Ron Paul

Ron Paul Roundup: He Might Get Electoral Votes From Defecting Electors, and the Right-Wing Demands His Support

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Via Huffington Post, proof that the crummy way the GOP establishment treated Ron Paul fans and delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last month may have real and quick aftereffects, including the loss of electoral votes for Mitt Romney:

At least three Republican electors say they may not support their party's presidential ticket when the Electoral College meets in December to formally elect the new president…

Ron Paul's rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired

The electors – all are supporters of former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul – told The Associated Press they are exploring options should Mitt Romney win their states. They expressed frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul's conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters.

"They've never given Ron Paul a fair shot, and I'm disgusted with that. I'd like to show them how disgusted I am," said Melinda Wadsley, an Iowa mother of three who was selected a Republican elector earlier this year. She said she believes Paul is the better choice and noted that the Electoral College was founded with the idea that electors wouldn't just mimic the popular vote…..

As Paul supporters fought for more prestigious delegate slots during state-level conventions this year, they also quietly accrued electors….

In Nevada, for example, Paul's forces seized control of the state convention and won a majority of delegates. They also placed four Paul supporters among the state's six electors.

The electors said they have had no organized discussion over how to cast their electoral votes and there have been no efforts by the campaigns to get them to vote for either Paul or Romney.

Nevada's electors are approaching their duties in different ways.

Jesse Law, an elector and Paul supporter, said he may have qualms with Romney but has always intended to cast his electoral vote for the party nominee.

"I just want to beat Obama," Law said.

But Ken Eastman may not cast his Nevada electoral vote for Romney, if the former Massachusetts governor wins the state. Eastman said he wants to explore options with Republican leaders in Clark County, a group now dominated by Paul supporters.

"I'm undecided at this point," Eastman said, adding that he's "pretty disgusted" with the national Republican Party and how it has worked to suppress Paul's grassroots movement. He said the GOP has not been open to an influx of people with different ideas.

Along with the three electors looking at alternatives, Nevada GOP elector Ken Searles said he may vote for Paul as a protest, so long as his vote wouldn't change the outcome of the election….

Nevada does have a state law requiring electors to follow the popular vote, but the law has no punishment prescribed. A Minnesota elector in 2004 voted for John Edwards for president rather than his top-ticket man John Kerry.

The Libertarian Party got a great jumpstart in its first presidential run in 1972 when Roger MacBride, an elector from Virginia, could not in good conscience vote for President Nixon and case his electoral vote for philosopher John Hospers and his running mate Tonie Nathan, who thus became the first woman in American history to receive an electoral vote. MacBride won the next LP presidential nod in 1976.

*Meanwhile, Richard Viguerie, one of the oldest advocates of what in the 1970s was the New Right, upbraids Paul for not being a better team player for the Grand Old Party:

A vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson is the same as a vote for Barack Obama. The future of this country is more important than the personal slights and short term wins or losses that any candidate and his adherents might suffer. 

It is time for Congressman Ron Paul and his partisans to join the movement to beat Obama, and however grudgingly, give their support to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican candidates for Senate and Congress. There will be plenty of opportunities to advance their agenda when Obama is gone, but very few if he stays.

*And Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revives last Winter's controversy over Ron Paul's office apparently doublecharging both Congress and a private organization, the Liberty Committee, supporting Paul for plane flights (to the tune, according to the Committee, of $20,000). This marks him one of the "most corrupt members of Congress," saith CREW. Worth noting in judging Paul's "corruption" that he returned over $141,000 of taxpayer money to the Treasury last year from his congressional budget, an increase over the $100,000 he'd returned the year before, and about 9 percent of his office budget.

My book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

NEXT: Another Indian Cartoonist in Legal Trouble

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  1. There will be plenty of opportunities to advance their agenda when Obama is gone, but very few if he stays.

    Oh, bullshit.

    If Romney wins, then the song changes to “Keep quiet about your agenda! You have to support a Republican president!”

    Paul’s agenda has actually done better under Obama than it has under Bush, if by “doing better” you mean “gotten more people to be enthusiastic about it”.

    1. Yep. This particularly struck me. I won’t even give commentary, because it speaks for itself:

      Jesse Law, an elector and Paul supporter, said he may have qualms with Romney but has always intended to cast his electoral vote for the party nominee.

      “I just want to beat Obama,” Law said.

  2. Rush 2112!

    1. WE ARE THE PRIESTS OF THE TEMPLES OF SYRINX!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The first rule of a secret conspiracy to undermine the electoral college is you don’t talk about a secret conspiracy to undermine the electoral college. We can expect these people will be removed on “technicalities” any moment now.

    1. You’d think they would have figured this out by now.

  4. “A vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson is the same as a vote for Barack Obama. The future of this country is more important than the personal slights and short term wins or losses that any candidate and his adherents might suffer.”

    MOST IMPORTANT ELECSHUN EVAR!!!!

  5. If they are doing it as a protest, who cares. But if it actually affected the election, that is an outrage. We have elections for a reason. I don’t think that a few people who happen to get the job as electors should be able to decide it. You should vote for whomever your state voted for. If these guys changed their votes and gave the election to Romney it would be just as wrong.

    1. I wouldn’t be outraged. I’d be thrilled. It’d be a victory of the original constitutional design over the two party duopoly.

      1. Bullshit. The constitution was not designed for rogue electors to decide the election. The states decide the election. And the states have created a system whereby their electoral votes are allocated all to the winner of the state. To tell your state to fuck off and vote for someone besides who you promised to vote for is an outrage.

        1. The Constitution gives the states the power to decide how to choose electors.

          It doesn’t grant them any power at all over the electors once they’re chosen.

          1. yes it does. The states decide how their electors are chosen. And they way they are chosen is by each candidate on the ballot getting an elector. The electors are supposed to vote for the guy they represent. Otherwise, why have an election? Just randomly choose 12 guys and let them vote for whoever the fuck they want to.

            1. yes, they are SUPPOSED to. but the question is – did the founders design the system with the understanding that ULTIMATELY the electors are “the deciders” and as a matter of conscience in extreme circs, could change their vote?

              again, there should be some kind of body of letters, statements etc. by the founders on this topic (iow we are speculating and there probably already are some people who can quote what the founders ACTUALLY thought), but it just seems to me you don’t design the system the way it was designed if you didn’t account for the possibility that elector(s) could, in extraordinary circs- go rogue.

              the analogy to jury nullification just seems apt

              1. No it doesn’t. Jury nullification doesn’t involve lying and fraud. This does.

                1. No, it doesn’t.

                  Every citizen is entitled to serve as an elector.

                  If the state legislature decides to print ballots showing Mitt Romney’s name, when what’s really happening is that a certain group of men are being chosen as electors, that’s the fucking state legislature’s error and not the electors’ problem.

                  By telling you that you are casting a ballot for Mitt Romney instead of casting a ballot for “Elector Slate X”, the state legislature and board of elections is lying to you. Take it up with them.

                2. many argue jury nullification does.

                  (i don’t).

                  1. many argue jury nullification does.

                    I would agree with that. And I have no problem with it. You are not morally required to tell the truth to known frauds and liars. Anyone who tells me that we’re prosecuting a crime and the victim is society is lying to my face.

                    Fuck them. I owe them no honesty.

                    1. i gots no problem with that.

                      to me, jury nullification is a classic lesser of two evils

                      it’s problematic for a jury to “write their own law”, but if a legislature is going to write totally fucked up law, fuck them

                      the jury is the ULTIMATE “decider”

            2. Otherwise, why have an election?

              to send intelligent moral men to DC to pick the head of the executive branch?

              I mean, you can laugh at the notion of that actually happening, but I find it funny that the mere notion of actually attempting it makes you mad. Sure the system is rigged so it’s usually nothing but party hacks. But when a non-party hack slips through the cracks it’s a good thing.

              1. I would be just as angry if this were a D voter. People have a right to know who they are voting for and know their vote means that. When someone votes for an R or D elector they assume that vote means a vote for their candidate. And this guy knows it.

                The fact that Libertarians think this is a good idea, just shows that they are just as bad as the worst Republican or Democrat and would gladly ass rape the country because they mean well.

                1. john, we COULD elect president by direct popular vote.

                  we don’t

                  we could have a system where it would be popular vote state to state (which is what the elector system is the functional equivalent of EXCEPT for the personal autonomy thing)

                  but we DON’T

                  why would we design a system with individual free men, electors, and NOT make any prohibition in any law or statute i am aware of from them doing this, if there wasn’t at least a tacit understanding on the founder’s part that this was something that could happen sometimes and it’s “ok?”

                  seriouslyt. it’s not like it’s not an obvious WHAT IF scenario based on the way the electoral college is designed and yet there is no law etc. that says electors cannot do this

                  ask yourself why

                  was this an oversight on the founder’s part?

                  i’ll admit it gives me pause. but i am going to look at this objectively, and everything i see in the constitution, etc. suggests that this was hardly an unforeseen occurrence

                2. John,

                  You ask “why even have an election”, so I would respond “why even have an electoral college”?

                  Are you sure you understand the purpose of an electoral college? Why create this redundant system if they are only supposed to vote exactly as the state they represent?

                  1. why even have an electoral college”?

                    So you properly allocate the influence of each state. We have an electoral college so each state has some influence, not so 535 people can randomly choose anyone they want voters be damned.

                    1. Bullshit, John.

                      The state vote could award electoral points.

                      The purpose of the electoral college, and having electors, is that they are supposed to fucking vote.

                      Humans werent necessary, but they were in there for a reason.

                      Kentucky has 8 electoral votes. The constitution could say that KY can choose the method for awarding those points to candidates. It doesnt, it says KY can choose the method for selecting 8 electors. Which then meet to cast votes for candidates.

                      Hopefully everyone voting took civics in HS, so they know the are voting for a slate of electors and not a specific guy.

                    2. Why have human electors? You can just award Ghost Electors based on proportion in the exact same way.

                      There is a reason people are involved.

                    3. Exactly – what if the day after the election, we learn that President-Elect Romney is a serial sheep rapist? Should a human elector be obligated to uphold the popular vote regardless? Electors do not necessarily swear to follow exactly how their party votes.

                      If you’d rather turn electors into theoreticals, you’ll have to get a Constitutional amendment for that.

        2. The constitution was designed for electors to decide the election. I guess the best definition of “rogue” is up for debate. My definition doesn’t give a fuck about majoritianism or any rules set up by the existing two party system.

          1. So you think it is okay for someone to claim to be an R or a D elector and then get all of these people to vote for him thinking that vote meant a vote for the R or the D candidate and then tell them to fuck off and vote for someone else? You think that is okay?

            If you hate Romney, don’t become an Republican elector. Why is that so hard?

            1. No. What is NOT okay is everyone voting based on R or D. There is nothing in the Constitution about an elector having to vote for R or D. These electors didn’t say they would vote for Ron Paul over Obama; only that they might vote for Paul over Romney, probably because they feel Romney to be an illegitimate candidate based on how the GOP primary and convention went down.

              1. No. What is NOT okay is everyone voting based on R or D

                Too fucking bad. People are free to vote for whichever party they want. The fact that you don’t like their choices, doesn’t give you the right to lie to them and steal their votes.

                1. So John are you proposing a criminal or civil penalty? Or are you just saying they are assholes?

                2. It’s not a stolen vote. As has already been pointed out (but that most people fail to remember) is that we are not a pure democracy. If we were, the popular vote wins. As it is, we have an Electoral College that by and large votes according to the majority reached in the state. But the individual electors can technically vote for whoever they want.

                  1. Technically voting is the best kind of voting.

            2. ya.i think it’s ok. People should actually know the name of the elector they are voting for. They should be voting for him because he is honest and intelligent and of the same world view. Not because he has agreed to do what his masters in some private club already made him promise to vote for their guy at the grand lodge meeting.

            3. If you want to vote for President instead of Electors, change the Constitution and stop propagating misunderstandings? Why is that so hard.

            4. So you think it is okay for someone to claim to be an R or a D elector and then get all of these people to vote for him thinking that vote meant a vote for the R or the D candidate and then tell them to fuck off and vote for someone else? You think that is okay?

              So let me get this straight. The partys don’t abide by their own written rules, and you think that any competition must abide by unwritten ones? Nice level playing field you got there.

            5. When the nominee is Not a Republican aka Romney there would seem to be a duty to vote against him. George Romney’s Karma from his walkout in 68 is coming to bite his son in the arse.

        3. John your robot will still win (the nomination at least). There is no reason for you to muster a shit over this. Now start stroking that war-boner over Lybia, it’s only at half-mast.

          1. God fucking dammit. Labia……FUCK

            Libya. MNotheruifuck9pyasif8yas98yf

        4. is it? or is it, like jury nullification, a way for men and women of conscience, in rare circs, to right a ship that has tilted off course?

          again, i am NOT speaking towards the legalities (i am simply not aware what they are), but it seems that since the system isn’t automatic. we use living, breathing electors, with personal autonomy, that this possibility of “rogue” electors HAD to be something the founders took into account and it just seems to me they baked it into the system as an option in an extreme circ, again, much like jury nullification

          i am certainly happy to proved wrong with some sort of case law cite or some statement by the founders that contradicts this, but from a common sense angle, imo, it seems this is not necessarily a subversion. it’s part OF the system, as designed.

          WWPVS (What Would Prof. Volokh Say?)

          1. I say if you’re a Ron Paul supporter and you worked the system to become an Elector, go ahead and be subversive and vote for Ron Paul.

            But John is right, pretending you will vote for Romney and then not doing it does violate the libertarian preference for fair dealing, and is at least a form of fraud.

            Changing your mind between November and December based on new information is an entirely different matter of course.

        5. Ammendment 12.

          Read the actual text of the ammendment. There’s nothing in there that says the electors have to vote for whoever won the popular vote of their state.

          Relevant quote: “The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate”

          1. thank you. on point. i copied it for future reference

            1. You didnt already have a copy of the constitution?

              1. What on earth made you think the Constitution was part of the police training manual?

    2. does anybody know what precedence there is for this shit, the legality, the rules, etc?

      it sounds like the electoral college version of jury nullification (which of course IS illegal and is a designed part of the system).

      was this something that was “baked in” the electoral college system iow not a subversion of it? or not?

      i frankly have no idea whatsoever. it sounds fucked up, but that doesn’t really speak to whether or not it’s legit

      1. ugh, typo. should be “IS LEGAL”

      2. Ya it’s baked in. And it’s not fucked up. What’s fucked up is how quickly and easily factions and party system turned it into a rubber stamp session for political hacks instead of a meeting honest smart people choosing a guy to run the exectuive branch for a limited time.

        1. thank you. that’s what i suspected and as this thread continues , it appears to be the case.

      3. 24 states have state laws against Electors going rogue. The rest do not.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

        Twenty-four states have laws to punish faithless electors. While no faithless elector has ever been punished, the constitutionality of state pledge laws was brought before the Supreme Court in 1952 (Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214). The court ruled in favor of the state’s right to require electors to pledge to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged, as well as to remove electors who refuse to pledge. Once the elector has voted, their vote can only be changed in states such as Michigan and Minnesota, where votes other than those pledged are rendered invalid. However, in all twenty-four states, a faithless elector may only be punished after he or she votes.

        It’s happened 158 times, 71 times because a candidate had died.

    3. I think the fact that the college exists at all indicates that the Founders expected individual men to make personal decisions about who to elect after they were selected to the college.

      If not, they could have just declared that whoever won the states with a majority of electoral votes was the victor. Not even had electors.

      I think a better case could be made that the Founders anticipated multiple candidates and frequent elections where no one had an outright majority, and counted on the electors to do some wheeling and dealing prior to elections being thrown to the House.

      1. YEA. like i said, i have no idea of the technical legalities here, but this SEEMS to make sense. it seems that we just expect the electors to do X, and usually they do, but they have the right not to, and sometimes they will be justified in doing so. again, i see it like jury nullification. a release valve for the especially fucked up situation

      2. No Fluffy. The Constitution leaves the decision up to the states. The states decide how their electors vote. The Constitution just allocates how many electors each state gets.

        And the states have decided the electors are bound to vote for the candidate they listed on the ballot. Doing this is telling your state and its voters to go fuck themselves.

        1. The states can’t do that.

          The electoral college is essentially a single-purpose Senate. Claiming that being granted the right to decide how to select your electors allows the states to bind their votes is like arguing that back when the Senators were chosen by state legislatures, the state legislatures had the power to bind their votes.

          It’s ludicrous.

          The states get to pick the people who are electors. Full stop.

          In fact, the Constitution makes no reference to Presidential candidates standing for election at all. It says who is eligible to be President, and then talks about how members of the electoral college are chosen. It’s a mere coincidence that the states have chosen to make this part of an election process involving the names and parties of individual candidates. They could just as easily make every elector stand personally, in their own name.

          1. Sure they could. But they didn’t. If this guy hates Romney, he should be standing as an elector. Since when is running under false pretenses what the Constitution intended?

            The people voting have a right to know what they are voting for. And this guy is lying about what that is.

            1. Since when is running under false pretenses what the Constitution intended?

              Sounds like most people who have actually been elected. Liars, one and fucking all.

        2. The Constitution leaves the decision up to the states.

          Obviously it doesn’t, or you wouldn’t need the College.

          1. The states determine how their electors are determined. For example, it is up to the state if the winning party gets all of the votes or just a proportionate share.

            1. Yes, that’s right.

              The state does not determine, however, how the Electors must vote. Otherwise you wouldn’t have the College in the first place and you could just have ‘ghost Electors’.

              1. States can. In Nevada it is illegal for an elector to change his vote.

        3. States are not granted power to decide how their electors vote.

        4. The states decide how their electors vote.

          WRONG

          The states decide how the electors are chosen.

          Until surprisingly recently (early 20th century?), South Carolina had the electors selected by the state legislature, not a popular vote.

          1. Okay, 1860.

            Not quite as long as I thought. I guess after reconstruction they were forced to change.

          2. He knows it’s wrong.

            Now he’s arguing that it would undermine the stability of the system if the Electors engaged their brains.

            There are routinely faithless Electors. It amounts to nothing but press for the faithless and his candidate, and it’s Constitutional.

            John’s just terrified that Mittens might not get every vote possible.

            1. Fuck off. No unlike you I actually have principles and would be appalled if this guy were a Democrat. Since you have shown in this thread you have no principles beyond “fuck you it didn’t happen to my team”, it is understandable why you can’t understand how anyone else could.

      3. I think that the last point of Fluffy’s is probably the answer. The founders imagined more elections where there would not be a clear winner in the electoral college. The electors were meant to vote first for the candidate they were elected for, but in subsequent votes they would be free to vote for whom they chose, which is why actual human beings were required.

        1. Electors only vote once.

          If no one gets a majority on that one vote, it goes to the House (or the Senate, in case of the VEEP).

          1. What was I thinking of? Maybe party conventions.

            Well, perhaps they intended that the president would usually be chosen by congress.

        2. The electors were meant to vote first for the candidate they were elected for

          The constitution doesn’t mention electors getting “elected for” anybody.

          1. Yes, I needed to re-read that part of the constitution. They are indeed appointed by the states and that is all.

      4. I think a better case could be made that the Founders anticipated multiple candidates and frequent elections where no one had an outright majority, and counted on the electors to do some wheeling and dealing prior to elections being thrown to the House.

        No, the Electors meet in each state and vote once, no wheeling and dealing. Certainly there could be now with modern telecommunications, but not in the 18th century.

        The wheeling and dealing in multi-candidate elections was left to the House of Representatives — the outgoing House, not the new guys.

    4. I don’t think that a few people who happen to get the job as electors should be able to decide it.

      Take it up with the founding fathers. They think the few people who happen to get the job as electors should, you know, elect.

      They could have just awarded electoral points otherwise.

    5. ANd we have a Constitution for a reason, and an Electoral College for a reason. Voters in each state are voting for their Electors, not the presidential candidates directly. The Electors have the authority to vote for any qualified candidate. They may be bound by state law to vote for the state popular vote winner, but the law can only penalize them, not nullify their votes.

    6. We have elections for a reason? Really? Someone should have told Romney and the RNC about it BEFORE they started rigging the election, changing vote totals so LOSER Romney would become “winner” Romney, throw away entire precincts of Ron Paul’s votes during a secret ballot count called AFTER the RNC saw exit polls showing Ron Paul WINNING THE ELECTION (Iowa!), denying entire precincts of Ron Paul’s their right to vote when ONLY Ron Paul and Romney were the candidates (Maine) and STOPPING the election with ONLY 84% of the precincts reporting and ONLY 194 votes between Romney and Ron Paul (Maine!) denying the right of the upcoming precincts (heavily Ron Paul’s precincts!) their right to vote, et al., ad nauseum!

  6. ron paul is like the battered girlfriend who keeps returning to his batterer

    as soon as he makes progress, the republican party changes the rules, beats him down, and the cycle continues.

    love should NOT HURT, dr paul

  7. It is time for Congressman Ron Paul and his partisans to join the movement to beat Obama, and however grudgingly, give their support to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican candidates for Senate and Congress.

    No. Because you suck. Stop sucking and I might listen.

    Aw, who am I kidding? I have voted LP since 1984. Yes, including Bob Barr. I’m not proud of it, but the other choices were even worse.

    1. Me too, except for 2008, when I wrote in Ron Paul.

      I’ll vote for Gary Johnson this time, because he’s the best remaining candidate.

  8. A vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson is the same as a vote for Barack Obama.

    So is he implying some kind of massive voter fraud conspiracy on the part of the Dems by implying that they’re somehow colluding to count all votes for these two towards Obama’s totals? ‘Cause I thought a vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson was a vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson, period. But then again I’m not a brainless partisan hack.

    1. As I pointed out to a friend on FB, a vote for GJ is NOT a vote for BO, by virtue of simple math.

      1. Yeah. Even if you accept the unspoken assumption that all votes belong inherently to one of the two major candidates, it still only works out to a half vote for Obama (or Romney if you assume the vote would go to Obama).

    2. But do you really think it is ethical or moral to run as a R or D elector, have the people in your state vote for you thinking that was vote for that R or D candidate and then tell them all to go fuck themselves and vote for someone else?

      If this guy thinks Romney is so bad, why the hell is he a Republican elector?

      1. Because, despite some people’s wishes, RP was/is a Republican?

        1. Then leave the party when your guy loses. Don’t be a lying sack of shit and fool people into voting for something they don’t mean to.

          1. Jesus, John. If it bothers you that much, just fucking murder the guy. Who gives a shit. Nothing is going to come of this BECAUSE NOTHING EVER DOES.

            1. What bothers me is that Librarians are perfectly willing to lie and cheat to change an elections and then smugly claim they are somehow better than the other two parties.

                1. Hamilton references specific rules for the electors, which include:
                  – The electors meet only within their own specific states to select the President.
                  – No individuals who have “too great devotion of the President in office”
                  – No individuals who currently hold elected positions within the government may serve as electors.

                  I especially like the second point.

                2. Randain,

                  Practice also makes law. That is not how it has worked for over 200 years. People vote for the candidate. No one considers the electors like that. Hamilton may have intended it that way, but that is not how it worked out.

                  Do you really think it would be anything but a disaster if a Presidential election was changed because of a rogue elector? You think that is a good thing and wouldn’t totally destroy people’s faith in elections?

                  1. I would say that the two major parties have perverted the system to match their way of grabbing power, and we need to return things to the way the founders intended…

                    Personally I think independent thinking electors might be the only remaining way to save the country since the majority of people have had their decision making process corrupted by the establishment media and the major party leadership. There’s no other way to explain how people like Romney, who nobody actually LIKES or can explain his platform or policies, can win in the primaries when there are so many better candidates for nomination. Romney was pretty much the worst candidate running, and you never saw a Romney supporter prior to May or so, but he somehow won the primaries? That means either he cheated (plenty of video to support this), or people are just really ill informed and shouldn’t be voting.

                    I’d be all for a constitutional amendment that you have to take a civics test and be able to accurately convey a candidates platform before you can vote for them. That would at least get rid of most of the “I want to pick a winner” people who voted for Romney because the media and GOP kept saying he was the “front-runner” even when he was in last place.

                  2. That is not how it has worked for over 200 years. People vote for the candidate. No one considers the electors like that.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

                    158 times previously, it hasn’t worked like that.

                    In 1836, 23 Virginia Electors conspired to change their votes together, and prevented Richard Johnson from winning the Vice Presidency. The Senate picked him anyway, so it didn’t affect the outcome.

              1. Yeah, fuck those lying piece of shit Librarians!

                [storms off to local Library to murder some filthy no good Librarians, unless they’re the slutty naughty kind, of course]

              2. I like how “engaging you own brain and acting like sentient independent being” is, in this small portion of John’s universe, equivalent to being a lying cheating scumbag.

                But playing along with the false notion that people get to vote for President (instead of Electors) and being a intellectually empty shill for one of the two parties are Sacred Duties.

                It’s fascinating really.

                Also. “Sacred Duty” would be a good name for a band. First Album cover must feature a pile of manure with a cross sticking out of it.

      2. As I pointed out above, there’s nothing in Ammendment 12 that states that Electors have to vote for whoever wins their state’s popular vote. Technically they can vote for whoever the hell they want.

        But do you really think it is ethical or moral to run as a R or D elector, have the people in your state vote for you thinking that was vote for that R or D candidate and then tell them all to go fuck themselves and vote for someone else?

        Is it ethical? Probably not. It does seem to imply at least some level of dishonesty. Is it moral? Depends on your morality. If you honestly believe that the only “moral” action is to tell the voters of your state to fuck off and then vote for whoever the hell you want to, then you could at least convince yourself that what you did was moral.

    3. But if Gary Johnson won a handful of Electoral Votes in November in New Mexico and elsewhere, and his Electors voted in December for Romney after realizing they could swing the election, a lot of Libertarians would be seeing this issue somewhat differently.

      1. I would be pissed at THEM, not the system.

  9. I’m not failing the GOP. The GOP failed me. Screw ’em. Our household is voting Johnson.

    1. Good for you. Go vote for him. But what if you vote for him and he wins your state and the Libertarian Party electors say “fuck you we love Romney”? Do you think that is fair?

      1. fair ?

        are we speaking “Cosmic justice” here?

        again, analogize to jury nullification.

      2. I don’t know if its fair, and frankly I don’t care. I don’t think any of this system was set up to be fair. A system devised between the GOP and Dems, by the way. I suspect the whole fucking thing is rigged anyway. All I can control is what I believe in, and how I vote. I will vote my conscience, and that vote will go to Gary Johnson.

        1. Then don’t bitch and moan when the other two parties fuck you. And don’t talk about how you have any principles or any moral high ground over the other two parties because you don’t. Just admit you are lying scumbag in mortal combat with other lying scumbag.

          And it is funny how you are so proud of your vote for Gary Johnson but are perfectly okay with stealing the vote of anyone who votes differently. Maybe people are proud of their vote for Obama? Why the fuck shouldn’t they get a chance to have that vote mean something?

          1. And it is funny how you are so proud of your vote for Gary Johnson but are perfectly okay with stealing the vote of anyone who votes differently.

            No where did I say I was “okay with stealing the vote of anyone who votes differently”. So quit making up shit.

            I can’t control what other people do, John. If someone wants to fuck around with the electoral college system, what the hell am I supposed to do? I don’t give a flying fuck about the GOP, the Dems, or how their people get elected. I guess the process doesn’t interest me. It may be naive, in your opinion, but I base my vote on my principles. And it’s still going to Johnson. 😉

            1. If someone wants to fuck around with the electoral college system, what the hell am I supposed to do?

              Not condone or defend their actions. How about that?

              1. I have neither condoned or defended their actions. Stop making up shit.

                I hereby officially condemn and criticize those who may dare to freelance it within the electoral college system.

                I’m still voting for Johnson, though.

              2. Not condone or defend their actions. How about that?

                Just like jury nullification, you are not morally required to deal honestly with someone who breaks established rules and lies to your face.

      3. But what if you vote for him and he wins your state and the Libertarian Party electors say “fuck you we love Romney”?

        Luckily, Wayne Allyn Root’s not around to be that guy anymore.

  10. The GOP has already successfully cockblocked Paul. The quaint old days when an official elector actually cast his vote are history. Should anyone try it today, I’m sure they would just be ignored and officially counted with the popular vote.

    If this election season has taught us anything, it’s that laws and rules of order are the whim of party establishment.

    1. Paul lost the nomination. He didn’t enough votes. That sucks. The solution to that is to leave the Republican Party and vote for Johnson. The solution is not to run under false pretenses and screw the voters of your state.

      1. This is the part you keep missing John:
        “They’ve never given Ron Paul a fair shot, and I’m disgusted with that. I’d like to show them how disgusted I am,” said Melinda Wadsley, an Iowa mother of three who was selected a Republican elector earlier this year. She said she believes Paul is the better choice and noted that the Electoral College was founded with the idea that electors wouldn’t just mimic the popular vote…..

        She may have already been chosen as an elector prior to Ron Paul losing. So she didn’t run under false pretenses; she was already an Electoral College member and is actually coming clean with her true intentions prior to the election.

        1. She is running under false pretenses now. If she can’t vote for Romney she should resign. Every person in Iowa who votes for her is voting for her on the assumption that means she will vote for Romney. She is a lying moral coward. If you object to an organization, you leave it. You don’t lie.

          1. John, don’t you understand that since the Constitution lets the electoral college choose the President, and since human beings make up the college, that’s it’s the election ballot devised by the board of elections of Iowa that’s lying, and not this woman?

            By putting Mitt’s name on the ballot when they can’t control who the electors will choose, they are the ones tricking the public.

            99% of the time, putting Mitt’s name on the ballot is making it easier for Mitt. And that’s why they do it that way. But it’s objectively untrue to put his name on the ballot. If this woman votes for someone else, the falsehood of the ballot design is exposed. That’s all.

            Maybe the electoral college is an unsatisfactory way to pick the President. If so, get an amendment. I never promised you a rose garden.

            1. Obviously John does not understand this. And apparently no amount of pounding on his skull is going to make him understand this.

            2. Your argument comes down to “well technically she can”. So what? That doesn’t mean she should or be anything but condemned if she does.

              Could she under the Constitution? Probably. But that wouldn’t make her any better of a person or her choice any less loathsome.

              1. Your argument comes down to “well technically she can”. So what? That doesn’t mean she should or be anything but condemned if she does.

                John, you are conflating a legal argument with a moral one. Technically, drugs are illegal in this country. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be allowed to do them, right? One is a legal argument (drugs are prohibited), and the other is a moral argument (drug use should be legal).

                1. You guys are conflating the two. I have always made the moral argument on this thread. And the response has been “well she can!”.

                  1. No, I think the argument is that she is both technically and morally in the right on this.

  11. The fact that Libertarians think this is a good idea, just shows that they are just as bad as the worst Republican or Democrat and would gladly ass rape the country because they mean well.

    No, dude. This is me wearing my constitutional literalist hat and not my libertarian hat.

    What you have to remember is that the parties have absolutely no standing in the constitution at all.

    You can’t claim, “The public has a right to know what they’re voting for!” yadda yadda yadda, because they actually don’t. The electors elect the President. To try to make it more convenient for the factions called parties (factions with no constitutional standing at all) the states have set up election ballots with the names of major party candidates, and then linked votes for those names to votes for slates of electors provided to them by the major parties. But this is an administrative linkage, a marketing linkage, with no constitutional force.

    Essentially, they’re helping the parties market themselves. If they put the electors’ names on the ballots instead, then the parties would have to bust their ass to educate their supporters on which electors to pick. By putting the fig leaf of the candidate name on top of the elector slate, they save themselves that effort. But again, this is a procedural favor the states are doing for the parties, and it has no constitutional force.

    1. Thank you, Fluffy. Excellent synopsis.

    2. IT has force in the state. Under the Constitution it is up to the states to determine how their electors are chosen. The states have chosen not to do it your way. And it is their right. The states could have their electors chosen by the legislatures if they wanted to.

      But beyond that, you know as well as I do, we have election where people vote for candidates. This guy is lying. And you guys think that it is okay becuse he is lying for your cause. If Gary Johnson won this election and two LP party electors said “nope, this is crazy” and switched their votes giving the election to someone else, you would never forgive the country or the system for that. And rightfully so. But since it is happening to the other side, you love it. And that just says you have no principals or morality. If an election switched results because of an elector, it would be a national disaster. I wouldn’t want Jesus himself to win an election like that.

      1. I wouldn’t like, you’re right.

        That’s what partisanship and politics is about, though, John.

        Here, the Electors are well within their rights to vote however they wish. That’s the plain-jane straightforward text of the Constitution and how the process was envisioned in Federalist Paper #68.

        It would be too bad for me if my side suffered this. But they aren’t, so I’m fine with it.

        I don’t see how that makes me unprincipled, though. Should I vote for Mitt Romney because it’s somehow unprincipled of me to vote for Gary Johnson? If not, why not? And how is this different?

        1. It would be too bad for me if my side suffered this. But they aren’t, so I’m fine with it.

          So you are an unprincipled piece of shit who is okay with winning elections on false pretenses as long as your side isn’t hurt? Good to know.

          1. Not what I said. Naturally, though, because basic English escapes you, that’s what you read.

            1. That is exactly what you said. You said you wouldn’t be bothered by this unless it happened to you. It is either right or it is wrong. And if it is wrong, and it clearly is or you wouldn’t be bothered by losing that way, it is just as wrong if it happens to someone else.

              But you don’t see it that way, which makes you an unprincipled piece of shit.

              1. It is either right or it is wrong. And if it is wrong, and it clearly is or you wouldn’t be bothered by losing that way, it is just as wrong if it happens to someone else.

                I will repeat myself:

                Should I vote for Mitt Romney because it’s somehow unprincipled of me to vote for Gary Johnson? If not, why not? And how is this different?

                This action is neither right nor wrong; it just is.

                1. Randian,

                  I don’t care who you vote for. Vote for Johnson. Vote Green. But whoever you vote for, you should be able to cast that vote with the knowledge that if the elector you voted for wins, that elector is going to vote for that candidate. That is my point. It has nothing to do with this election. It has to do with how elections should work.

              2. People get murdered every day.

                It is wrong.

                Im not bothered by it because I dont know them.

                1. But you don’t think it is good they were murdered do you Rob?

                  BTW, God damned if you were not right about Notre Dame. My compliments.

                  1. BTW, God damned if you were not right about Notre Dame. My compliments.

                    Its one of the basic laws of the universe:

                    Never argue with robc when college football is on the line.

                    Dont compliment me, I oppose ND as a partial member. Im hoping we make the best of it and in 5-10 years they are a full football playing member, and we have already not fucked it up in ways the BE did, but Im still opposed.

                    Im also opposed to expanding the ACC past 9 teams, but I work with what I got.

              3. Wait, so the guy who claims to be a libertarian and yet insists not voting for Romney is handing the election over to Barack Obama and four years of statism is calling other people unprincipled piece[s] of shit??

                John, I’d like to you meet this kettle.

                1. Wait, so the guy who claims to be a libertarian and yet insists not voting for Romney is handing the election over to Barack Obama

                  Where did I ever claim that? Would you fucking retards at least try to read the posts? I don’t care if you agree with me. But stop listening to the voices in your head and start listening to what I am actually saying.

                  1. Okay, my apologies. For the last couple of years, you being on this libertarian website and arguing against many statists had me convinced you were actually a libertarian. But you made it clear that you are just a Republican who will see eye-to-eye with libertarians on some issues. I stand corrected, and I’ll try not to accuse you of being one in the future.

          2. So you say “Fuck the the constitution long live the two party system”? Good to know.

      2. You’re still not getting it, dude.

        The electoral college process as described in the constitution doesn’t include the candidates. At all.

        The entire concept of National Celebrity Candidate A running a campaign against National Celebrity Candidate B didn’t even exist yet, when the electoral college was devised.

        The concept of candidates only exists because factions decided to try to scam the electoral college. “Hey, bros!” some Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian said. “You know what we could do? We could get our guys to all get themselves on to the electoral college, and then we could elect our guy President! I mean, we’re supposed to be picking electors, but we could find out who’s a definite vote for our guy ahead of time, and make sure they end up as electors!” “Wow, sweet conspiracy plan, dude! I’m in!”

        Then at some point some other bright guy said, “You know what would make it easier to stuff the college with our guys? If we held elections, and when voters came in, they could just say ‘Put me down for whoever’s voting for Senator Assface!’ instead of having to remember something complicated like what electors we want them to vote for.”

        But despite the fact that this is a pretty clever conspiracy, and despite the fact that the state legislatures have helped it any way they could, they still have to pick human beings as electors. And if once they’re electors, they decide to drop out of the conspiracy, fuck you you lose.

        1. It existed from 1800 on you half wit. The Constitution is made in practice too.

          1. No, it isn’t.

            1. Yes it is. Basic Constitutional law.

              1. Not to me.

                It doesn’t matter how long we maintain an administrative pretense that makes it appear to voters that they’re choosing a particular candidate, when what they’re really choosing is a slate of electors.

                The underlying reality is the reality. Everything else is a smokescreen.

                The fact that people are used to getting lied to doesn’t impress me.

                The day you find out you’ve been bullshitted can be a bad day. And that’s all that would happen if a faithless elector “changed” an election outcome. (Air quotes because the outcome is the outcome; it has never been changed.) People would get a civics lesson. Awesome.

          2. It existed from 1800 on you half wit. The Constitution is made in practice too.

            You’re supposed to be an attorney, John???

            1. Yeah. And unlike the rest of you people I know more than just enough to be dangerous. Practice is persuasive in these kinds of cases.

          3. The Constitution is made in practice too.

            It is a living document. FTW

            No John, it is not made in practice. It is made by what is written in it and by what 5 people say it means. The states get to pick how the electors are chosen, not how they vote.

            Except Nevada does have a state law requiring electors to follow the popular vote, but the law has no punishment prescribed. So this person is in violation of state law.

            1. Just because he can legally do it, doesn’t mean he should do it or it should be encouraged.

              1. Just because he can legally do it, doesn’t mean he should do it or it should be encouraged.

                Actually according to NV law, he is in violation of state law. He should be prosecuted it he does not follow the law.

              2. I agree with John that it’s wrong to pretend to the voters that you will vote for one guy when you plan to vote for another, but I’d still love to see it happen.

          4. The Constitution is made in practice too.

            So, its a Living Constitution ™?

  12. A vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson is the same as a vote for Barack Obama.

    Bullshit. A vote for Johnson is the same as staying home. Which is what I would do without that option.

  13. “A vote for Virgil Goode or Gary Johnson is the same as a vote for Barack Obama.”

    Hey John, you’re on the same intellectual level as Richard Viguerie! Does that make you feel good?

    1. Hold your horses, John, I got this:

      Fuck you Hamer. Just because I argue that Mitt Romney is the better choice on every thread does not mean I am voting for him. I have always said Johnson is the beter choice. And I don’t give a fuck who Richard Vaguerie is

      1. Don’t you understand that if this guy were a democrat elector I would still be appalled? Do you even bother to read the damned posts?

        1. Yeeeaaaaah Riiiiiight.

          1. You don’t have an argument so you just call out people’s integrity. Fuck you. You can’t read my mind. I would too and you know it. You just don’t want to admit it because you are being the very partisan ass you claim I am and don’t like it that I am calling you on it.

            1. I have an argument. It’s one you have chosen to ignore: namely, that this is permitted under the Constitution.

              Too damn bad.

              1. So what if it is? That doesn’t make it right or something to be encouraged or anything but condemned.

                1. So this is now a ‘spirit of the law’ argument, which is different from your original assertion that this was outside the letter of the same.

                  1. It is not a spirit of anything argument. It is a morality argument. And an argument for having elections people have faith in in this country.

    2. I think people should be able to vote for who they want to vote for. And when an elector is elected under the banner of a particular party, he has moral obligation to vote for the candidate of that particular party. To do otherwise is to fool the people who voted for him. No one who votes for an R or D elector is voting for Johnson. They are voting that way because they want Obama or Romney to be President. When you agree to take that vote, you also agree to cast the vote that way. To do otherwise makes you a lying immoral piece of shit.

      It is not about D or R. It is about having an election where people get to vote and know their vote means what they are told it does.

      1. For Republicans, it’s about voting for one of two candidates and having your vote thrown away if you support any other candidate. Look at the Republican attacks against Johnson and Goode. And even against none of the above in Nevada.

        1. Go vote for Johnson. I don’t care. The point is, don’t lie and tell people you are a Republican elector when you fully intend not to vote Republican.

          1. If the Reps had their way, I wouldn’t have the option of voting for Johnson or Goode. I would have a ballot with Romney and Obama, and if I tried to vote for someone else, the vote would be thrown away.

            These same Republicans weep crocodile tears because of the thought that votes for their guy will be thrown away. Cry me a river, assholes, you want to throw away all the Johnson and Goode votes.

            And, John, I said nothing about voting for Johnson. My reasons for opposing him are known to everyone here.

            1. And, John, I said nothing about voting for Johnson. My reasons for opposing him are known to everyone here.

              I’m guessing it’s abortion. Right?

            2. I don’t care what Republicans say. I think people shouldn’t be lied to and when they vote for an R or D elector, that guy has a moral obligation to vote for that candidate. If he hates the candidate, don’t be an elector. It is unfair and wrong to run under false pretenses.

              1. The Republicans want to get votes from supporters of Johnson, Goode, and even non-of-the-above (in Nevada). They want to get those votes by removing Johnson, Goode and none-of-the-above as options, dragooning these people into voting for Romney instead.

                Then if Romney wins, they will crow about the Will of the People.

                So, yes, it’s relevant.

          2. Ron Paul is a Republican, dude.

      2. To do otherwise is to fool the people who voted for him. No one who votes for an R or D elector is voting for Johnson.

        I dont know about that.

        If a KY R elector who I trusted said he was gonna vote for Paul, I might change my vote from “Johnson” to “Romney” in order to help Paul get a electoral vote.

        However, my state isnt in play, so it doesnt matter, the R slate of electors is gonna win.

        If I lived in Nevada, I might consider it though.

        1. Good point – these elector candidates are announcing their intended votes in advance of the election, so that anyone who votes for “Romney” knows the practical implications of that vote.

  14. The practice has been for electors to vote for the candidate for whom they are pledged.

    But what if they don’t?

    Well, if a handful Romney electors vote for someone else, I will shed no tears for the Republicans. Where were these Republican proclamations about the sanctity of the popular vote when they were trying to deprive the people of the right to vote for third parties? There is a well-funded legal effort by Republicans in several states to get Johnson and Goode off the ballot. They’re even trying to take the none-of-the-above option off the table in Nevada, in defiance of Nevada statutes.

    And I’m supposed to take Republicans seriously as they whine about the sanctity of the popular vote? If these clowns had their way, my only options in the election would be Obama and Romney.

    Collateral estoppel, dudes – if you want to deprive the people of the right to vote for all eligible candidates, don’t come crying to me about supposed violations of the Will of the People if your electors don’t do as they’re told.

    And the “worst case scenario” is that the election will go to the House of Representatives if nobody gets a majority of the electoral votes. Legislative election is how lots of countries get their chief executive. It’s how we got John Quincy Adams.

    1. And in the House, the vote will be by state, I think that plays into Romney’s hands anyway.

      Ooh…ooh, insane shot in the dark, 1 in a billion shot time here:

      Election if very, very close, lets say Romney wins states worth 271 EC votes and Obama 267.

      However, 3 rogue electors vote for Paul. The totals are:
      Romney 268, Obama 267. Paul 3.

      The rules then state that the top 3 vote getters are eligible for the House to vote in as president. Thru some insane circumstance, Paul makes it happen and the house members vote for him instead of Romney!

      President Paul is still in play!!!!!

      [/insanity]

    2. No. The worst case scenerio is one candidate wins the popular vote and the electoral college vote but loses because the electors unilaterally decide to vote for the other guy.

      That would be a complete disaster for the country. You may think that is great. But if you do, don’t whine when people think you are nut who just wants to destroy the system. And since apparently have just as few principles as your enemies, why should I care that they screwed you? It is not like you wouldn’t have done the same thing.

      1. John, you ignorant slut, here’s what the Twelfth Amendment says:

        “The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.”

        So if a majority of the electors are for Obama, it makes no difference if the other electors vote for Romney, Paul or Mila Jovovich, Obama will still win. If Romney wins a majority of electors but some of those electors go for Paul, the House will resolve the matter. I don’t even know the partisan alighment of the state delegations (they would vote by state), so I don’t know what the result would be.

        And it’s super-rich to see Republicans, who want to throw away all votes for Johnson and Goode, whine about their own votes being thrown away.

        1. Leeloo Dallas Multipass for President!!!

          I know she isnt technically eligible, but I dont care.

      2. That would be a complete disaster for the country.

        No it wouldn’t be.

        It would probably lead to a movement for an amendment changing the rules of the electoral college.

        And hey, that’s fine. If people don’t like constitutional outcomes, the amendment process is their recourse.

        1. Yeah fluffy telling a majority of the country “too fucking bad we know you voted for one guy but a few people decided otherwise” would be great for the country.

          1. It worked in 1888*.

            *did I get the year right?

            1. No. It was 1876. And it resulted in the end of reconstruction and the end of Jim Crow. So, it didn’t work out too well. And even then, I think that was the result of it being thrown to the House of Reps. I can’t think of a case where the electors just said fuck it and voted however they wanted to.

              1. 1888 – Cleveland won the popular vote but Harrison became Pres due to the electoral vote.

                1. And while I love Cleveland to death, he only got his popular-vote majority by his Democrat allies suppressing the black vote.

                  So Harrison’s victory isn’t a problem for me, and no sign of a constitutional crisis.

              2. Yeah, 1876 was the one I was thinking of.

                the end of Jim Crow. So, it didn’t work out too well.

                I dont think that is what you meant.

                I can’t think of a case where the electors just said fuck it and voted however they wanted to.

                I can:

                2004, 1 elector in MN says fuck it and votes for Edwards.
                2000, 1 elector in DC says fuck it and abstained.
                1988, 1 elector in WV says fuck it and votes for Bentsen.
                1976, 1 elector in WA says fuck it and votes for Reagan.
                1972, 1 elector in VA says fuck it and votes for Hospers.

                That is in my lifetime. In 3 of the 5 cases, the person voted for another candidate from the same party, which is what is being suggested as possible this year. Sticking with the same party is at least being loyal to the party that selected you as elector.

                1. There’s a full list here:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

                  It’s happened 158 times, counting VPs.

                  1. What that list shows is that this goes back to almost the beginning.

                    And its never been a big enough deal to cause a constitutional tizzy.

          2. Yeah fluffy telling a majority of the country “too fucking bad we know you voted for one guy but a few people decided otherwise” would be great for the country.

            Isn’t that what happens whenever the winner of the popular vote loses the electoral college vote? Like, say, in the 2000 election?

            1. No RC. In that case everyone who cast a vote got the electoral votes they were supposed to. In this case, people cast a vote, but then the elector they voted for changes it. That is different.

          3. Ah, you mean like in 2000? Or was that different because it was the outcome you wanted?

            1. That is not what happened. The electors all voted the way they said they would. So 2000 has nothing to do with it. If an elector had changed votes and given Bush the election, that would have been a travesty.

              1. So now we’re back to voting for electors rather than candidates.

                I dunno, John, it seems to me that having the loser of the popular vote get the win is pretty much “telling a majority of the country ‘too fucking bad we know you voted for one guy but a few people decided otherwise'”.

        2. No, it happened in 1824, and the rules didn’t change and life went on.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U…..tion,_1824

  15. The worst case scenerio is one candidate wins the popular vote and the electoral college vote but loses because the electors unilaterally decide to vote for the other guy.

    If the electors vote for the other guy, then the first guy didnt win the electoral college vote.

    The EC votes in December.

    You havent won it until then.

    THATS THE FUCKING POINT.

    1. And even though the people of the states where those electors were from elected them with the full expectation they would vote for that candidate, you are okay with them changing their vote and the result of the election because the can?

      Top men there Rob Top men. You people appall me sometimes.

      1. Yes.

        The FF favored top men. I support the constitution in trivial matters of political organization.

        Want to change it to an EC point system, Im okay with that too, get the votes to pass the amendment.

        1. It is not about can. It is about should. Do you really think that we should have an election and then the electors should as a matter of practice ignore the votes and just cast whatever vote they want to? Not one or two but 535 of them. Every one of them just completely ignore the results of their state votes.

          You really think that is what the framers intended? And do you really think that would be a good system?

          1. The election if for elector.

            They are being elected “Top Man”.

            That is the purpose of the election.

            You really think that is what the framers intended?

            Yes. They didnt trust the people. Notice they didnt let them vote for Senators either. Do you support the 17th Amendment too? I dont. They did let the people select the House though.

            People-House
            State-Senate
            Top Men-President

            And do you really think that would be a good system?

            It hasnt caused any problems so far…other than in 1800, then they corrected the obvious problem with the 12th amendment.

          2. You really think that is what the framers intended?

            In all honesty, I don’t think the FF anticipated that anyone would have any idea who an elector would vote for before the college met.

            I know that sounds crazy now, and in retrospect is a hell of an oversight, but I genuinely think that.

            They thought that some nice guys would get chosen as electors and they’d come and give the matter some civic-minded thought and then they’d choose somebody as President, and that person would be completely surprised. “Who, me? Aw, shucks, what an honor!” It seems very naive, but that appears to be what they thought.

            They wouldn’t have been aghast at the pre-rigging of the college vote collapsing, for the simple reason that it doesn’t appear to have occurred to them that the vote could be rigged in advance.

            1. Read the text

              Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

              The framers look at the electors as being representative of the states. The states can appoint them however they want. The states haven’t created the system you want. They have created a system whereby a vote for an elector is a vote for a candidate. If the state of X wants to make their electors free to vote for whomever they want, it can do that. But the states haven’t done that. They have elections for them instead.

              Technically, absent a state law to the contrary, can electors change their vote? Probably so. But that is clearly not what the states who created the system intend.

              And it is certainly true that the framers intended for the states to chose any system they wanted to, including appointment of independent electors. No way would the framers intended for the states to have elections and then have electors ignore the vote.

              1. The electors are the ones being elected.

                Other than the one crazy ass lady in DC in 2000, no electors have ignored the vote.

                They were voted in as electors to then do as they please.

              2. All this says is the states get to pick how the electors are chosen, not how they vote. The framers were very careful in the words they chose for the Constitution. If they wanted the electors to be held to what the states wanted, they would not have set up electors. They would have said “states senators and representitives will vote for president.”

                Also, the states did not set the system up, the fedgov did.

            2. We know that is the case, as the election of 1800 surprised them, they didnt think about needing separate Presidential votes and VP votes.

              With the 12th amendment, they kept the same system (roughly) in place. But since parties now existed, they made the P and VP votes separate.

              So while they were originally naive, when they wrote the 12th, the party system was in place and they basically kept the same system anyway.

              1. I’m actually pro-going back to the 2nd place candidate as VP rule. Internal tension is great for keeping government small.

            3. Not that far off. Presidential candidates didn’t originally campaign at all, and it was considered poor form and power grasping to act like you WANTED to be the president. Of course, letting on that you would accept the responsibility if selected was fine.

              Then candidates started announcing their candidacies, but still didn’t campaign, except from their front porch when people went to see them.

      2. Are you OK with the states designing their ballots to trick voters into thinking that the Electors have to vote for Candidate A or Candidate B, when in fact they have no power to enforce that, and they never have, and they were never supposed to? Are OK with that?

      3. Despite historical evidence and the plain text of the documents, John felt in his heart that this could not be right, could not be just, and so was willing to posit that truth was, indeed, malleable, as the progressives had told him all along.

        It is precisely here, class, where we began to see the beginning of John’s inexorable transition from Team Red to Team Blue.
        He had won the victory over himself. He loved democracy.

        1. Oh ok. Just because you can do it means you should do it. You really think it is right and proper to get people to vote for you as an elector thinking that you will do one thing all the while intending to do just the opposite?

          1. You really think it is right and proper to get people to vote for you as an elector thinking that you will do one thing all the while intending to do just the opposite?

            It’s morally equivalent to running a Presidential campaign talking about deregulation, cutting spending, and not nation-building overseas, and then increasing regulation, doubling spending, and invading Iraq.

            1. It is good to see you think so highly of Bush then? Which is it? Do you admit Bush is a great guy or do you admit this is really sleazy? Pick an answer.

              1. What an obvious pathetic lashing out that was. Poor form, john.

  16. Personally, I think that electors should have to stand for election in their own names, and that including the names of presidential candidates on ballots is per se fraudulent.

    As we’re discovering in this discussion today.

    The states know they can’t control the votes of electors, but go right out there and lie to the voters anyway.

    Not only that, but I also think that the inclusion of party labels on ballots is inappropriate electioneering in addition to being fraudulent. Only candidate names should appear on ballots. It’s not the business of the state to try to help uninformed voters choose the right faction. And the states also know they can’t control the way a particular representative will caucus once elected, so it’s fraudulent as well.

    1. I ask you the same question. Do you really think that we should have an election and then the electors should as a matter of practice ignore the votes and just cast whatever vote they want to? Not one or two but 535 of them. Every one of them just completely ignore the results of their state votes.

      You really think that is what the framers intended? And do you really think that would be a good system?

    2. I guess it should be left up to the states, but would you prefer electors be voted on by slate or individually?

      Do I get 8 votes to spread among all the possible electors or just one?

    3. Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

      It is totally up to the states fluffy. You don’t like how they do it. Tough shit. The states have decided to do this way. You don’t like it, get them to change it. And the states have made it to where any elector who changes his votes is doing so under false pretenses. It is up to them.

  17. The electors ? all are supporters of former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul ? told The Associated Press they are exploring options should Mitt Romney win their states.

    Geez guys, vote for Ron Paul and THEN tell the Associated Press. If you tell them now, do you really think you will remain an Elector?

    1. That’s what I was wondering. Can the Romney camp change their electors, or is it past the deadline to do so?

      1. The Romney camp can’t do anything. 24 states have laws against it, and might require a pledge first. But the penalty for violating the pledge is pretty toothless and has never been enforced.

  18. No, no, CE. Wait until you appointed as an elector after the election, then announce you are seriously considering voting for Paul. At that point, its too fucking late to remove them for party disloyalty.

    If enough do this to deprive Romney of his majority, well, let the bidding for their votes begin.

    1. So you are okay with settling the Presidency by bribery rather than votes? Seriously. Why not just let the each elector auction off his vote to the highest bidder? There is nothing in the Constitution that says it can’t be done that way. I am sure George Soros will be glad to chip in a few hundred million to ensure Obama is re-elected. Or maybe there is someone out there who will out bid him and get Romney in there.

      As for those pesky voters who went to the polls thinking they were going to decide the Presidency. Fuck them

      Really RC? You really think that is how it should work?

      1. So you are okay with settling the Presidency by bribery rather than votes?

        What universe do you live in? The presidency is already up for grabs to the highest bidder, whether that be via rich connections or simply promising the most handouts to the general population. This article points out that, “Hey, maybe the presidency shouldn’t just be an auction and people should vote for the person most deserving of office.”

        1. This article points out that, “Hey, maybe the presidency shouldn’t just be an auction and people should vote for the person most deserving of office.”

          That is what happens. You just don’t agree with them. I think people who vote for Obama are wrong. But they are entitled to their opinion.

      2. John, are you empathizing with the 2000 Gore voters yet?

        1. If Gore had lost because an elector changed his vote, sure. But that is not what happened, so no. But look at the bad blood in this country that happened over that. But you guys think electors telling the country to go fuck themselves would be a great thing.

          1. What difference does it make? The majority of the country did not decide the president. That’s the way the system works.

            1. It makes a huge difference. The system works where the guy who wins a majority of the electoral votes win. But everyone assumed that those votes are determined by a majority in their state. And that was the case in Bush v. Gore. The issue was who had the majority in Florida. But everyone assumed the guy who won the majority in Florida was getting the electoral votes.

              Everyone got to vote and their vote counted for what they were told it would count for; towards a majority in their state to give their candidate that state’s electoral votes. In this case, people’s votes would not go where they thought it would go. People would have voted for an elector thinking it meant one thing only to find out later it meant the opposite.


              1. But everyone assumed the guy who won the majority in Florida was getting the electoral votes.

                Only if you failed high school civics.

                1. Or paid absolutely no attention to how elections have actually worked Rob.

                  1. Or paid absolutely no attention to how elections have actually worked Rob.

                    In other words, failed HS civics, where this very thing was discussed.

              2. “But everyone assumed that those votes are determined by a majority in their state…everyone assumed the guy who won the majority in Florida was getting the electoral votes.”

                There’s the problem – assumptions are not necessarily correct. The state’s slate of electors is determined by the party of the candidate that won the state. This doesn’t mean the electors have to necessarily select the specific candidate the party listed on the ballot, and if they don’t, it’s that state party’s own fault.

      3. Shit, Republicans should be so lucky — Obama won’t be able to hide behind democracy or the will of the people. The entire legitimacy of his second term will be tainted like Bush’s first term, and people who tolerated the relentless attacks on their freedoms as being sanctified by an election may take less shit from the Messiah. One can hope.

  19. John,

    I believe you are older than me, or close enough. Were you going this batshit crazy the previous 5 times this happened in our lives?

    1. The principle Rob. It has only happened five times. But if it happened a lot or affected the outcome of things, it would be a complete disaster. I think it is immoral to run claiming to be one thing only to screw the people who voted for you later.

      1. Then Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are immoral? I’m okay with that description; I wish more people would see it though.

        1. If one of them ran as a Green Party Candidate when they were not, yes.

          1. Nobody is doing that? They are saying that they will not vote for Mitt Romney, but they still belong to the Republican Party. It has already been said multiple times, but the ballot is a dumbed down version for the masses. We are voting for the Electoral College voters; but nobody wants to research that much, so they just put the names (and letters of the party) of the most likely candidates to win.

      2. They are REPUBLICAN Electors, not Romney electors. Ron Paul is a Republican and received votes at the party’s national convention. Voting for another Republican candidate for president is neither disloyal or fraudulent.

        1. But Ron Paul is no longer a candidate. It is totally disloyal. If you don’t like result of the primaries, leave the party.

          1. He is a potential write-in candidate for all 50 states. Just because he didn’t get the pat on the back from the Republican party doesn’t mean that he is ineligible for office.

            1. Not true. KY doesnt allow write-in votes for Prez.

              1. And, I think this goes back to the original point, what slate of electors is a write-in candidate voting for?

                The election is to elect electors, not the President.

                1. Good point, both of them (shame about no write-ins in Kentucky, though). I guess I should’ve said he is a write-in candidate in potentially all 50 states, which was still disproven.

                  But yes, the election is to choose a slate of electors. I guess if a write-in candidate received a significant number of votes, whoever the electors ended up being could take that into account and possibly be persuaded to vote for them.

          2. As far as I know, the electoral college law doesn’t specify that they have to vote for active candidates. If Ron Paul is elected president via a swarm of faithless electors, he’d still be a Republican president, so how is it disloyal?

            Is a soldier who refuses to commit an atrocity on orders from their superiors disloyal to their country?

            1. It would be disloyal because Paul wouldn’t be the person the people who voted for thought they were voting for. If Paul was the nominee and a bunch of faithless electors put Romney in, you wouldn’t’ feel betrayed by that Proprietist?

              1. Robc’s point is correct, that they need to either change the electoral college structure, or stop pretending we’re voting for a presidential candidate on the ballot and instead list the electors.

                Unless an elector is contractually bound by their party or required by law to remain loyal to the candidate, they have no particular obligation to remain in lockstep with the party.

                If Paul was the nominee and a bunch of faithless electors put Romney in, you wouldn’t’ feel betrayed by that Proprietist?

                I’d be more surprised if it didn’t happen. I’m pretty used to my vote not counting for anything. Even if the guy I prefer gets elected, he’ll probably just break all the promises that led me to vote for him. Life’s a b**** in a republic, I guess.

  20. The states haven’t created the system you want.

    Actually, they have.

    The states have created a system where the voters choose electors.

    That’s the only system they’re constitutionally empowered to create.

    They’ve done everything they can to try to link those electors to candidates, by letting parties name the electors, by joining the electors together into slates, and by linking those electors to candidate names on ballots.

    But after all of the votes are counted, it’s still electors who are chosen.

    And I would be extremely surprised if a state law trying to bind the vote of an elector stood up to constitutional challenge. The electors are unambiguously given the power to vote in the college. It would be like a state law trying to make it a crime for a Senator to vote for an unbalanced budget. No state law can enjoin a federal office holder from exercising a power granted to him by the Constitution.

    1. The states have created a system where the voters choose electors.

      That’s the only system they’re constitutionally empowered to create.

      No it is not. The Constitution doesn’t say how they should be appointed.

      And I would be extremely surprised if a state law trying to bind the vote of an elector stood up to constitutional challenge.

      Be surprised the. Nevada has just such a law and it has held up fine. The states make the rules on electors.

      1. The Nevada law has never been challenged because it’s never had to be enforced.

        No it is not. The Constitution doesn’t say how they should be appointed.

        Sorry, that was grammatically awkward. The states are only empowered to set up systems to choose electors. No matter what system they create, in the end all it does is pick electors. They utterly lack the power to dispense with electors and just declare their electoral votes cast for a particular candidate.

        1. And I say, by definition of the word “Elector” they can’t tell him how to vote either.

        2. But they could choose electors by something besides popular vote. They could have them appointed by the governor for example. And as far as binding their vote, there is nothing in the Constitution that says they couldn’t do that. I don’t see any reason why the Nevada statute is not Constitutional. IT is their electors. They can tell them how to vote if they want to.

      2. I’d like to see them try to enforce that law.

        I’m not saying they definitely could or couldn’t. I mean literally, I’d like to see them try to enforce it. It’d be interesting.

        Have the guy hide in a different state, and have that state refuse to extradite him too. Just for kicks.

      3. Be surprised the. Nevada has just such a law and it has held up fine. The states make the rules on electors.

        Has the NV law ever been challenged in court? I doubt it as it does not even have a penalty for violating it.

        1. Where does it say “electors must be free to choose whomever they want”? It doesn’t say that. It says the states shall appoint them. There is no restriction on how the state appoints them. There is no reason why a state couldn’t set rules on how they voted.

          1. It says the states shall appoint them. There is no restriction on how the state appoints them. There is no reason why a state couldn’t set rules on how they voted.

            The state shall appoint, EOM. The state cannot tell them how to vote, otherwise there would be no need to have an electorial college. The state cannot set rules on how they vote because the Constitution does not give them that right. They can only appoint.

            1. The state shall appoint, EOM. The state cannot tell them how to vote, otherwise there would be no need to have an electorial college.

              Not true. There is still a need for it. First, you still need it to allocate each state’s influence on the Presidential election. Second, some states might not restrict their electors even though other states do.

              1. a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress

                The electors are already allocated. You simply have the senators and reps vote instead of electors.

                Second, some states might not restrict their electors even though other states do.

                Similar to now with NV. I have a feeling if the NV law is challeged, it falls.

          2. The XII Amendment pretty clearly says, “The electors shall vote…” etc.

            The act of voting presupposes choice.

            If a state legislature passed a law saying that all blacks must vote using a ballot containing only a single candidate name chosen by the legislature, that would obviously violate the 15th amendment – because showing up and turning in a piece of paper filled out for you isn’t “voting”.

    2. And I would be extremely surprised if a state law trying to bind the vote of an elector stood up to constitutional challenge.

      It’s already happened, in 1952:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_v._Blair

      It ruled that it is constitutional for states to allow parties to require such a pledge of their candidates for elector, and that it was not a breach of otherwise qualified candidates’ rights to be denied this position if they refused the pledge.

      1. Not the same.

        That’s a party nomination / ballot access question.

        Parties can make people whirl like dervishes before nominating them to be electors, if they want.

        The question of what they can do to an elector who takes the pledge and then gives them the finger is a completely separate question.

  21. Also on this subject:

    Even if Electoral College were to become deadlocked because of sentient Electors (that’s what I’m going to call them instead of “faithless” from now on), Romney would still almost certainly be the next president wouldn’t he?

    But who in the hell would be VP? Hillary? Obama? Surely not Biden, right? Al Franken (jk, I hope).

    1. Once it went to the House, who knows. The House is not and should not be bound by anything. And I think under the 12th Amendment the whole ticket gets elected even in the House.

      1. Nope. Senate decides Veep.

  22. 1796 is a good example of what the FF’s intended. Under old rules, each elector got 2 votes, top guy gets Pres, #2 gets VP.

    Adams 71
    Jefferson 68 (1 elector from MD votes for both Adams and Jefferson, despite different parties)
    Pinckney 59
    Burr 30
    Samuel Adams 15
    Ellsworth 11
    Parliament Funkadelic 7
    Others 15

    138 total electors. It would have been funny if Jefferson would have won because the Adamses split some more of their vote.

    1. Parliament Funkadelic 7

      I think I know who my write-in vote will be going towards this year.

      1. If that wasnt clear, George Clinton got 7 votes in 1796.

  23. Isn’t the faithless elector thing a little closer to a politician switching parties mid-term? It’s not necessarily honorable, but it can technically be done in the name of principles and swing the balance of power in the House or Senate.

    1. IIRC, John is a fan of Ben Campbell.

      1. If a politician changes parties, the people of his district are free to recall him. An electoral college is a bit more permanent. There are no recall provisions.

        1. Not every state has recall provisions on Senators.

          Actually, do any?

          1. If I recall correctly (no pun intended), the state legislatures can recall Senators. But maybe that was before they stopped electing the Senators themselves?

        2. Sure there are – lobby your representatives and senators or elect enough at the mid-term to impeach and/or censure the President. You are also free to try to recall any representatives and senators who won’t impeach the elected President or who won’t pass the Constitutional Amendment required to change the Electoral College procedure.

        3. They can recall him, but they can’t cancel his already-cast votes.

  24. So, another month and a half of manic John dancing around the “a vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama” idiocy? Awesome.

    John, I don’t recall you getting this worked up over the shady tactics the GOP used to squash Paul – did I just miss it?

    1. Boston,

      I am not a member of the Republican Party. And a Republican Party election is their problem not the country’s problem and not my problem. If they ran a shady primary, then leave. Don’t vote for them. But that doesn’t mean it is okay to subvert the national election system.

  25. John has shifted the goal posts so many times in this thread that I’d be surprised if he even knows what sport is being played any more. First it was a legal issue, then it was a moral issue, and then it was a loyalty thing, and now it is back to interpretations of the Constitution.

    1. I haven’t shifted anything. My first post on this was

      John| 9.13.12 @ 1:34PM |#

      If they are doing it as a protest, who cares. But if it actually affected the election, that is an outrage. We have elections for a reason. I don’t think that a few people who happen to get the job as electors should be able to decide it. You should vote for whomever your state voted for. If these guys changed their votes and gave the election to Romney it would be just as wrong.

      From the very beginning I admitted this was probably permissible under the Constitution but that it is wrong. That has always been my argument.

      I think there is a good argument to be made that the way the states have set up the system that changing your vote amounts to fraud and could be challenged in court. But that is a bit of a creative argument I will admit.

      1. If they are doing it as a protest, who cares.

        If it’s a moral issue then it’s always wrong blah blah blah.

        That would the first shift you made.

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