Can’t play by the rules? Change ’em.

I think it’s awesome that Republicans would rely on electoral chess to try to win an election rather than the merits of their ideas about how to help American citizens. And by “awesome” I mean “cynical, ugly and disappointing.”

Here’s an optimistic article in Slate, arguing why the GOP plan to divide Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes by congressional and senate districts won’t work.

Then there’s the Mother Jones take, which seems to believe that Obama is on his way to “Loserville.”

Perhaps it is more fair, because it does more closely align the popular vote with the distribution of electoral votes. You win a district, you get that vote—as opposed to the current system in most states, which awards all a state’s votes to one candidate, in effect ignoring votes for the opponent.

But the proposal is not coming from some grand principle. It’s coming, particularly from Pennsylvania, because the Republicans are in control here, and their primary, No. 1, live-or-die focus is the cessation of Barack Obama’s presidency.

This is not an anti-Republican diatribe. This has been tried before in Colorado and California. And in Colorado it was a Democrat-backed ballot initiative, and it was just as cynical. (And it failed.) In California, it was the Republicans, and it didn’t even make it to the ballot.

But here? And now? If this were coming from a state where the stakes weren’t quite so high right this moment, where there wasn’t so much blood to spill, I might believe the party line. But the GOP smells blood. And the Constitution is sacred, is it not? Infallible. Unchangeable. (So how unnerving it must be for the Tea Party to see that so many women and black people are voting.)

If you’re going to go this far, can we just get rid of the electoral college altogether and be done with this madness? That might pull the focus away from campaigning in individual states, which would force politicians to talk to all of us, and would end this silly red state/blue state mentality.

However, I know a state’s distribution of electoral college votes is determined by the state. There is no national standard. I’d just rather see an amendment to undo Article II, section 1, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution. We’ll still be as divided as ever, but at least there’d be more integrity to that division, and we’d be less subject to game-playing.


1 Response to “Can’t play by the rules? Change ’em.”

  1. September 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I sincerely don’t think that Obama is on his way to “Loserville.” he is smart chap and trust me before next year he will do something, that will bring him back. But one thing is sure that It won’t be the face that wins for the GOP, it’s got to be ideas and a real platform. The GOP has to show it stands for something meaningful again; if it does then it has a chance, but probably not in time for 2012.

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