The Certification, Coming Court Cases and What's Next...

Trying to be tidy and comprehensive with starting a new thread. I know I’ll get shit for it anyway.

So. Ms. Harris decided NOT to accept the partial results from Palm Beach. I missed the reasoning there, can anyone fill me in? (I mean, apart from the fact that she’s a hardass doing Gumby moves for Bush). But she did decided to certify Mr. Bush the winner. No big shocker there.

What I do find interesting about that is that Harris/her staff were asked repeatedly before they received them if they would certify partial results or not. They repeatedly declined to answer, saying they would decide when the results were received. Why is that? Didn’t want to tie their hands into declaring Gore the winner if by chance Pam Beach gave them partial returns with that result?

Baker was good in his response. PR wise, breaking it down into its simplest parts, using naked (if incomplete) facts, using Gore’s and Lieberman’s own words against them…very shrewd. However, as those of us who are paying attention (of all parties) know, he was being disingenuous. After all, what Gore said was that he’d accept the results if the votes were recounted in the areas he’d requested. They weren’t. So, since his criteria for giving up were not met, why would he give up?

It will be interesting to see what Bush has to say at 9:30. I’ll be shocked and offended if he declares himself President-elect, especially with so many cases pending, and given how hard THEY hammered the contest/protest divisions.

A neighbor of mine said today that she would be content with Bush being declared president…if she felt that it had been shown that he legitimately won. She doesn’t feel that repeatedly saying Bush is the winner using incomplete results and trying to defy florida law to do so proves that he legitimately won anything.

In the end, I think that’s all Gore is asking for. He keeps being told he’s lost…and he keeps saying prove it. The answer he keeps getting is pretty much “Oh, just accept it!”.

Another note…to those who were so convinced and so vocal that a manual recount was inherently unfair and virtually guaranteed to give Gore the votes, I think y’all (on this board and in the larger world) oughta at least have the decency to admit you were wrong about the integrity of the people conducting the recounts. How many times did we hear about “mischief” and all the rest of the crap that made doing this unacceptable? Well, guess what…the counties knew how many votes Gore needed. They didn’t “find” them…they counted the true votes and so far as they could get (miami-dade and Palm Beach aside) an answer, the answer was that there were not sufficient votes. No one could have cheated in this if they’d desperately wanted to. I think the Florida canvassing boards and counters and observers did an amazing job.

I realized something about these two guys. This is deeply, deeply personal for Gore. He has spent his entire life working towards this end, busting his ass for this. He believes, I think accurately, that if he misses this chance, it is over and he’ll never get another. He also believes, as do I, that he was in fact the winner in Florida. So his heart and soul are in this 100%. He does not have the rabid support that Bush has because his party is somewhat complacent, they’ve had power a long time, and they are starting to realize that it would probably be healthier for each of them individually (in the Congress) if Bush were elected. They are more likely to hold on to their jobs 2 and 4 years from now than if Al is elected.

On the other hand, as I’ve mentioned before, outside of the Son-Avenging-the Father aspect, this is NOT personal for Bush. He’s got time, he’s got tomorrow, and he also doesn’t really care that much. I absolutely believe that this was only slightly more than a lark for Bush. However, in much the same way he would end up being merely a figurehead for the whole government if he won, he is now merely the figurehead for his party. His party which is thirsty for power, deeply pissed at Clinton/Gore, and basically ready to do anything and everything they have to do to win this one. That’s why he is getting so much support from his party and their supporters. It’s not about him being the right guy, it’s not about a passion to be president, it’s not about the idea that he really did win. (Everybody really knows that ain’t so.) It’s about defeating Clinton. This is the residue of impeachment, Whitewater, and every other attempt to bring him down.

As a result, the R’s are being outrageous in the way they are willing to bend this to their need to win. They will sacrifice any belief, any idea, any principal, to move this in Bush’s direction, and they they will spin the hell out of it. Gore’s every word and act have all been focused on one simple and unwavering principle: it is not over until the votes have been counted completely. Someone please tell me the unifying theory underlying Bush’s attitude…if you can? Cuz I can’t see what it is.


(Disclaimer: I have not read the FSC’s decision in its entirety.)

Is it possible that the FSC could come out and say, “Look, we know we set this Sunday deadline for everything to be in, but we didn’t realize that the counties wouldn’t have enough time to complete the recounts. We consider this a mistake on our part, and we would like the counties to complete their recounts, in whatever manner they deem to be the most accurate, in as timely a manner as possible.”

On the one hand, it could be seen as an acknowledgement that a more accurate count is better than a faster one, and that the gravity of this situation demands that we take our time. The will of the people should be more important than an artificial deadline.

On the other hand, it would be politically devastating. Those damn Demmycrats are just trying to steal this election any way they can, and they’ve got that there Supreme Court in their back pocket.

Here’s another question: Miami-Dade clearly did not have time to complete their total hand recount, so they proposed to count only the votes that were not counted by the machines. This sounds like the best solution to me–a vote picked up by the machine is going to be picked up just the same by hand. However, the Gore camp fought this idea. Why? They didn’t have time to do the full count, so the alternative was letting the machine count stand. If they had let the partial recount go through, it very likely would have turned the election his way.

Dr. J


I started to reply point by point to your OP, but then I went back and reread it, and realized I had 23 points of disagreement.

Let’s just say that I disagree with your entire post in toto, and leave it at that.

I remember you saying in an earlier thread that Gore should concede. You’re not taking back that concession, are you? :slight_smile:

The deadline was there for a reason - they have to leave enough time to allow for a reasonable contest of the election before the Dec 12 deadline. That said, I think it was both wrong and stupid of Harris to not allow an extension until 9 AM. Wrong, because the spirit of the deadline was clearly to allow time for a contest, and allowing an extension until her office opens in the morning clearly would not change that. Stupid, because Palm Beach clearly isn’t going to give Gore enough votes to win, so from purely partisan reasons it makes sense to give at least an appearance of fair play. Not allowing them until morning gives the Gore lawyers just one more weapon in the election contest lawsuits.

To be fair to Harris, she claims that she really had no discretion, because the Supreme court only allowed the extension until 9AM tomorrow if her office was closed today, which it wasn’t. She could probably have gotten around that by closing her offices at noon when the deadline was requested.

But frankly, I think Gore has had his day in court, and should now gracefully bow out. His only remaining straws to grasp at here are to somehow force Miami-Dade into doing a recount, and to get the standards changed for the way Palm Beach counted their votes and then get yet another recount. Neither of those are politically very wise, and neither of them seem to have a legal basis. Miami-Dade halted their recount because it was simply physically impossible to complete it by the deadline (and they were right - if Palm Beach couldn’t finish, there’s no way in hell Miami could have). Gore’s lawyers are now claiming that they broke the law by stopping, even though a lower court judge upheld the stoppage, saying that the law can’t compel someone to do something impossible.

Changing the standard in Palm Beach and forcing another recount will never fly, for two reasons. One is that it removes the authority from the election board, and two is that it will look like (and is) ‘vote sifting’. How can you possibly defend the idea of doing a manual count, and then forcing them to do it again with a different standard if you don’t like the result?

BTW, it turns out that ‘dimpled chad’ is almost never allowed as a standard in an election. Gore’s lawyers quoted Illinois as an example of allowing the counting of improperly punched ballots, but as it turns out ‘dimpled chad’ was not allowed there. Even more interestingly, one of Gore’s lawyers in Florida was the guy who fought AGAINST counting dimpled chad in Illinois. So that’s not going to play very well. And in any event, Palm Beach DID allow dimpled chad, so long as all the chad on the ballot were dimpled. And this makes sense. If you’re going to argue that the voter didn’t have the strength to punch through the card, or that they thought they only had to dimple it, it becomes hard to justify a vote on a ballot where every hole is properly punched except for one.

Their other longshot lawsuit has to do with the ‘interference’ of some protestors, which Gore is now claiming ‘intimidated’ the election staff into quitting the recount in Miami-Dade. Does anyone really believe this? Do you think the election officials there ran for their lives because they were afraid of a protest? That dog won’t hunt.

The major problem for Gore now is that if he somehow does manage to win the Presidency half the country will be up in arms. If he had won the recount I think it would have been okay, but if he manages to win by claiming that Republican threats of violence biased the election, his presidency would have no legitimacy.

As a Canadian watching from outside (and knowing that our system is worse), this whole thing has been fascinating. Watching Bush and Gore flip-flop in an apparent attempt to see who can be more hypocritical, and watching the rank-and-file fall in behind each of them with every turn has been amazing. Remember just before the Supreme Court of Florida ruled last week? Democrats were saying, “Gore should get his recount. If he does and Bush still wins, then it’s time for him to fold his tent.” Well, he got it, and Bush still won. But now they’re all saying he should fight on.

IF Gore managed to force Miami-Dade to finish the recount, the numbers suggest that he might come out on top, but by no more than 100-200 votes. Bush could then contest that by pointing out all the absentee ballots that were excluded, except that he’d have no time, since the recount would almost certainly go right until the deadline for Florida to choose its electors. Would that be fair?

And anyway, if Gore managed to pull out a ‘win’ by some slim margin through forcing recounts and increasingly loose standards for determining a vote, the Florida Legislature is almost certain to do an end-around and appoint a Republican slate of electors anyway. That would throw the whole mess over to the Federal Government.

I, too, was going to disagree point by point, but then I had a thought: I bet Gore concedes before Stoidela does.

There were a couple of things that disturbed me about the certification thing today.

I don’t see why Ms. Harris couldn’t have simply closed the office before 5 today, or just not opened until 9 tomorrow. “The appearance of fair play,” as Sam Stone put it, would have been nice.

And did anyone else notice Ms. Harris’ body language while she was speaking before and after the signing of everything? She was trying so hard not to smile, I thought her whole head was going to explode. It also looked like at any moment, she was either going to jump up & start break-dancing with joy, or walk right up to the cameras & flip the bird.

A question for those who know about these things: Bush stated he would ask for Clinton’s help with transition. Do outgoing presidents have to help, or is it just a courtesy? I personally think Bush is a little premature, considering that there’s still stuff pending in the courts. I really don’t know much of anything about politics, though.

Round One, the popular vote, was won by Gore by a quarter million votes [I think the latest is 337,100] over Bush.

Round Two, the electoral vote, has seemingly been won by Bush, however that is debatable due to:

. the Palm Beach recount vote on being ignored by the Election Commission [although Ms Harris could have been more conciliatory and waited two hours, she did have until 9am Monday],

. the Miami-Dade recount non-event called off because “we didn’t have enough time” or because of intimidation and threats by Republican politicos [depends upon your interpretation]

. the Nassau county board of electors tossing out some 50 Gore votes by going back to their original count without a reasonable explanation given so far

. the infamous 22,000 double votes tossed out of four African American precinct districts by the Duval County
Elections office.

So Round Three begins… I agree with Leiberman: let every vote count and count every vote. I hope that the courts see it that way.

What I really fear is the unleashing of Republicans which we have seen over the past couple of years and, more recently, how they have waged war on the local Florida battleground. Yup, that includes Ms Harris and the rioting trailer politicos in Miami. Bush, if he is ultimately the winner, will have to rein in the Lotts, Armey, Harrises et al if he is to succeed at building any cohesive administration. Given his interest in baseball, he must realize that no team can possibly win if there is no teamwork. Half a team won’t do it.

How are we to learn anything from you THAT way? The only way we’ll see you’re right is if you explain it to us. Please, I’d really like to see how anything Stoidela said is wrong, OK?

You know, this is very interesting. Because frankly, I don’t think I am comfortable with someone who is so intense about this job. To spend your “entire life” working towards this? I am sure he is not the first president that has felt this way, but, really. It’s too intense, I question if it is even healthy. It is important that a presidential candidate to want it really bad, to feel convinced that you can do a good job, but to basically center your whole life around it…is too intense. And now that all that he has devoted his whole life to is perhaps slipping through his fingers, he is not taking it well.

I don’t think I buy the Son-Avenging-The-Father thing, other than a nice “perk” if he actually gets the Presidency. But I happen to think that Bush’s possible “not taking it too seriously” as a good thing, within reason. I don’t WANT a president who is so intense about this job. Like he’ll collapse if he doesn’t get it. I think that kind of intensity can be a potential weakness. I believe that if Bush doesn’t get this, he will go on with his Life without too much heartache. (Oh, I know Gore will too…eventually.)

Stoid, there is a huge difference between support and blind faith.

After reading your numerous posts on this subject, I must comment that you possess a dangerous combination of naivete and blind faith. It’s dangerous because these qualities make you a prime candidate to be manipulated.

Your demonization of Republicans and deification of Democrats is irrational. Politicians do it all the time, yes, but they do it because they want us to vote for them so they spin the truth to cast themselves in the best possible light. We know it, they know it. It’s a game. Our job as voters is to figure out where the truth lies in the middle of all the bullshit that’s flying.

And if you don’t know it’s bullshit, then you are walking around with a bullseye on your head.

“Blind faith in your leaders…or in anything…will get you killed.” (Bruce Springsteen).

Well, can’t say I’m surprised at the response.

Apparantly I’m dangerously naive, blind, irrational, and just plain wrong. Not to mention stubborn, of course. (And as usual, it’s all about me, not what I said. I swear, the fixation with me is starting to be embarassing. People will talk…)

But I don’t see much of a response to my queries in the OP. Just more “pack it in, it’s over” crap. Again…Gore said he’d let it go when the ballots were all counted. They ** were not all counted **. So he’s not going to give up until they are.

This may be a bad move on his part. He may arouse the ire of many.

That doesn’t make him wrong, you know. And it doesn’t make him dishonest. And it doesn’t make him a hypocrite. He has been absolutely consistent, as I said before. Since the beginning, he has had a singular goal: count the votes, count them carefully. It was apparant, between one thing and another, that the FACT was that more Floridians cast their vote for Gore or tried to cast their vote for Gore, than for Bush.

I am not at all blind. I see it perfectly clearly. And one thing I see perfectly clearly is that Gore was supposed to be the president, he knows it, and he’s doing all he can to show that, legally. Bush was not, he knows it, and he’s done everything he could think of to try and stop that from being shown. Gore has sought to reveal, Bush to conceal. People can go ahead and think it is time for Gore to bail and I understand that. Looked at from a purely partisan perspective of wanting the Democrats to have the most power for the longest time, I would want Gore to let it go now, too. But my sense of fairness continues to be deeply offended by this. Bush didn’t win Florida any more than he won the popular vote. Errors, problems, and circumstances worked togther to put him in this position, not the true will of a plurality of the people of Florida and of this country. And why so many are ok with this is baffling to me. Just to get it over with? Just because it’s easier? bah.

We all know who stole this election, and it wasn’t Gore, and it could never be Gore. You don’t steal elections by counting votes.


The Florida election has produced a margin of victory that is less than the margin of error of the vote counting methods. No amount of recounting is likely to change this fact, no matter which side comes out “on top”. Adding to the dilemma is the popular vote issue. The election process has clearly failed under the weight of extraordinary circumstances.

And now we see that the rule of law offers no equitable remedy. This event was simply not anticipated by the lawmakers.

But most incredulous of all is that nobody wants to recognize this for what it is… a constitutional issue. In fact, I keep hearing exasperated denials of this fact. Why? Would a constitutional crisis be more injurious to the nation than the inauguration of a president that will with all certainty be widely regarded as illegitimate? I think not. By upholding the sanctity of the constitution in it’s present incarnation, Americans are sidelining the cornerstone principles on which it was founded.

America needs to preserve the integrity of it’s electoral system. This foriegn observer can see no other way to acheive this than a national run-off election.

I know, I should wish for a pony while I’m at it.

Do you wonder why that is?

I’ll tell you.

It’s because you’re unreceptive to criticism. You’ve proven that with your many posts on this single subject alone. Your entire attitude has been “Gore good! Bush bad!”, no matter what.

If you want to get responses to your queries, then perhaps you should try to be fair in dealing with those who disagree with you. And don’t give me that “But I HAVE been fair” shit, because you haven’t.

Damn…what was I thinking? I forgot that everyone here except me (about me again…tsk tsk) is a model of fairmindedness, balance, impartiality, and bipartison harmony, unsullied in their thinking by their own selfish desires. Not to mention the kinder, gentler way they all communicate with, about and to each other.

BTW…I watched Bush’s victory speech. Very nice. Arrogant, presumptuous and disrespectful of the process that is occuring, but very nicely written and delivered.

It will be interesting to see what the response is from Clinton when Bush wants to “work together”.


It’s all about you, honey. All about you. We hold secret meetings and plot how we are going to single you out, and “pick” on youv for no reason. Yeah…that must be it…

It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with your attitude, or what you actually write here. Oh…no… That would be inconcievable!

Actually, I mostly agree with stoidela, and she has not said much here whitch is all that biased, or partisen. Clearly, there will be more court challenges- and remember folks- it was Bush who threw down the 1st lawyer, not Gore.

I’ll take a shot. I think the Republicans have been consistent and unified in stating that the established rules must take precedence, that we can’t establish new rules after the fact (even if we think it provides “equitable relief”). Or, I should say, they have been as consistent as the Dems–both sides have had their convenient lapses. Whether or not you agree with this philosophy, I think the GOP has been largely consistent in this regard.

The “will of the people” does not reside only in the vote count, I think they’re arguing, it also resides in the law and in the Constitution (read the first 3 words). The legislature installed the discretionary power for certification in the SoS (as distasteful as some may find her). And the Dems understand this, which makes their “we only want to count every vote to be fair, and because it’s the people’s will” a bit disingenuous as well, I think.

I didn’t get this impression from his speech. I thought it bordered on being conciliatory.

I voted for Al Gore. Now I think he should gracefully concede for the good of the country.

I’m tired of our presuming the worst of someone because of their political affiliation. It’s time to move on.

“Damn…what was I thinking? I forgot that everyone here except me (about me again…tsk tsk) is a model of fairmindedness, balance, impartiality, and bipartison harmony, unsullied in their thinking by their own selfish desires”

Well comparatively yes. Almost everyone else here has shown that they can see both sides of this political arguement. You have shown that you can’t.

You also think that Gore should have won because of the 1 publicised error. Your not accounting for the fact that there was more than 1 error with voting this election. Such as the calling it for Gore too early. Or a number of small errors that only killed a few votes. The margin of error is too small for us to tell who would have won.

Besides it was not “we want every vote to count” that the dems were spouting after the military ballots thing. It was “we want every valid vote”.

Though I actually do agree when you say its deeply personal for Gore and not for Bush. Gore even said “life will not go on if I don’t win” or something to that effect with Bush saying “I have something to fall back on, however Gore has everything riding on this election.”

"We all know who stole this election, and it wasn’t Gore, and it could never be Gore. You don’t steal elections by counting votes. "

This I just don’t understand. Gore tried to steal the election by counting counties that would help him. Its plainly obvious that he didn’t want to count all the votes, just the ones that favor him. Or no wait Gore didn’t try to deny the military ballots that favored Bush while pushing for recounts of the counties that favored Gore. Clearly Gore has tried to steal the election through legal means and has failed. Bush was right to try to shut his legal abilitys down throughout this entire thing, it just wasen’t very smart legally because he coulden’t suceed.

Also its illegal to count partial returns im pretty sure. Dade offered to count only the 11000 uncounted votes and was turned down because its illegal. So partial counts can’t count.

Nope. We recognize the truth. Bush wants to win and so does Gore. The difference is that we have neither demonized the opponent nor deified the guy we support, as you have. Philosophically Gore and Bush are inches apart on the political spectrum.

Politics is a dirty game and both sides use questionable tactics to win. We have no delusions that it is all about “fairness.” Politics IS all about power, nothing more, nothing less.

The reason we are still debating this is because neither man really deserved to win. Gore couldn’t even carry his own state. And Bush won by the scantest of margins in a state of which his brother is the governor. We’re in this mess because both candidates suck. And that’s the truth.

Re responding to your OP. Let me just say that when my daughter has a tantrum, I ignore her. You can keep banging your head on the floor all you want, but in the end you’re only hurting yourself. If you want to have a dialogue, we can talk. If you want to respectfully ask a question, in order to better understand how the “other side” thinks, I’d be happy to try and address it – though I make no pretensions about knowing what George Bush’s intentions are. I don’t know the man.

But you have shown no interest in the truth and I saw no reason to respond to the soliloquoy that you call an OP.

If “they” includes me, let me assure you that the only way I communicate with other people on these boards is through these boards. You can choose to believe otherwise.