Gaming the System

Out of the past six presidential elections, Republican candidates have lost the popular vote five times.  Party identification is declining.  The party is getting much older, and much whiter, than mainstream American society.  The base demands policies that run counter both to common sense and empirical sense.  And so, instead of demanding change in the form of a fundamental overhaul as to what modern American conservatism should look like, Republicans have begun the process of tampering with the way that presidential elections are won.

In short, we don’t have a single presidential election in America, we have fifty separate elections, each conducted by the states, and with the electoral votes being allocated according to state laws.  Historically, the understanding of this is that when a candidate wins a majority of the vote goes to a candidate, the electoral votes do as well.  However, two states, Maine and Nebraska, use a different system.  The electoral votes are apportioned according to the winner of each Congressional district.  Meaning, if Mitt Romney won Nebraska by a landslide, he’d get the electoral votes in those districts where he won, but not in the district that covers Omaha, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.  Maine has had this system since 1972 and Nebraska since 1996.

Now, measures are before state legislatures in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia.  All are states voted for President Obama in the past two electoral cycles.  The move is not being considered in any traditional Republican strongholds in either the west or the south.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has said that he’ll keep an open mind if a bill passes through the state legislature.  Given his waffling on right to work legislation and his sudden about-face on that issue, his current verbage all but assures that he would indeed sign it.  And if states in the Great Lakes region did so, it would become nearly impossible for a Democratic candidate to ever set foot in the White House for generations.

This is not hyperbole.  This is not lefty handwringing over an imaginary issue.  This fundamentally affects each and every single one of us for many reasons.  Namely, it is yet another attempt on the part of the troglodytic GOP to resort to ever more corrupt tactics in trying to force their agenda down the throat of a country that does not want it.  And you can be sure that if this bill comes to a vote in Lansing, the demonstrations that we saw over RTW would look like a walk in the park.  See you in Lansing.


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