In 1980, Democratic President Jimmy Carter lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan, 489-49 in the Electoral College. So naturally, Democrats concluded that Reagan had committed treason in order to steal the election, to wit: His campaign had conspired with Iranian ayatollahs to prevent 52 American hostages from being released until after the election.
And who can blame them? Carter’s economic policies had produced a 21 percent interest rate, a 17 percent mortgage rate and a 15 percent inflation rate in the coveted “hat trick” of presidential incompetence. His brilliant strategic ploy of abandoning the Shah of Iran had led to a 154 percent spike in oil prices and Islamic lunatics seizing our embassy and holding Americans hostage in Tehran, where they remained for 444 days, until Carter was safely removed from office.
With all that going for them — plus that old Mondale magic — Democrats were dumbstruck that