How Would the Left Treat an Illegitimate Election?

Yves here. Tom Neuburger pokes at the posturing of the Team Dem-aligned over their uproar over Trump and his allies questioning US elections….when the US has a poor election system and has had elections stolen, starting with Kennedy’s win over Nixon and Gore’s failure to mount an effective contest in 2000. And that’s before we get to all sorts of shenanigans that the Democrats tend to play more in primaries than in general elections, such as moving polling stations in low income neighborhoods the week before the contest, to telling CA voters they were registered in another district when they’d not moved or that they’d asked for a mail-in ballot when they hadn’t, to just disappearing votes in Brooklyn, to the shit show of the Iowa voting app.

And Neuburger is correct to focus on Zephry Teachout’s run for New York Attorney General as a bellweather race. Teachout is the real deal, a take no prisoners progressive. She primaried Cuomo back in the days when he seemed unassailable, and got 34% of the vote based on $250,000 of spending (increased late in game to a total more like $600,000 due to Cuomo’s launching a media blitz). The Washington Post reported Cuomo spent 40 times as much for his votes as Teachout did for hers. Matt Stoller said that Teachout showing how much antipathy there was in New York for Cuomo killed his chances for a 2016 presidential run.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at God’s Spies

There’s so much to write about these days, it becomes hard to choose where to focus. There is, for example, the absolute failure of the UN climate conference, and what may be its aftermath. Consider the following brief conversation:

Did they really not read The Ministry For the Future? Do the rich who rule us really not know where this could be headed? It’s just this small set of people who are holding back billions of souls who want the opposite of what they are being given, who want a planet they can actually continue to live on. A very small number.

I am a man of peace, have been since birth, but I can’t say that for revolutionary others.

Third Time’s The Charm?

There’s also this welcome news from Zephyr Teachout:

Zephyr Teachout running for New York AG

Law professor Zephyr Teachout launched a campaign for New York attorney general on Monday, looking to claim the post after losing a race for it to now-outgoing Attorney General Letitia James (D) in 2018. … On her campaign website, Teachout said, “New Yorkers deserve an Attorney General who will stand up for climate justice, root out corruption and corporate abuse, stand with workers and defend civil rights.”

She’d be our corrupt billionaires’ worst nightmare, an unbuyable New York AG, eager mistress of aggressive Wall Street oversight. She’d also be climate activists’ best new friend. And she ran quite well in her last two bids for NY public office. This is a winnable race.

Which means this is one of those very high leverage races that national Democrats must get behind — even if corrupt national Democratic ex- and present office-holders (looking at you, Mr. Schumer) try with every donor in their pocket to take her down.

Bottom line: Whatever existential-threat-to-the-wealthy you thought you’d get from a President Bernie Sanders, you will be getting from NY Attorney General Zephyr Teachout. Hers is one sword that won’t be laid down for “comity.”

You want a revolution? Here’s your chance. Push her over the line, then watch and learn how progressives can use their power.

‘Will You Storm the Capitol If 2024 Is Stolen?’

But the star of today’s thoughts is a recent question asked by Thom Hartmann in a fascinating piece on how the problem for Democrats, voters and office-holders alike, could exactly mirror, in 2024, the problem Trump supporters thought they faced in 2020: What do you do if you believe an election is illegitimate? It’s a good read and I recommend it.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party, both its voters and its office-holders, have been down this path before — remember the 2000 electoral coup? — and both wings of that constituency punted. Al Gore and his colleagues laughed away the issue in the Senate (watch the video below) and confirmed the SCOTUS-stolen Florida electors. The Democratic voting base punted in the streets, by not being there in utter and complete revolt.

Would these groups punt again if the same beast reappeared? (If you guessed my answer is yes, you guessed correctly.)

Hartmann asks bluntly, “Will You Storm the Capitol If the 2024 Election is Stolen?” and seems to explain why we should, before urging us to avoid the problem:

The best way to stop this nightmare before it happens is for both elected Democrats and the nation’s media to not only call out Trump’s lie, but also call out the media that keeps it alive. … Otherwise, we may well be facing that terrible question that Trump true believers faced last year: what do we do?

I understand most people’s desire to avoid real revolution. Even the Declaration of Independence makes note of that:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

But consider how plausible the following scenario is (emphasis mine):

It’s 2024 and President Biden and Donald Trump just faced off in the election. Biden wins the popular vote by over 10 million, but the Electoral College vote is up in the air because of a weird constitutional technicality.

Just like in the election of 1876, several swing states in the midst of political turmoil have submitted dueling slates of electors, one (based on the popular vote) for Biden and another (reflecting the will of the state legislature) for Trump. And, just like in 1876, when you exclude the “contested states” neither candidate hits the 50%-plus-one electoral votes needed (now 270) to win the White House.

Under the 12th Amendment, as John Eastman pointed out in his 2020 memo to Trump (and echoed by Jenna Ellis and Mark Meadows), that throws the election to the House of Representatives, where each state has one single vote, that vote being decided by each state’s legislature back home. Thirty states are Republican controlled and submit their 30 votes for Trump, with Biden receiving the remaining 20: the House declares the election goes to Trump.

Democrats immediately sue before the Supreme Court, but — for the second time in history — the Court awards the presidency to the Republican who lost the popular vote amid a contested Electoral College vote.

Trump, say the Republicans in Congress and on the Court, is to be sworn in as president a few weeks after the votes are certified on January 6th, 2024.

But President Biden calls a press conference to tell the nation that the states that submitted dual ballots were behaving with corrupt intent just to allow this very scenario to play out. … All across the country, people begin pouring into the streets. Pitched battles break out between Trump and Biden supporters, as cities are set afire and hundreds die from gunshots.

What do you do?

He closes, “Winter is coming.” Indeed.

Are Americans Still a Revolutionary People?

Hartmann asks a critical question. In my view, Democrats — voters and office-holders alike — should have, in effect, “stormed the Capitol” in 2000. It was obvious at the time what was going on. It was obvious it would happen again if it wasn’t stopped then. And as bad as Mr. DLC (Al Gore, if you’ve forgotten) may have been for the nation with his free market solutions to national problems, Cheney and his puppet were worse. The Middle East is in flames today, twenty years after that election, thanks to Dick Cheney, and millions have lost their lives because of his rule.

That administration oversaw the greatest single set of war crimes since World War II. It should have been stopped in its tracks, killed at birth or before, and wasn’t.

What if we face the stolen-office beast again? Republican electoral theft is an annual constant, like daffodils. Can we expect “our” Democrats to act against type? And if “our” Democrats, along with their complaint media, don’t lead the insurrection, who in the nation will follow?

In case you’ve forgotten, compliance is not an insurrection. This is not an insurrection:

It is, in fact, its opposite.

I’ll have more to say on this topic. It’s an interesting problem, complex on its surface, but entirely simple in fact. The Democratic Party’s real dilemma exactly mirrors the Republican Party’s manufactured one — what do you do when you believe (or in the Republican case, “believe”) your government to be illegitimate? Should Democrats act like Republicans, following their lead but with infinitely more justification?

Hartmann is right to want to avoid this problem. Because if we do get there, it will be revolutionary, no matter which stance Democrats and “their” party take. Either outcome, rule by right-wing radicals or war in the streets, will change this country forever.

You say you want a revolution? Watch the 2024 election. We may just get one.

Note for music fans: If you don’t remember it, listen to the above recording all the way through. Stewart starts with a gentle version of the Rolling Stones classic, then ends midway with dead silence (3:13), immediately followed by the full-on rock hard driving Stones arrangement. A brilliant and thrilling transition. Enjoy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Monkman

    Left or right, it really does not matter anymore. What once made for differences is now all but noise coming from two large crime families. All that with no rule of law and massive corruption makes for a very slippery slope to nowheresville.

  2. vlade

    IIRC, the last time the US believed the government to be illegal by a substantial part of the (voting) population was 1861, and we know how that movie has ended.

    1. Lou Anton

      The South didn’t question the results of the Election of 1860, they saw Lincoln’s election as an existential threat to their way of life. Despite him professing that slavery wouldn’t be touched in the states where it was currently law, they didn’t believe him.

      The Republican Party only came into being less than 10 years, and it was founded as an anti-slavery party (with various degrees of “anti” – abolition, no more expansion, and variations in between). Maybe there’s a lesson for Teachout in there somewhere…find a unifying, single thing and get a win to rally around. That thing being corruption.

      1. TempestTeacup

        Seems to me that if you’re going to rally around a single unifying issue or theme, then you can’t do so while running within the confines of one of the two parties responsible for the creation and defence of the very issue you’ve picked.

        This is the bind the Democrats help themselves to and benefit from over and over, with issue after issue. They thus represent the principle means by which possible breakthrough movements or popular demands get stifled, suffocated or disoriented to the point of incoherence.

        The other thing is that while corruption as a theme has things going for it. I can’t help recalling the frequency with which it has become an instrument of repression or the deceptions of power politics at their worse (think: drain the swamp)…Also it can too easily get hobbled through restricted focus on individual excesses. Corruption as a moral crusade is easily exploited for reactionary ends. Hence Republicans often invoke it in relation to high falutin coastal Democrats with their artisanal ice creams and wine caves.

        Problem then though os that corruption understood as a systematised form of plutocratic anti democratic rule where legalised bribery and a whole web of incentives, sweeteners and non-job jobs displace and replace all other forms of politics, ends up being not so much a theme in itself as a gateway to criticism of the capitalist system in totality. And that is something I doubt Teachout, for all her virtues, is going to embrace!

        1. Lou Anton

          You’re not wrong about the challenge of working within the party system. I think that running specifically for Attorney General means that rooting out corruption is on point and relevant (or at least has the potential to be).

  3. brian wilder

    If Democrats cared, they would have prosecuted principals of the Bush II Administration for war crimes. They don’t. Their own candidates are openly corrupt — Clinton, Biden. And, they are perfectly happy to make false accusations of illegitimacy to hamstring a Republican: hence, the Russiagate campaign against Trump. On Trump and Russiagate, you can say, “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy” and you’d be right, but the point is, the Democrats simply do not care and, I should add, independents have mostly given up, a non-corrupt, non-plutocrat candidate is rarely on offer.

    I am not going to endure violence and chaos to sustain rotation in office for a set of corrupt partisans with no principles. And, frankly, I think stoking fears of a coup in 2024 is indistinguishable from the usual kayfabe.

    1. pjay

      This an important point on many levels that is not really addressed in this essay. First, why would most Democratic voters be motivated to start a *revolution* on behalf of whatever corporate shill gets their nomination (there will be no Zephyr Teachouts getting it, that’s for sure). Second, the Democrat machine did use its institutional power (government, media, intelligence community) in a four-year rolling coup against Trump, as brian notes. Pussy-hat protests aside, there was not going to be fighting in the streets for Hillary. It is interesting to compare the Russiagate reaction to the quick surrender of Establishment Dems in 2000. Could it be because Bush was an insider, and Trump was a true unpredictable outsider who might actually stumble around and threaten the status quo?

      If a Zephyr Teachout actually got the Presidential nomination, I’d be willing to haul my aging butt out on the street myself to defend her election. For Kamala or Pete (or whoever)? I think I’ll stay in bed.

    2. Partyless Poster

      That Gore video just proves the theory that Dems don’t want to actually win.
      Look how cheerful he is as the presidency was stolen it’s like a joke to him.
      Can you imagine a Republican doing that?
      Dems are a fake party who’s only purpose is to stop the left.

  4. Brooklin Bridge

    One would have to have an extraordinary passion for the principle of the thing to get worked up enough to put an extra lump of sugar in their coffee, never mind go out into the street, over a Biden loss, (or Tweedledee and Tweedledum on a sleepingleg, I mean Buttikeg or Horribless ticket). AFNAB for sure.

    Rather, I would see the sucking sound of an almost pure dem voter vacuum on election day/period (hey, I just forgot) as a strong call to the actual movers/shakers o the democrat mob family to make voting mandatory, and then, with their usual genius for rubbing salt in the wound, have the paid bobble heads sing the praises -in an all week loop- of our system’s hallowed legitimacy by virtue of elections.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Neuburger isn’t talking about Biden, presumably for that reason. He’s talking about Zephyr Teachout. And he should have teased it out….NY being a Dem monoculture, the fix would be in the primaries, which is a Dem speciality.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Yes, I got confused with all the talk about Gore, Bush and then Trump, the Declaration of Independence etc.. I had it backwards (somewhat of an embarrassing habit). Also, I confess, it didn’t take much to launch me off on that particular rant which has been percolating for some time.

        That said, the dems have succeeded in rubbing their stench of crooked politics off on everything, even local politics, which makes credibility as well as voter cynicism and indifference that much harder for a real progressive to overcome, and harder still to inspire a more rational side of the electorate than Trump’s to take up civil disobedience. And agree, given it’s the dems, the primary is the likely place for the knives to come out. How thin will be the cloak that hides it, or do they now want it to be visible as a warning to other progressives?

  5. Bryan

    The class of monied professionals that run the Democratic Party will not side with any groups using direct actions to seize power. I strongly suspect they will collude with the “reasonable figures” inside the party who stole the election in order to put it down via suppression by military forces rebranded as police.

    Class rules in the end, not party affiliation. The question becomes how many in the military go along. Given the vilification of “antifa” and other BLM-aligned lefts willing to take direct action, enough probably will.

    1. redleg

      Since you mentioned the military going along…

      The exact second that the military gets involved is the precise moment that the US Republic ends, no matter which side they support. The military is (given the current levels of corruption, nominally) controlled by the civilian government. Military involvement in transfer of power is outside of the Constitution, to which all military personnel take an oath to defend and protect.

      Even if some of the military becomes involved, that’s a direct and clear violation of their oath of office, making them domestic enemies, and part of a coup. The rest of the military would be obligated to stop them (within the limits of the UCMJ, as relating to lawful orders, etc.). Not a good situation.

      Military involvement in US transfer of power means it’s over, and there are no rules. Even if the coup fails the reaction will produce changes that would make the post-911 restrictions look like a picnic.

      1. Bryan

        As to “no rules”: I think that’s a best-case scenario, since they (rebranded military) will not be operating as if they have no legitimate authority. There will be “rules” for the direct actors but not for the enforcers of the former order that you rightly note will have been surpassed once that involvement becomes evident.

        It’s already the case that police have been “militarized”, of course, and the work of Bernard Harcourt and others has shown how counterinsurgency has become the dominant approach for handling organized dissent inside the culture.

        But clearly, military involvement in fending off those fighting against the “long train of abuses and usurpations” unquestionably crosses the Rubicon.

  6. Pat

    Just a reminder of how Teachout’s last run went.
    The Democratic convention put Leticia James as the Democratic candidate on the primary ballot. Teachout and Leecia Eve went not so fast we’ll petition to be on the ballot. At which point the Dems started scrambling. All of a sudden federal Congressman Sean Maloney developed a previously unexpressed desire to be AG. He got himself on the ballot for that as well as for his Congressional seat. A poll from before his entry might make that more understandable, almost 50% of the voters were undecided and James only had 28% to Teachout’s 18% (Teachout had done much better than polled in the Cuomo primary), the Dems who would have early access would know they needed to blunt her outside the city where she could be expected to pick up votes. Maloney would raise over 3.5million dollars for a campaign where no one expected him to 1. Win and 2 ever take the office of AG, almost a million more than James raised and well over double what Teachout raised. The final poll had Maloney and James neck and neck with Teachout only 6 points behind and more than 30% undecided. PAC spending was against Teachout rather than for either James or Maloney. James took 40.3% of the vote to Teachout’s 31% and Maloney’s 25.1%.
    Maloney went back to Congress and became head of the DCCC.
    As someone who doesn’t trust our voting machines or their entirely hidden proprietary software, that those numbers were still that close tells me that Teachout probably really only lost by a couple of points or even won by a sliver even with the ad onslaught. They were right to panic. (And no it isn’t just crazy QAnon followers who think our vote counts aren’t on the up and up. Paper ballots, hand counted, in public should be the standard.)

    1. Pat

      I should add I cannot wait to see what they throw at her this time. I can only hope nothing is good enough to keep her out.

      1. pjay

        Good points all. I’d love to see Teachout win. But in NY, as nationally, the real enemy of progressives is the Democratic machine and the powerful interests it serves. Anybody remember the Buffalo mayor’s race just a few weeks ago? With Cuomo gone there is a power vacuum that will focus the attention of the Powers that Be to make sure only suitable candidates slip through. The jockeying will be interesting and the state election will be educational. But I would be quite surprised if it is uplifting.

  7. Matt

    On Teachout’s second AG run as a bellwether race: it is true that Teachout, who wrote the book on corruption (no, really–it’s called Corruption in America, and it’s well worth a read), would likely wield power as an incorruptible progressive. That is why the Democratic Party establishment would not brook the possibility of her winning the AG primary in 2018, and will not now.

    The 2018 primary is illustrative of the referenced primary shenanigans. This was shaping up to be a two-way race between Cuomo’s pick (Tish James) and Teachout, a scenario eminently winnable for the outsider candidate based on her 34% vote share in the 2014 gubernatorial primary and antipathy for Cuomo having only grown since then.

    Enter sitting Rep. Sean Maloney, a former Clinton senior advisor and Democratic Party institution loyalist who joined the race late and to the chagrin of many, given that he had no viable path to victory in the AG race and faced a competitive general election for his House seat in the same year. Maloney’s profile among north-of-NYC voters (where his district lies) drew him 25% of the vote, a significant portion of which surely would have gone Teachout based on her very strong showing in the same areas in 2014. His entry helped James to win a close race (40% to Teachout’s 31%) and served no other discernible purpose. He has since been rewarded for his willingness to take one for the team by being elected chair of the DCCC.

    While there’s of course no direct evidence, all circumstantial signs point to this having been a collusive intervention by the Democratic institution to fend off the unpalatable prospect of an outsider– an anti-corruption expert, no less!–wielding real power in an important and high-profile office. In short, while it is very early in the game, it’s worth recalling how this went down last time as we wait to see how the Democratic institution reaches into its bag of tricks this time around.

  8. Glossolalia

    I’ve stopped caring. Being white and upper middle class it really doesn’t matter to me who is President or controls Congress. I’m content with getting by on the billionaire’s crumbs in the form of tax cuts and a stock market that never goes down.

    1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      Me, too, although being upper lower class, I’m content with being warm and dry in the winter, and having enough calories from rice and beans to clear the snow off my driveway.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If you have a driveway, does that mean you have a yard? If you do, does it offer high-intensity high-production garden possibilities, in case you become interested in that?

  9. Glossolalia

    I wonder how the military reacts in a scenario like this. I don’t think enough attention was paid to the letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in reaction to the January 6th attack, stating that Biden would be inaugurated. To me that was a not-so-veiled threat that the military would essentially be taking over to ensure things go as planned. For all Trump’s fawning over “The Generals” I don’t think the feeling is mutual, and I wouldn’t be so sure that those generals want him around telling them what to do.

  10. Expat2uruguay

    How long will a nation that has contested presidential elections continue to be regarded as holding the reserve currency? What say investors?

  11. Michael Fiorillo

    We already have strong indications of what the Democrats will do if the Republicans try to steal the 2024 election.

    Either they will do nothing, as in 2000, or engineer a bogus and pathetic campaign (a la Russiagate) to undermine the legitimacy of the election.

    Weak, dishonest and certain to fail, any way you cut it…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The Republicans won’t need to steal 2024. Between the shift of Electoral College votes to R states thanks to the last Census, the abysmal performance of Biden, and the terrible alternatives (anyone who things Buttigieg has a prayer of a chance is delusional), it will be a Dem wipeout.

  12. fresno dan

    It’s 2024 and President Biden and Donald Trump just faced off in the election. Biden wins the popular vote by over 10 million, but the Electoral College vote is up in the air because of a weird constitutional technicality.

    Just like in the election of 1876, several swing states in the midst of political turmoil have submitted dueling slates of electors, one (based on the popular vote) for Biden and another (reflecting the will of the state legislature) for Trump. And, just like in 1876, when you exclude the “contested states” neither candidate hits the 50%-plus-one electoral votes needed (now 270) to win the White House.

    Under the 12th Amendment, as John Eastman pointed out in his 2020 memo to Trump (and echoed by Jenna Ellis and Mark Meadows), that throws the election to the House of Representatives, where each state has one single vote, that vote being decided by each state’s legislature back home. Thirty states are Republican controlled and submit their 30 votes for Trump, with Biden receiving the remaining 20: the House declares the election goes to Trump.

    Democrats immediately sue before the Supreme Court, but — for the second time in history — the Court awards the presidency to the Republican who lost the popular vote amid a contested Electoral College vote.
    The effort goes far beyond the former president’s public broadsides against well-known Republican state officials who certified President Biden’s victory, such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Citing the need to make elections more secure, Trump allies are also seeking to replace officials across the nation, including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general, according to state and local officials, as well as rally speeches, social media posts and campaign appearances by those seeking the positions.
    weird constitutional technicality. C/mon Man! What weird constitutional technicality? the whole USA election system is screwy for those who haven’t been indoctrinated to believe RAH RAH USA USA. If you read this blog, with one example of another of an oligarchy controlling everying important to make themselves richer, and you poorer, I think it is hard to say this government and our democracy/republic is a finely tuned appartus that insures justice for all….I have often made the point that the electoral college system obviously negates 1 person, 1 vote. (California has two senators, while it takes 26 states to equal California’s population that get to have 52 senators). Now it will just be obvious. Really, so what??? Just more rule by less than a majority – Substantively, nothing changes. Appearance wise, maybe the exposing of American mythology will have some real consequences…

    Anolther point is that dems are so enamored of the idea that repubs, and particularly Trump, are too stupid to do anything – well, it appears to me they know exactly what they are doing, and doing it quite well. So I would not be surprized by the above scenario coming true. The silver lining would be that one wouldn’t have to listen to the incessant yammering about The City on the Hill and how the US government structure is the best system of government EVAH.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It won’t be Trump as the R candidate. It will be DeSantis or my pet dark horse, Youngkin. If Youngkin were to run, the establishment wing of the party would rally around him to try to take the party back from the Trump and Tea Party types.

      1. fresno dan

        Trump won under some unusual circumstances (how many republican condidates in 2016 ?18?) and Hillary.
        But say Trump’s only primary opponent had just been Jeb! – I think Trump would have won easily because …Jeb!
        But say there had been someone other than Jeb! – I just think (like the dems) the repub party is completely estranged from the base. IF Trump runs, I think Trump branding any republican opponent as part of the republican establishment makes that republican candidate Kryptonite to the republican primary voter. Can the repub establishment manipulate the primaries as well as the dems??? I do want to live to 2024, if only for entertainment purposes…

  13. Questa Nota

    One good thing about that 2000 election, if you can stand it. Jeb please clap Bush got found out and that poisoned many voters against him and subsequent dynastic pretensions.

  14. lordkoos

    I certainly considered the elections of 2016 and 2020 to be illegitimate after seeing the Democrats rig the primaries to defeat Sanders. It became obvious that they would rather lose than win with a leftist candidate.

  15. Michael Ismoe

    ” Biden wins the popular vote by over 10 million…”

    If Senile Joe wins an election by ten million votes then I’d pay for an audit of the votes because something ain’t kosher.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the Republican Party re-nominates Trump for 2024, I could imagine Biden getting 10 or million votes more than Trump by purely defensive voters hoping to preserve themselves from a Republicanazi Typhoid MAGA Jonestown Trumpanon Administration, without requiring any love for Biden at all.

      That doesn’t mean I would join a Storm the Capitol movement, given that the Typhoid MAGA Party would have huge numbers of Intrumpahamwe Militia groups armed and waiting to be let off the leash.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, with Omicron, Trump would do better than in 2020. But I don’t see him as running. I think he can be persuaded that he is too old. And he could have a heart attack between now and then.

        1. JBird4049

          Heart attack as in heart attack or “heart attack?” And I am being serious with the question. As it has been noted by others, we are now a deeply unserious country.

          Too many shortsighted fools probably think a heart attack is a great idea.

  16. George Phillies

    It seems unlikely to happen.

    Biden wins the popular vote by some millions, Trump wins the electoral vote —that could have happened and was reasonably close to happening.

  17. synoia

    There are details of US independence which appear not to be taught in the US.

    1, The cost and end of the French and Indiana Wars.
    2. The issues of paying for military support for expansion west of the Appalachians.
    3. The lobbying of the Largest Multi national of the day (The East India Company)
    4. The (justifiable) hatred of the Irish for the English (That’s a bit controversial, and was certainly not explained in my History classes and text books.)

    To name a few issues. The Triple alliance also has opposition in the UK, according to Bertrand Russell in his auto-biography.

    1. JBird4049

      British corruption and the incompetence it caused is also rarely mentioned.

      The system of rotten boroughs and general electoral corruption that made the suggestion adding members of parliament from the colonies DOA. And anyways, there was this theory of virtual, indirect representation by legislators who you could not vote for, which gave cover to the whole system.

      Badly run system of mercantilism. The colonists were suppose to buy only British goods and sell raw materials only to them as well. Nothing, not even nails was supposed to be locally made.

      Tariffs that made American products, too expensive to either make or export.

      Specifically thinking of American rum and the molasses needed to make it. The colonists in the previous hundred years had gotten use to buying and smuggling cheaper, better quality French molasses over the more expensive, poorer quality British molasses.

      Also, they couldn’t legitimately sell the rum to the British because tariffs made colonial rum more expensive than the local rum, due to the manufacturers connections in Parliament. IIRC, the colonists also smuggled their rum sometimes into England as well.

      If for a hundred years, one of your major exports cannot legally be made and exported profitable except by smuggling in order to protect politically connected English businesses. Then government starts to crack down on smuggling in order to make more money. This not only threatens wealthy colonial business owners but also getting the money needed by the colonists to import what you are not allowed to make, which is almost everything.

  18. Tobin Paz

    People tend to forget that the concept of American democracy is a myth. There is ample evidence that the United States is an oligarchy. The Carter Center doesn’t even bother monitoring American elections for the following reasons:

    One is that there has to be a provision in the countries where we monitor–we’ve just finished our 52nd one–that all the qualified candidates have equal access to the public through the media, through television and radio, and they don’t have to pay for it.

    We don’t go into a country unless there is a central election commission that is recognized generally as being non-partisan or bipartisan, and that is a balanced position between or among the different parties.

    Another facet of requirements is that all the people in a country or certainly a state should vote in exactly the same way, either punch cards or touch screens or whatever.

    And the third thing is that–a fourth thing I think now, is that if there is a technological advanced way to vote, there must be some way for a physical recount if it’s very close.

    I am a Green Party voter in a solid blue state therefore my vote is completely irrelevant. My presidential candidate was handcuffed to a chair for eight hours during the runup to the 2012 election, and candidates from my party were removed from the ballot this last election.

    The Green Party has never had ballot access in all states. When are the sanctions coming? And for anybody that still has any delusions that Gore would have been better than Bush, he was the vice president of the administration that intentionally destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure, contributing to the death of hundreds of thousands of children.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Gore would have sought and supported Global De-Warming action. Unless he never meant anything he said about global warming, that is not a delusion about what the difference would have been.

      1. Tobin Paz

        You mean like this guy?

        Fact Sheet: President Bush Is Addressing Climate Change

        We have an ambitious and realistic goal: In February 2002, President Bush committed to cut our nation’s greenhouse gas intensity — how much we emit per unit of economic activity — by 18 percent through 2012.

        In case you have any illusions about the Democrats:

        Obama’s Turnaround on Oil

        That was then and this is now, and Obama ain’t talking that way no more. Instead, he regularly boasts of America’s soaring oil output and points to all he’s done and is still doing to further increase domestic production. Thanks to the sort of heightened investment in domestic output his administration has sponsored, he told a cheering Congress in January, “more oil [was] produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world—the first time that’s happened in nearly twenty years.”

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If you are telling me that Bush had an actual useful goal and actions against global warming, then it was Bush I had negative illusions about, not Gore that I had positive illusions about on the Global Warming score.

          If anyone thought that Obama was going to address Global Warming, they had illusions about Obama. That has no bearing on whether expectations of global de-warming action from a President Gore were based on illusions, or not.

          I voted for Obama strictly to keep ” Bomb Iran” McCain and Caribou Barbie out of office. When it was clear that neither McCain or Caribou Barbie were going to run in the next election after that, I voted for “Rocky” Anderson, the “other White Mormon”.

  19. Buckeye

    What will the Left do WHEN (not IF) the election is rigged and illegitimate? The same as they have done for many years now at the State level when faced with Republican subversion: stand there bumfuzzled with a “deer in the headlights” look and complete inaction, except for angry sputterings on Blogs and select media outlets like magazines and academic journals.

    God forbid people put our collective political rights and social power on the same level as their own personal self-interest.

  20. Carolinian

    Thank you for the sensible introduction. As to the article
    The Democratic voting base punted in the streets, by not being there in utter and complete revolt.

    So we should have had a revolution in favor government re-inventor, Social Security privatizer, Third Way Democrat Al Gore? The fact that it was Al Gore was precisely why we didn’t have a revolution in the streets (although many protested) and the media rationalization for their Bush support–that in a 50/50 election both sides have roughly the same popular legitimacy–was not entirely wrong.

    The real reason 2000 was an outrage was because it torpedoed the public’s belief that however thumb on the scales our election process may be at least voting itself is still objective and legitimate. 2000 was the establishment saying “we pick, you accept.”

    And BTW our duopoly is another way of saying the same thing. Two decades of some self described progressives whining “if not for Ralph Nader everything would have been different” really gets old. Perhaps the truth is that “they” are the ones keeping things as they are.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      You nailed it. This was exactly what I went through in 2000. I was appalled by what was going on with the election, but hell, I voted for Nader because Gore was such an uninspiring candidate. (And this was back when I’d still have considered voting Dem.) I was really torn because as much as the Republican coup offended me, I couldn’t raise that much concern for Gore, especially when the Dems and Gore himself didn’t seem too concerned about it.

      This is a glaring absence from Thom Hartmann’s piece linked above. Above and beyond the right and wrong of the issue, in his scenario of a Trump v. Biden rematch, and assuming a stolen election for Trump, why would people potentially risk their lives for a President Biden? Especially assuming the rest of Biden’s term plays out as this one has, what exactly would voters be fighting for? And you can say the same for Mayo Pete and Kamala. Yes, I recognize “not Trump” still resonates with some, but #McResistance fizzled pretty quickly last time and I don’t see it growing any.

      And the other unasked question is “what would the Democrat party do about it?” They’ve showed themselves to be happy enough to whine about it and fund-raise off it but ultimately do nothing about it. I’m sure in 2024 as long as they still have pearls to clutch and ice cream to eat and wine caves to host fundraisers in, they’ll be ok either way.

  21. coboarts

    In my opinion, Trump, Jones, et all set up the 1/6 clown show, exposing their followers and ratcheting up the stakes. The “mostly peaceful” protests last summer, setting fires and chanting nursery rhymes, were pure entertainment. If you think, “followed by the full-on rock hard driving Stones arrangement” is hard rock – wait until the school kids meet the fist of the right. Bets are already being made that we fall apart, constitutionally, soon:

  22. scott s.

    I think the post does not correctly describe the 12th Amendment. Author seems to be conflating the Electoral Count Act of 1887 dealing with the appointing of electors, and what happens when there is no majority of electors voting for a president (or vice president which is a separate vote).

  23. drumlin woodchuckles

    If the ” Democrat base voters” want to “storm the Capitol” and “have a revolution” over a stolen election, they need to spend the next 3 years buying several million AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, several billion rounds of the relevant ammunition, and training as hard as they can to be proficient in their use.

    Because the “Republican base voter” side is already in possession of several million AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, several billion rounds of ammunition for them, and many years of “gun-culture-based” training and profficiency in their use.

  24. Hepativore

    Looking at how the Democrats openly rig primaries as well as the mayoral race in Buffalo, NY, the answer is business as usual. Still, a minor quibble is that the Democratic Party is not “left” by any means, but a center-right neoliberal party that masquerades as a left party. The problem is that the Democrats are not bothered enough by the prospect of losing elections to pay much attention to any sort of electoral backlash from potential malcontents.

    The elite donors that fund both parties as well as the politicians themselves probably feel that they can do whatever they want with impunity. Any potential violent revolution that arises might be quickly defanged or put down with all of the surveillance and toys provided by the massive military and law enforcement budgets that balloon every year.

    As it stands now, the country is owned and controlled by unelected corporate lords and oligarchs, and the process of electing our leaders are just symbolic formalities and one day in the near future the oligarchs might just decide to not even bother with the pretense anymore and just give themselves inherited titles and positions of authority just like the feudal lords of old.

  25. Tom Stone

    The article presupposes the existence of an American “Left”, something I haven’t seen hide nor hair of in many decades.
    Contrast Angela Merkel’s Domestic policies with those espoused by Sanders…
    Or pick up a copy of “Pure Goldwater” and realize that Barry Goldwater was far to the left of Nancy Pelosi on many issues.

  26. Keith Newman

    Re TomStone@9:21pm
    I agree. I wish writers would define “left” before using the term. In most (nearly all?) developed countries the Democrats would be categorised as very much to the right.
    I live in Canada. Our federal centre right party, the Liberals of Justin Trudeau, supports public health care for all, 1 year paid parental leave, low cost national childcare, and other programs that support regular people. It is not a left party. It is essentially the party of Big Finance in Canada – a bit of an oversimplification, but not by much. These policies have widespread popular support but are not as such “left”. Big business is OK with these programs because they lower its costs (as described elsewhere by Michael Hudson).
    A party with a left program would unabashedly support working class rights and workplace and political power. It would support the nationalisation of key segments of the economy such as banking, oil and gas, pharma, etc. There is currently no left party in Canada, at least not at the national level.

Comments are closed.