seems to be upset about the idea that the election might be delayed
in event of a major terrorist attack on the day before, or the day thereof. I have just one question: Why?
The United States is not a banana republic, no matter how loudly the paranoid crazies on the far left might scream. The majority of Americans, no matter what political stripe, would not tolerate anything beyond reasonable delays. The military would not follow a commander-in-chief acting illegally. There is no chance of a junta seizing power in a coup, as I infer from Mark Frauenfelder's slightly hysterical choice of words. If nothing else, I think a prelude to a coup would be a bit more subtle, not an open request from one government agency to another inquiring on the precise legality of their options. You can't play both the "evil" and "incompetent" cards at once and keep a coherent narrative. Conspiracies don't tend to be openly discussed by broadcast media, y'know?
No, though it may not seem immediately evident, this is good for Democrats
. Americans are not Spaniards. I suspect that in the immediate aftermath of an attack close to the election, the country would rally overwhelmingly to vote Republican. Delaying the vote for a few days or even a week, if anything, would likely make wobbly centrists tumble back down on the Kerry side of the fence. Moreover, an emergency situation might prevent hundreds, thousands or more from voting. How many people forgot about seemingly-unimportant daily minutiae on 9/11, instead glued to CNN? If it had been an election day, who, evacuating lower Manhattan, would have thought to go about voting? Waiting until the affected area could be calmed down a bit would certainly elevate turnout.
The bottom line? This is a reasonable precaution, given the terrible precedent of Spain. It would be irresponsible to deny the possibility, and vigilance isn't foolproof. If
something should happen, it's much better that there be an emergency plan in place than having to wing it while Chicago, or Philadelphia, or Los Angeles, is still aflame.