This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court intervention in the 2000 Presidential Election, the infamous case of Bush V. Gore.
The Republican majority Supreme Court took an unconstitutional action, unprecedented in American history, when it interfered in the vote recount in Florida to declare George W. Bush the winner over Al Gore by the measly margin of 537 votes despite a substantial popular vote lead of Gore, throwing the 25 electoral votes of Florida into the Bush camp, and making him the closest winner of the Electoral College since the 1876 Presidential Election, when Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the electoral college by one vote, despite a popular vote lead by Samuel Tilden.
There was nothing in the Constitution that provided for such a Supreme Court intervention, and for a Court with Antonin Scalia preaching “originalism”, it was a shocking abuse of power, but with no recourse by Gore or anyone else, as the old adage of Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes reverberated: “The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is!”
The effects of eight years of the George W. Bush Presidency have been massive, most of it bad, and one has to wonder how the nation would have been under eight years of Al Gore.
Of course, conservatives and Republicans will be praising the fact that Al Gore never made it to the White House, but it is clear that in many ways, life would have been different in America had Gore taken the oath of office.
Among the differences:
1. The war in Afghanistan would have been on the front burner, not on the back burner, and Osama Bin Laden would likely have been captured or killed, instead of being allowed to escape.
2. The Iraq War would likely have not been waged, and instead the problem of Iran likely would have been addressed in a way whereby Iran would not be the major menace it is today in international affairs, as the Iraq War only strengthened Iran in the Middle East.
3. The reaction to Hurricane Katrina would have been far different, and New Orleans would be further along toward recovery with far less loss of life at the time of the tragedy.
4. The national debt would not have been doubled, as it was from 5 to 10 trillion under Bush, as the massive Bush tax cuts would not have occurred, and the massive spending on two wars at the same time would not have been done.
5. The Medicare Part D legislation would not have occurred, but if it developed in any form, would have been paid for, not adding massively to the national debt.
6. Torture would not have been endorsed by President Gore as it has been by President George W. Bush.
7.We would not have witnessed the abuse of power by Vice President Dick Cheney, who scarred the Vice Presidency’s reputation.
8. There never would have been a second time in the Defense Department for Donald Rumsfeld, who served earlier under President Gerald Ford, and that would have been good for the military who go into our combat operations.
9. Movement on the environment, particularly on global warming and climate change, would have been further accomplished than it has been.
10. The issue of poverty, which was being pursued as a future subject for consideration by Bill Clinton in his last year as
President, would have been a major agenda item by a President Gore.
11.The Gore Presidency would have been, generally, another age of progressive reform, more the true successor to the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, than the comparatively disappointing Presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton in the eras of domestic reform.
12. Health care reform would likely have been passed years earlier than it has been under President Barack Obama.
It is clear that America today would be a very different country had only the Supreme Court stayed out of the Presidential Election of 2000, and the nation today suffers from the tragedy of eight years of George W. Bush! 🙁