The New American Democracy

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On December 9th and 12th last, as the second millennium was easing to an end, our 212-year-old American Republic was stolen from us.

After the secret four-month constitutional convention in Philadelphia, a matron of the city asked Benjamin Franklin what they had produced. 'A Republic, if you can keep it,' Franklin said.

Well, we haven't kept it--we've lost it.

George W. Bush, his lawyers led by the crafty James Baker III, Bush's operatives in Florida led by his brother Jeb the Governor and Secretary of State Harris, and five members of the Supreme Court, inventing a new constitutional right for the occasion, usurped from the people the right to choose the President of the United States. The judges overthrew the government by selecting the President themselves, 5 to 4, rather than letting events take their constitutional course. When Governor Bush was sworn in as President by Chief Justice Rehnquist of the Court that had stolen it for him the government itself was seized in a judicial and presidential coup d'etat.

Bush gave James Baker the dog's assignment of seizing the Presidency in Florida as if it were a bone. The resulting compound crime was one clear line of events, each one pressed for or performed pursuant to a determined and relentlessly prosecuted scheme to abort the voters' will in Florida. Bush was guilty from the outset as an originator and throughout as the principal beneficiary, moving on many fronts to stop the vote recounting in Florida, refusing to agree to a total manual recount of the entire state, accepting the Presidency from Rehnquist after the Court had stopped that recount, selected him, and thereby stolen the office for him. As James K. Galbraith perceived, by obstructing the election of the President, the Bush people prevented it, causing democracy to miscarry. Taking the oath, Bush knowingly accepted the keys to the White House from the man giving him the oath and the four of his fellow judges who had stolen them. Together they denied the people of the United States the right to elect our President, whether it would have been Albert Gore or George W. Bush, for the four years 2001 to 2005.

Congress and the Presidency had already been delegitimized across the past 20 years, for most of us, by the triumph over the common good of uncontrolled campaign finance corruption and bribery. Now, in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court delegitimized itself and therefore the court system arrayed below it. These are the only three branches that we have--this is no longer a respectable government. We have lost our entire government to a corporate oligarchy that now governs us without our permission.

Permit me to repeat what I said to you on January 20th. The only basis for democratic legitimacy is the consent of the governed. That was the deal. The Presidency has been seized. The government has been seized. The covenant is broken.

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