07/29/04 — Vote monitors: U.N. is petitioned to watch our election

View Archive

Vote monitors: U.N. is petitioned to watch our election

It isn’t so bad if members of the U.S. Congress don’t know the intricate rules of the United Nations. But it is inexcusable that they don’t know how the United States works.

Eleven members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the U.N., imploring the agency to monitor this year’s U.S. presidential election.

A U.N. representative sent them a letter saying, in effect, “No, we don’t monitor elections unless a country’s government asks us to, and it can’t just be a few members of the legislative branch.”

Even if it did, there is no provision in the Constitution for any outside agency to come in and tell us how to run our elections. The Constitution, which members of Congress are sworn to uphold, establishes the United States as a sovereign republic.

Foreign intruders who come here and mess around in our elections are subject to being arrested, or maybe shot.

It probably wasn’t necessary but Rep. Steven Buyer, an Indiana Republican, introduced an amendment to the foreign operations bill that was designed to quash the request to the U.N. Whereupon one of the eleven, Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida, rose and accused him of a crime he didn’t commit.

Pointing a finger at Buyer, she shouted that he “and others participated in what I call the United States coup d’etat. We need to make sure that it does not happen again. Over and over again after the election, when you stole the election, you came back and said get over it. No, we are not going to get over it. And we want verification from the world.”

This apparently was a reference to the 2000 presidential election in Florida, where Republican George Bush has since been proven to have received more votes than his opponent, Democrat Al Gore. Congressman Buyer wasn’t there and had nothing to do with it. Ms. Brown was called down for her false accusation against him, and her diatribe was stricken from the record.

Then Buyer’s amendment passed.

The petition to the United Nations was obviously nothing more than an attempt to embarrass Bush. It embarrassed the United States also, as sort of collateral damage, but that didn’t matter to the representatives.

The 11 mainly embarrassed themselves, except in the eyes of fellow America-haters.

Just for the record, the rest of them were: Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas; Jerrold Nadler, Edolphus Towns, Joseph Crowley and Carolyn B. Maloney, all of New York; Raul Grijalva of Arizona; Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland; Danny K. Davis of Illinois; Michael M. Honda of California, and Julia Carson of Indiana, all Democrats.

Published in Editorials on July 29, 2004 11:32 AM