Nov 20, 2016 (San Diego) The Electoral College met and voted. Donald Trump lost one faithless elector to Ron Paul, and another to somebody else. He got the required 270 electors, with a final tally of 304. The surprise was with Democrats. Hillary Clinton, and even that is partial. The number of faithless electors was not that high. We are talking of a total of six, with five changing their votes from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders or Republicans.
Trump had an official statement that is not precisely true either:
“I thank the American people for their overwhelming vote to elect me as their next President of the United States, The official votes cast by the Electoral College exceeded the 270 required to secure the presidency by a very large margin, far greater than ever anticipated by the media.”
it was not a landslide. Here is the list put together by Professorn John Pitney, he teaches American Politics at Claremont McKenna College. This was compiled before the Dec 19 vote, and assumed no losses in any member of the electoral college, So it has the 306 that he originally got. At 304 he is still above John Kennnedy, who got 303, by a single vote.
Nor was the media expecting many changes on the electoral college. We at Reporting San Diego even said that 10 would surprise us. We stated this clearly:
The chances of anybody but Trump coming out of the vote with anything but 270 + Electoral Votes are anywhere from nil to none. So even thinking the college will do anything else is a fool’s errand.
About Clinton, losing candidates do lose electors, but only twice has a revolt on the winning side actually had an effect that sent it ot the House, and that was in 1800 and 1824, when the Republic was still young. And in 1870 they broke from the then dead Horace Greeley, while General Ulysses Grant won. If you are curious as to the list and numbers, fairvote maintains a list.
Now here is the question. Will the Democratic Party, still pointing fingers at everybody but themselves, get the message? They lost the election due to the choice of candidate that in the mind of voters affirmed the status quo that has killed millions of jobs in the midwest. That is but one reason, even if one of the most obvious reasons.
Now we are seeing calls for unity starting, calls of resistance to the incoming administration. These are calls that are falling on many empty ears. Why? What happened during the primaries divided the Democratic Party, perhaps fatally (though news of party deaths tend to be premature, so there is that.). The Insiders are still pointing fingers at progressives, who were told by those same insiders that they were not needed in November, and when progressives, or the rest of the Obama coalition failed to show up they were accused of disloyalty. They are still pointing fingers at James Comney for releasing the FBI data or following the law and investigating whether laws were broken.
These same insiders are still pointing fingers at the Russians. (Yes they did release damaging information but polling information reveals that the effect of the Wikileaks was mimimal, if at all, and those same intelligence agencies have denied any actual hacking of machines happened.) At the same time they have yet to have one word cross their lips: CROSSCHECK, (which led to voter list caging) or for that matter voter suppression. Those are far more likely to have had an effect. We understand they will not touch this one, not when we had some really nasty games during the primaries. It would mean taking a look at what was done by Democrats and they might need those dirty tricks to keep another populist at bay. So since party bosses will not look at what they did, why mention what the other party does?
We have a problem in United States elections. No, it is not the Russians hacking the system. (Incidentally that would be an act of war.) It is two parties committed to dirty tricks. Both use the bette noir of voter fraud because people are easy to manipulate and this one is easy to understand. This is so rare, literally, that when found it should be treated like a creature in danger of extinction. What is common is election fraud and for this we have the consent of those who run elections. This is why all those posts should be civil service career positions, not elected posts.
We saw this in San Diego this year, when white out was used to effectively erase nobody known how many Bernie Sanders votes during the June primary, allegedly because the Registrar sent partisan ballots to households who were not supposed to get them. This was done at the request of Democrats, who said that independent voters should not have gotten that copy of the ballot, that is the one that includes central committee seats, never mind that the presidential primary is open to decline to state voters. So they effectively erased those votes, why? The intent of the voter was clear. If anything, what should have been taken out was the central committee votes, even if that was their mistake.
So now we go back to the electoral college vote. First off, the slates for electors are not selected in a mindless process. They are carefully vetted by both parties. They are supposed to be the most loyal of partisans, who will vote for whoever is placed in front of them. It does not matter if it is a ham sandwich. So this number of people who switched their votes for Sanders is on the historically high side. Especially for the 20th and now 21st century.
This should be a sign to the Democratic National Committee that there is still a lot of hurt. There is still a lot of questioning of what was done. Maybe, just maybe, they need to stop treating voters as useful idiots, who have nowhere else to go. It seems this year voters chose to either vote for the other guy, or stay home. It was the weak candidate that was selected. It was not the voters.
So if Democrats insist in pointing fingers, the first place to start is at the DNC and the policies that got us to the place we are at. We are seeing a rejection of neoliberalism and globalization. We are also seeing the rejection of the meritocracy that leaves behind large swaths of workers, and this is not limited ot the United States. This is global. It is time for the Democrats, if they want to be relevant, to have a real heart to heart with themselves, and review what got us out the last time we came to this. Back then the calendar read 1932 incidentally. It was not the status quo, which is what they offered this year, in spades. Back then, and trust me, it was real ugly, the reluctant populist won. That reluctant populist would sound like a real one by 1936, due to the real deal in Huey Long. He in fact, acted like the real deal after Huey Long threatened to not follow. Maybe it is time for Democrats to break the books out of the shelf and read a tad into the real party history, and read into that era. There are lessons to be learned. This was not the year of the status quo. They were warned, and they did not listen.