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Hillary Clinton is going to win the popular vote by a margin greater than the total population of 40% of the states

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A couple of days after the election I estimated that Clinton would end up winning the popular vote by about two million ballots.  That now seems like a significant underestimate.

As of this morning, Clinton is already ahead by nearly 2.1 million votes, and that’s with nearly 1.5 million California ballots still to be counted. California, home to just under 40 million coastal elites, voted for Clinton by a nearly two to one margin, so the outstanding California vote alone is likely to bump Clinton’s lead by another 400,000+ votes.

Most of the rest of the uncounted votes comes from places like New York and Washington, collectively home to 27 million coastal elites.  By the time all the ballots are counted, Clinton could well have THREE MILLION more votes than Trump.  Note that 40% of the United States of America have total populations of less than three million.  In 34 of the 50 states, Clinton’s projected vote margin is larger than all the votes cast in the presidential election in those states.

I’m old enough to remember (which is to say I can remember stuff before December 2000) when the prospect of a presidential candidate winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote was talked about as if it would constitute a potentially major political and even constitutional crisis.  After all such a thing hadn’t happened since the 19th century, at a time when democratic norms were much weaker, given that most of the adult population couldn’t legally vote.

Now that the vote has been extended to women, blacks, and other coastal elites you would think it would be, to use what my political science colleagues tell me is the appropriate technical term, a huge fucking deal that the losing candidate is going to end up with many millions of more votes than the winner.

The arguments that it isn’t are all quite lame.  The major ones, in ascending order of stupidity, are:

(1) No one knows if Clinton would have gotten more votes than Trump if we had an actual democracy, as opposed to a bunch of creaky nonsense left over from the 18th century aka The Wisdom of the Framers.  Yes, this question is like asking what the square root of a million is — nobody will ever be able to solve it.

Srsly, what basis is there for thinking that the national popular vote total would be significantly different in a direct national election? Campaign resources would be deployed differently at the margin, but so what? If this election tells us anything it’s that campaign resources at the margin seem to end up having little effect on the actual vote.

Would turnout be higher overall? And even if you assume it would be, again so what? Some people are actually making the argument that since turnout would supposedly be higher in a national popular vote, and there are more white voters than non-white voters, and the majority of white voters voted for Trump, this means that Trump would have won a national popular vote, or at least that it would have been much closer, because after all more white people would have voted! (That more non-white people would also have voted, and that these people voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, is not being factored into this particular equation).

(2) Whining about the popular vote is like a football team claiming it should have won because it got more total yards even though it scored fewer points.  This argument can be summed up as, the rules are the rules so shut up already.  Also it’s a terrible analogy.  The rules that define which team wins a football game are inherently arbitrary. By contrast, the principle that the person who gets the most votes should win isn’t arbitrary.  Rather, it’s called “democracy.”

Speaking of which . . .

(3) America is a republic, not a democracy, derp.

Apparently millions of people don’t know what the words “republic” and “democracy” mean.  If the Electoral College was actually an example of a republican form of government it would now vote to make Clinton president, on the grounds that Donald Trump is a ludicrously unqualified joke of a candidate, leaving aside the noxious character of his political beliefs, if any, and therefore it would be best to elect somebody who was vastly better qualified and got millions of more votes to boot.

But I more than suspect that the media are going to treat this increasingly embarrassing situation in the same way they treated the unpleasantness back in 2000,* i.e., we must no longer speak of this, because of the need to unite behind the People’s Choice, even though he actually wasn’t, but who’s counting anyway?

*Note that the margin of Clinton’s popular vote victory is likely to be six times larger than Gore’s.

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  • Indeed, the corporate media will pretty much ignore this. After all, they covered the campaign with the narrative that Hillary Clinton was the corrupt candidate. Can you imagine what the coverage would have been like if Hillary settled a fraud lawsuit for $25 million, then the Clinton Foundation admitted to self-dealing? What we get with Trump is one brief story on each, just blandly noting that it happened, and then we move on.

    What is wrong with these people?

    • efgoldman

      Trump is one brief story on each, just blandly noting that it happened, and then we move on.

      Ultimately I think what happened was outrage fatigue. Yeah, the decades long project of Clinton Rules hurt, and Comey, and voter suppression, all of that. But Orange McRapey Circus Peanut’s outrageous statements and unprecedented actions I think just wore the press and the consumers of news down.
      After all, the constant refrain from the politically knowledgeable right from the get go was “He really said/did THAT?! He’s done.”

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I have a couple of half-developed theories about how we select Presidents. The first is that “new beats old” and the other is that “the bigger-swinging dick wins”

        • StellaB

          That’s always been my hypothesis for Clinton hate. Carter, Dukakis, and Gore were portrayed as liberal girly-men with all that weak “caring”. It was awfully hard to paint Bill as a sexual eunuch.

      • LWA

        Outrage fatigue may be possible, but I can’t help but wonder why no one ever got fatigued with Clinton “scandals”.

        • If the Clinton Foundation admitted to self-dealing, the entire edition of the NYT that day would consist of nothing else, including the sports and food section. And it would go on for years.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            part of the mythology created around our politics is this thing where a republican is almost *expected* to be at least a little dishonest, and a democrat is supposed to be entirely above any possible irregularity

            • IOKIYAR

            • dsidhe

              To be fair, no one actually expects republicans to govern, so it’s probably not a surprise no one needs them to be honest or competent.

        • aturner339

          Clinton ran as the conscientious nominee of a conscientious political movement. She takes this entire business of governing much too seriously for a profession that combines pretensions of ennui with a staggering ignorance about the things they are supposedly meant to explain to the public.

          The press took one long look at the prospect of eight more years of discussing CBO estimates and congressional procedure and decided they’d rather roll the dice on Armageddon than pretend to care for one more second.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            Les Moonves comes to mind: “Trump- bad for the country, great for CBS News”

          • Bruce B.

            I’ve come to think this is really an important part of it.

            Their love of Ryan fits in. He acts as though he’s a wonk, but he never bothers them with real complicated data, and he never, ever talks about the demands of conscience and shared humanity. Whew! He’s never going to say things about how they really ought to do something.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Outrage fatigue may be possible, but I can’t help but wonder why no one ever got fatigued with Clinton “scandals”.

          Yeah, given that the media managed to spend the entire campaign fucking two chickens with no content whatsoever (EMAILS!, Clinton Foundation) I think we can immediately reject this theory.

          • Ghostship

            Don’t you mean at least three chickens, the e-mail server, the Podesta e-mails and the Clinton Foundation. But I could go on, Libya, Syria, State Department hiring a Welsh PMC that sub-contracted security in Benghazi to local jihadists, retaining donations from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to the Clinton Foundation after she knew they were funding ISIS, “super-predators”, her husband’s welfare cuts that she supported, her over-the-top support for the invasion of Iraq, etc. Pull out one or two fuck-ups and the idea that the media picked on her looks believable, look at all her fuck-ups and it’s pretty obvious why she lost the election.
            As for winning the popular vote that is irrelevant unless and until somebody changes the electoral system. Also, have the states that Trump won continued counting ballots since declaring the result? Not that I’m aware of so it just seems to be California and New York that are burning through what little money they have for no good reason.

            • brad

              Maybe eventually one of those chickens will give you consent.
              In the meantime, enjoy gloating about fucking fascism.

              • Ghostship

                Given how Obama recently backed a putsch involving self-identifying Nazis (not Neo-Nazis) with support from American liberals, I think it’s about time American liberals had a good dose of fascism then in future they might oppose Democratic politicians who are prepared to impose fascist/neo-Nazi/Nazi regimes on other countries instead sitting on the sorry arses doing sweet fuck all. Actually, American liberals/progressives seem to be quite happy to support the fascistic tendencies of Democratic politicians, so perhaps they should stop being hypocritical when it’s Republican politicians.

                • were-witch

                  I think it’s about time American liberals had a good dose of fascism

                  Thank you for coming out and saying so explicitly. It removes any vestigial hesitation along the lines of “should I really auto-ignore this person?”

            • DrS

              You’re arguing that cast ballots shouldn’t be counted?

              GTFO

              • Ghostship

                If people want to waste time and money doing so then I have no problem with that, but since it’s pointless, it’s also pretty fucking stupid.

          • Sebastian_h

            It is the right zone of analysis but wrong description. I’m not good with pithy names so someone else will have to come up with it.

            The difference is lack of scandal focus. There was so much to be outraged about Trump that no one thing ever came to the fore. For Clinton it was a very few things repeated over time.

            Understanding the dynamic requires that we remember most people don’t follow as closely as we do. So a casual news listener never heard the same thing twice about Trump, so it didn’t stick. They heard the same two or three things about Clinton repeatedly. So they think “oh they were talking about this when I last thought about the news three weeks ago so it must be important”.

            Strategically for a Trump presidency, this suggests that we try to avoid getting bogged down in an “outrage of the day” mentality. We need to focus on one or two key long term themes and hammer them repeatedly.

            • Anna in PDX

              This is exactly what I think happened. It is like a funhouse mirror version of the fox/hedgehog analogy.

          • Jack Fish

            Some Clinton people said that the second Comey letter really hurt, and I’d go along with that. I think enough voters looked at that, and the RW reaction to the latest “exoneration” (until the next one, of course), and decided that although Trump’s pretty bad, you don’t know for sure how it’s going to go day-to-day. A vote for Clinton, however, you know: it’ll be day after day after day of the same dull thud of more nothing “scandal”. I wonder how much “Clinton Fatigue” isn’t about the Clintons, but about the RWNJ noise. Voting for Trump shuts off the noise.

        • efgoldman

          I can’t help but wonder why no one ever got fatigued with Clinton “scandals”.

          I did, as I’m sure many Democrats/progressives did.

      • NewishLawyer

        Outrage and coverage fatigue sounds just about right. I think a lot of liberals experience it too. My general reaction to a Trump story is “what now?”

        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/trumps-kleptocracy-already-feels-like-old-news.html

        • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

          Something like the Jenny McCarthy Death Count might be good: a running tally of all his self-dealing. brb

  • CrunchyFrog

    All good, but please also include mentions that the Democrats nationally won a significant majority of the vote also for House and Senate candidates. The fact is the Democratic party was the clear preference across the board of the 2016 American voters, and the resulting government will be much further to the Republican right as any of us have seen in our lifetimes.

    This is a massive systemic failure.

    And yes, I too remember the intense hand-wringing in the press in late October 2000 when the possibility that Gore might win the electoral college but lose the popular vote had our SCLM (so-called liberal media) extremely concerned. Of course, they completely forgot that the day after the election and have never remembered that concern since.

    If the situation were reversed we know what would happen. The anti-Trump protests now going on are a family picnic compared to the pitchfork-and-torches mobs the right wing press – led by Fox – would be organizing. The SCLM would cover those protests 24×7, continually reinforcing that the mobs had a valid point and bringing on Democrats to ask them what they are going to do to address it. Within a week Tim Kaine would announce that the majority of cabinet positions would be given to Republicans as a concession to the popular vote – a move that would be immediately denounced by “centrist” pundits as not enough. There would be demands for Democrats to pass a constitutional amendment now assuring that it would never happen again and, furthermore, that a special new election be called in early 2017 to give the GOP another chance. Every single story about the transition would have the theme that the activities of the incoming Clinton administration were not legitimate – and every interview with incoming House Speaker Pelosi would challenge her to implement the GOP agenda since they had won the popular vote.

    I wish the above were exaggeration for effect, but who can doubt that it’s 100% accurate given the contrast in the coverage between, say, the Clinton Foundation and the long history of fraud and abusive business practices run by Trump, including intensive dealings with mafia and foreign equivalents of mafia? The top Washington pundits are all economic Republicans, so as long as the GOP wins no matter the circumstances all is right with the world – thus no need to worry about details like the popular vote when the right guys won.

    • The Senate is a flaw in the constitution; the House is a combination of a structural problem with the geographic distribution of the population, and rigging by gerrymander — which is only possible due to another constitutional flaw which gives incumbent parties in the states the opportunity to do this. We need a new constitution, but we aren’t going to get it.

      • efgoldman

        We need a new constitution, but we aren’t going to get it.

        Be careful what you wish for. There are no restraints on a Constitutional convention (probably the reason why we’ve never had another one). Any amendments are by definition constitutional. Given who would most want to make changes, we could lose what’s left of the Bill of Rights, or constitutionally disenfranchise millions of people, or allow the military to act as domestic police….
        Nothing is too kkkrazy for the RWNJ KKKrazies to KKKontemplate. After all, a year ago….

        • Matt McIrvin

          Amendments passed in an Article V convention do have to be ratified with a supermajority of states just like amendments passed by Congress. With several more state governments they could do it, though.

        • I would definitely not want to see a constitutional convention. But I don’t envision congress passing direct popular election of the president, neutral redistricting commissions, or population-based representation in the Senate, and two-thirds of the states would never ratify — certainly not the latter. We’re pretty much stuck.

          • Steve LaBonne

            National Popular Vote Compact. No amendment needed.

            • CrunchyFrog

              I keep telling people – you *REALLY* don’t want to go there. Once that happens you open up the entire country to ballot box stuffing / vote blocking shenanigans, instead of just the swing states.

              Wow, look at this. 100,000 Alaskan Natives suddenly voted Republican in Fairbanks? And a HUGE surge for Republicans in small towns in Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Idaho. Meanwhile, black vote turnout in the states of Mississippi and Alabama has fallen to levels not seen since the Jim Crow era.

              Individually each of these cases can be addressed. But nationally it’s like whack-a-mole.

              A prerequisite to national popular voting must be uniform, federally regulated, independently audited voting processes and systems.

              • sonamib

                Yes, I find it kind of crazy that a national election like the POTUS election is so fucking decentralized. What’s stopping states from choosing their own silly rules for appointing their electors?

                • rea

                  Nothing–the party controlling the majority of state legislatures can simply take the presidency, without any damn election, if it wants.

                • Mike G

                  I expect Texas will go to proportional distribution of electors, like Nebraska does, if it ever goes blue.

              • Steve LaBonne

                They can’t steal enough votes to make up for California, NY, and someday soon Texas.

              • Richard Gadsden

                Two can play at that game.

                There’s no federal law that prohibits undocumented immigrants from voting, so why shouldn’t CA allow them? That’s a few million more blue votes. If anyone want a consultant, on how to change the rules to manipulate the popular vote, I’ll draw up a fee sheet.

                That chaos would lead very quickly to a constitutional amendment, because both parties would prefer it to be counted fairly than to have competitive cheating.

                • efgoldman

                  both parties would prefer it to be counted fairly than to have competitive cheating.

                  Asserts facts not in evidence where 21st-century Republiklowns are concerned. The are the Ratto stronzo di tutti stronzi ratto

            • Richard Gadsden

              NPVIC would lead to a constitutional amendment very quickly – you’d want one to ensure that the votes were counted equally everywhere, and neither party would trust the other to count fair in the states that they control.

          • CrunchyFrog

            It’s basically won’t happen in the absence of a calamity far worse than the Great Depression. But on a purely technical point there is a nasty little pro-slavery provision in Article V of the Constitution that prevents an amendment from changing the proportionment of the Senate without agreement of every state. Of course, if we were Republicans we could pass the amendment anyway and have our SCOTUS rationalize this little provision away as they have done with so many other clauses (from “well-regulated” to “unreasonable searches” to “right to vote”/”not denied”/”race, color”/”Congress power to enforce”). But we’re not Republicans. Therefore, if this fantasy situation ever did occur the solution would be to pass an amendment to take all power away from the Senate, making it a ceremonial body only, and replace it with a multi-party, proportionally represented legislative body.

            • Murc

              But on a purely technical point there is a nasty little pro-slavery provision in Article V of the Constitution that prevents an amendment from changing the proportionment of the Senate without agreement of every state.

              Which can, of course, be addressed by… an amendment!

              • Scott Lemieux

                It’s beside the point. The Senate is permanently protected by the amendment formula in Article V anyway.

              • CrunchyFrog

                Which can, of course, be addressed by… an amendment!

                No. As Scott pointed out, this provision is immune from amendment. That’s because it’s included in the article that provides for amendments. I’ve copied Article V below (it’s short). Note the last part of the last sentence. It means that no amendment can change having the same number of Senators for each state unless every state agrees.

                The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

                • Richard Gadsden

                  You could pass a constitutional amendment removing that last line of Article V, and then one to abolish the Senate.

                • CrunchyFrog

                  An interesting legal question – amending the amendment process to allow in a provision the amendment process specifically forbids. Any Constitutional lawyers here know how this would likely go down if it were attempted?

                • Denverite

                  Any Constitutional lawyers here know how this would likely go down if it were attempted?

                  The courts wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole.

                  But we’re in rainbow-farting unicorn territory here.

                • vic rattlehead

                  This has been debated before, and I think there are some constitutional scholars who agree that you can get around Article V by turning the Senate into a House of Lords (via constitutional amendment).

                  Article V isn’t technically violated because states still get their “equal suffrage” in the Senate. The Senate is just neutered by transferring all its powers (advise and consent, ratifying treaties, etc) to the House. Etcetera.

                  ETA: I just noticed you addressed it. That would be fine by me, turning the Senate into an essentially ceremonial body. The end game for me is not to destroy the Senate, it’s to end its pernicious influence which that does.

                  Also if we had a bad enough civil war we could probably toss out the constitution completely and write a new one. That would be a disaster though.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  An interesting legal question – amending the amendment process to allow in a provision the amendment process specifically forbids. Any Constitutional lawyers here know how this would likely go down if it were attempted?

                  Again, the fact that 2/3rds of both houses of Congress and 3/4 of the states would be needed for an amendment makes the question moot. The “without its Consent” clause is essentially superfluous — a lot of states would have to consent to reduce their representation and they won’t.

                • CrunchyFrog

                  I realize, Scott, that we’re arguing angel-head-of-pin kind of hypotheticals here, but one could imagine a situation – in say a national catastrophic calamity scenario – where one party has the kind of majority at the state and national level that they can pass amendments at will. In that case I could see getting 3/4ths of the states – including small population states that voted for the amendment on party grounds – but a few state legislatures still held by the other party object.

                • Matt McIrvin

                  Aren’t the Republicans almost there? I’ve heard this raised as a disturbing possibility–with something like 5 more state governments, they could call an Article V convention and rewrite the Constitution to their liking, perhaps outlawing all opposition, mandating Christianity, repealing the Reconstruction amendments, etc.

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  @ Matt McI: I wonder if they’d go that far- it seems to me they’d keep the appearances up nationally and use the state legislatures to maintain their version of apartheid

            • rea

              It’s basically won’t happen in the absence of a calamity far worse than the Great Depression.

              So, in other words, pretty soon?

          • Gregor Sansa

            I think a constitutional convention would be great, as long as it were specified that state ratifications had to be done by deliberative polling/citizen juries. That is, by a body of voters selected by lot, who get time to study the issue.

            In other words, any amendment that could get a supermajority of actual voters behind it would be an improvement.

            If we had a non-insane supreme court on our side, I’d trust that such a specification would be possible. With 5 or more Savonarolas, I don’t trust it; state governments can ignore the will of the people and ratify any old crap.

            • Richard Gadsden

              My reading of Article V is that the convention can require ratification by conventions in the states, and not by the state legislature (it says “Congress” in the relevant clause, but Congress has no part in an amendment originating from a convention, and the convention takes the role of Congress elsewhere in the article).

              That would probably do the trick.

        • random

          I thought that for a while, and am now leaning towards the conclusion that they would actually have a much, much weaker hand in a Constitutional Convention than they do now under the current Constitution.

          • N__B

            What leads you to that conclusion?

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Absent a complete collapse of America’s political institutions,* we’re never going to get a new constitution.

        *This is admittedly a possibility in the next four years.

    • Gregor Sansa

      I believe that the Republicans actually got more House votes. By about 51%; and they got around 55% of the seats.

      • CrunchyFrog

        I was looking at projections after all votes are counted – see original post above. Roughly the same number of yet-to-be-counted votes for Clinton will likely be added as well for the House and Senate in those states.

        • James B. Shearer

          According to wikipedia as of yesterday the Republicans lead in total House votes by over 3 million.

          Total Senate votes is pretty meaningless as there were for example 2 Democrats running in California and no Senate election in Texas.

    • Lurking Canadian

      This. I tend to agree with “those are the rules, derp”. That is, after all, one of the primary justifications for Lincoln not meekly accepting Southern secession: You fucking agreed to these rules, you don’t get to take your ball and leave now.

      However, the message from the media at this point should be: no mandate to govern, Democrats should be given major cabinet responsibility, only bipartisan legislation, etc, etc

      Instead it’s: The people have spoken: Trump, Ryan and McConnell have mandate to repeal 20th century.

      • Thom

        “However, the message from the media at this point should be: no mandate to govern, Democrats should be given major cabinet responsibility, only bipartisan legislation, etc, etc.”

        Exactly. It would certainly be this message if the shoe were on the other foot.

        • CrunchyFrog

          For the record, that *WAS* the compromise of 1876. One other provision was that Hayes, the illegitimate victor, agree not to run for re-election – and kept his promise.

          • Manny Kant

            Harrison and Bush, though, both governed as though they had a mandate and ran for re-election.

            And the 1877 compromise was more about accepting the Republicans’ fraudulent counts in SC, LA, and FL than about the national popular vote.

        • Emmryss

          So what I’m getting from all this is that the Republicans whether in power or not are the default position of US politics? Kind of like our Liberals up here in Canada always considered themselves the “natural governing party”? I mean, what accounts for this profound (and profoundly discouraging) asymmetry in how the two parties are positioned (and position themselves)?

          • sibusisodan

            No idea. Similar here in the UK: the Tories are the ‘natural party of government’.

            Read a comment earlier this morning about how there’s basically only been identifiable ‘left’ politics in the political process for about a hundred years or so. The idea that hilariously unjust or selfish government shouldn’t be the norm is one we’re perhaps not used to yet, socially…

          • StellaB

            When the Constitution was written, the largest state, Virginia, was not quite five times the size of the smallest state. In order to get the smallest states to sign on, all states were given the same power in the senate. This gave the smaller states a bit more power in the Electoral College since votes in the EC are equivalent to each state’s number of congressional delegates plus its two senators.

            When the Constitution was written, House seats were to be proportional to state population with a minimum of one seat per state. Over time, the size of the House grew until it was arbitrarily limited to 438 members. However, the big states continued to grow and are now vastly larger in population without having increased representation. Wyoming has a population of 580,000 people with one congresswoman and two senators while California has a population of 38,000,000 people with 53 congresspeople and two senators and consequentally has congressional districts about 50% bigger than Wyoming.

            That gives the small states proportionally more power. They are also mostly rural and conservative.

            I think that the governing philosophy of the two parties also contributes. Republicans tend to be anti-federal government which lends itself to bumpersticker solutions while the Democrats favor complicated, wonky policy which lends itself to general confusion and people demanding that government stay out of Medicare.

            • Bill Murray

              of course the smallest congressional districts are in Rhode Island, not Wyoming. The largest district is Montana. Of states with one district, 3 are significantly larger than the average of the US population divided by 435 (Montana, Delaware and South Dakota), two are about the average (Alaska and North Dakota) and two are significantly below average (Vermont and Wyoming).

              The states that get screwed on this are the one’s just below the cutoff to the next integer House seat, which include Colorado, Oregon and Idaho in addition to Montana. The state’s on the other side of the divide include Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and Alabama. there isn’t that much of a trend in which states the House district sizes favors.

              • StellaB

                You’re right! Montana should have almost two members of congress while California is being shorted by a mere twenty or so, Maybe the solution is to be more like France and rejigger the borders and number of regions/states every now and then.

                Another solution would be to increase the number of members of Congress.

          • Bruce B.

            A couple of things.

            1. Money, and being the plutocrat party.

            2. Institutional commitment to cruelty and arrogance, which the mass media take to signal true intelligence. (No kind, humane person is ever all that smart, in their eyes.)

            Basically, they have their hands on a lot of social and economic levers, they claim a natural authority in ways Democrats seldom do, and they’re assholes about it.

          • Matt McIrvin

            Since 1980, yes.

      • vic rattlehead

        “Instead it’s: The people have spoken: Trump, Ryan and McConnell have mandate to repeal 20th century”

        I keep thinking about this and I figure, why not move to Canada? I have family there after all, although I don’t think the Canadians are eager for another lawyer like me.

        I mean, Paul Ryan has been publicly stroking his cock about vaporizing the safety net and, never mind Obama, obliterating the legacies of LBJ and FDR.

        Trump is going to appoint 1-3 wingnut judges to the Supreme Court who will make Alito seem like a Bolshevik. We’re going to go back to the Lochner era. Forget universal healthcare, the hard fought victories of the 20th century are gone at least for the next few decades.

        Everything Trump can get his grubby little fingers on is going to be privatized.

        I’m not going to live in a right wing dystopia. Fuck that. I’m not going to live in an America that rolls back the 20th century. I’d rather renounce my citizenship and go somewhere else. Fuck the imminent right wing tin pot dictatorship and fuck this country. I refuse to keep living here if Ryan gets his Randian wet dream fulfilled. I’ll do everything in my power to get the fuck out of here.

        (I’ll probably cool down a bit but right now I’m pissed)

    • urd

      While I agree with you; part of this failure is due to the actions of the democrats themselves.

      The various issues and trends that have lead us to the current situation didn’t happen overnight. It took decades to get to this point. And while some local and state level aspects of the democratic party have been trying to address the relevant issues (as well as some politically independent groups); there have been few attempts by the core democratic party. No speeches from high, national level democrats (like Obama). No attempts of massive, national, and constant voter outreach to educate voters. No real efforts to work with independent voter organization on a regular basis. An anemic legal response. Selecting DINO type candidates in favor of more liberal and progressive, but less connected, candidates. Finally, the increasing inability to connect with their traditional voter base that weakens GOTV efforts in general, devolving to turning out voters mainly for presidential elections.

      I’m not claiming they haven’t done anything, but what has been done is often a scattershot approach, and does not a have national presence. I rarely get anything useful from the national democratic party. Asking me to call so and so on a certain issue, or asking for money does not addresses this issue.

      This issue didn’t sneak up on anyone. It was happening right in front of us and little was really done to address it, or stop it.

  • yet_another_lawyer

    (1) No one knows if Clinton would have gotten more votes than Trump if we had an actual democracy, as opposed to a bunch of creaky nonsense left over from the 18th century aka The Wisdom of the Framers. Yes, this question is like asking what the square root of a million is — nobody will ever be able to solve it.

    It depends. If we assume that somehow the rules were changed the day before the election, then yes– Clinton still probably wins the national vote.

    But if we adopt a more “realistic” hypothetical of at least two years lead time before a rule change, I think the counterfactual is fundamentally unknowable, or at least harder than you give it credit for. There’s a good chance one or both parties would have changed their primary process as well, potentially giving us different candidates. Both campaigns would have had different messaging, strategies, campaign stops, ad buys, talking points, vice presidantial picks and get out the vote strategies. If we accept the idea that campaigning works even a little bit, then it’s entirely possible that playing by these new rules Trump would have won the popular vote. It would only take a swing of a couple of points. And that’s before getting into what people who don’t live in swing states and take that as a license to vote for third parties would have done (or if third parties would have ALSO changed their strategy in response to the rules change).

    Given that approximately nobody was predicting a Trump win two years ago and the conventional wisdom as of 8 EST on election day was *still* that Trump couldn’t win, you’ll pardon my skepticism that we can predict how this hypothetical scenario would have played out.

    As for the turnout question:

    Would turnout be higher overall? And even if you assume it would be, again so what? Some people are actually making the argument that since turnout would supposedly be higher in a national popular vote, and there are more white voters than non-white voters, and the majority of white voters voted for Trump, this means that Trump would have won a national popular vote, or at least that it would have been much closer, because after all more white people would have voted! (That more non-white people would also have voted, and that these people voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, is not being factored into this particular equation).

    Who exactly is making this argument? I do know that turnout in swing states is higher and was under the impression that most swing states are a bit less white than average. It therefore would seem that if turnout was the same across the board, that would overall make the electorate whiter and therefore more pro-Trump.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      Trump has – he tweeted that he would [para.] have campaigned harder in blue states like New York in a national popular vote, and would have totally won all those as well.

      Which raises an important question: can one clone Carl Paladino?

      • N__B

        You are assuming, without evidence, that Paladino is not himself a clone of a baboon/hyena chimera.

      • SRA

        Since candidate Trump announced early on that he was going to campaign hard and win New York regardless of the EC, I don’t see why we need to listen to this complaint now. Plus what OP said about marginal differences.

    • sandgk

      most swing states are a bit less white than average

      Classic swing states would include IA, PA, OH, MI, WI, FL. Those (with MN) are the keys to the 2016 electoral outcome, though OH doesn’t look “swing state” like this cycle.
      Whites (including self-identifying Hispanic whites) were about 77% of the national population in 2014.
      Non-Hispanic Whites, close to 62%.
      Of the swing states, only FL arguably has a white population lower than the national average. The others all exceed that benchmark. Sometimes by a very large margin.

      • Manny Kant

        States with higher than average non-white populations are basically the South, the Southwest, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York. Pennsylvania, New England, the Midwest, the Great Plains & northern Mountain West, the Pacific Northwest all are whiter than average.

        • Manny Kant

          To be fair, non-traditional swing states like NC, AZ, VA, CO, NM have higher than average non-white populations.

      • yet_another_lawyer

        Thank you, this is exactly the data I was asking for (I wasn’t sure, hence the “under the impression”). Has anybody teased this out? E.g., if we take the actual election results and just grant every non-swing state say, the average turnout of a swing state, what does that do to the totals? That would be a lot more Texas votes for Trump and a lot more CA/NY ones for CLinton, I presume, but I’m not sure what it would do to the overall numbers.

    • Scott Lemieux

      It therefore would seem that if turnout was the same across the board, that would overall make the electorate whiter and therefore more pro-Trump.

      The argument that higher turnout in NY, CA and TX would benefit Trump could not possibly make less sense. There’s a reason that it’s the GOP that wants vote suppression.

      he tweeted that he would [para.] have campaigned harder in blue states like New York in a national popular vote,

      And, of course, Clinton would have too, and the net effect of mobilizing more voters in NY is almost certainly more net Democratic votes. (We’ve been through this with Wisconsin, but it’s amazing how many people fail to understand that you can’t make but-for arguments about the allocation of campaign resources.)

      • yet_another_lawyer

        The argument that higher turnout in NY, CA and TX would benefit Trump could not possibly make less sense. There’s a reason that it’s the GOP that wants vote suppression.

        And, of course, Clinton would have too, and the net effect of mobilizing more voters in NY is almost certainly more net Democratic votes.

        How can we know either of these things to any degree of confidence, let alone “almost certainly?” To my knowledge, nobody polls “unlikely voters” and catalogs their preferences or does cross-tabs for “doesn’t vote, but would if it was a national popular vote.” Maybe they have roughly the same preferences as people who do vote, but then again maybe they don’t– is there a way to know?

        How the political parties/campaigns would act differently if it was a national popular vote instead of the current system is something we can have some informed speculation about. The hypothetical reaction of current non-voters to those speculative actions is so far down the rabbit hole that I don’t even see where you would begin to start. And all of that uncertainty, in my opinion, leaves open the possibility that either candidate could have grabbed the popular vote.

        Hell, maybe it wouldn’t increase turnout at all– maybe it would decrease turnout to the level of current non-swing states nationwide. Again, who can say for sure?

        • Scott Lemieux

          The idea that non-voters in CA and NY are far more Republican than voters is just massively implausible. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.

          in my opinion, leaves open the possibility that either candidate could have grabbed the popular vote.

          If the margin were 100,000 or so, maybe. 3 million? Not the slightest chance in hell.

    • Dilan Esper

      This is exactly right.

      • Manny Kant

        The swing states are not more non-white than the non-swing states, so, no, not exactly right.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    From 1992-1996, Rush Limbaugh started every show with a tally: “Day ___: America Held Hostage” referring to Bill Clinton being President despite not earning a majority of the popular vote.

    • Paul Campos

      And Bill Clinton, of course, won a large plurality of the vote.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        And totally crushed the electoral college, bigly.

    • ScarletNumber

      I’m pretty sure that stopped with the 94 election.

  • Todd

    Right Wingers are good at slapping a catchy name on things to drum up support against them (or for them): Death Taxes, Death Panels, War on Christmas, America’s mayor….sheriff…etc..

    Need to come up with some similar moniker for the old Electoral College. “Last Bastion of the Confederacy”? “EleKKKtoral KKKollege”? “Elite-oral College”? “Illusory College”? “Literal Collage”?

    • Paul Campos

      Trump University

      • Todd

        +270

    • BartletForGallifrey

      “Last Bastion of the Confederacy”? “EleKKKtoral KKKollege”?

      Those would be selling points to approximately 62 million Americans.

  • XTPD

    Pedant point: The square root of a million is 1000, which means the answer of the question in argument (1) would logically be “no-fucking-duh and it’s not even challenging to imagine”. Saying that said question is like asking the square root of Graham’s number fits the simile much better.

    • nacorwin

      (It is a quote from the Simpsons:
      Lisa: I just don’t understand Francine’s motivation.Why does she only go after the smart ones?
      Nelson: That’s like asking the square root of a million. No one will ever know.)

      • postmodulator

        It is also the second time this joke was missed in this comment section in 2016.

    • econoclast

      Remember that every time somebody fails to get a joke on the Internet, an angel gets its wings ripped off.

      • efgoldman

        Remember that every time somebody fails to get a joke on the Internet, an angel gets its wings ripped off.

        I thought it was: a gag writer gets kneed in the gnads.

        • Ahuitzotl

          either way, it’s a good thing, then?

    • Brad Nailer

      Almost makes me want to become (in my next life) a mathematician. Those people know how to have fun!

  • (((max)))

    Concur with you, Paul, Cervantes and Crunchy frog. I’d just add…

    America is a republic, not a democracy, derp.

    …that America is a slave-holding police state run as a pseudo-Republic for slaveholders, upon which democracy has been grafted and the mechanism is insufficient to support the aspiration. The fix is a massive Constitutional revision, or a revolution, dealer’s choice.

    So now we have a con-artist fascist as president-elect and a fascist (no joke) party to back him up. So we have a problem.

    max
    [‘Also, SEK died. This may have been the smart play, in retrospect. 2016. Jesus.’]

    • Mike G

      There are 80-90 nations in the world that call themselves republics, and none of them have the same cockamamie electoral college system. There is nothing preordained about it.

  • FOARP

    we must no longer speak of this, because of the need to unite behind the People’s Choice

    It really is amusing watching the US go through the same process over Trump that the UK has been embraced in for the last five months over Brexit, including this.

    The overwhelming majority of MPs, economists, theorists etc. all agree that Brexit is an incredibly bad choice. But they won’t do anything to stop it, because apparently because a vote was taken once the logic under which it was decided can never be re-examined.

    Similar, the overwhelming mass of the US’s political establishment knows that Trump is a preposterous choice. But they will not even say so now, nor even re-examine the mechanisms that allowed him to win.

    • XTPD

      I don’t think that’s true: If the American political establishment really cared about Trump being a preposterous choice, its reaction would be largely passive – i.e., it might not independently raise arguments and measures against Trump’s election, but it wouldn’t show any serious resistance to them either*; so far America’s Very Serious People have been actively hostile to anti-Trump arguments, to the point where anything short of Democratic capitulation is considered Sore Loserman behavior. CrunchyFrog’s comment above seems to me more accurate – that the “I Got Mine Fuck You” “ethos” and a big helping of thinly-veiled racism explain the Village’s treatment of the election.

      *I’m not British and don’t follow its politics very closely, but does anybody recall the steps to defer the actual Brexit being considered “controversial” by its VSPs?

      • JohnT

        Since the vote, absolutely. It is considered borderline unsayable that Brexit is complete nonsense despite the growing evidence to that effect. Quite similar to the post election normalisation of Trump

  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    I have wondered if those who died this year had some premonition of the upcoming apocalypse and said fuck it.

  • MPAVictoria

    “America is a republic, not a democracy, derp.”

    This one is the fucking worst. Always used by the most self-satisfied, know nothing prats.

    • It’s also like saying: “That’s not a dog, it’s a Golden Retriever.”

      • Gregor Sansa

        More like saying “That’s not a carnivore, it’s a cat”. Some cats are less carnivorous than others, primarily because of catnip; but all cats are evolved to subsist on meat.

        In other words: democracy is not black and white, it’s a scale. The US is far from the top of that scale, and pretty much any way we could climb higher would be an improvement. I spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff and I’m sure many of you can guess what I’m talking about.

        • XTPD

          The difference is the “not a carnivore, it’s a cat” argument is less transparently risible to a large segment of the population.

        • sonamib

          Cats are, of course, carnivorans.

      • ASV

        “You dumb bastard. It’s not a schooner, it’s a sailboat.”

    • leftwingfox

      Given the people who say it, it makes me wonder how much democracy they think can be safely removed or distorted.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        several years ago Linn County went to a five member county board after years of the rural areas complaining they didn’t have representation due to being outvoted by Cedar Rapids. This election they voted to go back to three members to “save taxpayer dollars”. They’ll take out as much as they can so long as they think they’ll be on top

    • Bubblegum Tate

      Oh dear lord yes. I had one such prat deploy two questions against me that he clearly thought were brilliant tricks that would show just how he is soooooo much smarter than me:

      “Is the US a democracy?”

      “Do the citizens elect the president?”

      When you can see the gotchas coming from miles away, they aren’t particularly good gotchas. But man, was he smug about it. The whole thing was sad and hilarious.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Yes, I tend to use the utterance of this phrase as a sort of reverse intelligence test. Anyone who thinks that they earn a checkmate with that line is an idiot.

    • LFC

      As I note downthread, all that’s really necessary to refute this is to recall the formal name of Thomas Jefferson’s political party.

  • Hercules Mulligan

    Crisis is right. Imagine if there was another country out there that we read about and the news was “although the nation’s center-left ‘Democratic’ party won the popular vote in six of the last seven elections, the dominant right-wing party will take office for the third election in the same time span…”

    • Lurking Canadian

      I remember an amusing “if they covered us like we covered them” story from a a few years ago: the Southern faction, well known for oppressive policies and responsible for a major armed uprising as recently as the late 1800s, continues to be a thorn in the side of …

  • Steve LaBonne

    The only thing that really needs to be said is, who doesn’t know that there would be a massive and probably violent spasm of rage if a losing Republican candidate were in Clinton’s position?

    • Brad Nailer

      But I have seen FB comments with my own eyes that it’s the liberals we have to worry about in this regard. And now there are marchers in the streets! See??

      • (((Hogan)))

        Paid by George Soros, I’m told.

      • postmodulator

        Man, if only they were frightened of us.

  • sleepyirv

    It’s hilariously sad that Republicans only counter-argument is to point to a county-by-county map and go “look at all that red!!!!111!” without noting a lot of that red didn’t count because it was in blue states and never giving a proper explanation why it’s so important to give so much representation to Death Valley instead of Los Angeles.

    • science_goy

      There’s a Trump supporter in my family who’s literally told me that only landowners should be allowed to vote because they’re the only productive members of society. So those maps are perfectly consistent with this mindset.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Wow. I joke/gripe about the “Arkansas, 1835” fantasy/delusion, but that is truly preindustrial.

      • eclare

        I feel like that would disenfranchise a lot of those all important WWC voters (although cities would certainly be harder hit). Does he include condo owners, or just actual land owners?

      • (((Hogan)))

        One acre, one vote.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Forests, grassland, and desert don’t vote. I think many Americans don’t grasp how many of us live in cities, and how many of us do not live in Wholesome Tinytown or Bonanza Ranch.

      • Richard Gadsden

        I grew up in a town in a sheep farming area. If you pulled the MoDo and counted posters, you’d have been convinced that the Tories would always win. But the towns voted Labour.

        As my Dad always put it: “Richard, the sheep don’t have votes”.

        • efgoldman

          “Richard, the sheep don’t have votes”.

          Well, not literally.

  • keta

    I don’t know. It strikes me as pretty small potatoes that Clinton wins the popular vote (which garners not a fucking thing) by such a large margin when, looked at as a whole, Democrats are getting absolutely pummeled everywhere.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Gregor Sansa

      Much of that is gerrymandering. Which is why we need proportional representation.

      Once Hillary appoints the new SCOTUS justice, and they outlaw gerrymandering, it should be easy to… oh, wait.

      • Dilan Esper

        I don’t think any SCOTUS majority will ever declare partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional. It’s a longstanding tradition.

        • XTPD

          This seems to be encouraging news.

        • Davis X. Machina

          So was the 15th Amendment. Equal dignitude of the states…

  • russiannavyblog

    I think the only thing that would fix the US at this point is if someone invented a time machine, went back, and hanged every Confederate officer Colonel and above, as well as every Confederate elected office holder after the Civil War.

    This “better angels” bullshit has done nothing but curse 8+ generations in the aftermath.

    • Gregor Sansa

      I have a friend who’s writing a fanfic about what if the voting system had been different. Really, I do mean “friend”; believe it or not, it’s not me:

      [email protected]:
      I’d like to write a social science fiction of what’d happen if someone went back in time and persuaded George Washington to push an EC that used PR in the first two stages and then a pure democracy of electors in the third.

      [email protected]:
      heh

      [email protected]:
      They’d then visit the US in 1860, 1930, 2000 and imagine how different things would be.
      Slavery would have organiccally been ended with civil war.
      rock music would emerge sooner.
      It’d be less hedonistic and more targeted at moving the masses to make their lives better.
      Karl Marx would have not become a marxist.
      that sort of thign…

      Note: I am not making fun. I totally want to read that fanfic, not ironically.

    • XTPD

      Or at the very least, Nathan Bedford Forrest & Wade Hampton.

      • steve Rodent

        Thanksgiving racist troll alert!

      • Colin Day

        To be pedantic, Wade Hampton III

  • gogiggs

    This is a situation that calls for either suicide or murder and I don’t have the courage for either, so…
    What now?

  • Slothrop2

    Amazingly, things are more bizarre than this bit of fabulism:

    After the debacles of the Quayle administration-the default crisis, the Holy Hoosier scandal, and the attempted sale of Alaska the Presidential campaign of 2004 took place in an atmosphere of social upheaval not seen in America since the first Civil War.

    When Jesse Jackson’s New Democratic Coalition managed to eke out a victory in the Electoral College despite receiving only forty-one percent of the popular vote (the balance of the electorate was split between Sam Nunn, the Republican candidate, and Pat Robertson of the Christian Liberty League), dire consequences for democracy seemed imminent. At first President Jackson assuaged fears by attempting to bring centrist elements into his administration.

    But the deepening debt crisis, an assassination attempt on July 4, 2005, and the outbreak of war over much of Eastern Europe in September of that year all worked towards forcing him to satisfy the demands of the hardliners in his fragile coalition. His first opportunity to do so came with the death of Chief Justice Posner on November 17th.

    If only.

  • XTPD

    troll alert

    • Bubblegum Tate

      Clearly a LIEbrul false flag! As we all know, liberals are the real racists, and racism was invented by Obama and Eric Holder!

  • Gregor Sansa

    XTPD, I think you’re not supposed to respond to the troll, but alert separately. You can also temporarily change your nym to “troll alert” if you feel like it.

  • XTPD

    troll alert

  • NewishLawyer
  • CrunchyFrog

    You forgot Gott mit uns God is on our side.

  • NewishLawyer

    Small town America has always hated urban areas. This is a debate as old as the United States. It is even Hamilton v. Jefferson. NYC was referred to as the “foreign occupied city of New York.”

    The only thing that will change this is the slow death of small towns but suburbanites often manage to be equally appalled by cities often enough.

    It would be amusing if it were not so tragic. My city friends complain about rising rents, gentrification making everything corporate and bland and how every other store is a bank branch or a chain pharmacy. But if you talk to some suburbanites, cities might as well still be from the bad old days of the 1970s and early 80s when everything was burning.

    For some reason, the corporate media goes along with the suburban narrative even though most of them are wealthy urban elites.

  • NewishLawyer

    Troll alert

    • Troll Alerter

      You mean…

  • Gregor Sansa

    This troll’s response to me (involving my romantic choices) might just be a lucky guess.

    Or, it could be a Trumpified Jenny, and not be guessing. Obviously, Jenny was always a pathetic creature, but I would still be sad if it had fallen so much farther. Evidence that no matter how bad something is, Trump can make it worse.

  • The White Republic

    trolling

  • N__B

    But Paul…most of the map was red! Map areas don’t lie!

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    somewhere a family is deeply grateful unca dick gets a lot of the stupid and loud out of his system before the thanksgiving get together

    • sharonT

      Really.

      Or maybe after polishing off that last can of Coors Light, it will lay its head on the desk and pass out. Either way, some family is spared sharing Thanksgiving dinner America’s Shoutiest Asswipe.

    • leftwingfox

      Unfortunately, rage doesn’t work that way. These are warm-up exercises.

  • PhoenixRising

    we must no longer speak of this, because of the need to unite behind the People’s Choice

    This is scheduled for next winter. But ISIS may be better at taking initiative than OBL was. Who recalls the Aug 6, 2001 PDB now? Not our press corpse.

    The President-elect is today recapitulating W’s behavior leading into 9/11–he is refusing security briefings–and it’s not being covered as Reason #26 for electors to consider whether they’re doing their duty by following the popular vote.

    On this holiday, if you have a chance to talk with anyone who thinks this isn’t going to be SO bad, make sure you mention that it won’t be until the first truck bomb.

    • bender

      You are probably right. Pence is entitled to briefings, and as far as we know is not refusing them. After all, what else does he have to do? Pence is not very smart and cannot be assertive, so very likely the most he can do with his briefings is occasionally mention something to Trump if Trump gives him an audience.

      The DC press corps is complaining that they aren’t getting access to Trump or information about his movements. Maybe they should be following Pence around.

  • russiannavyblog

    Somebody is expressing their economic anxiety in an EXTREMELY aggressive manner.

  • GeoX

    Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I find this troll more funny than anything else, ’cause seriously, what the fuck does it expect to happen? Its wee little mind apparently thinks that black people are now going to be banned from America or SOMETHING, and it’s just so…childish. I’m not trying to downplay the damage that this election has done and will continue to do, but somehow, I take a certain amount of comfort from the way the troll puts everything in perspective and reminds me that–bad as things are–they’re never going to be as bad as it desperately wishes they were.

    • GeoX

      …also, I want to note something it has in common with others of its kind, which is that, for someone who just WON BIGLY, it sure doesn’t seem very happy. I honestly don’t think they’re *capable* of happiness. Truly, they are broken pieces of humanity, and as bad as they are, I cannot help, in my bleeding-heart liberal way, but feel a tiny shred of pity for them.

      • sharonT

        I don’t feel particularly sorry for it. Its a little like a chicken with its head cut off, running around and bumping into things.

        • GeoX

          Well, I don’t want to overstate the case. It IS pretty repulsive. But still, consider: at some point, it was a perfectly innocent human being. And then, somehow, it got all twisted like this, and to my mind, that’s pretty damn tragic.

    • Lurking Canadian

      Unfortunately, I think its concerns about cops going “hog fucking wild” are not baseless. Nation wide stop-and-frisk, followed by nation-wide “it’s illegal to film a cop”, followed by nation-wide “free speech zones” instead of actual freedom of assembly…None of it is science fiction, all of it is horrifying, and there’s no chance AG Sessions or whatever 35 year old Federalist Society hack Trump appoints to the Supreme Court will be inclined to stop it.

      • GeoX

        No, not completely baseless, and again, I really, really don’t want to undersell the actual pain that can and will be caused. BUT, trolly appears to have these goofy-ass visions of a world in which Blacks Bow To The Master Race or are all deported to Africa or SOMETHING, and you have to admit, that’s just bloody silly. Just as a lot of lefties were disappointed by Obama failing to be the new Messiah, a lotta white supremacists are gonna be miffed when Trump turns out not to actually be Hitler.

    • BartletForGallifrey

      It’s not about economics it’s about race. White men wanted their country back and we fucking got it.

      The troll seems to have missed the memo that they aren’t supposed to say that out loud. The honesty is refreshing, though.

  • steve Rodent

    At least it’s an honest troll?

  • Whidby

    It’s 11 a.m. EST on Thanksgiving — why have we not yet had a post from Mr. Loomis shitting all over the holiday cloaked in a righteous display of virtue signaling concern about the injuns?

    • Joe_JP

      The appropriate post, I recall from last year, is injustice involving holiday employment.

    • Thom

      Here is a start, until Erik arrives.

    • “Injuns”. Why don’t you take a big step back, and literally fuck your own face.

      • Origami Isopod

        It’s very nice that Whidby could take time out from his busy schedule of spraying down protestors at Standing Rock to share his insights with us.

  • Joe_JP

    I understand “rules are rules” and for that reason don’t support trying to get like 35 electors to change their mind.

    If PA+MI went the other way, it would be 270-268. Trump won a single Maine elector. A winner take all system in Maine then would be a tie. The “rules” then set up a real stupid “one vote for each state” rule that would greatly favor the Republicans.

    It’s fine to say the rule is real stupid. Amendments are things. Sandy Levinson has an ill-advised attraction to a convention, but there are amendments we need. Four million Puerto Ricans not counting comes to mind.

    2000, I think a case can be made that different rules, same result. Harder now given what it took for Trump to win. Tiny vote totals in a few states. The differentials in NY and CA are huge. Texas last I checked had less than 10% differential between the candidates. Those two had over 20%. How would changing campaign strategies make up for that?

    The “republic” thing is stupid. We are electing a President, after all, not deciding everything by direct democracy. There are different rules possible for a “republic.” The word is just tossed around. Same with the idea about protecting states. Popular vote doesn’t change that — the system will still have ways to protect states. And, the current system protects only certain states. Yes, certain “small” states too. It’s one mark against it.

    Republicans lost big in the national elections and STILL blocked Democrats governing (PPACA etc.). It’s perfectly fine to emphasize the fact Democrats received more votes for POTUS and the Senate as a whole. Saying “UNFAIR!” is not enough, but any move toward victory probably won’t be harmed by addressing the fact that your side has more people supporting them.

  • Apollo13

    Just out of idle curisity, how much of the Dem lead in the Senate popular vote is down to their being no Republican on the ballot in California?

    It is not unreasonable on past form to assume a generic GOPer gets the same percentage as Sanchez pulled in- and then you are even.

    • Thom

      Maybe, but if the rules say Electoral College for national elections, the California rules say runoff between the top two vote-getters from the primary.

    • Joe_JP

      Sanchez, who very well might have received votes Republicans might not have, obtained less than 4M votes. The total differential is around 6M.

      Looking at the LA electoral results, less than 2M voted total. So, I reckon when it’s all said and done, the Dems will retain a slight edge in national vote. Given the likely 52-48 split, the results are more fair this time around than it could be. The way races are tiered, there will likely be results like that.

  • Richard Gadsden

    Apparently millions of people don’t know what the words “republic” and “democracy” mean. If the Electoral College was actually an example of a republican form of government it would now vote to make Clinton president, on the grounds that Donald Trump is a ludicrously unqualified joke of a candidate, leaving aside the noxious character of his political beliefs, if any, and therefore it would be best to elect somebody who was vastly better qualified and got millions of more votes to boot.

    There is a solid argument that they would vote for neither, and pick someone else altogether.

    • BartletForGallifrey

      That’s fine. I would take Pence or Kaine over what we have now.

  • LFC

    Re the democracy and republic thing (maybe someone has already said this, I haven’t read all 120+ comments):

    Not only do millions of people not understand what ‘democracy’ and ‘republic’ mean, millions of people don’t understand that the two terms are not in inherent conflict, they’re not inherently opposed.

    The US was/is (intended to be) both a democracy and a republic. It’s (intended to be) a democratic republic (or if you prefer, a republican democracy). The formal name of Jefferson’s party was the Democratic-Republican Party! (that Jefferson was a slaveholder and a hypocrite yadda yadda is irrelevant here).

    A democratic republic is so obviously A Thing that some countries that are neither one have adopted both names, notably The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.

    • Richard Gadsden

      I have never understood what Americans mean by a “republic”.

      Of course, I’m British, so my concept of a republic is “any country that isn’t a monarchy”. DPRK is effectively hereditary, so I guess there’s a case that it’s not a republic, but the USSR was definitely a republic.

      So… what do Americans mean by a “republic” that isn’t meant by “liberal democracy”?

      • Denverite

        They mean we have a representational democracy and not a direct plebiscite. It’s a stupid point because it responds to all of the zero people who want a direct democracy. It doesn’t respond to most of us who say our system is stupid because the rules governing the representational democracy don’t reflect the votes of the electorate.

        • Richard Gadsden

          Oh right. So it really is as stupid as I thought.

          Of course, in 1789 (when the constitution was written), republics were rarer than they are today, but even so, other republics included: The Netherlands, Venice, Genoa, Poland (yes, Poland had a king, but what do you think “Rzeczpospolita” is – we only translate it as Commonwealth now because a crowned republic is too confusing to modern English speakers).

          I expect that the distinction between “republic” and “democracy” that came first to mind in 1789 was a reference to “res publica” in Rome, and “δημοκρατία” in Athens – which is, yes, a distinction between elected representative officials and direct democracy.

          • Joe_JP

            Madison in Federalist 10:

            “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.

            The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.”

            A major theme of the essays was that the proposed system is mixture. So “democratic republic” sounds about right here. The difference here is details.

        • ASV

          Is any nation a democracy in that sense in 2016? Even Liechtenstein has a parliament to represent its ~37,000 people.

          • JohnT

            Switzerland has a sufficiently high number of annual referenda on key legislative matters that it might make the grade as a hybrid direct/representative democracy. And there are a couple of autonomous islands with populations in the dozens or hundreds, they might work that way in practice (thinking of Pitcairn, Norfolk etc). But in all those cases there elected representatives also.

            • postmodulator

              California, which is, after all, the sixth-largest economy in the world, is highly reliant on referenda. But this has been a disaster, so it’s not a good example.

  • LeeEsq

    The frame work of American politics is under going a stress test. The solution might be many Constitutional Amendments or a new Constitutional Convention. The problem with this solution is you can’t prevent people with political ideas we don’t like, call them the Super Madisonians, from participating.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Only one more state legislature in GOP control, and you may very well see that Constitutional Convention.

      It’s a very two-edged sword.

      • (((Hogan)))

        And there’s no handle.

        • LeeEsq

          The Constitution might really be a suicide pact.

    • bender

      John Michael Greer wrote a near future history novel (Twilight’s Last Gleaming) in which a disastrous war of choice puts a lot of stress on national unity. SPOILER ALERT.

      The states call a CC to overturn one Federal mandate that they consider particularly odious. Once it convenes, the delegates decide to scrap the whole Constitution and write another one. Unlike 1787, months of wrangling don’t lead to an acceptable compromise. Finally the delegates agree that the various regions no longer have enough in common to remain united, and they break up the USA into several separate nations by regional compacts among states. This is depicted as a happy ending.

  • Davis X. Machina

    A loss of this magnitude surely requires blowing up the institutional Democratic party and basically starting from scratch, so that defeats like this are precluded going forward.

    • sharonT

      As much as I’d like to see wholesale leadership change at the Federal level and at the DNC, I don’t think that even this mess is going to convince younger Democratic electeds to step up to the plate.

  • anonymous

    No. As Scott pointed out, this provision is immune from amendment. That’s because it’s included in the article that provides for amendments. I’ve copied Article V below (it’s short). Note the last part of the last sentence. It means that no amendment can change having the same number of Senators for each state unless every state agrees.

    There are many ways around this:
    1. Simply amend the Constitution so that the Senate exists but as a powerless body. For example make the US Senate into the toothless body like the Canadian Senate. So each State still has equal representation but the Senate is nerfed big time.

    2. Simply abolish the Senate. Then as every state has an equal number of Senators (zero), it does not violate the equal number of Senate clause.

    3. Do the change in two steps. The first amendment would remove the “require States’ consent clause” without actually changing the number of Senators. As this first amendment does NOT change the number of Senators itself, it would NOT violate the clause. Then the second amendment would change the number of Senators but no longer bound by the need to get the State’s consent due to the first amendment.

    Bottom line is that if there was enough States to pass an amendment to change the Senate, it could be easily done without the consent of the remaining States. This is especially true of simply nerfing or abolishing the Senate while maintaining equal representation by the States.

    • Gregor Sansa

      Reduce the Senate to 1 per state, and strip all its powers.

      Then create a new body, the “Etanes”, such that each Senator is also an Etanor (has a seat in the Etanes), but there are also extra seats, up to a total of 3 times the number of states. The largest 3/4 of the states get a second seat, and then the other 1.25 seats per state are distributed by population. Now, give the new body all the powers of that the senate has currently.

      Obviously, the 3/4 thing is a sop for ratification. But it’s not so bad.

      Oh, and the VP is also an Etanor, with 1.5 votes (that is, one vote plus the power to break ties).

  • pianomover

    Lost the real estate battle though

    • postmodulator

      I thought that perhaps the equitable thing would be to let Trump be the president of the parts of the country where no one lives, like the map suggests; but I realized that even the empty parts of the country would rapidly be sold off to ScumCo Fracking and Stripmining, LLC. (ScumCo: We’re changing the way America kills its poor. ™ )

  • Troll Comment Deleted

    Troll Comment Deleted

  • Joe_JP

    Senate provision in Article V. It’s a thought experiment but fine.

    First, the Articles of Confederation had a unanimity requirement that the Constitution avoided. Madison addressed it in the Federalist Papers by saying it was real stupid and unfair. So, if we manage to get around the barrier with some questionable method, I say the whole thing has unclean hands anyway.

    Second, I think it is fine just to amend the Constitution to remove the provision. Then, you set up a new rule or whatever. It’s possible to water down what the Senate does too. But, the first path is okay. In fact, the UK did something like that regarding a provision involving the House of Lords. They removed the provision first & then replaced it. As I recall, it was okayed in a case involving fox hunting.

    I realize we aren’t the UK, but the basic idea — a high bar to protect the upper house and the parties it represents — seems comparable.

    ETA: Or we can just have another constitutional convention and replace the whole thing. The Declaration of Independence teaches us that replacing old forms of government is a basic principle of this country.

    • Davis X. Machina

      ETA: Or we can just have another constitutional convention and replace the whole thing.

      Down that road lies one nation under a male, white, Protestant God — and He is pissed.

      33 states now have Republican-controlled legislatures.

      • Joe_JP

        I wouldn’t suggest we have a constitutional convention at the moment. But, it’s a possible approach to get around the provision.

        Anyway, Republican control alone doesn’t mean they all would want an open-ended convention. There is some division. It is more likely they would aim for something more narrow. But, once you have a convention, as we saw in 1787, there is potential for a snowball effect.

        • Davis X. Machina

          ALEC will hand out ring-binders. No problem.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            ring-binders?

            I was assuming they’d just put those dog-training collars on the delegates- “one buzz you vote yes, two buzzes you note no”

  • Tehanu

    Haven’t read the whole thread so I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but a whole lot of idiots on my Facebook feed keep saying that Hillary didn’t win the popular vote, it’s all lies, yadda yadda. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that these people’s brains have either been set in concrete or eaten by aliens.

  • Re: Yes, this question is like asking what the square root of a million is — nobody will ever be able to solve it.

    Is this some pop culture reference I’m missing? Perhaps a Homer Simpson-ism?

    The square root of a million is a thousand.

    I really hope it’s a pop culture thing, because if you meant it seriously and none of the commenting people caught it, that’s kinda scary.

    • ScarletNumber

      Whoosh

  • ScarletNumber

    MMM your tears are so tasty.

    I find it incomprehensible that California is still counting its votes. Doesn’t inspire much confidence in its result.

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