“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Carter In Nicaragua Monitoring Election. The Carter Center Cannot Help in US, Because US Elections Are Not Up To Carter Center Standards.

No one will ever accuse Jimmy Carter of having any class at all, let alone show some decorum as an ex POTUS. But here he is on NPR Carter Helps Monitor Nicaragua Presidential Election in Nicaragua slamming the US again. He finds everything just fine in Nicaragua. You can torture yourself and listen to him as well. Carter and the Carter Center have spent a lot of time in Nicaragua. Carter speaks in glowing terms about the changes in Daniel Ortega and the support they get from Hugo Chavez.

DE: Mr. President, one final question, if you will. Here in the U.S., we have a very hotly contested election on Tuesday that could change the balance of power in the Congress. Voters across the country are concerned here about the voting process. Some have expressed concerns about voting machines and whether they will be working, others have accused officials of trying to intimidate certain groups of voters. Is there a need for a poll watching system of outside observers at U.S. elections?

JC: As you may know after the 2000 election which was a total debacle, President Gerald Ford and I headed a major blue ribbon commission and recommended changes in the voting procedures that largely were passed by the Congress. And then, after the 2004 election, which still showed some major problems, former secretary of state James Baker and I headed a similar commission and made some recommendations, very few of which have yet been implemented.

But there's no doubt in my mind that the United States electoral system is severely troubled and has many faults in it. It would not qualify at all for instance for participation by the Carter Center in observing. We require for instance that there be uniform voting procedures throughout an entire nation. In the United States you've got not only fragmented from one state to another but also from one county to another. There is no central election commission in the United States that can make final judgment. It's a cacophony of voices that come in after the election is over with, thousands or hundreds of lawyers contending with each other. There's no uniformity in the nation at all. There's no doubt that that there's severe discrimination against poor people because of the quality of voting procedures presented to them. Another thing in the United States that we wouldn't permit in a country other than the United States is that we require that every candidate in a country in which we monitor the elections have equal access to the major news media, regardless of how much money they have. In the United States, as you know, it's how much advertising you can by on television and radio. And so the richest candidates prevail, and unless a candidate can raise sometimes hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, they can't even hope to mount a campaign, so the United States has a very inadequate election procedure.


  1. I was grinding my teeth as I heard heard Carter making his pronouncements on NPR this afternoon. It really ironic that the attitudes of this former Democratic president couldn't be more un-democratic. In his view, the electoral process should be controlled by central authority, preferably I assume, by a bunch of self-appointed bureaucrats headed up by JC himself. After all, he is all-knowing and all-wise. This is the European Union model. If the voters don't vote the way you want them to, you ignore or change the result. It is the totalitarianism of the illiberal left. It is the antithesis of local control of government in a republic where the will of the voter is expressed though elected officials at successively larger stages of government - local, state federal.

    "JC: As you may know after the 2000 election which was a total debacle" Translation, we unsucessfully tried to steal the election for Al Gore in 2000 by invalidating votes and preventing absentee ballots from members of the military in Florida

    "JC: And then, after the 2004 election, which still showed some major problems . Dammitol, we tried some shenanigans in Ohio steal the election for John Kerry but were blocked by an uncooperative judge.

    "But there's no doubt in my mind that the United States electoral system is severely troubled and has many faults in it."

    There is no doubt im ny mind, that Carter is engaged in an attack on the integrity and legitimacy of the electoral process itself. His attitude is if you can't field a candidate who the voters will elect, then attack the electoral process itself.

    Finally, what does this mean?
    "There's no doubt that that there's severe discrimination against poor people because of the quality of voting procedures presented to them. "

    Have any Elephant Bar members every witnessed "poor people" being treated differently at the polling place than "non-poor people"? I have voted many, many times and have never seen anything other than an even-handed and professional administration of the voting process.

    Carter is a disgrace to the state of my birth and to the nation.

  2. Welcome Stoutfellow:
    This Pint's on Me!

  3. Ol Jimmah's Scatological Misadventures

    By the thirty minute mark, Ol Jimmah was beginning to weaken. As a younger man, he would have shrugged off these bouts with a flush and an egress to the shower. But now, arthritically restrained and fearful, he told himself it was best to just stay seated, best not to test the slippery floor of the shower.

    Through a wave of dizziness, he began to hope the deed was done and began to slowly rise, his bowels still aching as if gripped and torqued by some poltergeist.

    A deep breath and a hope that relief was imminent, Ol Jimmah shuffled over to the sink, catching a glimpse of his face, matted with sweat, sanguine from strain and weathered from another test of his faith.

    His doctor had said such episodes can have emotional triggers, caused by environemntal stimulants that irk or bother in such a way that the brain resorts to waste evacuation. He wanted nothing of their "anti-anxiety" pills and saw the burden as another sign of his own separateness, that he should burden so rare a malady was highly suggestive of prestige the most cosmic...

    But today's newspaper, the image of Saddam Hussein, a modern Saladin who would have united the whole Arab world, was betrayed by America and Iraqis, ingrates and fools all - like beasts that would attack their young or as the devout purges a heretic. He and Saddam were imbued with a common substance, and Ol Jimmah couldn't help but envy the epic drama surrounding Saddam, like Samson amidst the Philistines.

    But it was the rage of the injustice and illegitimacy that got to him, regardless of Saddam's stoicism. He knew he did not possess the Saladin fortitude to relish the certain within the uncertain. Instead, he was engaged in illuminating the uncertain within the certain, shining a light where Americans would never otherwise see, and alienated for his promethian powers.

    The newspaper had triggered all these thoughts and more, all in a rushed instant, surging from brainstem to bowels in the spasm and twitch of smooth muscles. Cursing the paper, the Bush family and the craven readership, he hobbled to the bathroom a half hour ago.

    Ol Jimmah dabbed his brow with tissues and hobbled back to flush, his legs jingling by their tethers of collapsed pants and loose change. With the jingle of the knob, he heard the ominous airless groan and the splash of gallons upon gallons pouring into the bowl. Panicking, Ol Jimmah looked left and right, hoping for a plunger, knowing all too well they were kept in the basement, and all the while the filthy water, opaque with waste, rose rapidly to the brim.

    In his panic he turned to flee when his anxiousness snapped into a sharp knot in his gut - again.

    He looked at the sink, too high. The toilet, no room. But the bathtub, that was the only chance.

    He angrily slammed the sliding door open with the fury of a righteous curmudgeon, and turned to face the burbling porcelain as he angled his hind self over the tub, just as the episode culminated and exploded, splattering and flecking the floors and the walls, everything in a radial pattern of fecal fractals - this just as the flushed gallons crested the brim and began to dribble then spill and then dump the contents all over the bathroom floor at Ol Jimmahs feet.

    More than surprised, Ol Jimmah was aghast with offense, furious that such coincidences could occur. So much so, that his footing slipped on the waste water and his feeble grip slid from the wobbly shower doors, and backwards Ol Jimmah fell, just as another episode began to rumble.

  4. Rufus,
    Blair was very impressed, but then he evidently was impressed by his Muslim Loving Moonbat wife also.
    As the new book
    "Unstopable Global Warming"
    points out, the are excellent historical and geological records of previous warmings and subsequent coolings well before industrialization.
    Farming in Greenland and Growing Grapes in Britain to the extent that the Frogs passed tarrifs to protect their French Wine from British imports!

  5. Mr Ortega WINS!!

    Another stellar success for Mr Bush, Ms Rice and the USA!

    Turning back the hands of time to those Jimmy Carter years. Oh the Compassion of our President's State Department.

    All hail US Foreign Policy!

    Chalk this one up for Hugo, fellows.