12/1/2000 12:00:00 AM - Oliver North
WASHINGTON -- As he campaigned across America, Gore frequently used a line that got him a big round of applause from liberal audiences: "We don't need anymore Antonin Scalias or Clarence Thomases on the Supreme Court." Given the vice president's mean streak, that statement isn't particularly remarkable. What is surprising, considering all the legal challenges Al Gore and his hoard of lawyers have mounted to this election, is that he didn't ask these two justices to recuse themselves before last Friday's unprecedented oral arguments.
Granted, the nine justices in Washington, D.C., were asked to rule on a relatively narrow question: Did the six Democrats and one "Independent" on the Florida Supreme Court violate the U.S. Constitution? The Framers placed the responsibility for choosing the Electoral College with state legislatures. As it so quaintly reads in Article II, Section 1: "Each State shall appoint, in a manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the congress." The Florida Legislature did precisely that when it established a time for voting, a procedure for an automatic recount in a close election and a deadline for each county to certify the results of an election. And while we awaited arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on the question of whether or not the Florida Supreme Court usurped the legislature's duty, the three week-long barrage of vicious lies, hyperbolic spin and malicious accusations by the Gore-Daley machine continued.
Perhaps we should have expected it. All year, Al Gore told one whopper after another. He lied about Bill Bradley's record. He lied about George W. Bush's record. He lied about his own record. Vice President Pinocchio told tall tales about his travels in Texas, about shortages of desks in public schools ... even what time kids went to lunch in Florida.
This week, Gore, Senator-Elect Joe Lieberman and their minions took to the cameras to spin the big lie about the "votes that have not been counted." This deception has become the most oft repeated canard in a post-election campaign full of deceit. On Nov. 24, Lieberman, once known as "the conscience of the Senate," looked into the camera and told us, "The votes have all been cast. Many of them have not yet been counted." On Nov. 26, he prevaricated: "The integrity of our self-government is too important to cast into doubt because votes that have been counted or others that have not yet been counted, and clearly should be, have unjustifiably been cast aside." On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the veep got time on every network and proved that he couldn't tell the truth for a mere four minutes and 25 seconds, telling America that "thousands of votes have never been counted." And the following day, a pathetic, plastic, vice president, falsely pleading for "patience " claimed "that even today, thousands of votes still have not been counted." All of this is patently untrue.
Every vote cast in Florida on Election Day was counted. They were counted a second time in the automatic machine. And hundreds of thousands of these ballots were counted a third time by hand. The only votes that have not been counted are the absentee military ballots that were left unopened because they were stamped "illegal" in accord with guidance issued by the Gore-Daley machine on how to disqualify military votes.
The other big lie concerns republican demonstrators who protested the unfairness of the recount process and the exclusion of military ballots. Gore operatives derided these noisy but peaceful protestors as "a mob rule," and "brownshirts" and "fascists." Once again, Al Gore fueled the fantasy, claiming on Nov. 27, "in one county, election officials brought the count to a premature end in the face of organized intimidation."
Unfortunately, the reporters recording Gore's lies failed to ask him, "If the protestors were so intimidating, so violent, where are the injuries, the arrest records, the tapes of 911 calls? If there was a "mob rule," why didn't the Democrats summon help from Janet Reno ... a woman who doesn't think twice about sending SWAT teams after 5-year-old kids ... to send down a few hundred federal marshals?" The answer is obvious: There was no violence, no mob rule and no intimidation. It's just another lie. Miami-Dade election supervisor, David Leahy, said as much when he told reporters, "I wasn't intimidated. The only thing that forced (our hand) was a deadline that we didn't have before and which we felt we couldn't meet."
Thankfully, the lies are almost over. Sure, Albert, the prince of dimples, will keep fighting to the last chad. But come Jan. 20, George W. Bush will take the oath of office as the 43rd president of the United States. As he is fond of saying, "Help is on the way." And that's no lie.