11:24 a.m. I'm going to stick with the pretty pictures of flowers for just another day or so, or until I can restock my camera with some new shots. I've really got to get out of the house and take a look around at the world again. I hear that Christmas is bearing down ...
It's not really that bad, but almost. Things aren't hopeless on the TV/election front, but they look pretty bad. I remain astounded that very nice people, very sane people, people with whom I've got a lot in common -- some of these people think that Gov. Bush has won the election fair and square and that we should, you know, get on with it.
I'm not privy to any behind-the-scenes info on this matter, but I was glued to the TV on election night, and I was as surprised as probably everyone else in the country when it was announced early in the evening that Gore had taken Florida. Florida was in the Gore column. It was still light out here in California when that news came through.
And that particular piece of news will be, I believe, the Smoking Gun when everything is said and done. It's the best piece of evidence we have that people did, in fact, vote for Gore in numbers sufficient to trip the statistics and let the exit pollers and the news media declare that the state could be called for a particular candidate, and confidently so.
Notice, if you will, how few times those exit polls are wrong. Notice, also, how often the state is held as "too close to call." This was not the case early on Tuesday, November 7th. It was not too close to call -- it was wide and true and people were reporting what people were saying: "I voted for Gore."
And then notice the next thing that happened. It was so weird to suddenly see the entire Bush family working the phones and stating very emphatically that we shouldn't be so sure that Florida had gone for Gore ...
When has something like that ever happened in an election before? When has a candidate ever said that the numbers, as reported, were wrong? Aren't the candidates supposed to wait to learn the outcome rather than actually predict the outcome? Is that hutzpah or is it hubris or is it criminal?
If you were a Bush supporter, you probably just thought he was being optimistic and feisty and full of fight, but if you were a Gore supporter, you suddenly got a very bad feeling. It was the sort of feeling that -- just watch -- the fix is in. Just sit back and let the guys who brought you the CIA bring you the state of Florida and in turn, the whole shooting match. No need to worry -- Pappy's boy Jeb will deliver.
And he did, you know. Those people who thought they voted Democratic? Those little old Jewish biddies who proudly voted for Lieberman? Those people who reported to the exit pollers that they voted for Gore? Ain't gonna count 'em. Gonna double-punch them every time we see a vote for Gore and guess what? The ballot's wrecked. No votes for Gore. All those mysterious double-punched ballots, but who cares? The landslide will cover it up.
In fact, how about we have cousin what's-is-name go ahead and declare the winner and let the world get used to it. Roll out the noisy parade and mow down the dreary bean-counters. Do you know how hard it is to squeeze toothpaste back into the tube?
I will never, ever, watch FOX news again. I think Murdoch should lose his license to broadcast in this country for what he did that night. I think The Rumor about Ms. Harris should be investigated and exposed if it's true. I think the entire state should be recounted by people not connected with the Bush family and if that's not possible, I think they should divide the electors in half.
I think the old Jewish voters in Palm Beach County are owed an apology and a place at the Inaugural Ball. I think a special day of voting should be declared (and televised) for the nearly 20,000 black and Hispanic voters who were blocked, intimidated, and otherwise turned away as they tried to get to the polls. I think the world should see what a line of 20,000 disenfranchised voters looks like in this, the fairest democracy on the planet.
Instead, we're watching the Republicans run out the clock and scream foul and pound on the glass and shake their fists and once again, claim to be the only true American patriots.
I feel so incredibly impotent as I watch all this happening ... I know there's got to be something I can do or say or write or ... what?
Stay tuned. I'll think of something.
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