Putting backspin on election story
Bob Thomas’s submission on contentious elections and history lessons is a prime example of how all factions in a disagreement insist on their “rightness” and use various emotional and intellectual gyrations (i.e. spin) to prove their points of “rightness.” The gist of his submission (through the article from a Rhode Island newspaper convolutedly and questionably aimed at Al Gore) is a civics lesson in which the Al Gore faction is constantly exposed as dasterdly, immoral, unethical and hell bent on stealing the recent presidential election.
At risk of boring some, I will refrain from a point by point diatribe of my own, but would submit the following as counterpoint to what I must view as rightwing spin.
This is not the first presidential election in which a Democrat who won the popular vote was unseated by judicial partisan politics. I would draw attention to the race between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden in 1876 in which the Republicans overturned Tilden’s 264,000 popular vote win by challenging votes in Oregon, South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida, the upshot of which was that a Congressionally chosen electoral commission gave the election to loser Hayes by one vote and included gyrations by a biased Supreme Court.
The reflection of which is blaring in the face of Scalia not recusing himself from the Bush-Gore case even though this son works for the law firm that represented Bush, or the fact that Justice Thomas’ wife works for the far-right Heritage Foundation and was deeply involved in qualifying candidates for a future Bush administration.
I might also mention the Bush vote recount delay tactics fully countenanced by the Supreme Courts halt of that count which so blatantly postponed until too late any possibility of a fair resolution to the thousands of questionable ballots all over the state of Florida. Questionable, by the way, because most of the rejected ballots came from far less efficient mechanical vote count machines found in Floridas less affluent districts, which are generally Democratic.
And of course the words of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican appointee, were completely ignored in Mr. Thomas’ so quotable piece, and those words “One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of this year’s presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law” which make quite a poignant note to Mr. Thomas’ civics lesson.
It seems that at least four of the sainted Supreme Court justices recognized the soiling of the institution by blind expression of one sided “rightness.”
So, suffice it to say, it is difficult to vex the wisdom of the electorate by being partisan in either direction, as moderation in all things has been at least symbolically affirmed by the profundity of the close to 50/50 split found throughout the results of this year’s election. Partisanship and competition be damned, I say, let us right this ship and sail the winds of moderation, cooperation and compromise!
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