The biggest mistake Al Gore made was
caving on the election in Florida when he didn’t have to. The Supreme
Court decision in Bush v. Gore on Dec. 12, 2000 didn’t say “abort,” it
said, “remanded for further proceedings” back to Florida to establish a
consistent statewide recount.
Florida’s Supreme Court had supported Gore three times
already in the election’s decisions. Gore had an excellent opportunity
if he asked for a full recount. The U.S. Supreme Court simply didn’t
want the campaigns to cherry-pick the counties.
Twenty states had later election certifications, so Gore
could have also requested an extension of time. Yet, he gave up
overall. He clearly didn’t take into account the harm that eventually
would be done by a Bush presidency. Had Gore persisted and won, we may
still have had the Clinton-Gore surpluses. There wouldn’t have been the
Bush tax breaks, including for the rich, or the second war in Iraq.
Gore opposed both, and they are two-thirds of the deficit. Because the
United States is the world’s economic leader, the entire world might
not be in the economic mess that it’s in now.
The lesson of the missed interpretation of Bush v. Gore
should be applied to every Supreme Court ruling: Read the decision.
With the upcoming decision on the Affordable Health Care
Act, expected in days, the outcome may differ wildly from the media
interpretations. There could be no — or partial or full — repeal of the
bill. Provisions covering preexisting conditions, preventive care
including mammograms and colonoscopies, seniors’ drugs, children on
parents’ plans through age 26, no lifetime caps and requiring 80
percent of benefits to go to patients, not administrators, could be
kept or thrown out. The Medicaid expansion to 30 million new
beneficiaries could be kept, under Congressional prerogative, or thrown
out. The whole bill could be sustained, guaranteeing healthcare under
the general welfare clause, or thrown out as an infringement of
Lesson to us all: Read the decision, not just the media
commentaries. Then, tell the political leaders what you think. But
let’s work from the facts.
Robert Weiner, president, and
Richard Mann, senior policy analyst, Robert Weiner Associates,