Inauguration 2008: “I Charles Timothy Hagel do solemnly swear…”
This is the nightmare that threatens the sleep of liberals everywhere, yet it is quickly and quietly becoming a forgone conclusion and the signs can be seen on the evening news and on your favorite cable talking head show. Chuck Hagel will be president.
Stuffing ballot boxes and fixing elections is a long standing tradition in these United States of America, but the opportunity to do so was universal. Anyone with the moxie to rig an election earned it with good old fashion grit and hard work. Now, even the stealing of elections has fallen prey to the lazy American syndrome. Instead of the corrupt boots on the ground needed to do it, we have allowed for institutionalized rigging of elections. Not a very hard working, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, might makes right, traditional American way of going about it. What has happened to our rugged individualism and national pride based on strength of character and cowboy bravado? What kind of wimpy country allows geeks backed by the soft-handed moneymen to run the show?
However it happened, it is the law of the land now thanks to HAVA and the show has already started. With the Republican leadership and the White House mired in political scandal, the pundits are looking for a new horse on which to shine their spotlight. McCain is old news and the Democrats have the same tired scraps on offer, so the chattering class have searched and found their next object of affection and are lavishly praising Sen. Hagel for having the guts to speak out against the culture of corruption in Washington and our deteriorating political discourse. He is the new media golden boy with silver hair and a bright future. With the help of the MSM, Hagel is positioning himself as a moderate Republican ready to stand up to the extreme right of his party and win the hearts of moderate Democrats in the process. I can already hear my liberal friends saying, “He’s not so bad, at least he’s not a religious nutjob and he did stand up to Bush.” An election has been rigged for a candidate Democrats find unpalatable, now it’s time to try it with one not quite so offensive. The Democrats are giddy with delight at the imploding Bush Administration and mistakenly believe that that translates into a win for them on the next go around. What they don’t realize is that they are bit players in this drama and the main event will stun them back into submission. The Democrats are not the opposition party, Chuck Hagel is.
If you ever needed proof that our democracy has been reduced to nothing more than political theater, look no further than the emergence of Chuck Hagel as the “outsider” candidate. Almost from the beginning of the Bush Regime, Hagel has been positioning himself as the “renegade” Republican, challenging the White House, standing up against cronyism and now he’s about to knock our socks off with his drumbeat to get out of Iraq. Yes, that’s right, Chuck Hagel will be the anti-war candidate and he’s not afraid to say what has Democrats cowering in the corner trying to figure out. To be fair, it is a challenge to find the exact right words that will show they were duped without making them appear weak. Hagel, on the other hand, can say whatever he wants because all he has to do is be believable. He doesn’t have to win an election, he merely has to make it appear possible, because he’s got an ace in the hole and it’s named Election Systems & Software or ES&S.
Before ol’ Chuck became Senator Hagel, he was chairman of American Information Systems (AIS) which later changed its name to ES&S, the very same company that provided his state of Nebraska with the voting machines used to count the votes for his 1996 Senate bid and surprise, surprise, he won. In an article written by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman that appeared in Mother Jones before the 2004 election they explain, “A little less than eight months after stepping down as director of AIS, Hagel surprised national pundits and defied early polls by defeating Benjamin Nelson, the state's popular former governor. It was Hagel's first try for public office. Nebraska elections officials told The Hill that machines made by AIS probably tallied 85 percent of the votes cast in the 1996 vote.” Wow, 85 percent of votes cast, counted by your own companies machines, great deal if you can get it. And the good news for Senator Hagel is, those machines are now out there across the country with new orders being shipped every day to a county near you.
ES&S is not the only company supplying voting machines that has controlling parties with clear conflicts of interest and the circular nature of ownership between them leaves the impression of collusion by all. For the convoluted web of ownership of the four major companies entrusted with counting America’s votes, read this detailed investigation into the murky and tightly controlled world of voting equipment and software, compiled by Bev Harris at Black Box Voting.
Regardless of what deals were struck between the vote seekers and the vote counters, Hagel seems to feel entitled to his turn at the wheel and the rest of us are going along for the ride. Our democratic republic no longer provides the people with representation in government, but in return we get roller coaster rides on pre-existing tracks and carnival sideshows to keep us entertained. How long before we gorge ourselves on too much fun, throw up and demand to be taken home?