In this thread, which had as a topic former President Jimmy Carter’s pointing out that the recommendations of a bipartisan commission which he and former President Ford had served on regarding reforms to Florida (and other states) electoral practices to prevent a recurrence of the 2000 election disputes had generally not been implemented, Shodan decided to join the crowd in casting aspersions on President Carter, including in particular his having mentioned asking his daughter what her greatest concern was. Here’s an extract from his most recent post there, in which he responds to my discussing that issue.
I think the only proper response to this is suitable only for the Pit.
Look, asshole. I am interested in fair and honest elections, which choose the man preferred by a majority of voters (given how our system works, electoral college with winner-takes-all in most states, and all the other trimmings) for the job.
I am not interested in getting into whether or not one agrees with a past President, into making accusations about his abilities or lack of them, nor suggesting that one must agree with him to be a good American.
And you seem to be so purblind to the idea that your beloved Mr. Bush and his cronies might possibly be doing something dishonest that you see any questions raised about whether Mr. Carter might have a point in his criticisms, as being an attack on you and on him.
Quite bluntly, if your opinion of the issue raised in that thread is Mr. Carter’s credibility, then you have lost all capacity for rational discourse.
The issue is, can Florida conduct elections that will not be subject to the potential for electoral fraud by either party. The answer is, a bipartisan commission says that they have failed to protect themselves against that potential.
Get off the fucking high horse, and pay attention to the issue.
If a majority of Americans honestly choose Mr. Bush, than much as I dislike him and his policies, it’s my job to suck it up and accept him as my President for another four years. That’s called the rule of law; it’s why we didn’t have a revolt after the 2000 vote grab down there – because Democrats were prepared to go by the decision of the people selected to make those decisions, that the final tally awarding Mr. Bush Florida’s electoral votes and therefore the Presidency was what was to be accepted.
There is scarcely an American who doesn’t think there were some problems in Florida’s vote-tallying process. Even the most rabid Republicans are quick to point out the problems with the military ballots’ postmarks and how they were challenged by the Democrats. Butterfly ballots and hanging chads have become catchphrases thanks to the arguments.
I personally don’t give a good sweet fuck whether you think that Jimmy Carter was the worst thing ever to happen to America – he’s speaking out on an issue with substantive questions, which does not happen to be his personal issue but one raised by a bipartisan commission.
I did not and will not call anyone supporting Mr. Bush a traitor, nor accuse someone of anti-Americanism because they dislike Mr. Carter. I find that conduct vile, and have mentioned how despicable Ann Coulter is for engaging in it.
My issue is in seeing that the elections be fairly conducted and not susceptible to fraud – no matter who wins.
Your issue seems to be in seeing Mr. Bush win, no matter how dishonest he needs to be to win the election.
And that makes you beneath contempt.
You used to be a sound debater whom I could respect. Suddenly you’ve turned into someone who throws insulting accusations around.
My statement was very explicit: Don’t use Mr. Carter’s past mistakes to deflect attention from the issue he raises, which is a valid one: there were problems in Florida in 2000; those problems have not been fixed. You chose to take it as a partisan debate.
Well, fine – if it’s your opinion that fair and free elections are a partisan issue, I’m proud to be a part of the party that supports having them. Undecided voters, please take note: a conservative Republican thinks that the question of whether we should have elections untainted by fraud is a partisan issue, and is prepared to say that anyone calling for them is opposed to Mr. Bush. Therefore, kindly cast your votes on the basis of whether you approve of free elections not susceptible to tampering – One of Mr. Bush’s own supporters doesn’t believe that is a legitimate concern for a voter to have.
I used to think that the folks accusing Mr. Ashcroft of gutting the Bill of Rights were getting just a trifle extreme – but here we have a man saying, “Don’t worry whether someone is going to defraud you of your vote; anyone who says otherwise is just a Bush-hater.” Apparently the entire idea of a Republican form of government, where your vote counts, is no longer a Republican virtue.
What the fuck is wrong with you, Shodan? Has this turned into such a black-and-white issue for you that you see no problem with the issues raised?
Do you really think that nobody has a right to an opinion except you and those who agree with you? Do you think that children have no right to have concerns about issues?
I solemnly promise you that if Mr. Bush wins the upcoming election fairly, with no substantiatable accusations of fraud, I will start a thread in Great Debates acknowledging that I was wrong. Do you think, perhaps, that you can see the idea that the question of potential electoral fraud, not partisan politics, is worth dealing with? Or does partisanship mean more to you than the values of free elections these days? If so, I truly pity you.