The Daily 202: Conservatives fear Trump’s plot to overturn loss will ‘imperil the electoral college’

Whateverman

Well-known member
I saw this article's title and thought "what the heck?"

But then I read it - and was surprised to find myself agreeing with conservatives:

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) was Sen. Ted Cruz’s chief of staff before winning a House seat in 2018. This week, he has emerged as a leader of the conservatives who are fighting back against an effort to block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory – spearheaded in the Senate by his former boss – that they see as a radical, cynical and myopic.

Roy, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, persuaded six of the most committed conservatives in the House to sign onto a statement he drafted Sunday that makes a blunt case for counting all the electors submitted by the states. The centerpiece of his argument is that failing to do so will create dangerous precedents and open a Pandora’s box that would eventually doom the electoral college.

“From a purely partisan perspective, Republican presidential candidates have won the national popular vote only once in the last 32 years,” Roy wrote in his statement. “They have therefore depended on the electoral college for nearly all presidential victories in the last generation. If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes — based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election — we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.”

Roy did something else clever on Sunday evening as the new Congress was sworn in. To make a point, he objected to the swearing-in of all members from the six states where Trump falsely claims the vote was rigged. This forced the House to vote on whether the lawmakers who were on the same ballot with the president – and won their races – should be allowed to take the oath. Naturally, Republicans wanted to seat their members from Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The vote was 371 to 2 to say that all of their elections were legitimate.

“It would confound reason if the presidential results of these states were to face objection while the congressional results of the same process escaped public scrutiny,” Roy said. “Those representatives were elected through the very same systems – with the same ballot procedures, with the same signature validations, with the same broadly applied decisions of executive and judicial branch officials – as were the electors chosen for the president of the United States under the laws of those states.”
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
So what about it, conservatives?

From a purely partisan perspective, Republican presidential candidates have won the national popular vote only once in the last 32 years. They have therefore depended on the electoral college for nearly all presidential victories in the last generation. If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes — based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election — we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.
 

vibise

Active member
So what about it, conservatives?

From a purely partisan perspective, Republican presidential candidates have won the national popular vote only once in the last 32 years. They have therefore depended on the electoral college for nearly all presidential victories in the last generation. If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes — based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election — we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.
This is true. The EC gives disproportional weight to small, largely rural states at the expense of larger densely populated ones.

I think most of us lefties think that the EC is an anachronistic system that should go the way of the dinosaur.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
It's common on the left to think the EC needs to go. What's surprising - to me at least - is to see the right actively trying to undermine the thing that's gotten their candidates elected over the last three decades.

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I suppose this thread wont get attention from conservatives here, so we might as well turn it into a discussion about the electoral college. I was taught that one of the reasons for it was to disperse the political power of heavily populated areas, preventing a small portion of the country to politically-dominate everything else - much as @vibise describes.

One of the reasons to prevent this isn't just "fairness", but because the larger, emptier areas in the country often contain resource wealth: timber, ore, meat, grain, etc. Places which use more resources than they contribute shouldn't be allowed to dominate policy regulating those resource-rich lands.

That, I believe, was part of the rationale behind the electoral college. Whether it's still necessary today is a different argument, though.
 

Michael R2

Active member
It's common on the left to think the EC needs to go. What's surprising - to me at least - is to see the right actively trying to undermine the thing that's gotten their candidates elected over the last three decades.

---

I suppose this thread wont get attention from conservatives here, so we might as well turn it into a discussion about the electoral college. I was taught that one of the reasons for it was to disperse the political power of heavily populated areas, preventing a small portion of the country to politically-dominate everything else - much as @vibise describes.

One of the reasons to prevent this isn't just "fairness", but because the larger, emptier areas in the country often contain resource wealth: timber, ore, meat, grain, etc. Places which use more resources than they contribute shouldn't be allowed to dominate policy regulating those resource-rich lands.

That, I believe, was part of the rationale behind the electoral college. Whether it's still necessary today is a different argument, though.
As a rough outline, you basically nailed it. There was also, at the outset, a worry about the less populous states possibly opting out of the union without some reassurance of a more worthwhile voice.
 
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