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George Dubya Bush for God's Sake


This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, December 13, 2000.

I, and most of us, have been dead wrong every time we have voiced a prediction or opinion about this election just finished. So I hesitate to say even what seems too terribly obvious right now. It is over this time for Al Gore, and while he did not excite the constituency, I believe that he's about to become a martyr, the worst possible scenario for the Republicans, worse even than losing the election. Of course, in most ways the Republicans did lose. They lost the popular vote for the Presidency. They lost seats in House and Senate. The Senate, in fact, is now split 50-50, so Trent Lott cannot call himself the Majority Leader, absent as he is a majority. He isn't even a plurality leader. But after the smoke thinned, somewhat, we have a dynasty. Bush II, very much the sequel, with the same cast.

I was wrong about Dubya Bush. I could not believe that a man so intellectually unqualified for the job, with a running mate physically unqualified, with five arrests and four heart attacks between them, could persuade America that they were the ones for the Presidency, given our professed moral concerns, now revealed as malarkey. And, as the popular vote concludes, they did not persuade us, but they came close and close enough in Florida to attain the White House. Clearly the Republicans are not concerned about law and order: look at their candidates. Clearly the Republicans have lost claim to the military allegiance. Bush evaded Vietnam and Cheney evaded serving at all. Nobody voted them in because of their military records: they have none of which to speak, primarily because they often cannot be found, somehow. In Bush's case, the less spoken the better. So why are the hairy-chested veterans supporting the very type of combat evader that they considered Bill Clinton? Hypocrisy pure and simple. Clinton evaded a draft for a war he hated and worked to prevent anyone from going. Bush and Cheney supported the war, provided they didn't have to go. Who's the hypocrite? Who's the coward? Who, in the cold light of history, is the patriot?

And the nation will turn on the Supreme Court. Under Florida Sunshine law, the votes in dispute will be unofficially at some point counted, probably by a Miami newspaper, and if Gore is shown to have more votes, the Supreme's cancelled recount will seem like a partisan heist of the U. S. Presidency. Watch the Republicans try to squelch any such action. It won't be pretty, especially if the case goes to the Supreme Court. Again.

And the Supreme Court has another issue, most puzzling in its simplicity. Justice Scalia should have recused himself from participating in any case before the court presented by a law firm with a member of his immediate family as a principal. The Republican attorney, Ted Olson, is a law partner of Scalia's son. In most courts, even the remote possibility of conflict of interest demands a judge recluse himself, and I am perplexed that this issue was not raised except after the fact by the Wall St. Journal, of all media. That is a clear conflict of interest when a judge's immediate family has a financial interest in the outcome before you. I don't believe for a second it influenced Scalia, who is consistent in his opinions, but that isn't the point. Do you recall the recent commercial where a young man and a young woman are called into the office for a final job interview and the boss gives it to the girl, who leaps up and twitters "Thanks, Daddy!" That happened here. So today I remain uncharacteristically bitter and pissed off. George Dubya Bush for God's sake.