Law professor/blogger Ann Althouse properly chastises The National Review’s Jonathan Cohn for designating “Bush v. Gore” as the most earth-shattering case of the 21st Century, and not just because the case, decided in December of 2000, occurred in the 20th Century.
“Ridiculous! I can’t believe Cohn doesn’t know that if the case had gone the other way Gore would still have lost in the end!”, Althouse writes, reminding her readers of the results of the objective, meticulous and multiple recounts performed by journalists in 2001, which showed—much to the surprise of the counters, who were dying to be able to report that Gore had been robbed—that “George W. Bush would have won a hand count of Florida’s disputed ballots if the standard advocated by Al Gore had been used.”
I can believe Cohn wrote what he wrote, because the claim that Bush’s presidency was “stolen” has been a cornerstone of Democratic political warfare and unscrupulous hard Left activists since the chad-counting stopped. It stoked the base, misled the public, increased partisan anger, divided the country and undermined Bush’s presidency, all good things from a partisan perspective (and the truth be damned), just as Republicans have been happy to allow the unjustified doubts about President Obama’s loyalty and citizenship linger among its most fanatic partisans.
Both lies have illicitly undermined trust in our institutions (not that there haven’t been plenty of valid reasons for that too), and the Bush v. Gore canard has also seriously damaged faith in the Supreme Court and the rule of law.
The judicial reasoning of the majority ruling in the case, which to all intents and purposes settled the 2000 Presidential contest with Bush the victor, can be legitimately challenged, and there is persuasive legal scholarship on both sides. It is also fair to note that it was just chance—moral luck—that the subsequent recount showed Bush to be the likely winner; it could just as easily have shown the opposite. But it did not. One can argue that the case was wrongly decided; one can argue that the justices were biased; you can argue that the Electoral College should be abolished, but to continue to say that the election was “stolen” is indefensible and willfully dishonest.
It should have stopped ten years ago, and anyone who continues to spread the lie should be called on it and condemned, as Althouse did with Cohn.
And Obama isn’t a Muslim, either.