Monday, December 05, 2005

Thank You Al Gore - Part II

As I discussed in Part I of this essay, I believe that Al Gore is responsible for much of the ugly, disrespectful treatment that Dems give to President Bush. Gore attempted to steal the 2000 election through a clever strategy of requesting selective recounts in Florida.

Fortunately for George Bush (and for the nation as a whole), the Republicans were wise to what the Dems were attempting to pull off. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris had excellent legal advice and she executed her responsibilities in a cautious way. She described the process and clearly informed the Gore campaign what it needed to do if it wished to continue with its challenges to the election outcome.

But the Dems did not want fair rules. They wanted rules that would assure them victory. So they challenged Harris' procedures in the Florida courts. The lower level courts (with Dem judges presiding) ruled in favor of Harris following the long honored law that administrative interpretations of statutes were given broad discretion in interpreting the laws they are charged with enforcing. Sadly, the Florida Supreme Court chose to ignore law and precedent an tried to throw the race to Gore. I will discuss this in more detail in a later chapter.

The Gore team was irresponsible. Most people are not lawyers and cannot analyze, evaluate, and interpret statutes. Dems were fired up by the Gore campaign's charges that the race was being stolen from them. The Florida Supreme Court made matters even worse. Its politically based, NON-legal based opinions gave the Dems all the intellectual support they needed to claim "We waz robbed!"

Gore was not the first presidential candidate to lose by a close margin. The previous person to suffer this fate was Richard Nixon who showed tremendous grace by conceding to John F. Kennedy inspite of serious concerns about vote fraud in Illinois and Texas. Nixon knew that challenging the outcome would be horrendously disruptive to the American policial process...something this country could not afford in light of the Cold War and the simmering conflict with the Soviet Union and its communist client states.

All my life, I have heard stories about how Kennedy/Johnson stole the 1960 presidential election. But, since Nixon chose not to fight the outcome, all that ever came from this argument was talk. No one ever denied that JFK was the President of the United States. Of course, there were sections of the country that hated him. I was recently reading a book about the Kennedy assassination, DEATH OF A PRESIDENT, which describes how fired up and passionate the anti-Kennedy crowd in Texas were back in 1963...similar in tone (but not in size or scope) to the anti-Bush crowd today.

Maybe Gore felt that the world was a safer place and a destablized America would not create much risk. Maybe he was too selfish and self centered to care. Of course, Gore was Vice-President in an administration that ignored the growth of Al Qaeda and increasing rounds of violence that were coming from militant Islam in Africa and the Middle East. Gore was just too blind to realize the dangers out there in the world (as was Clinton).

Whatever the reason, Gore took a volatile situation (a close loss in a presidential election) and through gasoline on the fire with superheated rhetoric and spurious legal claims. As I described in Part I, recounts do not have to be this way.

To be continued....


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