When Politicians and the Courts Cross Paths
"Justice ran out the clock" (Government, Dec. 25/Jan. 1) and "It didn't have to end this way" (Editorials, Dec. 25/Jan. 1) were the clearest statements of outrage I have read on the Supreme Court's Bush vs. Gore decision. The ruling, which recognized the unfairness of machine counts yet deferred to arbitrary deadlines to prevent a fair manual count, can only be viewed dubiously.
Yet the insistence on equal protection has already opened doors to better federal oversight of the voting process, as "Lessons of the fiasco" (Government, Dec. 25/Jan. 1) describes. The court should now be made to consider requiring all states to assign their electors for President proportionally. Currently, votes for the loser in most states are effectively counted as votes for the winner, which surely violates any equal-protection standard.
Were it not for the Supreme Court decision "ending" the election by reversing the Florida court, the case would still be pending. Consider: The Florida legislature is responsible for setting standard(s) for legal ballots, not the courts. As every recount proceeded, Bush won; Gore sued to "change" (read, lower) the standard. Any standard unchanged from the original would produce a suit from Gore. Any changed standard for a "prior" election may have been illegal and produced a suit from Bush. It would be many weeks before a decision was reached, contested, adjudicated, and decided. The Supreme Court acted with restraint, reasonableness, and expedience, ending the litigation and allowing the winner to proceed.
PhoenixReturn to top
The Man Who Fell Furthest
"The search begins for a Democratic savior" (Government, Dec. 18) misses the mark when it contends that Lieberman got the biggest push out of Campaign 2000. The fact is, he came out the biggest loser. He came into the campaign as the "moral voice of the Senate" but came out as a political hack who flip-flops on the issues and doesn't stand up for what he says he believes. We don't need people like that in positions of authority.
Robert E. Nebel
Brenham, Tex.Return to top
Many Clicks and Tons of Bricks
How insane an idea would it be for Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to merge ("This race isn't even close," Information Technology, Dec. 18)? We all know that each has deficiencies in the other's world. Wal-Mart, while finally getting its Web site up and running, is still behind Amazon online technology and service. As for Amazon, we know its problems with inventory and experienced retail management.
I'm sure the "experts" could find many reasons why this wouldn't work, but if the Amazon.com alliance with Toys `R' Us is even slightly successful, wouldn't Amazon.com and Wal-Mart be the granddaddy of bricks-and-clicks alliances? Anyone for Walmazon?
New YorkReturn to top
Baseball Will Survive A-Rod's Sweet Deal
Please, enough. Haven't we heard the same lament every time a player is signed for a new record salary ("Good for A-Rod, bad for baseball," News: Analysis and Commentary, Dec. 25/Jan. 1)? Remember Dave Winfield's deal for $21 million for 10 years or so? Same lament then, yet the game goes on. Baseball team franchises continue to go up in value. When we see teams selling out and losing money on their franchises, then you should worry. It is no accident that the team with the higher payroll also makes the most profit and has the biggest market share. Maybe small-market teams are small because of their small business practices.
Closter, N.J.Return to top