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(Talking Points Memo)   Former SCOTUS justice Sandra Day O'Connor now thinks that her vote to end the Florida recount in Bush v Gore might have been a mistake. Wow, ya think?   ( divider line
    More: Obvious, Florida Recount, Sinead O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court, justice Sandra, mistakes, justices  
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2424 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 Apr 2013 at 11:57 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-04-29 01:24:08 PM  
5 votes:

GoldSpider: heap: if it matters, i was responding to somebody claiming that gore alone was dipping his finger into the electoral/judicial waters to his own benefit, which i find hilarious.

I'm pretty sure none of that would have happened if Gore hadn't challenged the initial tally.

You are doing your darndest to warrgarble and muddy the facts, so for other readers here are the actual circumstances of the 2000 Florida election.

By pre-existing Florida law, any candidate can challenge the election results county by county, any one county, several, or all FL counties.  Gore did so, for some FL counties.   There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, end of story.

Also by pre-existing FL law, if an election is too close to call, there must be a statewide recount of all ballots. FL Supreme Court noted that, and authorized a statewide recount.   That recount was never completed, and thus FL's existing election laws were not followed.

In most of the statewide recount scenarios, conducted after the election by a team of people from several national media organizations, Gore would have won a statewide recount.   The Bush team successfully shut down or changed existing FL election law, not the Gore team.

The reason the statewide recount was never completed was that the Bush team filed suit to stop the recount.  Stopping the recount would have violated or revised FL election laws, and the Bush group knew that.   The US Supreme Court stepped in to a FL state matter and ruled for Bush, in one of the most oddly written SCOTUS decisions ever.   The FL election was not allowed to follow existing FL election laws.

Now Sandra O'Connor has some qualms?  At the time of the election, O'Connor should have recused herself from this case, because she publicly became upset when the media initially announced that Gore had won Florida, with her husband explaining that they would have to wait another four years before retiring to Arizona.
2013-04-29 12:16:19 PM  
4 votes:
 "gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation."

You committed an unconstitutional act by circumventing the political process and you believe the worst mistake you made was to harm your own reputation.
2013-04-29 11:41:16 AM  
4 votes:
Well, saying, "We shouldn't have accepted it" is significantly different than saying, "Our decision,  after accepting it, was wrong."
2013-04-29 02:07:05 PM  
3 votes:

nekom: FlashHarry: acefox1: My buddies who died fighting for Bush in Iraq all want to thank you for their sacrifice Sandra.

president gore: certainly no iraq war, possibly no 9/11.

I don't know why you think he would have stopped 9/11.  He would have inherited the same intelligence paradigm that Bush did, and I don't recall hearing any Gore campaign promises that would have changed that.

Iraq, well that's a no brainer, even any other GOP President wouldn't have got us into Iraq, that was all Bush and Cheney right there.

Bush inherited an intelligence paradigm that he and his team not only chose to ignore, but dismantle.  Clinton was aware of OBL and was tracking him (Wag the Dog, anyone?).  No reason to suspect Gore would have done differently.
2013-04-29 12:57:08 PM  
3 votes:
It was a wash.

Let's be honest, the count was down to a few hundred out of an entire state, If we accept the fact that no system is perfect (and no system is) then we also have to accept that sometimes shiat happens.  One extra-heavy flu season would have been enough to change the total, or one major car accident blocking a highway.

The truth is we (the People of the United States of America) had bought the Bush lie.  The narrative that both sides were the same, so vote Bush because he can't do much.  We were comfy, we were happy, and those of us paying attention were more concerned with the upcoming dot-bomb.

And until 9/11, we were right.  Dubya's administration was rife with corruption and handouts to the evangelicals and corporate kleptocrats that got him elected but he was rapidly losing support for it and even his most friendly media was treating him like we currently treat Onion Joe Biden.  China was at the top of the headlines for all their assorted dickery, we were paying attention to the economy, and Bush was looking to be a 1-term president.

Then the twin towers fell and everything else that happened, happened.  We stopped paying attention to what was important and started spending all our time panicking about some idiots in the desert.  We handed Dubya the power and political capital to do everything that had stymied him and took it with a smile.  We ignored China while it continued to swindle and cheat and steal in exchange for campaign money and we let the GOP do some record-setting gerrymandering for over a decade.

But like the proverbial bus that could run over you tomorrow, that's farking luck.  One industrial accident could have turned Bush' arguable lead into an overwhelming lead, all you can do is move on.  In 2000 we didn't know what we were getting, largely because we were willfully ignorant but we did it anyway.  In 2004 we knew EXACTLY what we were getting, and we were deluding ourselves to pretend differently.

If Hitler's mother had gotten an abortion, history would have been different, but do we blame her doctor for the choices her son made?

And would the world be a better place without the Bushes and Hitlers and Stalins of history repeatedly teaching us the lessons we keep forgetting?
2013-04-29 03:24:02 PM  
2 votes:
And Justice O'Connor, since Bush won't ever be apologizing for Iraq, would you kindly say something to this effect on behalf of yourself and Bush.

Mauldin's account of Gen. Truscott's speech at Nettuno cemetery in WWII is the best record we have of that day. He recalled the general taking the stand and then turning his back on the audience in order to address the buried corpses arrayed behind him. "It was the most moving gesture I ever saw," Mauldin said.

In his heavy rasp, Truscott told the dead men that he was sorry for what he had done. He said that leaders all tell themselves that deaths in war aren't their fault, that such carnage is inevitable. Deep down, though, if they're honest with themselves, he said, commanders and politicians know it's not true. Truscott admitted he had made mistakes, perhaps many.
Then he asked the dead to forgive him. He was requesting the impossible, he knew, but he needed to ask anyway.

Finally, Truscott debunked the idea that there was glory in dying for one's country. He saw nothing glorious about men in their teens and twenties getting killed, he said. He then promised the men buried at Nettuno that if he ever ran into anybody who spoke of the glorious war dead, he would "straighten them out." "It is the least I can do," he concluded.

Please apologize for unleashing Bush/Cheney onto the youth of America who only volunteered to go and kill the murderers whom Bush/Cheney allowed to murder. It is the least you can do, Justice O'Connor.
2013-04-29 03:21:40 PM  
2 votes:

SomebodyElsesShoes: Your link does nothing to disprove anything the poster said.  Hell, it only address one of the points: Whether Gore would have won a statewide recount.  And on that point it was ambiguous:

"Gore might have reversed the outcome - by the barest of margins - had he pursued and gained a complete statewide recount. "

Thank you, and I'll even go on the record to note:

From the study of possible recounts, the Gore team's recount request - with only selected counties - would most likely have resulted in a Bush win.  As said earlier, Gore was within his rights, per FL law, to request recounts for one county, a few counties, or all counties.

However, FL law at the time required that a close election automatically requires a full recount - all ballots, all counties.  The FL SC said, guess we gotta do a full recount then.

The recount study shows that most full recounts would have shown Gore to have won FL.  But a full recount was never completed - it was stopped by the USSC Bush v Gore decision.

Since the initial impression was that Bush had won, the Bush team very understandably did not want anything to happen that might change that.  They used every means available, legal or not, ethical or not, truthful or not, to stop the recount.
2013-04-29 01:28:50 PM  
2 votes:

Testiclaw: StopLurkListen: Counterpoint:

I've seen your first image posted a few times; what is the context of it?

Where/when was it taken and what are the people chanting (or screaming, etc.)?

That's the so-called Brooks Brothers Riot.  Hundreds of "paid GOP crusaders" descended upon South Florida to protest the state's recounts, with at least half a dozen of the demonstrators at Miami-Dade paid by George W. Bush's recount committee.  Several of these protesters were identified as Republican staffers and a number later went on to jobs in the Bush administration.

That is, they were pretending to be FL citizens protesting the recount process, but were actually out-of-state GOP staff interfering with the FL election.
2013-04-29 01:04:12 PM  
2 votes:
Legal experts have noted that the Court has not cited the decision even once since it was made, which some interpret as a testament to its soundness is what you'd expect from a decision that starts out saying 'don't you dare use this decision as precedent for anything'.


Nabb1: acefox1: Also IIRC the Gore team was a few out of state lawyers working out of a strip mall since Jeb Bush pressured every law firm in the state to stay away from Gore or not get any state business.

"A few"? I remember that free-for-all.  There were HUNDREDS of lawyers working for both campaigns and perhaps even thousands more working on amicus briefs.  Believe me - no one got the short shrift on representation in that case.

If I recall correctly, Enron made large financial contributions to Bush's legal team, didn't they? And very soon after, our national energy policy was written behind closed doors with input from god knows who, and Bush made it so that Presidential records would remain sealed for a few decades longer than they used to be, so we'll all be dead before historians figure out conclusively how much the Crooked E personally benefited from having Bush as President...
2013-04-29 12:11:27 PM  
2 votes:

acefox1: My buddies who died fighting for Bush in Iraq all want to thank you for their sacrifice Sandra.

president gore: certainly no iraq war, possibly no 9/11.
2013-04-29 12:07:20 PM  
2 votes:

nekom: It doesn't really make much difference, as far as I've seen no one has ever been able to even manufacture a Gore victory in Florida, even those with a mind set to do just that.  Under the system in place at the time, and yes the SCOTUS was part of that system, Bush won.  There really is no other way to spin that.  Now if you want to argue that the electoral college is stupid, I fully agree with that, but it IS what we have, for some reason.

Not according to an independent survey conducted the following year.  Gore won under 4 different criteria if the entire state was recounted.  If Gore wore have gotten his selective recounts of just a few counties, he would have lost.  The Supreme Court probably should have demanded a full recount of the entire state or just stayed out of it.
2013-04-29 01:42:36 PM  
1 vote:

GoldSpider: Lumpmoose: Don't disagree, but I still think it's vital to make the election process as robust and unimpeachable as possible for the people that do show up.

The best time to do that, evidently, is right in the middle of an election.

That's when the law is tested, which is why it may be when it comes in front of the judiciary.
2013-04-29 12:42:38 PM  
1 vote:

GoldSpider: Well yeah, the Florida Supreme Court sided with Gore's argument

yah, what does the florida supreme court know about florida law.
2013-04-29 12:35:26 PM  
1 vote:

GoldSpider: heap: it's this really neat trick where you pretend there was only 1 side taking things to the courts. i think it's the 'I'm not touching you, i'm not touching you' of politics.

Only one side was trying to get the state to recount ballots where there was no such provision in the state's election laws.

odd that the florida supreme court disagrees with you. there's a reason 'bush v palm beach canvassing' starts with 'bush'.
2013-04-29 12:33:10 PM  
1 vote:
I know you're old and worried that you're going to die soon, but it's too late to atone for this now, Sandy--you're still going straight to hell.
2013-04-29 12:26:11 PM  
1 vote:
Meh. The decision was sound - it just reiterated the fact that an American citizen has no constitutional right to vote for the President of the United States.  The states make the rules about how they want to select the makeup of the electoral college, and the rules in Florida set forth a vote and a specific recount procedure to be followed.  These additional recounts (particularly in a county by county basis) were not codified in state law and therefore didn't have to be done for the state to certify the results.

In other words, you have no right to reasonably expect your vote to actually count for anything, the state just uses the "accurate enough" litmus test and that's that.  Most of the time they're directionally right at best.  Don't like it? Get a constitutional amendment.  Until then, be glad that you even have the ability to enter a nominal but ultimately unverifiable vote for president at all, in the old days the state legislatures made that decision for you (and they well should consider returning to that model, given the idiocy of most Americans.  But that's a topic  for another day).
2013-04-29 12:16:11 PM  
1 vote:
Loosen up, Sandy baby!
2013-04-29 12:10:36 PM  
1 vote:
My buddies who died fighting for Bush in Iraq all want to thank you for their sacrifice Sandra.
2013-04-29 11:55:23 AM  
1 vote:

Diogenes: Well, saying, "We shouldn't have accepted it" is significantly different than saying, "Our decision,  after accepting it, was wrong."

That distinction is a pretty big one at that.
2013-04-29 11:35:40 AM  
1 vote:
Better late than never, I guess.
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