It's come to my attention that on this 10th anniversary of the 2000 election, there are some people out there who feel confusion and uncertainty regarding who exactly was responsible for Al Gore's loss. So as a public service I thought it would be helpful to write up the set of heuristics used by Democrats and other fault-laying liberals to assign blame—the Democratic Blame Calculus (DBC), as I call it. I've organized the DBC into the hierarchical classes below, ranked based on the relative frequency and severity with which the designated groups or individuals are targeted by right-thinking Democrats for searing castigation for their transgressions against Al Gore's presidential prospects. Let's take a look, shall we?
CLASS 1: MANDATORY BLAME—MUST BLAME AT ALL TIMES
1) Ralph Nader
2) The 2.9 million people who voted for Ralph Nader
CLASS 2: BLAMEWORTHY PRIMARILY WHEN NO CLASS 1 GROUPS ARE BEING DISCUSSED
1) The Supreme Court
2) George Bush
3) Katherine Harris (may be removed from this class in the future due to increasing obscurity)
CLASS 3: ARGUABLY RESPONSIBLE, THOUGH MAINLY IN NARROW PROCEDURAL WAYS
1) Al Gore
CLASS 4: MAY HAVE SOME DETECTABLE LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY BUT NONE WORTH MENTIONING
1) Bill Clinton
2) Joe Lieberman
3) The Democratic Party
CLASS 5: ENTIRELY BLAMELESS
1) ~200,000 Democrats in Florida who voted for George Bush
2) Millions of Democrats throughout the nation who voted for George Bush
3) ~1 million Democrats who didn't vote at all in Florida
4) Republican voters in general
5) People who voted for any of the seven other political parties in Florida whose totals exceeded the 543-vote difference between Gore and Bush
6) The entire non-voting American public
(I know this may seem complex, but I've actually left out a few of the more subtle variations to make it simpler; for instance, advanced Democrats can split their blame vortex long enough to co-blame Nader and the Supreme Court. They'll almost invariably send the primary blame stream Naderward, though, and Democratic acolytes will always opt to blame Nader over any other target, so the DBC class hierarchy reflects this shared tendency.)
This handy reference will help resolve many of the vexing conundrums that might otherwise bamboozle anyone who hasn't fully absorbed the intricate blame algorithm of Democrats. For instance, which of the following groups was most responsible for Al Gore's loss: 1) 97,488 Florida Nader voters, including Greens, Democrats, Republicans, and independents; 2) ~200,000 Florida Democrats who voted for George Bush; or 3) ~1 million Florida Democrats who didn't vote at all? The untrained observer would naturally pick 2 or 3, but a quick glance at the DBC makes it crystal clear that the correct answer is number 1. Surprising!
Or let's say a former non-voter who'd never had any affiliation with the Democrats was inspired by Nader and the Green Party to enter politics in 2000, register as a Green, and vote for Nader; were they actually more responsible for electing Al Gore than a lifelong Democrat who sat home on election day eating day-old pizza and watching Simpsons reruns? Again, this question will likely mislead the unitiated into a wrong and Democrat-displeasing answer, but it's not even a close call once you've fully absorbed the blame calculus.
And finally: who was more responsible for making sure Al Gore received enough votes in 2000—Al Gore, or Ralph Nader? Now, this may seem tricky on the surface given our natural human tendency to assume that each candidate in an election is ultimately responsible for convincing people to vote for them, but it's actually the simplest question of all. Even the most cursory glance at the DBC will tell you that nobody in the entire country was more responsible for Al Gore's electoral fortunes than Ralph Nader. See? It's easy and fun.
So if you've ever found yourself perplexed by the arcane internal logic of Democratic blaming, I think you'll find the DBC an invaluable guide to the crucial issue of who exactly should be held responsible for Al Gore's loss in the 2000 election, and therefore every bad thing that's happened since then in the United States (and indeed the entire world, and possibly other planets in the solar system as well). According to Democrats, that is.