HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015 01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015 02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015 03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015 04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015 05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015 06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015 07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015 08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015 09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015 10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015 11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015 12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016 01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016 02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016 03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016 04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016 05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016 06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016 07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016 08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016 09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016 10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016 11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016 12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017 01/01/2017 - 02/01/2017 02/01/2017 - 03/01/2017 03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017 04/01/2017 - 05/01/2017 05/01/2017 - 06/01/2017 06/01/2017 - 07/01/2017 07/01/2017 - 08/01/2017


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Sunday, December 11, 2016

 
Thinking big to fix the system

by digby




















Tom Geoghegan has some advice for Democrats on how to fix the system:
1. Democratic electors: Engage in lawful protest

The first thing—above all, and as futile as it may seem—is to do everything we can to delegitimatize the system. The Democratic Party, as a party, has to commit to this project.

Let’s start with the Electoral College. We should have a boycott. In the coming weeks, in the 20 states (plus D.C.) that Clinton won, the electors should refuse to send in their ballots for a ceremonial counting by the Senate and the House. Federal law—I refer to 3 U.S.C. 1 et seq.—requires that on the second Wednesday in December, the electors send in the ballots to be recorded before a joint session of Congress. Electors also send copies of their ballots to the secretary of state and federal judge in their home states (among others).If the electors fails to send the ballots to Congress,, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House can direct that the ballots be forwarded from the sets kept by the secretary of state or the federal judge. But this time, let the Clinton electors notify the Congress that they will not participate in this sham. They will not send any ballots. Then let the House speaker and the Senate president send their emissaries to the secretary of state or federal judge. When they receive and start counting them, as they must do, these ballots can be blanks.

The point is not to stop Trump from taking office, but to protest it, which is different from the appeal to Trump electors to be “faithless,” that is, to change their votes from Trump to Clinton. As Abraham Lincoln said of the Dred Scott case: The point is not to [resist the literal result - to return Dred Scott back then or keep Trump out of office now - but to do all that we can to discredit a law that allows an unconscionable result.

And if states impose $1,000 statutory fines on the electors for this expressive act , notwithstanding the First Amendment, well, the law is the law: Send in the checks.

2. Challenge voter suppression
Second, at the same joint session, House and Senate Democrats should object to the counting of votes from states that sought to suppress the vote. Wisconsin, for example, has a voter ID law that serves no purpose except to hold down the popular vote. Members should move to deny the count from Wisconsin, Arizona, and any other pro-Trump state where the outcome was close and there was a voter ID law in place that, at least arguably, violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Even better, members should “lay on petitions,” to use an archaic legal phrase, from people in these states to verify that there was an effort that might have kept some from the polls. The intent is to question the integrity of the votes cast in the Electoral College, and the model is the aftermath of the 1876 election. The dispute over one electoral vote led to the Compromise of 1877, in which the Republican, Rutherford Hayes, got the White House, while Democrats, who supported Samuel Tilden, got an end to Reconstruction. How wonderful if Democrats let Trump take the White House in return for Merrick Garland getting on the Supreme Court. This is unlikely: It is the kind of hardball that the Left, unlike the Right and alt-Right, never has the nerve to engage in. Still, the Democrats should use the joint session this December to put these states on trial for suppression of the vote.

3. Make the gap too big to ignore
Third, Democrats must institute compulsory voting in California and New York, in particular, and in as many of the other 15 states that Clinton carried as possible. Indeed, universal voting—which states have the authority to require—is the only tool that Democrats have to dismantle not just the Electoral College but the other ways that the GOP is now able to rig the vote.

One big state—California or New York—might be enough to set off a constitutional chain reaction. With compulsory voting in place in several states in the next presidential election, it is very likely that the Democrats would pile up a popular majority so immense that, under the weight of these new votes, the Electoral College, even as a half-credible institution, would simply collapse.

How big might the variation be? According to the latest figures from the Cook Political Report, Clinton leads Trump in the popular vote by a margin of more than 2.6 million, or 2 percent of the national vote. In California, voters preferred Clinton by a whopping margin of 30 percent. Let’s assume that split remained the same but all eligible voters in California cast ballots. That would adds another 3.2 million to her national margin over Trump, bringing it up to 5.8 million, or 4 percent of the popular vote. Then conduct the same calculation with New York. Then add in New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado and others.

Indeed, the lower overall turnout in this last election came in the Clinton states, where the outcome was assured. The focus on “battleground” states has a tendency—among Democrats especially—to hold down the votes in the “safe” states, as the safe GOP states can compensate for lower turnout among their voters by scaring off the Democrats.

Why would this growing disparity lead to an end to the Electoral College? It might not. But, to quote Lincoln again, it would create a house divided. With a right-of-center Supreme Court, the GOP will have license to go on scaring off minority race and low-income voters. The best way to fight this, since legal challenges will be less effective, is to do the opposite in Democratic states: rather than shrink the electorate, massively expand it.

Instead of trying to bridge the divide in our country, in other words, the Democrats should now widen it. Rather than trying to overcome our differences, we should accentuate them. Lincoln’s main point in the 1859 “house divided” speech was that the house could not stay divided. Only one version of America would survive.

With compulsory voting, the American “house” would be even more divided in the midterms, in which voter turnouts are now so low. In one half of the country, 95 percent or more of the electorate would vote, and in the other, the rate would continue on at 37 percent, or even lower. How long could the republic survive with such two different systems?

Some claim that compulsory voting would violate the First Amendment. But if that is true, then it would be unlawful to require jury duty. Yet we compel people serve on juries, and to render life-and-death verdicts.

Who are the non-voters? Overwhelmingly, they are young people, the poor and Hispanics. As the country becomes younger and more diverse, the GOP has every incentive to hold down the vote, while the Democrats have every reason to expand it, and to back the GOP into a corner.

Compulsory voting in some states—but not in others—is an existential threat to the Electoral College. It will become too difficult to install a future Bush, or a Trump, who loses not just by one or two million but by 10 or more million votes.

4. Create real majority rule—with a counter Constitution,
There is, finally, an even bolder way to commit to a “house divided.” To accentuate the divide, all or some of the Democratic states could enter an “interstate compact,” much as states now do for sharing of resources. This interstate compact, though, would be a quasi-constitution—a model for what the whole country should have. The Clinton states should elect delegates to do this compact-making. Aside from compulsory voting, here are just a few possible clauses that the states might agree to enforce against each other.

1.  A ban on partisan redistricting of U.S. House and state legislature positions.

2.  A right to healthcare.

3.  A commitment to carry out their share of what the U.S. committed to in the Paris global warming accords.

4.  A bill of rights for employees, including a right not to be terminated except for just cause.

5.  A formula for a just level of funding for public education.

6.  A comprehensive system of background checks for gun purchases.

Since each of the above is an act that the state itself would be free to take, an interstate compact would not infringe on federal sovereignty —or require approval of Congress under Article I, section 10.

Let one part of America, at least, be a city on a hill.  It is time to press for a country that operates under two different kinds of constitutions, and see which of them prevails.