Monday, November 26, 2012

Do Right-Wingers Really Read the Constitution?

OKAY, PRESIDENT OBAMA WON THE ELECTION. The right-wingers got crushed. How are they handling the truth? 

Perhaps we should begin by revisiting the five stages of grief and see how our conservative friends are dealing with their emotions: 

1.     Denial: (leading up to the 2012 election) the polls are skewed and Romney is going to win; Rush Limbaugh says Romney is going to win. So does Sean Hannity. As late as 9 p.m. election night Karl Rove says the votes in Ohio are still being counted...and...(9:05 p.m.)…dear God, no...

2.     Anger: Why did Romney have to be such an asshole? Obama supporters wanted handouts. They don’t love this country as much as we do.

3.     Bargaining: Obama won; maybe we can secede.

4.     Depression:  We lost the youth vote; we lost the women’s vote; we lost the Asian American vote. We lost the Latino vote. We lost the vote of Americans with advanced college degrees. We lost left-handed voters. All we have left is grumpy old white folks.

5.     Acceptance:  Too early? Yes, too early.

If contributors to are a fair sampling it’s going to be a long time before the right accepts basic math and admits President Obama won re-election fairly.

Uh...maybe we should say “never.” 

In fact, if you listen to them, the way they listen to themselves there’s still a way to snatch victory from the iron jaws of defeat. And they’re ready to try anything, because, well, they’re just that freedom-loving. 

According to Darin Scott here’s how they might stop Obama’s return to the Oval Office:

According to Article II of the U.S. Constitution AND the 12th Amendment - if 1/3rd of the States do not cast their votes in the Electoral College, then the matter falls onto the House of Representatives to choose the President. In other words, if we pressure Congressmen, State Party Officials, and groups such as Tea Party Patriots, Heritage Foundation, etc., to call on RED States to NOT have their Electors cast their vote - then the House of Reps CAN choose the next President (and Republicans still have the majority - 233 (R) to 195 (D) - in the House of Representatives)!!!

Here’s the Scott scenario:  The right-wingers need 18 states to refuse to cast electoral votes. (There were 24 red states.) The people of these states (those who voted for Romney, anyway) rise up to demand that electors agree to overturn accepted electoral process. In other words, what the right-wing wants is to save the U. S. Constitution from assaults by liberals. So they blow up the Constitution in order to save it. 

Best of all, Scott continues: “We do NOT have to convince ANY democrats –at all.” 

Here’s how it all works (he thought):  Red states like South Dakota and North Dakota and Montana withhold their electoral votes. Then the election goes to the House and right-wingers get a president to their liking and nobody in Pennsylvania or New York or California can stop them.  

IT’S BAD ENOUGH THAT SCOTT’S PLAN is stupid to begin with. Worse yet, Scott was too obtuse to imagine that the majority of Americans might not approve of a tricky scheme to overturn the results of an election.

Worst of all, Scott’s blog post got 20,000 views in less than 24 hours—and what made it all pathetic was that Scott was an idiot and none of his 20,000 viewers had the brains to figure it out. Scott soon had to post an admission:

The original intent of this post was to present a plan, from a fellow patriot, that seemed to be bullet proof. After consulting legal professionals and others, I have am [sic] not certain this plan will work. One of the contentions is that the 2/3rds "quorum" requirement does not apply to the Electoral College; after much deliberation, I believe this is the case, and therefore the strategy as posted below is not as bullet proof as suspected.

No telling which legal professionals Mr. Scott consulted. No way of knowing how many hours of anguished deliberation he completed. Suppose we stick with what we know:  Mr. Scott’s plan was absurd from first syllable to the final bit of punctuation; and thousands of angry right-wingers were too dense to notice or too lazy to check what it says in the U. S. Constitution.  

Article II, Section 1, outlines a fairly simple process for choosing a president and vice president. In fact, the simplicity of it all led to unforeseen difficulties (including a tie vote in 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, when electors failed to specify which man they wanted for which office). Still, it does say clearly that the states shall cast their electoral votes and then send them to the U. S. Senate. There, before a gathering of interested members of both houses of Congress, these votes shall be tallied. 

The 12th Amendment was ratified in 1804 to insure that tie votes would not occur again. On this topic, however, Article II, Section 1, and the 12th Amendment are equally clear. The electors send in their ballots to the Senate.  

There the ballots are counted. 

If no candidate has a majority of the votes—and only if no candidate has a majority—then the election goes to the House of Representatives. There each state shall have one vote and then the states shall vote to select a president.  

At that time only does the idea of a 2/3rd’s  vote matter: “A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice.”  

So let’s spell it out for the 45,698 Americans who “like” 

If a candidate has a majority of electoral votes—as in Obama 332, Romney 206—you can’t defeat that candidate through trickery in the House of Representatives. 

Sad to say, if 17 red states were to withhold their electoral votes it wouldn’t matter.  

The blue states would still send in their electoral votes. Obama would still get 332. There are 538 possible electoral votes. So, 332 is still a majority. 

(This is what liberals like to call “math.”)

If you’re a true American, and don’t like President Obama, and you’re not much in the mood for partying now, you need to realize it’s time to move on to Stage 5: Acceptance. And might those of us on the left offer a helpful hint: If you love the U. S. Constitution as much as you say you do you might try reading it before the next election.  

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