"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage..." -Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21, Paragraph 3, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. THE POPULAR VOTE
WHAT WOULD REPUBLICANS DO...
If Gore Had Won the Electoral College,
But Lost the Popular Vote?
"The one thing we don't do is roll over -- we fight," said a Bush aide, according to an article by Michael Kramer in the New York Daily News on Nov. 1, a week before the election.NEXT: SARAH PUTS JAMES BAKER IN TIME-OUT
The article reported that "the core of the emerging Bush strategy assumes a popular uprising, stoked by the Bushies themselves, of course. In league with the campaign -- which is preparing talking points about the Electoral College's essential unfairness -- a massive talk-radio operation would be encouraged."
"We'd have ads, too," said a Bush aide, "and I think you can count on the media to fuel the thing big-time. Even papers that supported Gore might turn against him because the will of the people will have been thwarted."
The Bush strategy to challenge the Electoral College went even further. "Local business leaders will be urged to lobby their customers, the clergy will be asked to speak up for the popular will and Team Bush will enlist as many Democrats as possible to scream as loud as they can," the article said.
"You think 'Democrats for Democracy' would be a catchy term for them?" asked a Bush adviser.
The Bush strategy also would target the members of the Electoral College, the 538 electors who are picked by the campaigns and state party organizations to go to Washington for what is normally a ceremonial function. Many of the electors are not legally bound to a specific candidate.
Another article describing the Republican thinking appeared in The Boston Herald on Nov. 3. It also quoted Republican sources outlining plans to rally public sentiment against Gore's election if he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote.
"The Bush camp, sources said, would likely challenge the legitimacy of a Gore win, casting it as an affront to the people's will and branding the Electoral College as an antiquated relic," said the article by Andrew Miga.
"One informal Bush adviser, who declined to be named, predicted Republicans would likely benefit from a storm of public outrage if Bush won the popular vote but was denied the presidency," the article said.
The article quoted the Bush adviser as saying: "That's what America is all about, isn't it. I'm sure we would make a strong case."
The Nov. 7 election turned out differently, however.
Gore appears to be the popular-vote winner by a margin now standing at about 260,000 votes nationwide, while Bush contends that he is the Electoral College winner because he holds a tiny lead in Florida, which would put him over the top in electoral votes.
Gone is the Republican talk of challenging the Electoral College as an anti-democratic relic. Gone is the principled stand in defense of the expressed will of the American people. Gone is the outrage over a popular-vote winner - now apparently Al Gore - being "denied the presidency."
Instead, the Bush campaign is denouncing the Gore campaign even for questioning voting irregularities in Florida, though these acknowledged errors likely cost Gore a clear majority in Florida, too.
Now, apparently untroubled by his defeat in the popular vote, George W. Bush is relying on this "antiquated relic," and moving forward with this "affront to the popular will." President Hypocrite.