- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 25, 2000

Nobles: The American people, for remaining calm in a sea of electoral uncertainty wracked by a storm of litigation.

Elections have been referred to as "gentle regicides," and yet even though the ruler has still not saluted his successor, the citizenry has merely taken to the streets so that they can continue to go about their business.

Despite the actions of activists who enshrine power above constitutional process and the indifference of nearly half of the citizens who did not bother to vote, most Americans seem to believe that the system set in motion by the Founders remains fundamentally sound. Even though most of the members of Mr. Gore's team seem to be attempting to steal the election in a quasi-legal fashion using trial lawyers and Democratic judges to determine "the will of the people."

While America deserves far better than a presumptive President Gore, it will probably survive his leadership as well. Moreover, so long as Americans continue to maintain faith in their fellow men and continue to respect the constitutional process, America will continue to be a beacon of freedom and a bastion of democracy.

Knave: Bob Beckel for bludgeoning the constitutional process by his blatant attempt to blackmail electors.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal broke the story on Mr. Beckel's, "quiet intelligence-gathering operation" into "the background of Republican electors, with an eye toward persuading a handful of them to vote for Mr. Gore," using a "statistical analysis," of the Florida returns.

He may even be telling the truth; that Republican electors, bound by honor to vote for Mr. Bush in the closest presidential election in generations, may be convinced to vote for Mr. Gore on the strength of the number-crunching of an old Democratic warrior who managed Walter Mondale to his St. Valentines Day massacre in 1984 even though since 1788, fewer than 10 electors have ever broken such a code.

It seems likely that button-man Beckel hopes to make the electors "an offer they cannot refuse" as a part of Boss Daley's plan to win the election for Godfather Gore at all costs. Throughout the campaign, Team Gore has demonstrated Soprano-like ruthlessness, whether giving Mr. Bush a black eye over a 20-year-old drunk driving conviction on the eve of the election or kneecapping Ralph Nader through innuendoes about his sex life. Nor should it be forgotten that during the impeachment proceedings, the Democratic family toasted pornographer Larry Flynt as a squad of his finest gunned down Republican reputations.

Thomas Sowell recently pointed out that, "If you can steal an election by blackmailing members of the Electoral College, then democracy becomes a farce." Mr. Beckel's Mafia-like marking of Republican electors may make him a man of respect among mobs of Democrats, but it should earn him the denunciation of decent people everywhere.

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