Picture a polling place on election day, with a group of poll watchers standing just inside the door. It’s not raining, or particularly cold out – they are avoiding a group of individuals that are accosting voters on their way in to vote, using threatening language against anyone that they think shouldn’t be voting. Their goal is obviously to control the polls for the day, and prevent “undesirables” from voting at all by playing on their fears of retribution, brandishing weapons, and acting in a menacing manner. Add that it is an historic presidential election, with a great deal on the line for many groups of people nationwide. The results could either signal the end of an era, or rekindle the fires of discontent and hatred. While it could have been the election of 1860, or even 1960, it was actually the 2008 presidential election, and whites were the targets.
And given the evidence above, and the fact that the defendants never appeared in court to contest the charges, this should have been a slam dunk case for the Department of Justice. Normally, this should have been dealt with quietly, and disappeared from the headlines. But here we are, heading on two years later, and Fox News is resurrecting this story practically daily thanks to a whistle blower named J. Christian Adams.
Of course the easy solution would be to immediately discount the allegations made by Adams, given the fact that he is now engaged in writing on politics for Pajamas Media. But perhaps that isn’t wise. Pajamas Media is nothing if they’re not loyal, and they’ve provided readers with a list of former Department of Justice officials willing to make public statements in support of what Adams has said, or simply in support him personally and professionally.
And the problem is that while the Bush Administration levied the charges against these men, the Obama Administration has chosen to drop the charges. This is not “news”. Of course, there’s debate on whether or not it deserves major coverage. There is plenty for one to read on this throughout the conservative media outlets, but it’s buried deep on sites like MSNBC. But this is an issue of law – not politics – or at least it should be.
Beyond the politicking within the current administration, there is the problem of the radicals involved in the initial crimes – voter intimidation. Glenn Beck, for better or worse, decided to devote his entire program today to this issue. Of course he is drawing many lines between otherwise unconnected individuals and situations. But the most important point that he has bothered to point out is the historical significance of this situation. It is repetition of our past of racism, and the fact that unfortunately, racism knows no bounds. It is neither the property of Democrats nor Republicans alone, but both, as long as “we the people” stand by and allow it.
In the coming days and weeks, there will undoubtedly be more information brought to light about this situation. There are some journalists out there that are determined to find out precisely how high this decision to ignore the rule of law went in the administration. It has been a great many years since we’ve had a man sitting in the Oval Office that was honestly willing to stand up and say what needs to be said in a situation like this. “The President–whoever he is–has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.” His name was Harry S. Truman, he had a placard on his desk that said “The Buck Stops Here”, and he was a Democrat. That placard still sits in the Truman Library – has been there since 1957. Perhaps the curators there will let Obama borrow it for inspiration.