November 30, 2000

There is NO Moral Equivalency
By John McIntyre

For the past three weeks all we have heard from Democrats and the media about the struggle in Florida is that "both sides are at fault," "neither candidate has been presidential," and "a pox on both your houses." This case for moral equivalency between Bush and Gore is critical to the Democrats' argument. If, as the rationale goes, both sides are to blame and the election ended in a tie, then "why can't we just have a compromise that affords both sides with a 50/50 chance win the Presidency?" This would seem like a reasonable solution, provided those underlying suppositions were true. The problem for Gore is that the suppositions are not even close to being true. Both sides are not to blame. And this election, while ridiculously close, did not end a tie.

Vice President Gore had a right to conduct a recount of the votes. He has had that recount of votes. When the recount upheld the original result, that should have been the end of this fiasco. However, even before the original recount was finished, Gore, and his partner in crime Senator Lieberman, decided in their minds that they really won the election. What has followed has been their all-out assault to change what happened on election day in Florida.

At some point, the Democrats and the press have an obligation to the truth. We all know they support Al Gore and dislike Republicans, but can they be so blinded by ideology that they can't distinguish between right and wrong, fact and fiction? This week on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly nearly had an aneurysm arguing with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren about the supposed precedent setting case of dimpled ballots in Illinois. Rep. Lofgren refused to accept the facts in that case and continued on with her same argument, oblivious to the truth.

It is impossible to have a rational dialogue if one side does not acknowledge that 2+2=4. The Clinton/Gore Democratic Party is beginning to assume the same logic as the O.J. Jury, "I don't care how much DNA evidence is splattered around, O.J's innocent and I don't care how many laws you cite or facts you tell me, Al Gore won the election."

Vice President Gore addressed the nation Monday and said "many thousands of votes that were cast on Election Day have not yet been counted at all, not once." This is of course not true. But the press, with the exception of FOX News, continues to let the Democrats get away with the canard that somehow there are thousands of votes out there that have never been counted.

We have also been told that a "mob" of Republicans intimidated the Miami-Dade County board into not going forward with the hand recount, even though the board members have stated repeatedly, for the record, that was NOT the reason the hand recount was stopped.

We are told that Gore picked up almost 200 votes from the initial hand recount of 20% of Miami-Dade county, and therefore could expect 600 plus more Gore votes from recounting the whole county. But we aren't told that the 20% recounted were overwhelmingly Democratic precincts, that the remaining 80% include the Cuban-American precincts that voted massively in favor of George W. Bush, and that in reality Gore would probably pick up nothing close to 600 votes. But why let the truth get in the way of stealing an election. The idea is simple: if the lie is told often enough, perception becomes the reality.

Mr. Gore complains that all he wants is "a single, full and accurate count." But when asked why Democratic lawyers disqualified military ballots on technicalities and are now currently trying to disqualify Republican votes in Seminole County on an extreme technicality that borders on a joke, he says "well, we have to follow the rules." Democrats and members of the press brush these glaring contradictions aside with the attitude that "both sides are guilty of hypocrisy and are equally to blame."

Have the Democrats become so partisan, and their desire to hold on to power become so great, that they refuse to acknowledge the reality that Gore is trying to overturn this election by divining votes out of thin air? Do they seriously believe it is right to not only cherry pick votes in overwhelmingly pro-Gore counties, but when even that doesn't yield enough votes, to change the rules midstream and then start combing through selected precincts or selected undervotes? Are there any leaders left in the Democratic Party who will stand up and say "enough is enough, this must stop?"

George Stephanopoulos let the the cat out of the bag this Sunday when he said; "the truth is that Democrats feel, even though they may want to give up in the end, that forcing George W. Bush to get elected by Republicans in the Florida legislature and dispute in the House, will enhance their political prospects in 2002 even more." What does it say when the leaders of the Democrat Party, Gephardt and Daschle, are willing to push the country through a Constitutional crisis just to gain an edge in the mid-term elections?

This trend towards turning every crisis into a partisan free for all has got to end. Democrats and Republicans have plenty of legitimate policy and ideological differences to disagree on, they don't need to turn behavior which should be out of bounds to all good people, irrespective of party affiliation, into a partisan food fight. Bill Clinton should have been asked to resign, by members of his own party, for disgracing his office and breaking the law. Al Gore would have become President, and he would have been reelected in a landslide.

What is happening in Florida right now should not be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats can disagree on taxes, spending, the role of government, but they shouldn't disagree on the principal that when the party in power loses an election they have a duty to the greatest democracy in the world to accept that result - no matter how close the election might have been. It is wrong to try and reverse the result of a lawful election by any means necessary. Al Gore obviously does not have the wisdom or dignity to do what's right to honor our great country. Hopefully there are still people in the Democrat Party who do.

John McIntyre writes for RealClearPolitics

Mr. McIntyre can be heard live every Monday morning on the
Hugh Hewitt Show 9:30 EST


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