Why do Republicans like the Electoral College…. other than 2000 and 2016?

I suspect polling on the question of the EC probably falls along Party lines, and why wouldn’t it? It’s how the GOP ended up in the White House the last two times they did. Republicans know that their appeal to voters as a party is in decline.

Electoral College vs Popular Vote
https://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/majority-of-americans-support-getting-rid-of-the-electoral-college-1461998659718

I suspect polling on the question of the EC probably falls along Party lines, and why wouldn’t it? It’s how the GOP ended up in the White House the last two times they did. Republicans know that their appeal to voters as a party is in decline (1).

Another interesting point is that we have to go back to the 1800s to find the only other times when the EC chose a president the voters did not. (2)

As the above linked video shows, Trump used to hate the EC until he loved it. It’s pointless to address this contradiction except to point it out and to let it speak for itself and for who he is.

And as the linked video also shows, John Boehner’s spokesperson, Michael Steel, is making the argument that the founders gave us this system and that eliminating the EC would mean candidates would pay little to no attention to small states.

My response is simple. So what?

One person, one vote means just that, doesn’t it?

Of course the president should care about everyone. To that exact point, there are greater concentrations of people in urban areas. In a system where the popular vote elects the president, of course candidates will do what they’ve always done, and that’s to chase voters and their votes needed to win. If that means urban areas and large population centers, so be it. They still have to motivate Americans to show up on election day, and they still have to inspire Americans to vote for them.

More candidate visits to southern CA and fewer to Madison, WI, is, in my view, better for democracy. And, let’s be real. In this day and age, residents of Madison, Anchorage, and Burlington, VT, don’t need to have a candidate visit their quaint Rockwellian diners for those Americans to know what the candidate is proposing.

IMHO, the EC is a zero-value-add step in the electoral process. And if 2016 wasn’t evidence of the EC failing in their mission, there never will be one.

As Alexander Hamilton writes in “The Federalist Papers,” the Constitution is designed to ensure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” (3)

I also wish that some Americans – mostly, in my view, conservatives and Republicans – would also stop with what looks like actual religious worship of the founders.

So what if the venerated founders set down the EC? It’s 2019, and it’s embarrassing to see adults seemingly worshiping and even attributing divine intervention and influence to the thoughts and actions of rich, white, slave-owning men of the 18th century. They were colonial oligarchs, and they weren’t perfect.

Perhaps these very same founder-worshipers haven’t noticed or have chosen to ignore that there are 27 Amendments to the Constitution. Changing how the government operates – including how officials are elected, vis-a-vis the 17th Amendment – has happened before. Why can’t the presidential election be a popular vote? (Even better, why can’t it be ranked choice voting? (4) )

Candidates know how to do math. They do it now. It seems to me that Republicans should be bragging about how Trump “won” because he actually went to more places than Clinton. He even went to some places that Republican strategist, Ryan Williams, called “head scratchers.” (5)

Oh. Wait. That’s right.

They aren’t bragging because he lost the popular vote by 3 million votes.

What Republicans also fail to mention in their vilification of “coastal elites” is that every city also has Republicans living in them, and that not all cities on the coasts.

Fun facts for the fact-averse Republicans:
4 out of the top 10 largest cities – Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Dallas – are in red states (6), and the 25 cities reported with the largest percentage of growth are all in red states except two, Bend-Redmond, OR, and Greeley, CO. (7)

Seems that Republicans should have nothing to fear from a popular vote if they truly believe that they have policy ideas that appeal to large numbers of Americans.

They also should be advocates for making voting easier and more inclusive for all Americans if they don’t fear voter participation.

They should also be confident enough in the value and broad appeal of their ideology and their policy ideas to agree that democracy should be about total votes cast for the president regardless of the state in which they are cast.

The president is supposed to represent people, not states.

—-
Sources
(1) “America hits new landmark: 200 million registered voters”
https://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/how-many-registered-voters-are-in-america-2016-229993

(2) “Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote”
https://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/presidents-winning-without-popular-vote/

(3) “The Reason for the Electoral College”
https://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-reason-for-the-electoral-college/

(4) “Ranked Choice Voting / Instant Runoff”
https://www.fairvote.org/rcv#where_is_ranked_choice_voting_used

(5) “Where have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spent their time?”
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/analysis-where-have-donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton-spent-their-time/

(6) “Cities and metropolitan areas of the United States”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_and_metropolitan_areas_of_the_United_States

(7) “These 25 cities are seeing a huge boost in residents as population grows”
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2019/03/22/population-growth-us-cities-experiencing-boost-resident/39199145/

Imperfect allies versus actual enemies

(This is a redacted post from a Facebook Group I’m in. It was the OP’s comments and a few that followed that inspired this response from me.)

Thanks for your post, Lenard. It got me thinking. (This is pretty long. Sorry.)

Hillary - he is nuts meme

 
I don’t know if you mean this literally, Lenard, but you seem to be stating that the DNC picks a president’s running mate. I suspect they have some influence with the candidate. Such decisions are rarely – and shouldn’t be – made in a vacuum solely by the candidate. Ultimately, though, it is the candidate’s decision to make, so chastising the DNC for not putting Bernie on the ticket, with apologies, makes very little sense.
 
That said, having him on the ticket got me thinking.
 
How and why would having Sanders as Clinton’s VP have changed the outcome?
 
Did leaving him off exasperate voter apathy and disillusionment?
 
Perhaps, but turnout in 2016 according to FairVote (https://www.fairvote.org/voter_turnout#voter_turnout_101) was actually pretty good comparatively speaking.
 
That’s not to say that this country doesn’t have a problem with apathy as evidenced by the United States of Apathy (https://www.citylab.com/life/2018/11/voter-turnout-midterm-election-statistics-map/574939/), but we should remember that Trump lost the general by 3 million. That’s a wide margin even if only 60% of eligible voters voted.
 
We also mustn’t forget that he only won the EC thanks to 77,000 voters in PA, MI, and WI.
 
Which leads me to this question; would those 77,000 have voted for Clinton with Bernie as VP?
 
Seems unlikely to me thanks in no small part to the hate on both the Right and on the Left for Hillary, the latter thanks in no small measure to die-hard Sanders supporters who then refused to vote the way Sanders asked them to, and that was for Hillary.
 
So, if we do conclude and concede that turnout would have been even greater for Hillary across the board but especially in the battleground states with Bernie on the ticket, does this mean that “Sanders voters” in those places who refused to join me as a Sanders supporter in voting for Clinton are now taking responsibility for Trump?
 
Seriously, if you call yourself a liberal or progressive or Sanders supporter, and you didn’t vote for Clinton as Bernie asked – begged – us to do, for whom did you vote, why, and will you do it again?
 
The reality was there were two choices in 2016. Two.
 
One was Trump and the other wasn’t.
 
We all knew and understood that. It’s simply intellectually dishonest to argue otherwise.
 
I get that if you live in a “safely” blue state like CA, you feel safe voting for Jill or Rocky or whomever, but that safety is afforded you only because the vast majority of your neighbors are doing what they believe and they know they must do. This isn’t an insult, it’s just how I see it nowadays. Voting your conscious is all well and good, until it isn’t for anyone but you.
 
Now the big question. Are some Sanders supporters becoming cultists? It seems so to me.
 
Look, I’m a Sanders supporter. What worries me is what I’m seeing in other FB groups that are total hardcore pro-Sanders Groups.
 
Their demand of the DNC distills down to this: “Give us Sanders, or you’ll get more scorched earth.”
 
This raises three questions for me.
 
1. Do they think the DNC controls who runs for office?
 
2. Whom do they think they’re hurting by refusing to vote for the Democrat on the ballot?
 
3. Why would anyone take conscious actions to perpetuate what we have now with Trump in office?
 
The answers I come to are framed by what starts to look to me as the same basic thinking as Trump’s cult, and that starts with making demands for change without understanding how things work. The second is to willfully decide to vote against oneself and everyone else without regard for the adverse affects just so they can pat themselves on the back for “winning” while putting someone they love into power as self-affirmation that they’re right and everyone else is wrong.
 
This is how Trump’s cult behaves. It’s as if they thought he would take office, wave a magic wand, and everything he – and they – wanted would become real. Well, I can’t help looking at many of my fellow Sanders supporters and concluding they believe the same would be true with Sanders in the White House. We all know that’s not how politics or our form of government works.
 
As for the DNC’s role in all of this, I have to say it’s childish to keep demanding that the DNC give us what we want or we’ll punish them at the polls.
 
Who is it that gets punished?
 
Is it the rich and powerful at the top? That would be silly and naive to believe.
 
Is it the Democratic politician who loses the election? Do you mean the people who are our best, albeit imperfect, allies but who aren’t actual enemies like Republican candidates? They’ll go back to doing whatever it is they were doing, or they’ll get a job on K Street, or whatever, but they’ll be fine. You aren’t “hurting” them, either.
 
No, the people who are hurt when Democrats lose and Republicans win are everyone outside the One Percent, and especially those who aren’t cisgender, white, evangelical, men.
 
We on the Left need to stop being our own worst enemies. We need to stop talking about the DNC as if it were a cabal of evil scientists building candidates out of corporatist Democratic body parts in a lab. Real people decide whether or not to run for office. Those real people must decide to run as Democrats or Republicans, Greens or Libertarians, or as Independents.
 
(Yes, here it comes.)
 
Sanders – for all the love and respect I have for him – is NOT a Democrat. If he were perfectly true to his stated beliefs, he would’ve run as an Independent. No one is perfect.
 
That’s why I suggest that we and he should stop pretending he’s a Democrat. I’d respect the hardcore Sanders-supporting Democratic Party haters more if they started calling Bernie out for being a Democrat of Convenience. After all, many of them refused to follow his advice to vote for Hillary, so shouldn’t they be attacking him for that and his convenient relationship with the DNC? Shouldn’t they be demanding that he run as an Independent? I’ll guess we’ll know soon enough.
 
I think we on the Left should be more supportive of the Democratic Party. I think we should vote for Democrats because they are clearly our strongest, albeit imperfect, allies against the actual enemies of Trump and the GOP. No, the Dems aren’t perfect. No one is, but they are exponentially stronger than any other Party other than the GOP.
 
Something else to remember about 2016 is that Bernie lost the primary in a race that wasn’t close.
 
The lesson to be learned is NOT that the DNC wasn’t supportive enough of him. I sometimes get the sense that many of my fellow Sanders supporters actually believe the DNC capable of stealing 3 million primary votes. Yes, yes, she had the superdelagates locked up early, and Nevada, and yada yada yada, but all I’ll say to all of that is that Sanders wasn’t a Democrat until it was convenient for him to register as one. What the hell did he and we expect, a loving embrace from the rank-and-file members and the leaders of a Party he has spent almost as much of his career pillorying as he has Republicans?
 
Again, if Bernie’s going to be a voice of independence from corrupt Parties, than he should run independent of them.
 
In my view, this is the absolute most important thing to remember about the primary: More people chose Hillary over Bernie. That’s how the system works.
 
So, if the Democratic candidates on your ballot aren’t liberal or progressive enough for you, then run for office yourself, but let’s stop this arsonist’s strategy of wanting to burn down the Democratic Party because the people who choose to operate within it and who choose to run as representatives of it aren’t pure enough for us. If that’s how you feel, then join the Party, run for office, and change it from the inside; otherwise, what makes you think you should have a voice in how the Party operates and who runs under its banner? Talk about privilege.
 
And, if you’re left with another choice in 2020 that doesn’t include Sanders and you vote for anyone but the Democrat at least have the courage to publicly own it. I see precious few Sanders supporters who claim to despise the Democratic Party with the courage to reveal for whom they did cast their vote. I’m proud to say that I registered for the first time in my life as a Democrat so that I could vote for Bernie in the closed PA primary. I’m just as proud to say that I voted for Hillary.
 
No one is perfect. My view is that the Left needs to find a way to coalesce and to stop being our own worst enemies by constantly fighting intra-movement purity battles. Yes, the Democratic Party should be more Liberal with a capital “L”, but how does attacking it or refusing to work with and within it lead to the change you want? It doesn’t.
 
I think that we must remember that the Left has a lot of imperfect friends and allies in the Democratic Party.
 

We have none in the Republican Party.

Any Democrat is better than any Republican any day, but especially next Tuesday

We need to make sure that Republicans never win another election. Ever. Anywhere. At any level of government, from school board and borough council to the President of the United States.

I know I’m stating the obvious, but here it is anyway.

There’s one and only one Party that, at the very least, is ok with and at so many levels have proven to be willing and eager to lay with the dogs of hate, bigotry, racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-intellectual science denial to name but a few of their unethical and amoral characteristics.

That’s the Republican Party.

Add to that Republican trickle-down economic, monetary, fiscal, and foreign policies that are detrimental to ordinary people and to the planet, and you have what must be the most toxic mix of ideology and policy the world has seen in about 80 years.

And while we liberals love to complain about “corporate Democrats”, let me suggest we grow the fuck up and accept the reality that on Election Day there is one and only one viable alternative to Republicans.

No, that’s not to say the Democratic Party is perfect or that it doesn’t need to change, so spare me that vapid silliness.

Of course the Democratic Party needs to be more liberal and more progressive, but we leftists need to understand the difference between imperfect allies and actual enemies, and that changing a Party does NOT happen on Election Day!

Did we learn nothing two years ago?

Do we all not agree that 2016 proved that elections have consequences?

Do we want to help to perpetuate the Trump scorched Earth because we just can’t bring ourselves to vote for some “corporate” Democrat?

Take it from this old liberal who has been registered Non-Partisan most of his adult life and who now regrets having voted for independent candidates in the past – it’s a vote for the Republican.

You can disagree with me, but you’d still be wrong.

Just know that if you call yourself a liberal, a progressive, or anything but a right-wing conservative and you cast your vote on the 6th for anyone but a Democrat, you will be held to account as part of the ongoing slide in this country toward despotism and ruin.

If, on the other hand, you want to throw the Republicans out of office on Tuesday, there’s one button to push. One. It’s the one with the ‘D’.

Anything else is a vote to keep or to put Republicans in power.

So, I’m angry enough to say it again. Grow the fuck up.

A third-party or write-in vote is not a protest vote.
It’s not even a wasted vote.
It’s a vote that fails to cancel out a Republican vote, and like it or not, that makes it a vote for the Republican. You will be held to account for that by the rest of us on the left who did what was necessary to put an end to Republican governance.

No, Democrats are not perfect, but they are not Republicans.

In 2018, that should be enough for anyone.

Voters should #NeverForget915, and they should never believe people like Scott J. Freidheim

Republican politicians have been selling the lies of trickle down economics and deregulation on behalf of their Big Money and Wall Street masters for decades.

Now the very people at the heart of the financial market collapse of 10 years ago – people like Scott J. Freidheim – are trying to explain how it could have been avoided by making their lives easier.

Anyone paying even the slightest attention to economic reality since Reagan and certainly in the years leading up to the collapse of 2007/8 will know better.

NeverForget915

Everything old is new again

As someone who just made it under the wire of Baby Boomer, I’ve watched for decades as low information conservative voters have been able to be counted on by generations of Republican politicians as people who are very easily duped into buying Republican lies.

These days I find myself asking whether Americans who think of themselves as Republicans and who vote for Republican politicians have either the will or the desire to ever actually understand how voting for a Republican at any level of government – from school board to town mayor to president – is truly a vote for a Party with an ideology designed explicitly to hurt them, their progeny, and everyone else outside the One Percent?

Republican orthodoxy on full display

The answer seems to be that some Americans continue to be willingly duped by people like Scott J. Freidheim.

Lehman insider Scott Freidheim

In “The Lehman Brothers Collapse, 10 Years Later,” full-blown One Percenter and former senior Lehman executive, Scott Freidheim, is peddling the right-wing lie that says everything is the government’s fault if the government doesn’t do what Big Money wants.

In other words, pure Republican orthodoxy.

Mr. Freidheim has the temerity to claim that Lehman’s collapse was the government’s fault for not allowing Lehman to reorganize in ways that would have given them better federal protections.

Think about that as you then consider this.

In what I suspect was an unintended and fleeting moment of honesty, he admits in the interview that his industry didn’t “take it far enough” in evaluating the risks they had created for themselves and for the world economy.

So, which is it?

Too much regulation or too little?

By his own admission, Wall Street paid too little attention to risk. Why? Was it because they expected to be bailed out, thereby continuing to socialize all the risk while privatizing all the gains?

And, when the help didn’t come to him and Lehman Brothers?

Freidheim wants us to agree with him and blame Lehman’s collapse on the federal government.

Seriously, and on behalf of all Americans outside the 1/10th of 1% where you live, Mr. Freidheim, fuck you and all of your fellow Wall Streeters.

You all belong in jail.

Republican voters; stop ignoring reality

Voters across the spectrum who are outside the One Percent – but especially Republican voters – need to stop and understand what Freidheim and people like him are saying.

You Republican voters more than anyone need to understand what Republicans, bankers, ALEC, and all the Big Money power brokers are doing to this country because YOU’RE THE ONES VOTING FOR politicians who want LESS regulation of greedy, power-hungry, and soulless people like Dick Fuld, James “Jimmy” Cayne, Jamie Dimon, and now lesser-known cretins like Scott Freidheim.

You Republican voters more than anyone need to understand why Freidheim and his ilk want LESS REGULATION. Less regulation means they have more opportunities to take unwarranted risks knowing that they will keep all of their gains and that we’ll have to bail them out on their losses as the only way to “save the financial services industry” when next their greed and stupidity causes the next collapse thanks to people like Freidheim and his kind.

And most of all, you Republican voters more than anyone need to understand that you are not at all even a part of the concern of Republican politicians.

And, that absolutely includes the current leader of what is now the cult that is the Trumpublican Party.

Trump is not a Republican, neither are you, and none of them give a shit about you

Here’s a prime example of how Republicans hurt everyone.

Thanks to you Republican voters, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) was signed into law by Trump. It de-fangs what was already not a strong enough post-collapse attempt to rein in the banks, Dodd-Frank.

As someone duped into believing you’re a Republican, you apparently bought the lie that undoing Dodd-Frank was a good move.

You were wrong. Again.

You Americans who think you’re a Republican were wrong in the 2016 election for believing you were voting for someone in Trump who was going to work for you and not the bankers. Honestly, you Republican voters should be ashamed of yourselves for being so gullible.

Not to worry, though.

November 2018 is your next chance to prove you aren’t the useful idiots of Republican politicians and Wall Streeters you act like by voting for them. All you have to do is to stop being your own worst enemy, and stop voting for the Party who has fucked you over your whole life.

Lefties, you’re responsible, too.

As for you self-proclaimed liberals and progressives who can’t seem to hate enough on the so-called “corporate” and “Wall Street” Democratic Party; here’s my advice to you.

Grow the fuck up.

You need to stop acting like some perverse combination of spoiled brat, self-righteous egomaniac, and puritanical zealot, and understand the difference between imperfect allies and actual enemies.

Yes, Democrats are imperfect. So are you.

Yes, some purple state Democrats in the House and Senate “disappointed” you again by voting for S.2155.

But understand this:

One, just ONE House Republican, voted against the bill.

Not a single Republican Senator cast a No vote. Not. One.

So, to my fellow social democrats, liberals, progressives, and everyone else on the left who is self-righteously banging your fists or holding your breath or acting like whatever spoiled and privileged lefty that you want to be, stop that shit right now.

Pull your heads out of your asses, and support any and every Democrat on every ballot.

Most of all, act like an informed and intelligent citizen, and vote in November for whomever has the ‘D’ next to their name…….unless, of course, you’re happy helping Republicans to keep control of local, state, and federal government.

No, Democrats aren’t perfect, but this is where you need to grow up. What they aren’t are Republicans.

If that’s not enough for you……I’m tempted to suggest an impossible solo sex act, but instead, know this.

You are looked at now and you will be considered by history when it’s written as just as much the source of our social, political, and economic problems as the duped 99-percenters who are voting for Republicans because you refuse to do what is required to end Republican rule.