Mob rule!

The Miami-Dade canvassing board voted to discontinue its manual
recounts. The board felt incapable of completing the recount by the date
set by the Florida Supreme Court. Too bad for Gore. He expected to pick
up enough “under-counted,” “over-counted” or “dimpled” votes to overtake
George W. Bush.

Why did the Miami-Dade canvassing board vote against the recount,
having earlier supported it? According to Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., ”
… A mob threatened them, banged on their doors, roughed up people …
and they succumbed to the mob violence and intimidation.” Nadler even
detected a “whiff of fascism” in the air. Gore adviser Ron Klain
condemned the “mob violence that stopped the vote in Dade County.”

“This is a time to honor the rule of law, not surrender to the rule
of the mob,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential
nominee. And Jenny Backus, spokeswoman for the Democratic National
Committee, said, “The Republicans are out of control,” and accused them
of using paid agitators to “create mob rule in Miami.”

“A group of out-of-state, paid political operatives came to south
Florida in an attempt to stop county-wide recounts,” said Rep. Peter
Deutsch, D-Ft. Lauderdale. “They crossed state lines and intimidated the
counting in a federal election, which is a violation of the Voting
Rights Act.”

Mob violence and intimidation? From what the news channels showed, a
group of fairly noisy, boisterous Bush supporters stood in a hall and
pounded on a few doors. The Republicans protested a plan to move the
vote count to a room outside of public view. That’s a mob? We see more
energy in the end zone at a Cleveland Browns home game.

Mob rule? Well, not exactly. Miami-Dade County’s election supervisor
David Leahy told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview: “I was
not intimidated by that protest. I saw it for what it was … a noisy,
peaceful protest.” Oh.

In 1992, in Los Angeles, rioters and looters sparked over 2,000 fires
causing $775 million in insured damage. Fifty-two people died. Rep.
Maxine Waters refers to the riot as a “rebellion.” Others call it an
“uprising.” One wag referred to it as a “spring disturbance.” But throw
together a handful of white, male Republicans holding up placards, and,
Gladys, honey, look out, we’ve got an insurrection!

No, what’s going on right now in Florida hardly fits the description
of mob rule. It’s called Democratic desperation. How desperate? When the
Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously to allow manual recounts to
continue, the court referred to a 1990 Illinois Supreme Court case
called Pullen v. Mulligan. The spin doctors pounced. Why, in the
Illinois case, the counters counted dimples! Thus, say the Gore
advocates, the Florida Supreme Court wants us to apply the so-called
“dimple standard.” Why is this important? Counting ballots with “hanging
chads” or “swinging chads” is one thing. But a “dimpled chad,” where the
voter makes a slight mark, means more votes for Gore in the counties
cherry-picked by the Democrats for a manual recount.

But, hold on. According to the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund and
the Chicago Tribune, the judge in this case rejected the so-called
“dimple standard.” The judge used the so-called “light standard,”
meaning a vote counts only if a light shines through the perforation.
“The judge,” writes Fund, “in Pullen v. Mulligan didn’t count indented
ballots, because he could not determine the voters’ intent.” Oops!

The Gore camp looks foolish. On the one hand, they apply a zero
tolerance standard to exclude some 1,400 overseas military ballots. But
then they want “recounters” to somehow discern voters’ intent, based on
lightly pressed or dimpled chads. The Gore camp wants “every vote
counted,” yet selected only four pro-Gore counties for a recount.

After Florida’s Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified the
election Sunday evening, Gore promptly moved to contest the election.
This means a series of challenges over whether legal votes went
uncounted.

In a five-minute address to the nation, Gore explained the reasons
behind the challenge. “I believe it’s essential to our country that
there be no question, no cloud over the head of the next president,
whether it be me or Governor Bush,” said Gore. “We need to be able to
say that there is no legitimate question as to who won this election.”

Naw, this ain’t about Gore. Never mind the recent Newsweek article
which quoted Gore as saying, “I’m not like George Bush. If he wins or
loses, life goes on. I’ll do anything to win.”

Storm clouds may be forming, with people becoming increasingly less
patient. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 60 percent of
Americans now call for Gore to concede. But, why should he? After all,
it’s not about him.

Right.

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