This should be a surprise to no one. It's 2003, and yet there has been yet another "Bush didn't win" essay posted. It's called "The Illegal President". Go read it if you haven't already. I left a response review stating the obvious (You know, that Bush actually WON) and got the usual nonsense in return:



"No he didn't! He stole the election! The Supreme Court gave it to him! Why don't you prove it, Huh? Why don't you prove it?"



Y'know, it's amazing you people can see the keyboard to type with your noses rammed so firmly up the Democrats' backsides.



I started to post another review with some proof, but then I thought "Hey! There's an opportunity here to post another great essay! Why waste it on that other one?" So instead I bring to you, the general readership, a history lesson.



I have here an article published in the New York Times on November 12, 2001. It appeared on the front page. The headline reads:



"Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote"



Short Version: George Bush won.



I know. Even though the entire story is right there in the headline it is not enough for you. That's Okay. Here's the first paragraph:



"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."



Short Version: He would have won anyway.



Here's more:



"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."



Short Version: The Supreme Court did NOT make George Bush President.



"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."



Repeat: He would have won anyway.



There's a great graphic above the headline that lays out the number of votes:



"Certified Florida results



BUSH 2,912,790

GORE 2,912,253



MARGIN (for Bush) +537"



Translation: Bush Won.



"Ballot standards under strategies Gore pursued; Bush still would have received the most votes



If Gore's request to recount ballots in just four

counties had been completed.



BUSH 2,913,351

GORE 2,913,126



MARGIN (for Bush) +225



If the U.S. Supreme Court had not stopped the recount

in Florida.



BUSH 2,916,559

GORE 2,916,066



MARGIN (for Bush) +493"



Repeat: He would have won anyway. This is stated in plain text in a news analysis piece headlined "Who Won Florida? The Answer Emerges, but Surely Not the Final Word":



"The comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots solidifies George W. Bush's legal claim on the White House because it concludes that he would have won under the ground rules PRESCRIBED BY THE DEMOCRATS." (My emphasis.)



With all this now in the public record why does the Left still insist that Gore should be President? Maybe it has to do with this:



"But the consortium (The group of media organizations that conducted the study), looking at a broader group of rejected ballots than those covered in the court decisions, 175,010 in all, found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full, statewide recount of all the rejected ballots. This also assumes that the county canvassing boards would have reached the same conclusions about the disputed ballots that the consortium's independent observers did. The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to 'count all the votes.'"



Maybe, but rejected ballots are rejected for a reason. In this case, these ballots were rejected because no clear choice was made for president. Either those who submitted the ballots didn't punch a hole all the way through (dimpled chads and hanging chads), didn't make a readable mark, or punched too many holes. It doesn't matter how they got that way. The fact that they don't clearly indicate a choice for President makes them invalid. Counting invalid votes to change the certified outcome of an election is called "cheating" in the Real World.



I know what's coming next. "That's only one source! You can't prove anything with only one source!" Yeah, it's only The New York Times. Any paper that would hire Jayson Blair must have credibility issues. But it's NOT just one source. The New York Times was part of a consortium of media organizations. This was the headline on the front page of one of the consortium partners, The Wall Street Journal, on the same day:



"In Election Review, Bush Wins Without Supreme Court Help"



That's even more explicit than the Times headline, yet lest you think the Journal is just cheerleading, the subheads include the same qualifiers detailed in the Times article:



"Still, Majority of State Voters Would Have Picked Gore But for Poor Ballot Design"



And:



"Strategic Errors on Both Sides"



In fact, the consortium consisted of eight different news organizations: The Times, The Journal, The Tribune Company, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The St. Petersburg Times, the Palm Beach Post and (all you leftists' favorite) CNN. "Gasp! You mean to say, Admiral, that you didn't get this information from Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity or some other evil right-wing conspirator?" Shocking, but true. The consortium hired the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago to do the review:



"The study, conducted over the last 10 months by [the consortium,] assisted by professional statisticians, examined numerous hypothetical ways of recounting the Florida ballots. Under some methods, Mr. Gore would have emerged the winner; in others, Mr. Bush. But in each one, the margin of victory was smaller than the 537-vote lead that state election officials ultimately awarded Mr. Bush."



The research group's workers examined "175,010 ballots that vote-counting machines had rejected", basically all the screwed-up ones, and concluded "even under the most inclusive standards...at most, 24,619 ballots could have been interpreted as legal votes".



Again: Counting invalid votes to change the outcome of an election is "cheating". After all the valid votes had been counted, George Bush won.



Eight news organizations, only one of which can remotely be considered conservative, spent almost a year reviewing nearly 200,000 Florida Ballots from the 2000 Presidential Election and documented the conclusion in several media outlets, including the Newspaper Of Record. That conclusion was that when all is said and done, George Walker Bush won the State of Florida and is thus LEGALLY the 43rd President of the United States of America.



Now, is that enough proof for you libs, or do I have to draw a little comic book with an elephant beating the snot out of a donkey to illustrate the point for you?



It is 2003. The 2000 election is over. Three years of this term are already in the can. There is no "Way-back Machine". There is no TARDIS. There is no time-traveling DeLorean. There is nothing you can do to get those three years back, and it is a matter of public record that you don't deserve them anyway. Your energies would be better spent trying to get somebody you like elected in 2004. The last election already has a clear victor.



GEORGE! BUSH! WON!