The Electoral College: Kill It With Fire

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Not that it has many defenders among the BJ commentariat, I’m guessing, but here’s some interesting tidbits if you care to share:


133 replies
  1. 1
    hilts says:

    “White Supremacy’s Anvil: The Electoral College” discusses how the Electoral College was conceived to protect the institution of slavery, and how the Electoral College worked to create and preserve Jim Crow long after slavery was officially abolished.
    h/t https://medium.com/@info_50597/the-electoral-college-white-supremacys-anvil-6d75bc5b2279?sk=88393d9b70e21de5190e4d70c47b4a44

  2. 2
    H.E.Wolf says:

    The non-partisan League of Women Voters has been advocating for abolition of the Electoral College since 1970.

    https://www.lwvil.org/uploads/1/5/9/8/15985276/lwvus_electoral_college_position_2cexplanation__2_pp._.pdf

  3. 3
    hueyplong says:

    Pretty sure Mitch McConnell knows exactly why he’s in “public service,” and the answer has something to do with my use of scare quotes.

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    Nuke it from orbit!

    Open thread? We had a SNAKE incident today. Roofers were on-site until midday, and as soon as they left, I let the dogs out.

    I followed the mutts down the stairs and froze midway when I looked down and saw the dogs had cornered a GIGANTIC FUCKING SNAKE at the bottom of the stairs.

    So, I said, “Daisy Mayhem Margaret Kennedy! Badger Aloysius La Boeuf McMurtry! You get your asses up these stairs this instant!”

    And to my astonishment, they did!

    It was just a black racer. I gave it time to go away, and we went on about our business. But I’m still amazed that the dogs obeyed me. That’s not like them!

  5. 5
    glory b says:

    Repub guy on Cris Matthews show said eliminating the electoral college is like deciding the winner of a baseball game based on who had the largest number of fans in the stadium. Can anyone explain how that works? It made no sense to me.

  6. 6
    matt says:

    I remember particalarly before 2000 media morons would commonly say that while a popular vote majority could theoretically not produce an Electoral College victory, it was extremely unlikely and really wasn’t worth worrying about.

  7. 7
    Another Scott says:

    BooMan at WaMo, also too:

    […]

    This is all relevant today because the Democrats are getting tired of winning the popular vote and not the presidency. It happened again in 2016. Someone recently pointed out that the Republicans have only won the presidential popular vote once since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989, but they still won three out of the seven contests held during her lifetime. Yet, as Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats push to abolish the Electoral College and some states move to award their Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote, the Republicans are acting like this amounts to treason.

    If it’s treason, they were ready to commit treason nineteen years ago if they thought it would benefit them.

    Yup.

    I believe the writers of the Federalist Papers said that the Electoral College was to be a check on the masses being hypnotized by some Svengali who was dangerous to the nation and the Constitution. Thoughtful, sensible people would have ultimate say on who was elected President.

    It didn’t turn out that way in 2016. The electors were rubber stamps.

    It’s time for it to go.

    And it’s time to welcome our 51st state, Washington, Douglass Commonwealth. And maybe our 52nd state of Puerto Rico, also too.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  8. 8
    Jeffro says:

    It’s literally the dumbest thing in the world. And all the extended arguments in the world don’t really matter to the Rs. The one we should beat them about the head with until they admit the truth is this: “Would you accept this, if it were happening to your candidates and party and voters? No? Then STFU”

    Maybe just pack the Court, bring a suit about equal protection under the law, and have said Court agree that the EC – once the 14thA was passed – became unconstitutional. The Rs are gonna howl no matter what we do, so fuck ’em.

  9. 9
    matt says:

    @glory b: The best way to explain it is Chris Matthews is a very rich, reactionary asshole who benefits hugely from the status quo.

  10. 10
    matt says:

    @Jeffro: To Republicans. the argument is just theater, leading inexorably to the predetermined conclusion.

  11. 11
    Duane says:

    @hueyplong: Republicans do anything they can to suppress the popoular vote. It’s why they’re so against immigrants becoming citizens. If they could US senators would be appointed by state legislatures. Denying voting rights is survival to them.

  12. 12
    sukabi says:

    @H.E.Wolf: weren’t election activities like debates, ect. taken away from the LoWV in the 70s and turned over to the networks? And vote reporting thru the AP?

  13. 13
    Pogonip says:

    I always figured if the Electoral College was such a good system, we’d be using it to elect everybody, with local Electors selecting Pogonipville’s dog catcher. It’s ridiculous. Use the same system we use to fill every other office in this country.

    Harrumph. Alexander Hamilton, you get off my lawn and take all those electors with you.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Lawrence Longley, a professor at my undergrad, was one the preeminent Electoral College scholars. He always argued that it was antiquated and undemocratic. Somehow his views on the EC managed to surface in courses like “Congress and House of Commons.” In addition to this, he was a pretty good guy.

  15. 15
    Mary G says:

    @Betty Cracker: I love these names:

    Daisy Mayhem Margaret Kennedy! Badger Aloysius La Boeuf McMurtry

    Especially Daisy Mayhem Margaret. We need a presidential candidate named that.

  16. 16
    glory b says:

    @matt: Yeah, he was impressed by the metaphor, but I can’t figure it out.

  17. 17
    NobodySpecial says:

    @sukabi: Not quite: the first 1980 debate that Carter never showed at was done by the League. It was after that it was taken away from them, because any system that made Anderson look better than Reagan wasn’t a system the GOP wanted.

  18. 18

    Electoral College in addition to being undemocratic is convoluted and illogical.

  19. 19

    @Jeffro:

    It’s literally the dumbest thing in the world. And all the extended arguments in the world don’t really matter to the Rs.

    The only thing that would convince Republicans to get rid of the Electoral College is if they won the popular vote and lost the EC, then and only then would they favor a “bi-partisan” amendment.

  20. 20
    Mary G says:

    The House put up a new immigration bill today:

    “Thanks to each wave of new arrivals – we’re a nation forever young – on the cutting edge – leading the world to the next frontier – If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost!”– #MadamSpeaker, quoting Reagan to #ProtectTheDream pic.twitter.com/V6sukvCf2G— Friends of Nancy Pelosi (@FriendsofNancyP) March 21, 2019

    Have I mentioned recently how much I love the job Nancy SMASH is doing?

  21. 21

    @Betty Cracker: Was the snake inside the house or outside? Florida is scary.

  22. 22
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Yep. Abolish it. Something that was based on racism should not be used to dilute Black votes into the indefinite future.

  23. 23
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @sukabi:

    @H.E.Wolf: weren’t election activities like debates, ect. taken away from the LoWV in the 70s and turned over to the networks?

    Ooo! I almost included this in my previous comment….

    The LWV began hosting Presidential debates in 1976 (according to the LWV entry in Wikipedia) – and in 1988, declined to continue sponsoring them.
    https://www.lwv.org/newsroom/press-releases/league-refuses-help-perpetrate-fraud

  24. 24

    @Mary G: Mayor Pete(Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg) comes close.

  25. 25
    hueyplong says:

    The TV commentator seems not to have noticed that majority rule is in fact counting up which team has more fans, and not who is better at playing games.

  26. 26
    sukabi says:

    @Jeffro: he’s a big supporter of the 2 party system…his party is wealthy and gets all the perks of power, the other party is everybody else and we should be happy with the crumbs left over.

  27. 27
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @sukabi:

    @H.E.Wolf: weren’t election activities like debates, ect. taken away from the LoWV in the 70s and turned over to the networks?

    Ooo! I almost included this in my previous comment….

    The LWV began hosting Presidential debates in 1976 (according to the entry for the LWV in Wikipedia) – and in 1988, declined to continue sponsoring them.
    https://www.lwv.org/newsroom/press-releases/league-refuses-help-perpetrate-fraud

  28. 28
    eemom says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Our doggie encountered a fucking RATTLESNAKE a few years back on the WV mountain where we have a little rustic cabin. Coiled right in the middle of the road, it did its rattle thing when she approached. Thank God SHE listened when we shrieked her name.

  29. 29
    Bill Arnold says:

    Also Buttigieg on Morning Joe, 13.04:
    “Would you support getting rid of the Electoral College?”
    “Absolutely; it’s gotta go”

    No words wasted there. :-)

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    Anyway. Today the electoral college, tomorrow the US Senate. Cut from the same cloth, and slaying democracy every day instead of once every four years.

  31. 31

    @Betty Cracker: whenever someone uses all my names, I am inclined to listen and obey, names have power.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I guess when you use their full names, they know Mom means business. (Incidentally, those are absolutely fantastic names.)

  33. 33
    Jay says:

    @glory b:
    @matt:
    @glory b:

    The “game” is played on the field, not in the stands.

    You don’t campaign to win the most votes, you campaign to win the most Electoral College Votes, in some States, its the voters, in others, the Electors.

  34. 34
    Bill Arnold says:

    @eemom:

    Today the electoral college, tomorrow the US Senate.

    The Senate is at least good for gridlock, most of the time, slowing down changes when there isn’t consensus, both bad and good.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It is perfectly logical if one’s goal is to keep democracy at arm’s length.

  36. 36
    Amir Khalid says:

    @glory b:
    Statement implies a belief that the EC vote is the actual game, whereas the voters are supposed to be mere spectators.

  37. 37
    Jeffro says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Oh absolutely! That’s why we ask…and yell…then bang on the table: “Would you accept this? No? Why not?” And then when they try to pretend that yeah, they’d be ok if it were happening to them, mock the shit out of them.

    All while carrying out any/many/all of the various ‘fixes’ people have proposed, while understanding that the Rs will howl the whole way through and so there’s no point in engaging with them about it. Let’s just get it done.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: As it stands today, the EC is the actual game. As the game though, it is an abomination almost as bad as Rugby League.

  39. 39
    Searcher says:

    The biggest problem with getting rid of the electoral college is that it will drastically hurt the two years of horse race coverage around the election. Hold all the primaries on the same day and there’ll be nothing to talk about but the issues. Media can’t have that.

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    @glory b:

    And the problem with that would be exactly what? Shouldn’t the candidate with the most votes be considered to have won the election?

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Got a news alert on my phone that New Zealand has passed a ban on assault weapons.

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    Why do we still need states?

  43. 43
    Jay says:

    “New Zealand shooting: Jacinda Ardern bans all military-style semi-automatic guns and assault rifles – live updates”

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/mar/21/new-zealand-shooting-jacinda-ardern-to-make-policy-announcement-live-updates

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Got a news alert on my phone that New Zealand has passed a ban on assault weapons.

    Yep. This is great news. The changes will include gun buybacks.

    Many news and blog sites will still be loaded with irrelevant comments about why this is a bad thing.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @glory b:
    Popular vote. The candidate with the most fans are who decides the outcome of an election without the electoral college. We, the dirty fucking hippies and the poor and the minorities and all the groups that the republicans do everything they can to fuck over. The rich and the evangelicals and even the racists would be left with nothing.
    Simply, the repubs hate the popular vote, they know they will lose without the electoral college.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: They were planning their anti-EC arguments in the run up to the 2000 election when it looked like it was possible that Gore could have won the EC while losing the popular vote.

  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    True, but that is not what the powers that be tell the American rakyat.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @Searcher:

    Media can’t have that.

    Fuckem. TM EFG
    They are doing this for the eyeballs and the money that comes with them. A presidential election wouldn’t cost billions without the EC. And of course we’d have an actual democracy.

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @Jay:

    I listened to an interview with a NZ gun shop owner who said more and more people were coming into the store to buy assault weapons, but he was refusing to sell to them. Imagine, a gun seller with a conscience!

  50. 50
    Redshift says:

    @glory b:

    Repub guy on Cris Matthews show said eliminating the electoral college is like deciding the winner of a baseball game based on who had the largest number of fans in the stadium. Can anyone explain how that works? It made no sense to me.

    I would accept that argument if he admitted that the EC is like deciding the game based on how many sections each team has fans in.

  51. 51
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Brachiator:

    Why do we still need states?

    College football.

  52. 52
    Ohio Mom says:

    Back in 1967, in my junior high history class, Mr. Turk spent the better part of a day’s lesson demonstrating to us how a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote could still be elected. It was astounding to me that such a nasty trick could be possible.

    @Brachiator: I think we need States because local circumstances are wildly different across the US, and each area deserves a government that can be responsive to those circumstances.

    Also, the Trump years are convincing me that it is good to have power split up and decentralized.

  53. 53
    matt says:

    @Jay: Oh right, so it’s unfair to mention how many votes the candidates actually got – you are morally obligated to bake the gerrymandering of the system into your thinking. god am I sick of these corrupt asshats.

  54. 54
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Why, when we have OSU? or more properly THE OSU.

  55. 55
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I have a friend who claims his middle name is My Middle Name is Tacos. It’s not, I’ve met his parents.

    I adore Betty’s dogs’ names.

  56. 56
    Jay says:

    @debbie:

    The rules go into effect in 3 weeks.

    The basic way it’s going to work is starting immediately, people ( and the Police have been overwhelmed already) can surrender their weapons,

    In a week or so, people can register their weapons for a buyback system,

    After that, after some undefined period, Police will then go through gun shop records and take back the guns, and woe to you if you don’t have it.

    The shop owner may or may not have morals, but he is saving himself a big pain in the arse. He’s also declining selling to teh stupid.

  57. 57
    Sab says:

    @Ohio Mom: My oldest granddaughter, age 18, told my husband last week that one good thing about Trump is that at least her apolitical friends are very aware that we do have three branches of government.

    Progress!

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Sab: The best time to do any kind of shopping in C-bus is during an OSU football game.

  59. 59
    matt says:

    @Jay: The thing is that doesn’t even make sense – we have guaranteed voting rights in America. There isn’t any class of ‘spectators’. It’s a metaphor that makes the thinking more muddled and worse. Chris Matthews is exactly the kind of garbage human being of the media the Democrats need to build a strategy to get out of all of their decision loops yesterday.

  60. 60
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I we can’t get rid of the electoral college, can we at least have equal representation? California should have close to 100 members of Congress, based on the population of Wyoming.

  61. 61
    Sab says:

    @Betty Cracker: What’s a black racer snake? Same as an indigo?

  62. 62
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    With his comments today, I realized who the Oval office occupant reminds me of:

    https://memegenerator.net/instance/73071644/baby-dinosaur-gotta-love-me

  63. 63
    Brickley Paiste says:

    One possible form of reparations. Allot African Americans two votes each until racial parity exists between the population and the representatives.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA

    The only thing that would convince Republicans to get rid of the Electoral College is if they won the popular vote and lost the EC

    Precisely the scenario which the legal team G. W. Bush brought in spent weeks on right before the election in order to argue the he should be president in such a case. Then they did a one eighty to argue the exact opposite.

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    @matt:

    In Canada, Trudeau abandoned ProRep and Electorial Reform as soon as he was in office.

  66. 66
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Sab: “Come, Blow Us, Buckeye Band”…

    [Hoosier Marching Hundred alum; in the second “N” on the first script Indiana]

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matt:

    we have guaranteed voting rights in America

    We do? Tell that to the people in Milwaukee who weren’t able to vote in 2016.

  68. 68
    Jay says:

    @matt:

    You don’t have guarenteed voting rights in America.

    “Smart” Campaigns have always chased the EC votes, not the popular vote, for decades. Because States apportion their EC votes differently, campaigns focus their campaigns on that factor.

    It’s one of the reasons why the US is a Republic, not a Democracy.

  69. 69
    TS (the original) says:

    It sure wasn’t too soon for NZ to talk about guns.

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a plan to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles in the wake of a terrorist attack that killed 50 people in Christchurch.
    Ms Ardern said the ban would also apply to high-capacity magazines, all parts with the ability to convert firearms into semi-automatic-style weapons and parts that cause “close to automatic gunfire”.
    She said the law would be in place by April 11, at the end of the next two-week sitting session.
    “In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” she said.
    While the legislation is being prepared, immediate changes to licensing regulations will restrict the purchase of the weapons.
    No-one will be able to buy the weapons from now without a permit from the police.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-21/nz-military-style-semi-automatic-weapons-ban/10923760

  70. 70
    matt says:

    @Jay: Oh, you’re one of those. Thanks for your comments. LOL.

  71. 71
    tobie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Were the dogs scared, or were they just, ho hum mom’s calling us?

  72. 72
    Sab says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Careful about your license plates.

    Totally OT, but I read a thread late yesterday about who is a Republican. My grandmother was from Cedarburg WI. Her paternal grandparents came from Ireland right before the Famine. Her mother was a Canadian of Scottish and Swiss background, whose people started out furtraders and became bankers and business people.

    Her mother came to go to nursing school in Chicago, where she met her father, graduate of a Wisconsin land grant college and then med school in Chicago.

    His brother (Frank McGovern) was a one term Republican governor who signed a workers comp law, a child labor law, and a minimum wage law.

    There did used to be a progressive branch of the Republican party. Now they are all relabelled Dixiecrats, who used to be Democrats.

    This isn’t a response to anything you have posted. Just Wisconsin history.

    Also, despite her Irish Scottish FrenchSwiss background, she spoke fluent German because that’s what they spoke in Cedarburg then.

    America has changed a lot in the last century.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    I think the real Repubican rule is that they and not the “Democrat party” must always win.

  74. 74
    Jay says:

    @matt:

    “one of those”,…..

    I’m Canadian, I have guarenteed voting rights.

    I’m Canadian, we don’t have voter supression.

    I’m Canadian, we don’t have gerrmandering.

    I’m Canadian, we have porportional representation at all levels.

    I’m Canadian, we don’t have an Electoral College.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    While the Electoral College needs to go and I think it is good and important that this idea is being promoted and socialized (but not like Venezuela), it needs to be made perfectly clear that there is nothing anyone can do to get rid of it before the 2020 elections. And that the 2020 elections are going to be contested with the Electoral College in place and all the systemic and institutional problems that entails. So is this discussion good and important? Yes. But it isn’t the 3 or 10 meter target – that’s beating the President in both the popular and the Electoral College vote, returning a Democratic majority in the House, and electing a Democratic majority in the Senate. Getting rid of the Electoral College is a 50 to 100 meter target – something to identify and begin planning for, but not to engage on until after the election and the 3 and 10 meter targets are dealt with.

    The other 3 meter target is getting my clean laundry folded.

  76. 76
    Wapiti says:

    I understand that the 3/5 compromise gave slave states more representation and thus a few more electoral votes.

    I don’t get how the electoral college by itself benefited slave states. The first EC, Virginia had 12 electors, Mass and Penn had 10 each, NY had 8.

  77. 77
    debbie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ha! You’ve got that right! I’ve had entire stores all to myself during the Michigan game.

  78. 78
    chopper says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    it’s cause you quadruple named them.

  79. 79
    Sab says:

    @Jay: I thought you guys were supposed to be nice? You seem to be crowing. (Also, 12 years of Harper.)

  80. 80
    Ninedragonspot says:

    There are some Republican Secretaries of State I wouldn’t particularly trust to produce an accurate vote tally if the EC were abolished. There would need to be a serious discussion about the integrity of the voting process, and I don’t see that happening with the GOP.

  81. 81

    Opened the door here to go for a walk and there was a fireball streaking across the sky to the south.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Aleta says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Fireball on a full moon equinox.

  84. 84

    @Ninedragonspot: That’s the case with the EC anyway, the state’s Secretaries of State still count the votes to give the state’s EC votes to one candidate or the other(except for NE and ME).

  85. 85
    Sab says:

    When I was living in Florida as a child my RWNJ neighbors actually had a bomb shelter. Those were unusual, because the water table was so high they tended to flood, and thus be useless.
    Their bomb shelter was dry, so it tended to attract snakes. Usually king snakes, but still snakes. Survivalism ain’t easy, especially if you are a nitwit.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Hob says:

    @Jay: I believe the “one of those” was probably triggered by your use of the phrase “a republic, not a democracy.” While it is true that the US is a republic (just as Canada would be if not for its nominal monarch), in the US that phrase is almost exclusively used by the right wing, as a non sequitur that is meant to support all sorts of anti-democratic policies.

    It is really a non sequitur regardless of what point you were trying to make, because literally no country is a direct democracy. All of them that are even vaguely democratic are either republics or constitutional monarchies. The EC has nothing to do with that; we have a government made up of elected officials, and no monarch, so we’re a republic.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Not every state’s elections are run by the Secretary of State’s office.

  89. 89
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Sab:
    As I recall, home bomb shelters went out of style before the end of the Cold War. Can anyone here say when that happened and why?

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Latin Kings and MS-13 fighting again?

  92. 92
    Jay says:

    @Sab:

    It was a nice response to someone who claimed “guarenteed voting rights” in the US and called me “one of those people”, which is a reference to a certain type of obnoxious States Rights, (when convenient) ‘Merkin.

    Harper is a perfect example of the flaws of a FPTP system and a weakened Elections Canada.

  93. 93
    lollipopguild says:

    @Sab: I heard a story about Lawrence Welk that he grew up in a town where everyone spoke Norwegian and that he did not start learning english until he was about 12 years old, that’s why he had an “Accent”.

  94. 94
    debbie says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Wow. Glad it disintegrated before striking the ground.

  95. 95
    Sab says:

    @Amir Khalid: Maybe snakes in the South?

  96. 96
    Aleta says:

    @Jay: I remember a summer when the papers in Ontario were reporting voter suppression. Was that unfounded, or was it papered over, or what happened?

  97. 97
    Jay says:

    @Hob:

    In Canada, Provinces don’t run Federal Elections, and we don’t elect a Prime Minister. That’s the key point between a Republic and what’s not.

    matt seems unaware, as others have pointed out to him, that there is no guarenteed right to vote in the US, that States elect the President, not the voters.

  98. 98
    Jay says:

    @Aleta:

    It wasn’t just Ontario, and it wasn’t voter supression, it was ratfucking. The Cons ran a robocalling operation directing select voters to the wrong polling stations.

  99. 99
    sdhays says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I think we need States because local circumstances are wildly different across the US, and each area deserves a government that can be responsive to those circumstances.

    While that’s true, and having “meth labs of democracy” is a useful benefit, the states we actually have are pretty shitty, especially with the structure of the Senate. There’s no real rhyme or reason to what makes this chunk of land a state that is equivalent to other states.

    That’s why we have bizarre scenarios where Rhode Island is a glorified county and California is the world’s 5th largest economy. Many of the western states were created by Republican Congresses to stack the Senate and Electoral College in the 19th century. There’s no local governance benefit to having two Dakotas. Considering the size of Montana, what’s the loss in consolidating it with, say, Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado? And New England is just a random mishmash of boundaries carved up by inbred royalty thousands of miles away.

    This would all matter less if states didn’t get equal representation in the Senate, but since they do, it creates awful distortions that I think we’re all aware of.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: No, the electors elect the president.

  101. 101
    Jay says:

    @Aleta:

    Couple of Cons went to jail, but Elections Canada didn’t have the power to dig deep into it and by the time it became a criminal case, a lot of the evidence was “gone” and the Comissioner of the RCMP revealed himself to be a Harper bagman.

    People are still pissed about it and Trudeau bagging on his promises of electoral reform have opened up old wounds.

  102. 102
    smike says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    OT on this thread, but I was just checking out the last On The Road and puzzled over your description of the dam:

    The face of the dam had arches at the top with sculptures of bear heads between the arches.

    I have a hard time seeing a bear in that sculpture. Is it the angle?

  103. 103

    @Omnes Omnibus: My point was that whoever counts the votes to apportion electors now would also be counting the popular vote winner.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Aleta says:

    @Jay: That’s a form of voter suppression.

    I remember it was national (I read about it in Ontario), but was anyone ever prosecuted? Did the government fully acknowledge it happened?

    ETA Saw your answer at 101.

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    @debbie: Actually, if you look at the end of the video, something dark does drop vertically at the end.

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    @smike: It’s a bear head, it is at a pretty extreme angle. Also the sculpture has been there for almost 100 years.

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    @Jay: The political parties select a slate of electors.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smike: It was winter, they’re hibernating. They’ll be back up shortly now that it is officially spring.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sdhays: Dear Mr. President, there are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. I am not a crackpot.

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    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: the problem is we’re ALWAYS going into the next election season.

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    sdhays says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Only three?

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: I’m not saying you put it off. I’m not saying you don’t start working it a bit. I’m not saying it doesn’t become a higher priority after the election in 2020. I’m just saying it cannot be fixed or changed or done away with between now and the election. It currently isn’t in the top 20, most likely not in the top 50, things Americans are concerned with. That’s why you start socializing the issue now in order to raise its profile and generate interest in and support for making the change. But the immediate issues are defeating the President’s reelection, maintaining the Democratic majority in the House, and electing a Democratic majority in the Senate.

    I can report that my clean laundry is folded and put away, so we can take that issue off the table for now.

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    smike says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Thanks, I see it now, especially after googling bear images. I’ve never really thought about bear faces much before, and I’ve seen one up close in the “wild” (on a golf course).

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Fundamentally, the voters of the state vote for a slate of electors who are at least nominally pledged to support a particular candidate.* How things get apportioned (winner take all or otherwise) is a matter of state law.**

    *Selection of a preferred candidate on the ballot is a shorthand for voting for the set of electors who are pledged to that candidate.

    **If you want to go really deep into the weeds on this I can go dig out my old college and law school books, but no one here needs that.

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    sukabi says:

    @smike: there are bead heads on all the columns supporting the arches…look for ut in the detail photo…On my phone I had to zoom in to see it but it’s there….once you find it you can tell on the wider shot where they are.

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    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: hey did you see that those 81 request letters are being responded to?

    Guess drumpf doesn’t have as many “die on this hill” allies as he thought.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sdhays: I am not straying from the canonical.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: I did. However, the White House has given a blanket no and indicated that they find no legitimate purpose in any of the requests directed at the administration/executive branch.

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    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: pretty sure useful information is gathered in investigations all the time from people other than the criminals.

    WH probably won’t ever want to turn over docs…not surprising. As more evidence of corruption is uncovered from other sources, and as drumpf slips his last hinge the more support he loses. At some point, probably sooner than later, documents and other things are going to leak, leak, leak.

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    PJ says:

    @lollipopguild: Welk’s parents were German, as was his accent.

    I couldn’t stand his music, which I had to listen to as a child because my parents watched his show, but I gained some respect for him when I heard this story: his parents were farmers, and his father expected him to stay on the farm and be a farmer as well. But he had heard the siren song of the accordion, and he wanted to get the hell out. So he told his father that if he bought him an instrument, he would work on the farm until he was 21. His father agreed, thinking this accordion thing was just a fad, and that he would forget it soon enough. But Lawrence practiced, and practiced, and practiced, and when he turned 21, he said, “See ya, Papa,” and headed out on the road to be a professional musician and bandleader (and eventually a very wealthy businessman.) His music still sucked, but I admire his dedication.

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    chopper says:

    @lollipopguild:

    low german, actually. he was volgadeutsche.

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    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Hob: We’re not a republic. We’re a Westminster parliamentary democracy. The organs of decision-making are fundamentally different from a republic, and if we ditched the Queen that wouldn’t change.

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    According to the news, the mystery fireball was a Red Bull jumping team. Ah Hollywood…

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    Anne Laurie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    So, I said, “Daisy Mayhem Margaret Kennedy! Badger Aloysius La Boeuf McMurtry! You get your asses up these stairs this instant!”

    And to my astonishment, they did!

    Ooof! Glad you had your mom voice on!

    Although, in my experience, dogs who are pretty sure they’ve gotten themselves beyond their skill-set can be amazingly compliant. Like middle-school kids — ‘I would totally kick your arse, snake, but I hear my mother calling… ‘

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    e says:

    @Betty Cracker: It may have reared up and hissed or lunged at them – the ones around here (Ky) will sometimes charge a dog (or you) and I know it spooks OUR dogs and they will back off. I, on the other hand, being an amateur herpetologist from the age of 5, run after it trying to catch it lol

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    rumpole says:

    Yes, it’s a good idea-a relic of a less enlightened time that should go the way of the dodo, and would have prevented both Bush and Trump. These are not insignificant benefits. One problem, though:
    No. One. Fucking. Cares. Keep it out of the media cycle.
    Referendum on trump: win.
    Else: lose.
    This is not complicated.

    Pound that point repeatedly. One Isaccson rebuke of trump is better for D’s than ten Warren or Buttegieg (sic) speeches on constitutional amendment.

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    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    @Betty Cracker: You used The Voice. Of course they obeyed.

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    Hob says:

    @Jay: You are using some definition of “republic” that I’ve never seen, so I guess this discussion isn’t going to make much sense. The one I have always seen (not counting archaic usages) is as I said: the government is controlled by representatives of some sort who are elected by the people in some way, and there isn’t a monarch. Period.

    I can see no way in which the bizarre institution of the Electoral College makes the US more like a republic by any definition. If you interpret it as an indirect mechanism for the people to elect a President (with weird results since it is divided and weighted regionally) then it makes no difference in that regard. If you instead say “the people aren’t electing the President at all, the states are” (though I’m unclear on how you’re defining “state” in that formulation) then that would if anything make us less of a republic.

    Whether we are a “democracy”, in the sense of controlling government decisions by direct popular voting, wasn’t even at issue; of course we aren’t. That’s why, as I was trying to explain, if you go around telling people “it’s a republic, not a democracy” they will assume you’re a right-wing crank because it is a common catchphrase of such.

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    Dave W. says:

    @glory b: Actually, the electoral college is sort of like deciding who wins an NBA game by which team scored more points in more quarters. So if Team A wins Q1 25-22, loses Q2 20-31, ties Q3 28-28, and wins Q4 26-25, we would declare them the winner. Popular vote means we add up all the quarters, and notice that Team A trails 99-106. Guess which system the NBA uses?

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