April 25, 2008

"It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts.'"

"What are we supposed to say — 'Not important enough?'



It's nice to get a snappy video clip of Scalia saying this. I think he's right. I've thought that from the day the case came out. And I voted for Al Gore and had been watching the Florida antics with the punchcards and the chads and hoping he'd luck into a win. I've also written about the case at length and taught the case many times in law school.

ADDED: Here's the main scholarly article I wrote about the Gore-Bush litigation.

192 comments:

Richard Fagin said...

Prof. can you provide a link to one of your publications on Bush v. Gore. I've never read any scholarly publication on the case. Is suspect the issues were not well explained by the MSM. Thanks.

Simon said...

Richard,
If I may presume to answer on Ann's behalf, see Ann Althouse, The Authoritative Lawsaying Power of the State Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court, 61 Md. L. Rev. 508 (2002). It is, at least in my own view, one of the best commentaries written by anyone on the litigation, including Posner's.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for putting that up, Simon. I've got to put my stuff up in an orderly fashion.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

There's an enormous amount of dishonesty here. BOTH Bush and Gore sought judicial solutions; it wasn't just "Al Gore who made it a judicial question" as Scalia inaccurately asserts.

In fact, as I recall, the first suit in the Florida election fiasco of 2000 was filed by Team Bush in U.S. District Court in Miami. It surprises me that Scalia's memory is so poor on this point. Or perhaps he's just lying. In either case, his "snappy" reply is simply inaccurate.

Yachira said...

Yes, two enduring myths of the Angry Left are that Bush wanted to litigate the Florida count, and that Gore won Florida. Both were proved absolutely and undeniably false within short order. But the Left loves a lie, and lie they will.

Simon said...

Cyrus, it's true that Bush also filed a lawsuit. See Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, 531 U.S. 70 (2000). But that isn't the particularly controversial case in the Election 2000 canon. What happened next? Well:

"On November 26, the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission certified the results of the election and declared Governor Bush the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes. On November 27, Vice President Gore, pursuant to Florida’s contest provisions, filed a complaint in Leon County Circuit Court contesting the certification. Fla. Stat. §102.168 (2000). He sought relief pursuant to §102.168(3)(c), which provides that “[r]eceipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election” shall be grounds for a contest. The Circuit Court denied relief, stating that Vice President Gore failed to meet his burden of proof. He appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, which certified the matter to the Florida Supreme Court."

Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 101 (2000) (per curiam by Kennedy, J.) (emphasis added).

Saul said...

The problem I had with Bush v. Gore is that until there was a recount, there was no actual injury. So the case wasn't ripe. For all we know, the recount would have been in Bush's favor.

Simon said...

I will register a concession, by the way, which is that I don't think Scalia does himself (or the court) any favors by remaining prickly about Bush v. Gore when asked about it. I think that people tend to see the prickliness as defensiveness, whereas the truth - at least, my sense of it - is that Scalia is just bored to tears about being asked about the case in every other Q&A that he does.

I've come to the conclusion - reluctantly - that he really did see it as an easy case, where the result was supported by two independent rationales (Kennedy's equal protection theory and Rehnquist's Article II theory), whereas I've previously tended to assume that he, Thomas and Rehnquist joined Kennedy's opinion not out of conviction but out of necessity. Ann makes an extremely astute observation in my view, op. cit. supra, that the 5-4 vote was not the worst possible outcome: if the three had not swallowed any doubts and signed on to the per curiam, "the per curiam opinion had only four votes, at most, and only two votes with respect to the remedy and much of the equal protection analysis. ... [I]magine if the Court’s critics had been able to say that the Court gave the presidency to Bush citing two completely different reasons, both of which were rejected by a majority of the Justices!" Althouse, supra, at 554-5 (emphasis added). Under such circumstances, joining an opinion that got the right result by dubious reasoning is entirely defensible judicial behavior. But of late, I've come to wonder if Scalia (unlike Thomas and Rehnquist, who I just don't believe bought Kennedy's theory, again as Ann well-explains) might really have bought into the equal protection argument, either out of conviction or because of the simply unbearable time pressure of the case.

Spread Eagle ® said...

The very first lawsuit filed was brought by the Dems against Palm Beach County challenging their own Dem-designed "butterfly" ballot. That was one day after the election, on Wednesday, November 8, 2000.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

yachira wrote:

...two enduring myths of the Angry Left are that Bush wanted to litigate the Florida count...

Team Bush did litigate the Florida recount. Apparently you missed that undeniable fact in your rush to post partisan garbage.

George said...

I voted for Gore, but his team's embrace of selective recounts--rather than calling for a statewide recount immediately--ended that support. Oh, and also the suggestion by his surrogates that there should be a "revote" in Palm Beace due to the butterfly ballot.

I'll never forgive Gore for willfully destroying people's confidence in the electoral process. A true statesman would have called for a statewide recount and lived with the result.

Mutaman said...

Scalia is just a cheap political hack and thats the way history will remember him. You see his kind sitting in municipal courts in cities throughout this country.

Zeb Quinn said...

Recall the butterfly ballot was an issue with the Democrats lawyered up and fully involved even before the polls closed that day. I remember thinking at the time that litigating this election result in Florida was strategically planned well in advance.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh, and also the suggestion by his surrogates that there should be a "revote" in Palm Beace due to the butterfly ballot.

Well in all honestly, for those individuals who were not intelligent enough to figure out a ballot that third graders were able to understand, I question their capacity to make an intelligent choice from the start.

I still go back to the main issue that most Gore backers miss out on. Had he been able to carry his own state, this would have been a moot issue.

Even Mondale carried Minnesota. It was the only one but he carried it which makes Gore an even bigger loser than Fritz.

Freder Frederson said...

Under such circumstances, joining an opinion that got the right result by dubious reasoning is entirely defensible judicial behavior.

Ahh, and Simon, the stickler for originalism and the absolute believer in the purity of the law, shows his true colors. As long as the "right" decision is reached (i.e., Bush wins), it doesn't matter what the reasoning is.

Who's the judicial activist now?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon,

What's true is that, Team Bush filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Miami and then appealed the U.S. District Court decision denying injunctive relief to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. And prior to the November 27 complaint filed by Gore in Leon County, Team Bush (on November 22) had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to have the November 21 decision of the Florida Supreme Court overruled.

In other words, as I stated previously, BOTH Bush and Gore sought judicial solutions to the Florida election fiasco, and Scalia is entirely inaccurate in putting the blame solely on Gore.

Ann Althouse said...

Saul, I have that problem too, and I say it in the article. But it's just a problem with the stay of the count that prevented the counting to go on over that last weekend.

Simon said...

Cyrus, respectfully, I think that's a red herring. It's true that Bush pursued litigation after the election, and Scalia didn't say otherwise. That litigation, however, was over and done with by the time that Gore filed a separate, independent (insofar as Gore's litigation would have arisen with or without Bush's earlier suit), and largely unrelated lawsuit. It was Gore's later suit that the Supreme Court ruled on sub nom. Bush v. Gore. Watch the video clip - Scalia is asked about Bush v. Gore and whether the Supreme Court's role in it was improper, and he points out that it was Gore as opposed to the Court (not Gore as opposed to Bush, moreover) that brought the issue into the courts. That doesn't deny that Bush had previously had a case, as you seem to be suggesting it does, but it does make it irrelevant to the point.

David Walser said...

In other words, as I stated previously, BOTH Bush and Gore sought judicial solutions to the Florida election fiasco, and Scalia is entirely inaccurate in putting the blame solely on Gore.

I think you are reading too much into what Scalia said. He's saying that the Court shouldn't be blamed for getting involved with the election. The Court did not insert itself into the controversy. Gore and Bush invited the Court's involvement.

On the different question of whether Gore or Bush is more responsible for the litigation, the answer is the Gore bears the blame. Gore's team made the first appeal to the courts. Had that not happened, Bush's team would have stayed out of court -- it had NO REASON to go to court because the non-judicial process had given Bush the win.

If the original count had come out differently, would team Bush have gone to court? We can only speculate. Had Bush gone to court, Bush would have been to blame for the litigation. Gore's subsequent legal maneuvers would have been in response to, not the cause of, the litigation (initiated by Bush).

Simon said...

David, in anticipation of Cyrus' inevitable rejoinder, I must add that I read your post as (correctly) separating the earlier Bush v. Palm Beach case from the litigation that became Bush v. Gore. So I read your observation that "[h]ad Bush gone to court, Bush would have been to blame for the litigation" as saying that Bush carries the can for the litigation that he begins, and not for any subsequent litigation begun by someone else.

By the way, isn't it funny: Scalia has opposed cameras in the courtroom because (inter alia) he says that the media will excerpt quick soundbites excised from larger context, in ways that will distort - possibly unintentionally - what is said. And here we have CBS excerpting quick soundbites out of his forthcoming 60 Minutes interview, excised from context, in ways that may well distort the point, even if unintentionally. Where does Scalia get these whacky ideas about how the media operates!

rhhardin said...

It was he who...

He means it as an annex clause in a cleft sentence, not a restrictive relative clause, so that is better.

That's the reason for the stilted feeling ; the restrictive relative clause possibility has not been cut off and makes no sense.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

David Walser wrote:

[Scalia is] saying that the Court shouldn't be blamed for getting involved with the election. The Court did not insert itself into the controversy. Gore and Bush invited the Court's involvement.

This is precisely the point I was making when I wrote "BOTH Bush and Gore sought judicial solutions to the Florida election fiasco, and Scalia is entirely inaccurate in putting the blame solely on Gore."
Apparently you are agree with me on this point.

On the different question of whether Gore or Bush is more responsible for the litigation, the answer is the Gore bears the blame. Gore's team made the first appeal to the courts. Had that not happened, Bush's team would have stayed out of court -- it had NO REASON to go to court because the non-judicial process had given Bush the win.

Both Bush and Gore were responsible for trying to win the election in court. The first suit brought by either campaign was filed by Team Bush in U.S. District Court in Miami. And it was Team Bush, not Gore, who petitioned the USSC. In other words, your opinion appears to be based on a misunderstanding of the Florida election legal chronology.

rhhardin said...

When the election is close enough so that recounts might make it go either way (hence ``recount until you win''), from the point of view of democracy, the people don't care.

I mean individually people care, but the democracy doesn't care who wins. It's 50-50.

What democracy depends on, however, and cares very much about, is that the vote end the matter.

I was shocked that Gore asked for a recount at all, and it borders on treason almost - to hell with the country, I want to win.

Didn't Nixon make the opposite choice against Kennedy? I think so. Back when character was in.

Anyway now it's a crisis that cannot be solved, because people think more and more accurate vote counting mechanisms are needed to cover precisely the case where democracy does not care. A deliberate red herring?

All that's needed for that crisis is public deploring of questioning the first count, and preventing it from being final, for your own gain.

Even if there is systematic vote rigging, the only effect is that the revolution takes 53% instead of 50%, which is not a great loss to democracy ; vs the current state where every election is followed by recrmination and derangement syndromes.

A plea for good character. Maybe it needs to find a place in soap opera again. Go with the media you have.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

Scalia is asked about Bush v. Gore and whether the Supreme Court's role in it was improper, and he points out that it was Gore as opposed to the Court (not Gore as opposed to Bush, moreover) that brought the issue into the courts.

To be precise, it was Team Bush (not Gore) who brought the issue to the USSC. Of course, accuracy and precision are relatively unimportant in the Althouse comment threads. But, for the record, after the Florida Supreme Court ruling, it was Team Bush, not Gore, who said "I want this to be decided by the US Supreme Court." That's how the issue ended up in Scalia's lap. It's a shame Scalia and others can't be honest and accurate on this point.

The undeniable truth is that both Bush and Gore sought legal remedies many times during the weeks after the Florida election. Both were responsible for legal maneuvers that ultimately brought Florida election issues before Scalia and the USSC. To put the blame solely on Gore is typical partisan nonsense.

Zeb Quinn said...

I never really minded that Gore wanted a recount. What bothered me was the way he wanted to cherrypick which counties to recount. It said a lot about several things that were really at work there, and none of it good.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with wanting a recount is that you can get either result just by recounting enough for long enough.

The accuracy demanded is simply not possible to achieve, if the election is close enough.

Yet this is the case where it simply does not matter who wins.

It's at that point about vanity and self-interest ; which perhaps is not good in a public servant.

The way out of the bind is to favor good character and punish bad character.

That is, Gore could have upped his chances in the next election by acting honorably. Which he chose not to do.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- Everyone agrees that both sides filed lawsuits. What's your point? I sue you. You sue me. It doesn't matter who files first. It's not a race to the courthouse.

Muta -- Georgetown, University of Fribourg, Harvard Law magna cum laude, editor for the law review. But that we had more municipal judges of this caliber. That comment was really, really lame.

Having said all this, I think if you look at the Constituion, it pretty clearly indicates that the legislature should have resolved this dispute. The Supremes would have done a huge service to the country and to their own power had they just handed the dispute off to Congress, where it belonged.

Simon said...

Seven, there would never have been an opportunity for Congress to get involved, so that's a moot point. One of three things was going to happen: either Bush would win Florida, or Gore was going to win Florida, or Florida's votes weren't going to count. But in any of those three scenarios, Bush or Gore would have won in the electoral college.

"To be precise, it was Team Bush (not Gore) who brought the issue to the USSC. "

Cyrus, Bush appealed litigation that Gore began! He may have brought the issue to the Supreme Court, but he can hardly be blamed once Gore had started litigating.

"Both were responsible for legal maneuvers that ultimately brought Florida election issues before Scalia and the USSC. To put the blame solely on Gore is typical partisan nonsense. "

Not so. Both deployed legal maneuvers after the election, but the litigation that brought the Florida election before the courts was filed by Gore. To say that it was Bush who appealed to the Supreme Court is thin gruel indeed.

Seven Machos said...

Simon -- I stand corrected. Upon reading the document, I can't really make the argument I want to make. Certainly, it's not as clear as I suggested.

Really, this would be a good issue for amendment. If this country continues to survive and prosper, it will certainly happen again.

Yachira said...

Simpleton, I mean Pinkerton wrote

"Team Bush did litigate the Florida recount. Apparently you missed that undeniable fact in your rush to post partisan garbage."

Let me add a few words that I think will assist you in understanding my meaning: impetus to litigate came from the Gore team.

Synova said...

From a lay-person's perspective, and although I've come to think that Gore is a huge boob at the time I liked him quite a lot and really had NO preference for who won or not, the protestations of wrongdoing have always *always* seemed to be based on having wanted Gore to win and not ever on any facts one way or the other.

As close as it was in Florida the simple error margin in vote counting could have had it go down either way. Any rational person realized that. So, bad luck, it came down as Bush winning. And then, rather than accept that bad luck Gore decided that his winning the election was MORE IMPORTANT than confidence in the voting process and proceeded to undermine that confidence to the point that when he didn't manage to reverse the decision (call it Bush being better at "stealing" what Gore was trying to "steal" if you must!) the damage was done and permanent.

Thank you Gore.

Asking for one state-wide recount would have been understandable, if Gore then accepted the results. But HE KNEW that there was a margin of error in any vote counting and that recounting the whole state might result in Bush winning by a larger margin. So he only wanted to recount where he'd be more likely to have a majority and more likely to recount higher (because odds of any particular voter dimpling chads is the same and if far fewer people voted for Bush in Miami, dimpled chads might go 2 to 1 for Gore.)

Gore TRIED to steal the election and failed.

Gore started the process of courts and selective recounting and saying to heck and gone with confidence in the system.

Thank you Gore.

Doctor said...

The federal courts never should have had any jurisdiction over the whole sorry business in the first place. U.S. Const, Art. 2, Sect. 1: "Each state shall appoint, *in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct*, a Number of Electors..."

The SCOTUS should have said "the Florida legislature certified the election to Bush. The Constitution grants that power to the state legislature alone, and it is unconstitutional for any court or other body to purport to seize that power."

The Florida legislature could have, if it had wanted to, passed an act the day after the election stating that it didn't care who voted for what, but that it had decided that it was going to appoint electors pledged to Marilyn Manson. It was within its constitutional power to do so.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

We actually do know what would have happened -- the press did a recount.

Had Bush v. Gore gone the other way, Bush would still be president.

If, on the other hand, Al Gore had asked for a state-wide recount from the start...

Albert said...

Gore only wanted selective recounts in counties that Democratic operatives had pre-targeted with scare-tactic phone calls trying to convince Jewish voters that they might have mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan. Don't forget that one.

Seven Machos said...

I've been revisiting this thanks to Althouse. There was a legitimate equal protection issue at stake. The Democrats' strategy was really doomed based on this and their lawyers gave them bad advice.

megapotamus said...

The whole mess was Gore's fault and the reason is simple and political, not judicial; he conceded, and then unconceded. Sorry, that is what concessions are for and if there is playground backtracking like this then the tradition of the concession is worthless and all it implies goes out the window. Of course he was lucky to have the media on his side. No Republican would ever get away with so low and stupid a thing.

Hogarth said...

Oh for crying out loud. HBO is doing a documentary on this very question, aren't they? Surely that will resolve this once and for all in a fair, accurate, and indisputable manner, won't it? [/irony]

Seven Machos said...

Speaking of irony, would Gore have been domestically any different than Bush?

T Mack said...

Ann,
When I looked at the comments, about five seconds after veiwing, I got an e:mail from a Wisconsin tourism agency advertising the vacation possibilities of your state.
Is that your doing?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Don't forget part two of the issue;

Gore wanted teh counties that went for Bush to be certified, and then have the counties where Gore could mine votes recounted, effectively denying Bush the ability to ask for a recount when Gore won, a foregone conclusion based on the process of the Gore recount.

Doctor, I agree with your scenerio, but with a Repub Legislature and Governor, any action would have brought another laawsuit; kind of like the one started by the 7 Dems on the FL Supreme Court.

Yachira said...

"For all we know, the recount would have been in Bush's favor."

Indeed!

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/florida.ballots/stories/main.html

George said...

Althouse's analysis was too clever by half.

The 3-judge minority on the Florida court was the only faction on either the Florida or US Supreme that actually based their opinion on substantive Florida law and the actual case that was under appeal. The FL majority opinion was politicized fluffy crap (hereinafte, "PFC") overturned by more professionally composed PFC from the SCOTUS majority. Justice Stevens' strange new respect for state courts, stare decisis was merely fluffy counter-crap.

Having law professors analyze PFC as if were substantive is merely confusing if not itself PFC.

George said...

Althouse's analysis was too clever by half.

The 3-judge minority on the Florida court was the only faction on either the Florida or US Supreme that actually based their opinion on substantive Florida law and the actual case that was under appeal. The FL majority opinion was politicized fluffy crap (hereinafte, "PFC") overturned by more professionally composed PFC from the SCOTUS majority. Justice Stevens' strange new respect for state courts, stare decisis was merely fluffy counter-crap.

Having law professors analyze PFC as if were substantive is merely confusing if not itself PFC.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

It's funny, isn't it?

If Al Gore had been principled and upstanding, and just gone for what was right -- a recount for everyone, everywhere in Florida -- he'd probably be president right now.

Go figure.

John Hawkins said...

It's not just a matter of recounts changing the outcome due to random errors, they also increase the opportunity for fraud, and dramatically increase the change voters will assume fraud if the recount does change the result. I live in WA state - our 2004 Governor's race is a perfect illustration.

The Republican candidate, Dino Rossi, won the initial count by 261votes out of 2.8 million. An automatic recount was done according to state law. In every county except King Co. (home of Seattle and the state's Democratic political machine), the recount added votes to Rossi's lead (he was up by 321 votes until King Co., last to report came in). King Co. "found" 1,000 new ballots, mostly for the Democrat (Gregoire), but not quite enough. At the end of the first recount, Rossi still led by 42 votes. Note that King Co. produced enough new votes for Gregoire in this recount to overcome Rossi's initial lead, but the extra 60 votes from other counties scuppered their efforts.

So, the Dems insisted on a third recount, King Co. found even more new ballots, and this time Gregoire "won" by 129 votes.

The Republican party really fell apart in the state after that. They'd had an election stolen from them, quite obviously, and couldn't do anything about it.

Election fraud is normally hard because you don't know how many votes you need to fabricate, and the more you fabricate, the more likely you are to be caught. If you fabricate enough to guarantee a win, you probably also guarantee getting caught. If you keep the number low enough to avoid getting caught, it probably isn't enough to impact the election. Plus, your candidate might win anyway without any risk on your part, making it even less attractive.

But in a recount, you know exactly how many votes you need to fabricate (assuming the other side doesn't reciprocate), plus you know that you need to fabricate them (if you're on the losing side), so the risk-reward is significantly more in favor of cheating, even if you can expect more scrutiny than during the normal process.

I'm in favor of banning recounts completely. If there is evidence of significant fraud, I say toss the entire election, publicize the fraud, and revote. More expensive, but losing the public's trust in the process is a far bigger price to pay.

Cedarford said...

Gore blew it on so many levels...

1st by losing Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia by his campaign morphing into an anti-gun crusader to attract Hollywood donors.

2nd by demanding selective recounts, vs. a statewide recount then dispatching teams to try and take away the vote from military personnel.

3rd by initiating the 1st litigation claiming dumb Jews were fooled into voting for Buchanan by the butterfly ballot.

4th by injecting race and "black disenfranchisement" into it, sending Jesse Jackson and "angry, outraged, and shocked! shocked!" black mobs to try and intimidate recount officials in Broward County.

5th by not accepting the lower court verdict after trial but taking it in legal appeals to the Democrat-run Florida Supreme Court that most legal observors said produced a call for Gore at odds with the law and owing more to their partisanship - all of which made Team Bush once again have to go nto the appeals system to meet the legal challenge in the appeals process Team Gore started.

Yachira said...
Yes, two enduring myths of the Angry Left are that Bush wanted to litigate the Florida count, and that Gore won Florida. Both were proved absolutely and undeniably false within short order. But the Left loves a lie, and lie they will.


Not just that, but the many lies that built up the myth of "Noble Algore" unfairly smeared through the campaign, conveniently forgetting the last minute 25-year old DUI charge they dropped on Bush 3 days before the election. The whole "black disenfranchisement, count every vote!!!" meme they tried to run and later legitimize for history with the disgusting toad-woman Mary Frances Berry of the US Civil Rights Commission...

Much as "Swift-Boating" means one thing to Lefties, and "telling inconvenient truths" to the rest of the populace.

But the Left runs the public schools, so the kids will still get the Saint Martin, greatest purest man who ever lived story. The "Stolen Election" story. And the "Evil, Lying "Swift-Boating" of War Hero John Kerry, Beloved by All Vets" story for years to come.

Telling lies, programatically, big lies to sway the masses and thus advance the Revolution - By Any Means Necessary -of course... did not start with Hitler, but with the Left's ideological fathers among the Jewish Bolsheviks..

AlphaLiberal said...

Newsflash: The case was called "Bush v Gore." That means that Bush initiated the action.

Yet another right wing myth about the 2000 coup.

If they had actually recounted the votes, which was stopped in part by a riot of Congressional staffers and lobbyists, Gore would have won.

The analyses of the votes showed that a recount of the all Florida votes would have delivered the state to Gore.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Algore"

What's this supposed to mean anyway?

Seven Machos said...

Alpha -- Gore started the proceedings in state court. Should Bush not have availed himself of federal law when federal law was glaringly at issue. Perhaps you should learn about civil procedure works before issuing any further news flashes.

Cedarford -- Another post, another swipe at Jews. You got a screw loose, pal.

Seven Machos said...

Alpha -- Please show us this analysis. Perhaps you can issue a newsflash.

AlphaLiberal said...

All you rgiht wing revisionists, don't forget the Brooks Brothers riot.

Republican hacks stopped votes from being counted.

The election was stolen before and after election day. There was widespread voter suppression, the chief election officer, Katherine Harris, abused her office to help the Bush crime family rip us off.

And, to this day, Republicans try to stop people from voting and to put an end to voting paper trails.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Keep repeating the lies Alpha; maybe someday they will be believed enough that some hack hollywood director will make the "true" story movie.

AlphaLiberal said...

7 machos, no thanks. I know this is a fact-free zone and it won't change thinking of the hardline righties who dominate here.

Besides the St Pete newspaper link I used to have for these arguments is gone and all my notes are on an old PC at home.

My conclusion from that election, though, was that the Republicans withdrew from the civic consensus we used to share about what this nation is and stand for. Instead, they embrace the Banana Republican model.

Seven Machos said...

Newsflash! You can only protest in protection of your civil rights or your cause if you dress like a Cindy Sheehan.

Also, Alpha, There was widespread voter suppression. Please issue the newsflash where you gathered this information.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Newsflash: The case was called 'Bush v Gore.' That means that Bush initiated the action."

Alpha, when you read the name of a case in a trial court, the first name denotes the plaintiff. When you read the name of a case in an appelate court, the first name denotes the appellant, even if the appellant was the defendent in the trial. The case is titled Bush v. Gore because Bush appealed the case to the Supreme Court. But to say that Bush started the litigation because he appealed to the Supreme Court is like saying that if you start a fight and beat me to a pulp, I'm guilty of battery if I manage to get one punch in while defending myself.

Seven Machos said...

The dog ate your homework and you don't wish to marshal actual facts to back up your tired, false charges.

Okay, Alpha. You are dismissed. Thanks for playing.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Here's the analysis that shows that Gore would have won a statewide full recount.

But go have fun with this little tool.

You can get the vote difference down to two!

Crazy election.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

And the Supreme Court didn't even decide it.

Lawyers' tactics early on did.

Probably should've had a revote.

AlphaLiberal said...

7 machos, nice spin attempt.

Bush was venue shopping and knew the Republican hacks on the Supreme Court could be counted on to deliver the verdict. Hence their decision which was supposed to be a one-time only interpretation of law and not supposed to establish any precedent.

It was a travesty and a hijacking of an election. A betrayal of American values.

Seven Machos said...

Thank you, Ben. See, Alpha. It's not so hard. With a little grit and determination, you too can stop making conclusionary statements and start making actual arguments.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm."


-- John Paul Stevens, writing in dissent, George W. Bush et. al. v. Albert Gore, Jr. et. al. on Application for Stay, December 9, 2000

Seven Machos said...

Bush was venue shopping

Wow, pal. You are really showing your ignorance here. I guess it was either a state court in Mississippi or the district court in Florida where the case began in federal court.

You can't venue shop something like this. Alternatively, if you could, why do you suppose the case wound its way from a district court in Florida through the appellate court covering that district to the Supreme Court?

Furthermore, Ben is right that the tactics were determinative. Still further, the vote in Florida was very much a tie.

It's been fun, Alpha. Like beating a midget in basketball is fun, but fun nevertheless.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

"Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm."

That's where Gore fell apart.

Seven Machos said...

"I wasn't able to convince four other people to do another recount."

-- John Paul Stevens, overheard in seedy Georgetown tavern on the evening of December 9, 2000.

AlphaLiberal said...

7 machos:

Look at your posts here. Insults, slights, swipes. Take your own advice.

Simon, I didn't say Bush started legal proceedings. But to say he wasn't willing for it to go to court was nonsense. he was venue shopping.

And the Supreme Court didn't even decide it.

Bullshit. they stopped the counting of votes. And, there was an indicting quote from Scalia where he said it would do harm to Bush, who he proclaimed the winner. Really, it was circular logic that revealed his partisan bias. (And his two sons were working for law firms involved in the case).

Seven Machos said...

there was an indicting quote from Scalia

Pray tell, what was the quote?

Ben (The Tiger) said...

What Gore supporters can say -- and I was a leftie back then (a Nader voter in New Jersey) -- is that based on ballots actually cast in Florida (and not just on what was in the voters' minds) Al Gore should have been the 43rd President of the United States.

The Supreme Court didn't steal the election. Bad laws and cut-throat lawyers bungled it.

Simon said...

Alpha, he filed an appeal! You think petitioning for cert on a federal question after final judgment of a state supreme court going against you is venue shopping? Do you think Ralph Baze was venue shopping when he did the same thing?

And while it's true that you didn't in as many words say that "Bush started legal proceedings," you said that since his name is the first name in the case, "[t]hat means that Bush initiated the action," which comes to the same thing. Bush didn't "initiate" anything in the Bush v. Gore litigation except by appealing from the Florida court.

colleenjk said...

This entire situation with Gore v. Bush did not allow democracy to function in the way it should've. What happened to the good ol' days of a simple election. I think they should have definitly called for a recount. What was Gore thinking by taking the decision to the courts? I guess there's no use crying over spilt milk.

AlphaLiberal said...

7 machoes, smugness and insults do not an argument make.

The Florida Supremes interpreted Florida law governing the administration of elections. Bush refused to accept their ruling (over a question of Florida law) to count all the votes and took it to his pals on the Supreme Court to stop the counting of all votes.

Scalia twisted himself in knots helping out Bush, making bizarre and contradictory assertions. He interfered with the democratic process to help Bush. He was quote clear and open about that. As he is this week in bashing Gore.

AlphaLiberal said...

Al Gore wins in statewide recount.

AlphaLiberal said...

What was Gore thinking by taking the decision to the courts?

To have the election laws fairly enforced in the face of election interference by Jeb Bush, his girlfriend Katherine Harris and other Republicans who sought to stop the voting.

EB said...

I voted for gore but grew tired of the recount fiasco.

As a layman, it is my understanding that the Supreme Court overrode a Florida state court ruling. If that is the case, then isn't it true that the Supreme court effectively took the decision out of the hands of the courts?

AlphaLiberal said...

A little reminder for those fogged in by partisan revisionism on the lengths the Supreme Court went to protect Bush:

Justice Scalia said it was "the counting of votes that are of questionable legality" that was "casting a cloud," not on the process in general but specifically on what Mr. Bush "claims to be the legitimacy of his election."

In other words, the majority's justification for the stay was that if the vote counting proceeded and had appeared to make Vice President Al Gore the winner by the time the court could decide the merits of Mr. Bush's appeal, the Bush position would be untenable as a political matter even if it prevailed as a matter of law.

That justification put the court in the position of seeming to protect Mr. Bush - who has endorsed Justices Scalia and Clarence Thomas, named to the court by his father, as his ideal justices - from whatever uncomfortable truth the uncounted ballots might reveal. The fact that the justices entered the stay at midafternoon Saturday, with the counting under way and most of it expected to conclude at 2 p.m. on Sunday, gave the court the appearance of racing to beat the clock before an unwelcome truth could come out.

Barlycorn, John said...

The idea that the Florida Supreme Court ruled to "count all the votes" is factually inaccurate.

They stopped the count in Dade when the low number districts (older and heavily black) were counted for overvotes and it became clear that the more Republican distircts, higher numbered and more Republican, were not going to produce the change in votes that Gore needed. So they stopped counting votes when they got to Republican districts. This is a simple fact. Sorry if it makes your brain hurt.

former law student said...

Had the recount been done the way Gore wanted, Bush would have won. Had the Supreme Court not ended things, the counting and litigation would have extended to at least April. Because of term limits, somebody would have been sworn in on Inauguration Day -- I'm guessing it would have been next-in-line Denny Hastert. While I'm a bit disappointed President Hastert did not happen, I think indecisiveness over who leads the free world is a bad thing in general.

SF Chronicle Editorial
A Semi-Definitive Recount

Friday, April 6, 2001

THE RECOUNT is in, five months after the election and four months after the U.S. Supreme Court stopped it -- handing the presidency to George W. Bush.

A review of 61,195 disputed ballots by the Miami Herald and USA Today showed that Bush's 537-vote lead would have tripled if the "undervotes" -- ballots in which no preference for president was registered by machine -- were scrutinized by hand. It must be noted that the Bush-gains scenario is based on the votes being tabulated by the relatively lenient standards advocated by Al Gore.

Ironically, when the count was tabulated under the stringent "clean punch" standard that had been pushed by many Republicans, Gore prevailed by three votes.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/04/06/ED169046.DTL

Simon said...

Alpha, it'd be a lot easier to simply link to what Scalia said and let people make up their own minds - don't you agree?

Simon said...

FLS, it would have been Larry Summers. Clinton and Gore are out, so you go down the list. The next two people in line would have been the Speaker of the House (Hastert) followed by the President pro tem of the Senate (Stevens), neither of whom would likely have resigned their seat in Congress, as they would have to have done, to become President for a few weeks while the mess was sorted out. Ordinarily that would have meant the Secretary of State - but Madeleine Albright was born in Czechoslovakia, so she's ineligible under Article II. So you go one rung further down and you finally reach the Secretary of the Treasury, who was at the time Larry Summers.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Simon, I have to argue that Gore was inelligible; he had two terms as VP, be still had 8 years of POTUS to run.

Would his position as a candidate and litigant have made him inelligible? Under what Article?

AlphaLiberal said...

Had the Supreme Court not ended things, the counting and litigation would have extended to at least April.

Nope. The recounting was scheduled to be done by the end of the weekend.

Republican hack Katherine Harris prematurely declared Bush the winner.

The recount in Miami-Dade was stopped by Republican apparatchiks from Washington. DC in the Brooks Brothers riot (link fixed).

Thousands of African-American voters were denied their franchise because they were wrongly removed from voter roles by the crook Katherine Harris in a fraudulent purge of felons which penalized many innocent people. (And the work was done by a GOP firm using data from-surprise!- Texas).

Gore didn't get his way in the FL Supreme Court because they ordered a statewide recount, which Gore did not seek. The Supremes Court interfered with, and placed their partisan views above, the will of the voters.

Bush took the case to the Supreme Court, not Gore, to stop counting votes. That's how this liar of historic proportions took the White House.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

Bush appealed litigation that Gore began! He may have brought the issue to the Supreme Court, but he can hardly be blamed once Gore had started litigating.

Sadly you seem to have forgotten the context of Scalia's remarks. He was explaining/excusing the US Supreme Court's involvement in the matter. The basis of Scalia's explanation/excuse is that the matter was brought to the USSC because of legal action taken by Gore.

In fact, this is not an accurate, objective or honest analysis of what happened. It is true that legal action taken by Gore led, indirectly, to the matter being decided by the USSC. Of course, there were many legal maneuvers by both Bush and Gore prior to this, and decisions made by Florida election officials that created the circumstances for the Gore lawsuit. For those without partisan baggage, it's clear that there were many significant legal and political decisions that contributed to the chain of events that resulted in the USSC considering Bush v Gore.

Obviously the action with the clearest direct consequence for the case coming before Scalia was the appeal by Team Bush to the USSC. Team Bush didn't like the decision of the Florida Supreme Court and said "We want this to be decided by the US Supreme Court."

Do I blame Team Bush for petitioning the USSC? No. But to suggest that Team Bush was not an active participant in seeking judicial solutions and in bringing the matter before the USSC is ridiculously dishonest.

The fact that Scalia doesn't want to acknowledge that it was Bush, not Gore, who sought a judicial solution from the US Supreme Court reinforces the notion that his decision in Bush v Gore was influenced by partisanship.

Simon said...

An Edjamikated Redneck, Gore couldn't have become acting President on January 20th for the same reason that a vacancy would arise: under the 20th Amendment, he wouldn't be the Vice-President any more. He was eligible to succeed Clinton by being elected to the position, of if Clinton died or became incapable during their term, but their term ends on a predetermined date. So if the election turned into a collossal trainwreck, and Congress deadlocked in determining a successor, there wouldn't have been either a President or a vice-President after January 20th at noon, which is why you start on the 3 U.S.C. § 19 list, which kicks in in such circumstances.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's an account from the time on how Republican and Bush supporter Katherine Harris interfered to stop the voting, leaving Gore no alternative but to take it to court.

Also, note from the story that the Banana Republicans first filed suit!*

Harris should have recused herself, if she had a speck of integrity.

*Five counties -- Hillsborough, Okaloosa, Orange, Pasco and Polk -- face Republican lawsuits to force review of absentee military ballots rejected for lack of a postmark or other problems. The county-level action came after Bush's lawyers Saturday dropped a state court lawsuit over rejected overseas absentee ballots. (More on the GOP absentee ballot suits)

Fen said...

AlphaLiberal: All you rgiht wing revisionists, don't forget the Brooks Brothers riot. Republican hacks stopped votes from being counted.

From being counted illegally. The Dem counting board had taken their ballots behind closed doors and were tallying up votes in secret. They were trying to cheat and got busted.

AlphaLiberal said...

d'ow. I intended to elaborate on Bush/Harris unethical behavior. Harris was Bush's campaign manger, even as she presided over the election, and purged the voting rolls of Democratic voters.

What a bunch of crooks.

(fen defends thugs breaking up voting with threats of violence. But, let me guess, you condemn the disputes being taken to the courts. How very thuggish!)

Mutaman said...

"Muta -- Georgetown, University of Fribourg, Harvard Law magna cum laude, editor for the law review. But that we had more municipal judges of this caliber. That comment was really, really lame."

I don't care how many degrees he's got, hell I've met guys from Harvard who couldn't decide a traffic ticket case. His decisions and his history lead to the clear conclusion that this guy has no respect for the law and is motivated only by politics-- he's a hack. Get over it.

Fen said...

fen defends thugs breaking up voting with threats of violence.

Nope. I defend activists breaking up an illegal counting scheme with threats of violence.

Alpha, if three Republicans had taken a box of ballots behind locked doors to be counted in private, your head would explode.

The Deomcrats cheated. They tried to steal a presidential election and got busted.

Original Mike said...

What rhhardin said (10:45 AM) has been my feeling on this from the beginning. The election was a tie. The concept of the "will of the voters" in this case is silly. What does matter is finality and an orderly transfer of power. Gore put his own personal interests above the country's. IMHO, history will judge him harshly.

Simon said...

"Sadly you seem to have forgotten the context of Scalia's remarks. He was explaining/excusing the US Supreme Court's involvement in the matter. The basis of Scalia's explanation/excuse is that the matter was brought to the USSC because of legal action taken by Gore."

Which is accurate. The case decided by the court was initiated by Gore. If Gore had not initiated it, the matter would not have been "decided by the USSC," because there would have been no judgement below from which Bush could appeal. You're trying to argue that Gore's decision to file the suit did not lead directly to the Supreme Court's ruling on the same suit, which isn't just wrong but logically absurd. And your idea that filing an appeal constitutes initiating a case is just plain weird. As I said above in another reply, it's like trying to sue me for battery after we get into a fight where you throw the first punch and I simply defended myself.

Does your identify depend so much on proving that Bush stole the 2000 election that you're willing to say anything, no matter how absurd, to defend the erroneous position that the Supreme Court decided the election after Bush brought in the lawyers? Really? Still - after losing an intervening election made it a moot point?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Simon- as usual it is the small point that decides the big one- I was following the assumption that Clinton couldn't be inaugurated for a third term due to the 22nd amendment; I failed to think it through to the point that Gore’s term would expire as well, ending his eligibility to succeed Clinton. Thanks!

Henry said...

Alpha - Gore didn't get his way in the FL Supreme Court because they ordered a statewide recount, which Gore did not seek.

No, Gore sought a recount in counties in which he was heavily favored -- and thus likely to increase his vote count at the expense of voters in counties in which no recount was held.

Do you honestly think this is a point in his favor?

Fen said...

Alpha: an account from the time on how Republican and Bush supporter Katherine Harris interfered to stop the voting, leaving Gore no alternative but to take it to court

"The Florida secretary of state, a Republican elected official, calls a halt. She notes that hand counts are called only when there have been charges of broken machines or vote fraud. Fraud and breakdown were not charged, and did not in fact occur. She says she will certify the election's outcome based on the original vote count and the recount that followed, plus overseas absentee ballots."

terrance said...

""It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts.'"" "What are we supposed to say — 'Not important enough?'

Wow, this guy comes across as childish, smug, and thoughtless.

Gore had a choice about going the legal route and the Supreme Court had no choice but to hear it. That's crap... Gore, Bush, and the Supreme Court had options....no one was forced into anything. Could the guy at least take some personal responsibility here?

Seerak said...

George wrote:

I voted for Gore, but his team's embrace of selective recounts--rather than calling for a statewide recount immediately--ended that support. Oh, and also the suggestion by his surrogates that there should be a "revote" in Palm Beach due to the butterfly ballot.

Quoted for the, um, inconvenient truth it is. That was not only my take on that fiasco at the time, but it's going unaddressed by the lefties in here.

You know, the ones calling Althouse comments threads "fact-challenged" etc.

dannyboy said...

Katherine Harris, abused her office to help the Bush crime family rip us off.

I thought Katherine Harris was kinda hot. Very nice legs.

Yep. I'd hit that.

Tipper isn't hot at all. Laura's not hot either because she's too sweet. I mean she's like everyone's mom. Actually there aren't too many hot people in politics in general. I guess that's why they call it Hollywood for ugly people.

former law student said...

The votes had already been counted twice, by machine. The provision of Florida law allowing for manual recounts related to mutilated ballots. Voters who did not punch out a perforated chad, or who punched out more than one chad for President should not have their votes counted -- what is a meaningful standard for a dimpled chad?

dannyboy said...

what is a meaningful standard for a dimpled chad?

When I was in prep-school there was a guy named Chad who had dimples.

We all thought he was a complete tool.

Simon said...

Dannyboy - Harris has a nice figure, but she's a little bit fruitloops. Stephanie Herseth, Diana Irey, Sarah Palin and Marsha Blackburn all give Hollywood a run for its money. The spirit of Titus is with us!

former law student said...

Harris has a nice figure, but she's a little bit fruitloops.

Don't knock it till you've tried it. You haven't lived.

AlphaLiberal said...

According to this timeline* (and my own memory, which I've now checked and rechecked) Bush filed the first lawsuit on November 11. Let's put that myth, that canard, that lie, to bed!

And this is confirmed by this timeline, and this timeline**, and this timeline and this timeline***.
* - Palm Beach County announces that it will recount by hand all ballots cast there. Bush sues in the United States district court in Miami to block such recounts.
** - Bush's legal team, headed by former Secretary of State James Baker, goes to federal court seeking to block manual recounts.
*** - Saturday, Nov. 11—The Bush team, led by former secretary of state James Baker, files suit in federal court to block Gore's request for a hand recount.

This is incontrovertible proof that Bush and the Republicans were the first ones to take the election to court. The honorable thing to do is provide evidence to the contrary or withdraw your false statements and go forth and lie no more. It ain't right.

madawaskan said...

Original Mike-

Gore put his own personal interests above the country's. IMHO, history will judge him harshly.

you can say that again.

Oh and a big addition to that-

I was at Eglin AFB, Okaloosa County, Panhandle of Florida-largest air base in the free world-when this went down-and-

Gore challenged the absentee ballots of servicemen sitting on the DMZ in Korea-and other exotic locals.

The US of A today where-nobody cares if you hang out with a Weathermen at your first political coming out party- is the same US of A that didn't give a damn about that, or the USS Cole, or the Khobar towers-but some day just maybe-

history will judge Gore very poorly for that.

Why was Gore so positive he needed to repress the military vote?

he was willing to risk his legitimacy with the Armed Forces-

on what we all know now was-

the eve of 9/11.

{of course in the HBO special Recount starring Kevin Spacey-they'll frost right over that}

dannyboy said...

Dannyboy - Harris has a nice figure, but she's a little bit fruitloops.

Hi Simon. Hey, no argument there. I was speaking purely from a male-sexist-pig point of view. There are some prospects in which topics of intellectual discussion are limited to "You want top or bottom?"

Stephanie Herseth, Diana Irey, Sarah Palin and Marsha Blackburn all give Hollywood a run for its money.

Well I don't know any of those so I took the time to look them up and you are correct sir. That is one fine lineup. Ms. Palin is exceptional as she has that naughty librarian look about her. And she's a Republican too boot. Thanks for the tips. I'll mark those states down in case I have to re-locate.

The spirit of Titus is with us!

Is that the Althouse equivalent of The Force is with you?

AlphaLiberal said...

George wrote:

I voted for Gore, but his team's embrace of selective recounts--rather than calling for a statewide recount immediately

That's my recollection, as well, but you can also check the timeleines I've so helpfully provided.

I think a statewide recount was a better plan, and think I did at the time, as well. A simpler and more ethically-founded argument is usually better.

Was that strategy to Gore's credit? It was probably a bad call, but not having been in such a similar situation, I'm hard-pressed to pass judgment.

Fen said...

I voted for Gore, but his team's embrace of selective recounts--rather than calling for a statewide recount immediately--ended that support. Oh, and also the suggestion by his surrogates that there should be a "revote" in Palm Beach due to the butterfly ballot.

Don't forget Gore tossing out absentee military ballots:

"In the most shameful and painful act of the hand counts, the Democrats on the ground, and their operators from the Democratic National Committee and the state organization and the Gore campaign, deliberately and systematically scrutinized for challenge every military absentee ballot, and knocked out as many as they could on whatever technicality they could find or even invent.

Reports begin to filter out. The Democratic army of lawyers and operatives marches into the counting room armed with a five-page memo from a Democratic lawyer, instructing them on how to disfranchise military voters. The lawyers and operatives unspool reams of computer printouts bearing the names and party affiliation of military voters. Those who are Republicans are subject to particular and seemingly relentless scrutiny. Right down to signatures on ballots being compared with signatures on registration cards. A ballot bearing a domestic postmark because a soldier had voted, sent his ballot home to his parents and asked them to mail it in on time, is thrown out. A ballot that comes with a note from an officer explaining his ship was not able to postmark his ballot, but that he had voted on time--and indeed it had arrived in time--is thrown out, because it has no postmark.

The Democratic operatives are ruthless, focused. As one witness says, "They had a clear agenda."

Received late Wednesday, an e-mail forwarded from a Republican who witnessed the counting of the Brevard County overseas absentee ballots.

It is 11:30 PM (Tuesday) and I have just returned from the count of absentee ballots, that started at 4PM. Gore had five attorneys there, the sole objective was to disenfranchise the military absentee voter. . . . They challenged each and every vote. Their sole intent was to disqualify each and every absentee voter. They constantly challenged military votes that were clearly legitimate, but they were able to disqualify them on a technicality. I have never been so frustrated in all my life as I was to see these people fight to prevent our active duty Military from voting. They succeeded in a number of cases denying the vote to these fine Men and Women.

This was a deliberate all out assault on the Armed Forces solely to sustain the Draft Dodger and his flunky. These people must have a hard time looking at themselves in a mirror... They denied a number of votes postmarked Queens NY, ballots that were clearly ordered from overseas, clearly returned from overseas, and verified by the Post Office that DOD uses the Queens post office to handle overseas mail, were denied because it didn't say APO, They denied military votes postmarked out of Jacksonville, Knowing full well it came from ships at sea and was flown into Jacksonville.

The attorneys there treated it all as a joke

AlphaLiberal said...

Why was Gore so positive he needed to repress the military vote?

Wrong! Lieberman decided they wouldn't oppose extending the deadline for overseas ballots.

I clearly remember being pissed at him for saying the military didn't have to follow the rules for participating in the democracy, at the time.

And, once that doors is opened, they should have, at least, allowed the people wrongly taken off the voter rolls by Katherine Harris to have a chance to vote, as well.

Fen said...

Was that strategy to Gore's credit? It was probably a bad call,

It was a self-inflicted wound. Gore's insistence on selective recounts ate up the clock. He didn't leave enough time to for a full state-wide recount as a backup plan.

AlphaLiberal said...

fen writes:
He didn't leave enough time to for a full state-wide recount as a backup plan.

Oh pshaw. There was time do a full statewide recount when the FL Supreme Court ordered it. That was the recount Rhenquist (the fixer) and Scalia stopped with their emergency ruling.

And, fen, you're citing the Wall St Journal opinion page as a historical reference? You don't seem to understand the difference between fact and opinion.

madawaskan said...

Simon-

So I'm glancing over the comments and I am getting the impression that you don't like the tone or manner of scalia's response?

You don't find it helpful.

well I sure as hell do-

I think the public needs to be reminded that it was Gore's doing.

Also you want to talk about not helpful?

I didn't want the counting to stop-we were in Florida at the time and we were watching the recount like a hawks in Tallahassee-and I didn't have the feeling that Bush would luck into the win we felt that he would out and out get it.

Oh and by the way- after all the newspaper recounts that's the way it came out didn't it?

So we were dissappointed as hell when the supreme Court intervened but we rationalized it away by saying that -well now maybe we need the grown ups to intervene.

But the good of all that- was almost immediately undone by the way I think it was Supreme Court Justice Stevens scuriously read his own opinion-when he didn't get his way.

It's probably why we are all still here today hashing it out.

So Scalia tries to counterweight that "performance"-and I bet you are way more critical of Scalia now than you were/are of Stevens and I say maybe just maybe Scalia is trying to bring us back to fairness to justice.

And ya so be it.

Scalia-I am damn grateful-it takes courage these days.

Fen said...

Wrong! Lieberman decided they wouldn't oppose extending the deadline for overseas ballots.

Not exactly. Here's what Lieberman said [via NYTs]:

"My own point of view, if I was there, I would give the benefit of the doubt to ballots coming in from military personnel, generally," Mr. Lieberman said on NBC's Meet the Press. Of the local canvassing boards, he said, "If they have the capacity, I'd urge them to go back and take another look, because again, Al Gore and I don't want to ever be part of anything that would put an extra burden on the military personnel abroad."

"The conciliatory words came a day after Gov. George W. Bush's campaign and its surrogates accused the Democrats of a systematic campaign to have military votes, which are presumed to strongly favor Mr. Bush, thrown out, while some service members voiced anger at that possibility. [Page A18.]"

Damage control.

dannyboy said...

Can we all get past Bush v. Gore? I mean if Gore hadn't had the election stolen from him, we would have been deprived of that blockbuster, influential and seminal work (in every sense of the word) called An Inconvenient Truth.

As President, Mr. Gore would have been far too busy preventing 9/11, the oil crisis, health crisis, education crisis, lack of poontang crisis (ok I threw that one in), sub-prime mortgage crisis and we would have never know how much danger the polar bears and arctic penguins are in. And for that vital piece of awareness which has enriched mine and I am certain, humankind as a whole, we all need to thank George Bush, Ms. Harris, the United States Supreme Court and last but not least, those dumb ass Florida voters for completely screwing the pooch at the ballot box.

Now that that has been settled, lets just talk about bush.

Simon said...

Alpha said...
"This is incontrovertible proof that Bush and the Republicans were the first ones to take the election to court."

Which is a red herring: correct but irrelevant. Bush v. Gore was not an appeal from that case. If that wasn't already obvious, the text that you yourself quoted refutes the notion that it was: Bush v. Gore was an appeal from the Supreme Court of Florida, but Bush's case was filed in federal court. How would a case filed in federal district court end up in the Supreme Court of Florida? They couldn't. The case that the Supreme Court of the United States decided sub nom. Bush v. Gore was filed in state court by Gore - and after Bush's earlier federal litigation had already terminated.

Fen said...

Alpha: You don't seem to understand the difference between fact and opinion.

You're the one linking to CNN.

Hey, are you still ignorant about Saddam's rape rooms and torture chambers?

Fen said...

There was time do a full statewide recount when the FL Supreme Court ordered it. That was the recount Rhenquist (the fixer) and Scalia stopped with their emergency ruling.

Are you talking about Dec 9th?

"Saturday, Dec 9th — The U.S. Supreme Court votes 5-4 to halt the hand recounts and sets a hearing for Dec. 11."

Or the 12th?

"Tuesday, Dec 12 — The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bush v. Gore 7–2 to reverse the Florida Supreme Court, which had ordered manual recounts in certain counties. The Court contends that the recount was not treating all ballots equally, and was thus a violation of the Constitution's equal protection and due process guarantees. The Supreme Court of Florida would be required to set up new voting standards and carry them out in a recount. The justices, however, split 5–4 along partisan lines about implementing a remedy. Five justices maintain that this process and the recount must adhere to the official deadline for certifying electoral college votes: midnight, Dec. 12..."

AlphaLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

fen write:
Hey, are you still ignorant about Saddam's rape rooms and torture chambers?

Never was. I knew of them and was against them when Daddy Bush and the Republicans were backing Saddam Hussein in 1988 when Saddam gassed the Kurds.

And I have been opposed to the rape rooms and the torture rooms operated by the US government in Iraq and elsewhere by Bush and Cheney.

You, however, make excuses for those torture and rape rooms. You have an opportunistic morality.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

The case decided by the court was initiated by Gore. If Gore had not initiated it, the matter would not have been "decided by the USSC," because there would have been no judgement below from which Bush could appeal. You're trying to argue that Gore's decision to file the suit did not lead directly to the Supreme Court's ruling on the same suit, which isn't just wrong but logically absurd.

No disrespect intended, Simon, but you are hardly the person to pass judgment on issues of logic. It is correct that the case in question was initiated by Gore. However, your argument from this point forward is logically flawed.

Once initiated, there was no necessity that the case end up before the USSC. Surely you understand this. The trajectory of events was determined by many factors including obviously the decision of the Florida Supreme Court and the decision by Team Bush to appeal. As I stated clearly before, Bush was an active participant in the legal maneuvers that led to Bush v. Gore. To claim otherwise is dishonest. It was Bush who said "I want this to be decided by the US Supreme Court." There was no requirement that Bush appeal. He could have let the recount proceed. However, Team Bush made a strategic decision to appeal the decision of the Florida Supreme Court. Therefore an objective, honest observer would conclude that both Bush and Gore were actively responsible for the case ending up before the USSC.

And your idea that filing an appeal constitutes initiating a case is just plain weird.

What's particularly weird is that I never claimed anything of the sort. This is pure fabrication by you.

Does your identify depend so much on proving that Bush stole the 2000 election that you're willing to say anything, no matter how absurd, to defend the erroneous position that the Supreme Court decided the election after Bush brought in the lawyers?

Again, Simon, you're fabricating. I've made no claim that Bush "stole" the 2000 election. Nor have I made any absurd claims. Your defense of Scalia relies on the ridiculous notion that Bush passively watched Gore pursue legal action and sought no legal remedies himself. Facts are not on your side in making that argument.

Really? Still - after losing an intervening election made it a moot point?

Simon, you've lost the plot here. Gore didn't lose an "intervening election." Nor does an "intervening election" make Scalia's inability to honestly and objectively acknowledge and admit what led to Bush v. Gore a "moot point."

Simon said...

FLS, you mean tried nice figures or tried women who are a little bit fruitloops?

madawaskan - I think that the way he talks about the subject is unhelpful. I don't think that he's wrong about the case, or that his approach to talking about it isn't understandable, but I don't think it's the most helpful way to talk about the case. I agree with you that the public needs to be reminded that it was Gore who filed the case, and that the 7-2 vote on the violation is often glossed over by liberals anxious to get to the 5-4 vote on the remedy - I just don't think Scalia's approach to discussing the case - particularly in contrast to his readiness to talk about many other long-past cases - is the best way to serve those goals. As I said above, his prickliness is all too readily misapprehended by critics as evasiveness. I do think the result was sound, even though I base that conclusion on the Rehnquist concurrence not the per curiam.

BTW, I thought you'd been around long enough to know that it's very unlikely that I am "way more critical of Scalia now than you were/are of Stevens...." There's a reason why my comments appear to the left of a picture of Justice Scalia embossed with the word "sensei," you know, and why my email address pronounces me an acolyte of Justice Scalia. It's not intended to be ironic. I just don't slavishly follow his lead on every detail is all.

Fen said...

Alpha: You, however, make excuses for those torture and rape rooms. You have an opportunistic morality.

Huh? You've gone fruitloops again.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

Don't forget Gore tossing out absentee military ballots

Really Fen? Gore had the power to toss out ballots? Do you want to rephrase that sentence so it has some connection to reality?

AlphaLiberal said...

(Reposted due to mistyping).

Simon, thanks for admitting that Bush was the first to go to court. It's not a red herring, wingers have said for years that Gore took the dispute to the courts to begin with. They say it in this very thread.

I understand your point otherwise, and am not arguing it. I still think that what I originally said is correct:
Newsflash: The case was called "Bush v Gore." That means that Bush initiated the action.

Are you disputing that Bush "initiated the action"? Gore didn't take it to the US Supreme Court. Nor did Gore take the election to court to begin with.

Bush took it to the courts, including to the Supreme Ct.

Fen said...

[Bush] could have let the recount proceed.

Why would he do that, when it was so obvious that the Dem-controlled counting boards were cheating?

AlphaLiberal said...

And, I would like to point out that my point substantiated with timelines above shows that Scalia was ignorant or lying in the comment which is the title of this thread:

"It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts.'"

Scalia has no credibility left. Can a Justice be impeached?

madawaskan said...

Simon-

Ya maybe I was just trying to keep ya from feeding Alpha is all-

heh.

But come on-after Steven's Swanson like performance-I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille I think your harshing on my boy-Scalia.

Maybe I'm his biggest fan?

Whadda ya think of that?

Sometimes it takes an Italian and ya Scalia is a little more street than the rest of the gang.

I like it.

therefore I am wresting from you the crown of-

President of the Scalia Fan Club at Althouse.


Touche!

{don't respond to this actually it'll be more educational for all of us for you to get back at it with Alpha but my god Alpha is a machine..}

Fen said...

Cyrus: Really Fen? Gore had the power to toss out ballots? Do you want to rephrase that sentence so it has some connection to reality?

I'm guessing you want to host a 30 paragraph discussion over the definition of "toss". Not interested. My 3:28 post explains what I'm talking about. Read it again.

dannyboy said...

No disrespect intended, Simon, but you are hardly the person to pass judgment on issues of logic.

Well in all fairness, the only person who is imminently qualified to do that is Mr. Spock.

I mean, he is like the master of logic. The rest of us are mere grasshoppers.

Ok, Simon is pretty smart so I'll elevate him to a cricket.

Liberals are Democrats are designated locusts just because of herd mentality. You know, mass swarm, eat up all the food planted by productive capitalist pigs and move on to the next field.

I think I'm going to the bar. My tummy is grumbling so I think steamed clams on the half shell washed down with a Heineken or two and all with be right with the world. If the stars are in line, I might have a clam for a nightcap as well.

Night all. Stay frosty.

Simon said...

Alpha,
"Simon, thanks for admitting that Bush was the first to go to court."

It's not much of an admission, though, because as mentioned above, the case that Bush filed was completley separate to, and was already terminated, before Gore filed the case decided as Bush v. Gore.

"I still think that what I originally said is correct: ... The case was called "Bush v Gore." That means that Bush initiated the action. Are you disputing that Bush "initiated the action"? Gore didn't take it to the US Supreme Court."

The case title means that Bush was the appellant in the court that decided the case. It does not mean - and I do dispute - that Bush initiated the action. You don't "initiate" a case by appealing one filed by someone else. You "initiate" a case by becoming a plaintiff in a trial court - and by that standard, Gore initiated Bush v. Gore. To return once again to the analogy, you do not "initiate" a fight by defending yourself after someone else has thrown the first punch; one might conclude that a criminal defendant "initiates" their case by committing the crime rather than the saying that the prosecutor initiated it by filing an indictment, but no one would argue that the convict initiates the case by filing an appeal after they're convicted. That's an extraordinary distortion of the meanings of those words.


"Nor did Gore take the election to court to begin with. Bush took it to the courts, including to the Supreme Ct."

If by that all you mean is that Bush also filed a separate suit, one whose conclusion predated the filing of Gore's, then I don't contend otherwise. I do note, however, that Bush's case wasn't the one that decided the election - the Bush v. Gore case was initiated by Plaintiff-Appellee Gore.

Simon said...

Alpha - re whether Justices be impeached: Yes.

madawaskan said...

Damn

I meant *you're harshing*


O h ya and Cedarford-

You are like a ballerina with a crutch- lose the crutch and you could be a thing of beauty to behold.
{you know try going for two weeks without mentioning religions or peoples origins.}

You know what though I've actually discussed you at length off line.

I tell them that you are smart, witty, knowledgeable and well educated and they tell me that you for all that are still absolutely ruined...

that you will never ever lose that crutch.

You're like a book that I always want to read but you always tell me the same ending-first!

And with that riddle hopefully I'm off!

Fen said...

Simon, which suit are you guys talking about? Was it before this:

MONDAY, NOV 13th, 10AM: Volusia County sues to extend certification deadline. Lawyers for Palm Beach County, Gore campaign join suit. Bush lawyers join Florida to block extension.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/election/magtimeline.htm

Fen said...

or this:

November 11, 2000
• The Bush camp seeks a federal injunction to stop hand recounts of ballots in several Florida counties because of alleged equal protection and other constitutional violations.

former law student said...

don't let fruitloopsitude deter you.

Original Mike said...

Cyrus said: [Bush] could have let the recount proceed.

Fen's 4:06pm response is spot-on. I was in favor of recounting at the beginning (you know, "let's get it right"), but watching the live video of the Broward County election board performing a recount turned my opinion around 180-degrees.

Fen said...

Alpha: I clearly remember being pissed at him for saying the military didn't have to follow the rules for participating in the democracy, at the time.

Missed this one. Thanks for demonstrating Democrat hypocrisy, Alpha. In Florida's 2000 recount:

1) Democrats insisted the intent of the voter should be discerned, not the actual vote. That dimple on the edge of the ballot? Obviously a vote for Gore.

2) A Marine's absentee vote is tossed out because his signature [signed on a ship being tossed about by storms] doesn't EXACTLY match up with his recorded one.

And Alpha has the audacity to be pissed that the "military didn't have to follow the rules for participating in the democracy". Thats rich. And the core problem with the recounts - ballots were not treated equally.

If we applied the standard Alpha wanted for the military to the rest of Florida, there would never have been hand counts.

How do you square that Alpha?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

Why would he do that, when it was so obvious that the Dem-controlled counting boards were cheating?

I suspect you are using the term "cheating" loosely here. Using a stricter definition of "cheating", would you care to provide details (i.e., evidence) on how counting boards were "cheating?"

BTW, it's clear why Team Bush petitioned the USSC, and it had nothing to do with "cheating" by "counting boards." When Harris certified the vote on November 26, Bush was ahead of Gore. Bush had nothing to gain by letting a recount (fair or otherwise) proceed.

Fen said...

Not to mention the standards changed day to day, depending on how it helped Gore.

"Vote counters can count a partly removed chad, and then an almost-removed chad, and then a mark, a dimple, an indentation, a "pregnancy." Standards are announced, altered, announced and altered again. Questionable ballots are decided by Democratic-dominated canvassing boards."

Monday: We're recounting a county that went for Bush. Pregnant chads don't count as a vote.

Tuesday: We're recounting a county that went for Gore. Pregnant chads DO count as a vote.

What a farce. Bottom line, again, the Democrats tried to steal a presidential election and got busted.

AlphaLiberal said...

Fen, I provided the historical record above (search on "timeline") showing which campaign first took the election dispute to court and it was the Bush-Cheney campaign. You tried to show otherwise, but to your credit, came around when you admitted Bush was the first to take it to the courts.

Re this comment from you:
Alpha: [And I have been opposed to the rape rooms and the torture rooms operated by the US government in Iraq and elsewhere by Bush and Cheney. ] You, however, make excuses for those torture and rape rooms. You have an opportunistic morality.

Huh? You've gone fruitloops again.


Makes more sense when it's read in context, added here. Or have you spoken out against the torture meticoulously planned by Cheney, Rice, Powell and top Bush officials? And approved by Bush? The torture that over 100 people died from.

If Rhenquist and Scalia had not handed the Presidency to Bush, our nation would have been spared the shame of being torturers. A lot went wrong since that bad call.

Fen said...

I suspect you are using the term "cheating" loosely here.

"Sworn statements under oath begin to emerge: Ballots are found with taped chads; ballots are sabotaged, used as fans, found bearing Post-It Notes, dropped, misplaced. Eyewitnesses say there is clear and compelling evidence of distorting, reinventing, miscounting votes."

You tell me Cyrus - three Republicans retreat behind closed doors to hand count ballots in secret. You would have been cool with that?

Bush had nothing to gain by letting a recount (fair or otherwise) proceed.

A fair re-recount would have dismissed all the "selected not elected" nonsense your side used to marginalize his presidency. So the claim Bush had nothing to gain is false.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

I'm guessing you want to host a 30 paragraph discussion over the definition of "toss". Not interested. My 3:28 post explains what I'm talking about. Read it again.

No Fen, my interest is in accuracy, not volume. If absentee ballots were tossed, it was on the basis that they did not strictly meet the standards required of absentee ballots. Neither Gore nor Bush could toss ballots arbitrarily.

It's a shame that vigorously challenging ballots became part of the post-election strategy of both sides. But to be fair, both the Gore and Bush camps played this game--both camps were interested in disqualifying some ballots and counting others, in spite of technical requirements. To claim that this strategy was employed only by Gore is to be blinded by partisanship.

knoxwhirled said...

Poor Scalia looks like he has a mullet in that still.

cubanbob said...

It is amazing how dishonest the lefties are. Not only do they lie to themselves but worse are arrogant enough to demand everyone accept their bullshit no matter the facts.
As a FL voter in 2000, at ground zero in the heart of the condo commanders I can tell you none of the old people voting had any problem in casting the ballots. This is pure unadulterated liberal bullshit to justify Gore's loss to themselves. There were no lines and
none had a problem voting.The oldsters and condo commanders were voting quite fine and without incident. Indeed as per usual democrats were handing flyer's at the polling station contrary to election law. Typical of every election here.

Let see: Gore concedes, then un-concedes. He files suit to cherry pick the votes of a few counties that are democrat majority with democrat voting officials running the election. Not all of Florida's 67 counties only the selected counties. The Florida law at the time was to have had him required to recount all 67 counties. The Fl supreme court, a body rife with liberal idiots and incompetents ruled that Gore could change the election rules after the fact for that election. Cute, but then what can you expect of liberals? Furthermore to enhance his chances he sued to disqualify military absentee voters. Again what can you expect from the traditional party of treason?
Bush files a counter suit to apply the existing law,wow!, what a concept!, a complete recount or no recount. Gore's lawyers by dragging this out instead of simply asking for a recount under the existing rules, by trying too be to clever by half dragged the matter out so far that the Florida Electoral College could not have been in place in time for it to cast its vote for the President, thus creating a crises and throwing the election to the Congress to pick a president. Way to go Al. What a P.O.S. A sore loser if ever there was one. The Supreme Court saw the scam for what is was and nipped this attempted election theft in the bud. Gore has no one to blame but himself. He could have walked away with class after his concession speech and like Nixon come back another day. Indeed had it not been for this debacle, he would be a far more formidable candidate than either Obama or Hilary. But no, he had to try to steal an election. Could not accept the fact the American people would not accept their place and rubber stamp the vanguard of the proletariat. Therefore for their own good, if they truly understood where their interest lie,he just had to rig the voter for their own good. Gore lost and he knew it. That is why he tried the selective county scam. Lo and behold, after the election the Miami Herald (no friend to republicans)and several other news organizations equally un-friendly did a recount of all the ballots legitimately cast and Bush won the recount. Gore had to have known this, this is why he first conceded. Only after reconsidering the Big Lie tactic did he think he could have pulled this stunt. Typical of lefty fascists. Elections are only a process to manage affairs for the Greater Good. Everything necessary to advance the cause no matter the legalities or the ethics of the matter.

Why is that liberals can never explain if the Clinton Administration was so good,so popular, why did not Gore win by a landslide? They had to pay bums to vote in Milwaukee, bring out the dead in Chicago, extend the voting hours in St.Louis and the get the illegal vote in Los Angeles. They are too stupid and incompetent to steal an election but Bush is a dummy. Typical democrats, who are you going to believe,us or your lying eyes? I wonder what crap they will claim after McCain wins in November.

Nuclear said...

ugh, the video provider you embedded for the lose. watched an extended commercial about soup, clicked "comment" to whine about it, will probably have to watch it again once I'm done commenting.

/whine

=darwin

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

It's not much of an admission, though, because as mentioned above, the case that Bush filed was completley separate to, and was already terminated, before Gore filed the case decided as Bush v. Gore.

Actually, I don't believe this is correct. The case filed by Bush (Siegel v. LePore) was terminated on December 6 when the 11th Circuit Court denied Bush's request for an injunction to stop manual recounts in four Florida counties. This is well after Gore filed the case eventually decided as Bush v. Gore.

blake said...

Why are you guys arguing with Alpha Liberal?

This is the guy who excoriated Althouse because she didn't jump on the John McCain plagiarism story.

You know. The fake John McCain plagiarism story?

All he does is gather daily talking points and "tu quoques" against his perceived political enemies. If he can't wriggle out of being wrong, he just ignores the topic completely.

He's not worth the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome you might get from typing to him.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

You tell me Cyrus - three Republicans retreat behind closed doors to hand count ballots in secret. You would have been cool with that?

I'm sorry Fen, but your hypothetical example does not constitute evidence of cheating.

A fair re-recount would have dismissed all the "selected not elected" nonsense your side used to marginalize his presidency. So the claim Bush had nothing to gain is false.

Fen, there's NO evidence that Team Bush had ANY interest in a recount, fair or otherwise. Team Bush consistently took legal action to head off recounts of any sort. There was nothing for Bush to gain from recounts.

Finally, "my side" was not represented in the Florida post-election fiasco. And as far as I'm concerned, Bush is completely responsible for the significant failures of his presidency. The "uniter" has consistently failed to deliver on that promise, and ultimately he has only himself to blame.

Revenant said...

Why are you guys arguing with Alpha Liberal?

Or Cyrus, for that matter. Like there's any hope of a reasonable argument?

Seven Machos said...

Blake -- You are right. It is a waste of time. Sometimes, though, it's fine to just take batting practice. You know?

I mean, you take a guy like Madison Man. I disagree with him on a lot. Or Rev. I disagree with him less, but I there are times. Those guys are capable of either making you change your mind or taking you to the woodshed. Alpha is like a grooved 40 mph fastball that you know is coming.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cubanbob wrote:

As a FL voter in 2000, at ground zero in the heart of the condo commanders I can tell you none of the old people voting had any problem in casting the ballots.

Wow, you witnessed EVERY "old" person voting in Florida and you know that NONE of them had a problem casting a ballot? Out of curiousity, how many "old" people cast ballots throughout Florida and how many observers did you employ so that you could monitor the voting of every "old" person in the state?

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- Let's think about this a different way. Clinton governed, by his own admission, as an Eisenhower Republican. He passed NAFTA. He signed welfare reform. We had a real nice economic run. His foreign policy was a fiasco but no one was aware of the scope of its awfulness at the time.

Why was the race even close across the country, let along in Florida?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Revenant wrote:

Or Cyrus, for that matter. Like there's any hope of a reasonable argument?

Or Revenant, for that matter. Like there's any hope of a substantive argument?

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- Everyone agrees here, it seems to me, that it was a tie. Somebody had to win and it was Bush.

Through all your ranting, you have made no case that there was no tie, nor that Gore should have prevailed under the tie. His own tactics made that impossible for him. By the end of the thing, he wanted the statewide recount he never wanted.

Moreover, I think you should admit that there was questionable behavior on both sides, in about the same doses. There clearly was.

As I asked you 130 posts ago, what is your point? Are you seriously arguing that Gore should have won the tie under his ever-changing tactics?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

seven machos wrote:

Why was the race even close across the country, let along in Florida?

I remember reading an interesting pre-election poll in 2000 in which respondents overwhelmingly identified Bush as the candidate most likely to keep the economic "good times" rolling. In retrospect it's laughable, but that consideration was certainly one factor going for Bush. I'm sure that Clinton fatigue also helped Bush. And I think there's general agreement that Gore ran a terrible campaign. However, there are a lot of other significant factors that cost Gore support (e.g., defection of a significant block of voters to Nader).

To put this in context, remember that Clinton won only 43.0% of the national vote in 1992 and only 49.2% of the national vote in 1996. Gore's 48.4% of the national vote in 2000 doesn't represent a big drop off from Clinton's percentage from 1996.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- I personally don't think presidents have much to do with economic booms and recessions. They can help at the margins. They can, of course, really screw it up. I don't think Bush or Clinton really affected the economy. Let's also remember that the late Clinton administration saw an economic slowdown. We can agree to disagree on that one.

Also, you make my point with your argument that 43 percent of the voters ever voted for Clinton. This country is not a leftist, big-government-loving place. It's laughable to propose that a candidate would have to cheat to win running anywhere outside of a few urban and campus areas here on a generally Republican platform (e.g., lower taxes, less government, fewer immigrants, against abortion, etc.)

Synova said...

I'm still nauseous over AL's equivalency of Saddam's rape rooms, gassing villages, genocide, children's prisons and human abattoirs to us having no rape rooms and some accidental deaths while in custody.

Really... if those are even in the same universe of human experience we're all amoral constructs with about as much human value as a bug.

Pretending there is anything similar going on doesn't make a person more moral or entitled to pat himself on the back. It makes him anchorless and pathetic.

Synova said...

Probably has something to do with just watching a documentary on Darfur with pictures.

No doubt, if we wiped out the Sudanese government to stop what is happening still in Darfur AL would pretend that 100 people dying while in our custody was the moral equivalent to the pictures I just saw.

somefeller said...

Fen said, a ways up the chain:
Nope. I defend activists breaking up an illegal counting scheme with threats of violence.


Do you really believe this? Because, if you do, you are endorsing mob rule. Think about it. Who among this group of "activists" gets to decide what is legal and what isn't? The leader of the group? A vote of the group?

We have a mechanism for dealing with this sort of thing and deciding whether a governmental act is illegal or not, and that is the court system (which is what everyone's been debating today). If the Republicans thought a particular count was illegal, they could have gone to the courthouse and gotten an injunction to stop it. They did not do so in this case, and instead resorted to force -- the infamous Brooks Brothers Riot, in other words, they resorted to mob rule.

Admittedly, this Riot was pretty low on the scale of ass-kicking riots as far as these things go (I've seen worse outside of bars on more than a few occasions), but it still was an act of thuggery and low-level political violence, pure and simple. It wasn't an act by high-minded people trying to stop an illegal action, and it certainly wasn't necessary force, like someone tackling a purse snatcher who's trying to escape rather than calling the cops. People can debate the legal minutia of Bush v. Gore and the other legal wranglings going on in Florida in 2000, but I don't think anyone can reasonably defend the Brooks Brothers Riot, even if one thinks the vote count that they stopped was illegal.

Seven Machos said...

Feller -- What's your average war protest on the scale? That shit don't count, right?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

seven machos wrote:

Through all your ranting, you have made no case that there was no tie, nor that Gore should have prevailed under the tie. His own tactics made that impossible for him. By the end of the thing, he wanted the statewide recount he never wanted.

That isn't a topic I've been discussing. Nor is it a topic I find particularly interesting. The vote was undeniably close. That is, presumably, why no one is arguing about it.

Furthermore, I have not been suggesting that Gore should have won. I haven't discussed the merits of the various recount schemes or the legal arguments made in favor of or in opposition to these schemes. I've been primarily discussing Scalia's explanation/excuse for the USSC's involvement in the matter.

An honest and objective observer would conclude that the case came before the USSC because Gore filed suit in the Florida courts, Team Bush didn't like the Florida SC decision and rather than allow a recount to proceed, they appealed to the USSC. A fairly simple and obvious explanation I would have thought, but apparently not to Scalia and Simon.

Moreover, the broader implication in the claim by Scalia that "Al Gore made it a judicial question" is that Al Gore alone pursued legal remedies in Florida recount disputes. That notion is factually incorrect. Both Bush and Gore sought judicial solutions in the Florida election fiasco. Even Simon will admit that.

Moreover, I think you should admit that there was questionable behavior on both sides, in about the same doses. There clearly was.

Well, I've stated repeatedly that both Bush and Gore sought judicial solutions. I've also stated, in response to a comment by Fen, that both Bush and Gore camps tried to disqualify some ballots and count others, in spite of technical requirements. So it seems that your complaint here is pretty empty. I've clearly identified similar behavior from both Bush and Gore in seeking favorable solutions in the Florida vote count.

As I asked you 130 posts ago, what is your point? Are you seriously arguing that Gore should have won the tie under his ever-changing tactics?

My argument has NOTHING to do with who should have won in Florida. If you really care what my point is, maybe you should read my posts a bit more carefully.

somefeller said...

Well, Seven Machos, the average war protest is a peaceful one (right of assembly to petition one's government, and all that), with no broken glass, bloody noses or the threat of either, so no, that shit doesn't count in the case of the average war protest, because it's not violent or even threatening violence.

Also, even the more raucous protests don't actually have any real importance to anyone other than the participants (I'm not a fan of protest politics in general, and I certainly don't condone the ones that turn violent), but the Brooks Brothers Riot in question had real ramifications. In any case, my question still stands to Fen. If you want to answer it yourself, be my guest, but I'm more interested in what he has to say.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

seven machos wrote:

I personally don't think presidents have much to do with economic booms and recessions. They can help at the margins. They can, of course, really screw it up.

Well, economic "booms and recessions" are only a small part of the national economic picture. It's clear that politicians have great influence over things such as government revenue and government spending. We also know that government fiscal policy has serious consequences for many other economic factors. And in this regard, it's pretty clear that Bush has, in your words, "really screwed it up."

BTW, since we're discussing the situation at the end of the 2000 presidential campaign, it's worthwhile revisiting two aspects of Bush's pre-inaugural economic thinking. First, Bush/Cheney were keen to talk up the possibility of a recession in the run up to the election. It's interesting now that Team Bush is equally keen to discourage speculation about a possible recession. Apparently they've changed their minds about the wisdom of talking openly about an economic downturn. It's fun to see how quickly principles change in the service of self-interest.

Second, among his many campaign pledges, Bush bragged about how he would respond to a rise in oil prices by "jawboning" OPEC members to lower oil prices. I don't know if you've followed oil prices since Bush became president, but how do you think his "jawboning" is working so far?

Seven Machos said...

Thousands and thousands of people taking to the streets in funny clothes to protest the Iraq War turned up no broken glass and no broken noses? Not one anarchist got in a fight with pro-war types? Not one beer bottle dropped on the sidewalk?

Is that seriously your position, Cyrus?

Anyway, the Boston Tea Party? Rosa Parks? Code Pink hassling the Marines in Berkeley? Those acts of civil disobedience you vehemently oppose as well, right?

I just want to be sure where you stand.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Thousands and thousands of people taking to the streets in funny clothes ...

Is that seriously your position, Cyrus?


Are you talking to me or to an imaginary Cyrus? I don't remember posting anything about people in funny clothes. It's true that I think Bush is a clown and clowns wear funny clothes, but I still don't see a clear connection to anything I've written here.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus, my utmost apologies. I was responding to Feller, not you. You make some good points. Other, you seem to be angry just to be angry. So Bush couldn't talk OPEC into lowering gas prices. Could Gore have done so?

Ultimately, you seem not to like Bush. Many don't. I have my own problems with his presidency. That doesn't mean he wasn't duly elected.

Fen said...

don't think anyone can reasonably defend the Brooks Brothers Riot, even if one thinks the vote count that they stopped was illegal.

Riot? Are we talking about the same thing?

WaPo: "This was when dozens of "local protesters," actually mostly Republican House aides from Washington, chanted "Stop the fraud!" and "Let us in!" when the local election board tried to move the re-counting from an open conference room to a smaller space."

/edit - WaPo conveniently omits the fact that the election board tried to move into a smaller space behind closed doors where they could "count" the ballots in secret.

kimsch said...

selected, not elected

It's going to happen in August with the democrat nominee being selected by the super delegates - those professional politicians chosen to avoid another McGovern debacle - selecting the nominee.

Karma's a bitch.

Trooper York said...

Tarzan had been living alone in his jungle kingdom for 30 years with only apes for company, and suitably shaped holes in trees for sex. Jane, a reporter, came to Africa in search of this legendary figure. Deep in the wilds she came to a clearing and discovered Tarzan vigorously thrusting into a jungle oak with his mighty member.
She watched in awe for a while. Finally, overcome by this display of animal passion and awesome timber Jane came out into the open and offered her juicy pink vortex to him.
As she reclined on the wild grass Tarzan ran up to her and gave her a big kick in the crotch.
In pain she screamed "What the hell did you do that for?"

Tarzan replied, "Always check for squirrels."

Revenant said...

They did not do so in this case, and instead resorted to force -- the infamous Brooks Brothers Riot, in other words, they resorted to mob rule.

Nobody was hurt, nobody was arrested, no property was damaged, and the election commissioners denied having been intimidated into stopping the recount. Some "riot".

Fen said...

Yah, even the Wapo article puts riot in scare quotes.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31074-2005Jan23.html

BradDad said...

Alpha:

You're kidding, right?

The Supreme Court case is titled "Bush v. Gore" because Bush requested review by the United States Supreme Court - on appeal, the appellant is always listed first.

That doesn't mean he STARTED the litigation that's made it to the US Supreme Court.

Gore's litigation strategy was to file lawsuits seeking recounts in counties which had voted for him - counties where "finding" additional votes would (most likely) cut his deficit.

What was particularly odious about the litigation is the people doing the recount were making up the rules knowing how their decisions would affect the contest.

The Wisconsin election referenced earlier is a perfect example of the electoral fraud Gore was inviting - - - - "We know what the numbers are; we know the deficit our candidate faces; we know how many additional votes for our guy we have to find - - so we'll keep counting until we get them."

Gore apologists have made a habit of attacking Scalia, et al. as partisan hacks .... why, I think I've even seen those words in the comments here.

I fully understand Scalia's lack of patience with such asses.

cubanbob said...

"Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cubanbob wrote:

As a FL voter in 2000, at ground zero in the heart of the condo commanders I can tell you none of the old people voting had any problem in casting the ballots.

Wow, you witnessed EVERY "old" person voting in Florida and you know that NONE of them had a problem casting a ballot? Out of curiousity, how many "old" people cast ballots throughout Florida and how many observers did you employ so that you could monitor the voting of every "old" person in the state?
5:53 PM"

Wow! You really are a lefty prevaricating moron! Here is a hint: at the time I voted in a precinct in the North Dade County area,two miles south of Hallandale (South Broward County) on A 1 A.
The voting demographic is nearly 100% democrat, the oldsters for the most part vote in their condo buildings (with all the union guys handing out flyer's at the entrance to the polling station). The median voters age is near death. They have been voting democrat since FDR. Stalin could be running as a democrat and they would still be voting democrat. They only know and care about two things: social security and medicare. Thats it. There might have been 3 republican votes cast in that precinct, mine, my wife's and one other non-brain dead soul.

Funny thing that every time there is an election vote scandal it always is in democrat precincts and in counties that democrats run the election board. As for your other litigation babble, please! When you boil it down, the US Supreme Court smacked down the FL Supreme for making a blatant anti-US Constitutional ruling. What else could they have done? Anything less would have been a travesty of their obligations as justices to uphold the US Constitution. You might have not been aware of this, the states and their constitutions are required to adhere to the US Constitution. It is a requirement of the North West Ordinance which was enacted by Congress and President Washington prior to the adoption of the constitution and re-enacted again by Congress and President Washington after the constitution was enacted. It is part of the basic organic law of the United States as restated by Congress in 1878. The US Supreme Court as the US Supreme Court had no choice but to smack down this entirely indefensible ruling by the FL Supreme Court.

Lets see, in 92 Clinton/Gore won only with the help of Perot taking 19% of the republican vote. In 96 he took 7% of the republican vote. In 2000 Gore did not have Bill's luck with a third party candidate pulling votes from the republicans. Being clever, Gore realized he had to invent a scam to get elected when the numbers showed the Great Man was not loved by the American people. Scalia pegged it right.
Gore has no one to blame but himself. Like I said before, why can't democrats explain Gore's inability to win a landslide? After all, Mr. Charm and Personality, Richard M. Nixon won a landslide in 72, what's Al poor excuse for living?

I can't wait for the riot in Denver and the smack down in November. Let the games begin.

Fen said...

Gore apologists have made a habit of attacking Scalia, et al. as partisan hacks ....

But they have no problem with the Florida re-count boards being dominated by Democrats, 2-1 at best.

The most ironic part is the Florida Supreme Court: 6 Dems, 1 Indi, 0 Repubs. Judicial Hacks so partisan that SCOTUS voided their ruling.

Yet the Gore apologists attack Scalia...

/voided: SCOTUS jargon for "you guys must have been smoking crack"

Bart said...

I made 'em. Yeah, I made 'em, just like a... like a tailor makes a suit of clothes. I take a nobody, see? Teach him what to say, get his name in the papers. Yeah. Pay for his campaign expenses. Dish out a lot of groceries and coal, get my boys to bring the voters out, and then count the votes over and over again until they added up right and he was elected. - Edward G. Robinson in "Key Largo", starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, (1948)

somefeller said...

Seven Machos, you asked about the average antiwar protest. There have been dozens if not hundreds of those over the past few years (most if not all of them pointless endeavors), and most of them have gone on with no violence or threat of violence. If you wanted to focus on a particular protest that was rather violent, you should have chosen your words more carefully, though I think I addressed such protests in my earlier comments.

Fen (and Revenant), I said in my comment that the Brooks Brothers Riot was a pretty weak one, when it came to violence. Trust me, I've seen worse. That doesn't change the fact that you (Fen, not Revenant) endorsed the use of the threat of violence by "activists" (your words) to shut down what such activists (not a court of law, which is the institution in our society that gets to review and define what's illegal) called an illegal action. Where I'm sitting, that's called mob rule, and you still haven't responded to that.

Fen said...

I need you to define what you mean by "threat of violence". Unless you have evidence I haven't seen, this was nothing more than a protest, a demonstration.

Fen said...

/bump for Alpha

1) Democrats insisted the intent of the voter should be discerned, not the actual vote. That dimple on the edge of the ballot? Obviously a vote for Gore.

2) A Marine's absentee vote is tossed out because his signature [signed on a ship being tossed about by storms] doesn't EXACTLY match up with his recorded one.


Again Alpha, what is your explanation for the double standard? You support the idea of military votes for Bush being thrown out on hyper-technicalities AND the idea of hand recounts to divine the "intent" of spoiled ballots for Gore.

Fen said...

Where I'm sitting, that's called mob rule, and you still haven't responded to that.

But as a hypothetical: yes, I would defend activists breaking up an illegal counting scheme with threats of violence. I understand where you're coming from, I understand the theoretical implications. I would still do it. Hell, if I wasn't responsible for my family, I would instigate the violence myself.

Just being honest. Call me what you will.

Revenant said...

Fen (and Revenant), I said in my comment that the Brooks Brothers Riot was a pretty weak one, when it came to violence. Trust me, I've seen worse.

Calling it a riot at all simply isn't honest. If that qualifies as a riot, there are few protests which don't.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

seven machos wrote:

So Bush couldn't talk OPEC into lowering gas prices. Could Gore have done so?

Gore didn't claim to be able to do so; Bush did. That's the difference.

Ultimately, you seem not to like Bush. Many don't. I have my own problems with his presidency. That doesn't mean he wasn't duly elected.

You are correct that I don't like Bush. He's proven to be dishonest and incompetent. However, I haven't argued that Bush "wasn't duly elected" so I see no point in your continued effort to try to assign that position to me.

(And since you seem concerned, I'm not angry.)

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cubanbob,

In other words, you're admitting that you're full of shit.

somefeller said...

Revenant, I'm not the one who named that particular incident the Brooks Brothers Riot. That phrase is simply the commonly used term for that incident. If you have a problem with that term, take it up with the committee in charge of naming of riots, not me. Also, I was responding to Fen's own characterization of that incident as "activists breaking up an illegal counting scheme with threats of violence". The term "threats of violence" was his characterization, and I responded to it.

Fen, I'm glad you're being honest about your position, but let's be clear about what your position is, particularly since you understand my theory and its implications. You support mob rule, at least in circumstances like the one being discussed, plain and simple. I'm not going to try and talk you out of that position or argue that even if you are right on the general principle, the facts on the ground in this situation didn't justify such actions while such actions might be justified elsewhere. Your position is what it is. However, this is something I and I think everyone else should keep in mind if at some later time you complain about some act of political vigilantism or someone using an "ends justifies the means" argument in favor of some political rough play.

Fen said...

Your position is what it is. However, this is something I and I think everyone else should keep in mind if at some later time you complain about some act of political vigilantism or someone using an "ends justifies the means" argument in favor of some political rough play.

Fair enough. But I'm curious what your solution would be. Do you think that alerting the authorities would have prevented that cheating? By the time the courts actually did something, it would be over and any evidence buried or discarded.

I guess my thought process runs like this: you witness a woman fighting off a mugger. Do you call 911 and wait, or do you call 911 and intervene? Because by the time the police arrive, the deed will have already been done.

somefeller said...

Fen, this was all a bunch of lawyers and politicians going at it with each other in public. All that had to be done was for the Republicans to go down the street (or maybe even in the same building, I don't know the location of the courts in that town) to file an injunction to stop the counting and start over. This isn't the mugger example (which I myself mentioned in my original comment) in which going to the authorities to deal with the situation isn't a realistic or timely solution to the problem.

Fen said...

All that had to be done was for the Republicans to go down the street (or maybe even in the same building, I don't know the location of the courts in that town) to file an injunction to stop the counting and start over

Are you sure about this? As you said, the protesters were all "lawyers and polticians". I find it hard to imagine they didn't consider doing exactly what you advise. And there had to be a good reason why they rejected it. Every politician knows that protests and demonstrations are the weakest form of political leverage.

Seven Machos said...

Jesus, Feller. You are really confused. You suggest that most -- most, you understand -- anti-war protests have gone on with no violence or threat of violence. You suggest that thousands of people marching in the streets doesn't have elements of mob rule.

On the other hand, this pretty weak protest in Florida with a few people in suits was an act of thuggery .

Face it, pal. You find protests against things you are against to be wonderful civil disobedience. You find protests against things you like to be thuggish, criminal, and violent.

The principles of free speech, free association, and the ability to seek redress don't matter to you. It's all about what side you are on.

somefeller said...

Fen, I don't know why they didn't go the other route. Maybe it's because things got out of hand that day and their blood got up and the old animal spirits kicked in, or maybe because they didn't give a damn about the rule of law and just wanted to give a good show of force for everyone to see who's boss and how serious they were. I suppose the explanation you prefer is based on where you sit.

On the other hand, Seven Machos, whether or not I think a particular protest is out of line or not isn't based on where I sit. You are the one who raised the issue of "the average antiwar protest", of which there have probably been thousands, from a few dozen people who get outside Halliburton's offices here in Houston from time to time to big, organized marches, like the one I saw and followed (didn't participate, I'm not one for protest politics, as I said above, and I wouldn't march with ANSWER or the Mumia crowd, even if we were on the same page of a given issue) in San Francisco back in 2006 while I was there on business. In all the examples I'm citing, as in the case of most of the antiwar protests that have gone on over the past few years, the protestors didn't surround and block egress and ingress from public buildings, pound on the doors and stop public officials from doing their job, all the time threatening (and sometimes providing, depending on who you ask) a punchup or two. In other words, they didn't do what was done in the Brooks Brothers Riot. Only a complete wuss would think that a bunch of people peaceably marching down a street (particularly if they had a parade permit) implicitly involves the threat of violence or mob rule, and the Brooks Brothers Riot, while it didn't involve massive amounts of people, had real impact (unlike the average antiwar protest). It showed what you can do if you have a few well-organized and motivated people on site at the right time and place.

As far as the consistency of my views on free speech and civil disobedience go, I haven't said anything that would back up your contention that I'm basing my judgments based on the political side I prefer, and you sure as hell haven't said anything to prove your contentions about me. No surprise on that front. Hey, here's some free advice, if you want to learn how to argue a point properly (you know, by marshaling evidence and using logic, not just making assertions and popping off attitude), watch Fen in action. He may be a right-wing radical with anger management issues who, worst of all, is from Dallas, but the guy does his work well.

Revenant said...

Revenant, I'm not the one who named that particular incident the Brooks Brothers Riot. That phrase is simply the commonly used term for that incident.

It is the term commonly used by Democrats to describe that incident. If you want to play the part of partisan Democrat, that's fine, but you shouldn't expect to be taken seriously when you do it.

somefeller said...

Revenant, is there another, non-partisan word that is commonly used to describe that incident? If there is one, I'd happily use it. It may just be an unfortunate fact that the partisan term has become the popular one in this case. Life is unkind that way sometimes.

While I'm not afraid of being a partisan Democrat (and proudly so), I generally prefer to avoid the partisan jargon and use the names people prefer to be called. For example, I call people who want abortion to be banned "pro-life", not "anti-choice" or "rat bastards". So, if there's better term for that incident, please tell me, and I'll start using that term. Just like I started referring to the War Between the States as the Civil War after I lived up east for awhile. (I kid.)

Fen said...

He may be a right-wing radical with anger management issues who, worst of all, is from Dallas, but the guy does his work well.

Hey now. I've got a ranch just to your west in Rosenburg. You insult Dallas again and I'll stampede 100 head of cattle through your living room.

I don't know why they didn't go the other route. Maybe it's because things got out of hand that day and their blood got up and the old animal spirits kicked in, or maybe because they didn't give a damn about the rule of law and just wanted to give a good show of force for everyone to see who's boss and how serious they were.

We're talkng about a group of lawyers and politicians here, not some street thugs like ANSWER, so that just doesn't follow. I think there's a legitimate reason why they didn't handle it in court. Don't know what it is yet, maybe I'll find the time to research it.

Fen said...

Well, a quick search has been fruitless.

Although I understand now why you seem misinformed re the Brooks Brothers "Riot" - there's not a single left of center site that informs WHY they demonstrated. Even WaPo refused to report that the board was taking the ballots behind closed doors to be counted in secret.

Here are two links to give you the other side of what happened. With actual quotes from those who participated in the protest, including security and police on the scene. I think you'll find that the Left has created a mythology around this incident.

Revenant said...

Revenant, is there another, non-partisan word that is commonly used to describe that incident?

"Demonstration".

Even the Democrat-dominated press generally refers to the incident as a demonstration or protest.

somefeller said...

Fen, even if one takes the stories from Human Events and World Net Daily (sources which, as I'm sure you'd agree, aren't necessarily unbiased here, and here are some other descriptions) as being correct, the actions of the canvassing board, even if illegal, were not of the type that couldn't be dealt with via an injunction or a recount ordered by a court. If the concern was that GOP ballots were being fed into a paper shredder, I could see the point for immediate action, but even the stories you cite don't allege that. I'll stick with my original point, which is that the Brooks Brothers Riot was an extralegal act of low-level political thuggery, which was not necessary and which could have been dealt with via legal means. It obviously wasn't the New York City Draft Riots or anything like that, but it was the use of force to get a political end achieved.

As far as naming the incident goes, Revenant, I haven't heard about the incident being referred to as the Dade County Demonstration or something like that in the general vernacular, though I did find a reference to the "Brooks Brothers Protest" from one of its participants. I'm not seeing that term used commonly, so for now I'll stick with the term I've been using.

Fen said...

even if one takes the stories from Human Events and World Net Daily (sources which, as I'm sure you'd agree, aren't necessarily unbiased

We've been over this already. If MSM outlets like WaPo had presented both sides of the issue fairly, I wouldn't need to rely on these secondary information brokers. I challenge you to find a left of center media that bothers to mention that the Dems were taking the ballots behind closed doors to be counted in secret.

were not of the type that couldn't be dealt with via an injunction or a recount ordered by a court.

You're making assumptions. It doesn't follow that all these lawyers, including a judge, didn't already think of that. I may try to contact one of the protesters directly to find out why they abandoned that route.

somefeller said...

The two articles I cited stated what the concerns were. Slate: "the Miami-Dade canvassing board made its (admittedly unfair) decision to move its manual recount to a room that could not accommodate reporters". Time: "It was the Dade vote counters, however, who provoked the Republican machine. Seemingly oblivious to GOP anger over the Florida Supreme Court ruling to allow manual recounts, the canvassing board tried an end run around the court's Sunday deadline by deciding to recount only some 11,000 of Dade's 654,000 ballots. Those disputed ballots, most of which did not register presidential votes in the machines, were thought to favor Gore. Worse, the board moved into a smaller room that cut off public observation." Also, I heard plenty of mainstream news outlets talking about what was at issue at that time, and for what it's worth, at that time I wasn't harshly anti-Bush and only interested in hearing bad stories about him and the GOP. In fact, I voted for him in 2000, a horrible act which I have spent much time and treasure trying to make karmic recompense for.

I'd be interested in hearing what one of the protestors would say about why they did what they did, but, quite frankly, I'm not sure that what you'll get would be anything other than spin. From what you've said elsewhere, you've been politically active long enough to know that the information one receives from political operatives (even operatives within one's own party) isn't necessarily the truth.