by Frank Holmes, reporter
Democrats say they are outraged that President Donald Trump is trying to “steal the election,” but they are leaving out one vital fact: Liberals floated the exact same plan four years ago to put Hillary Clinton into the White House.
When voters go to the polls in November, they don’t actually elect the president. Their votes help state legislators choose a slate of electors who go to the Electoral College, the group that really elects the president.
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Due to allegations of massive voter fraud, some Trump supporters have said that state legislatures could appoint a slate of pro-Trump electors. “It’s the state Legislature that controls this process,” lawyer Rudi Giuliani said to members of Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled state legislature during a hearing at Gettysburg.
The words had hardly left his mouth when Democrats started screaming that Trump was stealing the presidential election. HuffPost complained, “Why Can Trump Try To Steal The Election? Blame The Electoral College.” And Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig told USA Today, “Never has a legislature decided to ignore the vote of the people and pick its own slate.”
It looks like Lessig forgot about an op-ed he wrote in The Washington Post in 2016 titled, “The Constitution lets the Electoral College choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” Laurence Tribe—a high-powered lawyer who’s regularly listed as a possible Supreme Court justice—tweeted that Lessig “makes some strong arguments” for an Electoral College-based coup.
Tribe tried his hand at overturning the election again this year when he acted as the Democrats’ legal advisor in Donald Trump’s impeachment.
It turns out Lessig had lots of company. Overturning the 2016 election at all costs was supported by the most powerful elites in our country.
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Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., tweeted a special “Note to Electoral College: Might you harbor doubts about the temperament of a man who makes stuff up about nonexistent fraud–after winning?”
Note to Electoral College: Might you harbor doubts about the temperament of a man who makes stuff up about nonexistent fraud–after winning? https://t.co/g43dPzJ57h
— EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) November 27, 2016
MSNBC got on the bandwagon, too. Host Joy Reid tweeted Lessig’s article, and Chris Hayes of All In tweeted, “Fun fact: states decide how to apportion their electors.”
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Hayes told rotund director Michael Moore that “people” were suggesting that “electors should be persuaded and pressured on Monday and to part to what their pledge is and vote against Donald Trump.” Moore responded, “Yes, they absolutely should.”
Some liberals said throwing the election to the Democrats was the electors’ patriotic duty. “The Electoral College Was Meant to Stop People like Trump From Being President,” wrote Peter Beinart in The Atlantic.
“For the first time in modern American history, there’s a plausible case for urging the electors to vote their consciences” and against Donald Trump, he wrote.
“To modern American ears, it sounds insanely undemocratic for electors to ignore the will of the people of their state,” he wrote. But “given Trump’s likely ascension to the presidency, Americans must talk differently about democracy itself.”
Beinart’s electoral fantasy was so unhinged that The Atlantic published a piece from law professor Garrett Epps telling Beinart, “The Electoral College Wasn’t Meant to Overturn Elections.”
The liberal New Republic magazine shot back that “The Electoral College Should Do What It Want.”
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The author called for “the greatest show of Electoral College rebelliousness in U.S. history,” which “would serve as a reminder to future presidential candidates: Yes, you might be able to win by violating all of the courtesies and standards our political system takes for granted, but even if you do, your presidency will run its course under a cloud.”
The talk wasn’t all restricted to law professors and editors of prestigious, unread—and unreadable—journals. The move to stack the Electoral College against Donald Trump hit the street level.
Deray McKesson, a left-wing podcaster and Black Lives Matter activist, tweeted, “The electoral college must stop him. Or congress. Or some other body.” McKesson said Trump’s proposal that it should be illegal to burn the American flag “is scary.”
Activists even held demonstrations around the country. A week before the Electoral College met, a group calling itself “Defend Democracy” held rallies in state capitals urging electors to make Hillary Clinton president.
“We’re distressed about the irregularities in the election and the menaces of the alleged president-elect,” said the protest leader, Rebecca Solnit. “We want to know what happened in our election.”
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A lot of Republicans want to know the facts about what happened in the 2020 election.
What’s good for the donkey is good for the elephant.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”