How Bush Lost Florida But Won In The Supreme Court And The Media

by jerry politex,

Ever since Bush was selected by the Supreme Court by a vote of 5-4 to take over the U.S. presidency, the Dems have said that a fair and thorough recounting of the Florida vote would prove that Gore won. While the jury is still out on whether the reported Consortium recount, published late Sunday November 11, was fair and thorough, let's assume that it was. What does it tell us? It tells us that Gore won the Florida electoral vote, the U.S. Supreme Court took the presidency away from him, and the media is wrong in reporting otherwise. Here's how Bush lost Florida.

First, it is an established fact that Gore beat Bush in the national popular vote by over a half million votes. Secondly, Consortium interpretations of the voting data conclude that thousands more people voted for Gore in Florida than Bush. The problem for Gore is that many more votes in his favor, such as the Palm Beach butterfly votes, were declared invalid than similar votes for Bush. Third, discounting such unretrievable invalid votes, Consortium interpretations, which allow only fully-punched ballot cards and correctly marked optical scaned ballots, conclude that Gore still beat Bush in a statewide recount in Florida by a thin margin of over 100 votes. Which brings us back to the Supreme Court decision.

In its Dec. 12 decision the Supreme Court indicated that its conclusions were based upon equal protection law, and decided that in order to have equal voter protection in Florida the entire state should be recounted. However, even though there were weeks left for such a recount prior to the formal reception of the states' electoral college votes in Congress, the court decided that there wasn't enough time for such a recount, so five of nine members of the court decided, along party lines, to select Bush as the winner in Florida. The Consortium data indicates that they were wrong to think that Bush had won the popular vote in Florida. At any rate, in its Dec. 12 decision the Court made clear that if it hadn't selected Bush, its fallback decision would have been to call for a statewide election, since it considered the case to be a matter of equal rights. It further indicated that not taking a position on the matter was not an option.

Strangely, not one media member of the Consortium has reached the conclusion that if the Supreme Court had not selected Bush, Gore would have won the election by a Florida recount. Instead, in every instance of Consortium reporting, the big headlines say the data shows Bush won with more "valid votes," that he won because of the partial recount mandated by the Florida Supreme Court, or that he won because he would have had more votes than Gore under Gore's recount request. Buried in some of the stories are the six ways that Gore could have won. However, all of these suppositions are moot.

The unvarnished fact is that the U.S. Supreme Court had the final say on the election, not the Consortium voting data, and, left with the choice of giving the election back to the people of Florida through a statewide recount or selecting Bush, they selected Bush. That's what makes the New York Times headline for the Consortium story particularly egregious: "Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast The Deciding Vote." While the headline represents a badly needed attempt to restore credibility to the U.S. Supreme Court, it fails on the facts and it fails because the media cannot do what the Court, itself, has failed to do since its politicized decision in the case of Bush vs. Gore.

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