This ferocious politial duel is not an election. It is an obsessive,
demented, criminal scheme to survive Al Gore. Why does the media expect Al Gore to concede?
An election is a very simple, easy to understand process. Voters select the candidate of their choice, they go to the polls and they mark their ballots. The votes are counted and a winner is declared. It’s that simple, and the effort to suggest otherwise is pure, manifest denial.
If election 2000 is a controversy in the category of the Kennedy assassination, it is a good lesson about the nature of controversy. Betray the simple fact that there is no such thing as a "magic bullet" and controversy is merely a consequence of the extreme effort to cover up the truth. And what is the simple, undeniable truth? Widespread, systematic, voting irregularities disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Gore voters, and indignant, pugnacious Republicans declared nuclear war, to deny an accurate vote count. But make no mistake about it, people clearly understand the significance of the simple, obvious, human refrain, "Gore got more", and anybody who thinks that it is possible to cover up this simple fact by denying a ballot hand count, is deeply deluded. Indeed, it is the very effort to deny the obvious which has produced the obsessive, unecessary campaign to obstruct the opportunity to demonstrate the truth. The tactics are not surprising, they are very predictable. When the decision to obstruct the opportunity to hand count the votes is made, the game is nothing more and nothing less than the effort to erect roadblocks which deny the opportunity to explore the objective truth. And what is the objective truth? The objective truth is to permit the opportunity to count the votes and let the chips fall where they may. And even if this process is violently denied, It does not take a genius to determine the simple fact that Al Gore and Joe Lieberman earned and won the Florida vote as certainly and as conclusively as George Bush won Tennessee.
There is not a single shred of reliable evidence to suggest that George Bush received the majority of the Florida vote. On the contrary, every objective indicator points to the fact that Gore won the Florida vote, and in real life, that is as conclusive as it ever gets.
The October 27-28 polls conducted by John Zogby reflected the fact that Al Gore lead in the crucial state of Florida and that Bush easily lead Tennessee. Gore lead by 5 percentage points in Florida. In the face of the manufactured campaign to suggest that Bush won Florida, the uncanny accuracy of Zogby’s election 2000 polls should not be ignored. Zogby polls convincingly suggested that Bush would win Tennessee and Ohio and that Gore would win Florida, and that is exactly what happened.
The Bush campaign was realistically disturbed over the prospect of winning Florida without the benefit of a highly organized effort to steal the vote. The Gore campaign was realistically positive about the opportunity to win in Florida. Gore and Lieberman proved that they were aggressive, relentless campaigners who understood the fact that Florida was the key to a Gore-Lieberman administration and they raided Florida even more aggressively than George Bush raided Tennessee. Indeed, in the final week of the campaign, they rode a wave of momentum that saw their lead grow to 11 percent. On November 2, 2000, Anne Kornblut and Curtis Wilkie of the Boston Globe reported that the latest Zogby poll indicated that Gore had an 11-point lead in the state of Florida, and all that Jeb Bush could say is, "I don’t believe it, totally out of kilter." On the contrary, in the absence of widespread corruption, the Zogby poll reflected the simple truth that Bush did not stand a chance in Florida.
There is nothing to suggest that Gore’s above the margin of error lead in Florida would do anything but grow in the final days of the campaign. Besieged by news about the Texas Governor’s 1976 drunken-driving arrest and attacked by Gore for gaffes like Bush’s claim that social security was not a federal program, George Bush had a bad final week and when Florida was awarded to Gore on election night, it was not at all surprising. Indeed, when the polls suggested that Gore would win the state of Florida by a whopping 600,000 votes, given his 10 point lead in the polls, nobody should have been surprised by the fact that the media called Florida a Gore win early on election night.
The Gore campaign earned the Florida vote as certainly as the Bush campaign earned the Tennessee vote, and now that it’s all over, one needs to analyze the unreasonable expectations of the Bush campaign. Where did the certainty that Bush would win Florida come from? Clearly, the Bush camp understood the pundits who claimed that the fate of the presidency was in the hands of Florida with its 25 electoral votes. When Florida was declared ‘too close to call’, after it had been given to Gore early in the evening of November 7, George Bush said, "It’s going to be a long night. I think America ought to wait until the votes are counted." America is still waiting.
But instead of providing the opportunity to count the votes, every imaginable tactic was obsessively deployed, to deny an accurate count of Florida votes. On November 22nd, a violent, Republican mob created a distraction that clearly impacted the Miami-Dade County canvassing board. Prior to the undeniable pressure to halt the recount, the board went from negotiating a full recount, to deciding to count only 10,750 'undervotes' that the machines had mysteriously failed to count, to abandoning the count altogether. And all this was decided within hours, during a riot when the three members of the board reached the face saving agreement that they could not complete the tally before a court imposed deadline. Is it even remotely plausible to argue that the violent mob of angry protesters who banged and shouted through the door where the board was meeting, was not intimidating? It does not take very much for a violent mob to demonstrate the fact that the need for police protection trumps normal, routine conduct. Manufactured bedlam prevailed. Rioters swarmed a democratic lawyer after falsely accusing him for allegedly stealing a ballot, and they chanted "arrest him, arrest him" as the police escorted him to safety. Several people were trampled, punched and kicked when the angry mob tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Democratic aide, Luis Rosero, who was punched and kicked by Republican supporters during the mayhem, described the evident chaos when he said, "One hour they’re telling us they’re going to get it done, the next minute there were two riot situations and a crowd massing out in front. This was deliberate". Now isn’t that a brilliant way to violate the Supreme Court of Florida order to count the votes? Republicans ridicule the claim that a riot caused the besieged Miami-Dade canvassing Board to abandon its hand count, but it is not even remotely reasonable to discount the impact of an angry crowd of screaming, hired actors who pounded on glass windows and yelled "Stop the vote" and "Voter fraud?" It does not take a genius to determine that this violent, organized mob is responsible for Miami-Dade’s decision to halt the hand count. In the absence of the staged disruptions, 50 assembled ballot counters along with 25 Republican and 25 Democratic observers, were prepared to count the limited number of 10,750 under-votes, in time to meet the Florida Supreme Court deadline.
The violent campaign to stop the vote did not receive as much attention or publicity as the well orchestrated campaign to create the impression that the simple procedure of counting ballots was a hopelessly confusing procedure. Reasonable people accepted the duty that the Supreme Court of Florida imposed when it ordered the hand count to proceed. But their efforts were trumped by violent obstruction and by the deliberate effort to create the impression that counting ballots was a bizarre enterprise. The visual record speaks for itself. But despite the bad acting, hand counts are mandated by law because they are more accurate than machines that reject ballots. Republican propaganda is seeking to replace the rule of law with the fickle claim that a manual recount distorts, reinvents and miscounts the vote. Perhaps nothing demonstrates the preposterous nature of Republican propaganda clearer than the recent claim that the riot that caused the Miami-Dade County canvassing board to halt the proposed, ballot hand count, was "in many ways a holiday atmosphere." That is what Bush campaign attorney Fred Bartlit said, and if he was the Democratic official who was violently shoved, kicked and punched, he would certainly have a different view of the situation. It is not even remotely plausible to defend a violent, orchestrated mob, and when Fred Bartlit claims that "there were babies in the crowd, there were little kids there", you can crop the picture wherever you like, but history is not selective. An organized, violent mob stormed a ballot counting facility, and despite the fairy tales that Fred Bartlit promotes, the November 22nd riot was potentially as significant as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Incredibly, on November 28, 2000, Clinton hater Larry Klayman was provided the opportunity to examine disputed ballots in Palm Beach County, and having done so, this politically motivated hitman said: "We are quickly getting the impression that what went on here in Palm Beach County was simply a crap shoot". Needless to say, the obvious translation of this "crap shoot" dialogue is: "Al Gore won the election, and calling the vote a crap shoot is the only, plausible way to dispute the outcome." There is no mystery behind Republican propaganda. Investigative journalist, Carl Bernstein plainly said that Gore received most of the votes even if Bush received most of the counted votes, and when propagandists like Larry Klayman promote the claim that an election is a ‘crap shoot,’ they ultimately betray the intent of their actions. Larry Klayman can join the obsessive campaign to create the impression that counting ballots is too confusing to determine an accurate outcome, but no reasonable person ever takes people like Larry Klayman seriously. As soon as the election was over, the Bush campaign declared the determination to produce witnesses to prove that the manual recount process is too flawed to do anything beyond confuse, distort and misrepresent voter intent and if that does not explain the emergence of Larry Klayman, nothing ever will.
America is waiting for a reliable finding of fact, and it is instead being handed a series of legal tactics that obstruct the opportunity to expose the full truth. If the full truth is the precise margin of Gore’s obvious victory, the Supreme Court does not have the power or the authority to cover it up. Clearly, this desperate appeal to the Supreme Court does not inspire public confidence. This is the same Supreme Court that allowed Paula Jones, a single litigant behind an army of radical lawyers, the opportunity to disrupt the work of the President of the United States. Paula Jones versus President Clinton betrayed the scheme to use the courts for the purpose of impeaching the President of the United States and now, these very same lawyers are essentially seeking to impeach Clinton’s successor. You can fool some of the people some of the time but... Clearly, Supreme Court Justices should be intelligent enough to determine the simple fact that Al Gore received the majority of the votes in Florida, and if they are not, they should count the votes themselves. The framers of the Constitution rejected proposals to place the power of impeachment in the Federal Courts, and this current, de facto impeachment is a clear violation of that spirit and it should not be tolerated. Only a fair and accurate count of every vote can assure the remedy that this political contest demands, and every single person who obstructs and ridicules the opportunity is ultimately as vile and as repugnant as a political assassin.
As the effort to count the votes proceeded, despite the myriad of roadblocks that obstructed the effort, George Bush's lead shrunk from 1,725 on November 7, to 513 by the time they were certifird by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, to a mere 154 votes after the Supreme Court of Florida ordered the certification of the legal votes that Katherine Harris had rejected. Given this obvious, indisputable trend, does the Supreme Court actually think that anybody is stupid enough to believe that George Bush got more votes than Al Gore did?
Where does the Supreme Court get the idea that it has the authority to take common sense out of the law and to replace it with the partisan tactics that the Bush campaign instantly unleashed, to derail the opportunity to acknowledge every legal vote? What the Federal Court did when it abruptly halted the hand count ordered by the Supreme Court of Florida was as obscene, as vulgar, and as illegal as the violent riot that halted the very same effort in Miami-Dade County. This is one Federal Court that has clearly earned lilelong shame, as long as it continues to block the mandate of the Supreme Court of Florida.
In this contested election, an automatic recount is mandated by law, the Florida Supreme Court confirmed the mandate and a violent mob effectively denied the decision. If the Supreme Court embraces this campaign to surrender the rule of law to the unruly mob, it will ultimately suffer the fate of Ken Starr, who destroyed the Independent Counsel Statute by proving that he was too unfair and too biased, to be taken seriously -not to mention the fact that he forever squandered the ambition to become a Supreme Court Justice.
This Supreme Court questioned the legality of counting votes, even before the Gore camp was granted a hearing on the matter, and that raises serious questions about the legitimacy of this Court. Like an Independent Counsel, Supreme Court Justices assume the obligation and the duty to be fair and objective, and that is the criterion that is responsible for a nation of laws. If there are Justices on the Supreme Court who believe that they can act like the legal equivalent of the orchestrated, violent mob that derailed a manual, hand count of Florida ballots, they will ultimately earn the very same reputation that Ken Starr deserves. The Supreme Court should demonstrate the patience, the fairness and the objectivity that the law demands, it does not have the authority to exercise the haste, the tactics and the hysteria of mob rule. [posted December 9, 2000]
October 5, 2000
Shouldn't the media be covering Debatgate, the scandal of seeking to influence the election through dirty tricks. It is at times like these that we should perhaps acknowledge the national treasure that was lost in John F. Kennedy Jr.,a man who injected passion, ethics and a sense of justice into the political system. Now, all we have is Debategate, a scandal which reflects a very nasty and a very hostile political climate. The media should be covering Debategate extensively because it manifests a serious scandal, but it evidently prefers to chase after the gossip, the rumor and the slander which is routinely doled out by sleazy, political operatives. This is the cause of widespread, political cynisism, and the failure to investigate serious scandal is just as irresponsible as the Whitewater fishing expedition. Cleary, if genuine, investigative journalism was not on life support, Debategate would be the front page story of every serious newspaper.
Does the media have the right to ignore Debategate? Does it not owe the public the duty to pursue and to expose the truth, prior to the election of the next President of the United States? The FBI Inquiry of the Debategate fiasco focused on Yvette Lozano, a disgraced liar who was fired from her job when she worked for the Democrats because she lacked Integrity. Lozano was filmed by a security camera mailing a package in an Austin Texas post office and the label on the Express Mail package containing the Bush debate videotape corresponds to the date and time that Lozano was caught on tape
Lozano now requires a Criminal Attorney to dispute the claim that she had anything to do with Debategate. The suspicion that the Bush team engaged a dirty tricks scheme to entrap the Gore team by secretly sending the Democrats material they were not supposed to have, is difficult to dispute. Columnist David Nyhan exposed the dirty tricks operatives who are probably responsible for the debate tapes fiasco. Karl Rove, the foreman of Bush's presidential campaign has a history of making false allegations about the other camps'so called spies. In 1986, he claimed that Democrats had planted a listening devise in Republican headquarters. Rove conveniently discovered a planted bug hours before a televised debate and shifted the focus away from the substance of the political campaign, by saying; "Finding the bug convinced me that the opposition would say anything and do anything to win an election." The Bush camp is using these exact same lines, to slander Al Gore. When is enough, enough?
George Bush, a reputedly poor debater, is handled by advisers who believe that their champion could never survive a political contest without unfair advantage. Absolutely terrified about Gore's reputation as a top notch debater, they would do and say anything to survive this combat, and while the effort is admirable, the tactics are repugnant. Beyond Karl Rove, the other player in this sorry saga is Mark McKinnon, a political operative who got his start in the game by volunteering for the Texas Democrat's Senate campaign. McKinnon is now providing Bush campaign worker, Yvette Lozano, the alibi she requires, to deny wrongdoing. He claims that he had asked her to mail a pair of pants back to the Gap, on the day that the Bush tape was mailed to the Gore camp. When George Bush was running against Anne Richards, McKinnon was supposed to help the silver-tongued Governer clobber the election prospects of George W. Bush Jr. The question that emerges now is how does a poor debater survive the silver tongue of Anne Richards? Or to put it another way, when was McKinnon, a onetime Democratic strategist, really placed on the Bush payroll? Was it before, after, or during the time he was supposed to help Anne Richards defeat George Bush? The question is very serious because when Anne Richards was running for re-elction as the Governor of Texas, Mark McKinnon and Karl Rove were hostile, bitter, irreconcilable enemies -one a Republican, the other a Democrat -or was that just an act? These are disturbing questions, and the fact that the media ignores them is equally troublesome. In particular, if McKinnon's assistant, Lozano, was not in on the plot to send Bush's debate tapes to the Gore camp, who was?
The FBI is very good at tracking every mailbox, and when the FBI determined that Lozano was in the post office mailing a package on the very same day that the debate tape was sent to the Democrats, the match is quite obvious. How long and by what tactics, will the truth about Debatgate be denied? Why doesn't George W. Bush Jr. fire Yvette Lozano?
On Sunday October 1st, at the urging of the Bush camp, which kept pointing a finger at the Gore camp for allegedly stealing their debate tape, the FBI interviewed a young aide who was suspended from Al Gore’s Democratic presidential campaign because he had claimed knowledge about a mole. Ironically, the young man's claim strongly suggests that he had absolutely no material knowledge about Debategate and to their credit, the FBI did not waste more than half an hour interviewing 28 year old Michael Doyne. Clearly, any bright young man who was presented with the knowledge of access to the debate tape of the opposing camp, was prone to instantly leap to speculation about moles, and if Michael Doyne did not, one would have better reason to suggest that he had something to hide. Michael Doyne did not even have an attorney present when the FBI questioned him, and anybody who is politically motivated enough to create a situation where he is forced to hire one, will ultimately become another Ken Starr.
News about the fact that Michael Doyne was questioned by the FBI was not widely promoted until October 3, the date of the first presidential debate between Gore and Bush, and that is hopefully just a coincidence. Because if this is the latest version of October surprise, nobody is buying. And if the Bush camp is desperate enough to point a finger at Michael Doyne, this October surprise has clearly backfired.
When debate documents from President Carter's 1980 re-election campaign turned up in the files of Republican challenger Ronald Reagan, that potential scandal was ignored. But when you have so called journalists like Chris Matthews practicing a steady diet of Republican, Attack Dog Politics, it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.
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