June 4, 2008
Words mean nothing to liberals. They say whatever will help advance their cause at the moment, switch talking points in a heartbeat, and then act indignant if anyone uses the exact same argument they were using five minutes ago.
When Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 election by half a percentage point, but lost the Electoral College -- or, for short, "the constitutionally prescribed method for choosing presidents" -- anyone who denied the sacred importance of the popular vote was either an idiot or a dangerous partisan.
But now Hillary has won the popular vote in a Democratic primary, while Obambi has won under the rules. In a spectacular turnabout, media commentators are heaping sarcasm on our plucky Hillary for imagining the "popular vote" has any relevance whatsoever.
It's the exact same situation as in 2000, with Hillary in the position of Gore and Obama in the position of Bush. The only difference is: Hillary has a much stronger argument than Gore ever did (and Hillary's more of a man than Gore ever was).
Unbeknownst to liberals, who seem to imagine the Constitution is a treatise on gay marriage, our Constitution sets forth rules for the election of a president. Under the Constitution that has led to the greatest individual liberty, prosperity and security ever known to mankind, Americans have no constitutional right to vote for president, at all. (Don't fret Democrats: According to five liberals on the Supreme Court, you do have a right to sodomy and abortion!)
Americans certainly have no right to demand that their vote prevail over the electors' vote.
The Constitution states that electors from each state are to choose the president, and it is up to state legislatures to determine how those electors are selected. It is only by happenstance that most states use a popular vote to choose their electors.
When you vote for president this fall, you will not be voting for Barack Obama or John McCain; you will be voting for an elector who pledges to cast his vote for Obama or McCain. (For those new Obama voters who may be reading, it's like voting for Paula, Randy or Simon to represent you, instead of texting your vote directly.)
Any state could abolish general elections for president tomorrow and have the legislature pick the electors. States could also abolish their winner-take-all method of choosing presidential electors -- as Nebraska and Maine have already done, allowing their electors to be allocated in proportion to the popular vote. And of course there's always the option of voting electors off the island one by one.
If presidential elections were popular vote contests, Bush might have spent more than five minutes campaigning in big liberal states like California and New York. But under a winner-take-all regime, close doesn't count. If a Republican doesn't have a chance to actually win a state, he may as well lose in a landslide. Using the same logic, Gore didn't spend a lot of time campaigning in Texas (and Walter Mondale campaigned exclusively in Minnesota).
Consequently, under both the law and common sense, the famed "popular vote" is utterly irrelevant to presidential elections. It would be like the winner of "Miss Congeniality" claiming that title also made her "Miss America." Obviously, Bush might well have won the popular vote, but he would have used a completely different campaign strategy.
By contrast, there are no constitutional rules to follow with party primaries. Primaries are specifically designed by the parties to choose their strongest candidate for the general election.
Hillary's argument that she won the popular vote is manifestly relevant to that determination. Our brave Hillary has every right to take her delegates to the Democratic National Convention and put her case to a vote. She is much closer to B. Hussein Obama than the sainted Teddy Kennedy was to Carter in 1980 when Teddy staged an obviously hopeless rules challenge at the convention. (I mean rules about choosing the candidate, not rules about crushed ice at after-parties.)
And yet every time Hillary breathes a word about her victory in the popular vote, TV hosts respond with sneering contempt at her gaucherie for even mentioning it. (Of course, if popularity mattered, networks like MSNBC wouldn't exist. That's a station that depends entirely on "superviewers.")
After nearly eight years of having to listen to liberals crow that Bush was "selected, not elected," this is a shocking about-face. Apparently unaware of the new party line that the popular vote amounts to nothing more than warm spit, just last week HBO ran its movie "Recount," about the 2000 Florida election, the premise of which is that sneaky Republicans stole the presidency from popular vote champion Al Gore. (Despite massive publicity, the movie bombed, with only about 1 million viewers, so now HBO is demanding a "recount.")
So where is Kevin Spacey from HBO's "Recount," to defend Hillary, shouting: "WHO WON THIS PRIMARY?"
In the Democrats' "1984" world, the popular vote is an unconcept, doubleplusungood verging crimethink. We have always been at war with Eastasia.