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Jewish World Review Dec. 13, 2000/ 16 Kislev 5761


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Crippled Inside:
Gore's Yellow-Bellied, Narrow-Minded Hypocrites -- A SINGLE extraordinary moment last Saturday afternoon crystallized the fraud that Al Gore is attempting to pull off in Florida. At a press conference held shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's sensible decision to halt the recounting of votes, Ron Klain, a key Gore lawyer/adviser, said: "[W]e're disappointed for several reasons. First, and foremost, we were actually quite pleased with the progress being made at the counts under way here in a number of counties. Our latest information shows that 13 counties had completely or partially completed their recounts. And in those counties, Vice President Gore and Senator Lieberman had gained a net of 58 votes."

Before yielding to David Boies, the slick Microsoft-killer who's far more nimble in front of a fawning media, the understandably fatigued Klain rambled for a minute, reciting boilerplate propaganda about the wisdom of Florida's activist/Democratic Supreme Court and restating his belief that the state's judiciary would prevail.

But the harm to the Vice President's case was done: Klain was speaking for the entire Gore postelection campaign when he exulted about the progress made in shrinking George W. Bush's slender lead in Florida's vote tally. Make no mistake about it: Despite all the pious rhetoric upchucked by Gore and his minions about democracy and the principle of every American's vote counting, this entire charade is simply a cheap political exercise in getting a candidate elected.

Gore has no real interest in the rights of individual citizens. Otherwise, he wouldn't have tossed those men and women confused by the "butterfly ballot" over the side so early in the legal tussle. The Palm Beach County protest was merely a convenient way to stir up the media, and was a decoy for Gore's real mission: manufacturing votes after the polls had closed. All the rhetoric about Holocaust survivors forced to vote for Pat Buchanan-on a ballot designed by a Democrat-made a terrific story line for naive reporters, but was never really an issue. That Gore would stoop to such pandering, however, was simply another indication that he'll do anything to win.

Gore has wrapped himself in the mantle of the civil rights movement, and is exploiting the issue of the "disenfranchisement" of black voters in Florida. Never mind that he, along with triple-agent Dick Morris, was the man who finally convinced Bill Clinton to enact welfare reform. Gore also, during the fall campaign, exploited Bush's refusal to take a stand on the Confederate flag's flying in South Carolina. Never mind that, although he was Vice President for eight years and had ample opportunity to pressure that state's government to act on the controversy, it didn't become an issue until his presidential quest.


This self-absorbed, and possibly psychologically damaged, man does not belong in the White House. This country's political culture has never been so debased-not during Watergate, not during Clinton's impeachment-and Gore is directly responsible.

What better example of the Vice President's cynical, and unimaginative, strategy than his prayer session with Jesse Jackson last Friday night, after Florida's divided Supreme Court gave its national counterpart, not to mention Judge N. Sander Sauls, the finger by injecting its own bias into the election? But, hey, it's only Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris who's "partisan."

I understand that the country, as we've been told ad nauseam by the pundits, is split 50-50 between Gore and Bush. But if a truly neutral observer were to observe the chaos that's taken place in Florida since Nov. 7, there's not a chance that the Democrats would emerge with a clean image. If the process were motivated by fairness, what logic could've compelled the 4-3-split Florida Supreme Court to order a recount without eliminating the previous Gore-enhanced tally in Broward County and starting anew in that heavily Democratic part of the state?

Why would the disputed Palm Beach County votes, which reached the Secretary of State after the court-imposed deadline of 5 p.m. on Nov. 26, be included? Why would no set of uniform standards be dictated for the recount demanded by the court?

Much foolishness has been written about the ostensible contradiction of the GOP's seeking federal redress during this controversial election.

But the Bush team has been forced to litigate the case to the fullest extent, abandoning the traditional conservative philosophy of favoring states' rights over that of Big Government. What was Bush supposed to do? Roll over for Gore's mendacious power-grab just so he could remain ideologically pure?

That's what Bill Daley and Gore counted on. The Democrats are so accustomed to winning by judicial chicanery that it's no wonder that the U.S. government's third branch is considered by many to be an instrument of the NAACP and AFL-CIO's will. Perhaps they really believed the myth that Bush was playing video poker in Crawford, TX, while they were busy collecting tainted votes in Broward County. And maybe the Gore team was heartened by the media's denigrating portrait of Bush as a lightweight who relies on "Daddy's" team of old white men to do his scutwork. (For some of the media, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice-at least for the course of this campaign-changed skin color.) That's hogwash. As Charles Krauthammer wrote in his JWR column: "When challengers win the presidency they routinely draw senior aides from the previous administration of the same party. When Clinton won in '92, he chose many high officials, including his secretary of state, from the Carter administration. Reagan drew liberally on Nixon appointees."


At the risk of repeating myself, Bush was no Bob Dole: realizing that Gore would exhaust every method possible to alter the results of a state election that had already been decided several times in the Governor's favor, he had no choice but to wage a scorched-earth campaign of his own. As Bush's advisers have said, they didn't want to "win ugly," but if that's what it'll take to thwart Gore's brazen effort to steal the election, that's what they'll do. I have no doubt that Jeb Bush would go to jail in contempt of court to further his brother's cause. He'd become a national hero, and rightfully so.

ON SUNDAY, Lanny Davis, the former Clinton White House counsel who embarrassed himself nightly during the Lewinsky scandal by defending the President, suggested that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia consider recusing himself from the pending litigation. As it happens, Scalia's son, Eugene Scalia, is a partner in the Washington office of the firm that also employs Ted Olson, the Bush lawyer who will argue in front of the Supreme Court.

The younger Scalia has not worked on the Texas Governor's case. Yet on Monday's edition of Today, this question was troubling to cohost Katie Couric, who asked an NBC correspondent about the possible conflict of interest. It goes without saying that another, and more significant, question was not raised. On Dec. 1, when the U.S. Supreme Court first admonished its brethren in Florida, it was revealed in the audiotape provided to reporters that Justice Stephen Breyer, a Clinton appointee, slipped up during the hearing and betrayed his own partisanship. While questioning Katherine Harris' lawyer Joseph Klock, Breyer said: "And now the secretary has certified a winner. And therefore, I guess, whether we win-whether your side, the side you're supporting wins or loses, it doesn't change that."

Draw your conclusions from that brief snippet.

JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and CEO of New York Press ( Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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© 2000, Russ Smith