Boston Globe
November 30, 2000


GOP Grinches Try to Steal It


By Derrick Z. Jackson

WHEN THE REPUBLICANS tried to oust President Clinton two years ago, I borrowed heavily from Dr. Seuss to give you ''How the Ging-grinch Stole Democracy.'' Recent events demand a sequel:

Every voter in Voter-ville liked democracy a lot,B ut the Republicans in Florida assuredly did NOT!

The Republicans hated democracy! Especially this season!

N ow, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be their heads weren't screwed on just right.

I t could be, perhaps, that their shoes were too tight.

But I think that the likeliest reason of all,

M ight be that their votes were three counties too small.

Whatever the reason, their hearts or their shoes,

T hey stood there in Tallahassee, singing the boos.

For they knew that most voters in Palm Beach beneath,

W ould not double-punch Al and Pat with straight teeth.

No more recounts! Katherine the Great said with a sneer.

W ith numbers that made everything perfectly clear.

Bush is the winner of all the votes she chose to see,

L eaving thousands of butterflies hanging high on the tree.

So high that Bush thinks Gore's chances are about to die.

Bush, Baker, and Katherine roared and growled to the sky,

W e HAVE finally found a way to stop democracy from coming!

They stayed on their mission to put Gore out of commission,

T hinking certification was quite enough edification.

But Gore kept doing what Republicans liked least,

T rying to count where counting had ceased.

African-Americans said they were disenfranchised.

J ews said their ballots were highly compromised.

Unionists smelled smoke from Florida machinery.

K atherine the Great denies Election Day thievery.

T he more the Republicans thought of this democracy thing,

The more they thought, we must stop this whole thing!

W hy, for three weeks, we've avoided complete recounts,

We MUST stop Democracy from coming! But HOW?

The Republicans thought they had a wonderful scheme.

Who more could Bush want on the scene?

B rother is governor, operative is secretary of state.

Cousin helps call Florida for Fox - an accident of fate?

If this were Central America or Africa, the public would howl,

A bout banana republic kings with bones in their jowl.

In the Orange Republic, coup leaders wear suits,

B linding us on CNN with spiffy, shiny boots.

Pointing at Katherine's clock that always seems to run out,

B efore the dimples and butterflies can create any doubt.

African-Americans said they were disenfranchised.

J ews said their ballots were highly compromised.

Unionists smelled smoke from Florida machinery.

K atherine the Great denies Election Day thievery.

We know what to do! Bush laughed in his throat,

B aring his teeth at democracy like a gator from a moat.

We swamp the Democrats with declarations that we won.

W e name transition teams until the public is numb.

We keep saying, We are preparing to govern.

S oon the public will see us as sovereign.

We just keep saying how Gore changes the rules.

S oon everyone will forget how we oiled all the tools.

We already know the victory was won,

W hen the media let stories of disenfranchisement dry in the sun.

There was no uproar when our protestors helped Miami-Dade quit.

O r when Katherine rejected Palm Beach, no matter how long they wanted to sit.

When the voters wake up, we know just what they'll do!

T heir mouths will hang open a minute or two.

Then the voters in Voter-ville will all cry Boo-hoo!

B ush said, That's a noise that we simply MUST hear!

They paused. Bush, Baker, and Katherine put hands to their ears.

B ut the story ends here, for we know not what they are about to hear.

Will the sound be happy, from Americans resigned?

O r be angry, from thousands of voters maligned?

The Republicans are preparing to govern. What will greet their eyes?

W ill they dance? Are they in for a shocking surprise?

Will red, white, and blue balloons rise to the skies?

O r will they see the crimson eyes of the newly disenfranchised?

Will they rule over Voter-ville, the tall and the small,

O r be run over by the voters who were not allowed to vote at all?

Will the Republicans bury the butterflies and dump the dimples,

O r be forced to live up to all of democracy's great principles?

Is it not amazing how the party that claims the highest morality

W ishes to deny an election in its totality?

Afraid to seek the truth from the plains to the knolls.

W hether Bush lost in the Electoral College and the popular polls?

In the Orange Republic the question may never be asked.

D elivering an election that may always be masked.

Maybe democracy can indeed be stolen from a store.

M aybe democracy ... perhaps ... means no more.

Copyright 2000 Boston Globe. All rights reserved.