- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2000

The Republicans have become the street fighters spoiling for a little action, and the Democrats the whiners. George W. has pinned Al Gore's shoulders to the playground asphalt. Look who turned the tables.
The Gore team introduced David Boies, understudy for Warren Christopher, as if he was Napoleon at the victory of Austerlitz. Not for long. Suddenly the mild-mannered Jim Baker looks like the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.
Walk into any restaurant, coffee shop or bar overflowing with political junkies and a television set and it's the staid Republicans who are unruly and cheering, their fists in the air. The Democrats slink low in their chairs, timidly studying a map to the high road. It has to be satire when so many politicians of Bill Clinton's party accuse George W. of lacking the "moral authority" to be president.
The greatest irony of all for Democrats, the party of the radical "feminists," is that Katherine Harris, the woman with true grit who achieved power the old-fashioned way by getting elected to it, is dumped on by the sisterhood for, of all things, getting her make-up wrong.
Why wouldn't Gloria Steinem applaud Ms. Harris for standing up to the ruthless Gore team of white male patriarchs? Why isn't Betty Friedan cheering her for overcoming feminine stereotypes? Sisters-in-arms ought to be serenading the Florida secretary of state with a chorus or two of "I am woman, hear me roar." Instead they've joined the cowardly men who attack her with mean-spirited hyperbole, making the political personal, cattily calling her "Cruella de Vil."
The Democrats, no doubt, would rather confront a Republican woman of a previous generation, the matron of the house whose activism moved her no further than a fund-raising tea at the country club or a bake sale at the DAR. But feminism has radically changed Republican women, too.
Of course, there's one Democrat of the distaff persuasion who has got to be mightily pleased by the Florida certification of George W. even though she can't say so. There's been no love lost between Hillary Clinton and Mr. Gore since she competed with him for movie star money in Hollywood, and Hillary now has the strongest motivation for wanting Mr. Gore to lose. She would get a straight shot at the Democratic nomination for president in '04. Talk about a clear and president danger.
The Democratic congressional leaders who have rallied around Mr. Gore won't remain unified if the public loses patience with Al, as polls now suggest they're beginning to. Sen. Tom Daschle, the minority leader who expressed his disappointment with Joe Lieberman for refusing to take himself out of his re-election race in Connecticut, isn't happy with the prospect that if Al prevails the Senate Democrats lose a seat. Mr. Lieberman, for his part, continues to diminish himself. He defends the Florida litigation as a fight on behalf of "every American's sacred right to vote" but he and Mr. Gore have done everything to invalidate the absentee ballots from American soldiers and sailors abroad.
Republican outrage at Mr. Gore continues to be much greater than Democratic anger toward George W., and the personality of the candidates is responsible.
The Cuban Americans in Florida, still angry with Attorney General Janet Reno's middle-of-the-night snatch of Elian Gonzalez, weighed in with a very un-Republican protest in Dade County when they learned that the canvassing board would recount only votes from Democratic precincts. Portrayed as unruly brawlers in the media, they merely demonstrated in the noisy tradition of the Democratic protests of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
We've got a president-elect, but on hold. George W. is at work organizing an administration. Messrs. Gore and Lieberman say he is president-elect illegitimate, throwing into question "the integrity of our self-government." Old whine, new battles.
But the Wimp of the Month Award has to go to the Democratic vote-counters in Palm Beach County. With stakes so high, the canvassing board worked half days and took off all of Thanksgiving, missing by two hours the deadline set by the Florida Supreme Court. All for the love of a turkey.

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