- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Karl Marx said it best: "Audacity is 90 percent of the battle." Lenin showed that he had learned this

Marxist lesson well when he declared his tiny band "the majority" and seized power in Russia in the name of a non-existent proletariat.

It is the year 2000 in the United States, not 1917 in a Russia convulsed by war and the abdication of the tsar. Nevertheless, on Nov. 8-10, the entire world watched as Al Gore and the Democratic Party deliberated an American coup d'etat.

The Party of Corruption (a k a the Democratic Party) considered obtaining a restraining order from a Democratic judge. The order would bar Florida's governor from filing Florida's certificate of ascertainment by Dec. 18, the date set by federal law for the Electoral College to announce the vote. Without this certificate, there would be no electors from Florida present when the Electoral College tallies the vote.

This plan has been put into effect in one county. Democratic activists, posing as civil-rights litigants, have convinced a judge to prevent certification of the county's vote until allegations that voters were confused by the ballot and deprived of their civil rights are heard.

A number of liberal "constitutional scholars" and, of course, reliable Democratic operatives in the media, such as Adam Clymer, are showing the Democrats the way and egging them on. Why give up power if you can stage a coup? Preventing Florida's electors from being certified means that Mr. Gore would be elected.

That Democrats would entertain a constitutional crisis as a means to power reveals their ideological character. No politician would be so audacious unless he believes that his ends justify the means. For ideologues, only their causes count.

How many Democrats are alarmed by Mr. Gore's indication that a Florida vote recount is not enough and that he will be satisfied with nothing less than the presidency?

Could Mr. Gore succeed in derailing the Electoral College? CNN and three television networks, ABC, NBC and CBS, have been preparing the way since the first returns began coming in on election night. The media are the Jesuits of the Democratic Party. The media believe that no choice other than Mr. Gore is a moral choice.

Convinced that George W. Bush's edge in electoral votes (with Florida) is offset by Mr. Gore's edge in popular votes, Democrats and the media rationalize a coup with the argument that it is time to yield to the popular will. Sticking with the Electoral College, says William Daley, rejects "the will of the people."

Will Republicans have the determination to defend the constitutional process? Normally, Republicans are namby-pambies, anxious to show how nice they are. Gov. Jeb Bush has already recused himself from certifying Florida's electors, a needless concession to audacious Democrats.

So far, Republicans have done nothing about the Democratic judge in St. Louis who illegally kept the polls open while ballot boxes were stuffed with votes for a dead man, thus depriving a Republican U.S. senator of his seat. The senator, tearful, has vowed not to make an issue of the fraud.

In the panhandle of Florida, there are reported cases of Bush supporters failing to receive requested absentee ballots. The ballots were voted nonetheless with forged signatures.

Democrats have demonized President Nixon. But Nixon was a better man than Mr. Gore. Amid charges that Democrats stole the election for John F. Kennedy with vote fraud in Texas and Cook County, Ill., Nixon acquiesced rather than shake the confidence of Americans in the democratic process and the Democratic Party.

Three decades later, we watch Al Gore and William Daley test the waters: Is the election close enough that a decision to provoke a constitutional crisis would not shake the confidence of Americans in the Democratic Party? Would indifferent Americans and pusillanimous Republicans accept a coup d'etat dressed up as civil rights and constitutional reform?

Right now Democrats in Palm Beach County are counting votes a third time, this time by hand relying on the subjective judgment of partisan Democrats. The votes are being counted in a way that can only increase Mr. Gore's total. Under the rules set by partisan Democrats for the third count, it is not possible for Al Gore's vote count to go down or for any other candidate's to go up.

Who are we, what are we that Al Gore and William Daley have no more respect for us than to consider a Putsch?

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

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