posted at 3:21 pm on November 15, 2016 by John Sexton
If you’ve been watching the progressive whining on Twitter for the last week, you probably knew this was coming. Today, Senator Barbara Boxer will introduced a bill to amend the U.S. Constitution and end the electoral college:
The presidency is the only office where you can get more votes & still lose. It’s time to end the Electoral College. https://t.co/OXZ9vHaIH1
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) November 15, 2016
The link leads to a press release on Sen. Boxer’s website which reads in part:
“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” said Senator Boxer. “When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed two million votes, and she is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama. This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency. The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”…
As of early Tuesday, Hillary Clinton had received 61,929,605 votes (47.8 percent) and Donald Trump had received 60,938,847 votes (47.0 percent), according to the Cook Political Report national popular vote tracker.
Senator Boxer’s legislation would amend the Constitution of the United States and abolish the Electoral College. The amendment would take effect when ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years after its passage in the U.S. Congress.
Sen. Boxer is retiring this year. She did not run for reelection in 2016. I’m not sure what state of grief this attempt to amend the Constitution falls under but this effort isn’t going anywhere except maybe into a DNC fundraising letter.
The Washington Post notes today that in the past 200 years there have been 700 attempts to amend the constitution to change the electoral college. Attempt 701 is going to work out the same as the others. Without the electoral college the presidential race could result in a winner whom a far greater majority of Americans did not vote for:
While we talk about a national popular vote reflecting an electoral majority, it runs the risk of splintering the vote instead. Judith Best argues that the “magnifier” effect of the electoral college usefully converts popular pluralities — like that of Bill Clinton, twice — to authority-enhancing majorities, and forestalls the possibility that the House will wind up choosing the president.
A national plebiscite could readily attract many candidates. Would a four- or five-way race in which the winner got 30 percent or less be better? Darin DeWitt and Thomas Schwartz argue in the current issue of the political science journal PS that a plurality winner could readily be someone detested by the majority.
Everyone knew the rules of the election and Democrats like Barbara Boxer were just fine with the electoral college until about 8pm last Tuesday. Boxer’s effort to amend the constitution is nothing more than sour grapes.