Who is confused? Posted by: McQ
on Thursday, May 29, 2008
Carpetbagger Report claims that Rich Lowery is confused about the "popular will" argument that is being used by the Clinton campaign. Lowery's argument:
Back in 2000, Democrats were contemptuous of rules and technicalities about how ballots had to be marked and the process for recounts. All that mattered was the popular will. And the biggest ultimate obstacle to it was the Electoral College, which kept Al Gore from the White House in this “stolen election.”
Well, the Democrats’ attachment to the unadulterated popular will has gone the way of the hanging chad. Suddenly, Democrats are sticklers for rules. [...]
The change from 2000 to 2008 is simple to explain. Back then, the liberal establishment wanted Gore to beat Bush. Now, most of it wants Obama to finish off Hillary. The standards have changed accordingly.
Says the bagger:
Nonsense. Lowry may not remember, but Dems have long argued that 2000 was a “stolen” election, not because Gore won the popular vote, but because Gore won Florida. “All that mattered was the popular will”? No, all that mattered was counting the votes in Florida, to see who actually won the state.
A little bit of a red herring here. Florida and popular vote totals (and shunning the electoral college) were two separate issues. Florida's electoral votes were critical to both camps. In fact, the way Florida went decided the election. Bush ended up with 271 electoral votes, Gore with 266.
Florida was settled when the Supreme Court, in two separate decisions, required the Florida Supreme Court to live by the rules already in existence instead of making up new ones on the fly. Precisely the point Lowery makes.
What Al Gore had managed, however, was a 500,000 plus popular vote edge over Bush.
That is when all the hollering about doing away with the Electoral College began on the left. In fact, one of the most outspoken for doing away with the electoral college was one Senator-elect Hillary Clinton:
Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton began a victory tour of upstate New York Friday by calling for elimination of the Electoral College.
At an airport news conference, the first lady said she would support legislation seeking a constitutional amendment providing for the direct election of the president.
At the moment, Americans are waiting to see who wins Florida's 25 electoral votes and thus becomes the next president. Vice President Al Gore leads Republican George W. Bush in the popular vote nationwide.
"We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago," Clinton said. "I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it's time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president."
The first lady also said that because of the closeness of this year's presidential election, "I hope no one is ever in doubt again about whether their vote counts."
So, Lowery's points are quite valid. It appears that it is the Carpetbagger who is a little confused. Hillary Clinton, otoh, seems, for a change, quite consistent in her call for popular vote to be a deciding factor in the nomination process, and Dems are indeed suddenly "sticklers for the rules".
The U.S. Supreme Court slammed the door shut Dec. 12 on efforts to count every vote in the Florida presidential count. In the opinion, five justices said, "We reverse the order of the Supreme Court of Florida ordering the recount to proceed."
I think Rich Lowry has the upper hand .. as we can see it in 2000, then it reappears in 2004 and 2005.
The Electorial College was established to prevent big states, like New York, from swamping the power of small states. As senator from New York, she is upholding a long-standing grudge by New Yorkers against the EC.
Smaller states should continue to insist upon such protection as the EC provides them.
Of course, New Yorker Alexander Hamilton supported the EC in the Federalist Papers as a proper compromise.