No Republican president since Eisenhower has been legitimately elected, says Thom Hartmann

Has treason been behind many of our presidential election results — real treason?

The fishyness, for want of a better word, involved in the election of our modern Republican presidents is both well understood and under the radar, but for those who dare look, the implications are stark. In 2003 I myself wrote a piece making the same point for a web site I won’t name, because the piece was rejected. It’s just too bold a truth.

A strong case can be made that indeed, no Republican president since Eisenhower has been legitimately elected. And if sabotaging the negotiations of the elected U.S. government in order to win power is treason, well, some dare call it so, including Thom Hartman.

There’s an asterisk next to Bush I (George H.W. Bush) but I’ll deal with that below the Hartmann quote.

A Child’s Garden of Treason

This is radio host Thom Hartmann, in an interview covering the material of his new book, The Crash of 2016. The interviewer is Mark Karlin of Truthout. I’m printing just the part of the interview that deals with modern Republican presidents. The discussion starts with FOX News, then veers into Republican presidential legitimacy (my emphasis and paragraphing; square-bracket comments are the Truthout editor’s):

[Mark] KARLIN: You have a section on Roger Ailes as head of the GOP network (FOX). How significant do you think TV has been in getting America’s white working – and what remains of the middle – class to blame the nation’s woes on less fortunate non-whites, in many cases as poor as them?

[Thom] HARTMANN: It’s been absolutely consequential. FOX News was started by a billionaire who, in the beginning, lost 100 million dollars a year for the first five years in order to get the network up [it is now extremely profitable].

Republicans have really struggled since FDR to reverse the New Deal.

Hartmann_Crash-2016_coverIn 1968, LBJ had negotiated peace between North and South Vietnam. The Nixon campaign got a hold of the information that an end to the Vietnam War was at hand through the peace talks being held in Paris. A telephone transcript released of a conversation between President Johnson and Republican Senator Everett Dirksen indicates that Johnson knew that the Nixon campaign was … undermining the tentative peace agreement.

Johnson told Dirksen that what Nixon’s campaign was doing in trying to sabotage peace in order to win the ’68 election against [Hubert] Humphrey was treason, and Dirksen, a senior Republican, agreed.

In effect, Johnson was pleading with leading Republicans to get the Nixon operatives to allow a peace agreement. But Nixon refused to back off and won the ’68 election [but thousands upon thousands of US soldiers and Vietnamese died over the next few years, as well as an escalation of the war into Cambodia – and the resultant Khmer Rouge massacres – due to a GOP willingness to sacrifice lives to win an election].

Reagan’s campaign was long-rumored to have undercut an agreement to free hostages toward the end of the Carter administration because it would likely mean Carter’s re-election. The Reagan campaign [allegedly through a fall 1980 meeting with revolutionary Iranian government officials and Reagan campaign honcho William Casey*] promised Iran a better deal than they said Carter would give them, as well as spare military parts.

At the time Carter was near an agreement for the return of the US hostages, 80% of Iran was polled and supported their release. But the Reagan campaign, like Nixon’s, prevailed against US interests. In short, the Reagan administration likely assumed power also as a result of treason.

And then you have George W. Bush, whose brother was governor of Florida when Al Gore appeared to have more actual votes [although uncounted] than Bush. On top of that, Jeb Bush, through Katherine Harris, got about 80,000 African-American voters stricken from the polls through a caging strategy that struck felons and non-felons with similar names from the voting rolls. And that put Bush within range of officially counted votes for the Supreme Court to steal the election for Bush.

There has not been a Republican legitimately elected president since Dwight Eisenhower. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats got a million and a half more votes than the Republicans. The only reason that the Republicans are holding the House is because of redistricting, because of gerrymandering.

When your political agenda is to screw working people and the poor and reward rich people at all costs, you are not going to win elections. So they have to build coalitions with people who are anti-something, because if they ran on economics they would always lose. So organizations like ALEC have put their thumb on the scale and tipped things hugely in the direction of the GOP. It’s been just enough to get Republicans in power in many areas of elective government.

The media is tilted right and has created the modern infrastructure for the Republican Party. In most of the country, you can’t even get progressive radio anymore. So when Roger Ailes first sat down with Richard Nixon and said, let’s create this GOP TV thing, Nixon didn’t have the money. When Ailes found someone who could support his idea in Rupert Murdoch, it changed the course of our country.

Pretty damning, I would say. Note that every Republican president except Bush I, George H.W. Bush, is implicated.

Bush I is not exempt; he too probably met with the Iranians in 1980

The asterisk (*) in the above quotation is mine, and it relates to George H.W. Bush and his participation in the (alleged) Reagan plot, and also his (alleged) participation in the October 1980 Paris meetings with then–Reagan campaign manager and future CIA Director William Casey and Iranian government officials, including Mahdi Karrubi.

The go-to guy on this is Robert Parry, who at the time of the Iran-Contra investigation was reporting for PBS’s Frontline, back when PBS was actually PBS, “your daddy’s PBS,” which no longer exists.

From Wikipedia, detailing the plot and Parry’s investigation (again, my emphasis and paragraphing; see source for footnotes):

Another key point of evidence was the claim that Casey attended a meeting with Karrubi in Paris on 19 October, “an assertion supported by four French intelligence officials, including the French spy chief Alexandre de Marenches who described the meetings to his biographer.”

The House of Representatives [nevertheless] considered this claim disproven by de Marenches’ denial when asked by Task Force investigators, and by uncorroborated evidence from Larry Casey, William Casey’s nephew, that he remembered his father calling William in Arlington, Virginia on the relevant date. A year earlier, Larry Casey had insisted to Frontline that he had a “vivid” memory of a dinner his parents had with William at the Jockey Club in Washington, until Jockey Club sign-in sheets and American Express receipts showed the dinner had been on 15 October.

Frontline’s Robert Parry told the House of Representatives about the discrepancy, but it still relied on Larry Casey’s evidence as disproving Casey’s attendance at the meeting. …

According to Robert Parry, de Marenches “privately mocked” the published House Task Force findings, although (according to Andelman) de Marenches demanded the story be kept out of their book, as he did not want to hurt [GHW] Bush’s re-election chances or Casey’s legacy. …

George H.W. Bush was also said to be at the meeting, but repeatedly denied it. During investigations in the early 1990s Bush provided several alibis that fell apart, before maintaining that he was visiting a private residence in Washington. Bush refused to disclose the person visited, except to members of the House October Surprise Task Force on condition that they did not disclose the name or interview the person.

This person ultimately proved to be Richard Anthony Moore (Ambassador to Ireland 1989-1992), but he had died by the time this was disclosedJohn Norman Maclean, who worked at the Chicago Tribune for 30 years, told a State Department official, on a date the official recalled as 18 October 1980, that Bush was flying to Paris for hostage negotiations. Maclean had been given the information by a source he described as “in a secondary position in Republican circles … where he would have access to information of this kind”, but never published the claim due to Republican denials.

By the way, I believe Parry and the other investigators who were reporting at the time of Iran-Contra. There’s just enough doubt to hang your hat on, if you want to hang your hat (and the House investigation really wanted to). But the preponderance of the evidence is damning for both Reagan and Bush I. I haven’t presented a tenth of it.

Did Bush I commit treason to become president? If the above is true, ultimately yes. He probably, in my view, participated in the plot, was probably at the core of it, and his presidency depended on Reagan’s and on the whitewashing of his own 1980 actions.

Finally, remember what Bush II, his son did, immediately after taking office? He sealed his father’s vice-presidential records into the next generation.

[T]he presidential papers of Ronald Reagan were due to be made public when George W. Bush took office in January 2001. However, in a White House memo dated March 23, 2001, the Counsel to the President conveyed the following to U.S Archivist John W. Carlin:

Section 2(b) of Executive Order 12667, issued by former President Ronald Reagan on January 16, 1989, requires the Archivist of the United States to delay release of Presidential records at the instruction of the current President. On behalf of the President, I instruct you to extend for 90 days (until June 21, 2001) the time in which President Bush may claim a constitutionally based privilege over the Presidential records that former President Reagan, acting under Section 2204(a) of Title 4, has protected from disclosure for the 12 years since the end of his Presidency. This directive applies as well to the Vice Presidential records of former Vice President George H.W. Bush. …

On November 1, 2001, Bush issued Executive Order 13233, limiting the access to the records of former U.S. Presidents:

…reflecting military, diplomatic, or national security secrets, Presidential communications, legal advice, legal work, or the deliberative processes of the President and the President’s advisers, and to do so in a manner consistent with the Supreme Court‘s decisions in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425 (1977), and other cases…

What are the odds Bush II was whitewashing his daddy’s involvement in Iran-Contra, protecting the family dishonor, so to speak? What are the odds the sun will rise tomorrow? Not certain, but … well …

This executive order was widely criticized as unprecedented, but you know Republicans — when they have power, they use it.

Thanks, Mr. Hartmann, for reminding us of this part of our history. I rag on neoliberal Dems liberally, and they deserve it. But Republicans have been committing treason since Watergate and before. Never forget it.

To order Thom Hartmann’s new book, click here. Enjoy.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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22 Responses to “No Republican president since Eisenhower has been legitimately elected, says Thom Hartmann”

  1. WoozyCanary says:

    I know he’s not particularly memorable, but Thom seems to have forgotten about Papa Bush.

  2. erma652 says:

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  3. pvequalkt says:

    This is all old news and was, now as well as at the time, met with a collective yawn from voters and democrats.
    Yes, Nixon acted as an unelected state department and negotiated with foreign govs. to win an election. This is treason. LBJ knew it but demurred, stupidly. According to his own records, LBJ thought the nation too fragile or immature to handle the “news” so he let it go. Yet, as history repeatedly bears out, if you allow overt evil to happen, it becomes precedent and multiplies over time. LBJ prosecutes Nixon and Reagan/bush don’t commit their treason and we don’t get the geometric progression in inequality, no 2008 bankster fraud “scandal” (also unprosecuted) and no cheney presidencies…
    This is the proximate cause of the probably inescapable crater in which we find ourselves today. If LBJ wasn’t a pussy in ’68, maybe we’d have Medicare for all and not be quagmired/moneypitted all over the world; no Reagan/bush because no treason; no $30T lost in revenues from gashing taxes on the plutonomy; no $16T debt; no diebold treason; no kkkarl rove treason; no cheney presidencies; and a long list of non-consequences for each non-event.
    OTOH, voters would probably still insist on voting for crooks, liars, sociopaths and charlatains with money… so maybe not so much.
    as a side note, I actually did hear of Nixon’s treason.. on the network news. So it was “known” in ’68 and, as I said, was greeted by a big yawn of consensus by all. So it was up to LBJ to put it into valid context (the media was probably more scared of it than LBJ and the voters were/are too … limited to do so) and prosecute it as treason.
    The US had been very lucky up to that point. Whenever some gawd-awful event reared itself up, we had someone who could lead us through it (Lincoln, TR, FDR…). This string of good fortune ended with LBJ’s decision to sit on his thumbs.


    I think there is an enormous distinction.
    The Republican are more obvious about what they do, you can see them coming. The Church cloaked in Jesus Christ and the fear of if you don’t believe your going to hell in the afterlife is disgusting.


    The Republicans don’t call it greed and power, they say it’s for the greater good even if there are “tough choices” to make which is code word for hurting the poor, elderly and helpless. .
    The Church once almighty powerful gained that position with the “positive motives” of Jesus Christ. They fleeced the public tax free for further gain of power and committed many more atrocities than just greed. They just did it robed in purple. I find you referral of statutory rape disgusting as it was child molestation plain and simple and to white wash it to protect the Church is disgusting.
    In actually I prefer the Republicans direct approach of greed and power as opposed to the subversive acts of the Church.

  6. Indigo says:

    The “Republiscum,” as you cleverly characterize them, loudly proclaim that their “greed and power” is indeed a “positive motive.” I’m not persuaded that there’s a measurable distinction to be made between what the Jesuits claimed (not thought) were “positive motives” and “greed and power.”

  7. Butch1 says:

    It’s a wonder he’s not a marked man in their circles. If and when they regain power again he will definitely need to watch his back. Too many people have “committed suicide” as their “unofficial” cause of death when reading their obituary. Our own CIA is above the law of this country and seems to have too many “friends in high places” for our own good in my opinion.

  8. EdA says:

    Although there is undoubtedly some overlap, it is unfair to Jesuits to compare them to Republiscum. What Jesuits have done (apart from statutory rape) has generally been done with what they thought were positive motives. What the Republiscum have done, they have done purely in the name of greed and power.

  9. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    They shared values and class privilege. The US had arranged for Khomeini to live in exile in Paris potentially as an alternative to a failing corrupt Shah, much as we supported many sides in Afghanistan to play them off against one another (Warlords, militias, and expatriates brought in to establish neoliberal controlled governments).
    Iran needed spare parts for American fighter jets provided to the Shah. Israeli middlemen arranged the deals and it was constructed as a gigantic graft producing transaction-poor quality parts and old junk were sent through Israeli middlemen who took a cut in oil, gold or dollars, then forwarded to people working for Manucher Ghorbanifar who took his cut before forwarding the stuff to the government. Our cut went to GOP projects.
    The Bush family has always been on team oligarch, since the great railroad swindles of the late 19th century. GHWB was in the CIA and may have been the CIA man in Dallas reported in assassination files (a CT WASP embedded in a hotbed of oil wildcatters and fringe rightists, e.g. Fred Koch and Goldwater). Gotta read the Parry books and the Kerry commission reports, and Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes. Deep stuff.

  10. ehmkec says:

    Wow! I’m bookmarking this page for future reference.

  11. FLL says:

    Mr. Hartmann has done some serious research here, and he uncovers a clear pattern of treasonous action on the part of the Republican campaigns beginning with Nixon. I hope his book gets media exposure. Thanks, GP, for shining a spotlight on this. I knew about the rumors concerning the Reagan campaigns deal with the ayatollahs, but I had not heard about Nixon’s efforts to scuttle the peace talks in Paris.

  12. judybrowni says:

    I can well believe all of the above: having lived through all those Republican Presidents.

  13. emjayay says:

    I’m sorry, I’m far more concerned with the secret One World UN Government enforced by black clad troops in black heliocopters, and the CIA which blew up the World Trade Center.

  14. Indigo says:

    The Fellowship of which you speak (there are several using that name) is a Christian prayer group with a political agenda somewhere to the right of . . . well, no point pointing fingers, after all. They’re social obstructionists who “love Jesus.” That’s enough information right there! I’m against them! However, there is also a Fellowship of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry which I feel comfortable about. Bring back the heathens and humanistic values and respect with them.

    Ah . . . the Joy of Wikipedia!

  15. Indigo says:

    Among Republicans as among Jesuits, the end justifies the means. Their purpose is to restore the disorderly oligarchy of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They’re getting their way on that one. Now what?

  16. Bill_Perdue says:

    Hillary Clinton is a member in good standing of the Fellowship.

  17. Bill_Perdue says:

    No president or federal Congress has been legitimately elected since the Great Compromise Betrayal of 1877 (*), when right wing Democrats and Republicans divided power between themselves and excluded the left with a series of laws that made it difficult or impossible for workers parties to get on the ballot.

    As the left grew (Socialist EV Debs got close to a million votes in 1912 and in 1920) those laws, based on the class exclusiveness the Electoral College,became more stringent and common. Today there are thousands of them embodied in federal, state and local laws.

    The unbridled criminality of the rich, in the Democrat and Republican parties, is a clear consequence of their immense wealth and the fact that a flawed constitution and laws allows the rich to buy and sell politicians, the courts and political parties with impunity.

    They’ve treated the law and politics (and us) as commodities since the Constitution was ratified in 1790. The only good parts of the constitution, the Bill of Rights, were a sop for the people who’d actually fought and won independence and they’ve been under attack since then. Nevermore so than now, as Obama and Congress work overtime to put the finishing touches on an american police state. Workers and small farmers, free and enslaved, have been under the heel of the looter classes and victimized by the criminality or the rich for 224 years.

    Enough is enough. ¡Basta Ya!


  18. emjayay says:

    I never knew the specifics, but there was certainly a lot of more than suspicion at the time given the timing of the hostage release. Why would the ayotollas think a more nationalistic conservative president would be more their friend? It didn’t make any sense.

  19. emjayay says:

    Republicanism (the original kind) as all for equality and all that but there was a certain amount of the cultural legacy of British classes and aristocratic privilege and superiority still around, not to mention of course sexism in only property owners and men generally being able to vote originally. Not a secret ballot either.
    And of course communication back then was by guys riding horses, not the internet. So today we have national elections being decided by a few people in a couple of states, after they are carpet bombed with

  20. Houndentenor says:

    Our national election system was designed to keep power in the hands of the elite out of fear for the ordinary citizen. The Electoral College was designed exactly for that purpose and that’s why it should be (but won’t be) abolished. Gerrymandering was a problem from the beginning and has continued (to varying degrees) ever since.

  21. eggroll_jr says:

    It’s really weird. In Finland, which is pretty good with technology, you vote with a pencil mark on a piece of paper. The votes are tallied by hand by a cross-section of the parties, and the vote tallies submitted within a couple hours after the polls close to the national vote tally. No matter what the outcome, pretty much nobody questions the legitimacy of the process. Voter participation rates are much higher than in the US and the notion of voter suppression is strange.

  22. Elijah Shalis says:

    You will also find that these people all belong to the secretive conservative group known as The Fellowship which was created in 1935. Real Nasty people.

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