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Rule or Ruin By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, December 06, 2000


FROM DEEP IN HIS BUNKER, AL GORE felt the shockwaves of Monday’s two court rulings exploding in the sunshine high above him. A Tallahassee Circuit Court Judge slapped aside every claim and demand of Gore’s smug lawyers. And the U.S. Supreme Court circumscribed his hope of another rescue by the seven Leftist Democrat-appointed tyrants of the Florida Supreme Court.But his Doomsday Weapon remained. Like Adolf Hitler at the end, commanding his generals to burn Paris (an order they refused to carry out), Gore in his megalomania prepared to abandon any pretense that he only wanted to win by “letting every vote count.” He might yet triumph by the opposite tactic - using a Democrat judge to throw out thousands of votes won by his victorious rival George W. Bush, just as he had used Democrat operatives - whom veteran Democrat pollster Pat Caddell called “gangsters” - to throw out the votes of men and women in the armed services overseas.

If he could not win fairly, Gore was now ready to blow up the whole process. If he could not rule, he would ruin. Out of those ruins he could emerge as the sole surviving cockroach, but he would be President Cockroach. He remains the Aldroid without honor, scruple, or conscience who told an aide in 1999, “I will do anything to win.”

And because history is written by the winners, Gore’s fellow Leftists in Academia and the media - like Newsweek’s Gore sycophants Jonathan Alter and Eleanor (Roosevelt) Clift -- could airbrush out all the corruption behind his triumph. In history, he would be celebrated as Algore Augustus, inventor of the Internet, inspiration for Love Story , and America’s first android President.

Gore’s Doomsday Weapon, his Great Black Hope, to snatch the laurel crown from the legitimate winner George W. Bush was named Nikki Ann Clark. Born in Detroit, she had risen to power as an aide to Florida’s late, utterly-corrupt Governor Lawton “Lawless” Chiles. Before Chiles appointed her as Leon County’s Circuit Court Judge seven years ago, the ultra-Leftist African-American had been a Legal Services lawyer who delighted in harassing and prosecuting corporations.

Judge Clark sought appointment to a higher bench earlier this year, but she was turned down by Florida’s Republican Governor Jeb Bush. Two weeks later she was assigned to decide the case of whether laws had been broken involving absentee ballot applications in Seminole County. If she decides to throw these ballots out, the election total would swing in Vice President Gore’s favor by almost 5,000 votes and potentially make him the next President of the United States.

Given her political philosophy and background, it is easy to understand why Governor Jeb Bush refused to increase Clark’s power. Amid obvious concerns that she might harbor a desire for revenge against the Bush family, Republican attorneys filed a motion that she recuse herself from deciding the fate of Jeb’s brother. Judge Clark demonstrated her partisanship and lack of judicial ethics by refusing to step aside in a case where she appears to have ideological as well as selfish and personal motives for favoring Gore over Bush.

“Dexter Douglass, a key member of Al Gore’s Florida legal team and a former Chiles ally,” reports the December 11 Newsweek, “has been known to call her ‘one of our judges.’”

Judge Clark could rule that all 15,000 absentee ballots, two-thirds of them for George W. Bush, be thrown in the trash. She could rule in favor of a lawsuit by Democrat lawyer-activist Harry Jacobs, who demands this remedy because Republican workers were permitted to write in voter identification numbers on absentee ballot applications in a government office after a GOP computer glitch failed to print such numbers as the counterpart Democrat computer did. (Newsweek’s Howard Fineman reported Monday that Jacobs, despite his claims to the contrary, has secretly been in communication with Gore operatives.) This number-adding would appear to be in technical violation of a new Florida law passed to prevent future recurrences of the massive 1997 Democratic voter fraud in Miami-Dade, although nobody claims that vote fraud took place in the 2000 election in Seminole County.

Or Judge Clark could acknowledge that the Seminole case involved only a technical correction of incomplete absentee applications of the kind both Democrats and Republicans have remedied without quibble for many decades.

The obvious legal precedent for this is a more egregious case from four years ago in which ballots were not thrown out.

Most legal scholars agree that a minor violation of law might have occurred here, but that legitimate voters applied for and independently voted honest ballots. Perhaps those Republican workers should be fined or otherwise punished, but should we erase the votes of thousands of innocent citizens who voted in good faith and have every right to expect their votes to count at least as much as a dimpled chad in Broward County?

These ballots, pure and impure, are now co-mingled, so to throw out those numbered by Republican workers would require tossing thousands more that had no imperfection whatsoever.

If Judge Clark orders the destruction of thousands of flawless ballots just so Mr. Gore can win, an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court and Federal Courts by citizens saying their voting rights are being violated will happen immediately. But such appeals would cause uncertainty and a potentially undemocratic outcome.

Ponder the ironies in this possibility. More than half a century ago, when segregationist Democrats ruled Florida as a one-party banana republic, white Democrat judges used every technicality they could devise to prevent African-Americans from having their votes count in elections.

This week an arrogant African-American Democrat judge in Florida may decide whether to throw out thousands of ballots cast mostly by whites, thereby tilting the statewide outcome and keeping her political party in the White House.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson has been in Florida, defending voting rights and charging that some African-Americans were prevented from voting by intimidation. Oddly, Rev. Jackson has not said one word in defense of the voting rights of innocent people whose ballots may be thrown out by this judge in Seminole County.

Nor has Reverend Jackson been very specific about Black voter intimidation. The reason is that he is correct. Intimidation did occur, as Fox News Channel documented. It happened in the area of Miami known as “Little Haiti,” where 36 witnesses have told of Gore Democrat operatives invading polling places, commanding Haitians what line they must mark on their ballots, and displaying and even posting Gore-Lieberman signs inside the polling place - all of this in blatant violation of law.

As to why these Haitians might have been easily intimidated, John Gizzy of the conservative newspaper Human Events reports that as many as 5,000 Haitians who were not U.S. citizens were illegally registered to vote and cast ballots in precincts with 90 percent turnout that went 90 percent for Al Gore. Gizzy suggests that one reason Democrat officials were reluctant to bring too much scrutiny to the Miami-Dade vote was that this might expose massive illegality and vote fraud by Gore operatives and supporters.

This week in the Seminole County case Judge Clark’s behavior will have huge implications for race relations and racial attitudes in the whole United States.

If she conducts this case with fairness, punishes wrongdoers, and leaves citizen votes intact, she like other Florida Democrat Circuit Judges who have ruled on year 2000 election issues will give all Americans confidence that our legal system works and is honest. Her example would do much to improve racial and gender relations in our society.

But if she uses her power in a cynical, vengeful, or partisan way to erase votes for Bush and to elevate her own party’s candidate illegitimately to the Presidency, Judge Nikki Clark will go down in history as someone who poisoned and set back racial and gender relations for a generation. By such an arrogant and high-handed act, she would foment long-lasting rage and hatred.

And through the first decade or more of the new millennium perhaps millions of African-Americans and women would be passed over for jobs or promotions because of the seeds of distrust Judge Nikki Clark sowed. And this anger and distrust would endure even if and when, as is likely, a higher court reverses her power grab for Gore.

Far more than an illegitimate Gore Presidency will be riding on Judge Clark’s decision in this case. Gore’s whole campaign remains redolent with the words of another African-American woman, his racist campaign chief Donna Brazile, who boasted “We’re not gonna let the White Boys win.” In significant measure, how responsibly and honestly Clark conducts herself will influence White-Black and Male-Female relations in America for decades to come.

This is part of the Doomsday Scenario Mr. Gore knows only too well. By expecting a judge to make him President, Gore understands that he will strain our social fabric to the breaking point. Polls already show that if this happens, at least 6 of 10 Americans will conclude that he stole the election. By expecting an African-American feminist judge to anoint him, Gore knows that he will poison social relations for at least a generation. But Gore seems not to care what damage his arrogant ambition does to our social institutions or human relationships. All that matters to Mr. Gore is winning at any cost, even if to the winner go only spoils.


Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.


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