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(to the tune of "What a Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke)

Don't know much about history
Don't know much foreign policy
Don't remember how I got through school
I'm sure I didn't break the rules
But what's it matter 'cause my granny says
"Boy, if you want to you can be the prez
And what a wonderful world this will be"

Don't know much about the women's vote
Don't know much about the bill I wrote
Don't know much about the foreign vets
I've never voted for 'em yet
But I do know if your dad tries hard
He can get you in the National Guard
And what a wonderful place that can be

Now I never claimed to be an A student
But what's wrong with C's?
And maybe by knowing the names of my cabinet
I can win their love for me

Don't know much about air pollution
Don't know much about the constitution
Don't know much about th'economy
It never much affected me
But there's one thing that I know for sure
If the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor
What a wonderful world this will be

Don't know much about the national debt
I've never had to pay one yet
If we need to we can sell the States
To the Japanese at discount rates
But I do know if things get bad
Dick and I can always call my dad
And what a wonderful world this will be.



All Democrats are corrupt! All Democrats, by mere definition of party affiliation, are presumptively predisposed to act criminally, to alter an election, to which George Bush is divinely entitled! This is the fundamental premise of the argument the Republicans make.

In fighting against the hand recount of votes, George Bush and his surrogates, and indeed, virtually every prominent Republican, have declared that every citizen who is registered as a Democrat, who participates in a hand tally of votes, must be presumed to be untrustworthy and automatically prone towards criminal acts.

This is the argument advanced by the man who once upon a time claimed to "trust the people" and who pretended to be "a uniter, not a divider." Putting aside the hypocrisy which borders on pathological, I humbly submit that such unfounded and scurrilous allegations against an entire community of persons constitutes defamation of monumental magnitude, of the sort which is actionable in court. A libel suit is warranted, which would oblige Bush and his many protégés to explain to a judge, the reasons for which they believe that they may - without any evidence whatsoever - so assertively claim that otherwise presumably innocent citizens are instead presumably inclined towards corruption. And if they cannot justify their defamatory allegations, they should be made to pay punitive recompense, in particular to those hard working Florida citizens who have so magnanimously given their time to this stressful public service.

It is one thing to disagree with people philosophically. But George Bush wants to be President by making his primary case one whereby he vilifies literally half the population - the half that voted for somebody else - as being presumptively criminal! George Bush rather betrays a distinct lack of trust in "the people" and that his real goal is, in fact, a bitterly divided public.

Republicans have not at all abandoned their lust for impeachment; now they have embarked on an impeachment of half the public, declaring with certitude and in all seriousness that simple registration as a Democrat is absolute proof of a criminal mind. And with this argument they champion themselves as moral superiors.

brian zick, los angeles CA


The haters have found the list. I sure would like for as many people to see their postings as possible.

It just proves, as have Baker and Harris that Republicans have no respect for anyone. They are true haters and VERY scary folk.

Over the past few days, Mr. Baker and Ms. Harris have made it quite clear.

Republicans do not just hate Democrats.

They hate democracy.

But boy do they hate.

charlie evans, Townsend, TN


So much for promising to be a "unifier". VP Gore makes the gesture and offers to meet face-to-face with Bush to ratchet down the rhetoric. Bush turns down an opportunity to reach across party lines--even though he stated endlessly during the campaign that he would do so.

Additionally, Bush is the one who promised to trust the people.

A promise made is a promise kept? Not hardly!

Liz Taylor, TX


Lets not be blind to the only measure that shall be used is'' the will of the people all the people who voted - attorneys, judges and supreme court justices, remember this is the will of the people not of the candidates...guaranteed by our constitution and all of the lives given to protect it. All of the legal profession involved must focus on this single item ''the will of the people'' who is representing the people...my vote is part of America.... you cannot throw it away

Albert Torsak


I absolutely believe the majority of Floridians cast more votes for Al Gore. Last night I heard Al Gore's proposal to bring a just and speedy conclusion to a potential Constitutional Crisis taking place in Florida. I am sorry that despite Texas's own law recognizing the added value of hand counts George Bush has dismissed them outright.

I understand studies have shown an error rate of 32 per 1,000 in punch cards. Clearly in such a close election, in which the present margin is just 300 votes, a hand count is the best way to garner what is as close to an accurate account as is reasonable in cases such as these. On CNN last evening President Jimmy Carter called for a hand count of the entire State. I support this and believe it would give the higher degree of credibility to whoever is certified as the elected President. In fact I think to certify the Florida count as is could render a Bush Presidency almost null and void.

I do not agree that a challenge the constitutionality of the Palm Beach ballot would be the proper course for this nation even though most reasonable people would believe that the citizens of Palm Beach County using a flawed butterfly ballot, would have given Al Gore a plurality as the election currently stands.

Mistakes happen in elections all the time. These ballots should not count. It is time for both Governor Bush and Mr. Gore to bring this country closer together so that we can more easily support whomever is finally recognized as our next President. Please continue to keep me updated on this issue via e-mail.

Jim Simms, Little Neck, NY



I am writing about this most recent outrage. Vice President Gore gave a wonderfully uplifting statement this evening; he appealed to our sense of fairness & became the Uniter. Bush on the other hand totally dismissed the offer despite his claims of being the "Uniter not the divider" - well, actions speak louder than words & tonight we saw his true color - a large yellow stripe running clear down his back.

Please ask yourself - why is Governor Bush so afraid of a hand recount? If you answer this question honestly, you will realize what I did - he knows Vice President Gore won Florida. The media needs to start demanding that Governor Bush concede for the good of America. There are thousands, perhaps over 100,000, ballots that remain uncounted in Florida because of antiquated, junk polling machines. Not allowing these votes to be counted will be the equivalent of the greatest theft perpetuated on the American people. There are numerous statistical analyses showing that Vice President Gore won Florida - even the VNS exit polls had it right! Zogby polling had every state right - even Florida - if these under counted votes are counted! It flies in the face of reason to think that Zogby got every state & the popular vote right except Florida. His polling data shows Florida went to Gore, just as the exit polls show.

I beg you, implore you - look deep within your heart, listen very quietly & you will hear the sound of thousands of under counted votes in Florida, a majority of which voted for Gore but were not counted. It is not just the Presidency that is at stake, but our belief in democracy - make no mistake about it! If Bush is allowed to steal this election, with the help of his brother & his followers - America will lose. We will have lost faith in our system.

There is a real mess in Florida & this is our wake up call! I have been watching this process unfold hour by hour but I am not getting any information except in the newsprint & on CSPAN about the huge number of voter fraud issues. What about the fraudulent absentee ballots that were counted in Seminole County? http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/14/politics/14SEMI.html What about the unprecedented number of over votes in the largely black districts with claims the ballots were pre-punched http://www.american-politics.com/20001112MiamiFraud.html & http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,34812,00.html? What about the registered voters who were turned away? The voters who requested new ballots & were denied? The list is endless & very frightening to think this may have gone on all across America!

Where is the coverage on this? Each, taken individually, is perhaps not enough of an outrage (although it should be) but taken together, along with the fact that brother Jeb told his brother he would "deliver Florida" must make one question this statement. How can we not suspect absentee fraud when it has already occurred & been accepted. No wonder Bush "knows" he has the absentee vote in his column!

But, just to make sure, to cinch the deal - here comes Ms. Harris. What a joke! Of course she is offering her unbiased, carefully thought out decision. Well, I give her credit, at least she contemplated her decision longer than GW contemplates his executions. I didn't even see it mentioned on TV - see Molly Ivins Star Telegram Article 1 of 1, Article ID: 2000319017 - Texas is executing another retarded person.

I can't even begin to express how deeply troubled I am about this whole affair of trying to shut out the voice of the people. America is watching & listening, please do the right thing & start demanding GW's concession. You all were so quick to demand VP Gore concede last weekend when you thought you could force him into it. The American people are willing to wait to hear Florida's voice, we want a full & fair counting. There is no rush, the Electoral College does not even meet until December 18th. We have a President, he's managing ok.

What's the rush??

Wendall EK Kekumu, Pahoa HI



If I'm not mistaken, I believe 6 Republican counties conducted full &/or partial hand recounts which produced a net gain to Bush of about 400 votes.

If so, this would mean that all of Bush's lead of 300 votes can be attributed to hand recounts. A hand recount in Volusia County produced 98 votes in favor of Gore; the net change due to hand recounts is roughly 302 in favor of Bush (400-98).

It's hard to believe that vote gains to the Republican side as a result of hand recounting is not even a topic of discussion while current (98 so far) and potential vote gains to the Democratic side is the center of a firestorm.

Is it assumed that gains to Republicans are objective and fair, but gains to Democrats are subjective and full of mischief?

Perhaps Bush should disavow all of the hand recounted ballots since he is so opposed to them!

Wendall EK Kekumu, Pahoa HI


The White House cannot be stolen. The largest accounting firms supervise Oscar nominations. Yet, presidential elections are controlled and smell with conflicts of interest and filled with non-qualified people incapable of dealing with many issues, including translators. An ATM machine is more culturally competent and diversified than our election booths. I'm sure the space shuttle's flight panel is not structured like the Palm Beach ballot.

Why are Bush supporters expecting Americans to accept Nixon's strategy of not challenging results? Nixon tried to cheat his way into the White House. It is irrelevant to compare these election outcomes with any other.

Common themes throughout history have been that power corrupts, bringing civil disobedience, which then improves our life. American people must elect the president through votes versus power plays. We were not careful and now we are paying the price.

Compassionate conservatives need to act in accordance with their new ideology. Compassion means being sensitive to, for example, an older population who feels their vote did not count. A compassionate conservative must pursue and punish those who asked Hispanics to provide ID's before voting. Even racial profiling issues arose. Compassionate conservatives have never apologized for lack of compassion. Obviously, they were aware of their image; otherwise they never would have selected the term. It is time to put their "vote" where their mouth is.

We must determine the exact will of the people, even if it means a revote, otherwise, there must be civil disobedience. It would be taxation without representation.

Luis Quiros, Mamaroneck, NY


While the Gore campaign restrained from soliciting assistance from President Clinton, now is the time for our President to speak out in support of democracy in America. The American people and the world deserve to hear that democracy cannot be bent to the will of a few irrational people; that the will of the American people should be heard; and that our democratic system should move forward by allowing all the votes to be counted in Florida.

I would urge your constituents to ask the President to step forward with our Vice President and bring their combined executive wisdom to bear on this travesty of justice that is happening in Florida.

W. Sean Chamberlin, Fullerton College


This attempt at a political coup by Kathleen Harris tonight must not be allowed to occur in the United States of America. What went on in Florida was a crime by the Bush brothers and now Harris has set herself up as the sole legal authority over the outcome. Charges need to be brought and we need to take to the streets.

C Lowery, Vancouver, WA


How stupid do George W. Bush and James Baker think we are? They think if they keep shoving it down our throats that Mr. Bush has been elected President and Al Gore is doing nothing more than holding America hostage, eventually we’ll just believe it and dismiss Mr. Gore altogether. Sorry gentleman, but we’re not and I’m afraid our democracy doesn’t work that way; frankly your version of the majority rule scares me. With their chides of Mr. Gore and lawsuits coming forth to gag the voice of Floridians, their right to have votes manually counted is a outrage! Mr. Gore is not on a wild goose chase and being that Mr. Bush’s 1,700.00 vote lead before the automatic recount has dwindled to about 388 is proof enough that something is not right there. Mr. Baker has stated they would consider dropping those lawsuits, but only pending Mr. Gore’s decision about the campaign. Translation? Concede to our demands or else, then went on to say that manual recounts would fall prey to mistakes and misdeeds and therefore cannot be trusted. Misdeeds? How do they think this sounds nationally? I believe they forget or want us to, that half this nation voted for Mr. Gore and awarded him the popular vote, if Mr. Bush is legitimately elected; they’re not winning over any support here. My major concern with Mr. Bush is his once mighty pledge of ‘’trusting the people’’ and ‘’restoring integrity’’ to the highest office, has become nothing more than political rhetoric. With the arrogance he displays as self appointed President-elect, may play well with those that voted for him, to the rest of us it’s a slap in the face and does not constitute the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within the community.

Gianna Michaels, West Chester, Pa


Regardless of which candidate you supported last Tuesday, has it really come down to this? Is the most powerful elected official in America today actually the Secretary of State of Florida? Isn't that the same office deemed so inconsequential that the Sunshine State has already scheduled to abolish it as "largely ceremonial?"

Be that as it may, don't we have any right to expect that the official charged with deciding whether to accept the painstakingly hand counted ballots be someone resolutely above the fray, complete unbiased and without even the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest? Does anyone doubt if that official's decisions may well determine the winner of the White House, and the unofficial title of leader of the free world? And won't those decisions help shape the entire executive branch of the federal government for at least the next four years and the federal judiciary for a generation?

Yet isn't that same Florida Secretary of State not just a close friend and political ally of both governors Bush (who took time from her hectic official duties to distribute Florida produce in New Hampshire while campaigning for Bush), but also the co-chair of George W. Bush's state campaign? Can this official have any iota more credibility about interpreting Florida election law fairly than her boss and governor brother, who wisely recused himself, avoiding an only slightly more obvious conflict of interest? Can anyone better versed in American political history possibly suggest a more notorious actual conflict of interest in anything with this many consequences for our nation? Let me know before this ultimate outrage is a done deal.

p.s. Memo to Governor Bush: No, Manual Recount is NOT the Spanish Prime Minister.

Joe Schwartz, Washington, DC

Thanks for defending my vote

Even though I am no longer a registered Democrat I still share most of your views and did vote for the Vice President (I hope). I am a Green for reasons not related to this election. Being disabled I know that the Democratic Party protects my interests better than any other entity capable of obtaining power. Thank you and the other members of the Democratic Party for trying to defend my most valued possession, my vote. I will continue to help in anyway I can.

Kerry Glen Scriber, West Palm Beach, FL


Handcount!!! That is the only way to ensure a legitimate election. Let's not say recount anymore--say handcount. Unless there is a handcount, even if it encompasses the whole state of Florida, this will never be a legitimate election or a legitimate presidency. If the handcounts are denied and bush awarded the presidency, it will be an illegitimate presidency--illegitimate equals bastard. We could then call Bush the "Bastard President" or "President Bastard." Or if he continues to subvert the will of the people and steal the election, we could call him "His Royal Bastard."

Cheryl Shank


Coming from Dutchess County, New York, I can tell you - it's a tough thing, living in a totally Republican county. The fact that FDR came from Dutchess and in four elections he lost every time, should tell you a little something about it.

The feeling of NOT being a lone voice is very comforting. Especially since useful information helps in combating the amazing PR machine of the Republicans. They certainly learned the Ronnie lesson well - "tell a big lie; tell it first and tell it loudly"...

So thank you for fighting for truth in democracy.

By the way - the article that was sent around yesterday from the Daily News (Nov. 1st) about plans by the Bush campaign to fight if the election had gone to Gore on Electoral votes and Bush on the popular vote, quotes the Republican strategists as saying that they would use as many Democrats as they could get to help raise a hue and cry for the "will of the people". They suggested the name "Democrats for Democracy".

How about seeing if we can enlist a few civically minded Republicans in either the recount battle or the popular vote issue? We could call them "Republicans for the Republic".

Thanks again, Julia Sette


Received your email re democrats.com requesting that Harris recuse herself from the proceedings, and was very happy to see it. We're not looking to railroad Gore into office, but why can't votes be counted by hand until Friday, when the absentee ballots will not be counted until then, anyway?

Also, it galls me that Harris tells the counties yesterday that they can let her know by 2:00 today to set forth a good reason why they need additional time to perform a hand count, then the next morning petitions the court to stop all manual recounts. So with one hand she's attempting to not appear arbitrary, while with the other she's pulling the rug out from under them. Unbelievable!

Keep up the good work!

Katy Johnson


pundits and papers around the country are implying that voters would be "grateful" if one of the candidates withdrew to let the other assume the presidency. Let me make it clear I would not and that polls do not indicate that the majority favors a swift resolution even at the cost of an illegitimate presidency.

I used to work in the fourth estate and am dismayed at what fools they (including former employers CBS and Florida paper St. Pete Times) are making themselves with the increasing tendency to view themselves not as reporters of facts but as pollsters of opinion (as if the latest opinion is the only fact that counts).

I know how news people think and I can tell you that the biggest reason that so many newspeople are hoping someone will end this quickly is that they know they screwed up by writing the end of the story before it actually ended. Getting an actual resolution would allow them to start putting that screwup behind them.

Of course, compounding the problem is that reporters are always highly motivated to be the one who gets a story (and increasingly an opinion merits the label of "story") first because that gets their face/byline into print or on the air. So, when some partisan clown makes a ridiculous statement, reporters fall over themselves to get it to the public so they can then ask the public what they think now that there is additional "news" to affect their opinion.

So, as a former newsman I implore you to pay less attention to the news media than you normally do. They are in a very dysfunctional state of mind right now. Listen to the people and remember that, every time a president has gotten into office without a popular majority it has been a pathetic presidency and bad for the country. And those administrations occurred more than a hundred years ago when there was a substantial constituency who felt unaffected by who was or was not president and even quite a few people relatively unaware we even had a president. Today, everybody is greatly affected by who is president and it would be disastrous to have a president who enters office with a pathetic and cloudy victory. Gore has the possibility of coming out ahead in both the popular AND electoral majority. Residual feelings of "illegitimacy" would dissipate much more easily if he assumed office than if Bush did so without the popular majority (and a clouded electoral win).

Bob Underwood


Regardless of who ultimately becomes president, the other side will always say it was treated unfairly. There are just too many problems with the election in Florida for either side ever to be satisfied that the system used to resolve the problems will be fair. Moreover, similar battles are being readied in other close states. Bitterness will remain. Last week's election has enormous potential to damage our political system.

There is a way, however, that the United States can turn great adversity into great gain. The entire election could be held again. The people of the United States could speak. Fifty-five, 60, maybe 70 percent or more of the nation's registered voters could resolve this issue for us.

So what if we ask people who did not vote before to turn out at the polls the second time around? Why not turn this disaster into one of the greatest elections in the history of the world? Why not motivate citizens-- many of whom are now fully aware of the importance of one vote--to cast their ballots in the "reelection"? Why not use this opportunity to redirect American democracy and pave the way for big turnouts in the future?

Of course, there will be objections to this idea. What would we do about the Nader issue? Can Congress or the Supreme Court call for a new election, especially if a crisis escalates and different states are engaged in major legal battles?

Lawyers, political scientists, economists and the media may say that this is a bizarre idea. They will predict all kinds of horrible ramifications. But so many unprecedented things have happened in recent years--ranging from the eight-year bull market to the fall of communism to the rise of the Internet to the impeachment of a president over his affair with a young intern--that we must all admit the future is open.

A new election would energize the people of the United States as never before. Citizens would read more, think more, go online more, and even cast different votes from before. Children and young people would become instantly involved.

And no matter what the outcome, we would always be able to say that when the time for decision came, we turned to the people and asked them what we should do. No representative democracy could do more.

David M. Anderson, George Washington University
Published as an Op Ed in the Washington Post on 11/15/00