Monday, April 29, 2013

Ex-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor regrets her vote installing Bush II as Prez. Me too.

The REAL question is whether there are lessons from Bush V. gore that are relevant to the next election?

The answer is yes, regardless of whether you think Gore really won or Bush did.

That is, if you love your country more than your love your political party.

Lesson 1: Many American states--very much including Florida--mandate that elections be run by partisan politicians. I don't care whether those partisan politicians are in my party or the other--you can't have one side running elections. It delegitimizes the vote in the eyes of all the losing side and those on the winning side who have principles other than tribalism.

Lesson 2: Voting technology needs to be standardized across the states. The two parties are so evenly matched in many states that election results sometimes fall within the margin of error of the voting systems being used, leading to protracted litigation and, again, the deligitimization of election results in the eyes of many voters.

Lesson 3: The only way to resolve claims of voter fraud by one side and voter suppression by the other is to adopt nationwide voting rules based on a biometric ID database. That would nip both sides' complaints in the bud. And national suffrage rules should eliminate the lifetime bans on voting by ex-felons in some states--mainly Southern ones, mainly disenfranchising blacks.

Lesson 4: The only way to prevent special interest groups and the ultra-rich from skewing election results is strict public financing of elections, as the other rich countries do. This would save the American taxpayer many, many times the cost of publicly financing elections.

Sandra Day O'Connor was one of our best Supreme Court justices, and certainly one of our most reasonable. We all make mistakes, and it's a crying shame that this rare mistake of hers was so huge--huge not necessarily because Gore really won, but because the Supreme Court's intervention guaranteed that the issue will never be settled.

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