If Trump wins the electoral college again on Tuesday while losing the popular vote (perhaps by a bigger margin than he did in 2016), the left will lose its mind. Well that’s a given, but they’ll really lose their mind about the electoral college. After hoisting a couple of toasts to the passing of Sean Connery and a second sour whisky shot for Britain going back on COVID lockdown, “Lucretia” and I get down to business reviewing the republican case for the electoral college, and why it is a great institution that makes our political system better. Far from being an archaic relic, it is more necessary than ever in a country that the left calls “diverse” but which it actually views through perverse homogeneous lenses.

Michael Uhlmann

In particular we recall the excellent defense of the electoral college from the late Michael Uhlmann, and end with the story of how, as a young Senate staffer in 1970, Uhlmann almost singlehandedly derailed a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college that had lots of momentum to pass (a story you can read about in detail here). As Mike ended his famous brief, “Let us, if need be, repair it; but let us not abandon it for the sake of a mathematical abstraction, or because we are angry that the world is not perfect.”

Perfect advice for our present moment. By the way, Mike was a man who enjoyed more than his fair share of whisky, and, as we recall at the very end of today’s overlong episode, was resolutely against immanentizing the eschaton, which abolishing the electoral college would surely hasten.

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  1. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    The Popular vote compact should be discarded because its unconstitutional, it disenfranchises the population of the state. Could you imagine how angry a state would be, if they voted for one party – and another party won the popular vote? IF you were to reform the electoral college I think the best reform possible, would be to grant electoral votes based on congressional district. Contrary to what was said in the podcast – I think the media establishment would find this very valuable. Using the example of California, with its 55 electoral votes, is the most valuable state in the union – but because its practically a single party dictatorship, it gets very little campaign spending. If they granted their electoral votes by congressional district – and republicans think they can get 10 – 15 of them, wouldnt they spend money in California? Even if they dont win the state, California would be just as valuable to them as Ohio or Michigan. Democrats would feel the same way about Texas, they’re unlikely to win the state – but if they campaigned there – they could steal a dozen electoral votes from the republicans.

    The media should be all for this – as it turns all the larger states into battleground states, meaning that local affiliates and media get more campaign spending.

    • #1
  2. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    The Popular vote compact should be discarded because its unconstitutional, it disenfranchises the population of the state. Could you imagine how angry a state would be, if they voted for one party – and another party won the popular vote? IF you were to reform the electoral college I think the best reform possible, would be to grant electoral votes based on congressional district. Contrary to what was said in the podcast – I think the media establishment would find this very valuable. Using the example of California, with its 55 electoral votes, is the most valuable state in the union – but because its practically a single party dictatorship, it gets very little campaign spending. If they granted their electoral votes by congressional district – and republicans think they can get 10 – 15 of them, wouldnt they spend money in California? Even if they dont win the state, California would be just as valuable to them as Ohio or Michigan. Democrats would feel the same way about Texas, they’re unlikely to win the state – but if they campaigned there – they could steal a dozen electoral votes from the republicans.

    The media should be all for this – as it turns all the larger states into battleground states, meaning that local affiliates and media get more campaign spending.

    “The best reform possible, would be to grant electoral votes based on congressional district.”

    Danger, danger, Will Robinson! This would mean that, for the first time, not just the House but Presidential elections would be subject to gerrymandering.

    • #2
  3. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Taras (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    The Popular vote compact should be discarded because its unconstitutional, it disenfranchises the population of the state. Could you imagine how angry a state would be, if they voted for one party – and another party won the popular vote? IF you were to reform the electoral college I think the best reform possible, would be to grant electoral votes based on congressional district. Contrary to what was said in the podcast – I think the media establishment would find this very valuable. Using the example of California, with its 55 electoral votes, is the most valuable state in the union – but because its practically a single party dictatorship, it gets very little campaign spending. If they granted their electoral votes by congressional district – and republicans think they can get 10 – 15 of them, wouldnt they spend money in California? Even if they dont win the state, California would be just as valuable to them as Ohio or Michigan. Democrats would feel the same way about Texas, they’re unlikely to win the state – but if they campaigned there – they could steal a dozen electoral votes from the republicans.

    The media should be all for this – as it turns all the larger states into battleground states, meaning that local affiliates and media get more campaign spending.

    “The best reform possible, would be to grant electoral votes based on congressional district.”

    Danger, danger, Will Robinson! This would mean that, for the first time, not just the House but Presidential elections would be subject to gerrymandering.

    Yes, that’s a good point.

    • #3
  4. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    The 1960 Presidential election in Alabama:

    Probably the fairest way to allocate the votes … is to add up the ballots cast for the 11 Democratic electors, and then allocate six elevenths of the total to Byrd and five elevenths to Kennedy. This reflects the reality of the state’s Democratic Party: It was split between national party loyalists and Dixiecrats.

    Adopting this approach results in a Nixon victory of around 60,000 votes, which is how Congressional Quarterly originally calculated the results.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/10/19/did_jfk_lose_the_popular_vote_115833-2.html

    • #4
  5. Pat Jefferson Member
    Pat Jefferson
    @PatJefferson

    Sean Connery Welsh?! Born in Edinburgh, supported the Scottish National Party.

    • #5
  6. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Pat Jefferson (View Comment):

    Sean Connery Welsh?! Born in Edinburgh, supported the Scottish National Party.

    I heard that and couldn’t believe it. The only thing I could think was that Steve was thinking of Timothy Dalton who was indeed Welsh. 

    • #6
  7. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Great insights into the Electoral College. I hope to remember some of these if I ever get into a discussion with someone. And yeah – nobody apparently knows no nothing about no history these days. 

    • #7