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Standing Up For The Electoral College

I’ve been meaning to write something on this topic for months — and I would have preferred to do so before the election.  But better late than never.

I am a fairly flexible and open-minded person, always eager to learn things I don’t know and talk to people who have different life experiences for me.  I am certainly stubborn, but I’ve always prided myself of being a voracious learner. 

That being said, there are two things that I’m an Absolutist about.  The most important — sticking to the Constitutional principles, especially the First Amendment.  I have rarely found an issue of speech come up in my life where I didn’t stick to being a First Amendment Absolutist.  I may hate the what the person is saying, I do believe that free speech has consequences and one should accept those — but I RARELY will stand behind an effort to chill speech in advance.

The second Absolutist issue for me is the quadrennially-maligned Electoral College.  Yeah, I’m a geek about it.  In my view, the problem isn’t the Electoral College system itself — but the ignorance about it (and our system of government as a whole) by the American populace at large.

It PAINS me that our system of government and the philosophy behind America’s creaton is barely taught, and openly mocked, by our public schools and universities.  We have a dumbed down electorate that doesn’t understand WHY the process is what it is.

I think there might be a way to restructure the EC to make it more workable — each Presidential candidate wins one Electoral Vote per Congressional District, then the Two “Senators” Votes if they win the State’s Popular Vote.  But aside from some reform, the College works!!

I could go on and on for days about why the Electoral College is important, relevant and critical to our Federalist system of government.  Luckily for all of you, I was rescued by a more eloquent defense of the Electoral College by Richard Posner at Slate.com

Here is Posner’s reason #2:

2) Everyone’s President
The Electoral College requires a presidential candidate to have transregional appeal. No region (South, Northeast, etc.) has enough electoral votes to elect a president. So a solid regional favorite, such as Romney was in the South, has no incentive to campaign heavily in those states, for he gains no electoral votes by increasing his plurality in states that he knows he will win. This is a desirable result because a candidate with only regional appeal is unlikely to be a successful president. The residents of the other regions are likely to feel disfranchised—to feel that their votes do not count, that the new president will have no regard for their interests, that he really isn’t their president.

Please read the whole thing.  And forward it to friends and family who voted but don’t know anything more about our system of government than Sandra Fluke does.   Thank you.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Seven Questions about Benghazi

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:30 am - November 15, 2012.
Filed under: Benghazi / Libya crisis,Obama Incompetence

Fascination with General David Petraeus’s “personal story“, writes Paul Wolfowitz, “must not divert attention from the very significant policy failures that helped produce a chaotic security situation in Libya. Petraeus was not principally responsible for those mistakes, nor for similar mistakes that continue in Syria, nor for the misleading suggestion that killing Bin Laden had dealt a fatal blow to Al Qaeda.”

Far more familiar with the situation than yours truly, he offers seven questions, each offering a detailed understanding of the situation. His analysis is well worth your time.

Based upon my reading of various news reports — and blog commentary — let me list several questions of my own, questions which the administration has yet to answer:

  1. Why wasn’t security beefed up at the Benghazi compound despite repeated requests?
  2. Why was there even an U.S presence in the city despite warnings of militia activity?
  3. What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi on 09/11?
  4. What did the president know on the day of the attack?
  5. What did he tell the military to do on that day?  Did he issue any specific orders?
  6. Based upon what specific intelligence did Ambassador Rice and other administration officials decide to attribute the attacks to riots over an obscure Internet video?
  7. Why is the White House so unwilling to address questions about the attack?

UPDATE: Senator McCain has a few questions of his own.

Fine, Mr. President, have that discussion, tell us what you know about Benghazi

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:18 am - November 15, 2012.
Filed under: Benghazi / Libya crisis,Obama Incompetence

In his press conference yesterday, President Obama seemed irritated when Jonathan Karl asked him about the Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsay Graham’s determination to block U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s potential nomination to be Secretary of State:

As I said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But, for them to go after the U.N. Ambassador. . . .

Well, Mr. President, that U.N. Ambassador did go on a number of Sunday shows to put forward a theory at odds — even then — with what Libyan authorities were saying. They did not think that an obscure internet video had sparked the attacks.

Allahpundit (who links the video) asks the pertinent question:

What on earth was Rice doing on the Sunday shows in the first place? Two months later, I’ve yet to see an explanation of that in the media. She’s the ambassador to the UN; she has no firsthand knowledge of what happened in Benghazi the way, say, Hillary or Petraeus or John Brennan or Tom Donilon or other people who dealt with the crisis would have.

So, Mr. President, you want to have that discussions, let’s have that discussion, why did the administration dispatch Ambassador Rice to those talk shows and instructed her to say what she said?  Was it that she was unfamiliar with the situation and so could repeat the administration talking points without doubting their veracity?  And are you saying that a potential Secretary of State shouldn’t be held responsible for her words? (more…)

Obamacare: the “single worst piece of legislation . . . passed in modern times”

“Sometimes,” I blogged, quoting Amartel, a commenter from Ann Althouse’s site, “knowledge has to be obtained empirically“, that is, only when Obama’s are fully implemented, will people realize how bad they are — and become upset enough to vote his fellow partisans out of office.  (No wonder he delayed implementation until after the 2012 elections.)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal‘s Stephen Moore, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spells out how Obamacare not just increases the expense of the federal government, but also how it creates complications for health care providers in his state:

Any tax and entitlement deal would likely leave unresolved the newest budget-busting entitlement: ObamaCare. “It’s the single worst piece of legislation that’s been passed in modern times,” Mr. McConnell says, “and the single biggest step in the direction of Europeanizing the country. It can’t possibly work.” Democrats don’t understand that now, he continues, but “people are going to be coming at us in hordes asking for us to revisit it” and fix the mounting problems.

He says that in the towns he visits in Kentucky, “the health-care providers who are dealing with patients on a daily basis—big hospitals, rural hospitals, nonprofits—are all freaked out about virtually every aspect of the Medicare cuts that affect today’s seniors and today’s providers. Seven of nine justices on the Supreme Court said the Medicaid part of it is genuinely optional. Smart states won’t take this additional burden.” Employers are dropping their coverage. He predicts the law will come apart on its own.

Emphasis added.  Sounds like we’ll have to wait until it’s implemented to see those people coming at us in hordes.  Read the whole thing; shows how reluctant the president is to work with Congress.

Wonder why that didn’t come out in the campaign.