The Unforgotten Election
A full year has now passed since the scandal of Election 2000 delivered an illegitimate presidency to American government, and, no, we have not moved on. We have not put it out of our minds, as pundits and politicians urged in the name of civic propriety. We have forgotten neither the raw power-grab engineered by hustler-statesmen from the Republican Party nor the blank-faced astonishment of Democratic leaders too slow to grasp what was under way. We have not forgiven the Supreme Court's rightist majority for its outrageous--felonious, as Vincent Bugliosi wrote in these pages--usurpation of the democratic process. We will not let it drop.
Yes, of course, Americans are now turned elsewhere in their thoughts. George W. Bush is leading the country in a perilous time and wins nearly unanimous approval in public opinion polls, since Americans want the terrorists to be brought to justice. But these circumstances do not rob us of independent minds and voices. Something terribly wrong happened to American democracy one year ago, and this grave injury has not been healed, or even honestly acknowledged and addressed.
As a recent report from the Election Reform Information Project described, virtually nothing of significance has been done by national legislators to clean up the mess in our election machinery or to approach more fundamental reform ideas. There have been notable exceptions: Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman John Conyers, for example, have pushed for a bill that sets universal standards for voting machines and tackles problems of access. But bipartisan indifference has been more the order of the day. …