November 17, 2000


As Al Gore and a battery of more than 500 lawyers work frantically to overturn the Florida vote tallies and steal the election, the Clinton administration is pulling the same stunt in Bosnia. On November 15, the US informed the United Nations Security Council that the results of the democratic election held in Bosnia must be invalidated. The results, you see, were politically incorrect: In spite of millions of US tax dollars poured into the coffers of the Party of Independent Social Democrats, led by US-backed prime minister Milorad Dodik, in the Serb regions of Bosnia the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) won a plurality, 36.8 percent, to Dodik's 17.9%. "We will continue to urge that obstructionists be kept out of the government," declared James Cunningham, deputy US representative to the UN, at a public session of the Council. Insert "Republicans" for "obstructionists," and Cunningham might well have been describing Al Gore's perspective on the US elections.


Cunningham went on to say that it is "critically important" that the "international community be prepared to act forcefully to ensure that those who are opposed to Dayton are not in a position to block the peace accords." Such are the prerogatives of the occupiers. In the Croatian region of Bosnia, the "legal" grounds for overturning the election results are what one news report referred to as "illegal campaign activities" – specifically, illegal campaign posters that contained "hate speech." The offending slogan was "Self-Determination or Extermination," obviously a hate crime in the "multi-cultural" tyranny of the New Europe. The "electoral commission" of the OSCE recently announced that 13 members of the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will not be allowed to take their seats in the Bosnian parliaments. The reason? "Electoral irregularities" alleged by the OSCE commission. Perhaps the Gore campaign will invite in a few OSCE observers to Florida, to give them a few pointers, that is if they haven't already.


Of course, in Bosnia, any published or broadcast commentary that casts doubt on the divine wisdom of the Dayton agreement is classified as "hate speech," and therefore illegal. Cunningham went on to say that such evidence of ideological criminality "only reinforces our belief that the SDS continues to be controlled by those who are committed to see Dayton fail." While in Bosnia, the edicts of Cunningham and his masters in Washington can be carried out at gunpoint, in Florida, however, the Clintonian Democrats must – for now – resort to other methods, albeit no less obvious or effective.


Meanwhile, back in Palm Beach, Florida, Carol Roberts, the highly partisan Democrat who sits on the now all-powerful Board of Canvassers, led what amounted to a campaign rally as she defiantly announced to a cheering crowd that she would go ahead with the third counting of the votes. Ignoring advice from the board's own lawyers, and state election officials, the woman who has been in the vanguard of the Democratic coup attempt defiantly declared: "(By going ahead) what happens? Do we go to jail? Because I'm willing to go to jail." In a better world, this hatchet-faced hatchet-woman would indeed wind up behind bars – for election fraud. The Washington Times reveals that, on inspecting a ballot that would otherwise have gone to Gore, observer John Grotta heard the old battle-ax exclaim: "Unfortunately, the corners aren't detached"! But there are ways around that, and according to the signed affidavits of five observers to Saturday's hand count, Roberts "twisted the ballots and poked her finger directly in sections of, and aggressively handled, the ballots."


This is the woman to whom we have entrusted the fate of the nation – a ward-healing partisan Democrat with her hands around the throat of our expiring republic, squeezing for all she's worth. Roberts is the perfect symbol of our totalitarian New Democrats – the snappish self-righteousness, the utter disregard for the rule of law, the imperious arrogance, are all, in her, combined to produce a public figure even more unsympathetic and overbearing than Al Gore. As propaganda for the Republicans, the on-the-spot coverage of La Roberts' was priceless. Bullying the poor chairman of the Palm Beach election board, Judge Charles Burton, who tried to at least put a veneer – however thin – of legality on outright thievery, Roberts' strident hectoring captured the essence of what is going on in the People's Republic of Palm Beach. It was a blow struck for the Republicans every time the TV cameras showed those Palm Beach county election officials holding ballots up to the light and peering intently at its indentations, their faces screwed up in solemn concentration. Were they channeling the spirits of the voters, and somehow verifying their votes for Gore? Certainly it seemed that way, which is why, perhaps, these images were replaced so quickly by the talking spinning heads of Democratic party lawyers and their sadly inept Republican counterparts.


Election observer Mark Klimer, a Republican, charges in a sworn affidavit that he personally witnessed Roberts pick up ballots from a stack of disputed ballots and deliberately mix them in with Gore votes. This same observer testifies that a Palm Beach county election worker refused to recount a stack of ballots that contained Bush votes. Klimer, a West Palm Beach banker, was in the counting room for over four hours on Saturday: perhaps the most serious charge he makes is that there were no objective standards used to evaluate ballots. The standard for what constituted a Gore vote shifted no less than three times, depending on how the count was going. "Beyond a shadow of a doubt, what I saw is the absolute truth," he said, and his charges are echoed by the other four observers who signed similar statements. Let us hope the Republicans put these affidavits to good use, not only in the courtroom but in the court of public opinion.


I wouldn't count on it, however. So far, the Republicans seem to be losing on both fronts, the legal and the political. It is truly amazing how far the Democrats, who are trying to overturn an election, have gone in convincing themselves if not the American people that they are the true fighters for "democracy." "Every vote must count!" is their battle-cry, to which the more cynical among us might add: "even the ones that aren't there." It was the Democrats who mobilized the lawyers first, and sent a flying squad of them into the state to cook up "citizens lawsuits" contesting the election results. Yet the Republicans were quickly sucked into this legal quagmire, and somehow wound up looking like obstructionists of the "people's will" for seeking redress in the courts. This was due, in part, to the biased media coverage, but there was nothing to prevent the Bush campaign from taking its case directly to the American people. What were all those expensive TV ads for, anyway, if Republicans are going to allow the Democrats to take the offensive – and steal the election? Out of the $50 million or so in soft, hard, and semi-erect campaign contributions raised by Team Bush, surely a small percentage of that could be used to present the case against the coup.


Why don't they just admit what everyone acknowledges by now, and that is that the campaign, far from being over, has gone into its second phase? The Democrats, if they didn't plan on this, were quick to adapt their strategy and tactics and appeal to their base for support via a sympathetic media. The Republicans, if they want to defeat this beer hall putsch, must go over the heads of the media and make their appeal directly to the American people, without any filters or "spinning" double-talkers to distort or dilute their message. It's time to come on strong and go negative: how can the Republicans and their media mannequins – the Tucker Carlsons and Mary Matalins – fail to denounce the grasping grandiose Al Gore as a dangerous would-be American Napoleon whose triumph would be our Thermidor? What is holding them back? I didn't vote for George W. Bush, and I don't support his politics or his policies. His foreign policy views are particularly dangerous, and I have no doubt that, once in office, a powerful faction among his foreign policy advisors would soon have us embroiled in a major military conflict in the Middle East. But much more is at stake here, and that is the continuity of our republican (small-'r') tradition. Looking back on this moment, the future historians of American decline will see this as Al Gore's crossing of the Rubicon – the end of the American Republic and the beginning of the imperial era, the Age of the Caesars. I shudder to think that, when the stakes are so high, our only defenders are moderate Republicans of a distinctly aristocratic mien, reluctant to fight and halfhearted when they do.


The Republicans, if they are looking for an opening, should take advantage of the glass window that gives us a full view of the goings-on presided over by Carol Roberts and her crew. Al the GOP have to do is set up a camera and point it in the right direction, so that Americans and people the world over can see "democracy" at work. Let the camera pan over the floor, as loosened chad falls like snow, while Carol shakes those ballots for all they're worth. We don't need a soundtrack. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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“Behind the Headlines” appears Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with special editions as events warrant.


Past Columns

Two Ways to Steal an Election

In Occupied America: Rage Against "The Regime"

Al Gore's Beer Hall Putsch

A Message to My Readers

The Real Victors: Nader & Buchanan

Buchanan's "Hail Mary" Pass May Work

Doubletalkin' Dubya: Bush Backtracks on Kosovo

The Nader Moment

The Smearing of Ralph Nader

Nader Sells Out

America's Fifth Column

Bush, the Balkans, and the Bipartisan "Division of Labor"

Hilary, the War Goddess

Vidal's Valediction: The Golden Age

Norman's Narcissim: Podhoretz in Love

The Middle East: War Without End

Classic Raimondo: Isolationism for Beginners

Notes on the Serbian Revolution and Other Matters

Revolt of the Little Guys

The Clinton-
Gore-Milosevic Connection

Szamuely's Folly: Sympathy for the Devil

Slobo's Gambit: Will It Work?

Adventures in Cyber-Politics, Revisited

Curtains for Milosevic

Dubya's Kosovo Deception

The Return of Pat Buchanan


The Vindication of Wen Ho Lee

Against the EU: Danes Resist Assimilation

UN Millennium Summit: Globalist Dream is Your Worst Nightmare

Iraq and the US – Our Fantasy Island Foreign Policy

Classic Raimondo: Allied Vultures Pick at Iraq's Bones

Colombia – The Deja Vu War

Passage to Cartagena: An Inauspicious Visit

Invasion of the Party-Snatchers

Blowback: Read This Book!

Bush on Kosovo – Turning on a Dime

The Kosovo Fraud: Will They Ever Admit It?

The Outing of Ralph Nader, and Other Atrocities

Why Kosovo? Follow the Money!

Additional Justin Raimondo Archives

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (forthcoming from Prometheus Books).


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