Quotes of the day

posted at 10:38 pm on September 14, 2011 by Allahpundit

“Under the Republican plan—which has been endorsed by top GOPers in both houses of the state Legislature, as well as the governor, Tom Corbett—Pennsylvania would change from this system to one where each congressional district gets its own electoral vote

“[I]f the GOP presidential nominee carries the GOP-leaning districts but Obama carries the state, the GOP nominee would get 12 electoral votes out of Pennsylvania, but Obama would only get eight—six for winning the blue districts, and two (representing the state’s two senators) for winning the state. Since Obama would lose 12 electoral votes relative to the winner-take-all baseline, this would have an effect equivalent to flipping a medium-size winner-take-all state—say, Washington, which has 12 electoral votes—from blue to red. And Republicans wouldn’t even have to do any extra campaigning or spend any extra advertising dollars to do it…

“It doesn’t necessarily end there. After their epic sweep of state legislative and gubernatorial races in 2010, Republicans also have total political control of Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, three other big states that traditionally go Democratic and went for Obama in 2008. Implementing a Pennsylvania-style system in those three places—in Ohio, for example, Democrats anticipate controlling just 4 or 5 of the state’s 16 congressional districts—could offset Obama wins in states where he has expanded the electoral map, like Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, or Virginia. ‘If all these Rust Belt folks get together and make this happen, that could be really dramatic,’ says Carolyn Fiddler, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), which coordinates state political races for the Dems.

“Democrats would not be able to retaliate. The only states that John McCain won where Dems control both houses of the state legislature are Arkansas and West Virginia. West Virginia is too small for splitting the electoral votes to have much effect. That leaves Arkansas, another small state—and one where McCain won every district handily in 2008.”

***

“[Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic] Pileggi sees it differently. ‘I’m getting more complaints from Republicans!’ he says. ‘Some Republicans believe 2012 is going to be the year we win the popular vote in Pennsylvania again.’ He is thinking only of the commonwealth. ‘This would be good for Pennsylvania,’ Pileggi says. ‘The results would reflect which candidate won the popular vote. Is there a better way to closely conform the electoral vote to the popular vote? I’m open to suggestions.’…

“Take a look at Florida, a swing state that voted for Obama in 2008. He won 52 percent of the vote, but only 10 of the state’s 25 districts. Had the Republican-run legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist rammed through a vote-split plan—and they easily could have—McCain would have been rejected by the voters of Florida, then grabbed 15 of their 27 electoral votes.

“Thus the full-scale Democratic freak-out about the Pileggi plan. Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin are all run by Republicans, Democrats point out, who could ram these plans through if they wanted. So far, none of them have made any moves toward doing so. But if every state had implemented the Pileggi plan in 2008, Obama would have won 307 electoral votes instead of 365.”

***

“The heat that would come on Pennsylvania GOP legislators would make the Wisconsin protests look like a tersely-worded letter of disapproval. Some Republicans are likely to be wary of a proposal that appears to ‘changing the rules after the game has started.’

“But most of these states have a simple political geography: vast swaths of Republican-leaning rural and sometimes suburban districts balanced by, and sometimes outweighted, by densely-packed, deeply Democratic urban districts. It’s not surprising that frustrated Republicans would tire of seeing their votes rendered moot by high (some would argue suspiciously high) turnout in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc. often gives Democrats the edge in these key states.

“The prize for the audacious move would be enormous for Republicans: They would establish, arguably, a GOP lock on the presidency until the country’s demographics and political geography changed.”

***

“The result of all this would be that presidential elections lose a great deal of their legitimacy.

“It would be entirely possible for a Republican to win the 2012 presidential election despite losing the popular vote by a solid margin and losing states containing a solid majority of electoral votes. Democrats would likely retaliate the next time they had a chance. Close presidential elections would wind up being decided by all sorts of odd chance events, rather than, you know, who wins the most votes. Yes, the current electoral college system does allow split results such as what happened in 2000, but that’s very different: clear, stable rules make it likely that everyone will accept the results.

“In short, it’s an absolutely outrageous plan, terrible for democracy and terrible for Pennsylvania. But extremely good for the short-term prospects of Republican presidential candidates.”

***

“On a policy level, I agree with James that this proposal may actually be a good idea.

“First of all, it maintains the Electoral College’s purpose of balancing large states against small ones, and regions against regions while at the same time addressing one of the biggest criticisms of the way that we elect Presidents. By tying at least one electoral vote in each state to a Congressional District, the proposal would put nearly every state into play in a Presidential election. Yes, the proposal would benefit Republicans in Pennsylvania, but it would likely benefit Democrats in states like Florida and Texas. In the end, the benefits would probably balance themselves out across the nation, and candidates would be forced to run a campaign that addresses the country as a whole, rather than one that merely focuses on a few big states.

“Second, the Congressional district allocation method has been tried before, and works. Both Nebraska and Maine have had this system in effect for several years and it’s worked just fine.

“Finally, it is completely constitutional.”

***

“According to our calculations, in 2008, President Obama won 52.7 percent of the national vote, but with his 365 electoral votes, he won 67.8 percent of the electoral college. But if every state in the country had used the congressional-district apportionment system in 2008, Obama would have won 301 electoral votes (242 districts, plus 56 for winning 28 states, plus 3 for D.C.), which is 55.4 percent of the electoral college. So in 2008, the congressional-district apportionment system would have more accurately reflected the popular vote, and it would have helped John McCain.

“In 2004, President Bush won 50.7 percent of the popular vote, and his 286 electoral votes represented 53.15 percent of the electoral college. Had every state in the country used the congressional-district apportionment system in 2004, Bush would have won 317 electoral votes (255 districts, plus 62 for winning 31 states), or 58.9 percent of the electoral college. So in 2004, the congressional-district apportionment system would have less accurately reflected the popular vote, and it would have helped … George W. Bush.

“Either way, splitting up electoral votes by congressional district helps the Republican. That’s because Democratic districts are more Democratic than Republican districts are Republican…

“The only way for the electoral college to accurately reflect the national popular vote is if the electoral college is directly tied to the popular vote.”

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Comment pages: 1 2

As long as it helps Plain..:)

Dire Straits on September 15, 2011 at 1:00 AM

Kase-ee-know?

carbon_footprint on September 15, 2011 at 1:03 AM

As long as it helps Plain..:)

Dire Straits on September 15, 2011 at 1:00 AM

How Amish of you!

John the Libertarian on September 15, 2011 at 1:07 AM

John the Libertarian on September 15, 2011 at 1:07 AM

LoL!..Don’t mess with Han Solo!..:)

Dire Straits on September 15, 2011 at 1:11 AM

It reduces the value, meaning, and impact of fraud.

If you can gimmick one area of one district in Florida in 2000 by maybe 5,000 votes total, you can sway 20+ EV’s.

If you’re doing district by district voting, you get 1 for the same effort. And the “only campaign on the coasts and big states” candidates do is done as well. But IMO this is a good idea because it reduces any value of fraud.

Which also would explain why Democrats HATE this plan. I mean if you reduce the value of the Chicago Graveyard vote to a single EV… what is the point of having all those dead people voting?

gekkobear on September 15, 2011 at 1:31 AM

gekkobear on September 15, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Exactly. Reducing the fraud in Detroit, Philly, Cleveland, Milwaukee and of course Chicago is reason enough to do this in every state.

angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:39 AM

RightOFLeft on September 14, 2011 at 11:20 PM

I haven’t decided if I like the idea yet, but how does it disenfranchise urban voters? It seems to me that the reverse is true, it would prevent the islands of blue from disenfranchising most of the rest of the states they reside in. Why isn’t that true?

I live in Washington State and that’s a huge problem here. Frankly, if things don’t change soon I think eastern Washington should join Idaho. Maybe east Oregon can join in, too. But with something like this the rest of Washington State would have more representation without having to redraw state borders.

FloatingRock on September 15, 2011 at 1:39 AM

I personally like the constitution. I don’t think we ought to screw around with the electoral system like this.

JellyToast on September 14, 2011 at 11:02 PM

The constitution says states can do whatever they want with regard to allocating EVs. If PA wanted to use the Groundhog to decide who gets its EVs, it would be perfectly constitutional.

angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:44 AM

How about a plan where the % of the vote in each state = EVs won by each party. This way you appease the popular vote people and you reduce the impact of fraud.

PA goes 51/49 the winner gets 51% of the 20 EVs, rounded up. The EVs are split 11 to 9. To me that is the fairest way.

And it also makes fraud much less of a factor. A few thousand ballots stuffed in Philadelphia adds and extra 1 or 2% to the Dem. So instead of winning 11-9, they win 12-8, maybe 13-7. Yea it still makes fraud an issue, but it’s almost a non issue gaining 1 or 2 extra EVs vs. gaining 20 extra EVs as is the case today if the fraud given the winner all of the EVs

angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:51 AM

MAYBE…IF voter ID (picture) is required in each state to vote…

Gohawgs on September 15, 2011 at 2:48 AM

“It would be entirely possible for a Republican to win the 2012 presidential election despite losing the popular vote by a solid margin and losing states containing a solid majority of electoral votes. Democrats would likely retaliate the next time they had a chance. Close presidential elections would wind up being decided by all sorts of odd chance events, rather than, you know, who wins the most votes. Yes, the current electoral college system does allow split results such as what happened in 2000, but that’s very different: clear, stable rules make it likely that everyone will accept the results.

Any method which doesn’t give exactly the same weight to each vote will have the problem. But that problem on a intra-state basis, is worse with the current winner-take-all method. With winner-take-all, all a candidate has to do is get 50%+1 votes to get 100% of the electoral votes. I’d say that, in terms of disenfranchising the voter, that winner-take-all is more apt to do so — it can disenfranchise up to 50%-1 of the voters.

I fail to see how reducing the number of winner-take-all votes to 100 maximum (the electoral votes associated with Senate seats), and allocating the House votes by how the House districts voted, will cause giant disparities against the popular vote.

I live in California — and there’s absolutely no chance my vote for President will ever count. And that holds even if the Republicans manage to get 50%-1 of the vote. If that isn’t disenfranchisement, I don’t know what is.

unclesmrgol on September 15, 2011 at 2:53 AM

The constitution says states can do whatever they want with regard to allocating EVs. If PA wanted to use the Groundhog to decide who gets its EVs, it would be perfectly constitutional.

angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:44 AM

No. The 14th Amendment states that if a Groundhog is used to determine electoral votes, the number of electoral votes of that state are reduced in proportion to the number of male citizens deprived of representation by the Groundhog, divided by the total number of male citizens 21 years of age or older within the State.

As one can see merely by a cursory reading of the 14th Amendment, that any Groundhog that deprives male citizens of age 21 years or older of electoral representation will cause that State’s electoral votes to be diminished by the percentage of the deprived male citizens vice the total number of citizens.

Hence, if this Groundhog is a tyrant, PA could lose ALL of its electoral votes.

unclesmrgol on September 15, 2011 at 3:06 AM

Is it just me, or is HotAir just totally dead tonight?!

cane_loader on September 15, 2011 at 3:12 AM

USA v Russia Rugby World Cup Live on Universal Sports from New Zealand.

lexhamfox on September 15, 2011 at 3:24 AM

O/T
=====

Heres another Liberal mask,that has fallen off!!

Dem Rep. Schakowsky: ‘You Don’t Deserve To Keep All Your Money’
Added: 10 hours ago Occurred On: Sep-14-2011

****************************************************************

Trying to get inside the mind of a Liberal. enter with caution! it’s a cold dark spooky place with very little coherent activity.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c05_1316041889

canopfor on September 15, 2011 at 6:18 AM

If PA wanted to use the Groundhog to decide who gets its EVs, it would be perfectly constitutional.

angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Chicago would use dead groundhogs scraped off the pavement.

TugboatPhil on September 15, 2011 at 6:24 AM

The one thing I don’t understand about this country is simply one vote, straight up, per state. That’s it. In PR is not split like that. Popular vs. electoral? Nah! I know PR is waaayy little but for 4 million and 86% participation on elections, it doesn’t serve anybody who won a “popular” vote where the other one counts.

IMHO it’s worthless to me that one candidate won “Mr. Popularity Bi-partisan” but the other took the bounty, “Mr. Me, Myself and I”. We’d have the “hobbit” Palin in the WH. Mc is an afterthought.

ProudPalinFan on September 15, 2011 at 6:38 AM

O/T
======
More Fear Mongering!!
Ugh,I probably will get reported,then,extradited!!
==================================================

Obama: Why wait for another bridge collapse?
Sep. 14, 2011
****************

resident Obama has a new argument for his new jobs bill: Prevent another bridge collapse, as happened in Minneapolis in 2007.

“Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?” Obama today during his speech in Raleigh, N.C. promoting new infrastructure improvements included in his proposed American Jobs Act.

Conservative bloggers pounced on the remark.

“Obama ran his 2008 campaign based on the notion that ‘the politics of fear’ was hurting America,” wrote The Weekly Standard. “But that was before he was president of the United States.”

Columnist Doug Powers — noting that Obama has used the Minneapolis collapse in arguing for previous infrastructure bills, noted that bridge fell because of a design flaw.

“Frankly, I think we’re witnessing a nervous breakdown at the corner of Desperation and Denial,” Powers said. “But regardless, selling fear remains the only available tactic.”
(more…………)

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2011/09/14/obama-why-wait-for-another-bridge-collapse/
================================

Obama: “Why Would We Wait To Act Until Another Bridge Falls?”
Added: 14 hours ago Occurred On: Sep-14-2011
*****************

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4c3_1316030657

****(AP or ED,I would of sent it in to tips,but my email thingy
is snafu’d):)

canopfor on September 15, 2011 at 6:39 AM

If PA wanted to use the Groundhog to decide who gets its EVs, it would be perfectly constitutional.

angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Why oh why people wait for Punxatawney Phil which is older than all of us to say that winter will be six weeks longer? Am not gonna do that. I want that sucker to say that PA will enjoy all-year-long summer weather.

Ya think Phil cares to see his shadow after a nice long nap? I wonder if Obama has A shadow. Take it one way or the other.

ProudPalinFan on September 15, 2011 at 6:54 AM

OT

Sometimes, life is a song cue.

kingsjester on September 15, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Of course McGinnis’ report of Sarah Palin having a tryst with a black man will ruin her for Tea Party voters, because we know just how racist they all are!

Even the black and Latino Tea Partiers.

Siddhartha Vicious on September 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM

morning joe lovin one poll for dear leader….47% approval

hello joe, polls are skewed big time…get your head out the of sand…

cmsinaz on September 15, 2011 at 7:04 AM

morning joe lauding the resillience of dear leader

love those numbers….

talk about delusional….

cmsinaz on September 15, 2011 at 7:07 AM

He is LANDSLIDE BEATABLE!!

PappyD61 on September 15, 2011 at 7:08 AM

Not to get excited -The Marxists would merely shift their fight to their friendly courts and the streets -via union thugs and parasite agitation and fear of losing their host.

Destabilization is what they do best -look at Wisconsin. It’s the code, long ago established from behind the Iron Curtain.

They won’t give up!Anarchy is already in play with the flash mob experiments.

Don L on September 15, 2011 at 7:09 AM

kingsjester on September 15, 2011 at 6:59 AM

good one

tell him he can turn to MSDNC, nothin’ but love there for him….

cmsinaz on September 15, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Of course McGinnis’ report of Sarah Palin having a tryst with a black man will ruin her for Tea Party voters, because we know just how racist they all are!

Even the black and Latino Tea Partiers.

Siddhartha Vicious on September 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Improper sex? She’s a lock for the Demoncrat vote also now!

Don L on September 15, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Let’s not forget that the electoral college folks can actually vote for the party their own state rejected….talk about a system of fainess….

Don L on September 15, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Personally, I think it makes good sense, and keeps the integrity of representational government intact and maintains separation of power.

But who cares what I think? And rightly so. I don’t live in PA. They can do whatever the hell they want.

Saltysam on September 15, 2011 at 7:24 AM

cmsinaz on September 15, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Thank you. When your enemy is digging himself a hole, offer him a second shovel so that he can use both hands.

kingsjester on September 15, 2011 at 7:27 AM

kingsjester on September 15, 2011 at 7:27 AM

lol

yes!

cmsinaz on September 15, 2011 at 7:29 AM

wow, rick stengal defending rick perry against morning joe

marcus or buckeye are you watching this?

cmsinaz on September 15, 2011 at 7:48 AM

Isn’t what Pellegi is talking about exactly the reason we have an electoral college? So the majority can’t crush the minority? In this case, the cities can’t steamroll the rural areas?

It feels a little dirty to me… but at the end of the day, making decisions by smaller political units seems much more “fair” to me. It allows those of us from more rural counties to have our voices heard in a national election.

In my state most of the tax money gets spent in and around Atlanta… which is why most people in the state outside of the metro areas have a keen distaste for Atlanta. I believe a system like the one being suggested speaks to this effect.

therambler on September 15, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Democrats would likely retaliate the next time they had a chance.

True, but they have been using anticipatory retribution: they have been using fraud regularly for decades. Illegals and others who have already voted in other precincts or even other states are able to vote in many cases. Democrats have prevented changing voting rules to prevent such corruption. Voters get registered improperly by federally supported organizations (ACORN).

My state, Virginia, which was notorious for giving drivers licenses to several of the 9/11 hijackers has changed its rules for issuing drivers licenses, requires a drivers license to vote. This is better than many states, but I bet there are plenty of fraudulent drivers licenses in the state.

I have seen first hand another form of corrupt voting. In 1984 I was a poll watcher in a California precinct, not my own, that was so Democratic that ALL of the voting officers were Democrats. A man came in and explained that he used to live in the precinct but had not lived there in a long time. The chief officer told him that if he voted in 1980 then he was eligible to vote, which he did. I warned the man he was committing a crime. The chief officer warned me that if I opened my mouth again that she would have a police officer come to the precinct within minutes to remove me. I was intimidated

burt on September 15, 2011 at 8:26 AM

gekkobear on September 15, 2011 at 1:31 AM
Exactly. Reducing the fraud in Detroit, Philly, Cleveland, Milwaukee and of course Chicago is reason enough to do this in every state.
angryed on September 15, 2011 at 1:39 AM

There is that, but it would also put even more pressure on states to Gerrymander.

Count to 10 on September 15, 2011 at 9:14 AM

angryed :”The constitution says states can do whatever they want with regard to allocating EVs. If PA wanted to use the Groundhog to decide who gets its EVs, it would be perfectly constitutional.”

Almost. Article IV of the Constitution all mandates a republican form of government for each state.

I think the courts would find that handing off decision making to a ground hog would not be constitutional.

purpleslog on September 15, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Its nearly impossible to navigate the web site without BHO popping up delivering his last speech

pgrossjr on September 15, 2011 at 11:05 AM

I think the question should also be asked why do so few people vote? Is it because they know their vote won’t count? Someone above mention in PR 86% of the people vote. In the USA it isn’t even close to that. 50% of voting age people vote. 60% is really high for us.

I think it is because we often know our voted are meaningless. Republicans in California are disenfranchised, their vote at least for president never counts. How is that constitutional?

How does it help that today you do not have to campaign in every state, you do not have to appeal to even half the country?

If these numbers were correct, you only have to appeal to urban dwellers in a few key states. Those people are the only ones electing presidents. Does that make sense?

A government by the urban dwellers in the key states, for the urban dwellers in the key states …. that’s not what I signed up for.

odannyboy on September 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM

At this moment I’ve got a bit of vertigo.

It was just 1-2 years ago that Democrats were floating this idea for states that always go Republican (so that those EVs would be split).

Then, democrats loved the idea and republicans hated it.

Now that it’s flipped and is being proposed for mostly Democrat states, democrats hate the idea and Republicans mostly hate the idea.

All I’ve learned from this is that Republicans tend to be a bit more consistent on these things.

Personally, I think things are backwards when people are trying to get as close to a popular vote as possible. In spite of what everyone’s teacher tells them in school, this isn’t a democracy (and thank goodness for that). It’s a Republic and the federal government is supposed to be balanced between the states with each state government in charge of the rules their citizens live by. If things were as they should be, the federal government would be much smaller than it is and would only be involved in decisions that require a federal decision (like imports, exports and conflicts between states).

If the state was more powerful than the fed, people would stop worrying so much whether or not the most popular guy got elected to represent the country.

JadeNYU on September 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I haven’t decided if I like the idea yet, but how does it disenfranchise urban voters? It seems to me that the reverse is true, it would prevent the islands of blue from disenfranchising most of the rest of the states they reside in. Why isn’t that true?

FloatingRock on September 15, 2011 at 1:39 AM

Both are true, depending on what state you’re in.

In a blue state, it diminishes urban voters. In a red state, it diminishes rural voters.

The real problem I have with this is that my state is doing it unilaterally. If the whole country did it, and it became our new system, that would be one thing.

This will just steal the legitimacy from the GOP President and undermine what is shaping up to be a historic rebuke of liberalism. You win elections however you can: hardball, or your favorite sports metaphor. But you govern with a public mandate; the sense that the public has heard your plan and endorsed it (or at least voted for you anyway).

That’s why Bush Jr’s SS plan fell through. He kept it secret until after he was elected. That’s why Obamacare is going to fall through. He campaigned on no individual mandate and cynically promised everyone would keep their insurance. There was no mandate for what the law is going to bring.

How does it help the GOP to have squishy republicans peeing their pants and the Dem minority fully energized and defiant in 2013? Forget balancing the budget; we might not even be able to repeal Obamacare in that environment, something that will be a slam dunk after a legitimate election. Especially if the President is Romney.

HitNRun on September 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

If these numbers were correct, you only have to appeal to urban dwellers in a few key states. Those people are the only ones electing presidents. Does that make sense?

odannyboy on September 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Not specifically urban dwellers. You have to appeal to voters in a few key states.

What makes a state important now is how close to 50/50 it is, not whether it’s urban or rural. Suburban voters in those states are usually considered key.

HitNRun on September 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM

It’s not surprising that frustrated Republicans would tire of seeing their votes rendered moot by high (some would argue suspiciously high) turnout in Philadelphia

Several Philadelphia precincts routinely count more votes than the population (not just registered voters)

Vashta.Nerada on September 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM

DO NOT change things while you’re in the middle of winning. This stinks. Changing the rules is what the Dems do. Do not flatter them with imitation.

We would lose the right to claim to be the good guys. The only argument FOR doing this is that it would help us win. People would see it for what it is and we would lose everything.

Pythagoras on September 15, 2011 at 11:16 PM

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