Skip to comments.2000 election row a tired argument
Posted on 09/28/2003 5:29:33 PM PDT by ellery
Al Gore lost Florida's 25 electoral votes and the presidency nearly three years ago, but the carping and whining from Democrats hasn't stopped. Admittedly, it's tough on Gore supporters to see his slim popular-vote victory leave him short of the Oval Office. Constitutionally speaking, however, Gore lost where it matters: in the Electoral College.
But dyspeptic Democrats don't launch their tirades solely at the college. They continue to spew the twin lies that President Bush "stole" the Florida election or was anointed by a conservative Supreme Court. A review of the facts debunks both.
All Florida election statutes in force during the 2000 campaign were passed years earlier by a Democrat-controlled House and Senate and were signed into law by a Democrat governor.
The Gore team never alleged misconduct, fraud or corruption in the course of the recount effort.
The Gore team never requested a statewide recount of the so-called "undervote." They knew such a task could never be completed before the Dec. 12 federal deadline for states to resolve election disputes.
The four counties chosen by the Gore team for selective recounts (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Volusia) are liberal bastions. Precinct by precinct, the recount process was controlled by Democrats. Any shenanigans would have occurred on their watch.
At the trial court level, where statutory law is applied to case facts, the Gore team lost every decision. The most famous being Gore v. Harris, in which Judge N. Sanders Sauls (a Democrat) allowed certification of election results to proceed on schedule.
The Florida Supreme Court's failure to practice judicial restraint and to respect separation of powers was so egregious, it was publicly humiliated by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board generated an appellate decision so muddled that the Supreme Court vacated the Florida court's decision and remanded it back for further review along with a legalistic admonishment that the higher court couldn't understand what the Florida supremes were trying to say.
Bush v. Gore was not decided 5-4 by the conservative bloc of the Supreme Court. The vote was 7-2, with Justices David Souter and Stephen Breyer joining William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy.
This majority reversed the Florida Supreme Court's order for a statewide recount because the standards for determining voter intent would have varied from county to county, thus violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The 5-4 vote condemned by sulking Democrats involved remedy: what to do about it. Souter, Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens would have allowed the recount to continue. The majority court recognized that the Florida court "significantly departed from the statutory framework in place on election day" when it authorized open-ended vote recounts that could not be completed by Dec. 12.
A consortium of news organizations, including the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post, published its report of the recount controversy after 12 months of analyzing the undervote.
"The United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court's order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed.
"Even under the strategy that Mr. Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida standoff filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties Mr. Bush would have kept his lead."
Clip this column, laminate it and save it. Next time a Democrat rants about the 2000 election, whip it out. Tell him to vent at the person who really did keep Gore out of the White House: Ralph Nader.
But let a cousin of GWB help call the FL election correctly, and long after all the polls in the country were closed, and journalism ranted about the possible establishment of an illegitmate "expectation" by that correct call--and essentially ignored the fact that it had called FL wrong. This is only to be understood as an admission that their fast calls for Gore were intended precisely for the purpose of favoring Gore the way they accused FNC of favoring Bush.
Journalism believes in the power of PR, and journalism took its best PR shot at giving Gore the election. From journalism's perspective it should not have been possible, but Bush won. So of all the constituencies of the Democratic Party, IMHO it is Journalism which is most aggrieved.
None of the moron responces "we are a democracy" showed up yet in this thread?
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