As of November 22, at least six Democrats in the Electoral College have joined a movement to keep Donald Trump from getting to 270 votes. On Dec. 19, the 538 members of the Electoral College will meet in their respective state capitals to make Trump’s victory official. Until they cast their votes, Trump’s win is merely theoretical. We’ve never seen the Electoral College rebel en masse, but it’s constitutionally possible.
The electors plotting against Trump know they are up against extraordinarily slim odds; they would have to convince at least 37 Republican electors to join their cause, some of whom would have to break state law to do so. And even in the unlikely event that they succeeded, the decision would then go to the GOP-dominated House of Representatives. You know, the guys who were all sporting red MAGA hats a week ago?
But that doesn’t matter to the electors, who have another motive. They want to begin chipping away at the legitimacy of the Electoral College and set the stage for its eventual abolition.
“I do think that a byproduct would be a serious look into Electoral College reform,” said Micheal Baca, a Colorado elector pushing for rebellion.
Another elector told Politico that chaos was the point.
“If it gets into the House, the controversy and the uncertainty that would immediately blow up into a political firestorm in the U.S. would cause enough people — my hope is — to look at the whole concept of the Electoral College,” they said.
Democrats, of course, are sore about the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. They don’t seem to understand that if both candidates had been competing for that vote, their campaign strategies would have been completely different. You can’t assume that Hillary would have won in that environment.
This issue – the relevance of the Electoral College – is something we should probably be talking about. But it’s not something we can talk about right now. Not when it’s still Hillary’s supporters versus Trump’s. We have to let the waters calm a bit before we can have a serious conversation about our elections.
Democrats can take a step towards that conversation by dropping this thinly-veiled war on our new president-elect.