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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, July 06, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Monday state laws that remove or fine Electoral College delegates who refuse to cast their votes for the presidential candidate they were pledged to support. The vote was unanimous.

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So why have them? Rubber stamps would work as well.

#1 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-07-06 11:26 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

Sounds like we have no reason to keep the EC if it's not going to function as intended.

#2 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 11:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

!@3 ... So why have them? ...

The Electoral College is an anachronism. Like some other parts of the original Constitution.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-07-06 11:34 AM | Reply

"So why have them? Rubber stamps would work as well."

National popular vote initiative.

#4 | Posted by dibblda at 2020-07-06 11:40 AM | Reply

National popular vote initiative.

#4 | POSTED BY DIBBLDA

Bad way to do it. Makes too many states likely to be ignored.

Proportional distribution of electors based on vote counts in each state would make more states competitive and might even make states currently ignored as a given worth spending time and resources on.

#5 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 11:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

Then the last justification for having Electors at all is gone. If all they are for is to rubber stamp, without even the possibility of independent choice, then they're mindless middlemen not needed by any rational process.

#6 | Posted by Zed at 2020-07-06 11:51 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

@#5 ... Makes too many states likely to be ignored. ...

Eliminating the Electoral College would also require a Constitutional amendment. The likelihood of that occurring in the current political environment is slim to nil.

While I haven't gone through all the possible scenarios, I am currently of the opinion that so long as there is an Electoral College in place, it will be possible to have an Oval Office occupant who did not win a plurality of the vote.

Such an outcome is not necessarily bad, unless the occupant acts mostly for "his people" and forgets that he is the President of all the United States.


#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-07-06 11:55 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Proportional distribution of electors based on vote counts in each state would make more states competitive and might even make states currently ignored as a given worth spending time and resources on.

#5 | POSTED BY JPW

Big fan of this reform, and I believe some states have already reformed to give electors based on proportional splits of state votes (but I could also be thinking of how party primaries are run).

Would be much better than the simple majority or 50%+1vote nabbing the complete collection of EC points.

#8 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-07-06 12:01 PM | Reply

@#6 ... Then the last justification for having Electors at all is gone. ...

There's still one remaining...

The Electoral College allows for a disproportional weight for some states.

For example...

Wyoming gets 3 Electoral votes with a population of 600,000. One per 200,000.

California gets 55 Electoral votes with a population of 38,000,000. One per 700,000

(numbers are approx).

So, in a Presidential election, a voter in Wyoming's vote counts over three times as much as a voter in California.

For that reason, the Electoral College will be with us for a long time.


#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-07-06 12:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

under what circumstances would you support the delegates pledging the votes to the candidate that didn't win the popular vote in that state?

It's never affected the outcome of a presidential election so is it worth debating?

#10 | Posted by eberly at 2020-07-06 12:03 PM | Reply

Eliminating the Electoral College would also require a Constitutional amendment. The likelihood of that occurring in the current political environment is slim to nil.

No it wouldn't. There are two states who already do this (Nebraska and Maine).

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 12:18 PM | Reply

Would be much better than the simple majority or 50%+1vote nabbing the complete collection of EC points.

#8 | POSTED BY GONOLES92

And would, IMO, go a long way in battling the apathy that's so pervasive in our elections. A person's vote would actually matter in every single state under that system.

Not to mention EC votes would actually reflect the very very purple nature of the vast majority of states.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 12:20 PM | Reply

@#11 ... No it wouldn't. There are two states who already do this (Nebraska and Maine). ...

Do Nebraska and Maine still send delegates to the Electoral College to vote?

If so, the Electoral College is not eliminated.

How it works may have changed, but the Electoral College is still in use.

And so long as it is in use, there will be a disproportionate weighting of individual voters. The bias introduced by having two Senators per state is part of the cause of that disproportionate weighting.


#13 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-07-06 12:26 PM | Reply

National popular vote is the only way to go. And in the digital age nobody gets ignored, but perhaps fewer people get directly pandered to.

#14 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2020-07-06 12:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

How Powerful Is Your Vote?
www.slate.com

Color-coded map of the United States. The darker the green, the more power the state's individual Electoral vote has. Hover over a state to see how many voters each Electoral vote represents.


#15 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-07-06 12:41 PM | Reply

If so, the Electoral College is not eliminated.
How it works may have changed, but the Electoral College is still in use.
And so long as it is in use, there will be a disproportionate weighting of individual voters. The bias introduced by having two Senators per state is part of the cause of that disproportionate weighting.

#13 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

Of course they send delegates to vote. They just appropriate them differently than the rest of the states, namely not in a winner take all fashion.

If enough states signed up for that method of elector proportioning it could be done without changing the Constitution at all. So yes, the EC would still exist but it would be rendered essentially moot. A formality.

And with this case, state laws implementing the practice would have teeth to ensure the proportional distribution occurs according to plan.

#16 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 12:47 PM | Reply

National popular vote is the only way to go. And in the digital age nobody gets ignored, but perhaps fewer people get directly pandered to.

#14 | POSTED BY WHATSLEFT

Nope. It goes against the spirit of our system of government and the FF's intentions.

Not to mention it swings the pendulum of poor electoral practice to the opposite side of the political divide.

#17 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 12:48 PM | Reply

@#16 ... If enough states signed up for that method of elector proportioning it could be done without changing the Constitution at all. So yes, the EC would still exist but it would be rendered essentially moot. A formality. ...

Yup. And I agree that is a big step in the right direction. I am in favor of taking that initial step.

However, there's still the fundamental issue of a voter's vote in Wyoming would still have more than three times the weight as a voter's vote in California due to the manner the Constitution specifies for the allotment of Electoral College votes.


#18 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-07-06 12:51 PM | Reply

Bad way to do it. Makes too many states likely to be ignored.
Proportional distribution of electors based on vote counts in each state would make more states competitive and might even make states currently ignored as a given worth spending time and resources on.
#5 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 11:47 AM |

most states are already ignored, those being the ones either solidly blue or solidly red

#19 | Posted by truthhurts at 2020-07-06 12:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It goes against the spirit of our system of government and the FF's intentions.
Not to mention it swings the pendulum of poor electoral practice to the opposite side of the political divide.
#17 | POSTED BY JPW

Huh?

The spirit and intention was only rich white men vote.

And in what world is a simple national plebiscite "poor electoral practice?"
???

#20 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-06 01:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

most states are already ignored, those being the ones either solidly blue or solidly red

#19 | POSTED BY TRUTHHURTS

I'm aware.

And switching to a straight popular vote simply swaps the roles.

In other words, it doesn't fix the issue, it simply changes the benefactors.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 01:47 PM | Reply

It goes against the spirit of our system of government and the FF's intentions.

The Founding Fathers' purported "intentions" are not sacrosanct. They were human; they got some things wrong.

There is literally no coherent argument for why one person's vote should have more impact than someone else's.

#22 | Posted by JOE at 2020-07-06 01:49 PM | Reply

The Founding Fathers' purported "intentions" are not sacrosanct. They were human; they got some things wrong.
There is literally no coherent argument for why one person's vote should have more impact than someone else's.

#22 | POSTED BY JOE

Didn't say it was sacrosanct.

For me it's more about practicality. You don't have to completely wipe the slate with every single issue, Joe. You can move things in the correct directions without constantly going for broke.

But that's the "progressive" way and that's why they're always the perpetual losers.

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 02:11 PM | Reply

those being the ones either solidly blue or solidly red

#19 | POSTED BY TRUTHHURTS

As seen with Cruz vs Beto, Texas is closer to purple than ever before. If there was a proportionate distribution of EC vs winner take all, wouldn't that be some great tangible incremental progress?
Similar for red votes in CA/NY. The red/blue 51/49 split in FL.

Proportional splits in all the states would be such a big positive for the political process, IMO.

#24 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-07-06 02:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Proportional splits in all the states would be such a big positive for the political process, IMO.

#24 | POSTED BY GONOLES92

And would give the best representative results of all options IMO.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 02:35 PM | Reply

-If there was a proportionate distribution of EC vs winner take all,

Has anybody bothered to go back to past elections and re-figure the results using that method? I'd be curious to see how it panned out.

#26 | Posted by eberly at 2020-07-06 02:40 PM | Reply

This seems like a no-brainer to me. The Supreme Court was unanimous on the issue. Nobody in their right mind wants Electors to be able to undermine the votes of millions of people.

#27 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-07-06 02:45 PM | Reply

Has anybody bothered to go back to past elections and re-figure the results using that method? I'd be curious to see how it panned out. #26 | POSTED BY EBERLY

This WaPo article slightly answers the question, but I would love to read if anyone finds a deep dive in using the proportional EC system for the last 50 years of presidential elections.
Under: " PROPORTIONAL BY STATE
Drop winner-take-all and learn to share"
www.washingtonpost.com

#28 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-07-06 03:00 PM | Reply

You can move things in the correct directions without constantly going for broke.

I take it you don't have a coherent argument for why one person'a vote should matter more than anyone else's then?

Put aside what you think is possible for a moment, since you and i aren't legislators. What is "right?"

#29 | Posted by JOE at 2020-07-06 03:13 PM | Reply

So why have them?

Options. What law is good for lawyers without loopholes?

#30 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2020-07-06 03:18 PM | Reply

Has anybody bothered to go back to past elections and re-figure the results using that method? I'd be curious to see how it panned out.

Yes.

270towin.com/alternative-electoral-college-allocation-methods/

Interestingly, virtually none of the alternative allocation methods they offer would have resulted in a Clinton win. The only method that might have had a different outcome is the one you asked about, proportional popular (PVS) which results in neither candidate getting enough electoral votes to win, in which case i think the House chooses the president.

#31 | Posted by JOE at 2020-07-06 03:20 PM | Reply

I take it you don't have a coherent argument for why one person'a vote should matter more than anyone else's then?
Put aside what you think is possible for a moment, since you and i aren't legislators. What is "right?"

#29 | POSTED BY JOE

Of course I don't have an argument for that, I don't think that that is a good thing and it is a problem that should be fixed.

But in a multi-factorial problem you pick the ones you have the greatest chance of solving and that will do the most good in helping you solve the others.

Lets get accurate representation of the populace's political views first then address the next one. It would also dilute the power of lower populated states as at least one or two EC votes gets appropriated to the minority party.

#32 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-06 03:26 PM | Reply

I would be totally fine with California making the decision for the rest of the US, have at it.

#33 | Posted by leftcoastlawyer at 2020-07-06 03:27 PM | Reply

There is literally no coherent argument for why one person's vote should have more impact than someone else's.

#22 | POSTED BY JOE

The argument is that it was part of the compromises required to get the slave states to adopt the Constitution; another consequence of this country's Original Sin(s).

#34 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2020-07-06 03:34 PM | Reply

FL, NY, TX, CA get all the nation's wealth and political pandering; the rest of the states can "figure it out" and have some of their population selected to compete in the US Hunger Games while the wealthy states watch the games for our entertainment.

#35 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2020-07-06 03:35 PM | Reply

The mob is the purist form of democracy.

#36 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-07-06 03:39 PM | Reply

Makes too many states likely to be ignored.
#5 | POSTED BY JPW

What's the problem with that?

States should be ignored; all of them!

We The People should be the only thing that matters.

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-06 05:55 PM | Reply

We The People should be the only thing that matters.

#37 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

I'm quite certain you know what I meant.

#38 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-07 12:02 AM | Reply

#38 No, I have no idea what you meant.
The Electoral College is anti-democratic, and it only serves to keep our country a lot more conservative than We The People are.
So, why is it that you want to keep it?

#39 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 12:15 AM | Reply

"Sounds about right if we want to actually fix this country."

Something's wrong with the country?
Trump has had 3.5 years to fix it.
When do you hold Trump accountable?

#41 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 12:53 AM | Reply

Again, when do you hold Trump accountable?
What has he fixed so far, and what's left to fix?

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 01:21 AM | Reply

LOL.

The rate he's going none of those things will ever get done. Ever.

How much Wall has been built in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How many troops have been pulled out of the Middle East in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How many China tariffs have been made permanent in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How many ACA alternative plans have been hatched in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How many Sanctuary cities have been defunded in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How many lobbyists have been kicked out of politics in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How much Deep State has been broken in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?
How many charges have been brought against Hillary in the past 3.5 years? What makes you think the next will be better?

#45 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 01:33 AM | Reply

Wall built

Never gonna happen. This was Trump's original plan to embezzle. He's realized there's a lot of other ways to pocket millions.

Troops out of the Middle East

This isn't up to him. The Saudis want us there. The Israelis want us there. The oil corporations want us there. We're never leaving the Middle East. No Democrat or Republicans president will change that.

Defunding of sanctuary cities

Trumpublican pipe dream.

ACA alternative plan

None exists.

Lobbyist out of politics

Lobbyists aren't necessary, Trump's administration cut out the middleman.

Deep state broken

Deep state is where Bigfoot is hiding. Along with Elvis.

Hillary in jail

For what? Let's see the charges. Citations necessary.

#46 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-07-07 01:44 AM | Reply

The rate he's going none of those things will ever get done. Ever.

What makes you think the next will be better?

It's simple.

He's an idiot.

Trump is relying on idiots to vote for him in November.

#48 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-07-07 01:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If Trump wins in 2020 (which I believe he will), he will be taking a majority in the House and Senate with him and the Never Trump RINOs and Dems will have been completely rejected by voters. On top of that, he will pick up at least 1 additional SCOTUS seat with Ginsberg leaving the court.

That's quite the wish list.

#49 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-07-07 01:48 AM | Reply

"Therefore, he will be in a position to actually implement the agenda we all want him to implement."

You make nothing but excuses.
Why couldn't he implement his agenda when he had both houses of Congress for two years?

#50 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 02:00 AM | Reply

You have nothing but excuses.

#53 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 02:40 AM | Reply

Obama got Obamacare done in like 97 days.
Trump can't get Trumpcare, or The Wall, or prosecuting Hillary, or troops out of the Middle East done in 3.5 years?

It's always somebody else's fault.

#54 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-07-07 02:43 AM | Reply

" But the Deep State has been crippled now "

Is it wrong to point and laugh at obviously delusional people?

Asking for a friend.

#56 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2020-07-07 03:46 AM | Reply

"Then Obama will have literally nothing to his name other than being a failed 2 term president."

Yeah, never mind that he took a nation with a destroyed economy and put it back together so Trump could then destroy it over again and worse.

#58 | Posted by danni at 2020-07-07 09:20 AM | Reply

That is why you and the rest of the liberal loons on this site are going so insane with TDS. You know what is coming.

#47 | POSTED BY STC_917

The destruction of our country supposed Chreestian "patriots"?

#59 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-07 11:20 AM | Reply

STC - 4:02AM?
Post history shows posting from 1AM to 7AM?
Where does this live?

#60 | Posted by YAV at 2020-07-07 11:50 AM | Reply

The derp state is strong with this one

#61 | Posted by hamburglar at 2020-07-07 12:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

They should scale the vote based on IQ and on that basis my vote would count as 5x more than yours. Sounds about right if we want to actually fix this country.
#40 | POSTED BY STC_917

Your laughable boast aside, what do you mean "fix this country?" You already got the guy you voted for along with 2 years of complete Congressional control. If your stellar IQ didn't deliver the goods should we really be leaving this to you?

#62 | Posted by JOE at 2020-07-07 04:22 PM | Reply

Without the EC it would come down to the same highly populated states controlling the election results.

Considering the US is a group of states and not simply a mass of people, the EC makes sense.

#63 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-07-07 10:50 PM | Reply

Wow Bill.

Great, in depth analysis with really novel, interesting views...

#64 | Posted by jpw at 2020-07-08 12:56 AM | Reply

Jpw,

I could polish my insults like you.

That seems to be the direction a lot of people have gone.

#66 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-07-08 06:27 AM | Reply

This was a good SCOTUS decision. However, states need to make the penalty for being "faithless" severe enough to discourage electors from taking a bribe.

In a related issue, residents of small states are enamored with the idea of the electoral college because it protects them from the "tyranny" of the large states. Of course, residents of large states don't like it because it dilutes their votes. Much has been made about the need for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the electoral college and move to direct, popular vote to elect the president. However, a constitutional amendment is not needed!

As per the constitution, the number of electors a state receives is equal to the number of representatives they have in the HOR with each state getting a minimum of 1 rep in the HOR. With the number of representatives fixed at 435 in 1929, some states are over represented and others are under represented.

Based on the 2010 Census apportionment, the state with the largest average district size will be Montana (994,416), and the state with the smallest average district size will be Rhode Island (527,624).
www.census.gov

If the number of members of the HOR was more proportional to the population, the presidential election results would be more representative of the population. Not quite direct election of the president by popular vote but better than what we currently have.

What would it take to expand the number of members of the HOR? Legislation. Congress could pass and the president could sign a law setting the number of representatives equal to the number of people in a district divided by the population of the smallest state based on the most recent (2010) census. This would result in the number of representatives being increased to 546 (308,758,105/564,483).
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST040219#PST040219
https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/

If the dems do win all levers of government this fall, some of the first legislation that they should enact should be to 1) Make DC a state and 2) Increase the number of representatives in the House.

#67 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2020-07-08 07:35 AM | Reply

Fed,

You know good and well it just boils down to whoever benefits from the EC likes it and whoever is at disadvantage doesn't like it.

Blah blah census..

Blah blah population.

Simply...the EC prevents the heavily populated states from running the entire country.

It actually has a logical explanation for its existence.

#68 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-07-08 08:36 AM | Reply

the EC prevents the heavily populated states from running the entire country.

Please explain the logic behind your resistance to places where people actually live having proportionate control over the nation's politics as opposed to giving outsize influence to barren land and less populous places.

People control the nation at the expense of others no matter what system you choose. Should more people get their way, or less people?

#69 | Posted by JOE at 2020-07-08 10:14 AM | Reply

Joe,

No...you're on your own.

If the EC is over your head, can't help you there.

#70 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2020-07-08 12:53 PM | Reply

So you claim a logical explanation exists, but you refuse to offer it. Sounds like you're afraid of being unable to defend something that you only prefer because of the result it produces.

#71 | Posted by JOE at 2020-07-08 02:14 PM | Reply

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