In Honor of W's Inauguration Edappel8 at
Wed Jan 24 16:30:17 EST 2001

Thanks to Clarke for his response.  I am pleased that he read Bugliosi's 
essay.  Clarke is one of the scholars on this list who can do the most with 
this issue.

Thanks, also, to William for his reply.  It does, though, prompt a retort.  
For one thiing, William says:

"But Gore was never ahead in Fla.  The Election News Service mistakenly 
reported that Gore was ahead, then retracted."

That's the question, William, and you're begging it.  Why was "Gore never 
ahead it Fla.," and why did the hand-counting of the ballots in contested 
counties, or any of the counties that had undercounts for that matter, have 
to stop?  What was the even-handed, precedent-respecting legal basis for such 
a judicial ruling?  And why was the majority opinion handed down partly 
unsigned and sui generis in respect to presidential elections in the large?

William says, in addition:

It disturbs be also that a listserv of professional rhetoricians are so eager 
to have competitive conversations where the "winner" humiliates the 
"loser" than open discussion.

I don't understand the "humiliation" charge in respect to any facet of the 
discussion we've had on this list on the Bush vs. Gore decision or on the 
election that led up to it.  I think the tone has been very civil, perhaps 
too one-sided, but that's not the fault of those who have participated.  
Maybe I've displayed an untoward sharpness of tongue in a few of my posts in 
the past.  Not this time around, however, not even close.

Finally, it doesn't take seasoned Burkean scholars to put their "oar" in with 
respect to much of what we've been bantering about the past month and a half. 
 What we've discussed is fodder for a Burkean critique, as Robert has 
helpfully and trenchantly shown us.  A forceful 
anti-Bugliosi/Wess/Rountree/Jenny/Appel critique has been made so far only by 
what Herb Simons posted just before Christmas, and that demurrer had more to 
do with the rhetoric of the situation than the "facts" of the case, as I 
recall.  We're still waiting for credible argument not only that "Gore was 
never ahead in Fla.," but that he would not have forged ahead if the ballots 
had been recounted in the time-honored way: by hand.  Even more to the point, 
we're waiting for a creditable case to be made for what the five most 
conservative Justices of the Supreme Court did in their seemingly twisted, 
serpentine, anfractuous opinion.  Why, for instance, was it an unsigned per 
curiam statement when the stakes were so high, the issue so formidable?  Why, 
too, was this opinion stripped of universal application?  How could such a 
ruling be justly made to apply in this case only, but still be made to apply 
in this case, when "equal protection of the laws" is patently "complex" in a 
nation that votes for officeholders in many different ways?

Just asking.


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