A sneaky end-run aimed at shattering one of the last jagged shards of Constitutional governance.
While the Supreme Court might rule against allowing an interstate compact to go into effect without the prior Congressional consent that the Constitution’s Article I section 10 requires for states to enter into interstate compacts, it also might not. And since the National Popular Vote folks think they can change the Constitution while flouting the rules for changing the Constitution, they might feel equally free to ignore whatever the Supreme Court tells them the Constitution requires. And whatever can or cannot get through today’s Congress is no guarantee that some future Congress might not find the National Popular Vote acceptable while ignoring the pesky requirement of prior Congressional consent.
Yet the basic reason why the so-called National Popular Vote scheme threatens democracy is that it does not, and cannot, enact a national popular vote that is nationally regulated and supervised. The whole scheme rests on the constitutionally entrenched state control of the selection of presidential electors. What its backers call the “national popular vote” is, as they themselves acknowledge, the aggregate of votes in 51 separate jurisdictions with 51 separate sets of ballot access laws, voter identity checks, and voter eligibility requirements.
And if state officials can’t steal an election legally, they can always do so illegally. In states like Washington and Oregon, which have only mail-in balloting, or in states like California, which allow absentee voting without any demonstrated need, federal authorities cannot in practice keep officials from flooding or allowing activists to flood the “state popular vote” with out-of-state residents with fake addresses, who mail in ballots in every state for which they can download and send in a ballot, or outright ghost voters who are nothing more than a name and a fake registration. With the electoral college as it is, one-party states like California can allow as much fraud and force as they like, but they can only swing their own state’s electoral votes. With the National Popular Vote scheme, California officials can swing Maryland’s and New York’s electoral vote by stuffing ballot boxes without bothering to leave Sacramento.
Can—and most certainly will. The Electoral College remains the most obvious confirmation of the brilliance of the Founders, a means of averting mob rule, and guaranteeing the right of residents of smaller states to a say in their own governance rather than having the entire country ruled according to the arrogant caprice of NY, California, and other shambolic disaster areas.
I’ve long said that the tyrannical depredation most likely to spark Civil War v2.0 is an open, no-shit national attempt at gun confiscation. I still think that’s so, however unlikely it may actually be. But a strong case can be made that the disenfranchisement of great swathes of the country via a contra-Constitutional nullification of the Electoral College by rights ought to be at the very top of the list. Should such an abomination actually come to pass it cannot—it MUST not—be allowed to stand, lest our already-fading birthright be stolen from us entirely, and forever.
I’ve quoted this stark passage many times here already, but it can’t be repeated enough:
But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Every word a gem, shining like the brightest of diamonds; how disgracefully far we’ve wandered from a proper dedication to our duty to live up to them.