Bush won the 2000 Presidential Election by the thinnest of margins. Some people in Florida still wanted to count but the Supreme Court cut things off.
If Gore had won Florida, he would have won the election. Gore lost Florida by 540 votes. People can rant all they want about hanging chads, but there were 97,000 votes for Nader in Florida. If a few hundred of those people had been smart enough to look at the implications of their vote and decided to vote for Gore vs. Nader, Gore would have won. Did those Nader voters really prefer Bush to Gore? Are there 550 Nader voters in Florida who have thought, "Gee, voting for Nader gave us Bush, and I'm responsible." over the past 10 years?
Then there's the New Hampshire factor, which I have never read about in the context of the 2000 Presidential race. Bush won New Hampshire by 7,211 votes.. not as close as Florida, but close enough. If 7,212 out of 22,000 Nader voters in New Hampshire had decided that Gore was going to be better than Bush, Gore would have won. Did those Nader voters in New Hampshire really intend on electing Bush to the White House? Are there 7200 Nader voters in New Hampshire who are feeling any degree of responsibility for the Bush legacy?
So when we look at the tax cuts for the rich, the unfunded unending wars, the financial turmoil that is the Bush Legacy, we can blame the people who voted for Nader in Florida and New Hampshire. Gee, thanks, guys. That Nader vote really was swell.
Updated 4/10/11: Thanks to "Owen" who caught my error in assessing New Hampshire's votes. I have updated this blog entry.