http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/02/the-electoral-college-is-halfway-to-being-abolished/ Avast maties! The Progressives’ march from The Old Republic to untrammeled democratic totalitarianism now requires the death of the Electoral College. That a candidate for President might gain a nationwide majority of votes but lose in Electoral Votes has been an inconvenient truth ever since Al Gore “beat” George W. Bush. The Left, as Talleyrand said of the Bourbons of old, “Ils n’ont rien appris, ni rien oublié—They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing”. The mental trauma of the 2000 election has fixed the Left’s eye on killing the Electoral College. They want to change the Constitution. (Well, you know We all want to change your head. shoo-by doo-wop.) But that is far too difficult and the left is composed of, well, umm, leftists, who as we know are too busy saving the world for Gay Marriage and Whales to put in that kind of sustained effort. So instead they are coming in the back door. (Nope not going there. Don’t git yer knickers in a bunch, Log Cabin folk.)
The article cited above reads: Opponents of the electoral college reached an important milestone last month.Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-R.I.) signed a bill into law that committed Rhode Island to theNational Popular Vote interstate compact.
That’s a deal wherein states commit to send their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote — but only once states representing over half of all electoral votes adopt similar laws. Once that threshold is reached, the electoral college is effectively abolished, without a constitutional amendment. Rhode Island’s addition means that the National Popular Vote plan — first conceivedof by Northwestern’s Robert Bennett and developed by Akhil and Vikram Amar at Yale and UC Davis, respectively — is halfway to its goal. As plan supporter Rick Hertzberg at the New Yorker explains, nine states plus the District of Columbia have now signed on, representing 136 electoral votes. That’s 50.4 percent of the votes needed for the plan to come into force and for the electoral college to be abolished.
The Constitutional Convention required the resolution of serious debates that threatened the very future of the nation. The consequences of failure are not knowable, but might provide a rich source for alternative history buffs. Without the “four score and seven years” of union there would have been no “mystic chords of memory” to “swell when again touched… by the better angels of our natures.” If not for the great yet delicate compromises worked out in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, there could have been no Abraham Lincoln waiting in the wings to restore that which had never been. The debates between the big states and small, slave states and free all had to be settled. The Connecticut Compromise earned us the moniker The Constitution State. And we all know something about the three fifths of a person compromise between free and slave states. But what is not often considered is the compromise between those who were just fine with the Articles of Confederation, perhaps with a few tweaks but no major re-working on the one hand, and a deeper more powerful unitary central government on the other. Each and every word, phrase or punctuation mark contained the seeds for failure. Every word was carefully examined and weighted by all sides. Since this dichotomy: Independent States vs. A Unitary National Government also was settled by compromise, we might look at the definition of “state” as understood by these serious men.
Today, the word “state” (as a noun) has two definitions. However, at the time of the Convention there was predominantly the one. According to Etymopnline.com an On-Line Etymology Resource: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=state the definition of “state”
was “political organization of a country, supreme civil power, government,” 1530s, from state (n.1); this sense grew out of the meaning “condition of a country” with regard to government, prosperity, etc. (late 13c.), from Latin phrases such as status rei publicæ “condition of the republic.” Often in phrase ‘church and state’, which is attested from 1580s.”
Thus, the United States of America were a plural noun.
The British North American colonies that declared independence from Britain had no legal connection one to another. Each Colony’s sovereignty was vested in its charter with Britain. Each of the colonies individually severed its connection to Britain. Each adopted its own State or Commonwealth Constitutions. And when they used the word “state” it meant as above: “political organization of a country, supreme civil power, government”: the very fount of sovereignty.
The unfortunate connection of States’ Rights with slavery and then Jim Crow gave the centralizers the moral high ground. The post-Civil War Amendments began the long march against the concept of each state being a sovereign republic.
The real hammer blow was dealt by the “Progressives” via the XVII Amendment. WIKI: “Prior to the Constitution, a federal body was one where states effectively formed nothing more than permanent treaties, with citizens retaining their loyalty to their original state. However, under the Constitution the states were subordinated to a central government; the election of senators by the states reassured Antifederalists that there would be some protection against the swallowing up of states and their powers by an ever-expanding federal government,providing a check on the power of the federal government.” In other words the State Legislatures selected two Senators to represent their State at the Federal level. There were not statewide elections for the US Senate. And why should there be? The Senate provides the same number of representatives (two) for the large and the small states. Thus, the Senate represents the sovereign states in the same manner as ambassadors represent their nations at the UN. (See: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution. Emphasis added.) And to return to the present with this attack upon the Electoral College, the centralizers are finishing the job started by the XVII Amendment.
The justification for this further usurpation no doubt is found in Article I, Section 1, paragraph 2: “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 Left as it so often does, attacks through changing the meanings of words. The attack on the word “state” was so successful that they earned it a new additional definition: “The sense of ‘semi-independent political entity under a federal authority’ (as in the United States of America) is from 1856;…” (www.etymonline.com). HOWEVER the same “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct..” etc etc does not stand when States seek autonomy in deciding their method of voter identification.
So it seems the states have the authority to cede their authority to the central government, but otherwise not much else. Like a ratcheting jack, The Left moves relentlessly half inch by half inch but always forward and never backwards
Why is that? HOW CAN STATES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CEDE THEIR ELECTORAL VOTES YET NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO SET UP WHATEVER VOTER IDENTIFICATION AND VOTING REQUIREMENTS THEY WISH? (So long as the requirements do not directly make mention of race, creed, color or any “protected” designation.)
We have travelled very far down this road. Once we were American citizens by virtue of being a citizen of one of the united states. The Federal Government had zero powers and zero ambitions to act upon individuals. It was a creation of its constituent states.
16 Surely you have things turned around!
Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay;
For shall the thing made say of him who made it,
“He did not make me”?
Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding”?