Jewish World Review Nov. 29, 2000 / 2 Kislev, 5761
A majority of the public now says, in surveys, that it wishes this stopped; some 60 percent to 70 percent--including, in one poll, a third of Al Gore's own supporters--say Gore should concede. Instead, Gore promises to wage a fight in the courts that can only cause immense harm to democracy, to the presidency and to the country. He must do this, he says, for the good of democracy, the presidency and the country. He must burn the village to save it. In virtual lockstep, the leaders and elders of the party in power stand behind their defeated candidate's unprecedented defiance of democracy's national edict.
There is one thing you can say about the Clinton-Gore crowd: With them, there is always some fresh hell and there never is a bottom. No one could have imagined that they could have topped their most spectacular first--first elected president to be impeached--or that they could have created a crisis that would wreak more destruction than that episode. But with these men of fathomless selfishness, there is always more damage to be done. There is always another institution, another principle, another person that must be destroyed--for the greater good of their greater power.
Mr. Gore, the Selfless One, appeared before "Monday Night Football," before the nation to wag his finger and deliver what ranks with Nixon's Checkers apology as the most revolting speech in political history and certainly among the most dishonest.
"This is America," preached Gore. "When votes are cast, we count them." And: "That is all we have asked since Election Day, a complete count of all the votes cast in Florida." And: "If the people do not in the end choose me, so be it." And: "This would be over long since, except for those efforts [of Republicans] to block the process at every turn."
Astonishing. Actually, this would have been over long ago except that Al Gore refused to accept the results of a fair and full recount that confirmed his loss, and demanded hand recounts only in selected Democratic counties; successfully sued to have the seven-day deadline for recounting extended in a rewriting of Florida election law by a Democrat-dominated state Supreme Court; successfully lobbied for a change in Broward County's ballot-judging standards to his benefit; and still lost--a third time--to Bush.
Of the manual recount, Gore had promised: "I will abide by the result. I will take no legal action to contest the result." Of course he was lying and he did not abide by the result; of course he took the legal action no presidential loser has ever dared employ.
It's worth taking a look at the counting in Broward County, because this is the reality of Gore's democracy in action. Under pressure from Gore, Broward County's canvassing board changed its standards to allow the consideration of ballots where no clear hole is punched next to a presidential candidate's name. There are three members of the Broward board: Robert W. Lee, a Democrat and its chairman; Suzanne N. Gunzburger, another Democrat; and Robert Rosenberg, a Republican. When these three had finished counting the dubious ballots, Gore had netted 567 votes.
The New York Times described how it worked. "Time and again," reported the Times, the Democrat Gunzburger "saw a Gore vote" where the Republican Rosenberg "saw none. And time, after time, Judge Lee, a Democrat, cast the deciding vote--often in Mr. Gore's favor." So there it is--two Democratic officials steadfastly outvoting one Republican to allot questionable ballots overwhelmingly to the Democratic candidate. This is the process Gore depicts as a disinterested effort to count every vote, and may the best man win. Does it strike you that way?
The worst thing Gore said Monday night was this: "If we ignore the votes of thousands in Florida in this election, how can you or any American have confidence that your vote will not be ignored in a future election?" Yes, if the courts do not give Gore what he wants, then not only is this election suspect, so are all future elections.
Democrats accuse Republicans of seeking to delegitimize a Gore presidency. Gore seeks more; if he doesn't get his way he
threatens to delegitimize democracy itself. Got to burn that village
11/22/00: SEND IN THE THUGS