Iran's Foreign Ministry is trying to lure the U.S. into a bigger role in that nation's tempestuous election aftermath by accusing Americans of egging on protests that sparked violence this weekend.
[Spokesman Hassan] Qashqavi drew comparisons to American election results. "No one encouraged the American people to stage a riot" because they disagreed with the reelection of George W. Bush, he said.
No, that 2004 election looked pretty legit. The real riot potential was in 2000, right here in South Florida.
But Iran, which has only 30 years' experience at this "democratic republic" stuff, should learn from a nation that's been at it much longer. For starters, rigging an election outright is a logistical nightmare that's bound to be exposed. If it weren't so terrifying, Iran's own fraud would be laughable -- I mean, 50 cities that cast more votes than there were eligible voters?
No, the trick is to hope that you can make the election close enough to go into OT, like in 2000. Then it's out of the people's hands and into the dark realm of politicians and lawyers. In Jeb Bush's Florida: Advantage conservatives.
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So as that election slipped away from Democrats, why didn't we riot -- especially in South Florida? Probably because the demonstrations here did not provoke police to violence. Probably too because that verdict didn't come suddenly like it did in Iran; rather, it came in such a slow way that outrage gave way to bitter acceptance. But mostly because in 2000, South Floridians probably didn't anticipate just how venal another President Bush could possibly be.