December 12, 2010

It was 10 years ago today. Bush v. Gore.

The much-maligned Supreme Court decision came down, crushing the dreams of those of us whose hearts raced at the legal arguments that took the sound-bite form "count all the votes" and rankled at the other side's sound bite: "the votes have been counted... they've been counted and recounted."

Oh! How I wish I'd been blogging then. There were such interesting details every step of the way. Legal angles that could have been explained and examined. The reporting on the TV news was so biased and stupid. Things would have played out a lot differently if there had been legal bloggers picking through the fast-accumulating wreckage hour by hour. Instead we got those TV sound bites.

Have you noticed that you don't hear about "sound bites" — "5-second sound bites" — anymore? There's "viral video" now. Viral video and internet memes... and bloggers to call bullshit on mainstream media.

Ah, but what fun it would have been to have been calling the bullshit in the late autumn of the year 2000.

133 comments:

Lem said...

The pregnant chad.

Bender said...

There were plenty of legal commentators on the election of 2000 and, to use your word, Al Gore's bullshit arguments and overall bullshittery that he enjoys spewing.

Lem said...

The Palm beach voters and their butterfly ballots that alleged to have mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan.

That was so funny.

mesquito said...

George Effin' Will:

The post-election lunacy could have been substantially mitigated by adhering to a principle of personal responsibility: Voters who cast ballots incompetently are not entitled to have election officials toil to divine these voters' intentions. Al Gore got certain Democratic-dominated canvassing boards to turn their recounts into unfettered speculations and hunches about the intentions of voters who submitted inscrutable ballots. Before this, Palm Beach County had forbidden counting dimpled chads.

Once Gore initiated the intervention of courts, the U.S. Constitution was implicated. On Nov. 7, Gore finished second in Florida's Election Day vote count. A few days later, after the state's mandatory (in close elections) machine recount, he again finished second. Florida law required counties to certify their results in seven days, by Nov. 14.

But three of the four (of Florida's 67) counties - each heavily Democratic - where Gore was contesting the count were not finished deciphering voters' intentions. So Gore's lawyers persuaded the easily persuadable state Supreme Court - with a majority of Democratic appointees - to rewrite the law. It turned the seven-day period into 19 days.

Many liberals underwent instant conversions of convenience: They became champions of states' rights when the U.S. Supreme Court (seven of nine were Republican appointees) unanimously overturned that extension. But the U.S. high court reminded Florida's court to respect the real "states' rights" at issue - the rights of state legislatures: The Constitution gives them plenary power to establish procedures for presidential elections.

Florida's Supreme Court felt emancipated from law. When rewriting the law to extend the deadline for certification of results by the four counties, the court said: "The will of the people, not a hyper-technical reliance upon statutory provisions, should be our guiding principle." But under representative government, the will of the people is expressed in statutes. Adherence to statutes - even adherence stigmatized as "hyper-technical" - is known as the rule of law.

pm317 said...

Viral video and internet memes... and bloggers to call bullshit on mainstream media.
--------------------

No amount of viral videos and internet memes thwarted the meteoric rise of the charlatan for whom you voted and still defend. You all got punked with or without calling bs on the mainstream media.

GMay said...

"The Palm beach voters and their butterfly ballots that alleged to have mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan."

You'd think the Palm Beach folks wuld have improved their process since those thinly veiled shennanigans. Sadly, the last election showed they have no intention of cleaning up their act.

Lem said...

I remember the Supremes released audio tapes of the arguments.. Sandra Day O'connor sounded perplexed at what the Florida Supremes were doing.

There was Florida Supreme named Parienti that was so in the tank for Gore it just drove me nuts.

I followed this thing pretty close.. second only to WJC's impeachment.

Pat said...

It feels a lot longer than 10 years ago.

AllenS said...

You would have a blogasm.

john said...

Right, gone are the "5-second soundbites".

Replaced by 2.5-second soundbites, in deference to changes in our attention span.

Lawgiver said...

Ha ha. I bought one of these Bush/Gore two-headed coins back then to commemorate the event. Maybe it will be worth something someday.

Luke Lea said...

Yea, sure. I followed it, too. Gore goofed, but Florida Republicans cheated like hell and the Supreme Court put party over principle -- though, in the long-run, ironically, it will make one-man-one-vote stronger. (Didn't you love the way the court said this decision should not be a precedent for the future!)

You're pathetic, Ann, and getting more so every day. Publicity is a whore like somebody said. You better hang it up.

GMay said...

The sockpuppet trolls are active today. Been hiding under rocks the past few days so now they get to come out to relive the glory days of their best delusions.

cubanbob said...

Yes Al Gore tried to cherry pick the counties and the votes. The FL Supreme Court which is composed then and now with progressive democrats blatantly went along with his scam. Nothing new in that.

What the lefties don't want to get is that in 2000 the public was not as enamored with Gore or Clinton as they would lead one to belive. Otherwise Bush would have lost in a landslide. Clinton was never that popular. If not for Perot getting 19% of the vote in 1992 Clinton would have never been elected. If Perot had not received 8.40% of the vote in 1996 the election would have been a statistical dead heat. And in that election it was the incumbent President in a not bad economy running against a tired old man, Bob Dole. Imagine if the republicans had actually run a younger and more energetic candidate and one not perceived as the tax collector for the welfare state. And yet Dole plus Perot equalled a dead heat. So much for Clinton's magical political skills (never mind the 1994 congressional blow out).

The 2000 election farce of hanging chads and democratic lawfare against democracy would have occurred in 1996 instead. Then again if Dole had been sworn in as President in 1996 does anyone not believe he would have lacked the stones to have Bin Laden terminated with extreme prejudice and perhaps aborting 9/11?

Comrade X said...

If Gore had won, there is no way he would have let global warming bullshit interfere with his presidency, because Earth is only in the balance when a Republican is in The White House.

sydney said...

That was when I became a Republican. After watching that farce of trying to divine voter intentions from incomplete ballot cards, I've never trusted a Democrat again.

rcocean said...

Like Nina, Althouse is stirring up old conflicts and old hatreds - but in a much more interesting way.

God, if we'd only had the Internet during the Bork hearing or Anita-hill or Iran Contra. MSM had so much power then, and we had to care what dummies like Nina Totenberg and Sam Donaldson thought.

Buchanan was so glad when Bush won, he didn't want to down in history as the man who elected Gore as POTUS.

Lem said...

If the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton was "an attempt to overturn an election", as contended by Clinton defenders at the time, what would you call Al Gore versus the State of Florida?

Also.. Is that question Socratic?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

AA said: Oh! How I wish I'd been blogging then. There were such interesting details every step of the way.

I was just thinking about the case the other day, and thinking that I wish someone like AA had been blogging then. Of course, did any of us have any idea what a blog was then? I didn't.

**************

It's facinating to me to think about how much the 2000 election probably impacted the direction of my life. It was my first election; I had always paid some attention, but only in soundbites. I signed up for Gallup daily tracking emails and voted eagerly, but had no real idea what was going on. I didn't vote in the primary, and I doubt that I could have told you how the electorial college worked at the time, nor could I have given anything approaching a mature explanation of why I chose who I chose.

I went to bed election night believing Gore had won, and not surprised by it. But then, the confusion. I started checking news updates regularly, looking for updates. I switched my car radio to the local talk station, which I'd never listened to before, in order to ensure that I would catch any breaking news, and started checking internet news sources frequently. Along the way, I picked up a lot of other things- the debates of the day, mundane as the rest of them were, caught my interest. I enjoyed talk radio and news more than I had considered before.

I was hooked, and September 11th, of course, hooked me more deeply. I became a complete policial junkie, constantly checking, eagerly debating. My growing interest in policy lead to an interest in law, which certainly impacted my later decision to go to law school, something I had never considered when SCOTUS was handing down Bush v. Gore.

If I hadn't seen that election, who knows?

- Lyssa

Lawgiver said...

I'll never forget that in 1999 ALGORE said, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

It doesn't get any better than that. Of course he needed teh internets to prove global warming. Thank God he didn't get elected.

rcocean said...

I refused to vote for anyone in 2000 - I hated all of them. But when Gore refused to concede, it had me rooting for Bush. Good grief, even Nixon had class enough not fight the result in 1960.

And that lame Florida Supreme court trying to do everything they could to throw the election to Gore - Florida law be damned. Not much difference between judges in Florida and NJ it seems.

edutcher said...

The two realities of that case the Lefties can never change - the Bush people wanted the law enforced as it was written and every recount still showed Dubya won.

Luke Lea reminds us that was when the Left went into full psycho mode.

Clyde said...

wv: carma

"It was Gore's carma to lose the election after the last-minute revelation of Bush's ancient DUI arrest."

Lem said...

Looking back on my internet musings..

As a baseball fan I'm familiar with the batter getting the butterflies. But now that things (like FBI files, sex, perjury, election results) that used to appear to be one thing and now are really NOT, can a gun nut for example call someone like Al Gore an election nut?
You see Al has vowed (in the form of an illustration) that them dimpled ballots will have to be pried form his cold dead hands. He wont give it up.

So, if you are a conservative NRA member and hold fast - you are nuts. But if you are a liberal who looses an election, don’t concede and sue to reverse the result - you are courageous. The spin is that this is Al's Alamo
.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, conservatives, that election was in fact a misfire. Rules are rules and all that, but liberals have some reason to bitch about what happened.

BJM said...

That Gore went court shopping and got trumped was popcorn worthy Kabuki.

Ironically Gore was the only Dem candidate who could effectively leverage the 2000 decision to his advantage in the 2004 race, most likely he would have beaten an embattled and increasingly unpopular Bush.

In all probability, Gore would be in his second term now. Would we be better or worse off?

reg said...

the difference 4 yrs made.when Dan Rather's fake but accurate memo surfaced, it took bloggers only hours to expose the fraud.

info said...

Whole episode was/is sad testament to negligent comprehension skills of much of electorate, Dems and media.
Simple bottom line: "You can't make up vote counting rules after the vote"
That is ALL the court decided...ignorant dems still pushing the "stole it" meme...and most libs still buying it

Chase said...

mesquito wins the thread.

Seriously, this is all that matters:

the will of the people is expressed in statutes. The courts are supposed to uphold the statutes, which is exactly what the United States Supreme Court did and the Florida Supreme Court repeatedly did not.

You can play on the exciting fringes and deep meanings all you law professors and lawyers want - that's why we pay you.

But you don't have top have a law degree to get the basic principals and purpose of the Constitution. You also don't need a law degree to recognize the smell of shit when it's flung at you as legal "reasoning".

Chase said...

but liberals have some reason to bitch about what happened.

Really?

No . . . I don't think so. At all.

Maguro said...

mesquito wins the thread.

No, George Will wins the thread.

Lem said...

There was a recount later by some newspapers that I believe included the NYT.. They also concluded that Bush had the votes.

Anybody please correct me if I'm wrong.

Chef Mojo said...

@Bob Ellison:

Rules are rules (...)

Conservative.

but

Liberal.

Liberals had nothing to complain about. The law prevailed, and every analysis since says Bush won in Florida. Liberals had every reason to be disappointed, but no reason to complain. And certainly no reason for 8 years of BDS based on Al Gore's clumsy and inept recount strategy. By proceeding as he did, Gore made a mockery of the law and the process, and the damage will endure.

mesquito said...

Yeah. George Will wins.

The question I always wished to pose is this. If 200,000 of Kerry's votes in Ohio were stolen, as was often alleged, would liberals have wished to overturn an election in which GWB won the popular vote by several million?

Bob Ellison said...

@Chef, I agree with your thumbnail exegesis on conservatism v. liberalism. It's not complete, but it's accurate.

However, there is an un-American quality to the fact that the winner of the most votes did not win the election. This is what really sticks in the liberal craw. If it were the other way around, it would stick in the conservative craw.

We learn fairness at an early age, and this election was unfair in several ways. The end result was correct, but there's no way the losing side would see it as totally fair.

Chip Ahoy said...

This discussion reminds me of NYT crossword I encountered when I was a wee lad knee-high to a grasshopper. Shut up, they were very big grasshoppers in these parts, okay? The puzzle is authored by Jeremiah Farrell who entered the Crossword Hall of Notoriety For Devious Constructions immediately upon publication. The puzzle is available here. You must download Litesoft's Across Light to solve it, but who doesn't have that on their hard drives already?

<spoiler alert>
The puzzle has two valid solutions for 39A, either BOBDOLE or CLINTON, depending on your proclivities in solving for the clue "lead story in tomorrow's newspaper (!), with 43A." The solution for 43A is ELECTED.

This required all of the clues that cross to also have valid alternate solutions.
They turn out to be

BAT / CAT Black Halloween animal
OUI / LUI French 101 word
BRA / IRA Provider of support, for short
YARD / YARN Sewing shop purchase
BIOS / BITS Short writings
BLAST / BOAST Trumpet
ERA / NRA Much debated political initials
<spoiler alert>

cokaygne said...

I swallowed the media's take that SCOTUS had given the election to Bush. There were no blogs around to cut through the bullshit.

Ever since 2000 the libs have been quietly pushing state legislatures to commit their states to awarding all the state's electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most popular votes nationwide. This is the ultimate bullshit. When the Democrats control both houses of your legislature and the governor's office, they'll bring it up. The media rarely cover this. If they do, they don't question it and see it as an answer to what happened in 2000. If they ever get states with a majority of electoral votes to sign on to this, God help us, we're doomed to an orgy of ballot-stuffing and phantom voters.

Don't think the recent election saved us from such idiocy. Let the GOP put Palin at the top of the ticket with a bigoted nut like Huckster or Newt the Grinch in 2012, as they very well might, and the Democrats will sweep the country.

The answer is for every state with more than one congressional district to do what Maine does, award one electoral vote to the winner of each district and two votes to the statewide winner. In that way fraud will swing few electoral votes for either party and likely will be offset by the other party's fraud elsewhere.

Lem said...

Found another archived nugget..

if counting every vote is so important (which it is to the best of our ability) how come Al has backed a change to the constitution that calls for the enumeration (census) of every citizen from an actual individual count to some statistical scheme? It's obvious that to Al you are not important enough to be counted, but HIS votes better be counted over and over and over again.

Today I would write that a little shorter.

Chef Mojo said...

@Bob Ellison:

The Constitution lays out how our elections are conducted, establishing a representational appointment of electors to represent the the individual states through the Electoral College. Whether you like it or not, or whether you think it is fair or not, that is the law of the land.

The Constitution is very clear that our elections are not decided by a popular vote. Instead we vote for electors. It's not complicated, and it makes an awful lot of sense in a union of individual states.

Fair? Here's another distinction between conservatives and liberals. Liberals believe life is should be fair. Conservatives know life isn't fair, and adapt to that very pertinent fact.

rcocean said...

Liberals - look at this way, if Gore hadn't lost, a Black man wouldn't be President right now.

You really won in the end.

Bob Ellison said...

@Chef--

Yes, I know. Thank you for the high-school-level lesson. Might I suggest that you think a little tiny bit about what I'm saying?

cokaygne said...

Blogs came into their own after 9/11. Your colleague, Megan McArdle, hooked me when she was blogging from the wreckage of the WTC and cutting through all the liberal cant.

Alan said...

What's your view of the decision, Ann? Not clear from your post whether you're supporting the decision in addition to disparaging the coverage.

george said...

I remember it as a time when the media control of the narrative was finally broken for good and the judicial activists finally suffered a setback after decades of steady progress in ignoring the rule of law. I think had Gore succeeded in stealing the election, as was clearly his aim, we would have had a Tea Party like movement much sooner than we did. You don't get to cherry pick where you want to count ballots and you don't get to pick which election laws you want to follow. Judges and election boards aren't put in place to divine voter's intentions like so many viziers casting about for the future of the country in the entrails of a fatted calf.

I had never before seen people in business suits banging on walls and demanding justice. It was a great moment in civil rights history. Middle class businessmen were nearly ready to riot in the streets and start dragging judges from their chambers. That day is still coming but the Supreme Court decision bought us some time to try to reel things back in.

Jay said...

Yes, "Sore/Loserman" would have been funny to blog about.

Oh, and knifing through the bullshit having Gore trying to change the rules of an election after the ballots were cast would have been fun too.

Chef Mojo said...

@Bob Ellison:

Believe me, Bob, I have been thinking about it since 1972 when I first became interested in politics.

I have to disagree with the notion that it's somehow "un-American" that the winner of the popular vote didn't win the election, when the method of electing our executive is part of the American soul.

I don't mean to come across as presenting a high school civics lesson, but facts are facts and the law is the law.

Presented as such, how can liberals complain about the outcome of the 2000 election? I'm genuinely vexed by this attitude.

I see your point very clearly, Bob. But your wishes and aspirations as to how our elections are decided don't mean squat in the face of law.

Jay said...

However, there is an un-American quality to the fact that the winner of the most votes did not win the election

Um, this concept is in the US Constitution.

So "un-American"

traditionalguy said...

The Secretary of State was an Agnes Scott Grad who had the same make-up artist as Tammy Faye Baker. The South is glad to entertain all you folks.( N.B., "all you folks" is a friendly phrase).

cokaygne said...

It is not fair that the winner of a plurality of votes should attain the highest office in the land and become the alleged most powerful man or woman on earth.

My guess is that the electoral college was a sop to the slave-holders who had more congressional representatives than they deserved because non-voting slaves were counted, at a 40% discount, for apportionment. By the 1950s liberals realized that awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the winner of the state's popular vote gave some leverage to minorities in urban areas.

Properly the electoral college should ensure that the winner has support from all parts of the country and truly deserves to be president of all the people.

Chef Mojo said...

Bob, let me put it this way, if the poles are reversed in the future, and my guy gets the popular vote and loses the election, then I'll be disappointed, but I'll have absolutely no reason to complain, because I really do believe in the primacy of the US Constitution.

mesquito said...

"My guess is...."

Manifestly.

Fred4Pres said...

On a full recount Bush would have won. So it is time for the left to let that one go. They lost because of Nader and the Gentle Naderites.

But history has a way of repeating itself. Nader recently said of Obama: “[Obama's] a con man. I have no use for him.”

Quaestor said...

Ann,

I gather from your use of the first person that you counted yourself among the "count all the votes" party.

Mosquito's extended citation from George F. Will well-nigh devastates the "count all the votes" case from a Constitutional standpoint, at least to my satisfaction.

You say it would be fun to have called the bullshit 10 years ago. Excellent. However it is apparent that the chief excrement shoveler was Gore himself, with the assistance of his cup-bearers in the press. Since I gather that you were in sympathy with the obfuscaters, what bullshit would you have called?

Mark O said...

Let me give you something new to ponder regarding this case. If Gore had taken David Boies' advice, he would have be president. But, Gore thought he was smarter than Boies. If you go back and watch or listen, you will see that Boies' has to argue an awful and weak position and that he really doesn't like it.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

However, there is an un-American quality to the fact that the winner of the most votes did not win the election. This is what really sticks in the liberal craw.

As others have already said, this is not unAmerican. A majority vote would be unAmerican, based on the principles set forth in the American system of presidential elections.

If it were the other way around, it would stick in the conservative craw.

You're almost certainly correct there. That wouldn't make it right, though.

- Lyssa

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

BoB: @Chef--Yes, I know. Thank you for the high-school-level lesson. Might I suggest that you think a little tiny bit about what I'm saying?

You're saying that liberals are stupid for getting upset over non-existant election laws?

Here's were the libtard's "popular vote" mantra falls apart: if that determined the outcome, both campaigns would have had entirely different strategies. For example, the GOP would have spent alot more time and money in Florida.

Its like complaing that the outcome of football game is invalid because the losing team got more yards. When the reality is, if the rules prior to the game said yards gained would determine the winnner, then both teams would have focused on racking up yards instead of scoring points.

So just because the Dems won the popular vote doesn't mean they would have won it under a rule declaring that it actually meant anything. The results would have been entirely different.

Fen said...

/edit

if the [popular vote] determined the outcome, both campaigns would have had entirely different strategies. For example, the GOP would have spent alot more time and money in California

Bob Ellison said...

@Chef-- I don't know what you mean about my wishes and aspirations. My guy won in 2000. If you think I wanted Gore, no. If you think my wishes and aspirations include popular notions of "fairness", yes. That concept matters. Laws and rules that make fairness difficult to understand tend to erode public trust.

tim maguire said...

The real irony, as I recall, comes from the unofficial recounts done later by a media consortium. They did 7 different types of recounts, of which Bush won 5 and Gore won 2. The ironic part being that Bush lost the recount Bush was arguing for and Gore lost the recount Gore was arguing for.

Bob Ellison, I agree with the others. The idea that there is something unfair about the election being decided according to the rules of the election is silly. Both sides knew the rules ahead of time and designed their campaigns accordingly.

The idea that it would be fairer to, after the fact, fundamentally change the rules is...hard to support.

Fen said...

I was on the ground in Florida during this mess. Noonan does a great job of summing up what we were all going through:

The Greenwood Position

rcocean said...

My guess is that the electoral college was a sop to the slave-holders who had more congressional representatives than they deserved because non-voting slaves were counted, at a 40% discount, for apportionment

Exactly Gore's argument. Namely, "Elect me or the slave-owners win".

Bill said...

It was a turning point for me too:

http://www.hanksmash.blogspot.com/

Between BvG and 9/11 it seems like so many friendships were ended.

Bob Ellison said...

@tim maguire, I agree with you. My point is not that it would have been right to change the rules after the election; it's that the electorate has trouble understanding why the result was fair. It was fair, because it went by the rules. Those rules, however, are hard for the average voter (especially liberal ones) to understand.

In general, I agree with most of what's being said in this thread. I'm just trying to say that the 2000 election really was hard to swallow for lots of people, for obvious reasons. Conservatives who bleat that liberals are stupid because they refused to play by the rules ignore the basic "fairness" issue that I'm talking about-- 2000 was fair by the rules, but only if you know the rules, and most voters didn't and don't.

Synova said...

"However, there is an un-American quality to the fact that the winner of the most votes did not win the election. This is what really sticks in the liberal craw. If it were the other way around, it would stick in the conservative craw."

Only because of the pathetic nature of our public education in civics.

But yes, I agree that most conservatives would howl if their candidate won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote.

However, that does not change the fact that the push to simplify the voting process to take away those things that people don't see the reason for is misguided because not *seeing* the reason isn't the same as not having one.

The states that are breaking up their electoral votes to reflect percentages instead of winner take all are making themselves and their voters irrelevant to the national elections.

I see it as much the same thing as having a Senate and a House. At what point is it "American" to let the voters in North Dakota have the same power in the Senate as California? Is that democracy? Is that majority rule?

Why do we do it?

We don't teach the dangers of majority rule in our schools, of the drawbacks of a simple democracy where the majority has no check and the minority no options, of the reasons what we've got is a Republic.

The electoral college process *does* muffle the power of the majority to some extent. California can't overwhelm New York if for some odd reason one candidate gets 90% of the California vote but New Yorkers have a different idea and are more evenly split. In essence, regional and state differences are potentially muted, if the interests of the people vary greatly by geography. And they could. A candidate has to win a majority of states and even the smaller states gain some influence so that candidates must appeal to them as well.

When a "fly over state" decides to push "popular vote" or splits their meager electoral votes they're asking for political impotence and irrelevance.

Penny said...

There's more than one kind of "spoiler alert*, Chip, and Fred just reminded us of another. Ralph Nader!

The man turned out to be a blessing for the Republicans.

Now who would be blessed if a guy like Bloomberg ran on a third party spoiler ticket?

Quaestor said...

Bob Ellison wrote: We learn fairness at an early age, and this election was unfair in several ways.

Yes, because "fairness" is a suitably infantile concept for infantile minds. Lawfulness is a harsher concept that requires maturity to embrace because lawfulness demands we take responsibly for our actions and that we acquiescence to circumstances that we may find repugnant but are none the less lawful.

tim maguire said...

Bob, ok, I see what you're getting at. Yes, the candidates had no right to complain, but many people who don't understand the election mechanics felt ripped off. You're probably right that a lot of people thought, "hey, aren't we a democracy?" when the, sadly, little known fact is that we are not.

As always, I blame the schools.

Ann Althouse said...

That popular vote/Electoral College idea is a subject I've written about on this blog from time to time, such as here.

al said...

Gore (and numerous looney leftists) whined about Florida. Had Gore won his pseudo-home state of Tennessee the results in Florida would not have mattered.

Fen said...

many people who don't understand the election mechanics felt ripped off. You're probably right that a lot of people thought, "hey, aren't we a democracy?"

I don't buy that. Prior to 2000, I heard many Dems defend the electoral college over the popular vote when *their* guy won.

This was more about Sore-Loserman.

Synova said...

"if the [popular vote] determined the outcome, both campaigns would have had entirely different strategies. For example, the GOP would have spent alot more time and money in California"

California, New York and Florida. Certainly in the major urban areas of the country. Chicago, either coast. Getting the most votes but predominately from the West Coast would mean the right to rule the East Coast, if they liked it or not.

Fen said...

/from Ann's older blogpost

The popular vote in 2000 probably favored Gore -- we don't know for sure because there were no recounts in states with safe margins

Just imagine a Florida-style hand recount on a national scale.

We'd still be having recounts.

Hagar said...

I think it was The New York Times - The New York Times - that headed up the newspaper consortium that tried to recount the recounts in Florida after the election and concluded that if the courts had given the Bush camp all that it wanted, there was a slim chance that Gore might have prevailed, but, on the other hand, if the Gore camp had gotten all that it wanted, Bush would have won with a much larger margin.

I believe it is an old Common Law principle that if the court agrees with you and gives you the relief you ask for, you must not later complain if the results are not to your liking.

Bill said...

@ Fen

Just so. I remember pundits speculating what would happen if the lovable dunce Bush won the popular vote and the super intelligent Gore won the electoral college. The consensus was always "Too bad for Bush. He knew the rules."

rcocean said...

The constitution is unfair. To complain about the electoral college while accepting the Senate is insane. Why - if we're going just by fairness - should New England get 12 Senators while California and Texas get only 4?

Note: I've never heard a Liberal complain that Vermont gets the same Senators as Texas.

Don't like it? Amend the Constitution. Or get 5 SCOTUS judges to declare the Constitution "Unconstitutional"

David said...

The biggest bullshit around today is fiscal and economic. I don't see many bloggers clarifying that muddy water. It's not as dramatic, but just as important.

Becker-Posner can't do it all. Come on bloggers, step up.

Hagar said...

Come to think of it, this was not quite apropos, but surely the same principle applies if the court does not agree with you, but it later turns out that if it had, that would have been so much the worse for you?

JAL said...

The 2000 election was what taught me what "the rule of law" was /should be / is.

Before then I had always viewed politics (and law) as something indecipherable.

Then I saw Gore try to steal the election and I literally woke up.

I found things on the internet I did not know existed. (James Taranto and Opinionjournal.
Yeah!!) I found news sources outside the big 3 and CNN. I found blogs.

It seemed like every day there was another bomb dropped or another shoe. I remember when I was out driving and the news came on I would have a visceral reaction to the intro music. Something awful was going to be reported. Again.

I would like to point out that when the Florida Suprmeme Court got involved the media again (this is where they continued their trip off the rails) misreported or edited very selectively.

The Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court dissented in no uncertain terms as the majority tried to help create votes for Gore.

Dissenting in a lone opinion, Wells, the court's most conservative member,[though he was a Democrat, which they failed to point out] warned that "continuation of this system of county-by-county decisions regarding how a dimpled chad is counted is fraught with equal protection concerns which will eventually cause the election results in Florida to be stricken by the federal courts or Congress." The majority's reasoning, Wells said, "cannot withstand the scrutiny which will certainly immediately follow under the United States Constitution."

Well he sure called that right.

Wells said the majority was flouting a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1892 by ordering a recount of only undervotes, instead of a recount of every vote. The Legislature hasn't authorized Florida courts either to order any "partial recounts" in a presidential election or to "create the standards" for counting undervotes, he said.

Justice Major Harding, the only registered independent on a bench with six Democrats, wrote a more temperately worded dissent joined in by Justice Leander Shaw . They said Gore should lose because he had failed to seek a statewide recount. In any event, they said, doing a recount is now "impossible."


I am not sure why there is such selective recall for the libs.

They always tout the 5-4 desision as if there was something wrong with it as it was so close (!)
They *ignore* the 7-2 decision.

The Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that the Florida Supreme Court's decision, calling for a statewide recount, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

There is lefty amnesia about the media recount which involved the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, St. Petersburg Times, The Palm Beach Post, The Washington Post, Tribune Company, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and The Baltimore Sun.

Funny, there was no exclamatory headline proclaiming the fact that they indeed found that Bush had won.

JAL said...

@ Synova -- re the Electoral College

While you were waxing poetic and I was struggling with blogger, I see this topic came up.

The 2000 election was also when when Hillary also won. Remember that?

The reverse carpetbaggers bought a house in my home town in NY and she became a New Yorker !

Hahahahah!! How convenient. How expedient!!

How crappy!!

And after the 2000 election, Hillary, the LAWYER, came out yapping about how when she took her seat in the Senate she was going to see that the Electoral College was done away with.

While I was a political neo-phyte I wondered then how she ever got a law degree or thought she knew how the system worked in the United Stated of America and why. (She was co-president, wasn't she?)

How ignorant can a Wellesley / Yale girl be??

Don't answer that question.

I also noticed that her Electoral College yapping went away into the dark very quickly. Very quietly.

Smartest woman in America my fanny.

David said...

"The FL Supreme Court which is composed then and now with progressive democrats blatantly went along with his scam."

The root of the judicial mess was the terrible job done by the Florida Supreme Court. They had two shots at the case and screwed it up each time.

The Chief Justice of the Florida court (a Democratic appointee, by the way) pointed this out with great clarity in his dissents.

Fen said...

JAL: They always tout the 5-4 desision as if there was something wrong with it as it was so close (!) They *ignore* the 7-2 decision.

Thank you JAL! There are still days when I feel like I'm the only one aware of the 7-2 decision.

And like you, Florida 2000 was the event that dropped ABC/CBS/CNN etc off of my remote. I was a GOP operative at the time in Florida and I couldn't believe how bad they were misrepresenting everything.

Up till then, my experience had been that when the MSM reported on anything I had been directly involved in, they got it wrong. But their behavior in 2000 finally woke me up to the realization that they aren't incompetent, they're corrupt.

Fen said...

The root of the judicial mess was the terrible job done by the Florida Supreme Court. They had two shots at the case and screwed it up each time

And SCOTUS "voided" both, which is not simply overturning, but the equivalent of a professor returning your paper with "wtf were you smoking when you wrote this?"

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Gore (and numerous looney leftists) whined about Florida. Had Gore won his pseudo-home state of Tennessee the results in Florida would not have mattered.

To build on the discussion about people not understanding the electorial college and poor civics education in general- I distinctly recall my reaction to learning that Candidate Bush was visiting my small and insignficant collegiate hometown the day before the election-

"Chattanooga! Chattanooga! Closest election in history, and he's visiting Chatta-fuckin'-nooga!"

I was a college sophmore, an honors student. And I had no frickin' idea why he would want to visit a mid-sized city in Tennessee, rather than, say, New York. Sigh.

nobody said...

I had not lived in the US for several years, did not follow the election, did not vote, did not have television or the internet at home, did not much care about the outcome, and didn't expect it to make much difference.

I have since read The Perfect Tie, by James Ceaser and Andrew Busch.

One of these days I will get around to reading Forgive Us Our Spins: Michael Moore and the Future of the Left, by Jesse Larner. It's a left-wing polemic against Moore, but Larner apparently devotes considerable attention to proving that the Republicans did premeditatively steal the election. One of these days.

traditionalguy said...

I never understood why the Dems did not run Gore again? He could have been a comeback kid. Was it because Tennessee would not vote for him? I bet Clinton turned on him.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Stupid" is as good a word as any for people who have such emphatic views on the fairness of rules they don't know anything about.

Hagar said...

What is so fair about having our Federal government dominated by the parochial views of the urban mobs of New York and California?

http://bigthink.com/ideas/21121

Fen said...

Larner apparently devotes considerable attention to proving that the Republicans did premeditatively steal the election.

And fails miserably. Which is why no one has ever heard of him.

Except for the Moonbats over at Dem Underground.

john said...

Florida's 25 electoral votes was why a close popular vote had focused both candidates attention there. Perhaps unfortunately, the 2000 election results in several other states escaped the scrutiny that should have come their way, such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and Oregon, a total of 40 electoral votes, all going to Gore by virtue of only a couple of % or less of the popular vote. Contesting results in these 5 states with the same intensity the Florida was contested would not have been possible.

BTW, if Nader would not have been in the race, Gore would have won Florida but would have only picked up New Hampshire.

(Interestingly, only New Hampshire went to Bush by as close a margin as those 5 states went to Gore.)

rcocean said...

I had not lived in the US for several years, did not follow the election, did not vote, did not have television or the internet at home, did not much care about the outcome, and didn't expect it to make much difference.

But you still have an opinion - TEN YEARS later. You *have* to be a Euro- and a Lefty.

ricpic said...

"The will of the people, not a hyper-technical reliance upon statutory provisions, should be our guiding principle."

--The Florida Supreme Court goniffs


Hyper-technical. What a great phrase. So from now on when I'm losing an argument and the other party has all the facts on his side I'll just bristle "You're being hyper-technical!" That'll learn 'im.

Big Mike said...

Al Gore sometimes makes me question my atheism. First, because I can only begin to imagine how things would have played out had he been Commander in Chief following Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, because of the "Al Gore" effect, which has now sent record cold temperatures to Cancun just in time for the Global Warming conference.

Chase said...

The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, sponsored by a consortium of major United States news organizations, conducted a Florida Ballot Project comprehensive review of all ballots uncounted (by machine) in the Florida 2000 presidential election, both undervotes and overvotes, with the main research aim being to report how different ballot layouts correlate with voter mistakes. The total number of undervotes and overvotes in Florida amounted to 3% of all votes cast in the state. The findings of the review were reported by the media during the week after November 12, 2001.

The NORC study was not primarily intended as a determination of which candidate "really won". Analysis of the results found that different standards for the hand-counting of machine-uncountable ballots would lead to differing results.



Candidate outcomes based on potential recounts in Florida presidential election 2000

Review of all ballots statewide (never undertaken)
• Standard as set by each county canvassing board during their survey Gore by 171
• Fully punched chad and limited marks on optical ballots Gore by 115
• Any dimples or optical mark Gore by 107
• One corner of chad detached or optical mark Gore by 60

Review of limited sets of ballots (initiated but not completed)
• Gore request for recounts of all ballots in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Volusia counties Bush by 225
• Florida Supreme Court of all undervotes statewide Bush by 430
• Florida Supreme Court as being implemented by the counties, some of whom refused and some counted overvotes as well as undervotes Bush by 493

Unofficial recount totals
• Incomplete result when the Supreme Court stayed the recount (December 9, 2000) Bush by 154

Certified Result (official final count)
• Recounts included from Volusia and Broward only Bush by 537

Chase said...

Corrected Link for above

Big Mike said...

@Chase, we don't count overvotes. If you're too stupid to know what "vote for one candidate only" means then you're too stupid to know who to vote for, either.

Ralph L said...

I agree that most conservatives would howl if their candidate won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote.
Change that to Republicans, and I'd almost agree with you. Everyone would be upset to have his candidate lose by such a small margin, but conservatives generally respect the rules and know the Constitution.

Fen said...

ugh. Chase do you have a better source than Wikipedia? No offense, but those pages are so heavily censored by liberal mods that I simply don't trust them on topics like this.

I'm not discounting your post, I just would like the original source.

nobody said...

@rcocean

"But you still have an opinion - TEN YEARS later. You *have* to be a Euro- and a Lefty."

Do I? I didn't express one.

Goju said...

Didn't Gore at one point try to invalidate the abentee military votes?

JAL said...

Don't even get some of us going with military votes. 2000 was terrible in FL and this year there were problems all over.

Even with extensions some states (including NY) couldn't get their acts together for their citizen soldiers.

If my son's company could deliver ballots in Iraq to the Iraqis so they could vote in 2005 why the heck can't the United States states get ballots to their enlisted personnel??

Shameful and inexcusable.

Fen said...

Didn't Gore at one point try to invalidate the abentee military votes?

He didn't just try, he did invalidate quote a number of them. Noonan at my link at 3:24PM has details.

Fen said...

/here, via Noonan

"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 . . . .

This is what you can expect from a Gore administration a further trampling on the Military and more trampling on your rights. . . .

The attorneys there treated it all as a joke, and when my wife protested their actions she was told she didn’t understand."

bgates said...

there is an un-American quality to the fact that the winner of the most votes did not win the election

In the 1964 World Series, the games went like this:
Yankees – 5, Cardinals – 9
Yankees – 8, Cardinals – 3
Yankees – 2, Cardinals – 1
Yankees – 3, Cardinals – 4
Yankees – 2, Cardinals – 5
Yankees – 8, Cardinals – 3
Yankees – 5, Cardinals – 7

The Cardinals were crowned World Champions despite being outscored 33-32. Are you calling baseball un-American?

Fen said...

Gore's goofiness re AGW caused me to forget why I hate him so much. Thanks for the reminder.

Hangin's too good for him.

mythusmage said...

I've been wondering how much of Gore's support got siphoned off by Ralph Nader. A state by state measure of which may be instructive, especially where the close call states are concerned. For instance, how many votes did Nader get in Florida, and what percent of the total vote was it?

john said...

Fen -

About "the draft dodger and his flunky".

Perhaps you meant Joe Lieberman, who I don't think was ever in the military. But then who was the flunky?

Luke Lea said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Constitution says that each state is to make the final determination of the vote in its jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme court decided not.

BTW, I am not on the left.

Penny said...

Old politics is like an old song...

Some of us just love to hear the sound of our toe tappin' to an old, familiar beat.

JAL said...

Since we're into a diss Algore mode, I was thinking the other day about him getting an "alpha male" makeover by Naomi Wolf and the 4 billion gallons of water used to show him paddling a canoe in the wilds of New Hampshire.

The reason I thought about that was Sarah Palin's real life fish gutting and caribou hunting -- including the missed shots due to an out of line sight.

One of these is not like the other ...

Made me laugh out loud.

We don't need any more virtual presidents.

Real America is out there. And we are not the silent majority anymore.

And we sooo missed the bullet in 2000.

Fen said...

Luke: Correct me if I'm wrong...I believe the Constitution says that each state is to make the final determination of the vote in its jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme court decided not.

14th Ammendment, Equal Protection Under the Law "requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction"

SCOTUS: "The recount process, in its features here described, is inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter in the special instance of a statewide recount under the authority of a single state judicial officer. Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."

dbp said...

Luke Lea said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Constitution says that each state is to make the final determination of the vote in its jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme court decided not.

BTW, I am not on the left.

You are wrong. States are not allowed to change rules after voting is complete, not allowed to disenfranchise voters etc, etc, etc. The Supreme Court basically affirmed this rather common sense.

Fen said...

/fix link

Equal Protection Under the Law, BushVGore

Robert Cook said...

"Al Gore sometimes makes me question my atheism. First, because I can only begin to imagine how things would have played out had he been Commander in Chief following Sept. 11, 2001."

Well, if he had not contrived a fake case for attacking Iraq and we had never invaded that country, that alone would have been a reason to prefer him in office to Bush.

He might also have chosen not to invade Afghanistan--another ongoing catastrophe--and might have focused on apprehending bin Laden and the perpetrators of 9/11 through more focused means.

But this is best-case speculation; he, being an American president, might well have, as is our wont, chosen the crude, disastrous blunderbuss of war as a response.

It's hard to imagine he could have made worse choices than Bush, as Bush took every worst choice available.

Bruce Hayden said...

Exactly Gore's argument. Namely, "Elect me or the slave-owners win".

Except that AlGore was the one whose father voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And was elected to the Senate himself (as was is father) by the descendants of those who had imposed Jim Crow laws across the South.

Ralph L said...

on apprehending bin Laden and the perpetrators of 9/11 through more focused means.
But the CIA is EVIL!
Cruise missiles wouldn't cut it.

rcocean said...

Gore's actions made me question my Episcopalian membership. Result: I'm now a Presbyterian.

GMay said...

Robert Cook said: "But this is best-case speculation; he, being an American president, might well have, as is our wont, chosen the crude, disastrous blunderbuss of war as a response."

Right, because the huger more blunderbussier apparatus of diplomacy was just sooooooo much more effective at killing Iraqis in a more general fashion.

Honestly, you lefties with ill-informed and childish opinions just never get tired of posting the same tripe. Amazing.

Ann Althouse said...

I wanted Gore to win, so I was rooting for his side. But I think the Supreme Court did the right thing. I have taught the case many times, and I think it is as sound as most Supreme Court constitutional law cases. I could go into much more detail but it would need to be a lot of detail.

GMay said...

"I could go into much more detail but it would need to be a lot of detail."

For what it's worth, I'd be interested. (Understanding of course the limitations of blogger)

donttread2010 said...

Interesting how whenever there is a close contest, democrats 'unexpectedly' find a trunk full of uncounted ballots or an additional voting machine or two after the fact. Does anyone else find this strange? Additionally, how is it that in this country, military ballots often hang in the balance, what with the threat of them being late, or some such administrative 'mistake'?

cokaygne said...

Article II, Section 1, " . . . Each State shall appoint ins such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors, . . ."

That is one of a couple of instances in which the US Constitution directly empowers state legislatures. I don't think you'll find mention of state supreme courts anywhere in the document.

The Florida legislature reviewed the voting and, in its judgement, awarded Florida's electoral votes to Bush. Case closed.

Robert Cook said...

"Right, because the huger more blunderbussier apparatus of diplomacy was just sooooooo much more effective at killing Iraqis in a more general fashion."

Honestly, I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

Fen said...

Honestly, I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

He's talking about 14 UN resolutions over the course of 12 years that got us nothing but the corrupt Oil for Food scandal.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

"I could go into much more detail but it would need to be a lot of detail."

For what it's worth, I'd be interested. (Understanding of course the limitations of blogger)


I would, too. We studied it in my Con Law, but my prof was a lefty, and really didn't like this case. I'd love to hear a very intelligent discussion of the legal soundness of it.

- Lyssa

HDHouse said...

ahhh the good old days of "Abuzz" at the NYTimes, Kate Harris virtually stealing an election and all of Tom DeLay's staff storming the recount office.

Ahhh the good old days.

Ralph L said...

I never saw credible evidence that Harris wasn't following Florida law, unlike the Dems, who just howled about her looks. You got any?

If Gore had let her certify the election by the lawful date, he would have had more time for contesting it, so he fucked himself.

GMay said...

Fen with the assist: "He's talking about 14 UN resolutions over the course of 12 years that got us nothing but the corrupt Oil for Food scandal."

Not to mention the 500k dead Iraqis the far lefties were up in arms over during those sanction years. But when we invaded, suddenly we were evil because War Is Bad...or something.

Which of course is why they like to trot out the discredited Lancet survey to show that war killed just as many people as diplomacy.

Fen said...

HdHouse: Kate Harris virtually stealing an election

"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."

and all of Tom DeLay's staff storming the recount office.

There was no "recount office". There were Dems trying to hold a recount behind closed doors in secret. The Yuppies shut that down.

Robert Cook said...

"Not to mention the 500k dead Iraqis the far lefties were up in arms over during those sanction years. But when we invaded, suddenly we were evil because War Is Bad...or something."

What...you don't think war is bad...or something?

The sanctions were not diplomacy, but war by another name.

There was nothing that needed to be done with regard to Iraq. They were not a threat to us, they were never a threat to us. They, in fact, had long been our ally in the region, until we turned on them.

America was always the aggressor toward Iraq, and all the dead from sanctions and all the dead subsequently consequent to our invasion is blood on our hands. We have destroyed a nation for no legitimate purpose.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, for what it's worh, the UN resolutions did, in fact, accomplish something: it was under pressure of those sanctions that Saddam destroyed his WMD in the early 90s.

GMay said...

"Oh, for what it's worh, the UN resolutions did, in fact, accomplish something: it was under pressure of those sanctions that Saddam destroyed his WMD in the early 90s."

Oh, except for those that he didn't. Some of them even Hans Bliz alluded to as late as Dec 2002. But keep buying the crap that counterpunch and commondreams keeps feeding you.

Methadras said...

Bush v. Gore showed me how truly unscrupulous, rotten, and evil leftards are. 9/11 only solidified that sentiment permanently.