End Game

It looks like Gore's going to concede the election tonight.  I think he should, it's doubtful he can win from here.  There are still a handful of court cases which could change that, but they're not likely to be ruled in his favor.  I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and read the complete opinions of the Supreme Court yet, I plan to do so later today, but I'm left completely baffled by what I have read.

I've had to read Supreme Court cases for class several times, and generally I feel that they get it "right".  I don't always agree with everything they say, or the implications it has for the country, but I can generally follow the logic and the law that they use to reach their decisions.  This case leaves me baffled.  The Equal Protection argument seems absolutely bizarre, so much of a Presidential election varies from county to county, why would it surprise anyone that standards would as well?  I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a uniform standard, but all the legislature wrote was "intent of the voter", it should be their job to be more specific, not the Florida Supreme Court's.

I also don't see what business the Supreme Court has sticking their nose in what is in essence a matter of Florida law.  As Justice Breyer wrote in his dissent:

"The Court was wrong to take this case. It was wrong to grant a stay. It should now vacate that stay and permit the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether the recount should resume.

That stay should never have happened.  The counting should have gone forward, many of the experts are saying that it would have vindicated Bush anyhow.  The Court could have always ordered that the recount was unconstitutional, and that the results should not have been included, but they should not have stopped the count of the "undervotes" from taking place.  The dissenting opinions, especially Breyer's, are probably the most harsh that I've ever read from the Supreme Court.

So what do I think they should have done?  Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I agree with what Justice Souter wrote in his dissent, that would have been the proper course of action. 

"As will be clear, I am in substantial agreement with the dissenting opinions of Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer. I write separately only to say how straightforward the issues before us really are .... In deciding what to do about this, we should take account of the fact that electoral votes are due to be cast in six days. I would therefore remand the case to the courts of Florida with instructions to establish uniform standards for evaluating the several types of ballots that have prompted differing treatments, to be applied within and among counties when passing on such identical ballots in any further recounting (or successive recounting) that the courts might order.

Will I give my support to President-elect Bush?  I probably won't refer to him as "His Fraudulency" as Rutherford B. Hayes was called after a tainted election, but his Presidency will be forever stained by the election mess in Florida.  I think that he'll be the legitimate President of the United States, that's not to say that I think the system functioned properly, but he made his way through the convoluted mess, and came out victorius.  I don't think that our next President will have an easy time of things, regardless if it had been Gore or Bush, they're coming into office with no mandate, they've got to deal with an evenly divided Congress, and the economy is bound to go south in the next four years.  It's a foregone conclusion that it won't be an easy job.

On the bright side, Rush Limbaugh won't have much to gripe about in a couple of months.  I doubt he can do an entire show every day about Senator Hillary Clinton, but I'm sure he'll try. 

If you believe in the Curse of Tecumseh, then Bush won't live out his term.  It's a freaky set of coincidences, but Reagan is the only President elected in a year ending in zero since 1840 who lived out his term, and keep in mind he was shot. 

Comedians everywhere have to be rejoicing, there's a lot more comedic material to be found in a Bush presidency than in a Gore one.  With Gore, what have you got to work with?  His lack of personality? That gets old pretty quick.  With Bush, you've got his reputed lack of intelligence, alcoholism, drunk driving, his frat boy image, the fact that his Dad was a President, and the fact that he mangles words daily.  He's like Dan Quayle and Gerald Ford all rolled into one...