The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Wednesday, December 06, 2000

The Big Fix

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: When, many years from now, historians single out the moment when democracy ended in the U.S. of A., they'll pick the afternoon of December 4, 2000, when a small-time judge made a decision so blatantly wrong that you had to wonder if this was some nightmare that would end come morning. No such luck. It seems like such an obvious thing: You have an election. In one state, there are problems at the polls -- ballots that are confusing, machines that don't always work correctly. One candidate wins by a little over 500 votes. The other candidate wants the votes counted -- by hand, not by machines that, the very people who make them admit, are less accurate than a human being. It seems so simple. Just count the votes, goddammit. But no. Instead, you have one Republican clown after another lying on TV, as if repeating lies often enough makes people actually believe them. You have a Republican-dominated legislature talking of just taking over the whole election and picking electors who will cast votes their way. You have a Republican-dominated Supreme Court that can't even stand up and do the right thing and support a decision made by the Florida Supreme Court. George W. Bush is, clearly, a joke of a presidential candidate, who, it appears, is soon to sit in the White House. Hard as it is to imagine a man bringing a case to the Supreme Court and not bothering to listen to the proceedings, W. did exactly that. Judge N. Sanders Sauls of Leon County Circuit Court should know that the world was watching his kangaroo court, and saw him defer to the Republican lawyers while giving Gore's men no slack. Why the laws in this country allow this one man to essentially choose the president of the United States is beyond understanding. It evokes memories of early Bob Dylan songs -- "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," "Only A Pawn in Their Game." I wish I could just get lost in rock 'n' roll right now, but I can't. Listening to Sauls deliver his decision, you could feel the chill, you could see the dark clouds coming in, obscuring the light. And the worst is yet to come... Last Saturday night the Smashing Pumpkins played their last show, an anticlimactic end to one of the great rock bands. This past May leader Billy Corgan had announced that the group was disbanding. From where I sit, it looks like the system and his own bandmembers beat Billy into submission. With two core members -- drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and bassist D'Arcy -- sidelined at various points by drug abuse, and with the media and the public just not buying into an evolved Pumpkins sound, Corgan clearly felt it just wasn't worth the fight any longer.

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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