We've gone from rolling our eyes at some hapless old people claiming they slipped and voted for the wrong guy to Fox News' Morton Kondracke saying of the ballot, "Well, yeah, sure now it looks easy." We've gone from scoffing at the idea of lawsuits determining the next leader of the free world to New York Times lawyer Floyd Abrams saying that lawsuits are "part of the process."
Perhaps strangest of all, the networks and Democrats have taken the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" and have begun referring to the curse as merely a "saying," a "proverb" -- even a "blessing"!
We are being inured to the proposition that Bush has not won. Inured to the idea that any states and districts that Gore lost should be subject to a do-over. Inured to the idea that meaningless expressions of popular approval should prevail over constitutional mechanisms for selecting elected officials. Inured to the notion that the presidential election is not decided on Election Day or even the next day, but can sometimes be a months-long process.
Once we were all shocked by the suggestion that the president could be shown to have committed felonies and still continue in office. But after a while, we got used to that, too.
On Day Two of America Held Hostage, former President George Bush -- father of President-Elect Bush -- was on television commending his son for the dignity he had shown during this national emergency.
Yes, Al Gore, the rube, has demanded a recount in Florida, while Bush has decorously refrained from requesting recounts in Iowa, Wisconsin and New Mexico -- three states Bush lost by a sneeze. Bush's brother, the Florida governor, courteously removed himself from involvement in the Florida recount, but Florida's attorney general -- who happens to be Al Gore's campaign chairman -- boorishly did not. Al Gore goes around loutishly declaring himself the popular vote champion, while Bush genteelly refrains from any such boasts.
Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson is presiding over rioting in the streets. There is a movement afoot to call in Janet Reno. Maybe she could send in a SWAT team to gun down President-Elect George Bush. All we need now are chickens in the street and beggars with leprosy to complete the picture.
This is no time for dignity. President Bush had dignity. Sen. Bob Dole had dignity. They lost. In particular, they lost to the two blackguards in the White House now dragging the country into yet another constitutional crisis. It will never end until these people are gone. It's time for Bush to stop acting like a lockjaw Connecticut WASP and start being a Texan.
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