Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Mike's Letter

December 11th, 2000 12:00 AM

Get Ready, Folks -- Those Democrats Are About to Cave. Should We?

Dear friends,

As I write this, the Supreme Court is deciding what to do.

And the Democrats are running for cover. They are expecting to lose. They always do. No faith in their own position. No guts.

The pundits are screaming for Al Gore to throw in the towel. He may do just that. You gotta give the guy credit, though -- who woulda thought he'd take the fight this far? I mean, he and his party have caved so many times -- NAFTA, death penalty, welfare, drug war, Gulf War, putting Scalia and Thomas on the Court, and on and on? -- that they are now but a mere shell of their former selves. 

But how did they get to the point where they are willing to concede something that they have actually WON! Unbelievable!

What should we do? I'm stumped. Should we try to save them from themselves? I know, I know -- they certainly don't deserve our help.

I can't tell you how many letters I'm getting from people who are saying that they will never vote again. Rather than being inspired to believe, after this close election, that "every vote counts," most people are utterly disillusioned by the REAL message that has been hammered home to them:


Pardon the language, but that's EXACTLY what is going to come out of this election.

Look, I guess I could just sit back and have a good smug laugh at the Republicrats and folly they are in. They got what they deserved -- two candidates who were so close to each other on the issues (remember the 2nd debate and the 32 times they agreed with each other!), it is no surprise that the vote itself was also so close. The voters couldn't figure out the difference, and neither could the chad chomping machines.

But this is no time to gloat. We ALL lose if just ONE citizen gives up and goes home. That is the true tragedy of this election. I do not want them to give up. I will not give up. I do not want the one who LOST the election to sit in the White House.

So here's the question: Do we, the people, have a commitment to a higher ideal than the Democratic Party? Are we willing to fight on to stop Bush -- EVEN IF GORE AND THE DEMOCRATS GIVE UP?

If so, there are, remarkably, SIX ways to still stop a Bush coup! (Oh, yes, I can hear the moans of an exhausted electorate -- "Mike, please, I got Christmas shopping to do!!") I am passing on this e-mail from a fan who spells out what can be done before January 20. Check it out, pass it around, have some faith, do something. If you were Tom DeLay or Jerry Falwell, you would NEVER give up. Though we may have no fighters like them on our side, and we will never see their kind of rabid tenaciousness in any liberal or Democrat, we should trust one basic truth: We are right. Pure and simple, we are right. ALL votes, in any democracy, get counted dammit, and that's that.

A little over a week ago, we celebrated the 45th anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Thousands of black citizens through the decades suffered injury and death, simply to obtain the right to vote.

Just 81 years ago (in our parents' and grandparents' lifetime!), it was illegal for a woman to vote in America. Thousands of women endured insult and injury, and many went to jail to obtain this basic human right.

Millions have died on battlefields believing, in their final moments, that their deaths would not be in vain as they gave their lives for a cause they believed in: A free society governed by the will of the people.

Here are, thanks to Bob Fertik, six ways justice can still prevail: Beyond the Supreme Court: 6 Ways Al Gore Can Still Become the 43rd President  by Bob Fertik Co-founder,  212-396-3457

While thousands of Americans have eloquently urged the Supreme Court to count every vote, there is little optimism that the Court will actually do so. Rather, it appears clear that a narrow partisan majority will nullify rule for George W. Bush, regardless of the facts before them.

But even if the Supreme Court rules against Al Gore, there are at least 6 ways that Al Gore could become the 43rd President of the United States, consistent with the will of the majority of Americans and Floridians - who voted on Election Day.

1. George Bush can concede for the good of the nation. There has been tremendous pressure on Al Gore to concede, despite his winning the popular vote by over 337,000 votes. But what about George W. Bush? It is bad enough that Bush intends to assume the Presidency despite losing the popular vote. But it is immoral that Bush should claim a narrow victory in the Electoral College on the basis of a sorely disputed victory in Florida. The moral weight of the nation should fall upon George W. Bush to gracefully concede the election to the candidate with the stronger moral claim to victory, namely Al Gore.

2. Al Gore can still win Florida. Remember Seminole and Martin Counties? Yes, the Democrats lost in court. But on Monday at 9 a.m., Gerald Richman will appeal the Seminole case to the Florida Supreme Court. Richman believes Judge Nikki Clark erred when she acknowledged illegal conduct by Republican operatives, but refused to follow the remedy required under Florida law: namely, to reject all 15,000 absentee ballots. On Friday, the Florida Supreme Court overruled another trial court decision, the ruling by N. Sanders Saul. If the Florida Supreme Court chooses to apply Florida law, Al Gore will win Florida's 25 votes, and become the 43rd President of the United States. 

3. The 32 Electors from Texas can be disqualified. Remember the 12th Amendment challenges to the 32 Electors from Texas? Lower courts have ruled that Dick Cheney became an "inhabitant" of Wyoming simply by dropping in for a day to get a voter registration card. But this case is on appeal to the Supreme Court, and it only takes four Justices to agree to hear the case. The four angry dissenters in the Florida case Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens? may be angry enough to put this case before the American people.

4. A Democratic state legislature can nullify Florida. Remember the Special Session of the Florida Legislature to choose Electors? The Republicans rounded up numerous Constitutional scholars to argue that it was perfectly legal for state legislatures to override the will of the voters of their state. Well, Democrats can play that game too. Democrats control the legislatures of eight states that voted for Bush: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. If any ONE of these states switches its electors to Gore, then Gore wins regardless of Florida and the Supreme Court.

5. Three Republican Electors can switch to Gore. The Electoral College is comprised of people, not machines. These people have consciences. In the majority of states, Electors are not bound by law to vote for the candidate to whom they were pledged. If there was a groundswell of opinion against a stolen election, it is not impossible to imagine 3 Republican electors (out of 271) doing the right thing.

6. Republican Members of Congress can switch parties, or simply vote with the Democrats to refuse to count Florida's 25 Electors. During the impeachment, a number of Republicans in Congress refused to go along with Tom DeLay and Trent Lott. In the House, seven Republicans voted against two of the three counts: Michael Castle (DE), Phil English (PA-21), Amo Houghton (NY-31), Peter King (NY-3), Connie Morella (MD-8), Chris Shays (CT-4), and Mark Souder (IN-4). If five of the seven switch, the Democrats would control the House. In the Senate, five Republicans voted against both counts: John Chafee (RI? recently replaced by his son, Lincoln), Susan Collins (ME), Jim Jeffords (VT), Olympia Snowe (ME), and Arlen Specter (PA). It would take only one switch to give Democrats control of the Senate. 

As Yogi Berra famously said, "It ain't over till it's over."

So what do you think? Pass it around.


Michael Moore

P.S. The Western Union telegram campaign to Justices O'Connor and Kennedy that so many thousands of you participated in today went through the roof. Thanks! Here's my favorite e-mail: ??? 

"Mike: When we called Western Union today, we got as far as, 'We'd like to have a telegram hand-delivered,' and the operator said, 'To the Supreme Court, right?'? We said yes, and she said, 'To O'Connor and Kennedy, right?' We said yes. She already had the address. All we had to do was give our information ."

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