|6 December 2000|
It's people like you what cause unrest.
-- from Monty Python's "Fish License" sketch
Well, events have moved along rather far. Catching up...
As I've said before, if you procrastinate long enough, someone else will probably say what you're thinking, and say it better. Gore's biggest mistake (IMHO) is very well-described here:
- What Now? by Alan Brinkley and Michael McConnell [Slate]
[Alan Brinkley:] ...it now appears clearer than ever that the Gore campaign made a serious mistake in not asking for a full-state recount from the start. They were certainly within their legal rights to request recounts only in three counties, but the political cost -- and now, apparently, the legal cost as well -- was high. Gore mentioned a statewide recount once, in passing, but did nothing to promote the idea. The notion of fairness, which until now seemed to be little involved in the legal skirmishes and to have been largely a football of the public relations campaign, now surfaces in the judge's decision, but too late to be acted upon.
He did publicly offer to the Bush campaign to support a full statewide recount, but Republicans seem to have unanimously forgotten that so they can bash him for being selective. Gore should have been more statesmanlike and requested a full recount himself. Funny how doing the right (and fairest) thing would have worked to his advantage.
Also, the letter encouraging Democratic canvassing board members to be absolute sticklers with the military ballots was a big PR mistake, though they were following the 'rule of law'.
Without that, and without the 'selective recounts' to bash, I wonder what rhetorical legs the Republican leadership would have had left to stand on in their opposition to recounting.
In my unscientific, unsupported-by-actual-measurement opinion, MSNBC seems to have had more direct coverage of the relevant court proceedings and other events in Florida than CNN (and Comcast doesn't carry FOX News). CNN seems to cut away from the direct feeds rather more often for commentary and ads. Only CSPAN has carried more of the proceedings, I think.
In a way, I'd like to have access to FOX News for comparison.
It seems to me that some of the same folks who criticized Clinton/Gore for being so poll-driven instead of principle-driven are calling on Gore to concede because a majority of Americans want this over with. They're funny.
Want to read a book about the Long Election? Won't be long... Jeff Greenfield, Jake Tapper, Jeffrey Toobin, Claire Shipman, Roger Simon and more are working on some now. But:
- Books Planned on Perpetual Election [Washington Post]
"Historians only write after events have taken place," said Eric Foner, president of the American Historical Association and author of an acclaimed best seller about Reconstruction. "Real historians will not write about this for some time."
Out of time. I'm heading to St. Louis shortly to see Joe Jackson live. Woooo!