Coastal Post Online

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March 2001

As the Village Idiot Sees It

By Antonio R. Serna

The people around the world are scratching their collective heads with the inauguration of President George W. Bush as the 43rd president of this great country. Why the American people chose this relatively Lilliputian governor to replace a giant of a president who was occupying the White House for the past eight years is indeed puzzling. But the more serious part of the puzzle is that the American people did not really choose him. They elected the vice of that giant president because he was the more qualified man for the job. To those who understand however, how a capitalist society operates, it is not as puzzling as it may seem to be, because they understand that between democracy and capitalism which are the two ideologies being played out in this country democracy will always take a back seat to capitalism.

The vice was confident that he will continue to enjoy the support of the people if he will simply concentrate on looking after their interests and their environment. Unfortunately, he ignored the fact that in a capitalistic society, the people and their environment come only second to creating opportunities to amass wealth, particularly for those who already have it.

The vice insisted that it is not money or wealth that wins elections. It is the people and their votes that do. Alas, this is where he was terribly mistaken. The Lilliputian who ran against him knew better. He did not even bother to make a distinction between money and people, which served him well. He simply took direct orders form the people with money, and, surprisingly enough, the people without money did exactly what the monied people asked them to do.

It is true that the vice finally got more votes from the American people but there is this powerful thing that the people of this country value more than their votes and possibly even their sanity. It is what they call the Rule of Law. Whoever has the last say on the Rule of Law decides who rules and what laws will rule the Rule of Law. It is rather complicated, but there are nine very wise and powerful men and women who rule the Rule of Law. They are called Justices of the US Supreme Court.

When the elections ended, there was some confusion as to how to count the votes in one of the 50 states of the union. The brother of the Lilliputian who is the governor of that state made certain that the ballots in his state will be punched with holes that no one will understand. Most of the holes punched were covered by chads that were pregnant, hanging, intended, unintended partial, whole and a host of other varieties that one can imagine.

It was very complicated. Consequently, all of the "chad affected" ballots were thrown out, and declared non-valid, causing the voters who cast them to be disenfranchised. Disenfranchise is a bad word in a democracy, particularly during an election. But in a capitalist society, it simply means the end of one's ability to conduct business. The Lilliputian's brother and his capitalist friends insisted to throw out the disputed ballots, as they claimed that recounting same will cause irreparable harm to the chances of their candidate to win.

The question was litigated in court and later elevated for a final decision to the Supreme Court of the state, which has jurisdiction in matters of the state. But the Lilliputian's brother did not agree and further elevated the case to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court, in a 4-5 split decision, stopped the recount which in effect was tantamount to declaring the Lilliputian's brother as the 43rd president of the USA. The vice had no higher court to appeal to. In the USA, the US Supreme Court is where the buck stops in this game of litigating the Rule of Law.

Although the four honorable justices of that court went on record that the decision was a shameless abuse of judicial authority by the highest court of the land, their opinion did not count as they constituted the minority. You see, the deciding vote came from the oldest justice of the court who already wants to retire due to the ravages of age, but reportedly could not, until his replacement is chosen by a friend of the monied people. Get their drift?

To summarize, the vice actually won the election by virtue of his garnering over half a million votes more than the Lilliputian. But under the Rule of Law, the Lilliputian won because the US Supreme Court said so. The US Supreme Court, which interprets the Rule of Law, decided that the Lilliputian won because the state where his brother is governor failed to conduct an effective process of casting and counting ballots. There was no order nor uniformity in the way that the ballots were cast which violates the equal rights provision of the law. If the ballots in question were recounted, it will be illegal because it can cause irreparable harm to the chances of the Lilliputian's winning the election. Not "Subliminable"

The Republicans fear the persona of ex-president Bill Clinton so much that they keep on pouncing on him even after he has already stepped down from power. It is obviously because they know that if this darling of the people ever decides to throw his hat in another presidential race, no amount of Floridian magic and US Supreme Court hocus-pocus can stop him from returning to the White House.

If the best that the Republicans can put up against a mere shadow of Bill Clinton is a man who needs his brother and the US Supreme Court to pull him out of a disastrous, half a million votes loss in the last election, one can imagine what Bill Clinton will do to the same or similar guy in the year 2004.

Come on fellas, don't appear too spooked with Bill Clinton. It is too early in the game. Before you go after him on the presidential pardon issue, which is all constitutional and legal, clean up first your own backyard and admit to your shenanigans in Florida and be contrite to your shameless use of the US Supreme Court to put your man in the White House. The worst part of it all is that the whole insidious power grab was not even "subliminable," as your man may put it. And you know what? The American people and the whole world know about it.

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