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President Gore?
November 11, 2001 6:48 PM   Subscribe

President Gore? The recount results are in. Will this only serve to undermine Bush's authority in a time of crisis? Should the media have sat on this until the current situation becomes more stable?
posted by Bezuhin (62 comments total)

 
Looks like Gore shot himself in the foot eh?
posted by revbrian at 6:51 PM on November 11, 2001


I voted for Gore. I'm registered independent with leftist leanings. I've read stories like this for the last year now. [strange, it's only been a year since the election] I don't believe that Bush won fairly. I believe the Supreme Court over stepped their authority.

That being said, you can debate this all you want, but I think that Drudge is wrong in trying to suggest that a story like this will split the opinion of the office of the President once again. I don't really think it matters whether or not the media sat on this (and no they shouldn't have, and really Bezuhin, would they have?). I know that Bush has a near 95% percent approval rating and I consider myself in that left over 5%, but I happen to think that his cabinet and vice president have done a more than responsible job of handling the actions in Afghanistan. I have grown to trust his cabinet, not because I saw a flag flying on a mini-van, but because I have been keeping track, as much as a normal citizen that relies on the press, can keep track of their actions.

Gore jacked it up when he took a non-partial view of the recounts (let's recount where I lost) and hurt his chances of getting a fair shake after that anyway.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:59 PM on November 11, 2001


Poynter.org (best known to me for being the home to Romensko's MediaNews weblog) has an article about the methodology behind the recounts, as well as a discussion with some media ombudsmen and editors about how to report the results.
posted by bjennings at 7:07 PM on November 11, 2001


I know that Bush has a near 95% percent approval rating

He had 95% at some point in the last few months. This recent poll says it's down to 87 (high, but no 95). And one from last week cites 90%. Resist propagating the 95% number!
posted by gluechunk at 7:20 PM on November 11, 2001


Bush has "authority"?

Cheney, Powell, Rumsfield, sure...but Bush? Nah..
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 7:25 PM on November 11, 2001


Watch as the media & pundits justify why Bush is still the legitimate president. CNN's take is interesting ("Bush still wins") -- especially since Gore would have won if "overvotes" would have been counted, which were basically votes like this:

[X] Gore
Gore____

i.e. Gore's name both as a ballot choice and as a write-in option. And whereas both the Bush and Gore margins are clearly within the margin of error, when you take a look at the butterfly/caterpillar ballots, you get a much clearer picture, with thousands of additional votes for Gore. If you add to this the fact that Gore won nation-wide by 542,779 votes, it's quite clear that the United States are currently ruled illegitimately. And you, the person reading this, are most likely supporting this illegitimate presidency by not doing anything about it. Unless, of course, you, like myself, are not a resident of the US.
posted by Eloquence at 7:25 PM on November 11, 2001


...but Gore could have "reversed the outcome -- by the smallest of margins -- had he pursued and gained a complete statewide recount," according to one interpretation of the database...

SELECT COUNT(VOTE) AS COUNT_OF_VOTE FROM VOTE_TALLY_TABLE WHERE CANDIDATE <> 'Bush'

Izzat how these things are interpreted? ;-)

Jen
posted by NsJen at 7:26 PM on November 11, 2001


I know, I know, it's an email forward, but I think it's appropriate to the thread:

From: George W. Bush

To: Al Gore

Al: We found some more votes. You won. When can you take over?

George
posted by gramcracker at 7:35 PM on November 11, 2001


According to the New York Times, Drudge has it exactly wrong.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:38 PM on November 11, 2001


Actualy, I take that back. Drudge had it right, at least in part, according to the Times:

"In a finding rich with irony, the results show that even if Mr. Gore had succeeded in his effort to force recounts of undervotes in the four Democratic counties, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Volusia, he still would have lost, although by 225 votes rather than 537. An approach Mr. Gore and his lawyers rejected as impractical — a statewide recount — could have produced enough votes to tilt the election his way, no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent...

"A statistical analysis conducted for The Times determined that if all counties had followed state law in reviewing the absentee ballots, Mr. Gore would have picked up as many as 290 additional votes, enough to tip the election in Mr. Gore's favor in some of the situations studied in the statewide ballot review."


The Times, however, is focusing—as did the study itself—on the disputed ballots, not votes gathered state-wide.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:42 PM on November 11, 2001


Yada yada yada, and I've read ten stories that say the exact opposite. Big whoop. Bottom line is we have a president who can't speak fluently, and is reduced to using funny sounding, but easy to pronounce words like "evil doers." That really instills confidence in me.

I'd like to see a poll that pits George against Rudy. Slam-dunk.
posted by fleener at 7:59 PM on November 11, 2001


The thing that still stands out in my mind is not how close Gore was to winning; it's knowing (in my heart. shut up.) that if people actually cared and bothered to vote, Republican candidate George W. Bush would not have been elected president. I won't even bring up the electoral college or ancient voting machines.

The problem is that you'd have to have been pretty dull yourself-- or full of hatred for the other side-- to have been really passionate about either candidate.

We all thought the election was boring, so it naturally became exciting. You cosmically get what you ask for, I suppose, but when I say exciting, I mean exciting in that really depressing way.
posted by kevspace at 8:07 PM on November 11, 2001


[Sings, to the tune of "Yellow Submarine"]

We all live in illegitimacy, illegitimacy, illegitimacy...

***

Technically, I suppose this means Bush can't be impeached, since he was never elected?
posted by rushmc at 8:17 PM on November 11, 2001


Y'know, now that you mention it, I am surprised that Rudy Guiliani is not Secretary of Homeland Defense. Seems a good fit to me, and he is soon to be out of a job.
posted by donkeymon at 8:19 PM on November 11, 2001


So, Gore didn't want to have a statewide recount, did he? He only wanted a recount in the precincts that he knew would come up with some more Gore votes.

It doesn't matter except to the historians. Bush is the President, for better or worse. I didn't vote for him but I support him as our national leader.

And, other than the hardbitten political operative, I really can't imagine "total controversy" emerging from this. Most of us are sort of focussed on other things right now.
posted by MAYORBOB at 8:28 PM on November 11, 2001


Mickey Kaus opined (11/5 item) that Bush was afraid of being overshadowed by a figure like Giuliani - certainly plausible.
posted by owillis at 8:38 PM on November 11, 2001


Errr... isn't this a nigh-repost of the discussion 3 posts below this?
posted by Perigee at 8:59 PM on November 11, 2001


Hmm.. Weirder still: Why is this post, marked at 6:48PM PST so far Above that post... which was marked about 45 minutes later at 7:38PST...?

Is this one of those time warp things?
posted by Perigee at 9:03 PM on November 11, 2001


Nevermind. My psychosis. ~sigh~ The 'date' sort didn't take when I changed it. Pardon my imbecility..
posted by Perigee at 9:08 PM on November 11, 2001


Y'know, now that you mention it, I am surprised that Rudy Guiliani is not Secretary of Homeland Defense. Seems a good fit to me, and he is soon to be out of a job.

That gig requires big-time ass-kissing to a fake President.

Rudy or anyone of stature wouldn't take the job.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:19 PM on November 11, 2001


How is this post different from the one before it?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 9:19 PM on November 11, 2001


Y'know, we could always have Anne Robinson put Shrub and Gore through Sudden Death. Or maybe Jeff Probst could give them a pop quiz about survival training...?
I watch way too much tv.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:26 PM on November 11, 2001


How is this post different from the one before it?

The answer, my friend, is spin.
posted by Eloquence at 9:26 PM on November 11, 2001


CNN and drudge are both wrong, it was Ralph Nader that singlehandedly put Bush in the white house. duh.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:27 PM on November 11, 2001


The Washington Post's analysis calls it "A Symbolic, but Muddled, Victory" for Gore. The piece carries this opening: "Those Democrats who were outraged by the way the presidential election was determined in Florida last year will surely find a measure of vindication, however belated and however symbolic, in the results of a massive new effort to recount the vote."
posted by NortonDC at 9:30 PM on November 11, 2001


Wow. I was just about to post in the other thread how I was surprised the "IT'S NADER'S FAULT!" argument hadn't come out yet. You cosmically get what you ask for, I suppose...
posted by Neb at 9:47 PM on November 11, 2001


I'm tired of people blaming Nader. Blame his popular running mate Winona LaDuke.
posted by panopticon at 10:42 PM on November 11, 2001


Nader cost Gore the election in the same sense that Perot cost Bush 1st and Dole. Reality is not as clear-cut as some would like; we have to play with the cards that we are dealt with in an election. Maybe it's time to adopt a more flexible system, with "anyone can play" run-offs that lead to only two candidates...? Not necessarily Reps and Dems, natch.
posted by davidmsc at 11:09 PM on November 11, 2001


How arrogant it is for the Gore camp to assume that Nader votes would have jumped into his column, had Nader not run. I would not have voted for Gore under *any* circumstances. If forced to choose between the Tweedle-Dee-Gore and Tweedle-Dee-Shrub, I'd have voted for Shrub merely to send a message to the Democrats that they had better provide a better calibre candidate next time, instead of treating the Presidency like a perk that's automatically inherited by the VP or most prominent congressman, etc. (Reminds me of that obnoxious atitude Dole exhibited when he ran: "It's my turn to be president.")
posted by RavinDave at 11:24 PM on November 11, 2001


There is one significant point is being lost in the recount. Bush is illegitimate, but it is not just because more people voted for Gore. That's icing on the cake for the Dems. Bush is illegitimate because rightwing partisans on the Supreme Court perverted the constitutional process with the specific intent of awarding him the election. They stopped the recount at a juncture when it was not necessary -- except that by doing it in that manner they knowingly assured Bush the election. There were several valid options opened to them, short of torturing the "equal protection" clause beyond recognition (curiously, an argument Bush himself proffered earlier, but they had rejected) to judicially create a "one-time law" (or "precedent" if you want to hide behind word games) that "States have no rights to control their own state elections when it can result in Gore being elected President." The worst case scenario, it would have been thrown to the House -- just as the constitution provides for. (And Bush would have likely won a legitimate presidency, ironically.)

Thus, the recount is vindication, but incidental. A majority of Bush votes would not ameliorate the earlier actions of Scalia & Co. If the police plant fabricated evidence that sends a man to prison for a bank robbery, they are guilty of corruption. If it comes out later that he really did rob the bank, that does not make the initial police action any less corrupt.
posted by RavinDave at 12:46 AM on November 12, 2001


My fave statement from the article?

the consortium tried to recreate how each county said it would handle a court-ordered statewide recount

Uh, okay. So now we have people estimating how other people might interpret a questionable vote? I suppose if you're desperate for a hollow victory that's an acceptable standard but can anybody really feel that this has any relavence at all?
posted by RevGreg at 1:41 AM on November 12, 2001


Now that I've read a few more bits on this, let's talk about the reality of what was possible then and the results of those two scenarios under the recount (based on the CNN article.)

RavinDave states above "Bush is illegitimate because rightwing partisans on the Supreme Court perverted the constitutional process with the specific intent of awarding him the election."

Swell, so that sets us up for scenario #1: The US Supreme Court did not intervene and the recounts they had mandated were carried out.

Using the NORC data, the media consortium examined what might have happened if the U.S. Supreme Court had not intervened. The Florida high court had ordered a recount of all undervotes that had not been counted by hand to that point. If that recount had proceeded under the standard that most local election officials said they would have used, the study found that Bush would have emerged with 493 more votes than Gore.

Therefor, the Supreme Court decsion did not alter the outcome in any way.

Likewise, we have scenario #2: Gore had successfully prevailed on his original strategy of recounting "the four counties."

Suppose that Gore got what he originally wanted -- a hand recount in heavily Democratic Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Volusia counties. The study indicates that Gore would have picked up some additional support but still would have lost the election -- by a 225-vote margin statewide.

So, according to the study, both scenarios that Gore actively pursued would have led to his loss. Then again, by any one of a number of other scenarios for how much of the state to recount and how to interpet the votes, Gore wins many by a slim margin. How does this equate to vindication? And why, oh why, do we still have to hear about "the fact that Gore won nation-wide by 542,779 votes" (as stated by Eloquence above) which is entirely irrelevant since it has nothing to do with how the presidency is determined in the first place?

So, here we are, after nearly a year of counting, we still can all sit back and justify our personal opinion in light of fliud facts and any number of generalized assumptions. Wot fun this is...
posted by RevGreg at 2:20 AM on November 12, 2001


The bottom-line: the voting procedure in Florida, and other less prominent states in the media at the time, were botched. We knew this before they unofficially recounted all the ballots. Many people running the election were biased and partisan. Evidence even insinuates possible corruption. Though we'll never have all the answers.

We'll never really know who killed Kennedy. We'll never really know if Foster's suicide was real. There's a lot of things we'll never know. In the interests of national security. Maybe they're right. Maybe we don't need to know. Maybe they don't have the right to make that decision, but maybe they're gonna make it for us anyway. Not much that can be done when power corrupts.

What to do? Take a revote? Too late for that. Besides, I think there were some people in high places about this time last year, who kinda figured we'd need someone in the White House from whom the military would happily take orders. And Gore just wasn't their boy. What the terrorists did took a long time to plan. History will reveal whether or not our intelligence people really knew this was going to happen.

Conspiracy? Not exactly. Maybe it's just a precious few very influential people who did what they wished to help the chips fall in their favor. Not paranoia. Just.. shit happens. And what ya gonna do? Who ya gonna call? "Sometimes, Number One, you just have to.. bow to the absurd."
posted by ZachsMind at 2:28 AM on November 12, 2001


RevGreg:

Though I'm still reading the NORC data, for the sake of this comment I will assume Bush would have won by a 493 margin had not the undervote hand count been quashed by the Supreme Court. You conclude:

"Therefor, the Supreme Court decsion did not alter the outcome in any way."

That misses the point. To repeat my earlier analogy:

"If the police plant fabricated evidence that sends a man to prison for a bank robbery, they are guilty of corruption. If it comes out later that he really did rob the bank, that does not make the initial police action any less corrupt."

Adopting your same logic, those police (who circumvented the legal process to ensure that their suspect went to prison) are innocent because their action did not alter the ultimate fate of the bank robber.

The Supremes created the farce. Their haste to ensure a Bush victory taints the presidency and renders it illegitimate. Anything that happened after their partisan interference is simply irrelevant.

NB: I honestly don't care which of the two holds the office (read my first comment). If I lean toward Gore at all, it's only because I detest Bush's choice of Asscroft. What I *do* care about is the bastardization of the Supreme Court and its mutation into a GOP rubber stamp. It isn't a liberal/conservative issue. If the court makes conservative decisions -- fine ... as long as based in established law. But when they start pulling stuff out of Scalia's ass to prop up the GOP's agenda, that's not acceptable. And when people look the other way because it benefits their self-interest, that's a sad state of affairs and makes their self-professed patriotism a bit of a sham.
posted by RavinDave at 3:10 AM on November 12, 2001


Andrew Sullivan seems to feeling a bit guilty but, as usual, he sums up fairly and well. Excuse the complete quote but it would have been a devil to edit and his site is scroller hell. No italics, given its length:

A VINDICATION FOR GORE: "At the same time, it's clearer now that, by the slimmest of margins, in an ideal world in which voting intentions were immaculately reflected in actual votes, Gore would have eked out a win. Given the fact that there's no way of knowing whether an actual state-wide recount of under-votes and over-votes in the practical circumstances of last December would have produced an identical result to the consortium's, this is still a probability rather than a certainty. But it must comfort Gore that, in his own mind at least, he came about as close to being president as it's possible to get without actually being president. No-one should begrudge him a small amount of satisfaction on that score. But it will come as no great comfort that his failure was ultimately of his own doing. It was his cynical and self-interested desire to count only undervotes in counties where he thought he could win that doomed him. Of all the options he could have picked after the election, he chose the sleaziest and ultimately the least effective. There's some irony, isn't there, in the fact that Gore was ultimately too hardball for his own good. He lost the presidency just as he lost the campaign: by an excess of guile. He was too clever by half - and lost his soul in the process."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:06 AM on November 12, 2001


How arrogant it is for the Gore camp to assume that Nader votes would have jumped into his column, had Nader not run. I would not have voted for Gore under *any* circumstances.

Gore didn't need all the Nader voters. Nader got 97,000 in Florida (where Gore lost by 537*) and 22,000 in New Hampshire (where Gore lost by 7,200). Do the math and give yourself (and the loathsome candidate you voted for) the credit you deserve for keeping Gore out of the White House.
posted by rcade at 5:27 AM on November 12, 2001


I might have had sympathy if Nader (a legitimate candidate) had not been blackballed -- even ejected -- from the major debates. As it stands, I agree with his view that the differences between the parties amounts to the Swiftian bickering between big- and little-endians.

Being forced to choose between Gore and Bush is like being asked: "Would you like to be reemed by this 1-foot dildo, or should I use the 12-incher instead?"
posted by RavinDave at 5:59 AM on November 12, 2001


From the transcript of yesterday's CNN Reliable Sources [emphasis added]:

Jake Tapper, Washington correspondent for Salon.com: I tend not to think so much about media recounts, because it's not how the actual recount would have gone down -- it depends on the perspective of the canvassing board members in each county. But that said, there was a huge travesty last year. And you know, not just a 175,000 ballots in Florida, but about 2 million nationwide. And America should care about the fact that, you know, our election came down to within the margin of error, and we just accepted, "OK, well, that's the way we'll take it."

John Fund, "Wall Street Journal" editorial board member: Well, I think the mistake the media made is that any recount after the fact means you're not going to be able to duplicate the exact number of ballots. No county, except for a couple, actually had the same number of ballots for the media recount as they had on Election Day. I think what the media should have done is taken some of those resources and gone to the other 49 states and said, 'How sloppy are your systems? How can we make those better?' Because we have the sloppiest election systems of any industrialized country.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:18 AM on November 12, 2001


If you would like to see the data yourself, it's available from the National Opinion Research Center in ASCII, SAS and SPSS formats. The files are, of course, gigantic (the ASCII file is, for example, well over 100 MB).

(You'll probably find the aligned data file more useful than the raw data.)
posted by iceberg273 at 6:46 AM on November 12, 2001


And, into the furor, a plane crashes....
posted by rushmc at 7:19 AM on November 12, 2001


Ironic, eh? The original news of this was shelved for 9/11 ... now this will be the news story people use to run into the kitchen to make a sandwich between reports on the Rockaway crash.
posted by RavinDave at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2001


Do the math and give yourself (and the loathsome candidate you voted for) the credit you deserve for keeping Gore out of the White House.

That loathsome candidate would be Al Gore himself, who couldn't even win his own home state. Had he done so, Florida wouldn't have been an issue.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:27 AM on November 12, 2001


Gore clearly won the popular vote by a tiny majority in Florida and a larger-but-still-close majority nationwide, and should be president today. (And I for one would feel much more confident in him than in Bush, even, and especially, now.) But Gore lost, and he lost at least in part because he didn't play smart.

I've played team sports most of my life. Anyone who plays team sports knows that sometimes the referees make the wrong calls by mistake. You have to play in a way that you'll win anyway, so a blown call doesn't cost you the game. Gore should have won by a big margin, but he ran a sloppy and unfocused campaign. He didn't lose the election because of the Florida recount; he lost it by letting it get that close.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:02 AM on November 12, 2001


Gore won the nation by half a million votes, and still he lost by far less than the marginal number of votes Nader received in Florida.
posted by NortonDC at 9:15 AM on November 12, 2001


But Gore lost, and he lost at least in part because he didn't play smart.

And in part because Republican officials in numerous Florida counties never conducted an actual recount. Do you know a lot of team sports where you can win with the refs actively working against you?
posted by rcade at 9:22 AM on November 12, 2001


News Alert: DEAD HORSE BEATS PEOPLE
posted by Mack Twain at 11:28 AM on November 12, 2001


Gore didn't win by a comfortable margin because he let the media run his campaign and the media were focused on making Gore pay for Clinton's failings.

An AWOL, cokehead, alcoholic, bought-and-paid-for daddy's boy wasn't newsworthy but Gore's shirt colors were.

He also took his home state for granted and there were plenty of strange goings-on with the ballots around Nashville.

Not that the media would bother themselves with that.

This issue will never be put to rest until 2004 when GW Bush is fired.

That is, if he and his shady cast of characters last that long without being removed.

BTW, Ralph Nader and his gang have been tossed out into the trash with the Ross Perot and the Reform Party.

Nader is more phony that Bush and Gore combined.

I used to really admire him, but I got over it.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 11:50 AM on November 12, 2001


Looks like Gore shot himself in the foot eh?

I don't agree with much of your political posts, revbrian, but this one I do agree with. Gore picked to see what was
behind Door#3, when he should have held out.

posted by brucec at 12:18 PM on November 12, 2001


That loathsome candidate would be Al Gore himself, who couldn't even win his own home state. Had he done so, Florida wouldn't have been an issue.

Of course, a candidate wants to win his home state, but this is irrelvant to winning the election. Gore took some brave stands on tobacco and guns, that were for the good of the country, and popular in most of the country but unpopular in Tennesee.
posted by brucec at 12:21 PM on November 12, 2001


If
forced to choose between the Tweedle-Dee-Gore and Tweedle-Dee-Shrub, I'd have voted for
Shrub merely to send a message to the Democrats that they had better provide a better calibre
candidate next time, instead of treating the Presidency like a perk that's automatically inherited
by the VP or most prominent congressman, etc.


On behalf of the soon-to-be drilled Artic Wildlife Refuge, I thank you for your Green vote.
posted by brucec at 12:23 PM on November 12, 2001


some brave stands on tobacco and guns, that were... popular in most of the country

Sorry but I can't resist... if this were true, how come he didn't win more states? Of course this entire discussion is retarded IMHO because all the media study shows is what everyone already knew:
if the ballots were counted one way, Gore MIGHT have won. if counted another way, Dubya COULD have still won...
*deep breath* WHO CARES!!!!
posted by srw12 at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2001


No, srw12, what the recount shows is more voting Floridians wanted Gore than Bush. Hopefully the importance of the dissonance between that fact and the application of Florida's electoral college votes concerns you. Then again, maybe it shouldn't; I don't know that you care about democracy.
posted by NortonDC at 2:39 PM on November 12, 2001


Everyone has known from (at the latest) the week after the election last year that more people went to the polls in Florida intending to vote for Al Gore than intending to vote for George W. Questions of chads, stray marks, and 5-4 Supreme Court decisions aside, the Palm Beach butterfly ballot and the Duvall County two-page ballot accounted for 10,000 or more lost Gore votes.

Unfortunately, in both those cases, it was partisan Democrats who were to blame. Democratic election offices (later proven to be highly partisan in the way they handled recounts) designed the butterfly ballot. Democratic activists deluged the poor wards of Jacksonville with fliers urging them to "vote every page" in order so their legislative and Congressional candidates could benefit from voters bringing over their partisan vote from the race they cared about (President) to the races they apparently didn't care about but could be urged to party-line vote on (all the others).

And, of course, as the previous poster points out from Andrew Sullivan, Gore was justly hoisted by his own petard, in quite possibly losing the election as a result of his shameless attempt to have only the most Democratic counties in the state recounted, thus benefitting from the natural tendency of a recount to inflate a lead that's already in the books.

Democrats and Republicans vigorously contested the election and the post-election ... and these days I'm very happy that we had a system in which the toughest fighter emerged with the prize.
posted by MattD at 3:54 PM on November 12, 2001


Yes, it's all Gore's fault that votes were not counted correctly, that the Supreme Court defied its mandate to dabble in politics, and that we now have an illegitimate president and have destroyed 220+ years of democratic, legally-elected national government, setting the precedent for abandoning the Constitution whenever one wishes to and can get away with it, without fear of retribution. Our current government is about as valid as the Taliban, and no one cares...which means we deserve it. What is coming becomes clearer with each passing moment.

I'm sure glad "remembrance for the dead" doesn't work in both directions....
posted by rushmc at 4:35 PM on November 12, 2001


Democrats and Republicans vigorously contested the election and the post-election ... and these days I'm very happy that we had a system in which the toughest fighter emerged with the prize.

Yes, it's all about being the "toughest fighter," isn't it? Things like "Constitutional process," "voting," "will of the people"--all irrelevant nonsense! Hell, let's just get Vince McMahon to determine our public officials for us! Extreme! No holds barred!
posted by rushmc at 4:37 PM on November 12, 2001


Adopting your same logic, those police (who circumvented the legal process to ensure that their suspect went to prison) are innocent because their action did not alter the ultimate fate of the bank robber.

The Supremes created the farce. Their haste to ensure a Bush victory taints the presidency and renders it illegitimate. Anything that happened after their partisan interference is simply irrelevant.


And yet RavinDave, there are TWO sides to that issue. You feel that the Supreme Court overstepped it's authority and I feel that they upheld the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers by striking down the Florida Supreme Court decision (which was "partisan interference" by a Democratically controlled court if you want to play that game.)

Like I said, wot fun!
posted by RevGreg at 5:15 PM on November 12, 2001


BREAKING NEWS: Leon County Judge Terry Lewis (remember him?) says he would have considered allowing overvotes to be counted, as requested per the Bush camp, if a recount had been allowed by the Supreme Court. (Search for "Lewis" to find quotes, which come midway in the story.) From the Orlando Sentinel, which broke the whole overvote story earlier this year, via kausfiles.
posted by raysmj at 10:51 PM on November 12, 2001


Even if Gore had asked for a full recount, what makes anyone believe he would have gotten it, with Katherine Harris and the U.S. Supreme Court ready to block any recount that might have led to a Gore victory?
posted by rcade at 5:15 AM on November 13, 2001


these days I'm very happy that we had a system in which the toughest fighter emerged with the prize.

You could make the same argument in support of a military coup.
posted by rcade at 5:16 AM on November 13, 2001


No NortonDC, all the "recount" shows is that more voter MIGHT have gone to the polls with the intention of voting for Gore. Even the article itself is unsure, depending on how and which ballots are counted as "votes", as to who COULD have win the election.

I don't know that you care about democracy
wow, that's cold, yet baseless... do you eat with those same typing fingers?
posted by srw12 at 6:41 AM on November 13, 2001


Sorry but I can't resist... if this were true, how come he didn't win more states?

Next time, resist. Gore won the popular vote. By a margin that represents a mid-size American city.
posted by brucec at 7:47 AM on November 13, 2001


RevGreg: ... there are TWO sides to that issue. You feel that the Supreme Court overstepped it's authority and I feel that they upheld the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers by striking down the Florida Supreme Court decision

The decision had nothing to do with "separation of powers"; the jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme Court was never an issue. If I missed something in the "Gore v Bush"[.pdf] decision that cites this, please enlighten me.

Nor was the Florida Court assuming power it did not have: Under Florida statutory law, when the Florida Supreme Court finds that a challenge to the certified result of an election is justified, it has the power to "provide any relief appropriate under the circumstances" (§ 102.168(8) of the Florida Election Code).

The final decision was a vacuous bit of flotsam based on a premise frantically cobbled together to ensure a Bush victory: that varying counting standards (somehow) violated the equal protection clause of the 14th ammendment. Since those varying standards are common nation-wide, to prevent massive legal repercussions the decision was confined to the current case (ie: made to apply only when Albert Gore in danger of winning the presidency.)

Scalia considered these potentially illegal votes. Since we're specifically talking about "undervotes" -- those not detected by machine tabulation -- what on earth is the basis of their illegality? They were valid votes missed by the machine (thus, the hand count). Some would no doubt be discarded for genuine reasons, but among their number were many legitimate votes that hadn't been counted once (falling well within the predicted marin of error of the tabulation machines). How did counting legitimate votes represent a potential for "irreparable harm" to Bush?
posted by RavinDave at 9:56 AM on November 13, 2001


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