It is a myth that George Bush lost the election in 2000. He lost the popular vote, but that is not how elections are decided. Both George Bush and Al Gore based their electoral strategies on the rules in place at the time, which determines the winner on the basis of electoral votes. Saying after the fact that the Presidency should go to the winner of the popular vote is like saying that the 1964 World Series Championship belongs to the Yankees because they scored more total runs, although the Cardinals took four games out of seven.
It is a myth that George Bush stole the vote in Florida. Every recount has given the victory there to Bush. There is no doubt in my mind that the real villain of 2000 is Al Gore. His challenge of the electoral results was blatantly unfair (recall, he wanted to recount only in certain precincts where he hoped to gain votes) and served only to transform a close election into an illegitimate one. Instead of working to unite the country, Gore set an example of deep partisan bitterness that maximized the long-term damage of the 2000 election for American politics.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007