All Election Tradition — Broken

I was thinking recently about a peculiar part of the television coverage of Election Night 2000 and decided to try to find video of it. Here it is. I apologize for the poor quality, but it’s all I could find.

Was this just a bad dream? Unfortunately, no. Toby Rogers on [emphasis mine]:

One [sic] election night 2000 … he [sic] Bush family … had quickly moved from the Four Season Hotel in Austin to the Governor mansion when the networks called Florida for Al Gore. In an unprecedented move the Bush family broke all election tradition and allowed TV crews to film them back at the Governor’s Mansion. Shadows, floodlights and flashbulbs danced around the Bush family as W was ending a ridiculously staged phone call with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. “Yeah..good. Call me when you hear something? Thanks.”

I was nauseated, figuratively speaking, when I saw this live. As I view it on video today, it’s a chilling moment in American history. How creepy … with Poppy and Barbara sitting there.

Moving beyond the creepiness, this question nags: Does Bush’s demeanor suggest he knew the fix was in?

I think yes. He tries to hide it but he’s unsuccessful. He keeps referring to the people counting the votes in Florida and Pennsylvania. His purpose is to cast doubt on the exit polls the networks relied upon in calling those states for Gore. What irony! In the weeks following the election Katherine Harris and the Bush campaign would do all they could to prevent the counting of the votes in Florida.

Why did the Bushes break all election tradition and allow those TV cameras in? My first thought was that it was simply arrogance. I’ve rejected that. They’re arrogant bastards to be sure, but there was no upside to them flaunting their knowledge of the fix and risking having to answer unwanted questions. Instead, I think what Bush was doing was planting the first seed in the public relations war that his campaign won, in part, by preventing the perception that he was behind in Florida from ever taking root.

I confess I agree with those who say Bush was never legitimately elected. I was with thousands of other outraged protesters in Washington for his inauguration on January 20, 2001.

Here’s the thing: While it was the Supreme Court that ultimately stole the election for Bush with its bogus ruling, the scenario wasn’t as planned by the Bush crime family. I’m sure they would have preferred to avoid the recount fracas and the questions about the legitimacy of the election that resulted.

You see, the butterfly ballot and hanging chads weren’t the real story. The election was really stolen when thousands of eligible voters were culled from Florida’s voter rolls before the election. Harris and Governor Jeb Bush presided over this. Karl Rove was probably directing them. If not for this voter suppression, Gore would have won Florida by 50,000-plus votes. Greg Palast has the best coverage of this. (2004 had a different storyline and featured locale (Ohio), but the methods were similar, the outcome was the same, and in some ways what went down was even more infuriating than 2000.)

So in forming your own opinion as to whether Bush’s demeanor in this video clip suggests he knew the fix was in, keep in mind what happened in Florida before the election.

For a short time as I began to write this I thought I had a scoop in relation to this video clip that would put me on the recommended list on Daily Kos (DK). I’m talking about what Bush says about “my man Bruni” and “the technology not working”. I thought maybe he was talking about rigged vote tabulation (which I’m not ruling out from having been part of the mix in 2000). But anyway, the Rogers interview linked above has an explanation for this that sounds benign. Frank Bruni was a New York Times reporter on the Bush campaign beat. He was one of a pool of reporters in the room at the time with the Bush family. Oh well, I’ll continue to toil in obscurity. In fact, I don’t think this is even worth posting as a diary at DK.

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