Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stephanie Tubb Jones and America's democratic republic

(Re my use of republic, go back to my first post, for a refresher: we live in a republic. A democracy connotes law-making and rule by all people.)

Stephanie Tubb Jones passed away, less an hour ago from an aneurism, in Cleveland, Ohio's Huron Hospital. She was a "reliably liberal" Congresswoman, representing Cleveland, as the obituaries report, such as Matt Schudel's of the "Washington Post".

As we mourn her passing and appreciate her service, we are reminded of how she stood up and acted decisively to protect the integrity of the vote. Specifically, she challenged the legitimacy of the 2004 vote for president, as officially tallied. "Sabra," a blog-poster at , uploaded Tubb Jones' January 6, 2005 office's statement that challenged the veracity of the vote count.

One of the more politically irritating and frustrating moments of watching "Fahrenheit 911" was watching the majority of Congress stay silent during the reading of the 2000 vote tally. Just a few Congresspeople valiantly refused to sit quietly. Let us remember the latter group and Tubb Jones and keep a mindful eye on the integrity of the vote.

Let's appreciate the most powerful part of Tubb Jones' statement:
"It is on behalf of those millions of Americans who believe in and value our democratic process and the right to vote that I put forth this objection today. If they are willing stand at the polls for countless hours in the rain as many did in Ohio, then I can surely stand up for them here in the halls of Congress.

"This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the President; but it is a necessary, timely and appropriate opportunity to review and remedy the most precious process in our democracy."

"I raise this objection neither to put the nation in the turmoil of a proposed overturned election nor to provide cannon fodder or partisan demagoguery for my fellow Republican Members of Congress.

"I raise this objection because I am convinced that we as a body must conduct a formal and legitimate debate about election irregularities. I raise this objection to debate the process and protect the integrity of the true will of the people.

"Again, I thank Senator Boxer for joining me in this objection to the counting of Ohio's electoral votes due to the considerable number of voting irregularities that transpired in my home state.

"There are serious allegations in two lawsuits pending in Ohio that debate the constitutionality of the denial of provisional ballots to voters (The Sandusky County Democratic Party v. J. Kenneth Blackwell) and Ohio's vote recount (Yost v. David Cobb, et al.). These legitimate questions brought forward by the lawsuits, which go to the core of our voting and Democratic process, should be resolved before Ohio's electoral votes are certified.

"Moreover, as you are aware, advancing legislative initiatives is more challenging when you are in the minority party in Congress. However, this challenge is multiplied when you are in the minority in the House of Representatives because of House rules, compared to Senate rules.

"Voting irregularities were an issue after the 2000 presidential election, when Democratic House initiatives relating to election reform were not considered.

"Therefore, in order to prevent our voices from being kept silent, it is imperative that we object to the counting of Ohio's electoral votes and debate the issue of Ohio's voting improprieties.

Tubb Jones was trying to make sure that our republic be truly democratic, truly representative of the people's (or at least those willing to vote) will.

It was upsetting to see, in the instances of 2000 and 2004, the losing Democratic nominees, Al Gore and John Kerry, respectively sit mute during the fury over contestable votes, or voting irregularities. They were acting too gentlemanly in not expressing an outcry. This might be fine if it were a card match. But this is our government and the direction of four years of policy (and longer, considering the Supreme Court nominees). Let us make sure that we don't veer in the direction of the gentlemanly losers if the November vote appears fraught with irregularities.

1 comment:

G Man said...

Great Post. She will be missed. On another subject I too am a fan of Love. Alvin Lee was a musical innovator who at the end over came his demons