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As reported recently, there is a move by Republicans to change the electoral college in order to make it essentially impossible for Democrats to ever win the Presidency.  For instance, under the new law proposed in Virginia, instead of winning 13 electoral college votes, President Obama would have received only 4 despite winning the statewide election by four points.  This is also being contemplated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other blue states that currently are in the control of Republican governors and legislatures.

Were this to happen, not only would it be blatantly unfair, but it would be destabilizing to the society.  Though antiquated, the winner of electoral college usually receives the most popular votes as well.  It has happened only a few times where that wasn’t the case, the 2000 election being one of them.  But even there the margin was close and though there was a dispute over the outcome in Florida, nobody had changed the rules so dramatically as to make it impossible for one side or the other to win.  (This is not to say that Al Gore wasn’t cheated - he was - but it wasn’t as blatant.)

Now, imagine in this last election that despite winning the popular vote by more than five million votes, Barack Obama had been denied the Presidency because of the rigging of the electoral college.  Mitt Romney would be considered by more than half the country as an illegitimate President.  His entire Presidency would be seen as fraudulently obtained  by a majority of the country.  Further, the rigging of the electoral college is also racist as it dramatically lessens the impact of urban minority voters, enraging groups already with a history of disenfranchisement.     

Unlike 2000, I do not believe that a Presidency obtained in this manner would be met with only mild protest as when Al Gore graciously conceded after the Supreme Court ruling ending the recount.  Rather, I believe civil unrest and possibly riots would ensue, and that ironically many blue states would start talking about secession.  Why should California and New York have to tolerate a right wing president elected illegitimately in a rigged election by a minority of the population?  Of course, a clamor would ensue to change the election of the President to a popular vote.  But changing the constitution is difficult, and would take time.

We have a significant segment of the population that has talked of secession with President Obama’s reelection.  But he won fair and square, with a substantial electoral college and popular vote majority.   Republicans know that winning the Presidency in the future will be difficult with their current policies.  But rather than change their philosophy, they would prefer to change the rules creating a stacked deck in their favor.  People don’t like card cheats anymore then political cheats, and will express their feelings vehemently if this comes about.  People are unhappy when they lose, but they become furious when they are cheated.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Vote for Insignificant Protest. (6+ / 0-)

    There's no way here behind the Information Iron Curtain for enough people to understand what happened for sufficiently disruptive protest to occur.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:10:06 PM PST

  •  I'd like to see mass, nonviolent protests... (5+ / 0-)

    ...if the Republicans steal the White House through rigging the Electoral College. The protests in Wisconsin over collective bargaining would pale in comparison to protests over Republicans rigging the electoral college and stealing the Presidency.

    By the way, the chief executive in both situations may very well be Scott Walker.

    Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:17:36 PM PST

    •  But sadly , I doubt even mass protests would do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUNDOWN, DownstateDemocrat

      much good once the Republicans in certain blue states get this through as it is plain, they could care less about protests...see Wisconsin for instance.  It seems these teabaggers could care less about protests, even if we have massive ones. That will not change what happens, we have to stop it before it happens. We need massive GOTV in 2 years to get rid of these governors in Michgian, WI,  FL, PA, OH..or at least get rid of half or more...and VA needs a Democratic governor.  PA is really in danger of this happening because we do not have propositions or iniatives on our ballots...it is a real mess here if this happens.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:21:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      netop, RUNDOWN, DownstateDemocrat

      BEFORE they steal the White House...when the protests could actually make a difference.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:34:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Republicans underestimate (7+ / 0-)

    what people's reaction would be. Most people don't even know this is being bandied about let alone understand what assigning electoral votes by congressional district results would do. Any system that could have a Presidential candidate win the popular vote in a state but then have the state give the majority of its electoral votes to the losing candidate is just crazy. I really do think it would lead to civil unrest. If nothing else, it could dislodge them from their majorities in the states where this was enacted. These candidates could never again campaign on any theme of freedom and liberty when they instituted a system that nullified election results. They'd be viewed as cheating tyrants and with good reason.

    While Republicans championing something so antithetical to democracy seems like par for the course to us (though I think this is a bridge too far even for them), putting this in practice would unmask them once and for all as the real usurpers of our free elections. If this lunacy ever did come to pass, it might bring about the end of the electoral college system once and for all.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:44:53 PM PST

  •  I think the GOP thinks it has nothing left to lose (13+ / 0-)

    Demographically, they are not going to get back what they lost.

    would anybody be real surprised if they tried the same impeachment shit on Obama in the last two years of his second term if they make gains in 2014? I wouldn't. I'd expect it the way they are acting.

    They didn't learn anything in 2012 but "we need to cheat more and more outrageously". That's it.

    The doubling down on the crazy and the epic fail tells me that the GOP is going to do what it usually does and double down rather than reform.

    All they have left is to cheat, and to try and destroy as much of the New Deal as they can before they are no longer viable as a party.

    Then claim that any chaos that occurs is the fault of government itself not working.

    What is causing me to lose sleep right now is this:

    If the old guard beltway establishment Democratic Party couldn't ever handle Lee Atwater or Karl Rove's blatant lies, and they couldn't define the massive failures of everything from trickle down economics or the trillion dollar pig fuck that was/is neoconservatism as a millstone around the necks of the GOP and the Movement Conservative Right from 1980 until now... what the fuck level of epic fail bed wetting might we see against a GOP that rigs national elections and dares you to do something about it?

    I can see Harry Reid and Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer complaining about rigging the electoral college. Like the GOP cares about whining and complaining.

    I think it's up to us to be the pains in the asses that make a stink and stop hell from crawling all over this land. Fuck with the electoral college to rig the Presidential elections going forward, and I think we end up back on the post-Monica MoveOn.org footing, early days of the liberal blogs (2000-2004) post Florida ratfuck footing, to deal with the huge ratfucks to come as the Democrats come up small but complain loudly as they do it.

    Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did great as individual candidates, but they built their own powerful and formidable political brands, but they didn't boost the Democratic Party's brand and make the Democratic Party a formidable foe. (Obama, I believe will have a better legacy with building the party brand post-Obama as the ACA becomes an institutional part of our lives, Clinton's Republican but with a human heart/face policy achievements didn't do much to help the rest of the party cope with the GOP post-Clinton). If it wasn't for the New Deal and Great Society Legacies, the Democratic Party wouldn't have much to run on other than "we aren't fucking crazy like the GOP".

    With all the new GOP cheats and ratfucks on the way, and the doubling down on the bad faith, and Reid wetting the bed over filibuster reform, I think we are in for a rough couple of years of Obama getting mugged in the hope of making the 2014 mid-terms the 2010 all over again. They know that if the GOP re-takes the Senate in 2014, and puts a GOPer in the White House aftetwards, they could end the New Deal and the Great Society and all they need to do is find a way to get the Democrats to take the blame in the beltway for the fallout.

    I'm betting life is going to feel a lot like it did for us, the people who created the liberal blogs because we had to because everything else was against us as non-Conservatives, back in 2000 after Florida and the year long mugging of Al Gore by the media.

    Darkest before the dawn. The last ten to fifteen years of a viable GOP will be their worst I believe.

    If we can save as much of the New Deal/Great Society Safety net programs, and the ACA, as possible, through this last self-immolating Teahadi hurrah, our grandchildren and their kids will be fine.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:24:12 PM PST

  •  Fear the wounded elephant. (6+ / 0-)

    It's apt to mindlessly charge and trample anything in its path.

    I'd like to think that this scheme is so blatantly dishonest and undemocratic that the mere discussion of it would put it to rest. Yet how many states were able to find ways to make voting more difficult in the last cycle?

    Republicans are facing huge demographic obstacles in national elections and the trend lines are getting even worse for them.

    So this is their answer. Just steal the election. That says a lot about what they've become.

  •  These moves by the Republicans to essentially (6+ / 0-)

    Steal elections is the most dangerous move I have ever seen a party embark on in my lifetime. If these electoral vote rigging had been in place this past election, Romney would have won while losing the popular vote by an astounding five million votes.

    Tell me that wouldn't have led to riots in the streets. This blatant attempt to redefine the whole electoral process in this country must be resisted at all cost. Thank God this story is getting national play, we need serious thinking republicans to put a stop to this, because the consequences of such an enactment will tear at the fabric of the nation.

  •  I am normally a very optimistic, positive person (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luisnbill, Mark Mywurtz, hulibow

    who tends to not borrow trouble or worry too far ahead..but this one issue more than any other issue ...troubles me greatly and has me very, very worried.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:22:34 AM PST

  •  How do you explain it to low-information voters? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tommy Aces, Mark Mywurtz

    I can't think of a way to present this that won't result in eyes glazing over in the first two seconds.

  •  will lead to social unrest (0+ / 0-)

    If this happened voting would no longer matter, the will of the people would no longer matter. In fact eventually democrats would stop voting because it would be a futile exercise and the takeover of the govt would be complete.
    If republicans want to divvy up EV it has to be nationwide in red states also.

  •  I think that if the rules are changed, Democrats (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geekydee, RUNDOWN, Jon Says

    will adapt and operate under those rules.

    I know that gerrymandering sucks, but Republicans were able to largely win more congressional districts in PA and OH (and others) even though they lost those states at large because the urban-rural divide tends to pack more urban (ie: liberal) voters into fewer districts.  The popular vote was close enough (1% margin) where Republicans were able to sweep those swing (purple) congressional districts.

    So under the nature of the winner-take-all system, the Democrats expended resources in the 2012 campaign to run up the vote in those urban areas.

    If the election was based purely on the EVs decided by congressional districts, more resources would have been expended to try to win those swing/persuadable districts.  The overall popular vote might have looked a lot different under those rules.

    But yeah, the Republicans want their cake and eat it too.  They want to preserve the winner-take-all rules for red states while splitting the EVs in those purple states.  They want to change the rules in their favor.

    •  Yeah, about that (1+ / 0-)
      I think that if the rules are changed, Democrats will adapt and operate under those rules.
      Even if the rules are changed to eliminate Democrats?

      ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

      by geekydee on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:49:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, no, no (0+ / 0-)

      There is no "adapting" to this type of chicanery. This, coupled with gerrymandering, is nothing short of fraud. This must be stopped and, ultimately, the electoral college totally scrapped. Popular vote NOW. Everywhere.

      Stupid Quaternary Period!

      by obatanga night on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:29:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The electoral college was a compromise... (2+ / 0-)

    ... between the large states and the small states. Allotting electoral votes by CD - especially doing it selectively to produce a desired outcome - breaks this compromise.

    Remember how the Republicans were making threats because Romney was going to win the popular vote, while Obama won the electoral vote? Of course, Obama won the popular vote and it wasn't even close. The GOP is attempting to rig the vote to produce a desired outcome, even if the GOP candidate gets millions less votes than the Democrat.

    Virginia, which was won by Obama with a comfortable 4% margin would have gone to Romney with by a 4-9 margin. Yes, despite winning Virginia by 4%, Romney would have taken Virginia's delegates in a landslide, with over 2/3 of the electoral votes.

    Meanwhile, in the red states, it will be winner take all. It goes against equal protection. Why should cities be punished? It's not dirt that wins election, but voters. Republicans scream because the map looks really red, but when you adjust the map for where people really live, Democrats are winning where people actually live.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:04:25 AM PST

  •  Pardon me, (2+ / 0-)

    just got up and going back to bed in a few, but wouldn't this violate some part of the constitution?  I don't know, like the 5th on due process or the 14th on equal protection?  Heck, I thought this was decided with Reynolds v Sims (at least tangentially) dealing with apportionment in AL.  I think it was during the civil rights time period, but too tired to look it up.  Anyways, enlighten me, please.  I would like to learn.
    Back to bed and cold medicines and antibiotics, 3rd round for pneumonia (azithromycin for the original sinus infection, doxycycline, levofloxacin hasn't yet either but 4 days to go, and next wants a pic line for worked vancomycin).  I hate chills and sweats, erg...

    ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

    by geekydee on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:43:38 AM PST

  •  Of course, if Democrats take back any of these (0+ / 0-)

    states this year or next, they can change it back.  But it's difficult to see that happen, although PA might be an exception.

  •  The way to stop this crap (0+ / 0-)

    The only way out of this morass is for the Democrats to mobilize and start winning elections at the State level.  That's what the GOP did in 2010, when it really mattered.  That year, the Democrats were asleep, satisfied with the 2008 election.  2010 wins allowed the Republicans to reconfigure the districts to their advantage (Census, you know) and this is what happens when you drop your guard.
    So, get back at it.  Organize, rally the troops and win the 2014 election everywhere.  And then we can push back against the Republicans stealing the country out from under our noses.

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