But, other techniques can accomplish similar anti-democratic goals. We should just be aware that election schemes are one of many routes for thugs to get what they want.
COUP: Coups are not just for far away lands. There was a little-known coup attempt against FDR in 1933-34. FDR was to be told that a 500,000-man army was assembled, and he could choose either to step down due to "illness," or he could remain as a figurehead. JP Morgan interests were implicated in that coup effort. [For a superb article that is quite timely, with generations of perspective on JP Morgan, see "Rogue Whale, Seventy years after FDR, JP Morgan finally got its revenge against banking regulations with its Chase merger. But a new FDR is watching," by Sam Natapoff, American Prospect, 3/5/04, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=rogue_whale ]
ASSASSINATION: For example, JFK, RFK, MLK. Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
ASSASSINATION COVERED UP BY A FACADE OF AN ACCIDENT: The investigating board found no mechanical reason for Senator Paul Wellstone's plane to crash. However, there were cogent political reasons, and the timing was just too darn perfect.
THREAT OF DEATH OR ILLNESS: Anthrax letters were sent to the two most powerful Senators at that time, heads of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Leahy) and Senate Dem leader (Daschle).
Shortly after retirement, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor noted in a speech, paraphrased by NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, "It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn't help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn't name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement, after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge's home." [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5255712 ]
IMPRISONMENT: Nelson Mandela.
FIRING: Notably, the DOJ's partisan witchhunt and firing of US attorneys. Among the partisan tasks they were asked to do was to conduct investigations of voter fraud, which the fired attorneys declined to do, citing lack of evidence.
RECRUITING & FINANCING A CANDIDATE TO RUN AGAINST AN INCUMBENT: Republicans recruited an African-American woman to run against US Rep. Cynthia McKinney. That effort was successful, although she won the next contest.
EMBROIL YOUR ENEMY IN A SCANDAL THAT WILL CRIPPLE THEM OR FORCE THEM OUT OF OFFICE: Bill Clinton. Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards. (Yes, arguably Bill, Eliot, and John were willing participants. Notably, Spitzer has repeatedly jousted with JP Morgan; see http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=rogue_whale. As Attorney General then Governor of New York, home state of Wall Street, Spitzer was perfectly positioned to do battle with them, but now, with a $700 billion bailout being proposed, he is out of the ring.)
BRIBERY. Both the illegal kind, and the legal kind in the form of campaign donations (which itself may be associated with criminal activity -- see for instance the case of Ohio's Tom Noe.) Note also suspicious activities, for instance: "As often as once a week, [Senate Majority Leader Bob] Dole's assistant walks around the corner from his Pennsylvania Avenue office in Washington to a branch of Riggs Bank, where she withdraws as much as $8,000 in cash [for him]." (CNN, http://money.cnn.com/services/tickerheadlines/for5/200409022349DOWJONESDJONLINE000947_FORTUNE5.htm]
"Let us pray that our nation's leaders will not be overcome with fear. Because today there is great fear in our great Capitol. And this must be understood before we can ask about the shortcomings of Congress in the current environment. The great fear began when we had to evacuate the Capitol on September 11. It continued when we had to leave the Capitol again when a bomb scare occurred as members were pressing the CIA during a secret briefing. It continued when we abandoned Washington when anthrax, possibly from a government lab, arrived in the mail. It continued when the Attorney General declared a nationwide terror alert and then the Administration brought the destructive Patriot Bill to the floor of the House. It continued in the release of the Bin Laden tapes at the same time the President was announcing the withdrawal from the ABM treaty. It remains present in the cordoning off of the Capitol. It is present in the camouflaged armed national guardsmen who greet members of Congress each day we enter the Capitol campus. It is present in the labyrinth of concrete barriers through which we must pass each time we go to vote. The trappings of a state of siege trap us in a state of fear, ill equipped to deal with the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his unelected Vice President."