Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Electoral Manipulation. . . Again

If there is one thing Democrats love doing, it’s trying to rig the electoral system. They’ll try anything, from banning opponents from raising money, to forcing their views to be heard on the air, to trying to change the system to let two Democrats run against each other in the general election. Now they are working on a new plan: the national popular vote initiative.

The national popular vote imitative is a pact between states that are seeking to circumvent the Electoral College and replace it with a national popular vote. Since changing the Electoral College system would require a change in the Constitution, which would be highly unlikely, these states have come up with a way to do this without the consent of the majorities needed to change the Constitution.

Under the pact, once enough states sign on that the pact members have 270 electoral votes -- the majority -- they would all agree to vote their electoral votes for the winner of the national vote, no matter how the residents of their own states actually voted. Since they represent the majority of electoral votes, the remaining states would be irrelevant at that point. Thus, the President would no longer be the candidate with the most electoral votes, they would be the candidate with the most votes, as a majority of electoral votes would automatically reflect the popular vote.

Right now, the pact has five states: Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington. Massachusetts is looking to become the sixth, with both their House and Senate having approved the National Popular Vote Bill.

Naturally, this idea comes from liberals. Liberals have discovered to their horror that because they all clump together in communes, like San Francisco, they have reduced their political power. Take California as an example. Californians normally favor the liberal by about 8%. But once you get one vote beyond 50%, the rest of those liberal votes -- the full 8% minus 1 vote -- are wasted. But if the country could be tricked into switching to a national vote plan, then those 8% suddenly matter again.

What’s worse, it won’t even take the whole country to switch to make this plan work for liberals; it will take only one consistently conservative state to join this cabal. Indeed, if Georgia or North Dakota or Kentucky had this law in place in 2000, then Al Gore would have become President. That said, however, the danger of this happening again is actually not as high as it seems. Indeed, so far, only four Presidents would have lost if this system had been in place: Adams to Jackson in 1824, Hayes to Tilden in 1876, Harrison to Cleveland in 1884, and Bush to Gore in 2000.

Nevertheless, this is a dangerous idea. This pact is designed to reduce the influence of small states in favor of the big states. Indeed, once this pact is in place, why would candidates ever waste their time in places like Wyoming or Connecticut when 50% of the population can be gotten in nine states, 70% in seventeen states, and 90% in 32 states. Why bother with the rest? It should thus come as no surprise that the states that have joined this pact are all large, liberal states with populations that rank in the top 15 (except for Hawaii).

Moreover, I don’t see the “fairness” or even the constitutionality of letting a state hold a popular vote and then changing the result after the fact. There is something intensely un-democratic about that. And if this is constitutional, then would it not also be constitutional for states to simply decide that their votes should be cast for the most conservative or most liberal candidate? Or maybe the tallest candidate? So much for democracy.

In the end, I don’t think this will gain any traction because it will be too harmful to the 35 states that aren’t in the top 15. Also, if this does ever happen, I suspect it won’t survive the first Republican victory. Because when the pro-Democratic votes in places like Massachusetts and California are suddenly switched to the Republican column. . . causing the biggest Republican landslide since Ronald Reagan, you will hear screams of unfairness from liberals who will be aghast that their votes for the Democrats will be counted as votes for the Republican. Indeed, they will squeal that this is positively a human rights violation and the most fundamental injustice imaginable in a democracy.

Liberals never can accept that their own weapons can be used against them.


Notawonk said...

linking this today. it's all i though t about last night. man, i was glad to see you tackled this. stoopid libbie meddlers.

JG said...

While the math is over my head, I appreciate the breakdown. :) Trying to explain to liberals that the Electoral College was kept in place as a way to keep things more fair among bigger and smaller states is like trying to convince a vegetarian that meat is actually quite tasty and nourishing. Even though I wasn't in college until around the second Bush election, they (professors and students) were still talking about ways to try and abolish the EC for being "unfair." Because it's only fair if we win, you know.

StanH said...

Typical liberal shenanigans, cheat, lie, and steal. They may change their minds again after 11/2/10. We’ll see.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Yeah, I've been watching this one for a while (actually just didn't have an empty spot where I could publish it until now).

This sounds horrible, but I don't think it will ever come to pass. But if it does, that will be bad.

AndrewPrice said...

JG, The math is actually very simple -- once the group has a majority of electoral votes, it no longer matters how the rest vote because they have enough to decide the winner.

You're right about liberals. The problem with liberals is that they speak without thinking. If you present them with a situation where someone they like doesn't win because of how something is arranged (like the electoral college or the rule of law in court), then they knee-jerk want it changed to stop this horrible "injustice." They never think about the consequences.

That's why the best weapon to use against liberals is to turn their own weapons against them. For example, for forty years they favored the federalization of education. . . until Bush used the tools they put in place to push conservative ideas. Suddenly they were aghast and they began screaming about how unfair and horrible this is, and they suddenly re-discovered state's rights and federalism.

Some of them are just dishonest about their bias, but others simply only see the current issue without any thought to the past or the future.

This is one of those issues.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, If this goes into place (and I don't think it ever will), liberals will begin screaming bloody murder the very next time a Republican gets elected because they think "Democrats always win the popular vote, so this will always get us Democrats."

But the reality is that except for the Gore election, the recent winners have always won the popular vote. And since these states are liberal, that means that Republicans would always win a landslide (as their votes will shift over) and Democrats won't (because states like Kansas won't join this).

And the first time their "democrat" votes get switched to "republican", they'll be outraged.

Unknown said...

Andrew: California is among the states that have considered this abomination. I can't express how much this concept endangers the Republic. Over many decades, the progressives have been dismantling the entire system of checks and balances that the Founders built to avoid the tyranny of temporary majorities. Through court decisions and the 17th Amendment, they have diminished the sovereignty of the states.

I've seen many attempts to con the American public into eliminating the Electoral College by direct action, but this insidious back-door attempt is by far the most dangerous. After two generations of leftist indoctrination and the elimination of solid history instruction in the schools, the public, swollen with large numbers of ignorant fools with no investment in American representative democracy other than the "gifts" they can get from the government might find this demagogic scheme desirable.

Direct democracies don't work. They never have, and they never will. The legitimate cry of "one man, one vote" of the civil rights era has been modified by aspiring dictators throughout the world into "one man, one vote, one time." And now, the latter concept comes to America in this proposal. God help us all if it passes--it will be the final nail in the coffin of federalism.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I couldn't agree more. The left has been waging a war against every check and balance put in place to stop the large states from crushing the small states, to stop the majority from abusing the minority, and to stop the government from becoming an all-powerful executive -- i.e., a dictatorship.

And you're right about direct democracy. It never works because it allows the majority to do whatever they want at the expense of the minority. Basically, the majority becomes alcoholics locked in a liquor store. They can vote themselves anything they want until the whole system collapses.

The left doesn't get that because they are drunk with the idea that if they could just stop all those pesky checks and balances, then they could impose an all-powerful nanny state.

And this initiative is a truly insidious attempt to get there as quickly as possibly.

MegaTroll said...

This is the sort of thing that really ticks me off. This is why I despise liberals. They whine about obeying the spirit of the law except when it applies to them, then they work hard to find a way around the law.

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, I agree, it angers me too. But this is the liberal way -- "do as I say, not as I do."

They want to change all the rules to favor them, no matter how hypocritical their efforts. Look back at the Ted Kennedy thing, where they changed the law to keep a Republican from appointing the new Senator, and then had to change the law to stop the Republicans from being able to stop Democratic filibusters.

It's despicable.

Tennessee Jed said...

Of the four elections whose outcome would have changed, it is Bush vs. Gore that sticks in the modern liberal craw.

While it is tempting to think they are solely focused on the "end justifying the means," I suspect there are always those simpletons who have convinced themselves that after 200 years, we really not a nation of 50 different states, but merely one big country who would be better off if states became as significant as municipalities in the big scheme of things.

Of course, as you, correctly point out, if such a scenario were to ever favor Republicans, they would change their tune faster than one could say "States Rights Gist."

p.s. States Rights Gist was a Harvard graduate and attorney from South Carolina who obtained the rank of Brigadier General in the Confederate Army and had his name legally changed.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's funny!

It is the Bush/Gore election that caused this. I don't recall any liberals worrying about the popular vote before that election. In fact, at that point, they were busy trying to find a way to convince right-leaning states (like Colorado was at that point) to split their electoral votes according to voting percentage. That way they could peel off electoral votes in states they couldn't win. . . of course, they hated the idea of doing that in places like California. But they dropped that idea once they won some of these states and they began to figure they could keep winning them.

And in the 1980s, they were worried about "minority rights" because their views were the clear minority.

But now they think (wrongly) that their views are the majority, so they want to switch to a system that lets the majority have it's way without those pesky rules that keep getting in their way.

But, once this goes into place and it works against them, you can be sure that they will suddenly become huge proponents of state's rights and protecting the views of the minority.

CrispyRice said...

This has been heavy on my mind, too, Patti!

My concern is this, Andrew - if 17 states have 70% of the population, then they don't need the rest of the states to pass this law, right? Won't they have enough electoral votes in those 17 just to run with it, no matter what the rest of the country thinks?

CrispyRice said...

Oh AND!! The other thing I read was that none of these laws go into effect until enough states have passed it so that 270 electoral votes are covered. In other words, the Massholes aren't giving up their votes until they know they can steal the rest of the country's first.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That is correct. However, those states don't have similar interests. . . unless this thing passes. For example, those 17 include Florida and Texas, neither of which would vote the same way as California.

BUT, if they pass this thing, then that's where elections will be fought -- in the top 15-20 BIG states. There would be no reason to waste any time in the rest.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Yep, that's in the article above. And you're right, they aren't doing this on principle, they are only doing this if it will work out for them.

If they did just give up their votes right now, then the whole thing would fail because they would immediately become irrelevant. That's why they're waiting until they have a majority of votes.

CrispyRice said...

LOL, Sorry Andrew! I spend my whole day reading for work, so I'm guilty of skimming when I get to my own time. ;)

Or maybe I'm just seeing red everywhere here. Ugh.

But, one more question -- Doesn't this really just concentrate power not even in particular states, but really just in cities? It's not all of NY that is going to get attention, but just NYC. Who cares who lives in upstate NY, right?

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Very astute. It does concentrate power in cities because that's where the people are. Look at California for example, where three or four cities control the whole state. This would be the same thing if it passed. Candidates would travel from large city to large city and entirely ignore the countryside because they could get all the votes they needed in the cities.

Hmmm. I wish I'd added that to my analysis! Great catch!

JG said...


What I meant by math was the 8% and 50% and 8% +1...I'm still working on that one. But I was an English major. :)

AndrewPrice said...

JG, I'm sorry, my mistake. Let me try to clarify what I said:

To win the electoral votes in California (or any other state), all you need is 50% of the vote plus 1 vote. That makes you the winner and you get all of the electoral votes. In other words, all you need is 50.00000000000001% to win the all of the state's electoral votes.

Every additional vote thereafter is wasted. In other words, whether 50.0001% vote for you or 90% vote for you, it doesn't change the outcome. Thus, the extra 39.0099% of the 90% are wasted because they don't affect the outcome under the Electoral College System.

BUT, if you change to a popular vote system, then those "wasted" votes begin to matter again because they go toward the national total rather than simply counting toward the electoral total.

In California, about 8% more vote for the liberal candidate than are needed to give the liberal candidate California's electoral votes. So long as we stay on an electoral system, those 8% are basically wasted votes. But if we switch to a national vote scheme, then those 8% would become very important because they count toward the total number of votes, and they would be counted against votes cast all over the country.

I hope that's more clear?

CrispyRice said...

Anytime you want to put me on staff, Andrew, I'll be cowering under a rock over there. ;)

Or, wait, can I get the same pay scale as the elves?

Ed said...

I want to swear, but I won't because no one else is swearing. They taught us that in the Navy. But I really, seriously, truly want to swear.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, LOL! You don't want the same pay scale as the elves! Actually, the little jerks are in Brazil right now and apparently are headed for Germany next. . . maybe we are paying them too much?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Thanks for not swearing, and let assure that I too have a few choice words I'd like to let fly at our "friends" on the left.

Mike K. said...

This makes me nervous because I'm not entirely clear about how this benefits liberals. That means I must be missing something important.

The states that this would effect are by-and-large going to be reliably voting for Democrats, aren't they? So the only way this law changes anything is if the Republican candidate wins the popular vote. Why would they want that?

The only thing I'm sure about is that if this law came into effect, it would make the Florida recount look like a cakewalk. The electoral college limited the confusion to Florida. If the popular vote in the country as a whole became important to the outcome, what would prevent the losing party from challenging every vote in every polling place in the country? Hand recounts of millions of ballots before a winner is announced? That's madness.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, Three points in response:

1. In the electoral math department, it helps liberals ONLY if a conservative state is stupid enough to join them. If they can trick any state that normally votes for a Republican to join (and they happen to win the popular vote), then they could swing that state to their side, which would give them the election. Basically, this is intended to change the Florida result the next time by causing a handful of electoral votes in places that voted Republican to automatically swing over.

2. That said, liberal plans never work out the way liberals expect. I think the most likely result would be that there is no second Bush/Gore 2000, so this never becomes an issue in that regard, except that we will start seeing a lot of Republican landslides and few Democratic ones.

3. The real intent/danger may be this: if we switch to a national vote, candidates will focus almost entirely on large states and (particularly) big cities. Those are much more liberal than the rest of the country. Thus, politicians of both parties would start pandering to big city liberals rather than trying to appeal to the whole country. That would move our politics to the left.

So you're right to be concerned.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, P.S. You make a great point too about this becoming a legal nightmare. In a close election, there will be teams in court in every good sized liberal district trying to squeeze out a few more votes in a recount. It will entirely discredit our election process.

DUQ said...

Good article, Andrew. I agree that this could spell disaster and have all sorts of unintended consequences, But maybe you can help me with a question. I'm not sure how to respond to my friends, who tend to be liberals, when they say that the current system isn't fair because doesn't really count "one person = one vote." They don't want to hear, "Well, the Constitution says so" or "You liberals in the big cities don't get as much power."

Can you help?

BevfromNYC said...

Don't these Libs in Massachusetts realize that EVERY time they screw with elections and elected/appointed officials, they lose?

1. The Democrats in the Legislature of Mass passed a new law that any Congressional vacancies must be filled by Special elections rather than by of an appointment by Governor. This was done to thwart any Republican appointments by Romney that might arise if John Kerry beat Bush in the 2004 election.

2. Then fast foward to 2009-10 and OOPS!, Ted Kennedy gets a brain tumor is about to die and OOPS! they all realize that they were so very wrong and NOW the Governor really, really SHOULD have the power to appoint after all. Of course they now have DEMOCRAT Governor. So they scramble, but can't muster the votes to change the law in time, so Scott Brown a Republican won Teddy's seat in a special election and history is made...

Now they think that they will win ALL the elections if only they change the EC vote from within. These poor saps never learn...

Unknown said...

DUQ: I'm sure Andrew will give you a full response. But see my comment above. "One man, one vote, one time." It's a goal of the Democrats, even those who don't understand it entirely. But in a more practical sense, we are a republic, not a democracy as the Democrats would have it. "One man, one vote" was a motto from the civil rights era when black didn't even get the one vote. But it has been grossly distorted over the years. The Constitution gives equal rights to the states and the people in different ways. The Senate is [was} the representative of the states. The House was the representative of the people (the majority). Checks and balances. Nowhere does the Constitution grant an omnipresent "one man, one vote" guarantee. For excellent reasons, the Founders avoided direct democracy, which is nothing but "one man, one vote." Carry that concept to its logical extreme, and there's no need for the states at all. Just make them divisions of the national government. That is exactly what the liberals want, since they're sure they have a majority despite all evidence to the contrary. Governments, like automobiles, need both accelerators and brakes. Direct democracy (one man, one vote) removes the brakes.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, There's a philosophical difference that might make liberals unreachable on this issue. That said, I would counter-attack:

1. So you don't believe in minority rights? Whatever the majority says goes huh? And if the majority decides, hey we like the way Texas thinks, then you're fine with them imposing their will on Massachusetts?

2. So it doesn't matter to you that our politicians will pander only to a few big cities and everyone else will be disenfranchised?

But the real problem is one of principle. Liberals don't have any. They like to pretend they believe in "one person, one vote," until it gets in the way of a result they want.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, They never do learn because they're short term thinkers. They only look at the problem before them at that moment and they look for an easy solution, without ever considering the consequences or that it might boomerang back on them.

But don't worry, in addition to being short term thinkers, they are also hypocrites, so it doesn't bother them in the least to keep changing the rules whenever the rules don't suit them.

That's sad and pathetic if you ask me.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, All true, but I don't think liberals care about that. I think when you start talking to a liberal about the Constitution, their eyes just glaze over.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Lawhawk, I'm not saying those are good points -- they are excellent points, I'm just saying that in an argument with liberals, they won't care about those things.

DUQ said...

Thanks for the well-reasoned answers, gentlemen! I keep trying to use logic with them, and it's a losing proposition. But I'll keep at it.

JG said...

Thanks for the clarification, Andrew. :) That helped. (My calculator is in field training this week.)

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! You're welcome JG!

Unknown said...

Andrew: I knew what you meant. We must always remember that the liberals consider the Constitution to be an impediment to good government.

AndrewPrice said...

Very true. . . very true. It's the greatest, most noble document in the history of the world when it does what they want, and a useless piece of paper written by dead white racists when it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Our dumocrats just passed this here. I'm voting for anyone who can undo this sucker.

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