Gore’s ‘popular vote’ scheme to ensure Democrat rule?

Al Gore’s claim that an end to the Electoral College will ensure all voters get equal representation in a popular vote is contradicted by a recently released book that documents how the “popular vote” campaign could see only 14 states – those with the largest populations, most of which are majority-Democrat – decide the presidency for voters in all 50 states.

Gore took to his Current TV to push for the abolishment of the Electoral College and its replacement with the so-called popular vote. He claimed that many voters who live outside the dozen or so battleground states are being cheated by the current system that allocates delegates from the state level, reported The Hill.

Stated Gore: “I’ve seen how these states are written off and ignored, and people are effectively disenfranchised in the presidential race. And I really do now think it is time to change that.”

While some have proposed legislation and a constitutional amendment, Gore alluded to a “very interesting” movement to bypass the Electoral College.

Read more here.

Egyptian Army suspends constitution, parliament, Democracy, a Republic?

The Egyptian army moved to consolidate its newly-seized power today by neutralizing the political institutions of Egypt, at least for the moment:

The Egyptian military consolidated its control Sunday over what it has called a democratic transition from three decades of President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule, dissolving the country’s feeble parliament, suspending the constitution and calling for elections in six months in sweeping steps that echoed protesters’ demands.

The statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, read on television, effectively put Egypt under direct military authority, thrusting the country into territory uncharted since republican Egypt was founded in 1952. Though enjoying popular support, the military must now cope with the formidable task of negotiating a post-revolutionary landscape still basking in the glow of Mr. Mubarak’s fall but beset by demands to ameliorate hardships that percolated across Cairo on Sunday.

Since seizing power from Mr. Mubarak on Friday, the military has sought to strike the right note, responding in words and action to the platform articulated by hundreds of thousands in Tahrir Square. But beyond more protests, there is almost no check on the sweep of military rule, and while opposition leaders welcomed the moves some have quietly raised worries about the role of the army in Egypt’s future.

This is actually good news, at least from the American perspective. We want a transition to democracy, but one that doesn’t involve chaos and radicals from the Muslim Brotherhood to seize control in the midst of it. Egypt needs some time to allow alternative voices of democratization to organize into competing political parties that will keep the Ikhwan from asserting its current organizational advantage over other voices that the Mubarak regime suppressed more successfully.

The Obama administration seems to have belatedly realized this as well. They have recovered from their demands for an immediate transition to democracy and apparently have instead begun quietly acquiescing, at least, to transitional control by the army in the form of Omar Suleiman’s de facto regency. This gives the US the best chance to influence events, since the army gets a significant subsidy from the US, as well as acting as a brake on Islamist ambitions. The White House should be hoping that Egypt’s army will eventually position itself as a bulwark against radicalism in a democratic state, in the same manner as Turkey.

However, that depends on whether Omar Suleiman is a reincarnation of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk rather than a successor to Hosni Mubarak. There are few examples of military coups resulting in the birth of democracies; Ataturk’s was one of the few. Usually when armies seize power, they keep it, which is exactly what happened in Egypt in 1952, resulting in Nasser’s elevation to president-for-life in 1956. And in 1952, Nasser and the other leaders of the revolution ostensibly intended to establish a democracy in Egypt, too.

The Sound of Silence

For the second time in two years, tens of thousands of Iranian citizens are protesting in the streets of Tehran against their repressive government. Although thousands were jailed, tortured, and killed by Iranian security forces in the first waves of protests in 2009, a strong populist revolution is still alive and struggling in Iran.

As opposed to the revolution in Egypt, an overthrow of the regime in Iran could be staggeringly beneficial to the United States. Egypt is almost certain to move away from friendship with the US and the treaty with Israel, and toward an oppressive Islamic rule as orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. There are only potential disasters lurking in this regime change.

A change in governance in Iran, on the other hand, likely could result in a reduction in antagonism toward “The Great Satan” and “The Little Satan” (i.e., Iran’s characterization of the US and Israel). Even more importantly, it could significantly slow or completely halt their nuclear weapons program, which is the greatest single threat to global stability in human history.

The obvious question in regard to this revolutionary dichotomy is: Why is the Obama administration so vocally supportive of the populist revolt in Egypt, but so deadly silent about Iran? Why is Obama apparently silently supporting a regime that is our sworn mortal enemy over another that has been our steadfast friend and ally for over thirty years?

There is just not enough objective evidence to develop an educated conclusion as to the rationale for this foreign policy strategy. Since Obama himself will not tell us, we can only make blind assumptions based on his actions and behavior. And these appear erratic, inconsistent, and illogical for the leader of the free world.

It is almost as though his intentions are malevolent toward his own country, as crazy as that sounds.

We are assured by Michael Medved’s op ed headline in Monday’s Wall Street Journal that “Obama Isn’t Trying to ‘Weaken America'”. I feel much better now. Mr. Medved must be privy to some information not available to the rest of us, as the circumstantial evidence points toward the opposite conclusion.