1803 Jefferson vs. Burr, echoes Trump vs Biden 2023

VIA SBINSIDER| August 8th, 2023

The Republicans and the Democrats are stuck for 2024. It seems inevitable that Donald Trump will have a rematch with Joe Biden. While the current polling does not bode well for either candidate, Trump, in 2016, was always shown to be comfortably behind HRHC (Her Royal Highness Hillary Clinton). Both sides see the opposing candidate as hopelessly corrupt. Trump for disregarding the “rules” on how a President is supposed to behave after losing an election and Biden because it is quite obvious from House Congressional testimony as of this week that his family has been trading on his name to get rich. ( Not that trading access for money is a crime in Washington City-in fact it is considered just good business and you are considered a fool if you don’t leverage your position in Congress to gain spectacular monetary gain. Incidentally, despite some efforts at reform insider trading is legal for members of Congress. )

Indeed, both Biden and Trump have a strong interest in winning: both may need to pardon themselves and in Biden’s case, his entire family. In either pardon scenario, the complete corruption of the U.S. Constitutional system will be at hand. A President relieving himself of serious legal troubles while being sworn into office would be a first and assuredly not the last.

Not surprisingly, there is precedent for a sitting President to try and take out an opponent with legal shenanigans. The now-saintly Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican Party) who barely defeated Aaron Burr (Federalist Party) in 1800, the race was thrown to the House of Representatives. To win the office, 7 days passed lots of horse-trading and 36 ballots later, Jefferson became the 3rd President.  Jefferson, rightly sensing that Burr would be his most formidable opponent in 1804, took action to stop Burr by trying to convict Burr of treason in 1803. Burr was accused of trying to raise a private army to throw the French Emperor Maximillian out of Mexico. (Burr was tried and acquitted by Chief Justice John Marshal, leaving him to fight another day, but Burr was effectively out of the 1804 game.)

From the Smithsonian’s Sara Pruitt writing about the 1800 campaign:

Voting in 1800 took place over a period of months, and the campaign, which was largely fought in the nation’s partisan press, got really nasty. Republican newspaper editor James Callender notoriously accused (sitting President) Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character,” while a Federalist writer named “Burleigh” claimed that if Jefferson won, “murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest, will openly be taught and practiced.”

The imagined good old days of the framers times were not so different than today. But wait there is more!

Then, in 1918, President Wilson went after socialist party candidate Eugene Debs, Debs was a big favorite with the nascent labor movement, having run for President several times, garnering 6% in 1912. Debs advocated for resisting the WWI draft while Wilson had sworn as a candidate 1916 that he would keep America out of European and Mexican wars –and quickly sent the doughboys to Europe anyway after being elected and for good measure, had Pancho Villa chased around Mexico by General Pershing. Meanwhile, Debs was convicted in 1918 and SCOTUS later affirmed, so Debs campaigned from prison in 1920, getting less than 4% of the vote which did not sway the election.

All is fair in love, war and politics. But, despite the overwhelming historical ignorance of the modern media, this is not new territory.

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Ron Bechky
ron bechky
10 months ago

So much nonsense in this report. I’d be happy to review each of the wrong comments. Perhaps you’ll provide space in your website for a thorough discussion.