But George W. Bush’s “Brooks Brothers Mob” took it to another level exactly 37 years later.
And the MAGA Monster’s attack on January 6, 2021, is far from over.
Like the 1865 murder of Abraham Lincoln, the elimination of JFK moved America toward the fascist totalitarianism we face today.
Debate still rages over who actually killed President Kennedy…and whether he would have pulled us out of Vietnam. But there’s no doubt that murder—combined with those of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy—-tore devastating holes in the fiber of American democracy. The movements for racial equality, social justice and an end to empire have yet to fully recover from those fascist hits.
On the 37th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, an outright fascist coup followed in lock step. With the 2000 Florida vote count in deep dispute, a violent “Brooks Brothers Mob” physically terrorized Miami-area poll workers recounting the ballots in the very tight race between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush.
Dressed like Yuppies, these Hitlerian Brown Shirts were partly coordinated by Roger Stone, a vicious Nixon/Bush/Trump Dirty Trickster still assaulting American democracy. Future Supreme Court operatives John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett all played tangible roles in the Florida2000 attack.
That fascist mob prevented a credible count of the Florida contest. Bush lost the natonal balloting by 500,000 votes, but allegedly won Florida by 537. A later full recount showed Gore was the legitimate winner in Florida, which would have given him the Electoral College.
But in the wake of the 11/22/2000 murder of the electoral process, the Supreme Court’s
absurd Bush v. Gore decision gave W the White House. The horrendous Bush2 nightmares of 9/11, the Iraq/Afghan Wars, another stolen election in Ohio 2004, the Katrina drowning of New Orleans, the 2007-9 Big Short crash followed in a cavalcade of catastrophe.
On January 6, 2021, Trump—-aided by Roger Stone, among many others—-followed suit with his assault on the Capitol. The intent was forever the same—-to destroy American democracy and sub in a dictatorship.
Trump lost the 2020 election by more than 7,000,000 votes, the highest margin of defeat for all but two American incumbents (Herbert Hoover in 1932, Jimmy Carter in 1980).
But like any fascist autocrat, Trump had long since announced he would accept no electoral outcome that did not assure his forever presidency. What many Americans have yet to grasp is how dead serious he was about doing it….how close he came…and how obsessed and those around him are about still winning.
As Congressional hearings are now showing in devastating detail, January 6 was no random attack. Trump, Stone, Steve Bannon, attorney John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani and others in that fascist inner cabal had detailed plans for overturning the 2020 election and making Trump America’s own Iron Heel. The blueprint was intricate, detailed….and came within perhaps an hour of succeeding.
As we are seeing in ever-more horrifying detail, the Trump Junta had worked out the numbers on how exactly how many state delegations to the Electoral College they needed to subvert to win. They projected how blackmailing or killing Mike Pence could give them the White House essentially forever. How police protection at the Capital could be sabotaged. How their well-funded, militarily-coordinated mob could do in 2020 what their better-dressed predecessors had done in Florida 2000.
The plot temporarily failed for many reasons—-but not for lack of intent. Ever incompetent, January 6 was just another of Trump’s innumerable bankruptcies.
But he is still very much in business. And his road to dictatorship is painfully clear.
The viral holes in American democracy are many and deadly: money dominating politics, corrupted legislatures, the Electoral College, gerrymandering, disenfranchisement of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the debilitating Drug War, stripped voter rolls, corrupt secretaries of state and local election officials, voter suppression, class/race/generation-based electoral terrorism, rigged vote counts, fake recounts, pre-determined audits and more.
As Trump has made clear, if there are fair and reliable elections in America, no Republican would ever win another office.
The Election Protection/Voter Enhancement movement that erupted from stolen Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 has moved mountains. Despite the usual comatose response from the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, it has laid the groundwork for an electoral process that can actually work.
In 2020, the Pandemic’s demands for universal paper balloting by mail, with digital scanning and reliable vote counts, made all the difference. Among much more, the EP movement’s work for the Georgia Miracle and against the fake “Ninja” Arizona “recount” has been emblematic and essential.
But it was very very close. Had hackable electronic voting machines dominated in 2020 instead of the paper balloting demanded by the Covid and coordinated by the Election Protection movement, Trump would now be rounding up dissidents (probably including you) and sending us all to Guantanamo and the rest of the American prison gulag, for indefinite detention and likely execution.
That remains the Trump-Stone-Bannon dream, and they’re committed to making it come true in 2022 and 2024.
The game plan is simple: raise as much money as needed to buy the upcoming elections. Retain the Supreme Court as the ultimate election thief, as in Bush v Gore and so many other anti-democracy rulings before and since. Protect the Electoral College. Deny DC and Puerto Rico statehood. Deepen gerrymandering. Capture Confederate/Heartland state legislatures and use them to pass repressive registration laws, rig the balloting and flip the Electoral College. Take the secretary of state offices and local election boards throughout the US to corrupt the electoral process on the ground. Terrorize voters and vote counters. Fake recounts and audits where there are losses. Repeat the 2000 Brooks Brothers assault where necessary. Assassinate whoever gets in their way, as per Evers/X/King/the Kennedys.
The Trump-Stone-Bannon cabal has made it absolutely clear they seek a fascist dictatorship, and will do all the above and more to get it.
We have no excuses. We know what is coming. We know how to organize to defeat it.
What are you gonna do about it?
Harvey Wasserman co-convenes the Grassroots Emergency Election Protection Zoom Mondays, 5pm ET via www.electionprotection2024.org. His People’s Spiral of US History will be published in January, 2022 at www.solartopia.org.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.