Democrats have been blasting the TV and airways with criticism of Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s claims that the presidential election is rigged. President Obama even said he should stop “whining.” But the assertion that elections are rigged hasn’t just started with Trump’s allegations this year, and they didn’t start with the Republicans either.
A profile of Secretary of State John Kerry and the defeated 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee published in the New Yorker in December 2015 clearly states that Kerry himself believed the election had been stolen from him.
While the focus of the article is largely on Kerry’s efforts as Secretary of State, it also stirs up an old wound with discussion of the 2004 presidential election that Kerry lost when President George W. Bush was re-elected.
David Remnick, the author of the profile, wrote “In 2004, when Kerry lost the Presidential race to George W. Bush, who is widely considered to be the worst President of the modern era, he refused to challenge the results, despite his suspicion that in certain states, particularly Ohio, where the Electoral College count hinged, proxies for Bush had rigged many voting machines.”
Apparently Kerry wasn’t the only one who thought that the 2004 election had been rigged. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. published an article in 2006 stating that “Republicans prevented more than 250,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted – enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.”
Salon examined the issues raised by Kennedy and concluded that “his argument is filled with distortions and blatant omissions.”
If there had actually been evidence of corruption and a rigged election, then the Democratic Party would no doubt have taken whatever action necessary to get President Bush out of the White House. But they didn’t. Kerry suggests this was in the best interest of the country. But more likely, the entire issue is at least partially about the Democratic Party’s continuing anger over Bush’s victory over Al Gore in the 2000 election where Democrats once again claimed that the election had been rigged.
It would certainly have made the Democrats look bad if they had contested yet another election. But they would have done it if the evidence existed. They would have made sure that such evidence was released to the public during the next four years of Bush’s presidency to limit the validity of his presidency and his effectiveness in office.
So this year as the Democrats cry foul at Trump for calling out Democratic efforts to rig the election, they need to take a look back at their own history and be quiet.