Naked arrogance. Haughty. Shameless. I'm not going to try to think of
more descriptions. They don't care
what it looks like. They don't
have to care, because the people don't care.
On July 8, 2004, the Republican wing of the
United States National party completed their pro forma
nod to the idea that government by the people
has not perished from this earth. I don't know why they even
bother maintaining a pretense of caring, but I guess they're not
totally confident yet that there's not still a few people watching
and caring what they do.
What happened was that Governor Blagojevich of Illinois
wrote his name and
SB 2123 became law, giving the Republican party the privilege of
submitting their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates
to the Illinois November ballot a week after the deadline for doing
so passes. Why would they do this? Because the Republicans scheduled
their convention for September, even though it was after the submission
deadline for Illinois (and 10 other states and the District of Columbia).
Was this a big surprise?
Was everybody caught off guard? No. They've
been busy over the last year and a half getting the laws changed in
those other states. In most of them, the legislatures permanently
changed the deadline to later in the year; but the California, Illinois,
and Virginia apparently didn't care about appearances and simply
passed laws making the change for this year only, saying, in so many words,
"Don't worry, Republicans, the law doesn't apply to you." They didn't
even make that much effort in Montana: the 1996 Democratic convention
was after that state's deadline, but nobody cared enough even to change
the law. They just let the Democratic wing of the party go, so the
Republicans know that they'll get the same treatment.
The attitude of the National Party is that they own the political system
in this country, and they've seen no indication that the people are going
to make a fuss about it. They've got it set up so that the only thing their
two factions have to do to get on a state's ballot is file a form with the
Secretary of State (and, as we see, they don't even have to do that right).
Meanwhile, upstart parties and non-affiliated candidates have to jump
through hoops every election cycle to get on, and they have to pray that
they didn't misplace a comma in the cover letter they submit along with the
(e.g., in Illinois) twenty five thousand signatures they need to gather.
And why should they be any different? In a country where a spokesman for
the sitting President can contemptuously say "This is a race between the
president and John Kerry" when a newspaper reporter asked him a question
about another candidate, and get away with it, they clearly have no fear
of the people deciding that the Party bosses have gotten
too big for their britches.
But who knows, perhaps the first crack in their complacency may be coming,
due to a judge's ruling on August 13, 2004 that the
Commission on Presidential Debates, a joint venture of the Democrat and
Republican Departments of U.S. Politics, Inc., may, just maybe, be breaking
the law with the way they run their show.