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Comment: The Shame of Palm Beach County

Tuesday, 14 November 2000 12:00 AM

Let me try to explain.

If you remember the "Del Boca Vista" episodes of "Seinfeld," you can understand the mentality we’re dealing with here.

Conjure up in your mind the raging bully Frank Costanza and his shrieking harpy of a wife. The two of them were funny in limited doses. But in Palm Beach County we have them by the thousands, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s Aggravation Radio, all hits, all the time.

Recently I had the unpleasant experience of undergoing some hospital tests – unpleasant mainly because of the stereotypical snowbird who shared the room.

The TV was playing the Clinton News Network, allowing this prosperous, overly nourished, Sansabelt-clad golfer to spout off on all manner of things: that Bill Clinton was the most intelligent man ever elected president and respected by all the world, that Janet Reno was a great attorney general, and that, although this man’s own investments were soaring, George W. Bush was evil because of his proposal for partial

When the kindhearted nurse and I politely stated our own contrasting opinions of Clinton-Gore-Reno, this man went into a tirade, loudly questioned the sanity and morality of anyone who objected to the Clinton-Gore-Reno assault on civil liberties and, in short, behaved like the heterodoxy-crushing condo commando that he was.

And that accent – imagine Bugs Bunny at age 70.

You have to realize that these people are special. Rules and expectations of ordinary human decency don’t apply to them.

Life in West Palm Beach is wonderful in many ways, but out in those western retirement suburbs ...

Picture an endless feud over the placement of a holiday decoration on a door. Picture violent conflict over a Cadillac being parked two inches off center. Picture a public hissy fit because the second-run movie theater gives no "golden years" discounts to upper-middle-class people on 99-cent Tuesdays. Picture the ninth circle of hell.

I moved here from Kentucky 12 years ago and experienced culture shock in many ways, especially in the contrast between the courteous and soft-spoken elders in the Bluegrass State and the sizable minority of confrontational, loudmouth retirees here.

One of the saddest parts of this fiasco is that people around the globe are mocking Florida’s "senile citizens." I have befriended and worked with many good, decent, intelligent, hardworking elders in Florida, and competent elders have stepped forward to say they had no problem with the ballot, but the hysterically irresponsible are getting the media's attention.

Even worse, the specter of anti-Semitism is looming. I have already seen several hateful e-mails on this subject. This brand of insanity must stop immediately. Yes, many of the original ballot beefers are Jewish New Yorkers, but the whole Democrat cabal is in on the act, and many Jewish people are involved in the fight against Gore’s coup attempt.

In a normal place, anyone claiming to be too stupid to vote would be laughed out of town. Palm Beach County, however, isn’t normal.

This county is packed with liberal Democrats who care nothing about fairness, only about their demands being met at all costs. They are running the manual recount, and they’ll find what they want to find.

The hatred of the ballot whiners is stunning. Some raged that

These people have no shame. But what can you expect from an era in which "celebrities" and even ordinary folk expect applause, if not canonization, for proclaiming that they have V.D. or "substance" abuse problems?

How can these Gold Coast crackpots keep claiming the ballot was too confusing when

The West Palm whiners parrot Gore’s phony line about "the will of the people," but they don’t seem upset about Democrat vote fraud nationwide, from the bullying of Haitian immigrants in Miami, to the trading of cigarettes for votes with vagrants in Milwaukee, to the improperly extended voting hours in St. Louis, to the encouragement of noncitizens to vote in California and other states. Does

It would make you sick to see in person these demonstrators downtown screaming for a revote. And there's no reason to oppose a recount, they say (or another recount, or another recount, until they get the numbers they want).

You want a manual recount in a few Democrat-dominated counties in Florida? Then you’d better do the same in the Republican counties.

You want a revote in Palm Beach County? Then you’d have to have a revote in the Panhandle and in the entire country outside the Eastern time zone because the TV networks early on election night wrongly called Gore the winner in Florida – and thus almost surely the new president, after his wins in the Northeast, Michigan and Illinois – discouraging Bush supporters from Pensacola to Pasadena.

Some liberal acquaintances of mine object that if Republicans in Midwestern and Western states chose not to vote because of the Clinton News Network’s sleaziness then that was their own stupidity and tough luck.

They have a point.

First of all, any libertarian or conservative knows not to trust pro-Democrat CNN, ABC, CBS et al. on such matters. Secondly, even if Gore had been the certain winner, the entire House of Representatives, a third of the Senate and many other vital contests were being decided. Anyone who skipped voting on those races because of CNN is irresponsible – but not as irresponsible as the Palm Beach peabrains.

And what’s next after the Florida recount? Will there be a recount in New Mexico, in Oregon, in Wisconsin, in Iowa? When will the folly end? If Gore had one subatomic particle of decency he would have conceded long ago.

Contrast Gore’s tantrum – like a spoiled little brat at a spelling bee crying "Do overs! Do overs!" after missing a word – with Richard Nixon’s graceful concession in 1960.

Clinton apologists refer to those who oppose the Clinton-Gore atrocities (including such principled liberals as Alexander Cockburn and Sam Smith, and even Alan Dershowitz, who questioned the Clinton regime's abuse of Elian Gonzalez) as "Clinton haters," but no one hates like a liberal Nixon hater.

Nixon is a giant compared to Gore. Despite evidence of massive Democrat fraud in the presidential election 40 years ago, Nixon asked journalists to stop investigating the scandal, and he gave in for the good of the country.

If Gore somehow pulls off his coup, I hope he’ll show himself to be the environmentalist he claims to be and, in the name of Everglades restoration, condemn all those environmentally harmful condo complexes where his most fanatical supporters live.

You see, people who care about conservation in Palm Beach County live in the built-up coastal areas rather than abet the nightmarish suburban sprawl to the west. But these supposedly liberal Northern retirees have caused the destruction of hundreds of square miles of wetlands with their new "communities" popping up like age spots on a Del Boca Vista sunbather.

It’s time for a major wetlands restoration project, Al. When the condo commandos start finding alligators in their Barcaloungers, they’ll be thinking of you.

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Let me try to explain. If you remember the Del Boca Vista episodes of Seinfeld, you can understand the mentality we're dealing with here. Conjure up in your mind the raging bully Frank Costanza and his shrieking harpy of a wife. The two of them were funny in limited...
Tuesday, 14 November 2000 12:00 AM
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