A Note to Republicans About Your Electoral College Schemes

by: Mets102

Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 22:35:54 PM EST

You currently seem all caught up in the idea of adopting the congressional district system that's currently used by Maine and Nebraska.  You believe that it would give you a hand up in those Democratic and swing states where you control the legislature and the governorship.  You also know that everyone sees through what you're doing and realize that it's nothing more than a naked power grab.  Therefore, I have a little piece of advice for all of you.  Dispense with the pleasantries and formality of democracy.  Dispense with the whole concept of letting the people vote for their president.  Openly, and completely, embrace your naked power grab that attempts to subvert the will of the people and prevent that evil Democrat Party from doing pesky things like winning election.

So, how, exactly, can this be done?  It's good that you ask.  You claim to love the Constitution and only want to enforce it.  Well, there's a provision in the Constitution that would allow you to do exactly that.  It's Article II, Section 1, second paragraph:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

See these words:

in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct


That means you don't have to hold elections to appoint electors.  You can just state that your state will have their electors appointed by the legislature, rather than by popular vote.  This means that you can just appoint Republican electors and it won't matter that the people you claim to represent support a Democratic candidate for president and vice president.  You're just exercising your constitutional authority.  It's perfectly legal and it's perfectly undemocratic.  In fact, there's even precedent for it.  In the early days of the Republic, nearly all states had electors appointed by the legislature and not elected by popular vote.  In fact, it wasn't until after the Civil War that South Carolina finally gave up that practice and every state saw presidential and vice presidential electors voted in by the people.

Mets102 :: A Note to Republicans About Your Electoral College Schemes
This, of course, does come with a caveat.  If you did this you would still have to face your voters at home.  They would still get to express their displeasure at taking away their right to vote.  They would still get to express their displeasure at so perverting the electoral process that a candidate decisively beaten in the popular vote still made it to the White House.  You would have to deal with the fact that your Republican Party is not republican at all because republics are based upon the notion of sovereignty resting in the hands of the people and your actions directly, and significantly, impacted upon that sovereignty.

So, go ahead, Republicans.  Embrace the naked power grab.  Maybe you'll squeeze an election out of it, but that's about it.  It'll eventually happen that a Democratic candidate will win the popular vote by a comfortable margin, and also would have won the electoral college, but for your shenanigans, and then the gig would be up.  Your party would be destroyed and, with it, the electoral college system would most likely go as well.  Maybe it wouldn't formally go at first because of how difficult it would be to amend the Constitution to that effect.  However, de facto abolition would likely occur quickly.  That, in turn, would likely lead to formal abolition in order to better manage the popular vote system established through the same mechanism you are currently considering.

Good luck, Republicans.  You think you're pulling a fast one now, but I assure you that we'll be the ones that get the last laugh.

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Scarily I think that Republicans would seriously consider this... (2.00 / 27)
if someone presented the idea to them.  After all, with such gerrymandered districts they would undoubtedly believe they could get away with it.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

They certainly could think that (2.00 / 16)
They may be getting the idea (finally) that they have royally screwed up and need to make major changes. It's going to be interesting to watch the GOP flounder for a while.  

Come visit us at our NON political blog jellybeansofdoom.com

[ Parent ]
Legislative hubris..... (2.00 / 16)
From the NYT.......

The Senate maneuver created such instant scandal that even the Republican governor, Robert McDonnell, had to admit, "I certainly don't think that's a good way to do business." He can best make his point by vetoing the remapping as a piratical exercise in legislative hubris.


I keep hoping this bad play/novel/nightmare will end.....truth seems to be more like fiction, but they are merging in a frightening way.  

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

If enough National attention continues to be directed our way... (2.00 / 13)
he may well veto it. He does not want the 'bad press'...he has aspirations to higher office and wants to put forth a 'moderate' reputation (even though he is anything but).


[ Parent ]
They really have no shame, princesspat. (2.00 / 9)
This is their last chance to game the system as the demographics are going to make it more and more difficult for them to win national elections. Like putting a poll tax worked to keep people of color from voting in the south, this will preserve the "rights" of white rural voters to choose our presidents. The time to abolish the electoral college is now.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
On average there seems to be a learning going on. (2.00 / 11)

Not ubiquitously, perhaps, but I think the die is cast.  

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

"offensive and bizarre comments" (2.00 / 11)
Nice to hear from a Republican, it's like an Emperor's New Clothes moment.

I can't tell you how many conservative friends I talk to who are growing tired of all this. Everything from climate change denial to Mitt Romney being foisted on them as "one of us".

The Fail Cycle is not over for the GOP, but imho it is going to continue to lose adherents as it continues to not work.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
"The politics of joy".....a piece in the NYT re Joe Biden (2.00 / 12)
is a refreshing contrast.

We might sit at the dawn of the second Obama term, with Hillary in waiting, Republicans in therapy and Congressional approvals in sub-cockroach and colonoscopy territory.
Mr. Biden, however, represents an updated standard-bearer for the politics of joy, said Joel K. Goldstein, a law professor at Saint Louis University and an expert on the United States vice presidency. (Disclosure: I quote Mr. Goldstein whenever possible, just so I can type the words "expert on the United States vice presidency," which never fails to amuse me.) While these are not exactly joyous times either - politicians are often reviled and voters are no picnic - Mr. Biden is the one major Washington figure who consistently evokes a sense of thrill in what he is doing.


Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
sorry but color me dubious about McDonnel's 'reluctance'. (2.00 / 12)
at least to these eyes, this seems like another piece of prewritten legislation by ALEC or the RGA just waiting to be implemented.

we've seen this movie before when just by 'coincidence' legislators across the country simultaneously have the same idea. Kasich, Scott, Snyder and Walker et al have similar legislation cooking and who knows who else does.
if enough red states pass this legislation, especially OH, WI, Fl, McDonnel
will be under tremendous pressure by TPTB to fall in line.

he can remain 'moderately' reluctant until then, meanwhile he's already in the news as a serious candidate for the next 3+ years.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.

Yikes!! (2.00 / 7)
Sounds like Article II, Section 1, second paragraph is not very small d democratic:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress ...

But the constitution was put together by a bunch of guys who didn't really believe in small d democracy ... they really didn't trust us rabble with our own governance. Senators used to be chosen by the state legislators until 1913 after a constitutional amendment.

We need another constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college and allow for direct election of our presidents. Maybe this latest nonsense from the Republicans will scare small d democracy fans into doing so.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

I'd vote for it. (2.00 / 8)
It is foolish - as the world's leading democracy - to have national leaders who lose the national vote.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I may never get over the 2000 election. (2.00 / 9)
The harm done to our country during the Bush presidency is a perfect example of what happens when the will of the people is thwarted and presidents are appointed, in that case by the Supreme Court.

It created a gyroscopic anomaly which resulted in a permanent sense of anxiety. The world will not be in balance until we can undo all the damage that caused.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
My memory of 2000 is that Bush expected the opposite result. (2.00 / 6)
The Bush team was looking into how to steal the Presidency in the event that W won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College.  

Instead, all they had to do was convince Sandra Day O'Connor to make W the Prez.  

[ Parent ]
And while we're at it (2.00 / 4)
Add in there instant runoff voting or proportional representation or something that allows 3rd party candidates to actually have a voice.

[ Parent ]
And it is the baggers & wingnuts who are screaming (2.00 / 7)
about Obama doing a power grab and trampling the Constitution.

If those loons really want to see a citizen uprising then they just need to keep this up, they might be suprised to be on the outside looking in though.

Sigh, you are more optimistic than I in the (2.00 / 5)
possibility that there will be an involved citizenry. Hope I am wrong and you are right,

[ Parent ]
Sadly I think you are right unless it is Clinton who gets robbed (2.00 / 6)
she has some fierce supporters who wouldn't take that too lightly. I don't think, at this point, any other Dem. has that kind of devoted base.

[ Parent ]

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