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Hullabaloo


Friday, November 26, 2004

 
Crack A Book

Some people need to read some history before they get snippy:

Here's my post, from Polipundit.com, on the jaw-dropping liberal self-parody of the day. What planet, exactly, are these people from?

Far-left Democratic Congresswoman, Zoe Lofgren, of the San Francisco Bay Area, plans to introduce a prospective Constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

Cute, huh?

Incidentally, this will not be Ms. Lofgren’s “15 minutes,” so to speak.

Last March, a woman who had worked for Lofgren as a Congressional aide, back in 2002, was arrested by the F.B.I., on charges that she had served as a “paid agent” for the Iraqi Intelligence Services, both prior, and subsequent, to the U.S.-led military assault to take down Saddam Hussein’s government.

And in a final bit of liberal irony, Congresswoman Lofgren’s former aide began her political career as a reporter for the Pravda-like Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Um, could you have scripted all that for an uproarious political satire?


Um, not intentionally. You see, there have been many, many calls to abolish the electoral college, going back to James Madison and Andrew Jackson. In the last 35 years alone there have been dozens of proposals to eliminate it or change it, many of them coming from Republicans. Yep, even Republican president Nixon and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole and respected Republican senator (and Reagan chief of staff) Howard Baker were in favor of abolishing it. And guess what? Public opinion polls have repeatedly shown that the public favors abolition of the electoral college too.


Imagine that:: In a 1968 Gallup survey, 81% of Americans favored a direct popular vote, 12% favored retention, and 7% had no opinion. In 1992, pollsters asked Americans this question, 'If Perot runs, there is a chance that no presidential candidate will get enough electoral votes to win. If that happens, the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to decide who will be the next President. Do you think that is a fair way to choose the President, or should the Constitution be changed?' 31% said it was a fair way, and 61% said the Constitution should be changed.

By some counts, there have been over seven hundred proposed amendments to the Constitution to change, or abolish, the electoral college. In 1969, in the wake of an election where a third party candidate almost sent the election to the House of Representatives, an amendment to do away with the electoral college passed the House of Representatives with 83% of the vote, 338-70. Richard Nixon favored the amendment, and so did three-quarters of state legislatures, Republican Senator Howard Baker denounced the electoral college with 'Any system which favors one citizen over another or one state over another is ... inconsistent with the most fundamental concept of a democratic society.' Predictably, the amendment failed in the Senate; however, it was not small states who blocked the reform but rather Southern states, who saw the electoral college as part of states' rights. Also, because the Senate itself is an institution which gives each state an equal say in the formation of laws; a body which helps to protect the small states from their more populous analogues.



I know it's great fun for people to get all snotty and snide over things about which they apparently know nothing. But it's also a good way to make a fool of yourself on the internets.

Via The Daou Report







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