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Obama Loses Re-election Bid?

November 15, 2012

December 17, 2012  (Scheduled Date for the Electoral College to meet)

Today the Electoral College elected Mitt Romney to be the next President of the United States.

According to http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html, as of 2000 there were quite a few states which did not bind its electors to any particular candidate.

No Legal Requirement
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:

No Legal Requirement
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:

ARIZONA
ARKANSAS
DELAWARE
GEORGIA
IDAHO
ILLINOIS
INDIANA
IOWA
KANSAS
KENTUCKY
LOUISIANA
MINNESOTA
MISSOURI
NEW HAMPSHIRE
NEW JERSEY
NEW YORK
NORTH DAKOTA
PENNSYLVANIA
RHODE ISLAND
SOUTH DAKOTA
TENNESSEE
TEXAS
UTAH
WEST VIRGINIA

Although there is no doubt that many will argue that the people have spoken, it’s also true that there is nothing inherently seditious or unpatriotic in wondering what would happen if the Electors of the Electoral College were to perform their duties as envisioned by the framers of the US Constitution.  Marc Schulman makes the point in an article published online that:

The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states.

He goes on to say that without such a buffer:

They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power.

Further, he claims:

Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice.

His article and thoughts are well worth the read, but I follow in his footsteps and direct your attention to Federalist Paper 68 which was written by Alexander Hamilton and addresses the procedure of how the country is to elect its chief magistrate.  The brilliance and prescient forethought of these remarkable men continues to shine through the ages and are nowhere more in evidence than in the body of FP68.  Not only do they take into account such possibilities as corruption, foreign intervention, and centralized power, but they do it in a way that reinforces their primary objective which is to institute a republican form of government while avoiding the serious defects which they believed to be inherent characteristics of that other closely related form of government: a democracy.

For those of you who have always considered the Electoral College to be a somewhat quaint relic of a by-gone time perhaps best consigned to a meaningless existence as a passing reference in the occasional civics class, I highly recommend that you take the time to fully read and carefully consider the words and thoughts presented so masterfully in FP68.  It turns out that the Electoral College is itself an important part of our system of “Checks and Balances”, and thus perhaps it deserves a bit more attention.  It is highly unlikely that this election cycle will see the members of the Electoral College perform their constitutional duty as originally envisioned by the Founding Fathers, but the possibility that it could draw attention to this gem of an institution hidden away in Article II of the United States Constitution might be of benefit in the future.

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19 Comments
  1. The article may be a bit too fanciful for your taste, but I certainly welcome any thoughts on the topic.

  2. I’m going to crack my copy of Federalist this morning and have a look at 68. I think the original intent was to avoid electing the President by popular vote altogether.

  3. Aaron, forgive me if I double post, but I don’t think my earlier comment came through. Why is the date at the top of your article December 17, 2012?

    • Thanks for reading and commenting..That’s the date that the Electoral College meets this time around.

      • I didn’t get that from the article. I’ll read it again.

      • Perhaps I need to make it more clear…It was meant to look like a news headline from that particular date.

  4. lew8ka permalink

    Okay, now i have found this article of yours very interesting and mind grabbing. I have to ask if after tallying all the popular vote up after the Nov 6th election, that as to proclaiming the winner of the presidential race, it is not official legally until after the Electoral College meets and the electors cast their states electoral votes which are actually the real determining factor of who the next president will be?

    Do i have that correct or not, that it ain’t over till the fat lady sings? That of the 24 states listed above their elected electors are free to cast their respective individual electoral vote for the candidate they individually deem most qualified for the office?

    • At it’s most simplistic, and I don’t mean that in an insulting way Yes.

      The President, and Vice President, are elected by the “electors”, not by the “electorate”. Officially , Obama has not won until the electors meet and vote…12/12/2012.

      The States which I listed, from what I understand, have electors who are not officially bound to vote for any particular candidate. Why?
      As I also attempted to point out, just in case a demagogue of epic proportions was able to pull the wool over the eyes of enough gullible/ignorant voters
      or promise enough goodies to sway the election his way,
      or raise enough money from foreign sources to buy the election and impose policies not in the country’s best interests,
      or ensure his supporters control of the electoral process,
      or somehow undermine the integrity of the election process itself by manipulating the relevant vote totals,
      or actually begin to change the system itself,
      the Electors of the Electoral College were to act as a circuit breaker to make sure that the republic and Federal System of government was safe and secure.

      In other words, it is their function, one of the primary reason they exist, to not simply rubber stamp the results of the popular vote total, but to protect us all, and not coincidentally the Constitution, from enemies both domestic and foreign.

      It is there for a reason…and I believe we might have just the type of situation that the founders envisioned.

      Sorry about the length, but what do you think? Did you read the article which I reblogged?

  5. Thanks for responding and i in no way took it as insulting. The simplicity was for the sake of being sure our understanding was the same.

    Yes i read the article you reblogged and the Federalist Paper 68 as well. Now when you ask me what do i think, do you mean in relation to the thoughts of Marc Schulman, or your thoughts, or the thoughts and reasonings of Alexander Hamilton expressed in his FP 68? Do you want my thoughts on the time the FP was written or in the context of today and the Nov 6th election?

    Not trying to be difficult or complex, just need to know in what area and time i need to direct my focus to make for a clearer path of understanding in our communication. 🙂

    • I guess i was asking whether you thought 2012 is the type of situation which the FF’s were concerned about, whether the article I re-blogged sounded reasonable, and whether pursuing it ran the risk of opening up a whole ‘nother can of worms…

      • Yes i think the 2012 election is a very good example of the FF’s concern and both of the articles, including yours, and the amplified reasons peculiar to the one who received the majority of the popular vote, appear to me, to only re-enforce the need and necessity for that last vanguard the FF’s drafted into the blueprint to preserve the office of the POTUS and prevent corruption from entering the system through which the federal government of the Republic was to be executed and administered.

        As to pursuing the reconciling of the proper and right use of the responsibilities and duties of the Electors and purpose for the Electoral College, wouldn’t we be remiss in our own civic and patriotic duty if we did not at least try and make the effort?

        Well of course that ole can of worms will be opened…you know if we stop and think about it, if our FF’s were living here today and visited upon the federal government a declaration of independence, according to the Patriot Act and the NDAA they would be labeled domestic terrorists and arrested and held without trial…ironic isn’t it?

      • Can’t really argue with what’s in your comment, but I might mention I, and hopefully we, are doing our “civic and patriotic duty” by bringing up and discussing the issue. The question remains whether enough other people will come to the same conclusion.

        Yes, it is almost grotesque that the Federal Government is reportedly more concerned with keeping tabs on peaceful and patriotic citizens within the United States than it is with those who support and espouse views which not so long ago were in direct conflict with American values.

        Thanks again.

      • http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/how-obama-can-be-stopped-in-electoral-college/

  6. Chloe permalink

    Thank you for this article. This is something I’ve been ranting on for at least a year now, once I had read a Wiki entry (sorry:) back then, attesting to this. I simply did not know prior to then that, that many states’ electors could vote any way they so pleased. That is obviously not what the FF wanted to see. Thank you, too, for FP 68, making it clear what they had intended. One thing, I had always understood that their general vision with the electors was to prevent corruption…. I don’t think it’s working. 🙂

    • I’d have to agree with your final thought..

  7. David Block permalink

    Yes, and you forget that Hamilton did not believe in democracy, and urged George Washington to create a coup with the Continental Army and become King. Washington, to his everlasting credit, declined. My point is that there is little Hamilton writes about elections or democracy that is credible.

    • Thank you for your interest and taking the time to present your point of view.

      I’m afraid I see you as making some assumptions which are not supported by the facts.

      I didn’t “forget”, nor did I fail to take into account, Hamilton’s views on democracy. In point of fact, it would seem that at least some of his concerns are in the process of being proved valid. With that in mind, it would seem that two somewhat related responses are in order.

      1. Rebuts your suggestion that Hamilton’s writings are not credible.

      and, perhaps more interestingly,

      2. I, at least, find it interesting that you suggest that you believe it appropriate to dismiss another individual’s point of view simply because that individual’s perspective does not agree with yours. Whether or not I agree with recent suggestions made by the left wing media on what conservatives need to do to appeal to a largest constituency I don’t throw them out simply because of the source. Sure one has to consider the fact that they aren’t interested in promoting conservative values, but that in itself isn’t enough to prove that their suggestions are invalid.

      Thanks again.

  8. David Block permalink

    You also forget that the electors are chosen by the respective Parties. All 332 Obama electors were chosen by the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party.

    • Once again, thank you for your input.

      No, I didn’t forget. On the other hand, it is true that the original concept was not designed with the two-party system in mind, nor was it designed under the assumption that the Electors would be pledged to vote for a particular candidate. An implicit, if not explicit, theme of the article.

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