Riot? (Was, believe it or not, "Iraqi and American democracy")

Marty Lederman marty.lederman at
Mon Jun 13 11:15:12 PDT 2005

Actually, "Welsh Rabbit" isn't "Welsh Rabbit," either -- it's "Welsh Rarebit" (see, although I wouldn't be surprised if by the time this thread peters out it's not "Welsh Riot."

(FWIW, I cast my vote with Doug here -- We all know exactly what happened at that ugly scene in Florida -- what we saw of it on television, anyway -- and the nomenclature debate is really quite beside the point, no matter which side you're on.)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Volokh, Eugene" <VOLOKH at>
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 1:31 PM
Subject: RE: Riot? (Was, believe it or not, "Iraqi and American democracy")

Well, I happen to have Paul Gigot here in line with me -- OK, here in googlespace with me -- and here's what Paul Gigot says:

"If it's possible to have a bourgeois riot, it happened here Wednesday. . . . With both parties spinning, I thought I'd go south to see the Miami-Dade manual recount firsthand. Surely it couldn't be as arbitrary as it sounded from Washington? And it wasn't. It was worse. Little did I know it'd be bad enough to inspire 50-year-old white lawyers with cell phones and Hermès ties to behave, well, like Democrats.

"These normally placid burghers popped their corks after a week of watching a recount they felt was rigged for Al Gore. They kept mum but stewed for days as a three-member, Democratic-leaning canvassing board tried to divine the "intent" of the voter without any standards at all. [Details omitted.] . . .

"Then the Three Counting Sages repaired to semi-isolation, forcing TV cameras to watch through a window and keeping reporters 25 feet away. That did it. Street-smart New York Rep. John Sweeney, a visiting GOP monitor, told an aide to "Shut it down," and semi-spontaneous combustion took over. 

"The Republicans marched on the counting room en masse, chanting "Three Blind Mice" and "Fraud, Fraud, Fraud." True, it wasn't exactly Chicago 1968, but these are Republicans. Their normal idea of political protest is filling out the complaint card at a Marriott.

"They also let it be known that 1,000 local Cuban-American Republicans were on the way--not a happy prospect for Anglo judges who must run for re-election. Inside the room, GOP lawyers also pointed out that the law--recall that quaint concept--required that any recount include all ballots.
The canvassers then stunned everybody and caved in. They cancelled any recount and certified the original Nov. 7 election vote, claiming that the Sunday deadline didn't allow enough time to recount everywhere. Republicans rejoiced and hugged like they'd just won the lottery. . . .

"If Al Gore loses his brazen attempt to win on the dimples, one reason will be that he finally convinced enough Republicans to fight like Democrats."

Welsh rabbit is not rabbit; and I'm pretty sure that Paul Gigot did not think that the "bourgeois riot" is indeed a "riot." 


-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at [mailto:conlawprof-bounces at] On Behalf Of Frank Cross
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 10:09 AM
To: Nelson Lund
Subject: Re: Riot? (Was, believe it or not, "Iraqi and American democracy")

Paul Gigot was physically present and referred to the action as a
"bourgeois riot."  Now, I realize that riot, like all
language, is vague.  But when a conservative columnist from the WSJ
calls an action a riot, it hardly seems unjustifiable for Doug Laycock to
do so.
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