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JANUARY 25, 2013 3:42PM

The Delicious Ironies in Republican Electoral College Idea

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For MEB, forever.

Ah, the delicious ironies of politics, in the case at hand, the Republicans proposal to elect the next President by radically altering, umm reforming, the Electoral College.

And that's ok, as things change, if in theory of course conservatives aren't the ones supposed to advocate that.

But as to the delicious ironies here, consider all the Progs squealing about the proposal to award Electoral College votes by who wins the House seat in question, rather than who won the overall popular vote.

Gee, didn't I remember a time in 2000 when Progs screamed to high heaven about how it wasn't fair that Gore won the popular vote?

Of course, in 2000, Republicans liked the consequences of that result, if not so much now.

But, the ironies get better.


Because in a little noted but long-lasting decision, or set of decisions, the Prog types got what they wanted in redistricting, or so they thought.

In the set of cases known as "One man, one vote," Living Constitution people said that it wasn't fair for Congressional or State delegations to have any numerical differences between them, even though the Constitution clearly, clearly, clearly leaves elections to the Several States.

But, at the height of the Progressive Warren Court, the Court got into the business of regulating congressional districts, even though Justice Harlan warned that the Court was practicing a form or political science, as to the nature of representation.

Political scientists eventually forgot this too, to everyone's possible regret, if there's a lesson here too.

A buddy of mine from graduate school wrote a little book, but like lots of very good books, to the point, about representation and redistricting.

Now Dr. Brunell has sort of a side gig coming up with redistricting proposals for Dems out in Texas at UT Dallas, among other places, where he plugs in data on elections, demography, the price of tea in China, and "Burp," the computer tells you how to draw electoral boundaries to maximize the power of one party, and why?

Because of something his book failed to mention, not once, it's only flaw, not his flaw, but because we're not in Kansas anymore, as to the One Man, One Vote decisions. Previously, legislatures attached a lot of significance to geography, for the darn good reason that people live in geographic communities.

Now, especially with the Internet, we don't have offsetting forces, which leads to the results of Dr. Brunell's book, packing all the partisans in one district, a dialogue of the deaf, if he don't see it that way, as we never saw eye to eye on lots of things in politics, if beer and football, that's great stuff, and he's a great big Bruin of a guy I wish I saw more often, who always has something to think about, because he's the Dr.

Now as to this issue, Dems scream about the Republicans "gerrymandering," except they opened the door to that with their enthusiasm a long time ago as to districts in the One Man, One Vote cases, that like STRICT CONSTRUCTIONIST Harlan warned, wasn't a judicial matter at all, but a political theory of potentially awesome consequences, like abolishing the Electoral College.

Even the Republican proposal ought to give conservatives pause.

What is the implication of deciding the Executive Branch on the basis of congressional districts?

Parliamentarism, because the President and the Legislature would be selected on the same basis.

Moreover, you would lose the real benefits of having State by State contests.

Careful what you ask for, noting that any election system has a manipulability to it, which Dems do too, as to quit squealing, like in 2000.

Maybe we want to alter the Electoral College, as that system was a compromise back then too, sort of an afterthought in some ways, although, like the way things worked before the genius Warren Court altered redistricting in the One Man, One Vote decisions, that had its unintended evolutionary functions too.

But the irony is delicious, all the way around, if its not a surprise to those who read their Burke, as to the importance of rules, and which is in fact in this case one of the core virtues of Original Intent.


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If the game was not always rigged, I am quite sure that it has been more than not - far more. Now - I see in Obama the rub - at the top of the system where young bucks were slid into both parties by the same people - who provided them with jobs or what ever it was it took to buy them. I saw the stables, and how the laws were tweeked or unenforced . I saw them run those ponies - and how they put them down too.

So... another sharp object in the big black bag. Double edged too. Thanks for the alert.
Basing voting district borders on a region's land area rather than its population size is not only unethical, it defies logic ... unless your motivation is to rewrite the rules of American democracy to give your party an unfair advantage.

Using aforementioned gerrymandered districts to determine Electoral Vote allocation in a presidential election is an affront to the fundamental tenets upon which our Great American Experiment is based.

Enter the modern Republican Party, a shining beacon of Machiavellian methodology.
There's nothing wrong wit the one man-one vote principle so long as districts are fairly drawn. But when there as gerrymandered as they are it results in the Repubs having a healthy congressional majority despite them losing the congressional popular vote by around a million. This latest scheme is just another attempt to thwart democracy.
I think there is a good case for drawing districts mainly by geography, and allowing more variation, on the theory that people live in their geography, as to what one would want to "represent."
Living outside of a geographical context is a violation of our nature, evolved or what it has always been to date,although of course this blog somewhat violates that, but not really that severely.
Moreover, encouraging the representation of where it is people actually live as opposed to partisanship, which is what the problem is now. Democrats aren't any better, because all they want to do is do the gerrymander themselves, all of which the One Man, One Vote decision opened up.
Previously, rural districts were on average over-represented, which though might have had good features in the long run.
Thank you by the way for coming over, noting that per the use of geography as a guiding force to represent, as a theory of "representation," meeting in cyberspace isn't quite the same, although it sure does have a weird intensity to it, if you are always on the computer. But the hypocrisy all the way around is funny on this issue, although, it's a great lesson about the importance of rules too, which the geek in me couldn't resist.
Newton's Law is applicable in politics as well. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This attempt to impose dollar apartheid through yet another hinky scheme might very well get the seal of approval from the Scalia court, but it certain fails the smell test.

The thing that the cons should be watching their backs for are the unanticipated consequences of making the Alaska electoral vote equal in every way to a Los Angeles electoral vote.

All of this could just accelerate the process towards a Constitutional Convention, and then everyone could throw the docrtine of originalism on the trash heap of history where it belongs.
Some countries use similar systems Old Lefty, like in France. It's just funny how people take both sides of the issue, and then regret it later. If Original Intent fails someday totally, like just throwing away the Constitution, it won't be because it was a bad Constitution at all, but because all Constitutions perish because people game them, and parchments can't prevent that, as Madison and Hamilton understood. Careful what you ask for too, as such things often end violently, and with results no one expects.