Supreme Court Did Not Pick Bush

Howie Kurtz regurgitates the Left’s favorite meme in an otherwise excellent column on Joe Lieberman’s troubles: “Here he was, one Supreme Court justice away from becoming vice president after the 2000 election. . . .”

No. He. Wasn’t.

Had the Supreme Court ruled the other way in Bush v. Gore, the outcome would have been identical. SCOTUS did not pick a president; it merely ruled on the constitutionality of the Florida high court’s recount order. Had that order been upheld, the recount would have been finished. And, absent malfeasance, Gore-Lieberman would still have finished a handful of votes behind Bush-Cheney in Florida. The recounts conducted by the major media outlets, including Kurtz’ employer, all had that outcome.

Why won’t this canard die?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    Because “We was robbed!”
    is easier for the Left to digest than face the fact that most of the US doesn’t share their insanity.

  2. Rodney Dill says:

    My view has always been that SCOTUS didn’t pick the president, they merely prevented a silent coup d’etat of the legally elected US government that was being attempted by SCOFLA. If SCOFLA had not been overruled, malfeasance would’ve been pretty much a guarantee.

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    Rodney,

    I think “coup d’etat” is a bit much when you consider that Gore was the popular vote majority pick for president.

    James,

    While I generally agree with your sentiments, my memory of the media recounts is a bit different. I’ll have to go back and take a look, but as I recall it the media recounts showed that if votes had been recounted in Florida the way Gore wanted (just a few counties), then Bush would have won, but a recount of the entire state (as the Bush camp pushed as an alternative if recounts were allowed) would have made Gore the winner. I might be mistaken, though.

  4. Ugh says:

    My recollection was that if the recount had been done as the Supreme Court of Florida had ordered, Bush still would have won, because it would not have included the over-votes, just the under-votes. If the over-votes had been counted, Gore would have won.

  5. madmatt says:

    as you can see by the comments, there are to many irregularities and of course the bush family can’t be trusted…if his brothere didn’t run the state and if you didn’t have a highly partisan secretary of state handling things maybe we wouldn’t question so much!

  6. CC says:

    the “we were robbed” mentality of the American Left and all their various, neverending conspiracies of the Right (note, practically ALL political conspiracy theory dating back the last 30 years is liberal-based–ok, ok, except for some of the stuff about Clinton’s mafia whacking his enemies.) this must be founded in some deep, liberal psychological guilt or shame. why else can’t people simply accept that they sometimes lose? after Bush/Gore in 2000, there was the Ohio conspiracy in 2004. next time around, it’ll surely be Karl Rove’s fault again. i have found that the Left refuses, absolutely refuses to rethink their political philosophy in light of the majority attitudes of the country, and instead prefers to think they’re the majority but are getting screwed out of power by guys like Cheney and Rove.

  7. Rodney Dill says:

    We don’t select presidents by popular vote, Alex. Popular vote does little to preserve states rights, but that is a different issue. The issue wasn’t the Popular vote overthrowing the elected government it was the SCOFLA overthrowing the elected government through judicial activism.

    Yes I do know that using the term “coup d’etat” is a bit much, but I’ve had a great deal of glee in crafting and using this Ann Coulteresque term as an offset to the overabundant use of use of “My god they’re stealing election” by liberals. I also use it as my way of showing that SCOTUS didn’t select the president, they just prevented something other than the current legal election process from selecting him.

  8. Ugh says:

    It appears my recollection is correct:

    Link.

    Though, I prefer my original thought on the matter at the time, which was that the Florida election effectively ended in a tie, and the Supreme Court acted as a tie-breaker.

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Why is it that Liars alway think they are being lied to, cheaters alway think they are being cheated and thieves always think they are being stolen from? If the fix was not in, why did democrats have a herd of lawyers ready to take the case to the Florida Supreme court?

  10. Martin Peretz lobbed the same canard in The New Republic again yesterday, with a comment that Al Gore has already been elected once, as he practically begged Al Gore to run in 2008 as the Democrat’s last best hope.

    What in the Hell is wrong with these people?

  11. McGehee says:

    If the over-votes had been counted, Gore would have won.

    Over-votes have never been regarded as valid, since with the secret ballot it is impossible, absent psychic powers, to determine the intent of the voter.

    To argue that the over-votes should have been counted amounts to altering the rules for determining the outcome of an election after the election has taken place.

    And that makes Rodney’s “coup d’etat” rhetoric a bit less of a stretch.

  12. McGehee says:

    as you can see by the comments, there are to many irregularities and of course the bush family can�t be trusted�if his brothere didn�t run the state and if you didn�t have a highly partisan secretary of state handling things maybe we wouldn�t question so much!

    Funny, isn’t it, how all the irregularities happened in states with Democrat elections directors and majority-Democrat election judges.

    Moron.

  13. McGehee says:

    Funny, isn�t it, how all the irregularities happened in states with Democrat elections directors and majority-Democrat election judges.

    Oops. That should have read,

    Funny, isn�t it, how all the irregularities happened in counties with Democrat elections directors and majority-Democrat election judges.

    We morons are entitled to call each other morons.

  14. Elmo says:

    ‘Why won�t this canard die?’


    Howie’s been steeling sips a Kool-Aid ….

  15. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III: It’s called projection and the Angry Left has it in spades. They just can’t comprehend that everyone doesn’t think and act like they do.

  16. Tano says:

    FWIW – here are all the permuations – in interactive form:

    http://www.nytimes.com/images/2001/11/12/politics/recount/index.html