Report: Gore woulda won!

The White House pranked! A Clinton puppet for sale -- by Democrats! Plus: Why is China making black berets for the U.S. Army?


Anthony York
March 13, 2001 4:55AM (UTC)

Weblines

Drudge Report: "A MILLION unborn lambs and their mothers could be slaughterered"
BuzzFlash: "Why are the Democratic leaders not expressing outrage over these two Bush Iran-Contra appointments? It's a crying shame!"
Modern Humorist: "My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush"
Jonah Goldberg: "With Al Gore out of the picture, the New Republic is once again preferable to painful electrocution."
Daily Howler: "O'Neill was hoping to fool more reporters. David Gregory was soon lunch meat too."

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Big buzz

The Palm Beach Post reported Sunday that in its audit of Florida's overvotes, the county's infamous butterfly ballot cost Gore the election. "A ballot design that confused voters into choosing two candidates cost Democrat Al Gore 6,607 votes in Palm Beach County ... The net gain of votes for Gore would have been 10 times more than he needed to erase Republican George W. Bush's slim margin of 537 votes in the state." A day earlier, the Post reported that Gore would have gained 784 votes just from the undervotes in Palm Beach County if every ballot that had a hanging or dimpled chad had been counted.

That was more than enough to solicit a release from the Democratic National Committee, which flamed political reporters with the news: "The Palm Beach Post's recount is another nail in the coffin of the mistaken notion that George W. Bush got more votes in Florida," Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said in the statement. "From the time the Florida recount began, Democrats have insisted that a full, fair and accurate count would reveal the truth. For just as long, Republicans have hid from that truth, afraid that Gore was the true winner in Florida. Plain and simple, the report today shows Gore won."

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Online, both sides reacted angrily and aggressively. On Lucianne.com, one poster writes, "Yes, and I might have been Marilyn Monroe." Return volleys came from the denizens of Table Talk. "It is clear to the rest of the world that Gore was America's choice, and it should as well be clear to all thinking Bush partisans that this was the case. Moreover, it reveals a serious and stunning lack of character on the part of George W. Bush not to acknowledge Gore's status with his resignation from office, along with the rest of the Republican administration, and, by procedural mechanism of some kind, to install Gore as the true president of the United States."

Anger management

No, that's not the real White House Web site [satire]
Internet spoofs are not known for their subtlety, but this site, at Whitehouse.org, is a gem. A handful of our readers thought they had stumbled on the ultimate Freudian html slip when they clicked onto the site, which features the official George W. Bush bio posted on the real White House site at whitehouse.gov. But the Whitehouse.org version has a picture of Bush's father in place of his son's presidential photo.

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The site, which is registered to a company called Satire Online in Belmont, Calif., is set up to look like an official White House site (unlike the site at whitehouse.com, a porn site where "all the interns are naked"). But attentive readers will notice that something is amiss when they read the Whitehouse.org home page. "Thank you for visiting the White House on the Web. We are pleased to provide information about America's Forty-First President, George 'Herbert' Bush and Vice President Richard 'Dick' Cheney."

Everyone's talking about the tax cut, "the death of bipartisanship" and just how long it will take for Democrats in the Senate to cave. Despite a Democratic National Committee press release showing more Americans support the smaller tax cut proposal endorsed by Democrats, a handful of Dems crossed over Thursday to endorse the $1 trillion tax cut pushed by President Bush. The Bush tax cut seems to be on the congressional fast track as Democrats struggle desperately to find a cohesive message and, as Jake Tapper reports, "the scatterbrained way the Democratic leadership, particularly in the House, has been running business has started to create internal rancor."

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One poster at Bartcop.com is keeping the faith, taking a more pragmatic view. "The last thing we need to do is start beating ourselves up. That's what they want. Lots of stuff passes the House. A lot of folks would have voted no if it had any chance of clearing the Senate. Its DOA." But the tax cut fight is being used to hammer Democratic senators who may be vulnerable in 2002, a prospect that has folks at Lucianne.com salivating. "Even if Bush does not change their votes in the Senate, this trip might well help to change the Senate in 2002."

Some letter writers have suggested that perhaps this column is too antagonistic, focusing on the things that divide us, rather than stressing our common bonds. Hatfields vs. McCoys, Coke vs. Pepsi, Red vs. Blue. They ask, in not-so polite terms, "Can't we all just get along?"

For the less bellicose political animal, there's a site focused on bringing us together, and taking us to task. It comes from Leonard Richardson at Crummy.com, who has crafted his own version of the Red vs. Blue battleground map in gradated shades of purple. "I made a 100-pixel-wide gradient from the 'red' color on Salon's map to the 'blue' color on Salon's map," Richardson writes. "That was Gore's gradient, the one shown on the legend. I flipped it around to get Bush's gradient (just for convenience, since the election results put the winner of the race in a state first on the list). I colored each state according to how many percentage points the winning candidate won in that state. For example, Bush got 58 percent of the vote in Montana, so I picked the 58th pixel from the left in Bush's gradient and used that color to color Montana." (Andrew Sullivan says, "It makes the point in color that I tried to make a while back in the New York Times. We're not quite as divided as we think. And we're all a fabulous shade of lavender!")

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Selling handmade marionettes of Bill Clinton? It's not a joke. It's a fundraiser by the folks at Democrats.com. For the low, low price of $89, you can own your own Clinton puppet. And, that's right, after you give your donation, you can make Bill Clinton do whatever you want him to. (Isn't this what Dan Burton has been alleging all along?) "I collect puppets and marionettes," reads one testimonial. "This looks just like the president!"

Why is the U.S. Army employing communists? [Free Republic]
A lot of posters are mighty angry about reports that the U.S. Army ordered 3 million black berets from China. The decision to issue the berets, currently reserved for special forces, to all enlisted personnel was controversial to begin with. But news that the berets are being made in China -- by communists! -- set the conservative sites reeling. Some of the black-helicopter crowd chimes in with conspiratorial posts promising that we will all be wearing blue United Nations berets in the not-too-distant future. Others are out for blood. "Good job, clowns!" one Freeper writes. "Build up China's economy so that they can be the next Cold War enemy. Oh yeah, give them our military contracts so that they can laugh all the way to the bank. And pay them more than we would pay American contractors."

Posters at Lucianne.com were equally incredulous. "This is the first article of the morning for me. I thought it was a joke, maybe from the Onion. Unbelievable."

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For more Red vs. Blue, click here.

Submit your own rant or direct us to a good political online discussion by e-mailing us at redvsblue@salon.com, or jump right into a Table Talk discussion about Red vs. Blue.


Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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