Thomas Sowell

But the facts will never stop the accusations that Secretary of State Katherine Harris is being "partisan" because she is a Republican. Practically every government official belongs to one party or the other, but that does not make all their actions partisan -- especially in the case of Ms. Harris, who is following legal advice from lawyers known for being Democrats. It has been reported on MSNBC that Gore operatives have threatened an investigation of Katherine Harris's life that would supposedly make the Whitewater investigation look like a tea party.

But such gross attempts at blackmailing a public official produce little notice, much less outrage, in the media.

Corruption of the legal processes, by blackmail or character assassination or other methods, has been standard procedure in the Clinton/Gore administration. Their worst legacy may be the notion that "everybody does it." Everybody does not do it. But more people will do it if Clinton and Gore continue to get away with it.

There are two very different questions that can too easily get confused with one another. One question is whether the present system of machine counting of votes is the best way. That is a question to be dealt with after this election is settled and before the next election takes place.

The other question is whether this election shall be conducted according to the rules laid out and agreed to in advance by both sides or according to new rules and procedures created by those who lost. If the latter, then all future elections will be challenged and dragged through the courts by whoever loses. For all practical purposes, we will no longer have election laws.

We will have tentative agreements that will not be worth the paper they are written on.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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