Saturday, January 7, 2017
Electoral College Nonsense
As I have said before our nascent democracy is in serious danger.
Separation of powers (and other constitutional concepts) is under attack. Most recently by the GOP Senate refusing to consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to sit on SCOTUS after Antonin Scalia died in February of last year. That nomination died when the 114th Congress adjourned sine die. Now of course the Democrats in the Senate are proposing to pay the GOP majority back by refusing to confirm any Trump attempt to fill the Scalia vacancy. Now Republic suffers from the childish antics of both parties. Their excuse for this constitutional outrage and massive dereliction of their own duty was that Obama had less than a year remaining in office and therefore he should forfeit his presidential power and I might add, his duty to nominate and appoint officers of his government for his remaining time in office because of the timing of Scalia’s death. That was one lousy syllogism. But that didn’t keep them from standing up and loudly proclaiming that they wouldn’t consider any judicial nominations the President might put forward.
This was effectively a partial coup and it was without question a violation of both the Senate’s obligation to “advise and consent” and its concomitant obligation to advise and not consent to Judge Garland’s nomination. This was an absolute abdication of its duties under the Constitution and effectively cut the President’s term almost a year prior to its natural termination on January 20th of this year. By acting in this way the GOP has increased the chances the Nation will have a judicial system that ultimately will speak out of both sides of its mouth depending on which side was the prevailing party in the Circuit.
This past year’s presidential election’s outcome was determined by an archaic system of election that the founders created in order to allegedly prevent mobs from taking over the office and certainly to further insulate the institution of slavery from being upended by their greatest fear: slave rebellions. Their fear of common un-propertied white men voting or at the helm of the ship of state was exceeded only their fear of slaves rebelling against their masters and bringing down the entire agricultural economy then in place. Now as Donald Trump serial liar prepares to take office and wreak havoc on the Republic we are seeing how that system isolates the office of President from its constituency the people of the this nation. It is absolutely past time to consign the electoral college to the trash heap of history, along with Donald Trump.