- The Washington Times - Monday, November 27, 2000

Former baseball owner George W. Bush is now four-for-four; and he's still batting 1.000. Yesterday, for the fourth time in less than three weeks, Mr. Bush emerged as the popular-vote victor in Florida, entitling him to the state's 25 electoral votes. By now, Mr. Bush has most certainly earned the title of president-elect.

Mr. Bush first won the Florida contest on Election Day. An immediate, mandatory statewide recount confirmed his advantage, giving him his second victory. When the overseas absentee ballots were added to the vote tallies Florida's 67 counties had submitted by the statutorily prescribed seven-day deadline, Mr. Bush won a third time. Then, after the seven Democratic-appointed justices of the Florida Supreme Court unilaterally inserted themselves into the legislative and executive arenas by rewriting Florida law in order to provide an additional 12 days for several overwhelmingly Democratic counties to complete their manual recounts, Mr. Bush prevailed for a fourth time. Yesterday, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, conforming with the Florida Supreme Court's ruling that the deadline for filing be moved to Sunday 5 p.m., officially certified Mr. Bush as the victor.

Regrettably, yesterday's long-delayed certification, coming as it did on the 19th day after Election Day, still will not prove to be the end of the presidential contest. True to form, Vice President Al Gore has promised to contest the certification.

Mr. Gore's appetite for presidential power clearly knows no bounds. During the three weeks he spent trying to steal Florida's electoral votes, Mr. Gore had sunk to the level of waging a systematic campaign across all of Florida's 67 counties in an attempt to deny the right to vote for hundreds of overseas American soldiers and sailors whose commander in chief he so desperately wanted to become. Following what was obviously intense deliberation, Mr. Gore concluded that his path to commander in chief would be smoother if he and his campaign operatives disenfranchised the very men and women he might one day be required to order to die for their country. That he eventually decided to challenge their right to vote over technicalities in Florida law that were at variance with federal statutes tells any citizen everything he or she needs to know about Mr. Gore.

As early as today, Mr. Gore, who has proved himself to be incapable of conceding defeat ever since he withdrew his election-night concession to Mr. Bush, is expected to begin filing several lawsuits in various Florida counties to contest the certification of President-elect Bush's Florida victory. Now is the time for the Democratic Party to pressure Mr. Gore to end his unsavory efforts to overturn Mr. Bush's legitimate victory in Florida. Mr. Gore has now lost four distinct ballot counts in Florida. The farce of "divining the intentions" of voters by examining "dimpled" chads in a standardless, ever-changing process has already gone on far too long. Moreover, it should now be clear to one and all that Mr. Gore intends to continue to litigate until he obtains a ballot count that he can finally accept. When will decent Democrats step forward and put the interests of their country ahead of Mr. Gore's craving for power?

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide