[Author’s Note: This post is part of the 7 part series Conspiracy Check. The series factchecks the claims of Liberal commentator Thom Hartmann concerning allegations of fraud and treason during 5 presidential elections.]
So where does this leave Hartmann’s claim that Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president? Hartmann does not make any claims of illegality with regards to Reagan’s reelection. So it seems that he is claiming that no Republican president since Eisenhower took the White House at least once without doing so through fraud or treason.
Hartmann doesn’t mention Nixon’s reelection, but that was when Watergate occurred. Ford was never elected. Hartmann didn’t mention George H.W. Bush’s election, but he was alleged to have been involved in the October Surprise conspiracy. George H.W. Bush was not reelected.
Here are my conclusions on the five conspiracies alleged by Hartmann.
1980: Substantial evidence, Possibly True
2000: Texas felon list likely fraudulently won the election for Bush, True
2004: Reasonable suspicion, No clear proof
2012: Nothing more than an unsubstantiated claim from Anonymous
Nixon: Sabotaged the peace process
Reagan: Possibly made a deal to keep American hostages in Iran until the election was over
H.W. Bush: Possibly aided Reagan in doing so
George W. Bush: Most likely was elected due to Texas felon list illegally keeping eligible voters from voting in Florida
If the October Surprise conspiracy is true than Hartmann is correct.
How accurate were Hartmann’s claims as a whole? He was completely wrong in saying what the result of the Florida Supreme Court ordered recount would have been. He failed to explain that the outcome of the 2000 election in Florida depended on what counted as a legitimate vote. His near certainty that the 2004 election was stolen relies upon a false certainty in the credibility of that year’s exit polls. He fails to explain that Anonymous has yet to provide any proof of their claim of a Republican attempt to steal the 2012 election. His claims surrounding the 1968 and 1980 elections are reasonable; I just am waiting for more evidence before I can believe the October Surprise story.
Nonetheless, Hartmann did point out a lot of important stories in recent American political history I had been unaware of. However, it took me quite a while to determine which parts of those stories were untrue.