Man Without Qualities

Thursday, September 12, 2002

More Off Notes

There is something about the current Florida election mess that has disoriented the normally highly oriented folks at the ABC Note. The Note gets off to a good start with a cite to the Democratic leaning Miami Herald's election post mortem editorial, which includes priceless lines such as:

"Blame for this inexcusable electoral meltdown must go to the county elections supervisors whose primary responsibility is to plan and organize elections. It might be argued -- and probably will be argued -- that the state failed to give county supervisors enough resources to guarantee a relatively error-free election. But that just would be a lame excuse."

Somehow that doesn't sound like Florida Democratic voters will be getting all that riled at Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

But that doesn't keep the Note from its unsupported near-certainty, as it insists:

"One near-certainty is that Democratic voters in Florida will get energized over this new round of voting chaos to a degree we doubt cries of "Remember 2000" would have achieved. And Governor Bush's cavalier dismissal of Reno's voting problems on Tuesday is likely to further boost that sentiment."

What evidence does the Note cite to support its near-certainty? Only the opinion of Adam Nagourney, a reporter for the New York Times, arguably the nation's leading vendor of anti-Bush propaganda, whose report only says (predictably) that Democrats will try to use the vote foul-up against Bush (of course they will) - not that there is any indication that auch efforts will have any substantial effect:

Suddenly, as even Mr. Bush's advisers acknowledged today, Florida was on the verge of becoming a national joke again, and Democrats were asking why it was that that Mr. Bush's government unable to fix what was clearly a major problem in the way his state was run …

Of course, it is just Mr. Nagourney's argument that the Miami Herald says is a lame excuse.

Further, as the Note correctly admits: "[S]ome Democrats fear that by pushing the idea that this election got screwed up, they will be tainting their own nominee by casting him or her as the product of a flawed election." And those "some Democrats" are right - especially after the stink Democrats made about the "legitimacy" of George Bush's election after the 2000 mess.

I don't mean to criticize all of the Note's coverage of this mess. For example, the Note astutely points out that McBride will probably have an easier time raising money than Ms. Reno would have. But some of the off Notes are pretty bad.

With respect to New York, the Note today pretty much confines itself to marvelling at the reportedly huge amount ($75 Million, or is it $100 Million?) Mr. Golisano is going to spend in his doomed bid for the governorship, as if all of that money is going to be spent attacking Mr. Pataki. I cannot believe Mr. Golisano, a man who has accumulated over a billion dollars in personal wealth, is so naive that he doesn't understand that most of his money will have to be spent selling himself affirmatively to the New York voters and that he must also spend money attacking Mr. McCall. Also, since the $20 Million Mr. Golisano spent in the Independence Party primary was just barely enough to keep Mr. pataki from taking that away from him, some deeper questions about the efficacy of his future anti-Pataki expenditures are also in order.

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