Tags: Let's | Find | 'Thin'

Let's Find 'Thin'

Monday, 27 November 2000 12:00 AM

That's light-hearted "thin." A more somber thin was recounted in a book entitled "From the Land of the Silent People" by Robert St. John, an outstanding writer and courageous war correspondent who covered Hitler's conquest of the Balkans during World War II.

When Nazi German forces overwhelmed the Greek resistance in 1941 the American Embassy in Athens was beset by great numbers of Greeks who, for reasons sturdy and thin, claimed they should be immediately given American citizenship and American passports which would allow them to leave the country and avoid the German occupation.

St. John told of one woman whose claim to American citizenship rested on her willingness to swear that 23 years earlier, right after World War I, she had slept one night with an American sailor. She thought she even remembered his name!

That's pretty thin, but we didn't hit TRUE thin until 15 days after the presidential election of 2000. Thinner, by far, than the one-sided pancakes or that poor Greek woman's claim to American citizenship was the Gore campaign's accusation that a "mob" of Republican "rent-a-rioters" had "intimidated" the Dade County Canvassing Board into abruptly voting to call off its hand count of the very votes they hoped would put Al Gore over the top.

Do you remember the heavyweight championship fight in the mid-1960s between Muhammed Ali and Sonny Liston in, of all places, Lewiston, Maine? It was the fight where nothing went right. Singer Robert Goulet even forgot the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner."

It was the fight where nobody could ever find the Ali punch that knocked Liston out. And some very angry people spent a long time rerunning slow-motion film looking for it.

I, for one, somehow missed the "punch" that sent the Dade board reeling into withdrawal. Sen. Joe Lieberman didn't miss it. He came on national TV and complained the demonstration was clearly "designed to intimidate."

New York Congressman Jerry Nadler didn't miss it. He came on national TV and said there's a whiff of "fascism" in the air. (One wonders if Nadler might have chosen a different word if he'd spent World War II where that Greek woman was, under the Nazis' rather authentic brand of fascism.)

Paul Begala and the entire Gore chorus picked up the refrain and made Republican mob violence and "intimidation" their major battlecry over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Don't people who are intimidated SAY so, at least when the threat has been removed? Don't they admit, nay, PROCLAIM that they were intimidated, and that's why they did or failed to do a certain action?

The Dade board itself said they voted to call off the hand count because they wouldn't have had time to finish it. And there were no Republican mobsters with blackjacks poised coercing that explanation.

Nonetheless the Gore ensemble persists in explaining the board's action as being rather akin to the same reason a Jewish string quartet might not choose to complete a sonata if Nazi storm troopers had smashed down the front doors of the concert hall and were racing down the aisles of the auditorium toward the stage.

The absurdity of that explanation almost-but-not-quite obscures the absurdity of the Gore campaign (Democrat) demanding the Florida Supreme Court (Democrat) to order the Dade Board (Democrat) to continue the count.

From what I could see on TV, the "rioters" were justifiably enraged Republicans protesting the Democrat attempts to hijack ballots, literally, and take them to another floor unaccompanied by the duly appointed Republican observers. And they seemed to be demonstrating in a predictably "American" way: yelling, chanting, pounding, pushing, perhaps, but no slugging, slashing, stabbing, shooting, bombing, beating, tossing of Molotov cocktails, or setting fire to overturned cars in front of the building.

It was pitiful listening to the Gore people treat the episode as another "Kristallnacht" when clearly it had more in common with a University of North Carolina pre-game pep rally on the campus of Duke University.

Don't mob intimidations menacing enough to overturn an American presidential election call for, at least, a call to the police? Or maybe an official complaint?

Is there a Gore official with emotional stasis who really believes a counterfeit claim of thuggery at this late date is any substitute for pointing to a surging tide of Gore votes in the hand count, something that did not materialize?

Boxers don't turn around and apologize to the crowd for not hitting hard enough. Baseball batters don't turn around and apologize to the crowd for not hitting hard enough. May I be excused, however, for facing the readers and apologizing for not hitting hard enough. I just can't figure out any tougher way to express the stark blazing preposterousness of the Gore team's contentions.

Their complaints deserve to be marinated in ridicule, skewered on a sharp shaft, and shish-kabobbed to a charred nothingness.

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That's light-hearted thin. A more somber thin was recounted in a book entitled From the Land of the Silent People by Robert St. John, an outstanding writer and courageous war correspondent who covered Hitler's conquest of the Balkans during World War II. When Nazi...
Let's,Find,'Thin'
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2000-00-27
Monday, 27 November 2000 12:00 AM
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