Pileggi Plan has Dems Running Off a Cliff
In response to the plan, My fellow DT blogger Cliff Wilson writes:
The radical right wing Tea Party controlled Republicans have a new plan to guarantee that Pres. Obama is a one term President. Just throw aside the twentieth century’s fair play in politics rules and revert to the nineteenth century’s parties in power stay in power however they must.Please, not even Cliff Wilson believes that Dominic Pileggi is a member of the "radical right wing Tea Party." And his plan to split up the state's electoral votes by congressional district plus two for the popular vote, is well within the bounds of fair and reasonable proposals. Instead of winner-take-all, winner takes most.
Granted, next year such a system would disadvantage Barack Obama, given that Pennsylvania is slightly more likely remain a blue (Democratic) state, rather than turning red. But clearly, the change doesn't "guarantee" anything. As Ed Rendell pointed out, it's possible that the plan could backfire. The Republican could win the popular vote in the state and the Pileggi plan could cost him the 8 or 9 electoral votes it might take to send him to the White House.
To the extent that Pileggi is trying to gain an advantage for the GOP's candidate, the plan does that. But the Democrats have hardly been above passing laws that advantage their side. The Motor-Voter bill, made it easier to register mostly Democratic voters. It also invited more vote fraud into the system. And they oppose common-sense laws to uphold the integrity of the system - like Voter ID laws - because they believe it depresses turnout for their candidates.
Cliff goes on like a chicken running off, well, a cliff:
If these tea party radical right wing Republicans are successful we will likely see a President elected without a plurality of the popular vote. In the context of the polarized politics of today that will be the final nail in the coffin of the national government.First of all, it is not "likely" the next president will be elected without a "plurality of the popular vote." It's possible but not likely.
As for such an eventuality being the "final nail in the coffin." Really, Cliff? The federal government will be dead and buried? It will no longer provide for the national defense, collect income taxes, pay social security checks, police the environment, patrol and the borders? My word!
As I said the Pileggi plan has liberals hyperventilating. Whether they actually believe their own hyperbole is another matter. My sense is, a lot of them do.
My own thoughts can be found in today's print column.
One last thing. In 2008, Obama won just 53 percent of the popular vote, but he was awarded 68 percent of the electoral votes. Isn't there something wrong with that picture? If more states start revamping how they award electoral votes, the incentive will grow to do away with the electoral college altogether and go to a straight popular vote system. Liberals claim to love that idea. This is one way to get there.
UPDATE: In Chester, a protest against the plan. Seven people showed up. Maybe we should have a threshold number before we cover political protests. How's 12 sound?
UPDATE: It would also help readers to know that the organizer of the protest - America Votes - is a left-wing outfit committed to liberal causes and opposes popular anti-vote fraud legislation like Voter ID laws.