The Electoral College – Fix it, scrap it or leave it alone?

posted at 8:31 am on October 27, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Before you ask, yes… this topic was already touched upon in the Green Room yesterday. But since the comments section isn’t up and around yet, (edit: Comments are back up! Great job, tech geeks!) you may as well have the chance to weigh in along with my own, long standing take on it. Democratic rep Steve Israel came up with what may be one of the silliest ideas ever put forward in terms of restructuring American elections.

The head of the House Democratic campaign arm this week proposed a constitutional amendment that would give the winner of the popular vote in the presidential race an additional 29 electoral votes.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) did not offer an explanation in the joint resolution filed in the House for why he was proposing to change the way elections in the U.S. are decided.

This suggestion fails on two levels. First, if you’re going to propose an amendment to fix the electoral college, you’re admitting that it’s broken. And if you’re willing to go so far as to say that it’s not working, perhaps you should just admit that it’s not needed in the modern era.

Second, even if we are to assume that the EC is worth fixing, you should at least propose something which actually addresses its many, obvious shortcomings. The suggested solution simply seems to say, “Hey! this system ignores the popular vote. So we should give the popular vote more power!” Well, Steve, if that’s your argument then all you’re proposing is to make an already convoluted and distorted system more complicated.

I’ve opposed this appendix in the American body politic vigorously since the 2000 election, but there was never much resonance among Republicans since it would have resulted in an election loss for George W. Bush. However, we’re now seeing a situation where Barack Obama could, in theory, pull off the same dubious achievement that Bush did twelve years ago. (As I briefly noted yesterday morning.)

I’ve heard the arguments in favor of keeping the Electoral College in place. In fact, Doug Mataconis published a roundup of them this fall, including the only argument I’ve ever found persuasive, as written by Daniel Foster.

In short, the College reflects the formal and constitutional fact that the president is elected chief executive of a union of states — federated but sovereign — and not a conglomeration of people. The executive of the Constitution, of the Founders, is president of the United States, not president of America. Its detractors consider it an anachronism, but if federalism still means anything — and sadly, that’s something of an open question — then the College is as vital as ever. It affirms that we vote as citizens of the several states, not mere residents of arbitrarily drawn administrative districts.

I get that part of it. There’s a natural inclination among those who favor the original vision of states’ powers to keep hold of the idea that each state should vote as a a single entity. But that’s hardly the only reason that the founders put it in place. It was also a measure to ensure that the unwashed masses didn’t do something foolish. Further, it eased the logistical problems of reporting election results in a nation which still relied on horses to get official results transmitted over long distances. But America has grown past those problems with instant results being available to every cable TV viewer on a minute by minute basis in multicolored charts and holographs.

The people of the several states still get to elect their own representatives and nothing is changing that. The executive branch is unique, with the Oval Office resident representing everyone. And that, I think, is where even Foster’s persuasive argument falls apart. The President most certainly is not the “chief executive of a union of states — federated but sovereign — and not a conglomeration of people.” In fact, the idea of Washington being the boss of the individual states should be an idea abhorrent to most conservatives. But he is elected by the people of all the states.

As things stand now, your vote doesn’t really count unless you live in one of roughly ten states. If you live in New York or California, your vote doesn’t count. It’s going to Obama whether you like it or not. And if you live in Georgia or Alabama, your vote doesn’t count either. It’s going to Romney. And your voices are not heard by presidential candidates, They don’t visit you and they don’t pay attention to your concerns unless you live in one of those ten aforementioned states.

Other common arguments include the cry of, “National Recount!!!” (eleventy!) Why? Each state can still report their own numbers and determine how close the vote would be before a recount would be required. But instead of sending in electors with scraps of paper, they could record the total vote.

Finally, (you may applaud now, Bill Clinton fans..) what does the current system have to say on the issue of faithless electors? While no election has been overturned by them, there have been a few in the past several decades. And with the stakes this high – particularly in an electoral college vote as close as this one may well be – do you really like the odds? What if, as some observers are now speculating, Romney wins the popular vote and the electoral college vote comes down to a gap of only two or three in either direction? What if three or four “patriots” from states which have just flipped back into the red column decide that kicking out the historic figure of America’s first black president is too great a burden for history to bear and change their vote? A few slips of the pen and Barack Obama is on his way to a fully constitutionally supported second term, even if he lost both the popular vote and the EC.

This system is long past its Best Sold By date. Steve Israel is on the wrong track. He recognized that there is a problem, but the solution is to abandon a system which hasn’t served a real purpose in centuries. (And don’t even get me started on the possibility of turning over the decision to Congress – a body with an approval rating only slightly higher than foot fungus.) Let the candidates make their case to all of the American people. And let them decide national elections on a national level.

You may now fire up the torches and break out the pitchforks.


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Proportional award of RC votes from each state?

bayview on October 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Here’s a better idea: Only citizens who actually pay taxes are allowed to vote.

petefrt on October 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

So no senior citizens on Social Security?

libfreeordie on October 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I would say most Seniors on Social Security do pay income taxes. We have other sources of income besides SS. If there only source if income is SS then they likely don’t pay income tax.

Dasher on October 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM

If we’re going to reform the government, scrap the income tax (repeal the 16th amendment), scrap popular election of senators (repeal the 17th), and THEN we can talk about the electoral college.

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 9:44 AM

One state, one vote and the winner of the overall popular vote gets an additional point. In the event of a tie, the winner of the popular vote is elected.

That would mean EVERY state is important. No more focusing on the issues in a few states. That would also get rid of the power of states like California as well as eliminating the battleground states like Florida and Ohio.

Wolftech on October 27, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Rasmussen today
Romney 50 Obama 46

More bad news for Obama.

bluegill on October 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I would keep the EC with one change. Select most electors by congressional district (for the house of Reps) with two (for the two Senators) being selected statewide. You will see a number of states that are considered deep blue that will suddenly open up for competition.

Quartermaster on October 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Before any other changes get into the works…the XVII Amendment needs to be repealed. While I normally find it to be a less than reliable source, this is a decently framed response…from Wikipedia:

Critics of the Seventeenth Amendment claim that by altering the way senators are elected, the states lost any representation they had in the federal government and that this led to the gradual “slide into ignominy” of state legislatures,[2] as well as an overextension (sic) of federal power and the rise of special interest groups to fill the power vacuum previously occupied by state legislatures. In addition, concerns have been raised about the power of governors to appoint temporary replacements to fill vacant senate seats, both in terms of how this provision should be interpreted and whether it should be permitted at all. Accordingly, noted public figures have expressed a desire to reform or even repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

TexasEngineer on October 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM

If we abolish the EC, nobody who lives outside a major population center will ever see a candidate for President or a TV ad again. We will have government of, by, and for the cities. Guess who wins those elections from now on, and who pays for the resulting urban-focused government? This is the surest and swiftest path to another Civil War in this country, as the smaller and rural states will be tyrannized to the point of secession.

I really won’t care if Obama wins the EC and loses the popular vote. He will have to conduct himself and his second term very, very differently, knowing that the people did not give him a mandate for his class warfare stagnation policies. Losing the popular vote will sting him badly and maybe teach him a little humility about his own political prowess.

rockmom on October 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

So no senior citizens on Social Security?

libfreeordie on October 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

No, they would be grandfathered in so to speak by virtue of having been a contributing member of society for years. It is the welfare state that libtards like you support that should not be allowed to vote.

Personally, I think you should have to pass a civics test to get your voter registration. If you do not have the basic understanding of government that they teach in 5th grade Civics then you should not be allowed to vote.

Wolftech on October 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

A justifiable enough reason to eliminate the EC is so that we politicos don’t have to suffer the veritable fecal avalanche of 269-269 non-crises that bored Titans of Brain manurefacture and torture us with every four years.

onetrickpony on October 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM

So no senior citizens on Social Security?

libfreeordie on October 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Complete parasites on the productive members of society. They should be cut off from services and recycled into compost.

No seniors, no Social Security, more for the workers.

BobMbx on October 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Here’s a better idea: Only citizens who actually pay taxes are allowed to vote.

petefrt on October 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

So no senior citizens on Social Security?

libfreeordie on October 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Social Security is not the sole source of income for all seniors. I’d wager that my parents’ retirement income exceeds your present income. They achieved this by hard work, thrift, and planning. And they started at zero as children of the Depression- nobody else “built that” for them.

M240H on October 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Leave it.

yongoro on October 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I’d actually like to see the electoral college modified / replaced.
But not with a national popular vote.

I’d give each state 100 electoral votes, each state gets the same amount of national electoral votes.
Proportionally reward each states electoral votes based on the popular vote within that state.
So there would be 50 states x 100 votes = 5000 electoral votes.
If NY voted 80% Obama, 15% Romney, 5% 3rd party they would get
80 electoral votes Obama 15 Romney, 5 3rd party.
in TX 80% Romney, 5% Obama, 5% 3rd party.
Do that for every state. Whom ever gets the most electoral votes wins.
In case of an electoral tie the winner of the popular vote wins the election.

That way each persons vote does matter within the state and nation, but no minority of states have an overwhelming influence on the Presidential race. It’s time we voted for a President of ALL the United States not just the most populous.

MidWestFarmer on October 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

This scenarios’ only happened four times out of over fifty elections, so clearly it needs to be changed. *yawn*

eforhan on October 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

ear God: Romney Landslide please.

PappyD61 on October 27, 2012 at 8:50 AM

AMEN!

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I would keep the EC with one change. Select most electors by congressional district (for the house of Reps) with two (for the two Senators) being selected statewide. You will see a number of states that are considered deep blue that will suddenly open up for competition.

Quartermaster on October 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I don’t know all the ramifications but my idea was along these lines. Award each electoral vote based on how that district voted. So we have 538 districts so even in deep blue Cali the Repubs would receive some votes and in Texas the Dems. Not sure how it would work and if each state should also get 2 votes for Senate.

mrsmwp on October 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

FYI: Zero approval down today in Rasmussen, to 47-52, following a similar drop in Gallup yesterday.

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I find property taxes only slightly less abhorrent than estate taxes, especially given the perverse incentive against improving your own property.

I assume any poll tax would only be for local/state elections?

sadarj on October 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Yup:

Text of measure

The official ballot text reads as follows:[2]

Constitutional Measure No. 1
(Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4006, 2011 Session Laws, Ch. 520)
This constitutional measure would repeal section 6 of Article X of the North Dakota Constitution. This measure would eliminate the authority of the legislative assembly to levy an annual poll tax.

YES — means you approve the measure summarized above.
NO — means you reject the measure summarized above.

Constitutional changes

Measure 1 repeals Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of North Dakota.[3]

Article X, Section 6 reads:
Text of Section 6:

The legislative assembly may provide for the levy, collection and disposition of an annual poll tax of not more than one dollar and fifty cents on every male inhabitant of this state over twenty-one and under fifty years of age, except paupers, idiots, insane persons and Indians not taxed.

Any taxes that can end up with the confiscation of private property bcs of non-payment I find absolute abhorrent.
There are lots of ways to fund governmental services.
And it should not be at the end of a gun like this.
My husband & I struggle to pay our property taxes for our ranch which are decidedly lower than a house owner in ritzy parts of towns like Fargo or Bismarck. It’s the very reason why we cannot afford to build a better barn or invest in other improvements on our ranch.
The counties have no say over valuation of property, ergo how high or low the taxes will be.

But these are state issues.
I personally see a reason for a poll tax. It should not be onerous.
Should one be allowed to not vote bcs of non-payment?
I’m not sure of that.
But non-payment could be used to deny issuance of ID’s, participation in state govt programs, etc.
I do not believe confiscation of property should be used to coerce the populace into paying taxes.
This is not liberty.
It is another form of tyranny. One that destabilizes free enterprise.

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Is this system really broken? The voters had a chance to rectify the 2000 election in 2004 and they re-elected President Bush. The voters of Florida had a chance to correct, what the Democrats perceived as a stolen election, in 2002 by not re-electing Governor Bush, they not only re-elected him, but did so by a good margin to leave no doubts.

Why is it the Democrats are always trying to play with the elections? I’d say it’s because they really have a hard time winning legitimately. If this election goes the way I think it’s going to, we’ll be forgetting about the electoral college for many years to come. Gore was an anomoly winning the popular vote and not the electoral college. I hasn’t happened often enough for it to be a problem. The Democrats feel they could have won in 2000 and they really could have, all Al Gore had to do was win his home state of Tennessee and he would have been President. Let’s not play with the system we have because of bunch of poor losers want to look back and play woulda, coulda, shoulda.

bflat879 on October 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

ack.
In TX 80% Romney, 15% Obama 5% Independent =
80 votes for Romney, 15 for Obama, 5 for Independent.
Sorry for any confusion.

Or Ohio 55 Romney, 44% Obama, 1% Independent = 55, 44, 1 votes. Pretty straight forward.

MidWestFarmer on October 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I would say most Seniors on Social Security do pay income taxes. We have other sources of income besides SS. If there only source if income is SS then they likely don’t pay income tax.

Dasher on October 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Is it racist to mention that most pay property taxes as they tend to be *cough cough* land owners.

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

The liberal poster on this blog is voted down.

burt on October 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Let’s start with land owners are the only ones allowed to vote.

Mr. Arrogant on October 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I would keep the EC with one change. Select most electors by congressional district (for the house of Reps) with two (for the two Senators) being selected statewide. You will see a number of states that are considered deep blue that will suddenly open up for competition.

Quartermaster on October 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I say give the two Senatorial electors to the winner of the popular vote. That way, the PV winner starts out at 100 EVs and has to convince 170 districts to vote for him. You can still win election without the PV, but you have to have 270 districts to do it – a steep, uphill climb.

Odysseus on October 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Here’s a better idea: Only citizens who actually pay taxes are allowed to vote.

petefrt on October 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM
Then what?
An issues test?
IQ test?
Its like liberal ideas, sounds good…superficially.

cozmo on October 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Here’s a better idea: Only citizens who actually pay taxes are allowed to vote.

petefrt on October 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

So no senior citizens on Social Security?

libfreeordie on October 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

The idea is sound, trying to debunk a rough idea just shows your ignorance.

Yes only people with a VESTED interest should be voting.

My suggestion, keep the EC it protects the smaller states and smaller populations of producers from the larger states and larger user population, without it the cities resource users would eventually create a system of government that would cripple the producers of needed resources in a blind attempt to squeeze more resources from them with a lack of understanding what it takes to develop those resources.

Secondly, only people who own property, pay taxes or served in the military or government position which exposed individuals to equal risk as if in the military should be voting.

The military and government risk category would have lifetime voting rights since they used their life as our collateral.

Yes I am very comfortable with everyone else not getting to vote, they have no skin in the game and are living off the labors of everyone else above, they should be thanking those who are keeping their free society alive.

You retire without owning property, having not served in the military/government risk category and go on the government dole, then yes you don’t get to vote anymore.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Second, even if we are to assume that the EC is worth fixing, you should at least propose something which actually addresses its many, obvious shortcomings

And yet, the EC almost always ends up with the same victor as the popular vote…

I think it is a. Historically grounded in the design of our republic, b. a good “safety valve” against the dangers of an unrestricted direct democracy, and c. Part of the measured transition process of the peaceful transfer of power.

These arguments against it are largely, IMHO, a “solution in search of a problem. Leave it alone.

cs89 on October 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

1. Change representation to Congressional Districts.

2. Each CD elector is bound to vote as their CD has dictated.

This keeps the electoral college intact; causes candidates to have to broaden the number of places they visit; probably changes the system the least dramatically insofar as a wild swing of voter preference yet allows rural and suburban areas to have their voices heard and not overshadowed by a few cities in each state; AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, keeps the idea of a Representative Republic in place.

Greyledge Gal on October 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

The Democrat Party: Winning elections by hook or by crook.

Leave our Constitution alone!

Liam on October 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

The liberal poster on this blog is voted down.

burt on October 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

livelikeaslaveanddie?
Post & run.
Never sticking around long enough to add anything of true worth.
Take a dump in here & run.
That’s all it does.

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Understood. And granted that the current feedback loop is positive, while the feedback loop from a system that requires taxation for voting would be negative. Still, I don’t fancy the idea of Congress being able to take away my vote by taking away my taxes. Also, there’s that pesky obstacle of the 24th Amendment.

sadarj on October 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Instead of using paying taxes (what taxes), you could use the old fashioned being a property owner factor. Taxes being paid is a variable. I paid no income taxes for 4 years when my daughter was in college. That college tuition credit was pretty handy.

Dasher on October 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Leave it the h alone. The electoral college system makes it more difficult to steal elections, because blowing up the dem vote in a city like Philadelphia can win you PA’s electoral votes, but nothing more.

If we elect based on popular vote only, then the vote-theft in the democratic strongholds will explode on us.

slickwillie2001 on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

FYI: Akin, McCaskill locked in statistical dead heat

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

The Electoral College system works fine and there’s no need to replace it. This system ensures that national politicians need to appeal to America as a whole, rather than the most populous states (NY, TX, CA, etc.). Let’s also be serious and admit that the only alternative that would be politically possible would be a switch to the popular vote, given the Democrat support the popular vote has. Switching to a popular vote means that the most populated states will be pandered to by national politicians and with the loss of states’ rights with the 17th amendment combined with a switch to the popular vote, many states would be disadvantaged, ignored, and would no longer have a reason to be part of the US. One reason for both the Senate and the Electoral College was that less populous states needed a reason to join the union and assurances they would not be taken advantage of.

KelThuzad0398 on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Having the election be decided by popular vote is the wet dream of the Progressives.

Look what a mess this idea has done to the Senate. Repeal the 17th Amendment and forget this nonsense about the popular vote.

batterup on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

I believe a poll tax would be much more beneficial.
You are engaging in your civic duty by ,mailing in your poll tax yearly, which indicates you care enough to participate in government.
If you do not pay it, you cannot vote. But no one will come beat down your door to confiscate your property.
Just deny those people being able to participate in government, since they obviously choose not to anyway.
Do not let them draw welfare, nor let them get a driver’s license, etc.
The poll tax should not be onerous. It clearly should be some kind of % that would allow everyone to participate.

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM

So hurricane Sandy hit New York City, dem vote totals dip a couple of million and Mitt gets elected. No one would have a problem with that. Or even worse, someone knocks out power to a large region by sabotage and impacts one side or the others vote totals. Or how about Obama citing a potential terrorist attack and locking down portions of the country on election day?

If you say that the EC is out dated because we aren’t really a federation of states, how can you support the house of representative model which has each representative representing a different number of people because of those same “arbitrary” state lines.

You are just taking something that has worked and replacing it with something that is also flawed.

I wouldn’t suggest changing and don’t think any change would be able to get through the constitutional amendment process, but if you were going to change, I would suggest something more along the parliamentarian line. Let each representative district have one EC vote. Let each state combined total award two EC votes. Now a president is likely to have the support of at least one house of congress.

If you really want a “popular vote” system, why not run a national popular vote. The highest total gets the presidency, second highest gets the VP slot. The next 100 highest vote getters get a senate seat. The following 438 get house seats. Now everyone at the federal level is elected by popular vote. Try to justify retention of any “arbitrary” political boundary for house and senate, but not for the presidency. Why even limit the voting for only those who are citizens of the US? Surely you can’t support some archaic political line drawn hundreds of years ago to limit who should vote for president?

yetanotherjohn on October 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM

The Democrat Party: Winning elections by hook or by crook.

Leave our Constitution alone!

Liam on October 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Too late dude. The constitution has already been screwed with. 16th and 17th amendments, in particular. So how’s that popular election of senators working out for you, Jazz? Not a corrupt system at all, is it?

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Having the election be decided by popular vote is the wet dream of the Progressives.

Look what a mess this idea has done to the Senate. Repeal the 17th Amendment and forget this nonsense about the popular vote.

batterup on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

The 17th amendment is easily one of the top 3 worst amendments and has been extremely harmful to the constitution. States rights have just about evaporated because of the 17th amendment.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM

The EU will tell us who to vote for.

BallisticBob on October 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM

As to the ‘bonus’ 29 EC votes… is this an attempt to codify the mystical 57 states that Obozo proclaimed in existence?

And, with all due respect to Mr. Shaw… you don’t get it… not in the least.

First and foremost, the Founders knew the danger of ‘democracy’, e.g. — the rule of the mob… a danger made even more prominent by modern communications, and totally corrupted Fourth Estate… the former watchdogs of governmental authority.

As pointed out above, we are the United States of America… a collection of sovereign states. Period. End stop.

And as pointed out by JellyToast (and myself on multiple occasions), the 17th Amendment directly weakens (and diverts) the focus of state citizens as to the nature, and conduct, of their respective state governments. And yes, that was a deliberate feature, not a bug of the 17th.

While amplified beyond the Founders worst nightmares, the tyranny of the cities was foreseen by them. What was not foreseen was the near-terminal pollution of the voter rolls by ineligible voters… non-citizens, felons, double-voting, and NON-existent voters.

This unaddressed issue is a far greater threat to the Republic than ANY imaginary ‘crisis’ concerning the Electoral College.

Perhaps, Mr. Shaw, your intellect and attention needs refocusing.

CPT. Charles on October 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Too late dude. The constitution has already been screwed with. 16th and 17th amendments, in particular. So how’s that popular election of senators working out for you, Jazz? Not a corrupt system at all, is it?

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM

I know. About the only further Amendments I want to see are to switch the Constitution back to its Original Intent.

Liam on October 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

FYI: Akin, McCaskill locked in statistical dead heat

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Unfortunately, Moron Akin will not win. It is more than just the magic uterus.

bayview on October 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I say the electoral college should be kept, but tweaked. Award an extra 35 electoral votes to each of Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Hey, the left suggests arbitrary fixes for no purpose other than benefiting their own side. Why can’t we?

Gingotts on October 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

If one wants to do anything with the Electoral College, do what Nebraska and Maine do – the two EC votes tied to the Senate level of representation go to the statewide winner, with one EC vote tied to the winner of each Congressional district.

Oh, and for those who want to return the Senate to state legislature appointments, do realize that the Senate will become far more liberal than it is now – NO appointed body is less liberal than the body that appointed it.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

FYI: From numbersmuncher –

Rasmussen swing state poll (7-day) has Romney +6, 51-45. Rom up 15 w/ independents. It’s Romney’s biggest lead (6%) and day (51%) yet.

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Just in case no one else has:

I say Yes, Leave It

Laura in Maryland on October 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Is Jazz Shaw really a conservative? Seriously, his posts routinely try to make a liberal case for everything, but under the guise of him being on our side.

It’s either you believe the states are sovereign and get to decide who the president of the nation is or you don’t. Liberals don’t believe in state sovereignty, conservatives do.

The only reform that is practical would be a proportional system. This will eventually happen, though the political parties are not going to cede their advantages, i.e CA for Dems and TX for the Rep.

BTW, if you are sick and tired of campaigns, imagine the unless campaign of battleground districts, rather than battleground states. Imagine how long and how much money campaigns will need to cover 60 to 100 battleground districts vs. 6 or 7 battleground states.

I just don’t think the Electoral College is that flawed and if it is flawed it has to do with the Census more than anything. Having a Census every 5 years will make for a more accurate apportionment, rather than one every 10 years. With a more frequent Census, I think the power to draw and gerrymander districts should be removed from state legislatures and districts should be drawn independently and symmetrically by an independent board.

milemarker2020 on October 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

I believe a poll tax would be much more beneficial.
You are engaging in your civic duty by ,mailing in your poll tax yearly, which indicates you care enough to participate in government.
If you do not pay it, you cannot vote. But no one will come beat down your door to confiscate your property.
Just deny those people being able to participate in government, since they obviously choose not to anyway.
Do not let them draw welfare, nor let them get a driver’s license, etc.
The poll tax should not be onerous. It clearly should be some kind of % that would allow everyone to participate.

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM

My problem with a poll tax is I view voting as a right but not an inalienable one, an earned right. Also a poll tax, I fear, is to easily manipulated.

I am really strong on the military option, people who willingly offer their life in service to a country ( holding a political office is not offering your life to our country democrats) have added more than anyone else who has not and such sacrifice deserves the full rights the government can offer.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Oh, and for those who want to return the Senate to state legislature appointments, do realize that the Senate will become far more liberal than it is now – NO appointed body is less liberal than the body that appointed it.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

And there is nothing more “conservative” than a wish to return to the intent of the founders of that body, Steve. If you wish to second-guess the intent of our founders, at least be honest about it. We did just fine with appointed senators until the 20th century.

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Keep it –
BUT – Split California in Half
.
The anomaly of California is what makes Electoral college not so practical-
I mean c’mon – spotting the liberals 25% to 270 is just not ” fair”

FlaMurph on October 27, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Nevermind the electoral college, California is headed for a bankruptcy process which may change its borders or even split it apart. It makes sense for better-run states bordering it to take chunks of it for some of the liabilities, leaving a smaller California or maybe two Californias.

While that process goes on, perhaps California should even revert to a territory owned by the federal government with no electoral votes.

Bankruptcy has to be painful, otherwise everyone does it.

slickwillie2001 on October 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

FYI: From numbersmuncher –

Rasmussen swing state poll (7-day) has Romney +6, 51-45. Rom up 15 w/ independents. It’s Romney’s biggest lead (6%) and day (51%) yet.

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Great, has to win OH.

FL, VA, OH and CO will give Romney 275 The rest is gravy.

bayview on October 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Leave it. If Mitt loses the EC vote, so be it.

tommer74 on October 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

1. 22% of the 47% that pay no federal income tax are seniors who would owe tax but for the exclusion of social security benefits from income tax up to $25,000 ($32,000 MFJ). Most of these folks are voting for Romney!! It is not conservative to take away the right to vote, even for able bodied layabouts.

2. The Electoral College is a reminder every 4 years that we live in a federal republic where the states delegated certain powers to the federal government and retained the rest for themselves under the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The aggregation of power by the center, beginning with the New Deal through the Great Society and finally the Obamanation, has been the single greatest disaster ever to befall this country.

3. Instead of disenfranchising people who pay no tax, we need to stop bribing them with giveaways and tax benefits and give them a stake in seeing the government is run efficiently. Yes the poor need to pay more taxes, if only $10/month. The welfare payments disguised as tax credits should be abolished. States should establish their own welfare systems that can award benefits based on the federal tax return. The federal government as sugar daddy is destroying the social fabric.

Ted Torgerson on October 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Leave it the h alone. The electoral college system makes it more difficult to steal elections, because blowing up the dem vote in a city like Philadelphia can win you PA’s electoral votes, but nothing more.

If we elect based on popular vote only, then the vote-theft in the democratic strongholds will explode on us.

slickwillie2001 on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

^^ This.

2000 was a debacle.

Can you imagine how much worse it would have been without the electoral college?

The popular vote difference was about half a million votes.

There are *routinely* stories of counties with tens of thousands more votes cast than registered voters eligible to cast those votes.

Right now, at least at a national level, those counties are jokes.

In a close election without the electoral college, those counties would be the deciding factor.

A pure popular vote presidential election means the *ENTIRE* race boils down to whether Republican-controlled counties can manufacture more fraudulent votes than Democratic-controlled counties.

And it means that every ridiculous joke of a county with more ballots than voters would be thrown under a national spotlight and litigated. It would take years to figure out who won each election.

ClintACK on October 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Oh, and for those who want to return the Senate to state legislature appointments, do realize that the Senate will become far more liberal than it is now – NO appointed body is less liberal than the body that appointed it.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Your logic is an epic fail. Given currently that the majority of states have republican leaning bodies and governors (supposedly then conservatives) the senate would actually be more conservative than it is now.

Try thinking before posting and also stop stating opinion as fact.

NO appointed body is less liberal than the body that appointed it. Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

This is opinion presented as fact.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM

This is a stupid argument. The electoral college is the only way that the states can elect the President and Vice President on a national ticket. Without it, we are left to a “popular” type vote, which will doom us to tyranny. We have a representative form of government which employs the use of democracy in its election process, but we are not a true democracy. A true democracy can lead to dictatorship. Think of it this way, if 51% of the population want free ice cream on Thursdays, is that a fair representation of what the states want individually? Someone here said it best, democracy is 2 rapists and a woman voting on what to do next.

long_cat on October 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM

And there is nothing more “conservative” than a wish to return to the intent of the founders of that body, Steve. If you wish to second-guess the intent of our founders, at least be honest about it. We did just fine with appointed senators until the 20th century.

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

An appointed Senate was a mistake by the Founding Fathers, though one that they could not really anticipate being a mistake. They thought that the federal government would remain limited in scope.

The problem is government grew far more than the Founders intended, and by the turn of the prior century, the Senate had become a game of horse-trading where Senators voted for each others’ pork so they could deliver said pork to their state legislative masters. That was back when the federal government seized far less than it did now.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

But since the comments section isn’t up and around yet, you may as well have the chance to weigh in

How gracious of you Jazz to consider letting us comment. /

I realize the GR comments section needs tweaking, but this comment reeks of condescension.

conservative pilgrim on October 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Social Security is not the sole source of income for all seniors. I’d wager that my parents’ retirement income exceeds your present income. They achieved this by hard work, thrift, and planning. And they started at zero as children of the Depression- nobody else “built that” for them.

M240H on October 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Their income is derived from hoarded wealth that can be better used by underserved and oppressed constituencies.

(And I’m just channeling Karl Marx here)

BobMbx on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

FYI: From numbersmuncher –

Only polls in last week w/ Obama tied/leading have Dems w/ 6+ turnout advantage (08 was 7). Gallup says it will be R+1.

(Sorry, don’t know where else to post this shit. Can we have a gloating thread? A bomb-diggity thread? A let’s kick some ass thread? A Romney’s winning thread? I’ll go there. I promise.)

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

The choice between the Electoral College and popular vote in the election of the President is a false one.
Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution prescribes how the President shall be chosen. The popular vote is conspicuous by its absence. There is no requirement for a popular vote at all and the President is not chosen by one.
The President is chosen by electors appointed by the state legislatures. It is the states that decide the qualifications of electors (subject to the restrictions in Art.II) and whether or not all electoral votes in the state shall go to one candidate or be split among them. The states have all chosen to be guided by a popular vote and can change it in any way they choose at any time. IIRC no state requires electors to vote according to the popular vote, making a PV all but irrelevant.

The Founders set up a federation of sovereign states voluntarily bound in a union (this is what’s meant by “the consent of the governed” – it’s the states that are governed by the Unites States, not the people. The states govern the people.) The states created the federal government and are not (supposed) to be subservient to it. This changed with the War of Northern Aggression and was its purpose.
The House of Representatives represents the will of the people in national affairs.
The House of the Senate represents the states. The 17th Amendment stripped the states of their representation and their sovereignty.

The problems with our national politics isn’t the Electoral College. It’s the ignorance and apathy of “We the People” in refusing to enforce our birthright.

single stack on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

An appointed Senate was a mistake by the Founding Fathers, though one that they could not really anticipate being a mistake. They thought that the federal government would remain limited in scope.

The problem is government grew far more than the Founders intended, and by the turn of the prior century, the Senate had become a game of horse-trading where Senators voted for each others’ pork so they could deliver said pork to their state legislative masters. That was back when the federal government seized far less than it did now.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Please go back and review your history. Appointed was not a mistake and the horse trading you quote for the problem occurs now more than it ever has and they are all voted on now, again your logic if completely flawed.

Even in your example above at least the senators then were representing what they are supposed to represent, STATES RIGHTS. So again even in your example the senate was at least working because they were working for state rights not individuals, that was the intent for the senate, the house is to look after individual rights.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Give me an appointed body that is less liberal than those who appointed it, then. In my experience, whether it’s a zoning board, a parks board, a “blue panel” commission that is looking at the future needs of a school district, a stadium district board, appointed judges, the DNR, (the list can go on and on), the appointed board is never more conservative and almost invariably more liberal than the entity that appointed it because they see themselves as needing an ever-growing government to justify their continued presence on the government payroll.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM

An appointed Senate was a mistake by the Founding Fathers, though one that they could not really anticipate being a mistake. They thought that the federal government would remain limited in scope.

The problem is government grew far more than the Founders intended, and by the turn of the prior century, the Senate had become a game of horse-trading where Senators voted for each others’ pork so they could deliver said pork to their state legislative masters. That was back when the federal government seized far less than it did now.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Then let me reiterate, Steve: You and others are misdiagnosing the problem. Do you really think that government was MORE corrupt before the 17th amendment was passed? Will you look at then (1800′s) and now (2000′s) and tell me with a straight face that things have gotten better? Or am I right, and is the 17th amendment actually one of the factors that made the crumbling of our once-great republic possible?

Dude, I love ya dearly, but that’s why I have to say I think you’ve been sucked in by the conventional wisdom on this. There is nothing sacrosanct about “the franchise.” Our founding fathers expressly voiced concerns about the mob rule tendancies inherent in Democracy. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, we were given a republic as long as we could keep it. We pissed it down our leg. The republic is gone. And the 17th amendment, along with the 16th, helped it happen.

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Rasmussen swing state poll (7-day) has Romney +6, 51-45. Rom up 15 w/ independents. It’s Romney’s biggest lead (6%) and day (51%) yet.

And yet most Ohio polls show obama winning there.

Anybody want to buy a bridge?

bgibbs1000 on October 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Enjoy your 50% GDP tax seizure rate then.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM

I say that the current system isn’t broken. So, we should all stop proposing to fix it. It already provides the best balance between giving all States some clout while roughly reflecting the results of the popular vote. We are only talking about it now because of the narrow partisan split that currently exists between individual States and the totality of American voters. What we need to focus on is getting a larger portion of Americans to knowledgeably and actively participate in their representative government. We also need a more nonpartisan media that focuses on educating the voters rather than being an advocate for any particular political party or philosophy.

NuclearPhysicist on October 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

slickwillie2001 on October 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM

What–and have all those CA liberals become voters in their ‘new’ states to screw them up, too? It’s bad enough people from CA move to NV and TX, then vote the same way that messed up CA in the first place.

I say to make Guam or Puerto Rico a state, cut California loose, and fence the place off. Hell! The Chinese can have it for all I care.

Liam on October 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I would keep the EC with one change. Select most electors by congressional district (for the house of Reps) with two (for the two Senators) being selected statewide. You will see a number of states that are considered deep blue that will suddenly open up for competition.

Quartermaster on October 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

My only concern here is that the proportional representation varies greatly between districts.

Allow for a return to a more representative number of House districts( Constitution limits it to 1 per 30k voters, I think), 3000 would give us about one per 100K and only count legal residents and I would go with it.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/US_population_per_representative.jpg

You can see that the average was about 1 per 670K. States like Montana had a population of over 900K but only one rep.

It would also benefit smaller parties who might become popular in small locales.

OBQuiet on October 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Give me an appointed body that is less liberal than those who appointed it, then. In my experience, whether it’s a zoning board, a parks board, a “blue panel” commission that is looking at the future needs of a school district, a stadium district board, appointed judges, the DNR, (the list can go on and on), the appointed board is never more conservative and almost invariably more liberal than the entity that appointed it because they see themselves as needing an ever-growing government to justify their continued presence on the government payroll.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I did give you one. As I said an appointed senate at this moment in time by your logic would actually be more conservative than the current senate we have.

The issue is not a degree of conservative but whether an organization IS conservative. I would love to have a current senate that is actually conservative as opposed to the one we have right now that votes liberal, if the states appointed senators we would actually have a conservative senate as opposed to a liberal one right now. At least in theory.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM

whats this green room you speak of.

renalin on October 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM

What if, as some observers are now speculating, Romney wins the popular vote and the electoral college vote comes down to a gap of only two or three in either direction? What if three or four “patriots” from states which have just flipped back into the red column decide that kicking out the historic figure of America’s first black president is too great a burden for history to bear and change their vote?

You check that state’s / those states’ rules to see if the elector(s) broke them. If the elector didn’t, you record the vote. If the elector did, you shoot the elector and call the name of the first alternate elector to vote.

Dusty on October 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Enjoy your 50% GDP tax seizure rate then.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM

You lost the argument right there, committing an informal fallacy

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:31 AM

And yet most Ohio polls show obama winning there.

Anybody want to buy a bridge?

bgibbs1000 on October 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Romney’s up among indys in Ohio by over 10 points. He’s got Ohio. Math. It’s hard.

Oh, and just now on numbersmuncher:

If you think that these national polls with Romney trending upward won’t translate to OH: Last 9 elections GOP outperforms nat’l vote in OH.

I think you’re gonna need a bigger bridge.

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Just Make Obama Dictator fo life. Problem solved.

they lie on October 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Your premise has, IMO, a significant flaw.

The respective citizens of each state are heedless (by and large) of their state governments conduct… and further amplified by the media.

When ‘something’ happens, what’s the first thing the public hears?

“What’s Washington going to do about it?” or “What the heck is going on up in (fill in your state capital’s name here)?” [Choose only one.]

Solutions are hardly ever sought at the state level… since the days of FDR (enshrined by his perpetual fiddling with an economic crisis that he made far worse with his meddling), nothing happens unless the all-powerful, all-knowing, creatures encamped inside the Beltway ‘fix’ things. Usually with large amounts of money extracted from prosperous states, to be dispensed to irresponsible states.

The Founders wanted the citizenry to regard problems as ‘local matters’, not national, with the exception of matters that threatened the nation as a whole.

There is nothing in your premise that leads me to believe that more liberal Senators would be present if real problem solving was defaulted to the state level.

CPT. Charles on October 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I think you’re gonna need a bigger bridge.

Rational Thought on October 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Yep, somebody is.

Romney’s got Ohio and probably Wisconsin and Michigan, maybe even Pennsylvania.

330 plus EC votes for Romney.

bgibbs1000 on October 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM

What I’m saying is if one dumps the 17th without radically and permanently shrinking the ability of the federal government to seize money (i.e., to 1830s levels), it’s going to be a disaster of epic proportions. The problem began when the federal politicians figured out how to take a double-digit share of the economy, and the states figured out that highly-inefficient “shared revenue” was more palatable to the masses than directly asking their residents to pick up the bill for what had been purely state spending honestly.

Then FDR came along and hooked the masses on “shared revenue”, so the temporary “fix” of booting the states from direct Senate representation failed miserably.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Just Make Obama Dictator fo life. Problem solved.

they lie on October 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Egads, no! Making liberals cry, especially Tingles, is worth the trouble.

Liam on October 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

What I’m saying is if one dumps the 17th without radically and permanently shrinking the ability of the federal government to seize money (i.e., to 1830s levels), it’s going to be a disaster of epic proportions. The problem began when the federal politicians figured out how to take a double-digit share of the economy, and the states figured out that highly-inefficient “shared revenue” was more palatable to the masses than directly asking their residents to pick up the bill for what had been purely state spending honestly.

Then FDR came along and hooked the masses on “shared revenue”, so the temporary “fix” of booting the states from direct Senate representation failed miserably.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I am in full agreement with your premise on the Fed’s ability to seize money. This is a different issue though imo from the senate being voted on or appointed.

I would add an appointed senate focused on states rights would at least be more likely to oppose the feds unfunded mandates imposed upon states, which in some part address your issue here.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM

“Property owners only” could be the dumbest idea I have heard, at least the 20th century forward.

Say – how responsible are those “walk away/default” owners of mortgages over the past 10 years? And back in the late 80′s? One poster liked that, but not “those who pay taxes” – being it didn’t fit their criteria, being no tax was paid due to a credit… convenient eh?

I have never owned property and each year pay more taxes than 75% of people… trust me, I have “skin in the game” – and pay additional taxes due to high dollar purchases each and every year – whether retail, bed tax, etc.

Split electoral state votes is the way to go, if any change is to be made at all.

Odie1941 on October 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM

You did not give any examples. You merely blindly assumed that just because a majority of state legislatures are run by Republicans, that they’d appoint conservatives rather than those of their own kind who are most adept at maximizing the flow of money to state government.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

What I’m saying is if one dumps the 17th without radically and permanently shrinking the ability of the federal government to seize money (i.e., to 1830s levels), it’s going to be a disaster of epic proportions. The problem began when the federal politicians figured out how to take a double-digit share of the economy, and the states figured out that highly-inefficient “shared revenue” was more palatable to the masses than directly asking their residents to pick up the bill for what had been purely state spending honestly.

Then FDR came along and hooked the masses on “shared revenue”, so the temporary “fix” of booting the states from direct Senate representation failed miserably.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

HELLO?! I called for repeal of the 16th as well, Steve. And those aren’t the only two amendments I want to see repealed. I want nothing less than to reform — RE-FORM — our republic from the bottom up, as in “form again.”

I think certain folks who are ignorant of the fact that we have spent most of our existence as a republic without direct taxation of income or popular election of senators (and let’s face it, that’s a solid majority of Americans) are a bit cowed by the idea of doing something so…revolutionary. So be it. Fortune favors the bold.

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

The Electoral College only seems to be a “problem” when the Democratic Party is going to lose. 2008′s results were the “will of the people,” right?

DarthBrooks on October 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Yep, and …

The only consistent argument from a Democrat is that they’ll support whatever happens to give the Democrat an advantage in an election, although they aren’t really concerned with setting those rules in advance of the election. They’re just as content to see the vote counts and then set the rules.

RW_theoriginal on October 27, 2012 at 9:05 AM

yep. And ideally, they would really salivate with combining malleable rules with voter fraud.

PatriotGal2257 on October 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

the only fixes needed are to reverse the fixes done lately where one states votes are determined by what another state voted as.

dmacleo on October 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

My problem with a poll tax is I view voting as a right but not an inalienable one, an earned right. Also a poll tax, I fear, is to easily manipulated.

I am really strong on the military option, people who willingly offer their life in service to a country ( holding a political office is not offering your life to our country democrats) have added more than anyone else who has not and such sacrifice deserves the full rights the government can offer.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Well your military option screws over people who are not fit to join the military.
This military sacrifice idea is stupid, IMO. Many of our Founders fought in other ways beside physically.
I’m not saying we necessarily need a poll tax.
But notice on the local level property owners are unduly burdened by paying for services transients & non=property owners are not responsible for.
I know when people rent that is supposedly built in. But it does not factor into a responsibility issue like directly paying it yourself.
People who do not pay FICA taxes, like me, still pay taxes, like property, which I do, & state income taxes, which I do.
We also pay fees & use taxes & sales taxes etc.
Voting should have some basic stipulations.
I don’t think owning property or serving in the military are fair stipulations.

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Leave it the h alone. The electoral college system makes it more difficult to steal elections, because blowing up the dem vote in a city like Philadelphia can win you PA’s electoral votes, but nothing more.

If we elect based on popular vote only, then the vote-theft in the democratic strongholds will explode on us.

slickwillie2001 on October 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

^^ This.

2000 was a debacle.

Can you imagine how much worse it would have been without the electoral college?

One could fill several volumes identifying why messing with the EC would be a monumentally bad idea. I really can’t stand the idea of pinheads like Hillary and the other self-aggrandizing pseudointellectuals on the left wanting to change the EC, when they likely haven’t given the subject at least 10 minutes of serious thought.

ghostwriter on October 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I’m honestly more concerned about the best manner of selecting the next President of the Republic of Texas when enough of our people finally realize that the results of our little experiment in joining the United States have been disappointing at best.

A nation of free men and women really have no business being a part of a socialist nation which has, for all intents and purposes, trashed its own constitution and no longer appreciates or desires to protect the life, liberty and property of its own citizens.

TXUS on October 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

At risk of sticking my neck out here, I think this election is really about liberalism. Obama is the pinnacle, the ultimate achievement of the liberal mindset. He is half black, a dedicated Marxist if not in fact but in policies, pro-gay, anti-American in his ways, basically elected by virtue of Affirmative Action, and everything else the Left stands on.

Maybe I’m stretching here, but it’s possible liberals see that a repudiation of Obama ultimately becomes a rejection of liberalism itself. And liberals can’t handle that.

Just an idea. Sure, I might well be missing the mark by miles. But I can’t think of very many other reasons why the MSM are so die hard in the tank for this Obama guy when he is such a disaster. I mean, really–what other country in the world would elect him to be their head of state?

Liam on October 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Jazz, Jazz, Jazz!!

The Founding Fathers did this to ensure that those rabble rousers in the most populated city (BOSTON) wouldn’t elect the President every 4 years…

Substitute California, Illinois and New York today for “BOSTON”…

Can you see President Tony Villar? He’s the Mayor of Los Angeles, and is trying to give illegal aliens in the city OFFICIAL CITY ID…

Keep the EC right where it is and how it is, thank you very much…

Khun Joe on October 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

There is nothing in your premise that leads me to believe that more liberal Senators would be present if real problem solving was defaulted to the state level.

[CPT. Charles on October 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM]

It’s true nothing in Eggleston’s proposal would significantly address the problems of policy and federal government over-reach which is a serious problem now.

But Eggleston is not addressing how to change that, he is addressing tension between popular representation vs state representation in conducting the election of President, particularly Shaw’s point that political minorities in some states are, I suppose you could say, disenfranchised.

Dusty on October 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Frankly, this is kind of a stupid conversation in the first place. It seems like every four years, the political junkies start fantasizing about how great it would be if there was a tie in the EC (or some other such outcome). This almost invariably leads to myopic discussions of how the EC is outdated. Here’s the thing: It wouldn’t be great to have such a close election either with the EC or with a straight popular vote. And going to a straight popular vote likely wouldn’t enhance the legitimacy of the outcomes of close elections, because people are always going to question and bemoan close outcomes.

ghostwriter on October 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The problem with Presidential politics is the people. The POTUS is not a representative. The masses should have far less say in the choosing of this executive. How could a man as unaccomplished as Obama ever become president? The answer is that he’s the American Idol President. We must blow up our nominating process. The man should not seek the job.

How about this: Each party submit a list(after soliciting input from the populace) of ten candidates within their parties that could perform the job well. Send the list to the other party and give them 5 vetoes to weed out unacceptables. So now each party has 5 candidates put forth for their nomination. Now the campaign begins. But the candidates themselves don’t campaign. No, the people in each state vying to be delegates for their endorsed candidate will sell their choice. The candidates themselves will have limited opportunities to make a televised speech on certain topics. Limited debates will take place on domestic issues, foreign policy, and philosophy of governance. The debates will be moderated by party faithful/examining boards, not by the media.
Finally, a national primary is held on one day. NO WINNER-TAKE-ALL STATES. Delegates are proportionally chosen by the people, who will then move on to the conventions.

ceruleanblue on October 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

HELLO?! I called for repeal of the 16th as well, Steve. And those aren’t the only two amendments I want to see repealed. I want nothing less than to reform — RE-FORM — our republic from the bottom up, as in “form again.”

I think certain folks who are ignorant of the fact that we have spent most of our existence as a republic without direct taxation of income or popular election of senators (and let’s face it, that’s a solid majority of Americans) are a bit cowed by the idea of doing something so…revolutionary. So be it. Fortune favors the bold.

gryphon202 on October 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

My warning that merely axing the 17th (and 16th) Amendments won’t accomplish the goal of shrinking the federal government isn’t aimed at you as you have further reforms in mind. It’s aimed at those who think that merely axing those amendments will necessarily bring about a limited federal government.

The early-1900s explosion of the size/power of the federal government happened in the absence of the 16th Amendment. Indeed, if one were to take the FairTax groups at face value, merely eliminating the 16th in favor of the FairTax would not reduce the federal tax take at all.

Without radically limiting the size of the federal government tax reach, all eliminating the 17th will do is get unaccountable politicians in the “backscratching with currency” game.

Steve Eggleston on October 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Jazz, Jazz, Jazz!!

The Founding Fathers did this to ensure that those rabble rousers in the most populated city (BOSTON) wouldn’t elect the President every 4 years…

Substitute California, Illinois and New York today for “BOSTON”…

Can you see President Tony Villar? He’s the Mayor of Los Angeles, and is trying to give illegal aliens in the city OFFICIAL CITY ID…

Keep the EC right where it is and how it is, thank you very much…

Khun Joe on October 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

His name is Villaraigosa. I agree having this hack as POTUS is a frightening prospect.

ghostwriter on October 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Well your military option screws over people who are not fit to join the military.
This military sacrifice idea is stupid, IMO. Many of our Founders fought in other ways beside physically.
I’m not saying we necessarily need a poll tax.
But notice on the local level property owners are unduly burdened by paying for services transients & non=property owners are not responsible for.
I know when people rent that is supposedly built in. But it does not factor into a responsibility issue like directly paying it yourself.
People who do not pay FICA taxes, like me, still pay taxes, like property, which I do, & state income taxes, which I do.
We also pay fees & use taxes & sales taxes etc.
Voting should have some basic stipulations.
I don’t think owning property or serving in the military are fair stipulations.

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

You are taking my argument in pieces when it was not presented as such

I listed more options than just military service

Paying taxes, owning property and serving in the military. In what you presented above you would be included under the paying taxes option. My premise was not that one had to meet all just that a person had to meet any of the requirements.

Just because some can’t perform a duty that doesn’t make that duty unacceptable or wrong for recognizing as something special.

Paying Taxes in my view is the paying of any form of persoanl income or personal gains tax that goes to a state and or federal government. Sales tax would not count, capital gains would.

Skwor on October 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

The problems with our national politics isn’t the Electoral College. It’s the ignorance and apathy of “We the People” in refusing to enforce our birthright.

single stack on October 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Now, now, ss. Give credit where credit is due. Don’t ignore the damage that has already been done (17th Amendment, etc.) to our Constitution by those who were eager to “fix” it . . .

/(Refresh my memory. Didn’t people used to refer to the neutering of a tomcat as “fixing” him??)

RedPepper on October 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

The popular vote is not ignored.
It happens at the state level.
And need we say that we are a representative Republic & NOT a Democracy for a reason?

Badger40 on October 27, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Agree^^^^^^^^
If you feel a great need to change the Constitution, let us repeal the 17th Amendment. Those 6 long years that a Senator serves would not be so long if the state legislature and the Governor could replace the Senator if he is going against the wishes of the State. It would also infuse a long needed interest in State and Local elections. When the population of the states figure out that who they vote for State Rep. and State Senator will decide their US Senator more people will participate. There will be a educating curve because Civics has not been a required subject to graduate for decades now. The majority of Conservatives will understand the weight of their local vote, Liberals will have to scramble to teach the importance to their masses. The uninformed of how our government works and our founding Documents is the fault of the takeover of our education system by Liberals. Dropping the Dept. of ED. would be the biggest boon to our children’s education, more then any amount of money currently being thrown at it. So there is that. ok, rant off.

IowaWoman on October 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

2000 was a debacle. In 2000, Florida was a debacle.

[ClintACK on October 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM]

Just to clarify and in keeping with the rest of your point.

Dusty on October 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM

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