Disenfranchised voters/Fahrenheit 911

I was suprised to see that after the Florida debacle in 2000 many members of the House of Representatives stood up in a timely fashion to demand an investigation into the official misconduct and fraud that led to the disenfranchisement of thousands of African American voters.

“One by one the black members of congress were told to sit down.”
One signature from a senator was all that was needed. My question is how they could have not gotten one. Wellstone? Al Gore himself?


The movie?

Gore was President of Congress, he can’t do it (or am I misunderstanding it?)

No clue why none of the others did, though Gore did discourage them - it seems like an issue of some importance.

The VP is the President of the Senate. We haven’t had a President of Congress since 1788.

I too wonder about this part of the film ( which I haven’t seen yet ).
Hopefully someone has the straight dope.

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I know that scene was one of the most poignant ones in the entire movie. I know MM has a hard-on for black people in general, but man that was some troubling-ass shit.

I hope this thread provides some insights.

I can only assume that there was a party decision made by the Democrats not to contest the outcome. Otherwise, you have to assume someone like Wellstone or Kennedy or even Lieberman would have signed.

I have been reading Toobin’s Too Close to Call this weekend, and one point that he has been making was that Gore was too interested in avoiding offending the Washington establishment. He, in many ways, wasn’t ready to do whatever it took to win, in contrast to the Bush team. Perhaps this played a part in this putative agreement among the Democrats.

Just want to throw John Kerry’s name into the mix.

It wasn’t that timely a protest.

By the time the full Congress convened to ratify the new president, allowing the House of Representatives to opportunity to protest it, was seven weeks after the election. The Florida votes had been recounted, the state courts ruled, and Supreme Court weighed in, and Al Gore went on television to publicly “strongly disagree with” the Supreme Court’s decision. But the decision, by then, was a done deal.

As Vice President to the outgoing administration, one of Gore’s final duties was to ratify the vote, and he was chairman of the congressional committee that did so.
Behind the scenes, someone definitely made an effort to quell any possible Senate dissent and accept the outcome of the election, and it’s been speculated it was Gore, as well as the Democratic National Committee.

However, those Democratic House representatives who still protested were obviously unwilling to let the issue of all those Florida disenfranchised votes just… go. Of the 11 protestors, 10 were black, 10 were women, one was Asian. It was a notable last minute protest of a supremely lost cause.

Meh, whatevah.

I agree, it was a decision made by the Democrats in general before going in.

Wonder why no one from EITHER SIDE had the balls to stand up for what was righ and at least start an investigation… :-p

Toe the line, boys.

Perhaps because, after the election, there was no way to correct that particular problem. Nor, in fact, given the Republican control of both houses, was there any way for the result of any Congressional action to be a Gore electoral victory.

Yeah, wouldn’t want to have facts cluttering up Great Debates. President of Congress, indeed.

There is actually precedent. There is some evidence that Richard Daley stole Illinois for JFK in 1960. Richard Nixon chose to accept the outcome and not make a stink.

I don’t see how that is relevant to the conversation, but as I said: Meh, whatever.

I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that the Reconstruction Era ended because of a deal worked out between the parties. The Republicans got the White House, although the outcome of the election was by no means certain, and the Dems got a solid voting block. That being the reason I’ve always heard for the South voting Democratic for so long.

I actually think this is why the Dems are so angry. They accepted the Supreme Court decision with great maturity and restraint, and then W goes off on a right wing crusade as though he won in a landslide. What a great opportunity for Bush to have created a non-partisan atmosphere in Washington. Imagine if his inaugaral speech had called to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. For example, “the country is split on whether abortion is morally acceptable, but we can all agree that we want less teen pregnancy.”

The reason that could never have happened is because Bush (like probably every presidential candidate) went into his campaign with very specific goals in mind (like invading Iraq, likely).

If a candidate has to abandon his goals for becoming president because of the way he becomes president, then he might as well not have been elected.

Not the full, or fully-accurate, story. The recounts in contested states demanded by the Nixon campaign actually gave Hawaii to Kennedy instead. Illinois wouldn’t have made the difference. Nixon only “chose to accept” the outcome when he saw that it was inevitable, despite the strenuous attempts of his campaign to contest it.

But the precedent for statesmanship by candidates set by the legend you refer to, its degree of factual foundation notwithstanding, is a fine one and very likely guided Gore.

laigle, the election was in 1876, one of the most shameful episodes in our history. Tilden was the big winner of the popular vote, but 4 Southern states that were still under Reconstruction sent 2 slates of electors, leaving it to Congress to sort out. After months of wrangling, the deal was struck to let the Republicans have a Hayes presidency, while the Southern Democrats got Reconstruction ended and put the blacks back under oppression. If you’re keeping score, that’s losses all around.

DanBlather, great point. The anger at Bush isn’t just partisan; it comes from his betrayal of a national principle we hold dear, as well as his lying about his respect for it. “I’m a uniter, not a divider” ?