If you have HBO and missed it, check out Recount.

It takes us back to 2000, during those strange days when we all found new way to live. Remember hurrying home from work each day to learn more about chads? Remember throwing things at your TV when one of the Bush people said something disingenuous and thinking, “Nah, they’ll never get away with that?” Remember when Katherine Harris was our national villain? Remember thinking the Democrats were wimps in that fight?

It’s all there in Recount.

I had erased those days and the intense feelings they entailed from my memory. For the last eight years, I think most of us (well, people reading this blog, at least) have been suffering from outrage fatigue, so it’s easy to not think back about the outrage that put this bunch of Bush clowns in office.

Tom Shales describe the film well:

Placed under a figurative high-def microscope and examined studiously but at a riveting pace, “Recount” recounts in brisk and crisp docudrama style how Gore was pushed aside even after winning the national popular vote — a defeat marked by bungling, bumbling and seemingly malicious mischief in the state of Florida. The film is a clarifying cautionary tale that concedes both that full clarification is probably impossible and that cautionary warnings could well go unheeded as early as November.

If nothing else, watch Recount for Laura Dern’s performance as Katherine Harris. The Queen Esther scene made me smile.

9 responses to “Recount

  1. I haven’t seen it. I’m sure we will, but I kind of feel that getting through the election cycle is enough of a challenge to my blood pressure. are raising my blood pressure quite enough. You have to worry about that as you get older. Sometime I’ll retell the story about how the 2004 election killed my mother. It took a while to finish her off, but she was quite literally never the same after it.

  2. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill would make every vote politically relevant in a presidential election. It would make every vote equal.

    The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state. Because of this rule, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. Two-thirds of the visits and money are focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people are merely spectators to the presidential election.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 17 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.


  3. I’ll never forget going to bed thinking Al Gore had won and then waking up to find out George Bush had won – maybe. Ugh! I tried to calm myself by reasoning that he would be a one-term president. I guess I was wrong, huh?

  4. Sounds like to me more whining from democrats that are still upset that Gore was not allowed to recount the vote until he finally won.

  5. Zen, yikes! I really want to hear that story.

  6. Laura, ha! I will never forget that night either. I went to bed after learning that the networks had flipped Florida to Bush. I went to bed thinking we were doomed.

    And then, at about 3:00 AM, I got a call from my mom who informed me that Gore had retracted his concession.

    I never thought that Bush would last more than one term either, but then 9/11 happened and Bush was infallible.


    I still think that Dean would have been a stronger candidate against Bush than Kerry was.

  7. Terrant, watch Recount.

    We wanted all the votes to be counted, but Katherine Harris and the SC made a point to delay the process to make sure that Gore would not win. Gore’s team made many strategic mistakes, but if they hadn’t been so dense, they would have demanded a state-wide recount, and Gore would have been the victor.

  8. I’ll try to work it in when I can. I don’t watch much TV any more and when I do, I’m forced to watch my wife’s reality shows ;).

    From your description, it sounds biased to me though. Of course, the whole episode would have been avoided if states didn’t award electoral votes on a all or nothing basis.

  9. Terrant, try to fine the time to see it. If nothing else, it’s a gripping thriller that you already know the ending to.

    Yeah, and I agree that it’s biased toward my side, but it’s not about, counting the votes until Gore wins.

    Also, agreed that if we had a different system in place, we’d do better. If we have to have an electoral college, let’s award electors by congressional district.

    Or we could just go by national popular vote.

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