on the elections a final (?) query...

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Sun Dec 10 13:17:28 MST 2000

>I have been astonished by how I have become involved in the drama of the
>American elections. I know it was Tweedledum locked into a legal struggle
>with Tweedledee. Yet for all that I have a total contempt for the electoral
>process and understand the absolute convergence between all factions within
>bourgeois politics I found myself hoping Gore would win.

Here's a capsule summary of what has taken place recently for the benefit
of non USA comrades. There are tens of thousands of "undercounted" ballots
in Florida that would probably favor Gore if they were hand-counted. This
is a function of several things:

1. Voting machines in poorer neighborhoods are not maintained as
frequently, so punch card ballots, which are the kind that are in question,
tend to be for the Democrats.

2. Gore has been trying to get these included while the Republicans have
been resisting a manual recount, either in the disputed districts or in
Florida as a whole.

3. On Friday the State Supreme Court of Florida ruled that all the ballots
should be hand-counted, whereupon the Republicans appealed to the Supreme
Court. In a decision that mapped to party lines, the court ruled that the
hand counting be delayed until a full appeal from the Republicans be heard.
It is assumed that when they do hear this appeal, Bush will be favored. The
most interesting aspect of this is that it demystifies the notion of the
Supreme Court being an impartial arbiter. The five anti-Gore votes came
from Republican President appointees.

4. It is very likely, as chief Democratic Party attorney David Boies said
this morning on television, that even if the court disallows hand counting,
this will be done by academics or journalists at some future point. They
will surely find that the Florida votes would have gone to Gore, making him
the President not only on a popular basis, which is already the case prior
to recounting, but on an electoral basis as well. In other words, the
Supreme Court will have acted in a blatanly anti-democratic fashion.

5. In this case, it will make it more difficult for the President to act as
if he had a mandate than at any time in American history. This is probably
the best thing Marxists can hope for, since it enhances our ability to
build opposition to imperialist interventions. The left-liberal magazines,
black community and the unions will be nipping at Bush's heels for the next
four years.

Louis Proyect
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