The countdown begins and in just a few short weeks, we will get to witness the swearing in of President Mitt Romney.
Yes, just when you thought the election was over, and Tea Party zealots were content to drown their sorrows in salty tears and secession petitions, one group of Republican enthusiasts have come up with a last minute scheme to undo the second term of President Barack Obama. They are plotting to take over the electoral college.
Via the Idaho Statesman, some Republicans, including a Utah lawmaker, are floating a theory that if enough states refuse to participate in the electoral college then a quorum could not be reached, and President Obama would not be elected to a second term. The idea is being touted by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, and is being taken seriously by others in the party frustrated with their election day defeat.
Of course, there’s little surprise that GOP stalwarts are considering warping the electoral college process to meet their own nefarious ends. After all, this is the party that has written defending the electoral college against any form of modification into their own platform, reaffirming at the last convention that a party plank their utter opposition to any popular vote “scheme.” “We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College. We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose ‘national popular vote’ would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.”
A president elected by the majority of voters would be a “mortal threat” to democracy.† Misusing the constitution and the electoral college to try to block a rightfully elected president from being sworn in? Well, that’s just good politics.
Much like the surge of secession petitions that flooded the internet shortly after Obama’s reelection, the electoral college plan is mostly a lashing out by activists and politicians bitter about their loss, which many of them are touting as a sign of the end of America’s constitutional government. Even Idaho State Rep. Sheryl Nuxoll admits that the effort is mostly a symbolic rebellion more than anything. “I think it is very, very sad that we elected our current president, because he is definitely not following (the) Constitution. He is depriving us of our freedoms by all the agencies, and so Ö what Iím thinking is the states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights,” Nuxoll told the Statesman.
But what looks initially like another sore loser lamentation has a deeper, coded message that would resonate with the fringe of the rightwing — she’s ringing the “state’s rights” bell. Although much of the secession petition signers were just letting loose a little online steam, there is no doubt that for others, the idea of revolution is a much more serious one, as increased militia action and interposition discussion among anti-choice activists have shown us over the last few years.
Obama will be sworn in on January 21st. But the radical push to try to redivide America under the guise of claiming constitutional freedoms have been lost? That’s just getting going.
Photo credit Wikimedia commons
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