LOSER’S SPIN NIGHTMARE
While the Supreme Court’s ruling is unlikely to have
much impact on the ultimate deciding of the race, it will be a
spin-nightmare for the losing side. If the justices do
eventually rule for Bush, the pressure on Gore will start
building again immediately. If Gore wins the Supreme Court
case, he will still require an astonishing string of victories
coming after his two setbacks late Friday in the Florida
Supreme Court. Now that the Florida court has refused to
order an expedited ballot count and accepted the legality of
the disputed “butterfly ballot,”
Gore will need :
- An affirmation by the local courts, and eventually, the
Florida Supreme Court, to allow a hand recount of the
10,750 or so disputed ballots in Miami-Dade County, plus
an order to include the 157 votes Gore picked up there
before Republican-ordered rioters helped to shut it down;
- An allowance of the 215 votes he picked up in the Palm
Beach recount before Katherine Harris refused to accept
them owing to a two-hour miss on the deadline;
- An overturning of Harris’ (quite obviously partisan)
decision to certify Nassau County’s first machine tally,
which gave Bush 51 more votes than the mandated second
- A decision ordering the Martin County canvassing board
to throw out the county’s 9,773 absentee ballots because
Republicans were allowed to add voter identification
numbers to ballot applications;
- A victory for the Democratic voters suing in Seminole
County who (unaided by the Gore forces) are asking that
nearly 5,000 Bush votes be disqualified, because they were
illegally filled out by Republican operatives, rather than by
the voters or their family members, as is specified by law.
- But here is the
problem. In the unlikely
event that Gore wins on
enough of the above to
overtake Bush, even by
thousands of votes, the
next step of Jeb Bush and the Republican-dominated
Florida legislature will be to simply choose an alternate slate
of pro-Bush electors.
What happens then?
- One likely
scenario would be that the Republican-dominated U.S.
House of Representatives would vote to seat the Florida
legislature’s electors while the U.S. Senate, now fifty-fifty, votes for the original pro-Gore slate, with Vice President Gore casting the deciding vote. Another deadlock.
And then what?
- Why of course, it’s back to the Supreme Court, this time, for real.