Oh yeah. Another election. Slam-dunk. Typical political BS. He
says — she says. Smoke and mirrors. Money, money and more money.
Smart a– political consultants and dumb a– voters. The first will
say anything to get a vote. The second will vote without connecting to
“I did this, and that, and that and that too! We’re wonderful and you
“No, we stopped you from doing those dumb stunts and because of that,
we’re pretty swell!”
“If he gets elected, kids will wear rags to school, never have
breakfast, be in shanty classrooms and use pencil stubs and parchment;
Boomers will have to provide for their own retirement; old people will
eat dog food and die without their medicine; women will have to travel
with coat-hangers in their purses instead of condoms; global warming
will flood everything and whatever’s left will have no trees and all the
air and water will be poisoned.”
“Your mother wears combat boots!”
“So’s your old man!”
“You don’t have to get snippy about this!”
Sounds like a bunch of kids on the playground and Election Day didn’t
Think I’m kidding? Quick! Which of the previous three quotes was
said by one of the men who would be president of the greatest, most
powerful, and most free nation in the world. (You’d hope it was none of
But, if you’ve paid any attention at all, you know who. It was Al
Gore, the wonk, the vice president, former member of Congress, graduate
of expensive private schools and universities (although he did have some
academic problems and flunked out of divinity school and law school, but
at least he tried), former military man who served his country when it
needed him by manning a typewriter for five difficult months in Vietnam.
Yes, the same man who maintained support for Bill Clinton before,
during and after the impeachment, who drank too much iced tea to know
what was going on around him, who only concerns himself and his
activities according to “controlling legal authority,” who consorts with
people who break campaign financing laws but knows nothing, and who,
according to latest reports, made a deal with a foreign nation to keep
secret from his own Congress details of an illegal arms deal.
Yes, Al Gore. That’s the guy. What a guy. And he wants to be
president. A lot. He’s lived for it his whole life and now it’s on the
line on Election Night in November 2000. And the numbers are in, and the
other guy wins. So Gore concedes and the other guy is happy, because
you see, George W. Bush wants to be president too. He fought a campaign
too and the votes came out for him.
But then, there are some questions, and Al calls G.W. again, and
takes it all back. What? Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah.
There he was, victory speech at the ready and he gets a call from Al
saying he changed his mind! No consultant could have warned of this!
“Let me make sure I understand,” G.W. said, “You’re calling me back
to retract your concession?”
“You don’t have to get snippy about this,” says Al.
“Snippy?” Is this a word from the lips of a “guy”? I mean, he did
wear earth tones, nipple-showing shirts and pants so tight they showed
other body parts. Is this a word from the man who would lead us? No,
folks, this is a word from Dudley Do-right and is a measure of the man
— and the slurpy kiss didn’t change it.
And what has happened since election night only reinforces that.
Never mind taking it easy to find out what, if anything, may be a
problem. Never mind that you need only win by one vote to
“win.” Never mind that you don’t change the rules just because you
don’t like the final score.
No, if you are Al Gore, you react the way anyone aligned with Bill
Clinton would — haul out the pols, the lawyers, the minorities and the
old folks. Threaten to sue. Threaten to hold up everything. Threaten,
even without saying it, to cause a constitutional crisis.
Why? Because he didn’t win and he wanted to win. And by golly, he
should have won. So there! And “you don’t have to get snippy about
As I write this, I do not know the outcome. No one does. The final
count from Florida won’t be available, by law, till Nov 17.
There are also questions being raised about the vote count in Oregon,
irregularities with thousands of votes in New Mexico, and even the
Republicans are getting a spine and raising questions about the vote
counts in Iowa and Wisconsin.
At this rate, this election may never end.
But it’s not a joke. What we are witnessing is a travesty and an
extraordinary danger to the very foundation of the rule of law in this
country and ultimately to the Constitution.
I have heard fat and pompous talk show hosts and so-called news
people gloat over the voting controversy in Florida, demanding that
since “their” guy is losing, the rules should be changed.
I’ve heard and seen network and local TV “news” people show their
ignorance and bias in their coverage of the issue.
I’ve heard politicians rant and rave over voting “irregularities,”
code word for their guy lost; so called “minority leaders” hurl words
like “racial discrimination,” code phrase for rousing the troops and
getting TV cameras to cover staged rallies; and voters say they were
“cheated” which means they were stupid. Their guy lost, and, boy, are
In fact, they’re all mad and they’re stamping their feet. Now who’s
The issue for Al Gore and Democrats in general seems to be that he
was supposed to win. They just assumed that they would get their way.
After all, Bill did. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and to whom
he wanted and lied and stonewalled about it as needed — and got away
Why, he even got people to give him money to defend what he did and
his denials of it. Al and the Dems assumed the Teflon rubbed off. They
just figured they would win because it was their turn.
“Close” would make no difference. Never mind that G.W. pulled in
more votes than Bill ever did. The difference was that Bill won and Al
didn’t. And that was not in his script. Al Gore is nothing if not a
man who lives his life by a script and his story arc includes the White
House as home.
How far will he push it? From all appearances at this point in time,
pretty far. How much will the GOP push back? It appears that they just
might show some of the backbone they have lacked in the past. For the
moment, the Bush people are staying silent.
But it is dangerous because all the attention is going to the
complainers, the louder the better for TV news which loves it because it
was their guy who lost. They should be ashamed.
It’s dangerous because it is laying the groundwork for a demand to
change the Electoral College which would mean a change in the
Constitution. Not that that would disturb too many Democrats. It just
gets in their way anyway.
Awkward, seemingly old fashioned and not necessary, the Electoral
College serves a purpose that the founding fathers understood. It is,
in its way, a balancing of power between the populated metropolitan
areas of the country and the more sparsely populated areas.
It’s bad enough today, dealing with campaign advertising and major
market expenditures; what would it be like if they could ignore certain
states entirely? And without the Electoral College, that is exactly
what could, and would, happen.
The danger is that too many people want to jump in the pool without
realizing that lethal alligators are in there and they are always on the
lookout for stupid swimmers. Or stupid voters. Or politicians.
And so we wait and watch and are dumbfounded in an ongoing basis. If
you are a news junkie like me, then you are glued to the radio, the
news, the Internet, the newspapers. The headlines are marvelous. They
are also nervous.
It’s just amazing. I heard a local talk host today going on and on
and on and on about all the devastation that would be caused with a Bush
presidency. There was a speech in San Francisco the day after the
election by a former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board who
told a packed audience how awful it would be if Bush were president.
Someone should have told them the campaign is over; we’re dealing now
with the election. But some people are slow.
Today, I heard an average citizen — well educated, well-to-do, and
supposedly informed — lament the situation and say with a straight face
that “since his brother ‘rigged’ the election, Bush and Gore should both
lose and we should give it to Hillary.” (I’ll tell you, it’s at times
like that, I regret that women have the vote.)
I always remember something my Dad told me years ago — the Chinese
curse — “May you live in interesting times.” Yes, a curse.