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

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.

(1) “America hits new landmark: 200 million registered voters”

(2) “Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote”

(3) “The Reason for the Electoral College”

(4) “Ranked Choice Voting / Instant Runoff”

(5) “Where have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spent their time?”

(6) “Cities and metropolitan areas of the United States”

(7) “These 25 cities are seeing a huge boost in residents as population grows”

Progressives: This is your wake up call

To all my fellow progressives, liberals, wannabe social democrats, and disgruntled Bernie supporters:

Time (actually far past the time) for some tough love. Time for us to pull our collective heads out of our assess.

Republicans control everything because of us. Yes, us, and it’s probably not for the reasons you want to tell yourself. It’s not those evil corporate Democrats.

It’s you and me.

Here’s the reality.

1) I can’t vote for candidates who don’t run, and neither can you.

Stop insisting that the Democratic Party “give us” progressive candidates we want or else. It doesn’t work like that. Please stop making that idiotic demand. You’re making all of us look stupid. If you don’t like who’s on the ballot, run for office yourself; otherwise, please shut the fuck up about “corporate” Democrats controlling who is on the ballot. You need to vote for Democrats as the only way to beat Republicans. (I’m going to get to your roiling self-righteous outrage and indignation in a minute.)

2) Any Democrat is better than any Republican any day.

Does this even need to be explained? Do you honestly believe that Democrats and Republicans are the same? If you do, you need to know that is just about as intellectually dishonest a position as one can take. I’m asking you again to shut the fuck up because claiming that both Parties are the same is even dumber than believing that the Democratic Party hand-picks corporate candidates, or that you’re “punishing” anyone but the most vulnerable among us by self-righteously refusing to vote for a Democrat.

3) Less evil is always better than more evil.

When were elections ever not this choice? Seriously. I’ve been voting for longer than most of you have probably been alive. No, it’s not optimal, but what is in life? And, you need to pay very close attention to this – you will NOT change this reality by not voting or by throwing your vote away by not voting for the only Party in today’s reality that can beat Republicans, and that’s the Democratic Party. If this isn’t convincing enough, ask people in the LGBTQ community and refugee families and people of color and women and American Muslims and environmental activists and Planned Parenthood and just about anyone who isn’t an aging cisgender white Evangelical if they think Democrats are just as evil as Republicans.

4) When did a scorched Earth become a progressive value?

This one is especially directed at all my fellow middle class and doing-ok white liberals from the Baby Boomer Generation. Haven’t we fucked up this world enough already? Now you want to pat yourself on the back for not supporting “corporate” Democrats regardless of the fact that that just about guarantees more Republican scorched Earth? Is that the world we want to bequeath? We stay fat, dumb, and self-righteous in our suburban homes banging away on our keyboards and thumping our chests in so-called progressive Facebook Groups, too selfish and too egotistical to worry about others in distress today – right now – to do what’s necessary to salvage what’s left of this country and this planet by first stopping the Republican destruction.

5) We progressives and liberals continue to be our own worst enemies thanks to our inability to unite.

Instead of banding together to defeat Republicans, we waste our time and energy arguing with each other about who “deserves” our vote and how we need to “punish” the Democrats for not being progressive enough.

There are no perfect progressives.
There are no perfect candidates.
If there are any, they aren’t running for office where I live.

We need to start voting in unity in every election the way conservatives do. It’s the only way to defeat Republicans, and that’s all that matters in November. Nothing. Else. Matters. Now.

We can only move this country toward a more progressive future by first defeating Republicans the only way possible, and that’s to vote for Democrats.

That is how we start winning battles.

That is how we win the war.

Then we can go back to arguing over who is the more corporate and who is the more progressive politician.

Pennsylvania judge strikes down state’s voter ID law

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

HARRISBURG — A Commonwealth Court judge on Friday ruled the Pennsylvania voter ID law violates the state constitution by imposing an unreasonable burden on voters, dealing the controversial requirement its most serious blow in nearly two years of…

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Everything you need to know in one simple phrase:
“– the state acknowledged at the start that it knew of no cases of in-person voting fraud, the kind addressed by voter ID — ”

See on www.post-gazette.com

Is The Primary System To Blame For Partisanship?

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Many observers say increasing partisanship in America is the result of gerrymandered districts.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Data discussed in this report indicates that, contrary to what I would have expected, “open” primaries do NOT result in more moderate candidates representing their parties in the general elections. Why not? Two words: voter apathy.

See on www.npr.org

What’s the Matter With Wisconsin…and Half of America

Voter suppression is making news in Wisconsin.

Now in its second week, the first trial challenging the voter ID law in the state of Wisconsin highlights what appears to be a growing trend across the nation to hamper the voting process. The federal lawsuit, brought by civil rights group Advancement Project with co-counsel Arnold & Porter, brings to light the restrictive nature of the state’s law.
D.L. Chandler, Wisconsin Voter ID Trial Reveals Barriers For People of Color, Seniors, Nov 15., 2103, NewsOne.com

To those who believe that in-person voter fraud is rampant, I respectfully ask that you please produce the evidence. Arrest and conviction records would be best. If you can’t locate those, links to news reports – not claims, I’m talking actual news reports about arrests and convictions for in-person voter fraud – will do so long as they are from recognized and reputable sources.

If in-person voter fraud is the huge and rampant problem it’s claimed to be, then the reasonable expectation is that there is plenty of evidence in public records, right?

According to the Census Bureau, 132,948,000 Americans voted in 2012. Let’s set the bar low. Show me 133 arrests – just arrests – for in-person voter fraud in 2012. That’s 0.0001% of the total. In fact, feel free to pick any year you like and apply the same percentage.

Let me save you the trouble. That research has already been done by News21, “a national investigative reporting project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.” It’s been fact-checked by PolitiFact.

There is no in-person voter fraud. Period. Full stop.

To continue to claim that there is demonstrates either a lack of awareness of the facts or an intentional unwillingness to accept them.

This is about politics, and everyone knows it. Actually, let’s be accurate. Voter ID laws are all about Republican politics.

I live in Pennsylvania where Republican Governor Corbett has so far failed to get his voter suppression bill approved by the courts. Meanwhile, his State Department felt compelled to spend $1million dollars on an ad campaign about IDs during the lead up to this past election. To what end? The law has not been enacted.

He and Republicans everywhere understand that they stand a better chance of being elected in all but the tea-partiest of places only if they can suppress certain voters.

He, along with so many other Republicans, appear to me to be well on their way out the door in 2014. They have mostly themselves to blame. Despite it’s many failings and shortcomings, I expect Pennsylvanians and lots of Americans everywhere – even those trapped inside gerrymandered red districts – to come to their senses, to get to their polling places in big numbers, and to vote Democratic in 2014, 2015, 2016, and on and on and on.

I expect that kind of voting behavior from well-informed citizens which, unfortunately, excludes our fellow Americans still under the spell of the tea party, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, The Drudge Report, Redstate.com, The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and their bought-and-paid-for lackies in the GOP.

Those Americans – and, happily, the trend is for fewer and fewer of them – seem to insist on voting against their own self-interests by voting for Republicans in general. Alas, that’s their right. They, like everyone else, shouldn’t have to go through the trouble and expense of doing anything differently from what has always been the norm in this country when it comes to voting.

Register. Show up. Cast your vote.
(Or for our friends in more progressive and modern states, mail in your ballot.)

Let’s save the photo IDs for the really important things in life. You know, like buying pseudoephedrine from the grocery store pharmacist.


Additional Reading

See this Washington Post piece commenting on an October 30, 2013 report, Alien Abduction and Voter Impersonation in the 2012 US General Election evidence from a survey list experiment by John S. Ahlquist, Kenneth R. Mayery, and Simon Jackmanz which includes this:

To summarize our findings: using a nationally representative Internet sample we find no significant indicators of voter impersonation in the 2012 US general election. We find no evidence of voter impersonation or vote buying in contested states or among low income voters, subsets where vote fraud is alleged to be most common. Most importantly from a policy perspective, we find no difference between states with and without same day voter registration (where fraud is again alleged to be easiest) and no difference between states with and without strict voter ID requirements (where it should be hardest).