It’s Time to Blame Republicans

Stephanie By Stephanie Herman
Rightgrrl Co-Founder
November 29, 2000
In her Wall Street Journal editorial last Friday, Peggy Noonan noticed that Democrats have been uncharacteristically slow to blame Republicans for Gore’s continuing lag in Florida’s popular vote:

“With hundreds of people making thousands of decisions, is it possible no Democrat would even make up a charge that some Republican had done something wrong? One can't help but infer that Democratic discipline is, as usual, operative. If they add to the charges of corruption, a fair-minded judge might say: Then we must protect both sides and stop the hand counting. But if they stop the hand counting, Democrats will not be able to find 930 votes for Al Gore. And 930 is what he needs. So no Democratic charges of corruption are leveled or dreamed up.”

But now that the hand counts are over, it’s apparently safe to blame Republicans. In Gore’s speech Monday night, he accused someone of silencing Florida voters:

“Great efforts,” said a somber Gore, “have been made to prevent the counting of these votes.”

Whose great efforts? Sure, Republicans would have loved the chance to block these illegal and unfair hand counts, but their “great efforts” haven’t been terribly successful.

In actuality, these “great efforts” have been largely the Democrats’.

- Remember that confusing butterfly ballot that stumped elderly voters and denied their voices from being heard? It was designed by a Democrat, approved by more Democrats.

- A Democrat election official in Broward County voted to end hand counts there.

- The Miami-Dade canvassing board that decided to suspend its hand count, despite the Supreme Court’s extended deadline, is made up of one Democrat and two Independents; hardly a Republican majority.

- And the three members of the Palm Beach canvassing board, all Democrats, also failed to meet the deadline extended by a Democrat-laden Florida Supreme Court because these particular Democrats chose not to work for their candidate on Thanksgiving, a miscalculation Judge Burton ultimately blamed on Katherine Harris.

Now, if Katherine Harris, “Republican Hack,” did succeed in preventing the hand count certification in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, she did it on the advice of a Democratic-leaning legal firm, and with the blessing of a Democrat Circuit Court Judge, Terry Lewis, and acting under the suspiciously Gore-friendly parameters set forth by the Democratic Florida Supreme Court.

In fact, one might ask that if Republicans are to blame for Gore’s troubles, why is he suing so many Democrats?

Without bothering to answer, pundits on the Left would likely insist that Gore didn’t mean Republicans were to blame for this, per se. After all, can you find the word “Republican” anywhere in the transcript of Gore’s Monday night speech?

No, but Gore did continue the argument in this way: “In one county, election officials brought the count to a premature end in the face of organized intimidation.”

This charge is in reference to a Republican protest in Miami-Dade county that MSNBC incorrectly reported was a negative influence in the board’s decision to stop the hand count there. Election official David Leahy refuted that the board was in any way intimidated or influenced by the protestors in a statement last week, but the false report is quite literally the only straw for Gore to grasp at this point. And though Gore didn’t blame Republicans for his loss directly, by linking these “great efforts” with the Republican protest in Miami-Dade, the implication is made, and it’s glaring.

It was only a matter of time, I suppose. Republicans are always blamed for major Democrat blunders: government shutdowns, presidential contempt of court, the occasional impeachment of a Democrat president. But why are Democrats so brazen as to blame their own faults on others? Quite simply, the most absurd argument is the one our lazy media is least likely to begin the tedious task of unraveling. Plus, the more absurd the argument from Clinton, Gore, et al., the more tongue-tied, flabbergasted and speechless Republicans become.

It’s time to find our tongues.

It’s also time to face facts. Al Gore’s own party has again and again blocked his attempt to re-interpret the Florida vote. I’m pretty sure they didn’t want to; they certainly tried every maneuver around Florida statute, legal or not, to give Gore the advantage. But let’s place the blame squarely where it belongs ­ on the shoulders of the Ultimate Democrat who failed, in the end, to actually win Florida’s popular vote.

Still, if only Republicans had successfully blocked the illegal hand counts! If only they could be blamed! Then perhaps we’d be celebrating the fact that the Law, as well as the will of the people, had been heard and respected and followed in the 2000 presidential election.

This article copyright © 2000 by Stephanie Herman and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.