Democrats in 2020: We must defeat Donald Trump and end his destruction of American norms and institutions! Also Democrats in 2020: We must reinvent the Supreme Court, eliminate most mass-produced energy, nationalize the health-care industry, convert America to socialism, and destroy the Electoral College!
Elizabeth Warren pledged the latter — and most of the rest — last night in Mississippi. She used the issue to position herself as the candidate best positioned to, um, “understand racial inequities,” as the New York Times put it:
"My view is that every vote matters… and every vote counts.": Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she would back a plan to do away with the Electoral College. https://t.co/dvUCFZGFHt pic.twitter.com/3eTkdsJ666
— CNN (@CNN) March 19, 2019
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who has based her presidential bid on trying to outpace rivals with robust policy proposals, added more ideas to her liberal agenda on Monday night: getting rid of the Electoral College, removing Confederate statues, and creating a national commission to study reparations for black Americans. …
“I believe we need a constitutional amendment that protects the right to vote for every American citizen and makes sure that vote gets counted,” Ms. Warren said in response to a question about voter disenfranchisement. “We need to put some federal muscle behind that, and we need to repeal every one of the voter suppression laws that is out there.”
She then noted that most presidential candidates never campaign in Mississippi or her home state of Massachusetts during a general election because those are not battleground states in the Electoral College. Many Democrats have become sharp critics of the Electoral College after Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 won the national popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote, and therefore the presidency.
“Every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College,” Ms. Warren said, drawing one of her longest ovations of the night.
There’s been so much huffery-puffery over the Electoral College over the last twenty years that it’s hardly necessary to revisit the issue in depth. Suffice it to say that it’s not going to happen, because it will take 38 states to agree to the necessary constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College. There are more than 12 states that would feel overshadowed by New York, California, Massachusetts, and even Texas and Florida without that mechanism in place; in fact, there might be 38 states that would prefer the Electoral College for that reason, including Mississippi. It’s not going to get ratified.
However, Warren’s position is amusing for another reason: she’s a member of the US Senate, making this argument for a presidential nomination. As president, though, Warren would have no input into a process that would eliminate the Electoral College. Presidents play no formal role at all in amending the Constitution. In fact, as a member of Congress, Warren currently has much more influence, as she can introduce a constitutional amendment in the Senate. So … has she? If not, why not?
Did they teach basic civics at the University of Houston, or at Rutgers Law School?
The rest of Warren’s shtick on “racial inequities” is perhaps even more amusing, given what we now know about her years claiming Native American ancestry for professional advancement. In the clip above, Warren says she just absorbed her family lore and didn’t question it. Even if that’s true, she’s still the poster child for “inequities” and privilege. Why would she be better at addressing those inequities than Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joaquin Castro, or others? She might be better than, say, Joe Biden or Beto O’Rourke, but that’s a low bar, even if Democrats will have to argue it isn’t if either one wins the nomination.
Addendum: This is not an unfair description of the 2020 Democratic agenda, at least according to those running for the presidential nomination:
Democrat platform proposals:
-Abolish the Electoral College
-Make the Senate representative of population
-Let 16 year olds vote
-Have a policy suggestion box
-Massive wealth redistribution through tax and envt'l policy
-Permit killing viable babies
— Mo Mo (@molratty) March 19, 2019
But Trump is the one attacking “norms,” right?