History Repeats

Respectable people everywhere are scandalized at President Trump’s insistence that the election results are not to be taken at face value, and deplore the pressure he has brought on Attorney General Bill Barr and other Republicans to press the matter. How outrageous! How unprecedented!

Unprecedented? I wonder. Especially when by accident I ran across a newspaper column from the late and revered journalist Ralph de Toledano from December 6, 1960:

What began as a “forlorn hope” to pick up a few more electoral votes for Vice President Nixon is now a full-scale Republican operation. The decision to make it so, it can be reliably reported, was made by President Eisenhower, who is in a table-thumping mood about what he believes to be the theft of the election from Vice President Nixon.

As a result, word has gone out from the White House to Attorney General William P. Rogers to get off his above-the-battle pedestal and to do everything federal law allows in order to get an undisputed count in Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, and New Jersey. He has also told Republican National Committee Chairman Thurston B. Morton to put the weight of his resources behind state GOP groups battling for a recount. . .

Four precincts in Chicago, for example, with some 1,200 qualified voters, cast over 2,000 votes on November 8. Yet the tallies from these precincts are included as legitimate in the official city canvas. Chicago newspaper estimate as many as 100,000 votes were stolen in Cook County.

In Texas, one interesting statistic indicates what a careful investigation of the election might produce. Vice President Nixon ran 40,000 votes ahead of Mr. Kennedy in districts using voting machines. In districts that continue to use paper ballots only—easily destroyed or declared invalid—Mr. Kennedy ran 85,000 votes ahead of Mr. Nixon.

de Toledano added:

If [Kennedy] sits in the White House, and it is determined that he was not entitled to the electoral college vote which put him there, both his own prestige and that of American democracy will be tarnished.

Democrats spent the last four years charging that Trump was an illegitimate president. Time to return the favor.

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