Duhcision 2000: Vote 2000 Wrapup
By Rob Terrell
Last week I wrote a short article urging you people of America to vote carefully and responsibly but, if nothing else, implicitly I urged you to make sure somebody won. Clearly you guys weren't listening. I did my part. What the hell's up with you guys? Hey, you in Florida -- yes, Bonnie, dear sister of mine, I'l talking to you -- what the hell happened?
The best part of Election night was watching the bleary-eyed news drones unable to make any sense. Around 4 am Katie Couric was whining on-camera about how little sleep she would get before having to wake up to do the morning show. She finally walked off the set, the camera zooming in to hide her abrupt depature, trailing her microphone wires. Tom Brokaw grabbed at the wires and said, "The truth is out -- Katie Couric is a robot." (Finally, we have proof!) All that said...the worst part of election night was the election itself.
A little follow-up is in order here. To sum up:
We, the people, in order to sustain our somewhat imperfect union, voted. The media, in order to maintain high advertising revenue, jumped the gun on calling Florida, once for each candidate, and got burned twice. That was fun to watch.
Florida has yet to announce the winner. They're busy doing a recount, as demanded by Florida law. Honest, hard-working, big-butted Floridians are spending long hours in small, party-balanced groups trying to ensure an accurate result. It's a heartwarming thing to see -- people working hard in their roles as the small cogs of our democratic machine. It's the big cogs that are corroded ruining the gears of democracy.
There is pressure on them to both take more time and be more accurate, as well as pressure to stop with the needless counting -- why bother counting all of the votes? -- so that G. W. can stop posing for the cameras in his regular-guy outdoorsman clothes while throwing tennis balls for his dog to fetch (or, actually, telling an assistant to throw the ball, which is honest-to-god what he did) and start wearing his suits and get on with presidential-looking tasks, like floating trial balloons for each of his cabinet appointees.
Bush sent his lackey, Jim Baker, a man I previously had some respect for, to five of the Sunday morning talking-head shows to argue against hand-counting -- his argument being that only machines produce perfect results. A legion of bland, poorly-spoken (and male and white) Rebuplicans spread out to parrot this party line, which is utter and complete bullshit. Obviously, none of these motherfuckers do any of their own faxing or photocopying. Ask their secretaries and assistants which method is more accurate.
The message seems to be, hey, we're ahead here, why waste any more time? The Bush campaign has filed suit in federal court, asking the federal government to stop the Florida state election commission from counting any further. It's already been pointed out before, but this is exactly the kind of judicial interference from the federal government that Bush railed against on the stump and in the debates.
And that's just the beginning of the flip-flopping. It was widely reported last week, when it was suspected that Bush would win the popular vote but lose the Electoral college vote, that Bush's team had already prepared a lawsuit to force the Electoral College follow the popular vote rather than the Electoral vote. Now that Gore's locked up the popular vote, I'm sure the shredders are running overtime before any of Gore's moles in Austin can get their hands on a copy.
Not that hypocrisy is part of the platform of just a single party -- Gore certainly provided a whopper of a flip-flop by conceding, only to invent the term "unconceding" a few minutes later. Dude, check your facts before you make that call. I mean, what's the rush? It's 3 am. Sleep on it. Everybody acts like Bernie Shaw of CNN is really the guy who decides the election.
So now we're in "street fight" mode. Which is to say, both candidates have had anonymous staffers tell the press off-the-record that their boss is really a "street fighter" who likes to hunker down and get his hands dirty and is certainly going to see this thing through to the bloody end.
If it was unclear that the election had nothing to do with the will of the people, then it should be clear now. Both candidates only care about winning -- nobody really cares one fat shit about what any of us want. Or who we really voted for.
Honest to god, when I hear crap like that it drives me nuts. If those soft-handed pantywaists are street fighters, I'm Cassius fucking Clay. Let 'em fight! If I was king, I'd arm both of them in an alley with a baseball bat studded with nails and a garbage can lid and tell 'em whoever walks out gets the job.
But then, if I were king, we wouldn't be in this mess. Plenty of other messes, I assure you, including some spectacular sex scandals and foreign policy disasters, but certainly not this one.
Be sure to write me in when we re-vote.