It has been thirteen years since the disputed 2000 election. Younger voters who voted in the 2008 and 2012 elections probably do not have a clear picture of exactly what happened in that election. Chris Matthews isn’t helping.
Christ Matthews stated:
Obama “has had a very difficult opposition out there … who from the very beginning wanted to destroy this presidency,” he said. “And some of it is ethnic, and some is good old ideology. But they way they treated this guy is unusual in our history.”
“Al Gore accepted the fact, even though he won by 600,000 votes, that W. was president. And the Democrats accepted the legitimacy of George W. Bush 100 percent,” he added, when host Joe Scarborough tried to push back a bit.
On November 12, 2001, The New York Times stated:
A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year’s presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward.
Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court’s order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
Even under the strategy that Mr. Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida standoff — filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties — Mr. Bush would have kept his lead, according to the ballot review conducted for a consortium of news organizations.
The New York Times is certainly not a conservative newspaper. They were generally not kind to George W. Bush, but they got the facts about the recount right. Either Chris Matthews is badly misinformed or he is lying. Either way, I suspect many young voters or voters who have forgotten or were not paying attention believed him. Rewriting history is a true danger to our representative republic. It is the media’s job to tell the truth. It is a shame that they have forsaken their responsibility.
Just for the record, President Obama has not been treated badly by the opposition. There have been people questioning the amount of secrecy surrounding his past–his education, some of his activities in Chicago, some of his campaign tactics, etc. Those are legitimate questions that should be asked of any candidate. Unfortunately, an element of practicing personal destruction instead of debating political issues has crept into our politics in recent times. We saw that element in the 2012 presidential election. Policies took a back seat to scare tactics and claims that Mitt Romney was a rich man who had no compassion for the poor. As someone who lived in Massachusetts during the time Mitt Romney was governor, I can tell you that there is no truth in that statement. However, the press worked hard to present that image. Until the media ignores those people practicing the politics of personal destruction, all Presidents will be treated badly by some element of the opposition. The mainstream media however, will continue to be cheerleaders for the Democrats and complain when anyone says anything negative about their candidates or the policies of their candidates. Unfortunately, that is where we are.
Meanwhile, we need to guard against the rewriting of history and challenge it whenever possible.