As I write this, the election of November 2000, at least for the
presidency, still isn’t over. While councilmen and mayors, and state
legislators and governors, and senators and congressmen all know what
their jobs will be for the next few years — the two men who would be
president are still in limbo.
Well, not a full-fledged limbo. The Bush camp is moving along with
the transition, despite the fact that no money is forthcoming from the
government because it isn’t “official” yet. But names are being named,
people chosen and staff delineated so that when the time comes, and they
believe it will, George W. Bush will move ahead to his next job, this
time in the White House.
Until that happens however, G.W. has been keeping a pretty low
profile except for a few media appearances to show the flag, so to
speak. (At least, in the last media appearance, the background held a
Christmas decoration and a western bandanna and not a wall full of Old
Glory. We know what country this is, for heaven’s sake!) And, oh yes,
the legal arm of the “victory” team continues to slog through Florida
and Washington courts.
In the meantime the Gore camp continues to declare itself as the
winner, at least in the hearts of their countrymen for, as we are told
interminably, Al Gore won the popular vote. Well, OK. But it’s the
electoral vote that counts and because of that, the legions of Gore
lawyers steamroll through every level of court in which they feel they
can gain an advantage and more votes for Gore.
As for Al, well he’s on another of his image trips. This time he’s
the relaxed, “Casual Guy” who, in the midst of the battle of his life,
sauntered to a local coffee shop with Tipper and chatted with the “real”
He met with the media on the lawn of his house with no prepared
statement. “Casual Guy” was there just to talk and answer any and all
questions. But the answers were all the same spin, and each was
punctuated with a nervous laugh and a strange facial expression that
betrayed the attempt to appear relaxed.
It was painful to watch. Al Gore is a man clearly facing the end of
a lifelong ambition and he is pretending this is an election like any
other, despite the historic legal battles he is perpetuating. It’s as
though Al Gore has separated himself from reality; as though it’s all
happening apart from him and he has nothing to do with it. But that’s
While all that is going on, the preparations for the inauguration are
also proceeding, albeit without the name of the star of the event. The
platforms are being put together and the plans for the event organized.
Even some of the programs and invitations can be printed because they
don’t need the name of “The Man”! It is all surreal.
Across the country, but especially in Florida and Washington, D.C.,
the media types are gathered, flitting, fluttering and pontificating,
and looking for “the” story. Many are hoping they’ll hit it big
media-wise, and end up a new star in the network constellation. But on
a daily basis, they’re all looking for something and anything to fill
the hours of time devoted to the story of the year. Decade? Century?
Actually, they have the story, but there are so many pieces and it
changes so quickly, it’s easy for them to lose the context. Besides, in
order to report it properly reporters have to know the law, the politics
and the spin. And, oh yes, they’re also are supposed to be impartial.
Right. That’s the hard part.
For viewers and listeners, it’s easy to see what is going on — at
least if you’re a news consumer with a brain in your head.
What is going on is the stealing of an election with all the finesse
of a herd of elephants stampeding to the water hole during a drought.
Those on the front lines are believers, especially the lawyers.
Hired guns as they are, they will spout the party line, support their
“evidence” and haul witnesses to the stand.
The other hired guns are the party operatives who are out there en
masse causing unrest and demonstrations among the natives. Do and say
whatever you will, play the age card, the economic card, the race card
— it all seems to be OK as long as it comes from the Democrat camp. No
wonder the GOP is gun shy.
There is something surreal about all this. I sometimes think I’ll
wake up tomorrow and it will all have been a dream. But no. I’ll wake
up and realize it is happening and is a nightmare of the worst kind for,
if the Democrats will play this dirty to win, just think what they have
in store if they lose. I have no doubt all the plans are laid.
George W. Bush has indicated that you don’t mess with Texans. If he
wins, he’ll have to prove it.