Hauling out the "non-partisan" card, and then creatively recounting ballots, in predominantly Democrat counties.. and then counting again, to make sure no bumps were missed.. and then shaking the box of ballots to make the 'loose chads' easier to see..
The whole process was a mockery of the Democracy in which it vailed itself - and the Democrats have been notorious in the recent years, for telling people what they want to hear and for twisting public opinion with rhetoric.
Official disclaimer: Unless stated otherwise, my words are opinion. I am NOT a Political Scientist, not a Washington insider, nor do I spend all my free time reading obscure journals in the hope of being perceived as competent. I just call it as I see it - I try to apply Occam's Razor to the tender foreskin of popular culture. If you have solid information contrary to my opinions, or better yet, items I claim to be facts - by all means, illucidate the matter. If you do not, please, state opinions as such; since opinions presented in an authoritative tone tend to mislead the misinformed.
Gore is clearly a better orator than Bush. Bush seems to be more consistent in his stance on issues. Gore appears more intelligent. Bush appears more sincere.
Let's ask the following: What is the role of the President?
IMO, I feel that the President is, first and foremost, the representative of the country before the rest of the world. He also is the deciding voice on matters of law enforcement - as head of the Executive Branch. He does not make the tax laws, nor does he (the President need not be male obviously, but it's easier to just us 'he') dictate Medicare reform - all he can do is support such action when undertaken by the Congress. He does dictate Foreign Policy IIRC, and as such, we're back to being a representative of the country.
In that capactiy, and for that purpose, I think Gore should have won. He is a much better figure-head than Bush Jr.. He has a more dignified presence, and when dealing with photo-ops, international visits and speaches, I think that's important.
But Gore seems insincere. We have seen the Clinton-Gore team flip-flop and weasel for many years, and looking back at their separate careers, we see that they've done that all along. CNN had a great series of articles on "Being Gore" which outlined his political career - impressive politician, but not exactly a man of his word. Gore lost the election by association, the moment that Clinton tried to argue the definition of 'sex'. If Chelsea blew a frat-boy, it would have been sex.. Clinton got away with it because he knew the law - he hacked the system - he showed people that we are not all equal before The Law. Gore tried to win the election in the same way, and I think that more people than just I noticed the similarity.
I have a hard time respecting Gore. I had a hard time believing that he would do as he said he would. Too many times, he seemed to completely change his stance, at great cost to others, when it benefitted him. As such, on a very subjective and personal level, I don't think he deserved the Honor of being President.
Now, if I had to think about it that way - in addition to the differences between Bush and Gore's qualifications, their platforms, their past policies.... If I had to choose between two options - when even choosing one left me tossing a coin, then I am not at all surprised by the indecisiveness of the election.
But that's not the issue now. The issue now is the recount, and the month of time, effort and frustration that followed. And Gore's insistence on legal maneuvering, the litigation, the variable scope of the recounts, the image of small time beurocrats looking at ballots at all sorts of odd angles to see if a dimple lines up with a coordinate that would mean "Gore" or "Bush" (in the probable hope of furthering their own meager political goals...) The whole spectacle left me disgusted, and more so with Gore - who (to me) came across as a whinny, spoiled brat, threatenning to hold his breath (and ours as well) until he got his way.
I think that through their counter-actions, the Republicans gave Gore just enough rope to hang himself. He didn't just lose this election, he lost the next one, and the next one as well, IMO. Gore took it all the way to the Supreme Court, on the basis of 'pregnant chads'. He lost, not because he changed his mind, but because he ran out of people to sue. If he could have appealed to the Hague, I'm convinced that he would have - it was good for his career, the welfare of the country be damned - an in that vein, I am glad that he lost (not that Bush won). When voter "intent" needs "interpretation", the ballot should be automatically thrown out - and it's nobody's fault but that of the voter, who was too apathetic, or ignorant, to be unambiguous.
A month ago, I ranted about the pointlessness of this Election, and about how it really didn't matter who won, because both viable options were effectively the same. I also made a point of saying that they are all too entrenched in D.C for anything to change any time soon. And it is this that bothers me most. 4 years of Gush or Bore, with a Senate divided down the middle (I guess Lieberman was lucky to have run for Senator as well as VP, huh?) and a House with a scant Rep majority of ~4%, we can pretty much bet that nothing will change. But the sad part is that it's effectively a Cartel.
And the biggest strike against Gore in my opinion, the suits. Suing for Presidency is the final nail in the coffin of popular respect for both the politicians, and the lawyers. And a good thing to. RIP, the whole lot of them. Al Gore, President of the Sue S. A. It's got a ring to it, don't you think?
I do hope that the Miami Herald gets their grubby little paws on the ballots. I hope they recount accurately - with an evenly distributed, and narrow, margin of error. I hope they do so without trying to imagine what the votes might have been thinking when they didn't push hard enough to punch through the paper completely... Maybe all those people just remembered that they'd left their turn-signal on when they parked - who cares?
I hope the recounted numbers don't precipitate more lawsuits, or D.C. to push the UNDO button on the Inauguration. And I sincerely hope that the ancient Indian curse is true - the one about every President elected in a "0" year dying in office. Is that why Gore was trying to hold back laughter during his speach?
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