My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Why I Am A Republican, part IV

And now . . . The 2000 Florida Recount fiasco.

As I indicated once before, I started paying attention to the recount in the first hours of it--that is, at about 2 in the morning on election night, right about the time when Al Gore retracted his concession.

At first, I could sort of see the point of Gore not conceding--it was very close, the margin of error was almost absurdly small, and the possibility that absentee ballots would change the outcome was very real.

But within a few days it became apparent that the real arguments had nothing to do with how the ballots actually played out, and everything to do with the Democrats wresting the power away from the voters. I think the first sign that mischief was afoot was the presence of Jesse Jackson on the ground the next day, with busloads of lawyers. It certainly smelled like there was a plan already in place to contest the results, regardless of what the ballots showed. Jackson, of course, fell back on the most predictable racist hyperbole--cops were driving through black neighborhoods, and such.

And then the real absurdities began--as if Jesse Jackson weren't absurd enough. When the Democrats started claiming that the problem was that the ballots were too complicated to understand for the elderly, they lost me completely. Never mind that that very same ballot is the one I had been voting with in every election of my life, with nary a moment of confusion; never mind that the unfortunate elderly had been using that very same ballot for years, without anybody ever raising a stink; but to label ALL elderly as too stupid to figure out a ballot--no, wait, that's not right; to label all elderly DEMOCRATS as too stupid to figure out the ballot struck me as the total depth of ridiculousness. When the lawyers started arguing that a "dimpled chad"--a ballot whose punch hole seems to be marked, but failed to dislodge from the ballot--should be counted as a vote took the silliness to a whole different level. In fact, I remember one night NBC News' Brian Williams attempted, on-air, to create a dimpled chad, and failed on six attempts. Nonetheless, the Democrats stuck to the party line that either their voters were too dumb to pick the right hole or too weak to create the right hole.

Just for the purposes of shortening this post, I'll skip over how the Democrats called an elected official of Florida, and a woman, of being a Soviet-style "Commisar;" and I'll skip over the silly Democratic "outrage" over the highly intimidating khaki-clad young republicans asserting their right to oversee elements of the recount which the Democrats wanted done in secret; I'll even skip over the Florida Supreme Court taking a case before it had been appealed, needing to overturn four prior courts' decisions to make their rulings, then ignoring an order by the U.S. Supreme Court, and then finding for the Gore campaign in a split decision that one of the dissenting Justices predicted would "forever mark the reputation of this Court." Because what really pushed me over the edge was another dirty trick.

Imagine my surprise.

At one point during the fiasco, two Democratic operatives sent out a memo to all of their campaign workers around the state of Florida with instructions on how to recognized elements of a military absentee ballot that would make it disqualifyable. In other words, the Democrat's next move was to try to silence the voice of the men and women tasked with defending this country, and doing so away from their home--in many cases, thousands of miles away from home. About three days after news of this memo leaked, the Democrats trotted out a ridiculous justification about "we think every vote should count"--never apologizing, never saying "of course this was wrong, we should make every effort to guarantee that our soldier's votes count," never retracting. And it took them THREE DAYS to figure out that it was a mistake and issue any kind of statement!

Two things about this bothered me . . . well, okay, the list of things that bother me about this is endless, but two things really stand out. One, my brother was one of those absentee ballots that the Democrats tried to disqualify (I think--I can never keep straight where and when he has been). And two, after eight years of a Democratic Commander-in-Chief who had a history of speaking disparagingly about the U.S. military, the Democrats actually took steps to lower the democratic value of the U.S. military.

Please, somebody tell me how that first meeting of a President Gore with the Joint Chiefs of Staff was supposed to play out after this.

But, more importantly, it showed that the Democrats were willing to use ANYTHING--even the men and women in uniform--as pawns in their quest to obtain power. There may be a reason that the military absentee ballots broke better than 2 to 1 in favor of the Republican candidate.

At that point, I vowed to NEVER again vote for a Democrat--on any level--until a prominent Democrat disavowed that act and apologized for it. To date, now six years later, none has.

Which explains why I will never be a Democrat; tomorrow, I'll get more into why I AM a Republican. Here's a hint: it comes down to one simple question.


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