says one county. Flooding hit others, they say. In one county, recyclers were to blame. In another, counterfeit ballots have been discovered.
In short, the excuses for destroying Ohio's election records are every bit as credible as Rove saying he's resigning to "spend more time with my family."
But far from reacting with outrage, the Democrats have merely shrugged, much as they've done with the continuation of the Iraq War and the shredding of the Constitution.
Ohio's Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has told the media she sees "no evidence" this mass deep-sixing of official records was done "purposefully" by nearly two-thirds of the state's counties.
By contrast, under Republican Governor Jeb Bush, only one Florida county destroyed its records and ballots from the 2000 election. The rest of the materials are safely on file at a repository in Tallahassee. A thorough media-sponsored investigation used them to conclude that Al Gore was the rightful winner.
While campaigning in 2006, Brunner promised to establish a similar facility in Columbus. Riding a huge popular revulsion against incumbent Republicans, she won in a landslide that also ushered in a Democratic governor, attorney-general and U.S. Senator.
But except for Freepress.org, no independent team has conducted a systematic analysis of Ohio's 2004 election. Our conclusion remains that John Kerry was the rightful winner. Evidence continuing to surface has deepened that conviction.
As part of the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville lawsuit that secured a federal court mandate for the protection of these materials, it was our expectation that the Freepress.org and other media teams would have time to access those preserved materials for a definitive, ultimately conclusive study.
In a new reality emblematic of the Age of Rove, that will now be impossible.
By all rights, the staff and election boards of all the 56 counties should be subject to investigation and possible federal and state felony charges.
Emblematic of the Democratic Party in the Age of Rove, there seems no movement in that direction.
In the wake of the destruction of these historic materials, Brunner has also told the media she sees "no evidence" that Kerry could have won the 2004 election.
But Bush's official margin was less than 119,000 votes out of 5.4 million counted, with exit polls showing him the clear winner. More than 100,000 ballots remain uncounted. The litany of ballot stuffing, electronic manipulation, voter intimidation and fraud has now been overshadowed by the illegal destruction of 1.5 million votes cast in precincts that had inflated totals for Bush, according to exit polls. Essential auditing materials were destroyed in the key Republican counties that gave Bush his official margin of victory. In at least one of those counties, counterfeit ballots have surfaced in large numbers.
The Democrats also don't seem to care that the servers used to compute the Ohio 2004 vote count were the same ones that housed the web site for the Republican National Committee.
Those servers (which were lodged in the basement of a bank in Chattanooga, Tennessee) mysteriously "malfunctioned" during a critical period in the deep night of the election when a 200,000-vote exit poll margin for John Kerry somehow morphed into a victory for Bush/Rove. Rove's notoriously missing "extra-official" e-mails flowed through those same servers.
Congressional Democrats now pursue Rove over the firing of federal attorneys who refused to play along with the GOP plan to disenfranchise millions of American voters in the lead-up to 2008. But Bush is certain to shield Rove with a pardon, and the matter seems as likely to fade away as those 2004 ballots.
The fifteen months until the 2008 election can qualify as many lifetimes in American politics. Unless the Democrats confront this horrendous war and stop the obliteration of the American Constitution, they'll give voters little reason to bother coming out for them in 2008.
And unless they face the realities of the last two stolen presidential elections, Karl Rove's twisted vision for a neo-con America could easily survive the loss of the presidency to a nominal Democrat in 2008, just as it thrives unimpeded after the 2006 loss of Congress and the Ohio statehouse.
Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service, and writes regularly for www.freepress.org, where this article first appeared.
© 2007 The Free Press