The Supreme Junta of the People's Republic of Florida purports to have changed the rules governing a big important presidential election two weeks after the election took place. The rest of the country doesn't have time to wait for impeachment proceedings -- admittedly needful though they may be.
The remaining sane state officials in Florida have to do their jobs. As Ken Starr can attest, Democrats make it extremely difficult for people to do their jobs when their jobs consist of enforcing laws.
But it's Katherine Harris's job to certify the electors as provided in the real law (seven-day deadline) and not the Junta's manifesto (19-day deadline -- until we sober up enough to start issuing more orders). If Democrats had any doubt that Harris has the legal authority to certify the election right now, they wouldn't be maniacally defaming her.
The Florida Legislature and governor should immediately back Harris up. The Legislature wrote the law; it has a responsibility to protect its authority to write laws and have them given effect. It should act promptly to confirm the electoral slate certified by Harris.
The Florida governor signed the law; the current governor has a duty to defend the powers of that office as well as the laws of the state. Jeb Bush ought to announce that he is pardoning Harris for any threatened prosecution over her submission to the laws of Florida.
It may be unfortunate that Jeb is the brother of the guy who won the election, won the recount, won the manual recounts completed by the law's deadline, and won the absentee ballots.
It may even be a coincidence that the networks created the close election in Florida -- rather than in a state where Jeb is not governor -- by incorrectly calling it for Gore while the polls were still open. (Their mistake cost Bush about 10,000 votes in the Panhandle, according to economist John Lott's analysis of Republican and Democratic voting patterns since 1988.)
Jeb has a duty to enforce the law. Instead of being a gentleman to thieving Democrats, it's time for Jeb to exhibit a little of that famous Bush gallantry toward a beleaguered state official just trying to obey the law. If Jeb is worried about his political future, he ought to keep this in mind: Democrats can call you names, but they don't vote in Republican primaries.
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