How Much Better Off would America be If 6 Republican Presidents Hadn't Stolen The White House?

Thom plus logo It's about time the last one, Trump, is held accountable

Trump's impeachment trial is coming up in the Senate, and already his allies are trying to throw up procedural roadblocks to exhaust the effort to hold him accountable. Should America "move beyond" Trump? No friggin' way.

It's time to stop giving criminal Republican presidents a pass. Every GOP president since Dwight Eisenhower used treason or deception to come to office, and it needs to end. Here's the story.

In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson was desperately trying to end the Vietnam war. It had turned into both a personal and political nightmare for him, and his vice president, Hubert Humphrey, was running for President in the election that year against a reinvented Richard Nixon.

Johnson spent most of late 1967 and early 1968 working back-channels to North and South Vietnam, and by the summer of 1968 had a tentative agreement from both for what promised to be a lasting peace.

But Richard Nixon knew that if he could block that peace it would kill Humphrey's chances of winning the 1968 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's corrupt politicians that he would give them a richer deal when he was President than LBJ could give them then.

The CIA had been wiretapping Nixon's people and told LBJ about his effort to prolong the Vietnam War. Thus, just three days before the 1968 election, Johnson phoned the Republican Senate leader, Everett Dirksen, (you can listen to the entire conversation here):
President Johnson:
Some of our folks, including some of the old China lobby, are going to the Vietnamese embassy and saying please notify the [South Vietnamese] 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, Everett. This is treason.

Sen. Dirksen: I know.

Those tapes were only released by the LBJ library in the past decade, and 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. Additional tens of thousands of American soldiers, and over a million Vietnamese, died because of Nixon's treason.

And Nixon was never held to account for it.

Gerald Ford, who succeeded Nixon, was never elected to the White House (he was appointed to replace VP Spiro Agnew, after Agnew was indicted for decades of taking bribes), and thus would never have been President had it not been for Richard Nixon's treason. He pardoned Nixon.

Next up was Ronald Reagan.

During the Carter/Reagan election battle of 1980, President Carter thought he had reached a deal with newly-elected Iranian President Abdolhassan Bani-Sadr over the release of the fifty-two hostages held by radical students at the American Embassy in Tehran.

Bani-Sadr was a moderate and, as he explained in an editorial for The Christian Science Monitor earlier this year, had successfully run for President on the popular position of releasing the hostages:

"I openly opposed the hostage-taking throughout the election campaign.... I won the election with over 76 percent of the vote.... Other candidates also were openly against hostage-taking, and overall, 96 percent of votes in that election were given to candidates who were against it [hostage-taking]."

Carter was confident that with Bani-Sadr's help, he could end the embarrassing hostage crisis that had been a thorn in his political side ever since it began in November of 1979. But behind Carter's back, the Reagan campaign worked out a deal with the leader of Iran's radical faction - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini - to keep the hostages in captivity until after the 1980 Presidential election.

This was also treason by a Republican wanting to become president.

The Reagan campaign's secret negotiations with Khomeini - the so-called "October Surprise" - sabotaged Carter and Bani-Sadr's attempts to free the hostages. And as Bani-Sadr told The Christian Science Monitor in March of 2013:

"After arriving in France [in 1981], I told a BBC reporter that I had left Iran to expose the symbiotic relationship between Khomeinism and Reaganism.

"Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation, later known as the 'October Surprise,' which prevented the attempts by myself and then-US President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages before the 1980 US presidential election took place. The fact that they were not released tipped the results of the election in favor of Reagan.

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 - to the minute as Reagan put his hand on the bible, by way of Iran's acknowledging the deal - 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, producing the so-called "Iran Contra" scandal.

But, like Nixon, Reagan was never held to account for the criminal and treasonous actions that brought him to office.

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 hadn't hoodwinked voters in 1980 - you can bet Bush senior would never have been elected in 1988. That's four illegitimate Republican presidents.

Which brings us to 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 thus 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."

Apparently, denying the presidency to Al Gore, the guy who actually won the most votes in Florida, did not constitute "irreparable harm" to Scalia or the media.

And apparently it wasn't important that Scalia's son worked for the law firm that was defending George W. Bush before the high court (with no Scalia recusal).

Just like it wasn't important to mention that Justice Clarence Thomas's wife worked on the Bush transition team - before the Supreme Court shut down the count in Florida - and was busy accepting resumes from people who would serve in the Bush White House if her husband stopped the recount in Florida...which he did. (No Thomas recusal, either.)

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 so that it would attract as little attention as possible because the 9/11 attacks had just happened weeks earlier and journalists feared that burdening Americans with the plain truth that George W. Bush actually lost the election would further hurt a nation already in crisis.

To compound the crime, Bush could only have gotten as close to Gore in the election as he did because his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, had ordered his Secretary of State, Kathrine Harris, to purge at least 57,000 mostly-Black voters from the state's rolls just before the election.

So, for the third time in 4 decades, Republicans took the White House under illegitimate electoral circumstances. Even President Carter was shocked by the brazenness of that one. And Jeb Bush and the GOP were never held to account for that crime against democracy.

Most recently, in 2016, Kris Kobach and Republican Secretaries of State across the nation used Interstate Crosscheck to purge millions of legitimate voters - most people of color - from the voting rolls just in time for the Clinton/Trump election. Meanwhile, Russian oligarchs or the Russian state funded a widespread program to flood social media with pro-Trump, anti-Clinton messages.

Donald Trump still lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, but came to power through an electoral college designed to keep slavery safe in colonial America.

You can only wonder how much better off America would be if 6 Republican Presidents hadn't stolen or inherited a stolen White House.

Now, finally, there may be some accountability for a criminal Republican president. It's about time.

-Thom

Originally posted at thomhartmann.medium.com.

Comments

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 weeks 5 hours ago
#1

We declare to the world we are the... the true example of democracy

Are we a nation of two-faced liars?

DrRichard 6 weeks 5 hours ago
#2

And let's not forget Iran-Contra, Reagan and Bush's little stunt that led to the deaths of who knows how many Central Americans in the resulting chaos and along with their support for the death squads in the region is partially responsible for today's immigration situation on the southern border. (Which in turn helped mightily to get Trump in office.) There's plenty of blame to go around among all presidents, but Republicans do seem to be the heartless ones. I just wish more Americans would connect the dots, but that would require critically thinking and being willing to change one's mind, things many people of all persuasions shy away from.

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 6 weeks 5 hours ago
#3

Don't expect anything fair from the rich Party.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 weeks 4 hours ago
#4

Oh, Thom, there ya go again, "burdening Americans with the plain truth."

Or as cus might say (1-20 blog), "Yesterday was the "out with the old and in with the new" day and instead of rejoicing and embracing the complete democratic control of Congress, you revert to the same old anti-republican rhetoric you have been pumping out for years. It's like you are caught in a time warp." [...] "and instead, you choose to join the few hundred violent anarchists that are just generally unhappy with everything in general." [...] "Beating a dead horse does nothing to improve the state of the country. Time to look forward to better things and stop the divisiveness that has plagued the country for the last twelve years."

How dare you, Thom, remind Americans of their own history and how we got here. Such negativity. Tch, tch, tch.

Don't worry, be happy.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 5 weeks 6 days ago
#5

Strangely Nixon, Reagan, and Bush were active participants in the big steal, but Trump was the accidental tourist version. He really really did not mean for that election outcome to happen, even though there were those in the party that did anything and everything to get him there.

Regardless they are a pack of thieves, and spent a lot of their time abusing the office of the presidency.

It hurt my heart to see creepy "W " well-received at President Biden's inauguration. Speaker Pelosi was negligent and she felt he wasn't worth impeachment. I will never get over what we Americans did in the Mid-East. Despite what they did and who they got killed, Bush & Cheney are out there living their best lives. I hope karma is especially bitchy to them.

Stay tuned, Trump may not get to wait for the next life to experience criminal and financial justice.

Here's an old one: It's called karma and it's pronounced HA-HA-HA

Legend 5 weeks 6 days ago
#6

America needs to get over this is the greatest country in the world attitude. About the only thing that we are number 1 in is incarceration of prisoners, by a lot. Our education is way down the list. We have the most expensive healthcare and it is not the best. Our infrastructure is crumbling. If you want to see good infrastructure go to South Korea. Time to rebuild.

cuz's picture
cuz 5 weeks 6 days ago
#7

Thom, better be careful using the words "stolen election" . In todays world that will get you canceled by big tech.

I did find it interesting that after promoting the mail-in voting system in the last US election, it appears Mr. Bezos suddenly has become opposed to that practice if it involves voting to unionize his own Amazon workers.

Crazy world filled with hypocrites.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 6 days ago
#8

The biggest problem in American politics today is that Republican apologists are so blinded by their own corruption and immorality that they have internalized and normalized despicable behavior and attitudes to the point where it's nearly impossible for their programmed minds to accept the ugly truth of their utterly false worldview and how their party -- a criminal enterprise in all but name -- has become the princple agent in dismantling the institutions and core principles of our undead democracy, which has been commandeered by the wealthy elite -- the donor class and masters of all they survey.

The difference between the "stolen elections" Thom has recounted and the "Stop the Steal" insurrection and failed coup Trump has attempted is that the former is based on factual history and the latter was pulled out of the butt of history's worst U.S. president -- naturally, a hypocritical Republican (go figure).

Do you not see the logical fallacy of false equivalency, the difference between the truth and the lie?

rostasi 5 weeks 6 days ago
#9

First, the phrase "stolen election" (as you have in quotes)
isn't in this text.

Second, "big tech" (if you're referring to Twitter and Facebook),
doesn't "cancel" purely based on phrases alone.

rostasi 5 weeks 6 days ago
#10

Pay disparity could be handled this way:

2021: $21/hr.

2022: $22/hr.

2023: $23/hr.

etc.

Legend 5 weeks 5 days ago
#11

Let's hope the Republican Party splits up. Trump wants his own Party.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 5 days ago
#12

...called the "Patriot Party." Laugh out loud. Every thought that escapes his looney bin is a lie. Here's more accurate suggestions: Insurrection Party; Traitor Party; Grabby Pussy Party; Putin Party; Dumb Fuck Party; Prison Party; Stupid White Man Party; etc.

Legend 5 weeks 5 days ago
#13

Maggot Party!

Janette B's picture
Janette B 5 weeks 4 days ago
#15

With 99% of people having more to gain from Democrats, how else would the Republicans win? All the more, this is true since corporations became people. I am just glad for do’ers, like Stacey Abrams; and, that for whatever reasons _ not least being the passion of the young _ it looks like this year justice will be done in February. I hope so.

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