Bush and Gore file Supreme Court briefs

By Salon staff


Letters to the Editor
November 30, 2000 1:01PM (UTC)

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The time for Vice President Gore to concede has come. Let's be honest, the election was in essence a statistical tie. With over 2,000,000 undercounts in the USA, there is no way a fair and complete recount can be done. Gov. Bush had the dumb luck to come out ahead by 500 or so votes. Two machine counts have confirmed it; a hand count deadline of 5 p.m. Sunday set by the Florida Supreme Court was missed by two counties. The election is over. Sure, a judge could rule it over to Gore, but I wouldn't like to see it happen. The courts have traditionally stayed out of presidential elections, but Gore wants to win and has brought the election into the judiciary. I don't blame him for being disappointed, but I do blame him for not putting the country first. It's time to stop using "Is it legally correct?" and replace it with "Is it right for the country?"

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-- Michael Clark

George W. Bush would make an "exceptional" president.

George W. Bush has long demonstrated a facility for being exceptional. He was accepted into Yale with the special legacy exception reserved for the children of wealthy and prominent graduates -- everyone knows you can't get accepted into Yale with barely a "C" average and a 1206 SAT score unless by this kind of "affirmative action" for the privileged.

Bush was able to get a coveted slot in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War by exception. Then he got an exception to gain acceptance as a pilot trainee, leaping ahead of the other candidates despite being one of the lowest scorers on the competitive exams. It was exceptional that he did not show up for duty for the last year of his Texas Air National Guard service, and that he was assigned to assist a political campaign while still "serving his country."

His career of operating three oil exploration businesses was exceptional in that all failed under his leadership. It was exceptional that Bush nevertheless made money in oil exploration, while his investors lost money, due to his exceptional timing in selling his stock just one week prior to publicly reporting major financial losses in an apparent violation of SEC rules. It was exceptional that one of those oil companies, Harken, with insufficient financial capital and no offshore exploration experience, was awarded an oil exploration contract with the government of Bahrain while his father was the vice president. It was exceptional that with this business track record that his father's investor friends and political cronies made him the general manager of the Texas Rangers providing him with public visibility and significant wealth. It was particularly exceptional when those Texas Rangers partners bonused him with an additional 9 percent ownership of the team resulting in a $15 million bonanza when the team was sold. It was exceptional that with this record, and no experience or demonstrated interest in public policy that, with the assistance of a supplicant media, he was elected as governor of Texas for no other obvious reason than his family name.

Now Bush wants an exception to the ubiquitous and time-honored practice of manual recounts in very close elections, including under the laws of Florida and Texas signed by Jeb and George W. Bush, to obtain his election as president. Bush's political and legal operatives have done everything they can to obstruct the final tallying of all the votes, even rejecting a statewide count which puts all parties on equal footing. The U.S. Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees, two of whom were appointed by George W.'s father, will now hear the case for this exception.

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With this history, it is clear that George W. Bush has led an exceptional life and his election depends upon an exception to the practice of counting all of the votes. If George W. Bush achieves the presidency by yet one more exception, an exception to democratic process, it will be extraordinary if a majority of the U.S. electorate acknowledges his election as legitimate.

-- Keith Prince


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