Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Bush Legacy and "His Fraudulency"

     I suppose one of the best ways to look at the Bush administration is Southern vengeance over what the Northerners did in 1876.  The night of the election, Rutherford B. Hayes, soon to be known as "His Fraudulency," went to sleep thinking he'd lost.  The Chair of the DNC was poring over the numbers, and realized Hayes was down by only one electoral vote.  At this time there were still three Reconstruction governments in the South.  (Northern) Federal Troops, numbering in the thousands, controlled a few square blocks around the capitols of South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana and kept a Northern-installed government in power.  The Chair of the DNC called these occupation Governors and told them to prevent their States from being called, and then worked to disenfranchise as many Southern-sympathetic voters as they could.  The tactic worked, and eventually all three Reconstruction States were counted for Hayes, although, it should be noted, this process took nearly four months.

     Not that Illinois Democrats were blameless!  The only atheist ever appointed to the Supreme Court, Davis, had been selected as the "non-partisan" member of the Electoral Commission to decide what to do.  The Illinois State Congress appointed Davis, a Republican appointee to the Court, as Democratic Senator from Illinois to curry favor for their side.  Instead, Davis used this as an opportunity to recuse himself from the "non-partisan" slot, which was later filled by a Republican. The votes, the votes by the Commission on whether the three states would go to the North or the South split along party lines in all three cases.

     There has not been, nor likely should there be, an "Electoral Commission" again. 

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