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Jewish World Review Nov. 29, 2000/ 2 Kislev 5761


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Consumer Reports

It's Perry Mason on Every TV Station -- GEORGE W. BUSH has won the presidency.


Whether he actually takes office is a different question altogether, as Al Gore's chief kneecapper, David Boies, the lawyer who raped, but didn't quite murder, Microsoft, is continuing to conjure up legal maneuvers for Friday's U.S. Supreme Court hearing. (Bill Daley's been AWOL lately: is he in the Democratic penalty box?)

The New York Times, in its lead Monday editorial, expressed its chagrin that Bush would "embrace" his victory in Florida, since it'd been tainted by the "eager partisan" Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the bitch who, according to the Times, is the only person in Florida to have campaigned for a candidate this fall. Not once in the editorial was it mentioned that the Florida Supreme Court is comprised of six Democrats and one independent. And Joe Lieberman, reacting to Harris' certifying a winner, which is her duty by state law, disgraced himself once again (14 times and you're out, Se=F1or Integrity) by saying, "How can we teach our children that every vote counts if we are not willing to make a good-faith effort to count every vote?"

Translation: the only vote tally that's legitimate is one that awards Al Gore the White House.

As James Baker said on Sunday night: "The Florida State Elections Commission has certified Governor Bush as the winner of the presidential election here in Florida. Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney have won this election under rules established by both Florida statutes and Florida's judiciary, including both procedures in place before the election and different ones in place after the election."

Bush's point-man was forced to be diplomatic but his message was clear: Gore tried to steal the presidency by methods of manipulation, coercion, propaganda, litigation and intimidation, but still came up short. I believe it's now better than 50-50 odds that the Texas Governor will prevail, but Gore's attempt at a nonviolent coup, waged with legal briefs rather than guns, has yet to be suppressed.


Wolff, whose associ The actor Rick Moranis, deviating from the usual Hollywood-celebrity mush, wrote an op-ed column for the Times on Monday, part of which read: "While we're talking about recounts...I believe G-d created the world in eight or nine days. I think my cholesterol is lower. I think that my zip code is one digit off and that I deserve more frequent-flier miles... I think I'm taller. I think I read a lot more and watch much less television... I think I may have been a Beatle... I think I bought Yahoo stock much earlier. I think I sold it. I think I birdied the 18th."

As I've written previously, the only benefit of this stinky election is that Americans now understand how inefficient and often corrupt the nation's electoral process really is. It's no accident that most of the irregularities-to put it charitably-are found in the major cities. Think of it this way: When you travel to a small commonwealth, say Bermuda, the immigration officials are rigorous to the point of frustration. No matter how upstanding a citizen you appear to be, luggage is inspected and documents are double-checked, and then you're given the green light, usually without a smile. The same thing occurs in suburban and rural voting precincts, where the turnout is relatively light and local officials take their jobs seriously. They're important for a day.

On the other hand, just as customs workers and security guards are lackadaisical at JFK, LAX or O'Hare and allow travelers to breeze right by them, the poll workers in Chicago, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Detroit, etc., are much more relaxed or bored, and often don't even ask for identification. This can partially be ascribed to sheer volume, but some of it is due to the orchestrated, time-honored shenanigans of union leaders, ward heelers and party hacks.

It's just a hunch, but if every legitimate ballot-and that means one per registered voter-were counted on Election Day, Bush would've won the popular vote.

So when the new administration convenes, let's hope that electoral modernization leapfrogs to the head of the legislative docket, along with tort reform and tax relief, and that red herrings like campaign finance limits are put in mothballs.

I'm so sick of the elite media whining about how "ironic" it is that the GOP is resorting to federal courts when one of their core beliefs, reflected in their platform, is in favor of states' rights and the importance of local municipalities' deciding matters in their communities, instead of deferring to Big Government.

What really riles these jokers, who've had it far too easy in the past eight years as Clinton and the trial lawyer lobby have rolled Republicans time and again, is that the GOP is taking their fight to the streets.

It's about time. And guess what, you blowhards on cable tv and in the newspapers who've had a ball mocking Bush's alleged lack of smarts and laziness: it's the Texas Governor who's calling the shots. It's Bush who's orchestrated, whether from Crawford, TX or Austin, the thermonuclear war against the vast army of Democratic foot soldiers and special-interest reinforcements. All the smarties who claimed Bush was an Eastern aristocrat at heart, an aging fratboy, didn't have a clue as to what a tough competitor he is. This whole thing would be over if Bush had folded early on, giving a concession speech filled with malarkey about uniting behind Al Gore for the good of the country.

And that would've been a huge fib. The visceral dislike between the two candidates is combustible. Democrats took Bush's easygoing demeanor for granted. They forgot he defeated Ann Richards in '94 with a combination of winning issues and tough retail politicking.

It's been a sorry spectacle watching the Republicans lie down for Clinton and Gore on issue after issue. First there was Newt Gingrich (who led the takeover of the House but got too cocky to retain his speakership), admitting that he was charmed by Clinton in the budget negotiations that led to the government shutdown, thus dealing his colleagues a major blow. In the election of '96, Bob Dole, badly overmatched by Dick Morris' and Terry McAuliffe's fundraising machines, waged a tepid campaign characterized by every mistake it's possible to make in modern politics. Worse, just a few months after Clinton soundly defeated him-in part by attacking him at every turn-Dole showed up at the White House to accept a medal of honor from his competitor. If I were Dole I'd have thrown that medal in the sink into which Clinton was later found to...


Wolff, whose associ (I must say that Dole, after too much bipartisan bull, has become a Republican activist, going down to Florida to speak before a rally protesting the planned repression of military ballots. He's been forceful, articulate and out of his mind with rage. That's the Bob Dole we knew a long time ago.)

And let's not even talk about impeachment. The House managers should be included in Ted Sorensen's updated Profiles in Courage, but their work wasn't followed up in the Senate, where pork-happy Trent Lott was all too eager to make deals. And then Jerry Ford stuck his befuddled two cents in with an op-ed in The New York Times calling for the Senate to censure, but not convict, Clinton. For the good of the country. Oh, brother. And the lack of support for Ken Starr was inexcusable, as he was ambushed, nonstop, by the Carville-Clinton hit squad.

Finally, a Republican's decided to get bloody with Clinton's tenacious would-be successor and contest the fraud the Democrats set out to perpetrate-in the hope it wouldn't be noticed-just hours after the polls closed on Nov. 7. Maybe Bush can't pronounce "subliminal" under pressure, but he knows how to throw a strong right punch to the Democrats' glass jaw.

Right now, on Friday night, I'm listening to Charlie Rangel on Crossfire as he asks Mary Matalin why she's so sure that the dimpled chads in Broward and Palm Beach Counties aren't for Bush. Is Rangel still with us? Has he gone so bonkers that he doesn't realize he's practically drooling with insincerity?

On Saturday, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler took Democratic hubris to a new level after witnessing a small rally of incensed Republicans. He said there was "a whiff of fascism is in the air." I guess when Al Sharpton or Jesse, Jesse...Jackson, that's right, incites huge Rainbow Coalition crowds every time the police induce a hangnail in a suspect, well, that's just a nostalgic reminiscence of the Summer of Love.

JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and CEO of New York Press ( Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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