Friday, December 23, 2016

Profiles In Cowardice: The Electoral College


2016 In Review: America Off The Rails, Part 1

[Click to enlarge]

by Noah

America has always been very resilient. Its success and ability to persevere in the face of adversity has been secured by a spirited belief in American ideals and by the political infrastructure laid out by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution that was meant to encourage those ideals. The eternal question in American political history is: Do we have the smarts and the courage to stick with the principles laid out for us? Some of us do, and now, apparently, some of us do not.

When building the infrastructure of our way of governing, the Founding Fathers laid out a bicameral Congress consisting of a House of Representatives, apportioned according to each state’s population, and a Senate, two Senators per state. There is also a Judicial Branch, and the Executive Branch, aka the Presidency. All of this was created to be a deliberate system of checks and balances designed to prevent extremism from either end of the political spectrum from taking hold.

Since the Executive Branch was, unlike the other branches of our governmental infrastructure, in the control of just one person, the idea of the Electoral College evolved into a fail-safe mechanism, in case, by some off chance, a person who was completely unfit, either through qualifications of experience, politics, foreign influence, or even lack of mental stability, was elected by the people. The basic idea was that, although the masses might, some day, be conned, a panel of more learned and less emotional men (now men or women) could save the day and the country, if need be. In other words, the Founding Fathers didn’t have 100-percent trust in the average voter, so they created what we would now call a firewall.

Among other things, this device of an Electoral College was a bone of appeasement thrown to the slave states. In our nation’s early years, that appeasement helped keep the Northern and Southern (slave-holding) states together as a nation. In fact, for 32 of the nation’s first 36 years after the Constitution was created, the President came from Virginia, the biggest slave-holding state of the time. That’s some serious appeasement, but it worked, and the nation started to get its footing -- until the issue of slavery could not be ignored anymore.

After the Civil War, the Electoral College continued to provide an actual legal mechanism whereby an unfit President-elect could be stopped, if necessary, by vote, from taking office and damaging, selling out, or even destroying the republic. That has always been the most grave responsibility of the "electors" who compose the Electoral College. Horrifically, the Electoral College -- through a gross abdication of its reason for existence, for whatever reason, be it political agenda, complacency, the well-publicized threats from Herr Trumpf, or just fear of the same -- has finally failed our country.

But let’s back up a minute. Is it the fault of the Electoral College, which admittedly may need some tweaking or modernization?

Or is it the fault of the men and women who are the electors themselves? To me, the answer is obvious. Had the electors done the job prescribed by this country’s architects, the system would have worked more than well enough. Instead, the Electoral College of 2016 has done the work of our enemies, and sold out our American ideals. The current Electoral College is guilty of malfeasance, heinous cowardice, and some might say even worse.

It does us no good now, but the names of the 538 electors are public knowledge. However, not all of their actual votes are available. Apparently, in some states some electors would rather have the public not know exactly how they voted. When it comes to our private votes, we cherish the logic of the secret ballot. Perhaps, however, the votes of the Electoral College should properly be public, just like a Senator’s vote.

As it is, we can at least know the names of many of the electors who could have changed the outcome of our future but failed to do the right thing. Those electors will go down in history as the cowards and traitors to the principles of the Founding Fathers and our country that they are. Their names will join the long list of weak, spineless, and outright evil names in history. Will their names be thought of along the lines of Roman senators who aided the demise of an empire, or the names of those in the court of Louis XVI, or the names of Nuremberg? Time will tell. The disgust and contempt that these names will be held in by history is now up to the insanity of Herr Trumpf and his party cohorts who dream of totalitarian solutions.

There’s a ton of irony in the fact that republicans love to talk about the Founding Fathers with great reverence when it suits their purposes. However, the chosen leader of today’s Republican Party once stated that the Electoral College is disgraceful.

Herr Trumpf was right that time. Who says we can’t give him who wears an orange rat on his head some credit, once in a great while? Of course, he has now changed his tune. You might say he was against it before he was for it.

If the electors of the Electoral College are not going to do their job, perhaps the Electoral College’s time really has passed and maybe more than mere tweaks are in order. There is currently a movement to just go with the results of the national popular vote. The National Popular Vote concept has already been adopted by 10 states and the District of Columbia. Under the plan, the Electoral College would still exist but it would simply rubber-stamp the results of the national vote total.

Had this concept been in place in 2000, Al Gore would have been President of the United States. The Bush Crime Family and their partisan “Supreme Court” accomplices would not have gotten away with stealing the election. The August memo would have been read and acted upon. Iraq would have a different history, ISIS would be far less consequential, if not non-existent, and one of Earth’s oldest cities, Aleppo, would not look like Dresden did in 1945.

Oh, and Hillary Clinton, who won the 2016 national popular vote by almost 3 million votes would be sworn in as the 45th president on January 20th. Instead, we are left to anxiously await horrors to come, this time at the hands of a mental case.


The final remedy given to us by the Founding Fathers is impeachment. Chances are Herr Trumpf will provide plenty of reason for that. Certainly, the Founding Father knew what to do with traitors. But will both corporate America and the Washington clown class back that? Most likely not, if only because the clowns are bought and sold.

I’m old enough to remember when Richard Nixon was forced to resign because he knew he would be not only be impeached by the House but also removed from office by Senate vote. After Nixon resigned, he was allowed to leave the White House via Marine One, absurdly flashing his two-armed victory sign, as if to say, Charlie Sheen-like: Winning!

Nixon was then wrongly pardoned by President Gerald Ford, very possibly as part of the deal to make Ford VP after Spiro Agnew had been forced out due to his own illegal activities. Nearly all of the Washington political class, including the irritatingly meek and "reasonable" liberal set and the national media hacks, claimed that "no one wants to see President Nixon in jail." All I know is that everyone I associated with at that time did want to see Nixon in jail, at the very least. That would have been true justice.

I don’t see Herr Trumpf ever resigning or going quietly. What I do see, if by some righteous miracle he was impeached, is a circus of a reality show where either the proper authorities will have to overcome his private security force and haul him away or he will find his way to the Russian embassy and ask Putin for asylum. At that point, it would be interesting to see if Putin admits to ever knowing him. Trumpf will then boast that he had the biggest ratings ever. Forget O. J. Simpson in his white Bronco. Trumpf’s last day in office would be quite a show -- riveting must see TV! You might say: I have a dream.


Here it is, Noah's completed Year in Review for 2016:

Part 1, "Profiles in Cowardice: The Electoral College" (12/23/2016)
Part 2, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #1: Newt Gingrich" (12/27/2016)
Part 3, "The Trumpf Inauguration Committee Finds The Perfect Inauguration Entertainment At Last!" (12/29/2016)
Part 4, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #2: R-R-Reince Priebus" (1/2/2017)
Part 5, "Comrade Trump: The World’s Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me -- Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (1)" (1/4/2017)
Part 6, "Comrade Trump: The World’s Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me -- Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (2)" (1/5/2017)
Part 7, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #3: Governors' Edition" (1/9/2017)
Part 8, "Trump -- The Art And Acts Of The Emboldened: The Rise In Hate Crimes Under The Influence Of Comrade T" (1/10/2017)
Part 9, "Republican Of The Year Nominee #4: It's A Sad Thing When Cousins Marry Edition" (1/11/2017)
Part 10, "Republican Person Of The Year Nominee #5 -- And Winner!" (1/12/2017)
Part 11, "Comrade Trump: Inauguration Entertainment Update!" (1/15/2017)
Part 12, "A DWT Exclusive: We Have The First Draft Of Comrade Trump's Inauguration Speech!" (1/16/2017)

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At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few if any comments about the Electoral College mention that it consists of party insiders almost exclusively. To expect it to have done any differently despite the public pressure to do so ignores this detail.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. How the electors are chosen (from party insiders and acolytes) is key to knowing why they don't function as the founders envisioned. Instead, they are merely a rubber stamp affirming the insanity and stupidity of the electorate and party insiders.

But this year, what were they to do. They either honor their oaths or they needed to just make shit up. The two "choices" were both too horrible to contemplate. A couple did make shit up, but such disorganized chaos means the R wins anyway.

The senate, by design, is undemocratic. Their odd little filibuster thingie is BLATANTLY undemocratic. And the electoral college is Antidemocratic, especially if it was designed to subvert the will of the voters. So even if each elector was a fully formed human being and chose this cycle to vote for Bernie instead of either party monster, it would be correctly viewed as a coup.

The truth is that our election system, with the fraud and suppression and undemocratic design, is a total poopfest and everyone that participates should know that it's a charade.

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We hold up as sacred a document that made some humans property and then gave those states that enslaved them representation at 3/5ths of a person for each human treated as property not as voters. Our government has been a shitshow from the start.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Michael Simmons said...

Once upon a time I failed college, now college has failed me.

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As stated above, the EC is composed of party insiders.

Not explicitly stated in above comments, and perhaps implied, is the actual problem: each party, whose candidate is registered to appear on a state presidential ballot, has its own, separate slate of electors corresponding to the number allowed each state.

Each state sends the slate of electors corresponding to the state's winner of the popular vote and PLEDGED to vote for that person in the EC.

(The EC was, of course, was formulated, and its mandate was enshrined in the constitution, BEFORE the existence of political parties and amid the widespread public disdain for such parties among the founders. I don't know if there were only a single slate of electors in the country's early presidential elections.)

Therefore, it is magical thinking, of the sort that lost HRC the election in the first place, to have expected electors PLEDGED, legally and ideologically to Herr Hair, to have voted for anyone else on Dec 19.

For example in Oregon the 2016 electors for three parties can be found in these links along with their pledges to vote for the party candidate for president:




Clearly the EC was an appeasement to the slave states. That it "evolved" into a mechanism to protect us from unqualified persons becoming president is a convenient, if only alleged, purpose. There is, however, Amendment 25 that does address the issue.

In recent history, we and the Dem establishment, knew about "the problem of the EC" since 2000. The period AFTER another popular victor/EC loss is NOT the time to address the problem.

John Puma

At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite so, John.

The time to address election fraud, suppression, fairness and the EC was 2009 when the Ds had 60 in the senate.

However... crickets. One must assume then that the Democraps are just fine with being able to (and already victimized by) strip/flip/cage/suppress/hack whenever it amused them to do so. And they did, in the 2016 primaries.

I feel fairly certain that if voting had been fixed in 2009, Bernie would be our president elect and $hillbillary may not have even run because $he had no chance (without "fixing" primaries). But I also know that underestimating the stupidity and evil of the American electorate is nearly impossible.

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Right on!! The Electoral College did fail us big time. It is quite clear what their mission is, as laid out above. They did not take their role seriously and are a bunch of cowards. Trump is blatantly unfit for office and will destroy us at warp speed. His provocations prior to even being in office are beyond belief. He is one sick, narcissistic megalomaniac who is frothing at the mouth for an arms race so he can show the world how great he is and "win." The irresponsibility and egotism of this is astonishing. I mean how nuts is this?

Impeachment is the next step. Trump, with his huge conflicts of interest, will be committing crimes from the get go. Will Congress stop him? I doubt the slimy scumbags representing us will. They speak double speak when they talk about the Constitution. They are as despicable and deplorable as Trump's supporters. They already seem to fear Trump and are hesitant to criticize him. The silence is deafening. We are in deep shit, America. Congress will be up to its hips in manure. Please, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie and the other progressives who can think and reason, help us and stand up for the Constitution!!

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impeachment? Really?

That has to come from the house, which is poopulated with a yooooge majority of R racists, idiots and douchebags who could not care less about governance nor rule of law (proof? the past 8 years). And if Pelosi/conyers didn't allow articles against cheney and gonzalez, Pelosi/hoyer aren't going to allow articles against anyone this time.
Their stragety is to let the Rs fuck the nation for 2/4 years in the hopes of winning a few more seats. They also don't give a flying fuck about governance... only winning by appearing to suck a little less than the Rs.

If you are looking to Bernie and Elizabeth, what they COULD do is filibuster each and every cabinet appointee and judge nom. But they won't. They'll probably allow cloture on everyone which means they'll all be ratified by the R majority.

And they'll be impotent to stop the budget (with destruction of all safety nets) because, unlike the Democraps during obamanation, they'll use Reconciliation which renders filibusters moot... not that the Democraps would be willing to stand for any, you know, principles... beyond their affinity for money.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Noah said...

As I said, impeachment, though it will, no doubt, be justified under our laws, is very unlikely since our congresscretins are so bought and sold.
To the commenter who pointed out that Electors are pledged, so are convention delegates, and they have been known, many, many times to change their votes. As for states where the Electors face legal punishment if they change their vote, the punishments are often nominal, even as low as a $1000 fine. I am sure that money for that, and even a defense fund, could be easily and quickly raised for someone so truly patriotic. The bottom line is that all it would have taken would have been for 37 Electors to switch their vote to HRC. Hell, 270 of them could have voted for some other bozo; not a chance.
A final thought: Nixon's issues were so bad that both parties were set to vote for his removal. Would politicians of both of our bought and sold parties vote for the removal of a president? Remember, first and foremost, they are politicians. In most cases, that means they have no loyalty to anyone but themselves. If a president is going to ruin their gravy train, they just might cut that president loose. We shall see how many Repugs fear the stench of Herr Trumpf. No one can predict, but, as I said, I have a dream. And I will dream on. I remember 1974, with happiness.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nixon was the '70s, when congress was still congress and the press was still free and independent(ish). Nixon's crime(s) were seen then as so bad the Rs were in real danger of losing all but maybe 20 senate seats. And he'd already gotten the inert Ford affirmed as his veep, so impeaching couldn't do any harm. And maybe they were also aware of the deal to get Nixon pardoned... so they were cutting their losses.

Today? Nixon's crimes are commonplace and assumed. Treason is normalized. War crimes don't warrant even a wrinkled nose. And the press is fully assimilated.
And the electorate has proven iteratively that it just doesn't give a flying fuck.

Nobody but a democrat will ever again be impeached no matter what he does, and I firmly believe that a first-strike nookyuler war is included. period.


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