The Republican Party's sordid history in Florida shows just how far they'll go to save Trump

Thom plus logo Those who forget history, the old saying goes, are doomed to repeat it.

"Lawmakers on both sides indicated Tuesday that the Republican-dominated Legislature will call a special session by the end of the week to appoint its own slate of delegates to the electoral college," wrote Jeffrey Gettleman for The Los Angeles Times on November 29, 2000.

Republicans in Florida were preparing to direct their electors to vote for George W. Bush even if the Florida Supreme Court-ordered recount found that Al Gore actually won the state.

The evening before, The New York Times published an article by David Barstow and Somini Sengupta which laid it out bluntly.

"The president of Florida's Senate said today that Gov. Jeb Bush had indicated his willingness to sign special legislation intended to award Florida's 25 Electoral College votes to his brother Gov. George W. Bush of Texas even as the election results were being contested," they wrote.

The leader of Florida's House Democrats in 2000, Representative Lois Frankel, told the Times, "He's saying, 'If my brother [loses], boys, go ahead and we'll get him elected another way.'"

And the Florida legislators were in full action mode, with the blessing of Jeb Bush, according to the Times:
Hours after Mr. Gore, the Democratic nominee, filed papers here formally contesting Florida's election results, John McKay, the Republican who is the Senate president, told reporters about a conversation he had had with Jeb Bush last week in which they discussed whether Mr. Bush should sign the bill. ...

Last week, in a conversation with Tom Feeney, the speaker of the House, Mr. Bush said Republican legislators would need to demonstrate political courage in calling a special session [to direct the electoral college vote to his brother]. Such a session, he predicted, would exact 'a certain price' on the Legislature.

Democrats complained bitterly and sent the Republican leader a strongly worded letter arguing that the GOP's threat, if carried out, would "place a dark partisan stain on our legislature."

She added, "The votes have been cast. They just need to be fairly and accurately counted... The State Legislature should not become an arm of any one presidential campaign."

Republicans laughed.

They were working off legal opinions like the one by John Yoo referenced in the LA Times that "state legislatures – and not any other branch of the state government – are empowered to name delegates to the electoral college."

"The complaints have had no apparent impact on the disciplined and determined group of Republicans," noted the Times, "who control the House by a 77-to-43 margin and the Senate 25 to 15."

Not knowing that just days later the US Supreme Court would intervene to render unnecessary Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature's election-stealing program, Florida's Democratic House Leader Frankel added, "I'm afraid there is little we can do to prevent this horrible outcome from happening. It's inevitable now."

The media today are acting all shocked, shocked, I tell you! that Republicans would consider swing states with GOP legislatures directing their electors to vote for Trump regardless of who won the state. But this is not new.

Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Republican's action during the election of 2000 was a dress rehearsal. There was virtually no national outrage or coverage of the Florida Republicans plan to simply instruct the Florida electors to cast their votes for Bush.

Lesson learned.

-Thom

Comments

Legend 4 weeks 1 day ago
#1

Remember when Obama said that "you can keep your doctor"? Although the vast majority did it was a major issue for Republicans. It was Obama's big lie and Trump is over 22000. Remember when Obama wore a tan suit? Mitch just wore one but Republicans can and Democrats cannot. How many of you have paid more in taxes than Trump? I have, by a lot. But people that pay taxes are losers in Trumps mind.

Obama's issues:

Trumps issues:

YOHAN CHU's picture
YOHAN CHU 4 weeks 1 day ago
#2

Have you read this article from Yahoo what Tucker Carlson has confessed? This will give you the wake-up call of your life time:

Tucker Carlson: "Every story" about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor has "at its core" been "a lie"

YOHAN CHU's picture
YOHAN CHU 4 weeks 1 day ago
#3

He (Trump) has to have losses to avoid his taxes. That was his plan all along.

dwleake 4 weeks 1 day ago
#4

It’s great that professional athletes are speaking out and actively supporting get-out-the-vote efforts in states like Florida – but those efforts will run into high voter suppression and purging and other hijinks this year and every year into the future in most Red States. However they could have real impact if they (or Democratic activists with any imagination) launched a MOVEMENT to starve those states of the athletic talent that fuels the lives of so many sports fans. Imagine what would happen if star high school athletes refused to even talk to college recruiters from those states, until those states ended voter suppression and racist gerrymandering. Fans would freak out as their teams start having losing rather than winning seasons, with likely political repercussions. The latent political power of college athletes was crystal clear in Fall of 2015 when U of Missouri football players threatened a boycott due to racism on campus, and their demand to get rid of school system president Tim Wolfe was met within a few days. Then in North Carolina, Republican Governor McCrory lost in large part because he got blamed for the NCAA moving 7 championship events in different sports from that state due to the LGBTQ bathroom bill and other attacks on civil rights.

Legend 4 weeks 23 hours ago
#5
deepspace's picture
deepspace 4 weeks 22 hours ago
#6

Comparing those two lists on Wikipedia (post #1) of "Executive branch" scandals from these last two administrations makes the bygone days of Obama seem almost quaint ...ah, the good old days.

Because We Don't Have A Right to Vote...

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Because we don't have a right to vote, red state governors can radically cut back on the number of polling places and voting machines so that working class people are forced to stand in line for five, six, in some cases 10 hours to vote.
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