Monday, July 10, 2006

I'v Been Attacked ... I Think


In a dizzying and exhausting analysis of one of my posts yesterday, Ben Tribbett says I'm:

a) disappointing
b) inaccurate
c) crappy
d) Republican

I showed the offering (see it here) to my wife and she agrees generally with the first three. But both she and I will have to set the record straight when it comes to the fourth. I'm not a Republican. I'm far too conservative to be a good Republican.

Now, as for Ben's charges,

I'll skip the part about "Here's a little history lesson - comparing Florida of 2000 to Virginia of 2005," since I said nothing about Virginia of 2005 and I'll devote my time defending what I actually wrote ...

Ben, in going back to the Florida 2000 saga says this:
Both states found on election night the result of a statewide election was a virtual tie. The next day, both states began their "canvass" by an electoral board.

A canvass is not a recount. In a canvass they don't inspect individual ballots.
From this one might deduce the fact that there was no "inspection of individual ballots." Then why were those people in Palm Beach County making those funny faces as they tried to determine, holding the ballot cards (with hanging chads) into the light, whether to count certain votes that had originally been rejected? Maybe they weren't inspecting individual ballots; maybe they were looking for the secret CIA/Halliburton watermarks.

I don't know Ben and it's possible he wasn't even of voting age in 2000 so a history lesson is in order. First - there was a recount in select counties - as demanded by the Florida Supreme Court. In Palm Beach County:

A Day in the Life of the Palm Beach County Recount
Calvin Trillin, The Nation

While Bush says counting votes by hand's unfair,
Gore gains--a bubbe here, a zayde there. (

And in Broward County:
Broward County Recount Nears Completion
Aired November 25, 2000 - 4:03 p.m. ET (
As for my having written that there was a recount of the recount, you may recall that, after Broward and Palm Beach counties completed their recounts and Gore didn't gain enough votes, another was ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in 62 counties. Don't take my word for it though:

Bush camp tries to halt Florida recounts

December 9, 2000
Web posted at: 12:02 a.m. EST (0502 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- George W. Bush's attorneys late Friday asked a U.S. Supreme Court justice to halt any vote recounts in Florida. The Bush request follows a Florida Supreme Court decision that revived Vice President Al Gore's presidential hopes by ordering a manual recount of at least 43,432 "undervotes" from as many as 62 counties. (
Finally, when the Florida Supreme Court ordered a statewide recount (they were hellbent on getting Al Gore elected by hook or by crook), the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and halted the madness. So says CNN anyway:
Presidential candidate totals change as Florida recounts votes
State to resume process Thursday morning
November 9, 2000
Web posted at: 1:59 a.m. EST (0659 GMT)

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Florida on Wednesday began a judicious process of recounting every presidential ballot cast statewide, as Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush cautiously predicted the recount would bring him the victory he tasted for just a few short moments on Election Night. (
If Ben Tribbett is upset (or "disappointed") that I used the word recount rather than canvass, well, you can see I ain't alone. And based on the above, I can say without prejudice that there was indeed a recount of the recount (with a third stopped in mid-recount .. er, mid-canvass).

There is one sentence, though, in my initial post that Ben is right about and I do hereby retract. Ben points it out with this:
From On High says that the Supreme Court said (sic) "only then that the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and said, "You are all crazy. Crazy ends here". That is not even somewhat accurate.
Ben's pretty sharp. And he's correct. I hereby acknowledge the fact that the members of the Florida Supreme Court in the year of our Lord 2000 were never adjudicated to be mentally defective. They just acted so.

Now, on a more personal note: Ben, I know what got your undies in a bunch. It has nothing to do with whatever it was you were trying to say about canvasses and recounts and Virginia 2005 and all that. A suggestion: grow up.