The presidential and post election drama is well over. One for the ages! My man, in spite of a 500,000-vote margin in the popular vote, was unable to convince a conservative court to count further the Florida votes and the court selected W, the Tommy Smothers of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

That the Bush forces in Florida were even a factor was a monument to the ineptitude of Gore's effort in his home state of Tennessee and his failure to enlist the aid of Bill Clinton in Arkansas. Either would have rendered the Florida robbery unnecessary.

It is ironic that so few Republicans understand the outrage we Democrats feel. The history of vote fraud in Florida rivals that of Illinois. The absence of uniform standards for recounts the deliberate and continuing attempt to confuse/disenfranchise minority voters the deplorable condition of the voting machines added to the fact that the President elect's brother is the state's Governor and his campaign manager is the attorney general, would assume to have warranted an immediate state-wide recount of all disputed votes, as the reported margin of victory was less than a thousand.

I don't for a minute believe Gore would have acted any differently if the 900 vote margin were his, and clearly selective recounts in heavily Democratic precincts was not the answer. Leaving it up to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, was to say the least a stacked deck. Perhaps at some point we will actually find out who won, but I doubt it the National Review is every bit as adept at spinning the hanging chad as the Washington Post.

In spite of his shallowness and near complete lack of credentials for holding the office, it is hard not to like W. He appears to be a genuinely nice man without rigid doctrinaire positions which tend to polarize the opposition. The same cannot be said, however, for co-President Cheney. Clearly a wise and thoughtful man but as nasty, mean spirited, and doctrinaire as anyone on the Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson team.

How else to explain the Ashcroft appointment. It's not likely W knew who Ashcroft was until he lost his Senate seat to a dead man. The antithesis of compassionate conservatism, Ashcroft is the poster boy for Bob Jones U a pro gun anti-choice racist who as our chief law enforcement officer is a heartbeat away from a Supreme Court appointment and a place on the Clarence Thomas team.

Chavez would and Norton will have to deal with big labor and the environmentalist to survive not so for Ashcroft, who will decide which laws to enforce. A very scary thought for any moderate, socially conscious American.

I take solace, however, noting that the Republic survived nearly eight years of Nixon, Agnew, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Dean. Next to Dan Quayle, W looks like a giant.

With Bill Clinton living in New York as our elder statesman at 54 and with Hillary, the world's most respected woman in the Senate, we may yet see an ex-President as First Man a situation which probably produces more angst on the right than the spectre of President W does for those on the left.