Wed, Jan 10, 2001 - Page 8 News List


Asleep at the wheel

The article by John Bolton ("New president's first priority to prevent slide into recession," Jan. 3, page 9) served ostensibly to "correct a few of the more egregious errors by the international media." Allow me to clarify certain sophisms apparent in Bolton's rather partisan piece.

By saying that no voters, "particularly racial minorities, faced even the slightest discrimination ... or any other impediment" to the legal casting of their votes in Florida, Bolton allows for police roadblocks and roadside automobile inspections to occur in predominantly black neighborhoods on Election Day. Why not? No laws were broken! Those white state troopers weren't discriminatory in the very least! They checked everything from "red" brake lights, to "yellow" turn indicators, to "black and white" fuzzy dice hanging from rear-view mirrors. Who cares that those voters took an hour off work to exercise their right to vote, then got stuck jumping through those hoops for an average of 20 minutes per car? Good old boys got quotas to meet, don't you know?

Bolton further adds that "both major candidates were determined that the state's popular votes were accurately counted." I still shake my head at the Republican party's incessant use of the passive voice. Governor Bush and his camp repeated time and again that "all the votes in Florida have been counted." That simply is not true. All the ballots went through the machines, but those machines failed to register a vote for president on more than 10,000 ballots in the three contested counties. In addition, Bush's legions did all they could to stop the manual recounts, and used the flimsy excuse that an "accurate" and "fair" recount was not possible, thus infringing voters' constitutional rights to equal representation under the law.

I suppose 10,000 or more voters in Florida are exempt from those constitutional perks.

The author continues to rail against Gore and his supporters by stating they resorted "to strained legal theories and hop[ed] for rescue by activist courts." I have to ask the Bolton this: Were you asleep when the Supreme Court of the United States made history and forever shadowed its hallowed image?

Republicans and conservatives alike talk of restoring dignity to the office of the president after Clinton's appalling and shameful behavior. You never brought the man down and it tears you up inside. the only stain I see is the one left on the robes of five justices.

Charles Elliott


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