Who’s at fault for Electoral College flub?
I’m all for blame.
You got an issue you can’t resolve? Blame somebody.
You don’t like something that happened? Blame anybody.
Blaming everybody is good, too.
As the Old Crone said to Edmund Lord Blackadder when he asked her advice on concealing his love for his manservant, Bob:
“Kill EVERYBODY in the whole wide world.”
Turned out Bob was a woman, anyway. Named Kate.
Lately, the object of a great deal of blame is the Electoral College. If it hadn’t been for the stupid, antiquated, rotten, stinking Electoral College, Hillary Clinton would be president. That’s the blame. It did it. It – the Electoral College – COST HER THE ELECTION.
Yeah, see, in order to become president, you have to rack up the majority of ELECTORAL VOTES. Some folks don’t even know what that means and, really, they don’t need to know because it takes a few more votes than just, say, yours, or mine (although mine counts more in the great pantheon of things) to win a state and get its ELECTORAL VOTES.
Now I am going on about this because of ANOTHER letter in the Boston Globe complaining about Donald Trump winning the Electoral College, but not the popular vote (despite what he says.) And that is true: That is how the election played out. You think it stinks. Maybe I think it stinks. I think anything and everything that doesn’t go my way stinks. And is wrong. And should be changed.
I also know the rules. Perhaps some folks didn’t know that winning the popular vote in a presidential election gets you bupkis unless you win enough ELECTORAL votes, too. That’s how it works in the good ol’ US of A. Darn those Founding Fathers. Are they to blame? Sure, why not. C’mon, nobody REALLY likes John Adams.
Here’s a primer on how our electoral system works, for those of you still whining about Nov. 8.
See, if Candidate A wins Texas by a million votes, then Candidate A gets all of Texas’ electoral votes, and that’s a boat load – 38.
But if Candidate B wins California by 3 votes – just 3 – he or she gets all of California’s electoral votes. And that’s a BIGGER boat load – 55.
Guess who would be president if only Texas and California got to play?
But let’s suppose Candidate A also wins New York. Then Candidate A gets to add 29 electoral votes to Candidate A’s total, which then comes to 67. HOORAY! Candidate A wins.
Yeah, well, so far.
But suppose Candidate B turns around and wins Florida, which also has 29 electoral votes. Add that to Candidate B’s total and he, or she, has 83 electoral votes. BOOOOO! Candidate B wins and we HATE Candidate B.
Some folks also hate the Electoral College, like this cat who wrote a letter to the Globe decrying Donald Trump’s ELECTORAL COLLEGE win. He wrote in part:
” … Let’s perhaps discuss the value of the Electoral College and how to prevent outliers from taking advantage of the antiquated process it constitutes.”
By all means, let’s discuss. But let’s stop BLAMING. (Leave that to me. I’m really good at it. Ask my wife.)
And what’s wrong with outliers? Gene McCarthy was an outlier and had he managed to get the Democratic nomination in 1968, he might have … Well, no, Gene McCarthy was totally cool but, no. It just wasn’t going to happen. He was the Bernie Sanders of the late ’60s. Bernie Sanders is the Gene McCarthy of the still-early 2000s. These things just don’t happen, even if we really, REALLY want them to. I had a Gene McCarthy bumper sticker on my ’66 Mustang (named Arnold.) Someone with whom I work insists Bernie would have won. Maybe. But Gene? No.
Bobby would have won. Bobby would have kicked Nixon around the block on Election Day and twice on Sunday. This country lost BIGLY when Bobby was killed. Only Bill Bradley could have come close to replacing him, but …
Right: Back to the point.
I don’t mind discussing the Electoral College, but I am SICK TO DEATH of blaming it. Trump won the election under the existing rules. Hillary was never going to carry South Dakota or South Carolina or Mississippi. But, hey, she got New Hampshire’s 4 ELECTORAL VOTES.
But it’s OK. You can keep blaming it if you wish. I understand. I’m a blamer, too, but just not on this issue.
However, I am preparing to blame Major League Baseball if the New York Yankees score more runs over the course of the season than the Boston Red Sox, but the Red Sox are declared the winners of the Eastern Division of the American League JUST BECAUSE they won more games. The Yankees, like Hillary, got more of those individual things (well, maybe) and thus should be the winner.
Then, when the Yankees play the Indians in the best of three, let’s say the scores go this way: Indians 2, Yankees 0; Yankees 5, Indians 0; Indians 2, Yankees 0. Guess who wins? Right: the Yankees. The won the “popular vote” in terms of runs.
Which explains why Hillary is president.
And why I should be commissioner of Major League Baseball.