Floridians Get the Government They Deserve, All Americans Pay
The old saying "we get the government we deserve" is attributed to H.L. Mencken, a man who mocked God and organized religion. We don't agree with everything he stood for, but we agree with his sentiment in the regard to the latest pronouncement of the Florida Supreme Court.
The people of Florida, in their infinite wisdom, elected Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles as their governors, who in turn appointed six of the seven justices of the Florida Supreme Court. Several of the justices have been subjected to merit retention votes and, in effect, been re-elected.
So, when the Supreme Court makes a ruling that substantially changes the legislative intent of Florida election law, we ought to blame the justices for not rising above their own political preferences. But, the previous governors of Florida and the people themselves deserve some of the blame as well.
Let this be a lesson to those who say that laws and procedures in other states have no effect on people who do not live there.
We have spent far too much time mulling over this situation. So, rather than further define a viewpoint which CTDATA employees share, we will point to commentary we found on the Web with which we agree:
- Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, "What is the least fair procedure one could possibly devise for determining the winner? The one Gore is pursuing relentlessly in the Florida courts: The selective culling of Democratic votes by Democratic arbiters from heavily Democratic districts."
- Dave Winer in Scripting News (someone with whom we often disagree on politics), "The Supreme Court in Florida is way over the line. They've taken power away from the executive, power that's clearly granted, for good reasons, in the laws of the State of Florida."