The place for outrage
crossf at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue Dec 12 23:11:23 PST 2000
I can't see outrage over the outcome of this election. As Sandy and others
have pointed out, this vote was a tie. Under one set of counting rules,
Bush wins. Under another set of counting rules, Gore wins. If anybody
thinks that the ex ante rules were clear, I think they're just showing
their biases. But even if they were clear, the decision is not
democratically significant, the people's will was a tie, making the choice
For me, the outrage is the Supreme Court's continued dedication to stopping
the recount. It is as if they are trying to obscure the reality that the
decision turns on the choice among technical rules. If the recount went
forward and showed that Gore won under the different set of technical
counting rules, would that undermine Bush's authority as President?
Possibly yes, but only because it reflected the democratic will.
Presidents have no "right" to a mandate, independent of the choices of the
voters. Bush will have an opportunity to reconstruct his authority or
mandate through his political choices but this should be done with full
public knowledge of the election results and why they came out as they did.
Herbert D. Kelleher Centennial Professor of Business Law
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
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