In Honor of W's Inauguration
Edappel8 at cs.com
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
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?
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