Tomorrow's Deadline

I’m wondering about this:

The main argument concerning the recounts is that they are provided for by Fl. Law. Bush supporters were accused of hypocrisy for challenging this.

However, the Florida State Att. General has made a deadline for all data tomorrow. This is also allowable by State Law. Gore is moving to challenge this.

Is Gore also a hypocrite now for challenging this lawful decision?

Bush and some of his supporters are hypocrites because they said the election “ought not be decided in court,” and then the Bush campaign turned right around and filed a lawsuit.

The deadline may or may not be “lawful,” depending on whether the law in question passes Constitutional muster. The only way to find out is (you guessed it) a lawsuit.

I’m not sure why you think that makes Gore or his supporters hypocritical, though.

I see. So Bush says It shouldn’t be decided in the courts, and neither of us should attempt to manipulate thy system with additional recounts.

Gore goes for handcounts, and Bush moves to stop under the grounds that they are unconstitutional. He’s interfereing with the lawful process. He’s a hypocrite.

The SAG installs a deadline. Gore files suit on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. He’s interfering with the lawful process. He’s not a hypocrite.
I understand now. Thanks for the help.

I’ll try to make it simpler:

Bush said “Don’t take it to court!”

Bush took it to court.

Bush is a hypocrite.

To my knowledge, Gore has never said that the courts should have no involvement. Therefore, if he resorts to the courts, I don’t see the “hypocrisy.”

Like I said, whether or not the deadline is a “lawful process” depends on whether the deadline passes Constitutional muster. I see nothing wrong with asking the courts to make this determination. That’s what the courts are there for.

And for the record, I saw nothing wrong with Bush seeking an injunction to stop the hand count. I didn’t think he had a good argument, and I do think he is being hypocritical, but there is nothing inherently wrong with using the court system to determine constitutionality.


The hypocrisy I see with Bush isn’t how you just stated it. In fact, if the facts were as you have put them, Bush would be no more a hypocrite than Al Gore.

However, I, for one, accuse Bush of hypocrisy because he files a suit claiming that hand counts are not as accurate as machine counts… after he has passed a bill in Texas that causes all recounts to be manual, on the grounds that they are more accurate.

Mi Tan:

That’s been covered in another thread. We have hand counts occuring in a partisan environment, where bias seems likely i.e. a committee of three ruling on each ballot where there are 2 democrats and one republican. There is also a fundamental difference in the nature of the ballots being used in Florida compared to Texas.

I think Bush is acting in his own self interest, and, were the situation reversed might well adopt the opposite principles from the ones that he currently espouses.

Having said that, I don’t think he is being a hypocrite for going to court, despite his earlier opposition to involving the legal system. Bush and his people were very clear that the reason for their opposition to involving the legal system was not an opposition to anything legal, but a stated belief that the process should not be dragged out and prolonged unnecessarily. In the case of the Gore lawsuits, they threatened to do just that. The Bush lawsuit was intended to have the opposite effect.

To make an equation legal=legal seems a bit simpleminded.

The case for Bush’s hypocrisy has been elaborated in detail on other threads. To say that scylla has not presented it fairly would, perhaps, be a slight understatement.

Scylla, if you wish to develop a case that Gore is a hypocrite for using the court to decide which of two conflicting Florida statutes should be enforced, then you are free to do so.

Nothing in your OP, however, even approaches a persuasive argument.

There also appears to be conflicting FL laws regarding the certification of recounts(one saying 10 days, the other allowing for the discretion of the electoral canvasers). So tyhe court test will be to see if the two versions reconcile. Sorry I don’t have a cite for this but with all the different sources I can’t remember where I saw it.

at least you guys don’t have to deal with my dad, who, when presented with Bush’s hypocrisy, asked me if I thought Clinton should have been punished for lying in court, and if I didn’t, then I am a hypocrite and all arguments about this situation are bullshit.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, but he’s terribly misguided.

We ended that conversation with him ranting that Gore represents the Commie interests trying to take over our government.


I don’t think Gore is a hypocrite - his position has been all along that he will go to court, right?

I suppose that he’s a hypocrite if he attacks Bush for filing a weak lawsuit and then files his own weak lawsuit.

If the law in Florida is that there’s a deadline, and Gore files a suit saying that such a deadline is unconstitutional, that’s about as weak as Bush’s lawsuit which says that hand re-counting (which is apparently permitted by law) is unconstitutional.

Part of the problem is deciding what statements (and actions) should be attributed to each candidate. For example, one candidate could decry the lawsuits, but discreetly have his party file a lawsuit. (Of course, apparently both candidates have filed suit now.)


How can you complain about Bush’s hypocrisy? Shouldn’t Clinton have been punished for lying?

Gore just represents foreign interests anyway.

(just couldn’t resist.) :slight_smile:

No sheeit, Mannix. If the exact same people were on the opposite sides of this fiasco, it would be happening exactly the same way. (I like to think I’d still be advocating my solution–splitting the votes–despite my personal bias against Bush.)

Bush’s talk about not taking this to court was part of his early attempt to buy the pot. He’s holding, say, a weak two pair–probably a winner for the time being, but not that easy to improve and easy to beat on the draw. Therefore, he wants to play hard and fast, in the hope that Gore will fold. Gore, on the other hand, has an open-ended straight flush draw–absolutely nothing at the moment, but there are plenty of cards out there that can help him. So it’s worth it for him to stay in the game. Now that Bush sees that he isn’t going to blink, he’s going to have to back off and play the game. (Hey, if Dan Rather can spout Texas platitudes all night, I can use poker analogies.)

As for the deadline, I don’t blame the SOS. It’ll go to court, the court will extend the deadline. This is what happens when ordinary laws meet extraordinary situations. I’d personally love to see a statewide hand count, or at least for Bush to be allowed to pick four counties to re-count that might help him, just to quiet the accusations of partisan politics.

Dr. J


I don’t recall making an argument for Gore hypocrisy, I’m just asking the question here.

Although his statement today about his concern not really being about winning the election but fighting for those whose voice has not been heard is about as big a load of bogus bull as I’ve ever heard.

DoctorJ wrote:

Well, I fear it won’t be quite that easy, though I sure hope you’re right.

The thing is, the court will be bound to follow the statutory language, unless there is either a clear conflict with another statute, or unless the statute in question is unconstitutional.

Now while it sounds like there is some tension between the statutes in question, I don’t think it is a clear conflict of the type which would allow the court to extend the Tuesday deadline. The court is required to try to reconcile conflicting statutes in such a way as to give effect to both wherever possible. Thus, the court may find that the law allows you to seek a hand recount, but requires you to be damn quick about it.

I’m afraid that to defeat the deadline, the Democrats may have to argue that the deadline is unconstitutional, inasmuch as it (arguably) disenfranchises voters by thwarting an accurate recount.

Oh, one other scenario for the court challenge:

If the Florida statute conflicts with federal election law, I believe the federal law would pre-empt the state law. However, I have not heard any indication that this is the case.

Nah – I’ve heard bigger. You should have heard my recruiter :wink: [sub](though, now that I think of it my squad leader during Beast Barracks had a real flair . . .)[/sub]

But it is a load, no question.

Why could the Tuesday deadline be extended by a court order, but the counting of the 53 counties already “certified” can’t? Is it only because the Republicans haven’t asked?

I’ve heard that the Republicans are out of luck for a statewide hand count because of the letter of the law. Is this correct? If so, wouldn’t Florida law indicate that the Democrats are out of luck regarding the deadline?

The problem with claiming the deadline makes it impossible to do a handcount is that it doesn’t. The handcount could possibly have been completed in time had they started immediately after the election, rather than 5 or 6 days after the election.

Gore is not being hypocritical, but only because he only ever had one course of action that he could take to win. If the situation were reversed, I GUARANTEE that the Gore people would have been doing exactly the same thing the Bush people are.

Remember what the stakes are here - hundreds of millions spent in campaigning. Both men have been doing little else for the last year. Both have dozens of people surrounding them that will be out of a job if they lose. Both of them believe that their way of doing things is better for the country.

This is why you need a rule of law - both sides can come to totally opposite conclusions and sincerely believe that they are correct. The courts are there to impartially decide such conflicts.

Scylla asks…

Let’s not kid ourselves about the Sec. of State’s impartiality, here. Kat Harris might as well be Bush’s hired gun in Florida. Anyway, look at the statue in question.

Florida Election Law Title XII Ch. 102 Sec 102.112

Note the liberal use of the verb may. May implies discretion, which can be argued in court. And why have a punishment be a fine when you are trying to discourage votes to be turned in, and whay even have a fine dependent on how many days late you are at turning in a ballot, if you are going to dump them anyway.

My feeling is that Mrs Harris simply used her discretion to help Bush in the matter.