A war Dems believe in

By Victor Davis Hanson, JWR
A war Dems believe in
Several of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates favored the abolishment of the Electoral College. Or, as once-confident candidate Elizabeth Warren put it, “I plan to be the last American president to be elected by the Electoral College.”Furor over the Electoral College among the left arose from the 2000 and 2016 elections. Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, respectively, won the popular votes. But, like three earlier presidents, they lost the Electoral College voting — and with it the presidency.

The Founding Fathers saw a purpose in the Electoral College. It ensured that small, rural states would retain importance in national elections.

The Electoral College lessened the chance of voting fraud affecting the outcome of a national vote by compartmentalizing the outcome among the various states. It usually turns the presidential election into a contest between two major parties that alone have the resources to campaign nationwide.

The college is antithetical to the parliamentary systems of Europe. There, a multiplicity of small extremist parties form and break coalitions to select heads of state, often without transparency.

Yet to change the U.S. Constitution is hard — and by intent.

Historically, an amendment has required a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and an additional ratification by three-fourths of the states through votes of their legislatures.

There is a chance that some states could render void the Electoral College without formally amending the Constitution.

To circumvent the Constitution, Democrats have pushed “The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact,” an agreement among a group of states that would force state electors to vote in accordance with the national popular vote and ignore their own state tallies. Already, 15 states totaling 73 percent of the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency have joined.

Liberal academics have an array of proposed constitutional changes. Why do two Wyoming senators each represent about 290,000 voters while each California senator represents 20 million?

Forget that the founders established a constitutional republic, not a radical democracy, in order to check and balance popular and often volatile public opinion. One way was by creating an upper-house Senate that would slow down the pulse of the more populist House of Representatives.

Nevertheless, there is an ongoing effort to dream up ways to create more, and apparently liberal, senators — to change the rules rather than the hearts and minds of the voters.

In his recent eulogy at John Lewis’s funeral, Barack Obama proposed giving statehood to liberal Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. That would instantly give Democrats four additional senators.

Others want senators allotted by population. That was the argument in a recent Atlantic article titled “The Path to Give California 12 Senators, and Vermont Just One,”

There is nothing in the Constitution that specifies the exact size and makeup of the Supreme Court. It only offers guidance on how justices are appointed and confirmed, and that there will be a chief justice. But since 1869, the Supreme Court has been fixed at eight associate justices and one chief justice.

Democratic primary candidates Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren said they would consider ending that 151-year tradition and “pack” the court with additional justices in the fashion of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s failed 1937 effort.

The left is apparently afraid of a second Donald Trump presidential term that might allow him four or five Supreme Court picks over eight years in office.

The effect of such appointments could be mitigated by expanding the court to 12 or more justices, along with altering the rules for selecting them.

In his eulogy for Lewis, Obama also called for an end to the Senate filibuster. He claimed it was a racist relic from the Jim Crow era used to stymie needed social change.

August 15, 2020 | 3 Comments » | 646 views

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. For the left (and a number of GOP leaders) free speech and liberties are stuff of the past!
    There is a lot of clean-up required to preserve and improve this country!
    Why are the republicans not preempting another coup attempt from the left and add a few more republican Justices to the SC?
    Why be reactive and not pro-active? Rhino and never-Trumpers must be the problem!

  2. @ stevenl:
    Because the pendulum always swings back and once the precedent is set, it will become a two-edged sword and will come back to bite the hand that set it in motion in time. The Democrats used to understand that except for radical periods like now and like FDR’s term. Their opposition to the filibuster and support for simple majorities is likewise based on an assumption that they will hold such a majority. If and when they lose both houses and the presidency, they will be opposed to all of it again and pretend they always were. Trump only needs one more appointment to have a conservative majority on the court, since Roberts has turned out not to be, in practice and Ginsberg is in poor health. She is holding on for a Democratic Presidency to retire.

  3. This interstate compact won’t change anything. The country is divided between red, blue and swing states. Blue and swing states won’t join such a compact and red states will vote Democratic no matter what. I just googled it and NIxon and Reagan are the only Republicans New Yorkers voted for since 1972.

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