Shenanigans can only damage presidency
Published 11:02 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000
By By BILL ARMISTEAD
If you thought that Bill Clinton damaged the presidency, just wait to see what Al Gore does to it if his shenanigans in Florida lead him to become the next President of the United States.
It appears that Al Gore and his political cronies will do anything to win this election – including manipulating the outcome of the Florida election results which in turn will determine who wins the Presidency. As of this writing (and who knows if this will be the status when this is read) whoever wins Florida's 25 electoral votes will reach the magic number of electoral votes needed to be elected – 270.
It appeared that the election was finally over in the wee hours of last Wednesday morning. Bush had won Florida giving him 271 electoral votes. Then, around 2:30 a.m., Vice President Gore called Governor Bush to concede the presidential election. In less than one hour, Gore called Bush again — just minutes before Gore was scheduled to publicly concede defeat — to recant his concession. So, what happened in this short period of time to change Gore's mind?
If I had to write out the scenario on how this happened I would say that it went something like this: After calling Bush, Gore begins to call some of his political supporters, like the Rev. Jesse ("rent a riot") Jackson, to let them know of his decision to concede. Then, these political hacks began crawling all over Gore telling him not to do it, that they will help him pull this one out. After all, they were counting on all of this political patronage that they had become used to during the Clinton-Gore years. Well, it is now obvious that Gore yielded to these political operatives to see what kind of "magic" they could pull out of the bag.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson immediately went on national television and announced that he was flying to Miami and wanted anyone who felt "intimidated or disenfranchised" at the polls to meet with him at a church in the Miami area. Within hours he had stirred up a hornets nest in Florida and was leading marches in the streets saying that this was "Selma, Alabama all over again". He and his marchers demanded a new election in Dade County Florida.
Then, Gore dispatched his campaign chairman Bill Daley (son of the late mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley and brother of current Mayor Richard M. Daley) to make sure that Gore had the votes to win. That should have been a fairly simple task since the Daley political machine in Chicago has been well known for stealing elections. The most notable election that the Daley machine allegedly stole was the 1960 presidential election where John F. Kennedy carried Illinois by fewer than 9,000 votes out of 4.75 million cast. Daley's father made a well known phone call to then-Sen. John F. Kennedy on election night and assured him that he would make sure that Illinois went Democrat. And he did! Now his son is trying to do the same thing for Al Gore.
The first thing the Gore/Daley/ Jackson team had to do was to demonize the Florida election process. They began making charges about confusing ballots, missing election boxes, disenfranchised voters and the like. Never mind that none of these allegations have been substantiated; the mere fact that they have been made creates news for the networks and doubt in the minds of the American people.
Daley began the demonizing process by criticizing the use of the "butterfly" ballots used in Florida which seemed to cause so much confusion. However, he backed off of his criticism of the ballot when he learned that it was the Democrats in Florida who had designed and approved these ballots. It was made public by the Bush campaign that these same kind of ballots are used in Daley's home town of Chicago and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, was just elected using this ballot.
The Gore/Daley/Jackson team quickly began calling for a recount in Florida. The vote was recounted but the outcome was not what they wanted – Gov. Bush again. They then decided to zero in on the areas where Gore was far ahead and asked for a manual recount of selected precincts in selected counties to try to overcome Bush's slim lead. As of this writing, and after these manual recounts, Gore still has not won Florida. But they are not done yet. They want to recount more counties until they can claim the election for Gore.
The manual counting of the votes in Dade County Florida by Democrat election officials over the weekend would be funny if it wasn't such a serious matter. Here you have these officials trying to determine the intent of the voter by examining ballots that were thrown out because they were not properly punched. Some ballots did not register any vote for president and some registered two votes. The next thing you know they will be hiring a psychic to help them determine for whom the voter "really" intended to vote.
The very subjective examination of the ballots, to determine the intent of the voter, began with election officials holding the ballot up to a light to see if the hole had been punched all the way through which was necessary to count the ballot. They first decided that if they could see light where the hole was suppose to be they would count the vote. This was called the "sunlight" test.
Midway through the counting of ballots using the "sunlight" test the Democrat election officials determined that this was not the best method (duh!) and came up with another method. The new method allowed the official to look at the ballot and try to determine just how attached or unattached the part of the ballot was that would fall away if the hole had been properly punched. This little piece of the ballot was referred to as the "chad".
The Democrat election officials explained to the media the various descriptions of ballots that would and would not be counted. For example, they said that they would count ballots if they had a "hanging chad, a swinging chad, or a tri-chad (pushed three-fourths out). They would not, however, count ballots where the "chads" appeared "pregnant" or "dimpled." This is absurd! We are electing the President of the United States, not president of the fifth grade class.
It is hard to believe that this is happening in the United States of America. Can you imagine what people all over the world are thinking of our election process when it is reduced to this kind of "third world" vote counting? If Gore should be declared the winner and become President, can you imagine what other world leaders will think of him having drug our country through this process in order to become President of the United States? The trust and confidence of the leader of the free world will have eroded just as it will have here in America.
There is not much any of us ordinary citizens can do at this point – but pray for our country.