A Coup d'Etat in a Pitiful Third-World Country

1.  Imagine that we read of an election occurring somewhere in the third world in which the self-declared winner was the son of the former prime minister and that former prime minister was himself the former head of that nation's secret police (CIA).

2.  Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote but won based on some colonial holdover (electoral college) from the nation's past.

3.  Imagine that the self-declared winner's 'victory' turned on disputed votes cast in a province governed by his brother.

4.  Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one district, a district heavily favoring the self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands of voters to vote for the wrong candidate.

5.  Imagine that members of that nation's most despised caste, fearing for their lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in near-universal opposition to the self-declared winner's candidacy.

6.  Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised caste were intercepted on their way to the polls by state police operating under the authority of the self-declared winner's brother.

7.  Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed province and that the self-declared winner's 'lead' was only several hundred votes — fewer, certainly, than the vote counting machines' margin of error.

8.  Imagine that the self-declared winner and his political party opposed a more careful by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the disputed province or in its most hotly disputed district.

9.  Imagine that the self-declared winner was himself the governor of a major province, which had the worst human rights record of any province in his nation and which actually led the nation in executions.

10.  Imagine that a major campaign promise of the self-declared winner was to appoint like-minded human rights violators to lifetime positions on the high court of that nation.

11.  Imagine that a majority of judges in the high court in the disputed province eventually and courageously decreed that "In close elections the necessity for counting all legal votes becomes critical," and "legal votes sufficient to place in doubt the election results have been rejected in this case," and ordered votes that had been missed by the counting machines to be counted by hand, but that on the following day this completion of the count was stopped by a majority of judges in the high court in the nation in response to an "emergency" petition by the self-declared winner.

12.  Imagine that those judges in the high court of the nation who were members of the same political party as the self-declared winner, forming a 5-4 majority, then concocted a convoluted legal pretence enabling them to order all counting of votes to cease, thereby handing the presidency to the self-declared winner despite the fact that the majority of the voters in the nation had chosen the opposing candidate and that had the vote counting been allowed to continue in the disputed province the opposing candidate would likely have won there also.

None of us would deem such an election to be representative of anything other than the self-declared winner's will-to-power — with, in fact, the final act being a barely-disguised coup d'etat.  All of us, I imagine, would wearily turn the page thinking that it was another sad tale of political corruption in some strange land, far away.

Jesse Jackson Calls Bush Election a Court-Led Coup
[Document consigned to memory hole.]

Excerpts from the U.S. Supreme Court Decision
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