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COUP WATCH: The Facts Are Plain, And So Is The Insanity -- From Red Rock Eater

by Phil Agre Thursday, Nov. 16, 2000 at 3:17 PM

Noting the contrast between a basically sane populace and hysterical elites, Agre says, "I am particularly indignant about this rhetoric of 'a biased system of selective recounts that go on and on until one side gets the outcome it wants'. I cannot find language strong enough to express my contempt for this sophistry. The facts are plain:...."

COUP WATCH: The Facts Are Plain, And So Is The Insanity -- From Red Rock Eater News Service COUP WATCH: The Facts Are Plain, And So Is The Insanity -- From Red Rock Eater News Service

By Phil Agre

This may not have been the most important day in recent history, or the strangest, but it has surely been the most complicated. The articles in tomorrow's papers about Florida alone are overwhelming, and that doesn't include the action in several other states, never mind everything else that the world's people managed to do today when they weren't watching the spectacle on television.

Yet I am struck by the contrast between the American populace, which doesn't seem particularly bothered by these events, and the elites, who are treating them as an institutional crisis to be resolved as quickly as possible by any means at all, no matter how artificial. I am particularly disturbed by the argument that the legitimacy of American political institutions depends on obtaining an outcome, any outcome at all, as quickly as possible -- as opposed to obtaining an outcome that is just, fair, and accurate. This argument is clearly the opposite of the truth.

I am particularly indignant about this rhetoric of "a biased system of selective recounts that go on and on until one side gets the outcome it wants". I cannot find language strong enough to express my contempt for this sophistry. The facts are plain:

    (a) the law provides for a definite and finite series of recounts under specified conditions and procedures,

    (b) the first two counts were both automatic and were not something that either party caused to happen,

    (c) both parties had the power to ask for whatever hand-counts they wanted,

    (d) the voting process that we are being asked to rubber-stamp was grossly defective on literally dozens of fronts,

    (e) the official who is attempting to apply the rubber stamp has the most egregious conflict of interest that could possibly be imagined, and

    (f) if the rubber stamp is rejected then the endpoint to the process is most definitely in sight, namely the vote of the Electoral College in December.
Thus continues a by-now entrenched pattern: the use of disinformation and twisted language to subvert the rule of law by pretending that it is really one's opponent who is doing the subverting. This is the very definition of insanity, and it must not succeed.

Bush's Lead in Florida Shrinks to 300 Votes
     
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Those Who Cannot Remember The Past... Craig Stehr Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2000 at 11:55 PM
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