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Power at any price By James Higdon

November 22, 2000 | Even before the votes have been completely counted, George W. Bush may already be the worst president this country has seen in over 200 years. Aside from the duties outlined by our Constitution, the most important functions of the President of the United States are to calm public fears, to present an image of competent efficiency to volatile foreign governments, and to use the "bully pulpit" to forge a coalition of support for consistent and logical domestic and foreign policy.

Instead, the Texas governor has parlayed a simple problem, easily overcome by following simple procedures, into a national crisis that causes international embarrassment. While George Bush hides out in Austin, his "handlers" venture forth to foment discontent and destabilize national unity. Snubbing the majority of the electorate who voted for Al Gore, Bush looks for every excuse to ignore the few remaining uncounted votes, to subvert the will of the people for the will of the Republican party.

While we have had closer national elections, never before in our history has the naming of a president-elect relied on as few as a couple of hundred votes in just one state. Never has it been so important to the credibility of whomever the selected candidate may be to make sure that all of the voters have been heard.

George's response to this circumstance has been to attempt every frivolous maneuver to quell the voices yet to be counted. He has bullied local election commissions with threats from biased state officials, and he has delayed recounts through court actions, and then avoided certification of recounts by arguing that they occured too late. Before the Florida Supreme Court, he argued that it is unfair for three counties to conduct recounts when the remaining Florida counties will not. This is tantamount to arguing that if in any given group, the majority fails to assert its rights, the minority cannot do so because it would be unfair to the majority. Any individual or party who would make our liberties perch on such precarious reasoning does not deserve these liberties for themselves.

Instead of recognizing the split in popular support, and joining with his opposition to assure the electorate that while issues may divide us, we are united in support of our democratic principles, he sends his minions forth to turn Bush supporters against Gore supporters, and to increase the vitriol toward dangerous levels. He is either unwilling or unable to moderate the immoderate within the party that he heads.

We have even heard right wing rants on talk radio asking for a military coup to prevent manual recounts and to summarily install a Bush administration. James Baker has threatened that the Republican legislators in Florida will assert themselves ahead of their constituency to overturn a voter mandated victory for Al Gore. Tom Delay issued notice to the Republicans in Congress that if Gore wins in Florida, the House will de-certify Florida electors and install a Bush presidency through the Republican congressional majority.

And George W. Bush does nothing to tone down these wild eyed radicals to allow for cooler heads to prevail. Taken in context with his prior intent to overturn an election where Al Gore won the Electoral College but Bush the popular vote, Bush has put us all on notice that the people's will and the law of the land are merely obstacles to be overcome by the divine right of Republicans to hold the Oval Office.

All the while, Bush remains in cocooned seclusion like a two bit banana republic general, expecting to emerge like a butterfly as leader of the free world. He answers no questions, and only surfaces to complain of the injustice of American justice.

Today, it appears that Bush has succeeded in his assault on the electorate. Miami/Dade county, after holding up its recounts until the courts had spoken pursuant to Bush initiated legal actions, is pushed up against a final deadline set by the state Supreme Court.

On January 20, George W. Bush will take the oath of office for the President of the United States of America, and deal with a deeply divided government, spliced further by this same unprincipled manchild, who is completely devoid of patriotism and historical perspective. And somewhere, buried under the ashes and waste, are the hollow promises of "trust in the people," allowing the states to manage their own affairs, and political unification. Perched boldly on the piled remains of our democracy is a stinking elephant who whispers proudly, "Divide et impera" we will have power at any price."


-- (Bush@spoiled.manchild), November 25, 2000


The people have spoken and overwhelmingly they have said GORE!, yet this overwhelmingly unpopular candidate who could only scrape up a (small) smidgen of the votes is going to court in an effort to steal this election. This man-child might be our next president. It is time to wake up people. I am tired of watching a good, honest man being hijacked out of the election by the Republican good squad.

-- tired of (the@republican.goonsquad), November 25, 2000.

"good squad".

Like it.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), November 25, 2000.

Republican good squad. That would be us!

-- goofed (dontchahateit@whenthathappens.com), November 25, 2000.

I meant goon squad. You Republican ManChildren are just showing your stupidity.

-- tire of (dumb@republican.manchildren), November 25, 2000.

Here we go with the typical socialist elite rhetoric. This is so perfect. Make no mistake about it, the Democrats actually believe the rules are only for the other guy. They know in their hearts that they have done everything they are now astounded at that we Republicans are doing. If they truly believe these things they are now accusing Republicans of doing are brand new ideas we thought of, they are in total denial or have been sleeping since 1960. But the truth is, they firmly believe they are always right and that gives them the authority to be above the rules they are so loudly protesting we are breaking. They, the Democrats, are the social elite. If you don't believe me just ask Rosie O'donnel or Barbara Streisand or Alec Baldwin (who believed it was okay to stone to death Ken Starr and his family). And we are accused of raising the rhetoric?

-- Ooops (Ooops@slipofthetongue.com), November 25, 2000.

Hey Oops, er, Moron, get your facts straight. The GOP is debasing the rule of law, claiming that the highest court in Florida is "wrong" because it went against them, and planning to overturn the will of the people through a legislative fiat.

Our electoral system? Nice idea, but for the GOP, it's a simple matter to simply squash democracy and try to stop the votes being counted.

It's the GOP who are physically assaulting people and destroying buildings, who are condemning the rule of law, who are accusing Gore of "serial atrocities" in the press, and who want to shut down the electoral process by brute force.

When this is over, the GOP will be seen in its true light -- as a mob of hysterics consumed by rage and willing to overturn democracy itself for its own end.

-- GOP is moronic (gop@morons.com), November 25, 2000.

>> When this is over, the GOP will be seen in its true light -- as a mob of hysterics consumed by rage and willing to overturn democracy itself for its own end. <<

COnsidering that more than 49 1/2 million people voted for Bush, it would be difficult to paint them all as a "mob of hysterics", don't you think?

Rather, the leadership of the GOP has shown itself more than willing to take advantage of the tendency for its more zealous, narrow-minded and hysterical supporters to form such mobs. They do use incendiary rhetoric, aimed at keeping the zealots stirred up on their behalf.

But, if you notice, the GOP accomplishes far more for their true constituents - multinational corporations and the wealthy -the ones who bankroll the party (and the Democrats, too). The religious right has got very little but lip service from the GOP for the past decade. But, so long as the GOP keeps saying the right formulaic words, the zealots stay right in line behind them, regardless of how rarely their zeal is rewarded with action.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), November 25, 2000.


I think actively supporting the goals of the religious right would be political suicide. The zealots might be loud, but do not constitute a majority of the public, and do not compromise well or willingly. Not to mention, their goals tend to be antithetical to our Constitutional freedoms, making them difficult to put into practice.

So the GOP knows that their survival as a party requires all the lip service they can produce short of antagonizing the rest of their constituency, but as little actual action as possible.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), November 25, 2000.

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