Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Can Republican get elected without fraud & treason? 18 July '11
Since Dwight Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961 - 5 different Republicans have been President of the United States.
And every single one of them - from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush - have been illegitimate - ascending to the highest office in the land NOT through small-D democratic elections - but instead through fraud and treason.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s start at the beginning with Richard Nixon.
In 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson was desperately trying to end the Vietnam war.
But Richard Nixon knew that if the war continued - it would tarnish Democrat Hubert Humphrey’s chances of winning the election.
So Nixon sent envoys from his campaign to talk to South Vietnamese leaders to encourage them not to attend an upcoming peace talk in Paris.
Nixon promised South Vietnam that he would give them a better deal when he was President than LBJ could give them then.
LBJ found out about this political maneuver to prolong the Vietnam war just 3 days before the 1968 election. He phoned the Republican Senate leader Everett Dirksen - take a listen:
President Johnson: Now, I can identify ‘em, because I know who’s doing this. I don’t want to identify it. I think it would shock America if a principal candidate was playing with a source like this on a matter this important.
I don’t want to do that.
But if they’re going to put this kind of stuff out, they ought to know that we know what they’re doing. I know who they’re talking to, and I know what they’re saying. ...
Some of our folks, including some of the old China lobby, are going to the Vietnamese embassy and saying please notify the president that if he'll hold out 'til November the second they could get a better deal. Now, I'm reading their hand, Everett. I don't want to get this in the campaign.
And they oughtn't to be doin' this. This is treason.
Sen. Dirksen: I know.
Those tapes were just released by the LBJ library last year. It's amazing. That’s Richard Nixon that Lyndon Johnson was accusing of treason.
But by then - Nixon’s plan had worked.
South Vietnam boycotted the peace talks - the war continued - and Nixon won the White House thanks to it.
Gerald Ford was the next Republican.
After Nixon left office the same way he entered it - by breaking the law - Gerry Ford took over.
Gerry Ford was never elected and would never have been President had it not been for Richard Nixon’s treason.
So that’s two Republicans in office thanks to cold, hard treason.
And then there was Ronald Reagan - elected in 1980.
He won thanks to a little something called the October Surprise - when his people sabotaged then-President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to release American hostages in Iran.
Reagan’s people promised the Iranians that if they held off on releasing the American hostages until just after the election - then Reagan would give them a sweet weapons deal.
I had Investigative Journalist Robert Parry on my radio show earlier today because he just obtained some explosive documents from the George H.W. Bush library that pretty clearly show that Ronald Reagan's campaign did the same thing that Richard Nixon's did - commit treason to win the White House.
Here's what Robert Parry had to say today about these two crimes:.
It was Nixon's dealings with Saigon to get them to sabotage the peace talks in Paris that cleared the way for Nixon to eke out a victory - but it also continued the war for 4 more years and some 20,000 American soldiers died.
Now, this is essentially repeated in 1980, it now appears, with some of the same characters working for the Republicans who've felt, way, we've got away with it in '68, we can do something similar in 1980. We can sabotage the sitting Democratic president. And that seems to have worked.
And Reagan’s treason - just like Nixon’s treason - worked perfectly.
The Iran hostage crisis continued and torpedoed Jimmy Carter's re-election hopes.
And the same day Reagan took the oath of office - almost to the minute - the American hostages in Iran were released.
And for that, Reagan began selling the Iranians weapons and spare parts in 1981, and continued until he was busted for it in 1986 - remember the "Iran Contra" scandal?
After Reagan - Bush senior was elected - but like Gerry Ford - Bush was really only President because he served as Vice President under Reagan.
If the October Surprise didn’t hoodwink voters in 1980 - you can bet Bush senior would never have been elected in 1988. That's four illegitimate Republican presidents.
And that brings us to the most recent illegitimate Republican president - George W. Bush - the man who was given the White House by five right-wing justices on the Supreme Court.
In the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision in 2000 that stopped the Florida recount and handed George W. Bush the presidency - Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his opinion:
The counting of votes ... does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he [Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election."
I guess denying the guy who ACTUALLY won the most votes in Florida - Al Gore - the presidency - did not constitute "irreparable harm" to Scalia.
And I guess it wasn't important to mention that Scalia's son worked for the law firm that was defending George W. Bush before the high court.
Just like it wasn't important to mention that Justice Clarence Thomas's wife worked on the Bush transition team and was busy accepting resumes from people who would serve in the Bush White House as long as her husband stopped the recount in Florida...which he did.
And more than a year after the election - a consortium of newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today did their own recount in Florida - manually counting every vote in a process that took almost a year - and concluded that Al Gore did indeed win the presidency in 2000.
As the November 12th, 2001 article in The New York Times read:.
If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won.
That little bit of info was slipped into the seventeenth paragraph of the Times story on purpose so that it would attract as little attention as possible around the nation.
Why? because the 9/11 attacks had just happened - and journalists had feared that people with the plain truth that George W. Bush actually lost the election would further hurt a nation that was already in crisis.
So for the third time in 4 decades - Republicans won the White House under illegitimate circumstances.
And now today - America is in a Great Depression thanks to 30 years of failed Republican policies that have shredded the middle class - outsourced our jobs - and crippled our national infrastructure.
You can only wonder how much better off we’d all be if 5 Republican Presidents hadn't stolen the White House.
In fact - the last legitimate Republican President - Dwight Eisenhower - was unlike any other Republican since.
He ran for the White House on a platform of peace - that he would end the Korean War.
The nation, haunted by the stalemate in Korea, looks to Eisenhower. Eisenhower knows how to deal with the Russians. He has met Europe leaders, has got them working with us. Elect the number one man for the number one job of our time. November 4th vote for peace. Vote for Eisenhower.
Yes, his two campaign slogans were "I like Ike" and "Vote For Peace, Vote For Eisenhower".
He was a moderate Republican who stood up for working people - who kept tax rates on the rich at 91 percent - and made sure that the middle class in America was protected by FDR's New Deal policies.
As he told his brother Edgar in 1954 in a letter to him:
Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.
And Eisenhower was right - the only way Republicans have been able to win the presidency since he left office in '61 has been by either outright treason, or by a criminal fraud involving the Supreme Court, or by being a vice-president under a criminal president.
And that's where we are today - dealing with the aftermath of all these Republican crimes and five illegitimate Republican presidents stacking the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.
So when people tell you that the Republicans wouldn't be crazy enough to totally crash the economy of the United States - either now or next year - just to get people to blame Barack Obama, think twice.
And ask yourself what other October Surprises they may be planning for next year....
That's The Big Picture.