So, almost without question, the House of Representatives is going to vote to impeach President Trump a second time. The arguments for and against are, well, they are all stupid quite frankly. To an objective observer, everybody is an idiot here.
The Democrats’ main argument for impeachment seems to be that Trump bitched about the election result and that this then caused the violence at the Capitol. Problem here is that there is a clear causality gap. Complaining about an election result is not incitement of violence. So, that’s a dumb argument.
On the other hand, the Republicans are calling for unity and arguing that impeachment will further divide an already divided nation. This is also a stupid argument. With this crop of Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi, you could argue that the sky is blue and it wouldn’t do you a damn bit of good. A cry for unity? As if.
What Republicans should be doing is reminding everyone of the history of contested elections in this country. Because it is a long one. And, in point of fact, if we were to compare this contested election to other contested elections in the United States, it’s actually pretty tame overall. Let’s do the list.
1800. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Burr both get 83 electoral votes. Alexander Hamilton convinces the House of Representatives to elect Jefferson. Do you think Burr might have thought the presidency was stolen from him? Well, Burr shot and killed Hamilton in a duel so you do the math on that one.
1824. Talk about stolen. Andrew Jackson wins the popular vote and the most electoral votes but not a majority. John Adams comes in second in both. House of Representatives has to decide. House Speaker Henry Clay convinces the House to elect Adams as President after a month of literal back room negotiations. Then, Adams turns around and has Clay be his Secretary of State. Think Jackson was enraged? You bet. He referred to his “loss” as a “corrupt bargain”.
1860. Abraham Lincoln only won 40% of the popular vote but became President. Weeks later, the American Civil War. Enough said.
1876. Another pretty much outright stolen election. Samuel Tilden wins in both the popular vote and the electoral college vote but is one vote shy of a majority. One. Rutherford B. Hayes is second. Three states were too close to call and each party was accusing the other of fraud. Hmm, sounds familiar. Bizarrely, a 15 member panel is formed to decide the election comprised of seven Republicans, seven Democrats and one Independent. The Independent vote swings to Rutherford B. Hayes so he becomes President. The Democrats in the Senate actually threatened to block the official electoral count by filibuster. Again, sound familiar here folks? Anyway, the Democrats didn’t filibuster because of more literal back room negotiations.
1912. Tell you what, we won’t even count this one even though Woodrow Wilson won the white house with far less than 50% of the vote in many states. You can look this one up on your own.
1948. Remember the famous Chicago Daily Tribune headline “Dewey Defeats Truman”? Yeah, that was this one.
2000. OK, those last two are a bit lame but how Gore and W.? We all remember the hanging chads right? This one went on five weeks before the Supreme Court had to step in. No question that Gore and Democrats cried foul since Gore had won the popular vote by over 500,000. In fact, this is where the phrase “full and accurate count“ came from:
“Let me repeat the essence of our proposal here today: seven days, starting tomorrow, for a full and accurate count of all the votes.” – Al Gore
To be clear, people were still calling this a stolen election and a coup d’état TEN YEARS LATER!!
2016. Hillary vs. Trump. OK, we definitely all remember this one. Four years of Hillary and Democrats claiming that the election was stolen as the result of Russian collusion no less. There was an independent counsel. Then when that didn’t work the Democrats impeached President Trump. Any of this ringing a bell here? Then, after that didn’t work there was like an entire year of rioting in the streets, like; literally, just last year. People were killed in those riots if memory serves. So is the incessant complaining about the election and the rioting causally linked? Are those two things related? Apparently, according the Democrats they should be? An objective observer would say no.
So, the takeaway here is that there has been a long history of contested and “stolen” Presidential elections in this country. No, seriously, 100% bona fide stolen elections. And we didn’t even cover 1960 where it there is actual, solid evidence that voter fraud in Illinois, cough; Chicago, stole the election from Nixon. Given the history, is it any surprise then that we might have claims of voter fraud and a stolen election this last go around? Shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone quite frankly.
Yet here we are impeaching a President over what amounts to bitching about the results of an election. But, as the history of Presidential elections shows, complaining about an election result is not incitement of violence. Unless you are Burr and you kill a guy over it. So…OK…there’s that one. Oh, and also, you know, that one that caused an all out Civil War. That one. So yeah, some rioting in Washington D.C. is actually pretty tame in comparison. Perspective people.
There’s a version of this that ends quite differently. One in which the country truly comes together. It goes something like this:
Republicans: “Hey, given the violence at the Capitol we are all reminded that what is important is the country as a whole. We need to come together, both Democrats and Republicans to heal this country and make sure that future elections are free from even the hint of election fraud so that this kind of thing never happens again. And, yes, we Republicans probably went a bit too far bitching and moaning about the Presidential election results, that’s on us.”
Democrats: “Hey, don’t feel too bad, we spent the last four years bitching and moaning about the election results in addition to doing everything in our power to undermine your guy. We agree that the country needs to heal and we are fully on board that elections, as Al Gore says, need to be fair and accurate. Let’s do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again.”
But nope. Impeachment. More division. Nobody focused on the issues of free and fair elections. And let’s be honest, there were issues in this election. Not saying “wide spread voter fraud”, but any objective observer would definitely say that there were some issues that need addressed.
Final word, what a missed opportunity for Biden quite honestly. Biden could have actually come across as a true leader and put his money where his mouth was during the campaign of being a President for all the people, not just some of the people by simply telling Nancy Pelosi to knock it off with the whole impeachment thing. Instead, he showed that he is just as partisan and divisive as everyone else. And that’s a shame.