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Democrats Need to Get Tough, For Once

Democrats Need to Get Tough

Trump Ruthlessly Is Trying to Steal Election as Almost Every Republican President Has Since 1968

Joe Scarborough recently commented that “Since 1988, Republicans have won the popular vote in a presidential election just once, in 2004 [and some election integrity advocates question the results in Ohio in that election]. Their future depends on suppressing your vote. Don’t let them.”

Worse than that is a point repeatedly made by our colleague, Thom Hartmann, that since 1968, no Republican president has won an election since 1968 without dirty tricks and massive voter suppression. Here is a partial list, with a hat tip to Hartmann:

  • Richard Nixon won the close 1968 election against Hubert Humphrey because Henry Kissinger, a foreign policy adviser to Nixon, sabotaged the Lyndon Johnson peace talks with North and South Vietnam by getting the then leader of South Vietnam to pull out of the negotiations, which were seemingly about to end in a peace settlement.
  • Ronald Reagan allegedly won in 1980 because campaign honcho William Casey held back channel talks with Iran to ensure that the US hostages would not be released until after Reagan was inaugurated, thus depriving Jimmy Carter of a huge campaign coup and likely reelection.
  • George HW Bush won in 1988 by covering up his role in the Iran/Contra scandal, and made sure that he was not prosecuted when he pardoned Caspar Weinberger, at the recommendation of Bill Barr in 1991 before Clinton’s inauguration. Weinberger had a diary that appeared to implicate Bush in Iran Contra.
  • George W. Bush infamously was anointed president by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that ended a Florida-ordered Supreme Court recount that likely would have found Al Gore had won by thousands of votes. Add to that the Bush Campaign court victories that salvaged tainted ballots for Bush (and that Coney Barrett and Kavanaugh hypocritically played a role in), large-scale voter purging (including removal from voting registers of many valid voters, primarily people of color, by Florida Secretary of State Kathryn Harris), ongoing felon disenfranchisement (still affecting a million people or more, again largely persons of color) and questionable vote counting. It was a heist of the presidency in plain sight. Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000.
  • Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes in 2016, but due to ongoing vote purging squeaked out an electoral victory. Trump also directly benefited from the 2013 Shelby vs. Holder Supreme Court decision that removed pre-approval from the Department of Justice for changes in election rules in states that had a history of voter discrimination. Of course, Trump also started out with an advantage in many states due to massive voter purging which is not even visible once voting begins. In Florida, he also, as always is the case in the Sunshine State, started out several hundreds of thousands of votes ahead of Clinton because of felony voter disenfranchisement, which is largely still in place in the 2020 election due to GOP state legislature laws that make felon voting almost impossible despite a Citizen Proposition that passed in 2018 to make it easier. (Worthy of note, if all voter suppression was halted in Florida, it would easily be a Democratic state.)

Since 1968, no Republican president has won an election since 1968 without dirty tricks and massive voter suppression.

That brings us to 2020. Not only have Red States formerly covered under the Voting Rights Act gone to the extremes to suppress Democratic votes, particularly those of people of color, but Trump is launching the largest effort to steal an election, even bragging about it, by using the federal courts.

He has been open about relying on the Supreme Court and his appointees on the Republican-packed federal bench to hand him the election by clawing back Biden votes on the, until now, unfounded legal stance that State Supreme courts do not have legal standing to rule on voting accommodations consistent with state constitutions, nor do federal courts have the right to issue consent decrees or, for instance, order accommodations consistent with the Americans With Disabilities Act, as was the case in a recent Supreme Court ruling prohibiting curb-side voting in Alabama.

His legal team’s efforts have even extended to non-Southern states such as Minnesota, where a federal panel of 2 Republican judges to 1 Obama judge ruled that Minnesota may not be able to have an extended voting period for ballots that are delivered, due to a Trump intentionally hobbled USPS.

The Trump legal team also plans to contest individual votes and the use of mail-in voting in many states.

I need to take a deep breath on this, because I started BuzzFlash in May of 2000, and my motivation was to try and create a new website that would prod the Democrats into becoming more aggressive in taking on a ruthless and unscrupulous Republican minority rule. Yes, much of the problem with our current national, and gerrymandered Republican minority rule is due to the antiquated Electoral College system and the failure of the Democrats to control the Senate (although that may change with this election).

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Republicans regard the Democrats such as Schumer as wimps who are not willing to fight back hard against rule by a white rural minority and corporate class.

However, the Republicans regard the Democrats such as Schumer as wimps who are not willing to fight back hard against rule by a white rural minority and corporate class that opportunistically exploits a low-information, low-wage white working class and rural voter. The national Democratic Party has done little to stop millions upon millions of valid voters from being purged. Individuals like Greg Palast and Stacey Abrams, among others, pick up the gauntlet and do the work the Dems should be undertaking with tenacity.

Barack Obama made a huge mistake in not using his bully pulpit to advance the nomination of Merrick Garland. And the Democrats don’t hold Republicans to account in the way Repubilcans “Benghazi” Democrats.

This has led to what is in essence a trifecta of presidential, senate and federal bench (including SCOTUS) rule in which even the Federalist Society judges play hard ball and twist the law to help Trump steal the election.

There is no legal precedent for what the GOP hack federal judges are doing, but the Democrats should have expected that. This is one corrupt team working in harmony to ensure minority rule for years to come. The black robes of the federal bench haven’t stopped judges from bolstering the Republican team.

Trump said it earlier this year. If mail-in voting is allowed in many states, no Republican will ever be elected again. Even the Governing Board of the USPS is larded with GOP donors, and the Post Office has become another arm of the Republican monolith to demolish democracy.

The Democrats need to get tough. This nation has been ruled by a lawless and utterly corrupt party for far too long. It’s time to take off the kid gloves of civility and flaccidness.

It’s time to strike back, and hit them hard. Why can’t the Biden legal team start challenging Republican votes for instance? Why can’t they file suits to get Trump votes invalidated. Surely, there must be an extensive hit list of GOP voter chicanery.

If the Biden campaign caves as Trump launches his legal assault, democracy in the US will be relegated to a history museum.


It’s time to stand up to the bullies who have ruled this nation based on voter suppression and corrupt voting, particularly when it comes to disenfranchising marginal communities. It’s time to throw a punch for preserving democracy against a party of thugs, hypocrites and liars who are holding the nation’s majority hostage.

Mark Karlin