How would you fix this mess? : LUSENET : actualsize : One Thread

I don't think it's fixable, but fortunatly the American public isn't counting on me for answers. How would you fix the election gaffes?

-- Atara (, November 10, 2000


I basically agree with your take on it. As much as I want Gore to win, picture what would happen if he did manage to pull it off after a legal battle, revote, whatever. The Republicans would be furious, the people would be sceptical, and Gore would look like a whiny coniving politician. Ok, maybe he is, but that's beside the point. My guess is that the reaction of the people to this whole mess will be to loudly express their wariness of whoever gets the job, moan loadly and often, and in two years send as many members of the opposite party to Congress as they possibly can. I honestly think it make take longer for the winner's political party to recover and regain legitimacy than it will for the loser's party. Then again...maybe this is all part of an attempt to rationalize how I'm going to survive the next four years. Any other predictions?

-- Sarah (, November 10, 2000.

Aah ... This is quite the dilemma for me ... Despite being in europe, the thought of a republican 'enthroned' in the white house (so to speak) is a little horrifying for me ... yet I can also see that whatever happens in florida, nobody is going to walk out smelling of roses.

Now, if the lawsuit wasn't being championed by Gore's team .. then things might look a little better ... sadly I think you may be right.

-- Raven (, November 10, 2000.

Can I ask, in all seriousness, why you (anyone in on this discussion) is so frightened/nauseated at the prospect of a Republican or Bush in office?

I voted for Bush, because I am against government trying to run things (I am actually a libertarian and believe more should be left up to individuals and states). I felt that Bush was far more likely to leave things up to the people than Gore was. But I'm not horrified by the idea of Gore in office and feel tremendous sympathy for him right now.

If your reasons are the abortion issue or Supreme Court appointments, please remember that it's highly unlikely Bush will overturn Roe vs. Wade (I don't think he really *cares* about abortion one way or the other), and go see what Rob (Book of Rob) has to say about the Supreme Court issue -- he is a Nader supporter and isn't worried about it.

As for the election mess itself, there unfortunately is no way to fix it. Everything that Sarah said is sadly true, plus you can't legislate elections while one is happening. If Bush "wins", and Gore bows out gracefully, Gore will be greatly respected, not to mention he'll get a tremendous sympathy vote if he tries to run again in 4 years.

-- Evelynne (, November 10, 2000.

Can I ask, in all seriousness, why you (anyone in on this discussion) is so frightened/nauseated at the prospect of a Republican or Bush in office?
If your reasons are the abortion issue or Supreme Court appointments, please remember that it's highly unlikely Bush will overturn Roe vs. Wade (I don't think he really *cares* about abortion one way or the other)...

It's not Bush that I'm specifically worried about. It's the religious right pinning all their ideologies and political aspirations on Bush that I'm worried about.

Bush isn't going to overturn Row v. Wade, granted. Not on his own, anyway. It's the Supreme Court. I really believe that Bush will be pressured into appointing very conservative justices to the Court. Maybe I've been brainwashed by the uberleft, but I honestly think that as soon as Bush finishes the appointments in the next few years, the first thing the religious right will do is trot Roe v Wade back up there, and it'll be overturned.

Plus there's the Cheney factor. I'm really more afraid of him than Bush, since he's right of the right. ;) Cheney voted against the Older Americans Act, which helps provide nutrition and other support services for older folks. He voted against several times against Head Start and college aid for low-income students. He voted against granting benefits to the widows of cops and firefighters. He's voted agaisnt the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. He voted against banning armor piercing bullets. He voted against funding for programs to prevent domestic violence and to provide shelter to victims of domestic violence. He voted against the Hunger Relief Act.

He scares me.

Also, I know that a lot of people in other countries are pulling for Gore, mostly because they're afraid that Bush will end up being an isolationist. While I don't think that the US should be sticking our noses in that we smell trouble, I think that we do have a large role to play outside of our borders.

Anyway. That's some of the reasons why I didn't vote for Bush. =)

-- Atara (, November 10, 2000.

To tag onto the "why we're afraid of Bush" discussion:

Another thing I'm afraid of is what Bush would do to our foreign policy. Nothing he's said or done has convinced me that I shouldn't be frightened to have him negotiating on our behalf abroad. The prospect of sending him to the Middle East to mediate between Barak and Arafat...*shudder*. This isn't so much an opinion on his policies; I just think Gore has much more experience and knowledge to deal with those types of situations. And while I think the US has at many points overstepped the bounds of getting involved in other countries' issues, I do think the role of an international mediator is a necessary one.

A more partisan issue that concerns me is tax policy. It sounds like you have a different take on this, Evelynne, and I realize there are good arguments for both sides. I happen to think that government can and should give a lot to its citizens, and I'm nervous that Bush will cut taxes more than I believe he should. I'd rather keep taxing and spend the money on better schools, health care, etc.

I'm not sure I'm terrified of Bush in office - I do think he's basically well intentioned and a semi-decent human being - but there are enough issues I'm strongly liberal on that I'd much rather see Gore as President.

Now if it was Buchanan...I'd be calling up Atara to ask about immigration laws :)

-- Sarah (, November 12, 2000.

Thank you for your thoughtful replies. It sounds like it boils down whether we believe government and taxing are the best vehicle for solving problems or not. I can always see the logic behind each side's responses, based on that core belief.

I get frustrated sometimes because people think that because I am against government control of just about everything (as Cheney certainly appears to be), that I am against, say, helping old people or protecting children from gun violence. That is not the case at all -- it's merely a matter of who I believe is responsible for doing those things.

As for the election brouhaha, it's actually starting to depress me. Issues aside, this has become a vivid illustration of everything I hate about politics. Everyone looks petty and ridiculous.

As Gore supporters, how do you all feel about the hand recounting? Do you support it?

-- Evelynne (, November 12, 2000.

Well ... the machine counting seems to have been ... Just a little less than accurate both times around ... losing an entire counties votes is a little alarming, along with the dramatic change in the numbers on the second count .. Regardless of the issues, the machine counts don't look viable from here.

-- Rvn (, November 12, 2000.

I also wondered about why the numbers looked different on second count -- particularly, why do both candidates have more votes. There's actually a logical reason for that. Aside from human error, it's those hanging chads. The first time the ballots went through the machine, they may have been unreadable. Second time through, after multiple handlings, some of the chads may have fallen off, resulting in more readable ballots.

You could do hundreds of counts and you will never get the same result. Where do you draw the line?

-- Evelynne (, November 12, 2000.

I agree, the fact that the recount numbers were so different is pretty disturbing. I'm not sure where to draw the line, and I don't envy either Bush or Gore trying to decide. What I HOPE we get out of all this mess is a better system for 2002. You can't possibly convince me that a country that makes supercomputers the size of cassette tapes can't come up with some voting system that doesn't depend on miniature squares of paper and punching systems that don't allow you to tell what you've voted for.

-- Sarah (, November 12, 2000.

Sarah wrote:
I'd be calling up Atara to ask about immigration laws :)

Mail yourself in a box. It's much easier. ;)

Evelynne wrote:
You could do hundreds of counts and you will never get the same result. Where do you draw the line?

I don't know. I just don't know. At this point... I don't care. I just want it to be OVER! For pete's sake, flip a fucking coin or something already, guys.

Bascially, it doesn't matter who won at this point. Yes, it will matter down the road - but whoever wins wil have just dismal approval ratings for quite a while, and with a totally deadlocked Congress (that I foresee) the new President won't be able to do much of anything. =P

-- Atara (, November 13, 2000.

Hey kids, are you tired of waiting for the Florida recounts to be tallied to see who the next President of the United States will be? Now you can take matters into your own hands with Election 2000: Final Decision, where you get to walk through possible outcomes of the election in Choose Your Own Adventure format.

-- Xydexx Squeakypony (, November 13, 2000.

Hmm, over here (the UK) a cross in a box on a piece of paper seems pretty unambiguous.

No matter how many times you count that, it still either is or isn't a vote.

-- Raven (, November 14, 2000.

Or you could always turn off CNN and get all your news from

-- Sarah (, November 14, 2000.

Well, someone will have to decide something eventually. I just watched Gov. Bush's comments on TV regarding Gore's offer regarding recounts. Basically, Gore said he would accept whatever the hand recount showed and drop all litigation, even if the recount showed that Bush had won. He even suggested that the entire state of Florida be recounted by hand, including counties that went for Bush.

In return, the Florida Secretary of State (who is hardly impartial, being an ardent Bush supporter), denied the request for a hand recount in the disputed counties. Tonight, Bush also turned down Gore's offer. If Bush is so sure he won, why is he so against this recount?

Two other slightly ironic items I've noticed. First... Bush has always been for local government doing more for itself and making more decisions for itself. But instead of going to the local courts, he took his suit to stop the recount directly to the federal court in Atlanta. So much for local government.

Secondly... In 1997, Texas Gov. Bush signed into law legislation requiring hand recounts in disputed elections. So, I'm confused... Bush thinks Texas should be allowed to do hand recounts, but Florida shouldn't?

Argh. Maybe they could play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Best four out of seven.

-- Atara (, November 15, 2000.

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