A few angry liberals take to the streets for their tantrums, the rest sign online petitions, I guess.
Did a single person who signed spare a thought for what a Clinton presidency would be like if, in an alternate universe where this had a prayer of actually happening, she won the election this way? If you’re worried about society being ripped apart by a divisive outcome, you have way more to fear from Hillary winning in an electoral-college insurrection than you do from President Trump. And I say that as a card-carrying #NeverTrumper.
On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine – which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!
We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?
Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.
Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.
Even on its own insane terms, that’s not strategically sensible. If you’re set on trying to stop Trump in the electoral college, at least make an allowance for the fact that electors would be grossly uncomfortable reallocating EVs that belong to the winning candidate to his opponent instead. The only way to block Trump is to get enough electors to vote for a different Republican to deny Trump the 270 he needs to clinch a majority; that way they could say that they’re honoring the results of the election, sort of, by supporting someone from the winning party. (We’ve been over this before.) If enough electors defected to hold Trump to 269 EVs, the House would resolve the matter and they’d be free to vote for whichever Republican alternative ended up in third place in electoral-college votes. That’s what a pair of Democratic electors are trying to do right now, in fact: They’re looking for 37 electors across the country as part of their “Moral Electors” project who are willing to support a different GOPer besides Trump. We might get President Romney after all.
Or not. The problem with that plan, apart from having to convince electors that Trump is such a threat that it’s worth upending a national election over it, is that … there’s no evidence to think House Republicans wouldn’t elect Trump anyway. Just try to conceive of the political sh*tstorm that would descend on any red-state delegation that voted for, say, Mitt Romney instead of Trump after Trump won their state’s vote fair and square. So total is Trump’s domination of the party now that politicos are wondering whether the Freedom Caucus, which spent the past few years tormenting Boehner and Ryan for not being conservative enough, will curl up in a little ball at the feet of the even less conservative Trump and support any big-government measure he likes, starting with a gigantic infrastructure bill. But whatever — we don’t need to overthink these bizarro-world electoral-college scenarios. What you’ve seen the past week from the left is really just a series of “not in my name” mechanisms aimed at coping with a very hard, very unexpected reality. The protests, the petition, the fantasies about abolishing the electoral college, the “safety pin” fad are gestures by a movement that’s been caught so flat-footed by a momentous surprise loss that all it can do for the moment is mumble “no” in various feeble ways.
The only wrinkle in all of this is this tweet after Romney’s loss in 2012. Er…
He was asked about that last night on “60 Minutes” and, somewhat surprisingly, didn’t change his position for the sake of convenience:
Donald Trump: I hated– well, you know, I’m not going to change my mind just because I won. But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win. There’s a reason for doing this because it brings all the states into play. Electoral College and there’s something very good about that. But this is a different system. But I respect it. I do respect the system.
Good for him for not flip-flopping for the sake of pure convenience, but if the left is ever in a position to pass the “National Popular Vote” compact among enough blue states to make the outcome of the presidential election turn on the result of the popular vote, those words will be used in support. In fact, they might try pressuring President Trump on that before 2020. Would a man who became president despite losing the popular vote endorse an interstate agreement to make the popular vote binding in 2020? With 33 state legislatures in Republican hands, I’m going to guess that it won’t matter even if he does. Read this new post from Nate Silver, though, speculating about whether Democrats might have an electoral college problem again four years from now. The Rust Belt should remain competitive but the Sun Belt, which Democrats are expecting to dominate in time thanks to increasing Latino voters, might still not be ready to deliver for them. It’s entirely possible that the next nominee will rack up votes in the Big Blues and lose narrowly in just enough purples to win the popular-vote consolation prize again while losing the election.