At the NYT, hard Leftist Michelle Goldberg explains that impeachment offsets the tyranny of the Electoral College, giving losers their rightful victory.
You’ve probably had your fill about impeachment. You’ve read the articles about its being a kabuki farce, about Pelosi’s unconstitutional quid pro quo demands on the Senate, about the plan to leave the impeachment hanging in the House without ever offering Trump the chance to defend himself, about the hypocrisy of the rushed vote (“this is constitutionally an emergency”) followed by the Emily Litella “never mind,” about the Democrats’ plan to smear Trump’s name in the history books, about the effort to disable Trump (“the impeached President”) from appointing a Supreme Court justice in the event RBG passes on his watch, and about all the other silly stuff that Schiffty, Pelosi, Nadler, and their ravening pack of political wild animals have imposed on America.
Still, I have one more thing to add to the mix for today I read an honest opinion piece from the New York Times. In it, you get a window straight into the Leftist rejection of our system of governance. And no, I don’t usually read the New York Times, because I have better things to do with my life, but I couldn’t let this one go by.
Before I get to the opinion piece, though, do I need to remind you that presidential elections in America are governed by the Electoral College? Since I know that my readers have a high level of intelligence and knowledge, I almost certainly don’t need to offer that reminder. Nevertheless, I think it’s easier to understand how horrific the NYT opinion piece is if you remind yourself about the constitutional background.
If you want to read about it at the source, the Electoral College is right there in the Constitution, at Article II, Section 1, Clause. The whole point of the Electoral College is to ensure that America is not a direct democracy but is, in fact, a representative democracy, including representative votes for the president. The Founders deliberately put all sorts of layers between voters and their government.
For starters, we don’t run the country on a giant town hall basis, which would be the most direct democracy of all, with every single action of the United States being put to all the voters. Instead, we elect representatives who carry out the will of the people who placed them in office.
Once upon a time, Senators were meant to be picked by state governors, putting them at a remove from voters. That’s gone, of course, which is a shame. Judges are selected by the president and approved by the Senators, again putting them at a remove from voters. Only representatives come to D.C. via direct democracy — and all their initiatives are tempered by the Senate (including impeachment), once again to make sure voters don’t become a mob, driven by the passions of the moment.
And then there’s the Electoral College, which again puts hurdles between a truly direct democracy and the president of the United States. In addition to the Founders’ suspicion of mob rule, the Electoral College has another, extremely important purpose: It ensures that presidents cannot campaign only in large population centers, pandering to the preferences of those centers, while ignoring the rest of the United States.
Without the Electoral College, presidential candidates would only campaign in, and shape their policies for, New York (Leftist), California (Leftist), Illinois (Leftist), Texas (generally conservative, but with its population centers rapidly going Left), Florida (a swing state, hewing Left because of snowbirds from New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota), Ohio (another swing state), Washington state (Leftist), Colorado (Leftist), and Massachusetts (Leftist). Everyone else in America would have no seat at the Presidential table.
The Electoral College therefore stands as a bright line between a representative Executive who must campaign in all of the states, taking note of the needs and values of all Americans, and an Executive who can govern to the Left of Bernie Sanders, after getting votes from a handful of states. No wonder, then, that the Left is pushing for the manifestly unconstitutional National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (“NPVIC”), which would void the Electoral College without the necessity of a constitutional Amendment. The compact basically says that, whatever the popular vote is in America, that’s how signatory states must vote.
The NPVIC matters to the Left because, as you may recall, while Trump handily carried the Electoral College in 2016, Hillary carried the popular vote. (And no, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that her popular vote lead was almost exactly equal to the number of illegal aliens in California alone.) It’s entirely possible that Trump would still have won if we had a popular vote, because he would have structured his campaign differently. But that’s not what happened. He carefully cultivated votes that would get hin an Electoral College advantage . . . and won handily.
Having lost under the same rules in place for more than 200 years, though, Hillary and every one else in the Democrat party began squealing like farmyard full of stuck pigs. Their lament was that the only reason Hillary lost was because these 225 year old rules were suddenly unfair.
As Daniel Greenfield explained in a brilliant speech he gave in 2018 to the South Carolina Tea Party, this refusal to play by longstanding rules if the rules don’t give Leftists the outcome they want is a form of bloodless civil war:
Guns are how a civil war ends. Politics is how it begins.
How do civil wars happen?
Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.
That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.
I know you’re all thinking about President Trump.
He won and the establishment, the media, the democrats, rejected the results. They came up with a whole bunch of conspiracy theories to explain why he didn’t really win. It was the Russians. And the FBI. And sexism, Obama, Bernie Sanders and white people.
The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.
Trump didn’t really win the election. Bush didn’t really win the election. Every time a Republican president won an election this century, the Democrats insist he didn’t really win.
Now say a third Republican president wins an election in say, 2024.
What are the odds that they’ll say that he didn’t really win? Right now, it looks like 100 percent.
What do sure odds of the Dems rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win.
It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.
That’s a civil war.
There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.
This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement.
You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.
Your very own dictatorship.
The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to the left, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten through my points about the Electoral College and the Left’s whole “if you win the rules are broken,” let me go back to the opinion piece in the New York Times. The author is Michelle Goldberg, who comes to the Times via the hard Left Nation and the almost as hard Left Salon. She is pickled in Leftism. (It seems almost inevitable to learn that Goldberg got her Masters in Journalism at UC Berkeley.)
Anyway, Goldberg has a very interesting theory about the impeachment. She’s sick and tired of Trump’s claim, because he won the Electoral College by a stunning margin — or, frankly, because he won at all — that he therefore got a mandate to govern as he promised. To Goldberg, the fact that Trump won the constitutional way, not the unconstitutional, popular vote way, makes him a tyrant. And no, I’m not misinterpreting her. Read it yourself:
Anyone who pays attention to politics, however, knows that Donald Trump got around 63 million votes in 2016. That number has taken on a totemic significance for him and his supporters; any attempts to restrain his power are seen as a sin against the 63 million. During the long impeachment debate in the House on Wednesday, Bill Johnson, a Republican from Ohio, called for a moment of silence to “remember the voices of the 63 million American voters” whose will Democrats would defy, as if seeing Trump held to constitutional standards was a sort of death.
On the surface it seems strange, this constant trumpeting of a vote total that is more than two million less than the total received by Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump didn’t just lose the popular vote — he lost it by a greater margin than any successful presidential candidate in American history. The right’s bombastic repetition of Trump’s 63 million could be just a propaganda trick meant to bully America’s anti-Trump majority into seeing itself as marginal, despite the more than 65 million votes Clinton received. But as I watched impeachment unfold, it seemed like something more than that — an assertion of whom Republicans think this country belongs to.
Yes, in a two party, constitutional system, Trump’s Electoral College victory is a tyranny. His government is fundamentally illegitimate because Hillary got more votes.
At this point, the column devolves into the usual Trump and Republican bashing. You can see for yourself if you scootle over to the NYT. (I don’t feel like linking because why should the Times get internet ad revenue from me?) Only after the whining do we get the central tenet of Goldberg’s existential disdain for a Republican victory in America:
Clay Higgins, Republican of Louisiana, brought with him one of those color-coded maps Trump supporters love, showing how their fewer 2016 votes were spread over much greater expanses of land. “We’re not being devoured from within because of some surreal assertion of the socialists’ newfound love for the very flag that they trod upon,” Higgins said. “We face this horror because of this map.”
In a sense, he’s right: We face the horror of Trump because the structure of American democracy gives disproportionate power to a declining demographic group passionately convinced of its right to rule. Trump, with his braying entitlement, his boastful ignorance, his sneering contempt for pluralism, is an avatar of a Republican Party desperate to return to the 1980s, or the 1950s, or maybe the 1910s. He can’t betray America if, to those who fetishize the 63 million, he embodies it.
Let me pause for a moment to offer two memes that seem appropriate for Michelle’s statements in the above two paragraphs. To you, the conservative reading Goldberg’s words, yes, the Democrat / Progressives / Leftists hate you, they really hate you. Or as Trump tweeted:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2019
And to the Leftists dumb enough to take seriously Goldberg’s words about the unfairness of Trump’s having played by the rules and won, here’s a meme for you too:
What’s scary is Goldberg’s certainty that an Electoral College victory — at least a Republican’s Electoral College victory — is not a mandate to govern. Happily for her piece of mind, however, Goldberg has concluded that the Democrats have finally found the way to give a voice to the millions of voters (many, illegal, I’m sure), who have suffered the tyranny of the biased, cold, cruel workings of an Electoral College established by homophobic, misogynistic, racist, imperialist white Founders: Impeachment.
To Goldberg, impeachment has nothing to do with a bipartisan push to remove from office someone who has committed genuinely criminal acts or ferociously wrongful breaches of fiduciary duty against the American people. Instead, impeachment is a vehicle for ridding America of the tyranny of the Electoral College and silencing the evil white people who dared to vote for someone not named Hillary. And again, no, I’m not kidding:
“There’s been a lot of talk about the 63 million people who voted for Mr. Trump,” the House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, said in his surprisingly moving speech on Wednesday. “Little talk about the 65 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton.” With the House’s impeachment vote, the America outside of Trump’s ruling faction finally mattered.
Women and people of color, of course, were originally outside the protection of those founding documents. But on Wednesday, the most diverse Congress in history declared that even the most powerful white man in the world should be bound by them. When Republicans act as if that’s a sacrilege, they show us what they worship.
There’s your civil war in a nutshell: If we, the Left, lose playing by the rules, the rules are inherently unfair, and we’re going to find different rules that make us the winners. Islamist Turkish strongman Erodgan really ought to be Michelle Goldberg’s patron saint, for it was he who articulated the true rules by which Goldberg and her Leftist ilk live: “Democracy is like a train: when you reach your destination, you get off.”