Sixty percent of Americans, including a quarter of Gore supporters, now say Gore should concede gracefully. But "Gore is Said to Harbor Unshakable Conviction That He Has Won the Election," the New York Times headline trumpets, citing "people who deal with (Gore) daily" who say "he believes -- no, he knows he won the election." Is this scary or what?
If Bill Clinton decided to turn the normal electoral process upside down in search of a vote count, any vote count that put him in the lead, he would do so with an inner chuckle and a great big Arkansas wink: Watch me steal this election from under those fuddy-duddy Republicans. Doesn't anybody else know how to play this game? Clinton might dip into the nefarious, but he would be at least certifiably sane. He would know what he was doing. Does Gore?
The gap between Gore's words and reality is growing so large you could sail the ship of state right through the hole. On Monday, he went before the nation to explain why he must refuse to concede the reality that he lost this election by an agonizingly razor-thin margin. "A vote is not just a piece of paper. A vote is a human voice, a statement of human principle," he waxed lyrical. All those little chads lying on the floor calling to him: "Gore! Gore! Gore!"
Their voices in his head apparently drove Gore to the next step: an outright, vicious, shameful, mean-spirited lie: "In one county," Gore charged, "election officials brought the count to a premature end in the face of organized intimidation." In Miami-Dade, officials stopped a manual recount they did not originally believe was called for because they could not meet the Florida Supreme Court-imposed deadline. All three canvassing board officials have publicly disavowed the repeated, scurrilous Democrat claim that a public protest "intimidated" them into calling off the recount. Guess what, Mr. Gore? The voice of law-abiding protesters is also a human voice, a statement of human principle, and not a threat to democracy.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.