Somerby and Krugman look back at the election that started it all, bemused but not amazed that so few Americans know who would have won with a complete recount. Somerby thinks Krugman lets the press off too easily. He's surely right, but I think he lets Gore and his team off too easily. It wasn't, after all, the press who decided which recounts to pursue. It wasn't the press who agreed that the most important issue was a smooth, timely transition rather than counting all votes cast. It wasn't the press who agreed that the American people were too infantile to live with some uncertainty over who the next President would be, and the government too fragile to manage a transition if all the new political appointees weren't vetted and ready to go.
When we consider the Bush Presidency, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that it began with the bipartisan consensus that expediency and unity were more important than the truth.