Archive for July 28th, 2010

The Massachusetts Legislature’s End Run around the Constitution

By Jerry A. Kane

The Massachusetts Legislature passed a new law designed to uproot America’s democratic republic and replace it with a pure democracy. The Massachusetts Legislature decided, 28-to-9, to toss the Framer’s Electoral College system for a system based on the national popular vote to determine who wins the presidency.

What we are submitting is the idea that the president should be selected by the majority of people in the United States of America. Every vote will be of the same weight across the country.”—Senator James B. Eldridge, an Acton Democrat

Under the new law, the candidate who receives the most votes nationally will automatically get the state’s 12 electoral votes, even if a majority of Bay Staters vote against the nation’s more popular candidate. For instance, had the new law been in effect in 1972, Massachusetts voters and their electors would not hold the distinction for being the only state among the 50 to have voted against Richard Nixon and for George McGovern for president.

If the principle of one-person-one-vote is to mean anything, the candidate who wins a majority of the votes should win the presidency.” Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

On first blush, Nelson’s appeal to the one-person-one-vote principle might sound balanced, yet it’s doubtful he’d be willing to abolish the U.S. Senate or the Supreme Court based on that same principle.   

“[S]tates are represented in the Electoral College roughly in proportion to their population: Each state has as many electors as it has members of Congress – from just three for the smallest states to 55 for California. But in the Senate, all states are equal, which means all voters are not.”—Jeff Jacoby

The Framers of the Constitution abhorred mob rule, which is why they rejected “pure democracy.” They understood that the tyranny of the majority would run roughshod over the interests of individual states.

The Electoral College (like the Senate) was designed to preserve the role of the states in governing a nation … We are a nation of states, not of autonomous citizens, and those states have distinct identities and interests, which the framers were at pains to protect. … The Electoral College is the best system for picking a chief executive suited to a nation like ours: a geographically large, ideologically diverse, socially complex federal republic.”—Jeff Jacoby

The Founders created a republic, not a pure democracy.  The Constitution limits unchecked power, including the capriciousness of the majority. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with less than a million residents, has the same number of Senators as California that has over thirty million.

Bypassing the Electoral College would ensure domination by the country’s densely populated areas and larger cities. Presidential candidates and political parties would no longer need to spend time and money campaigning in sparsely populated regions.

For well over two hundred years, the Electoral College has kept the country from chaos and anarchy. If the Founders had intended a pure democracy, they would have created one.

Doing away with the Electoral College will further divide the country into warring factions. Discontented groups would file endless lawsuits contending voter fraud and contesting ballot counts.

The 28 Massachusetts legislators who want to do away with the Electoral College system have every right to do so by amending the Constitution. Otherwise, their back door scheme not only evades the Constitution, but it also takes the country further away from its roots as a democratic republic.

Sources cited in this commentary include:  Mass. Legislature approves plan to bypass Electoral College by Martin Finucane, The brilliance of the Electoral College by Jeff Jacoby, and In Defense of the Electoral College by John Samples.

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“The [Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections] DISCLOSE Act seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all-out attack on the First Amendment.”—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Democrats didn’t get enough votes yesterday to stop a Republican filibuster against the DISCLOSE Act, legislation which will suppress the political speech of businesses and grass roots organizations and exempt the NRA and other powerful special interest groups and unions.  

The NRA’s Second Amendment Champion, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted with the Republicans against cloture so that he could reintroduce the Act to be voted on at a later time. Senate rules state that only a member who opposed cloture can request a re-vote.

Democrat Senator Chuck U. Schumer has vowed to keep reintroducing the legislation until a Republican breaks the filibuster and joins with the leftist Democrats to move the bill forward.

“And we will go back at this bill again and again and again until we pass it.”—Senator Chuck U. Schumer (D-NY)

Rino (Republican in name only) Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) said the bill wasn’t in a position yet where she could support it. Stated differently, “If you want my vote, it’s gonna cost ya.”

For more on the successful filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act, see Democrats Fail to Stop Filibuster Against DISCLOSE Act Pro-Life Groups Oppose by Steven Ertelt and Schumer promises flurry of votes on Disclose Act until passage by Jordan Fabian and Michael O’Brien.

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The pathology seen among a large segment of the black population is not likely to change because it’s not seen for what it is. It has little to do with slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. …

Intellectuals and political hustlers who blame the plight of so many blacks on poverty, discrimination and the “legacy of slavery” are complicit in the socioeconomic and moral decay.—Walter Williams

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”—Booker T. Washington

For more of this must read commentary, see “Racism Or Stupidity?” by Walter Williams.

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Islam is not merely a religion … In truth, Islam is a comprehensive political, social, and economic system with its own authoritarian legal framework, sharia, which aspires to govern all aspects of life.

This framework rejects core tenets of American constitutional republicanism: for example, individual liberty, freedom of conscience, freedom to govern ourselves irrespective of any theocratic code, equality of men and women, equality of Muslims and non-Muslims, and economic liberty, including the uses of private property (in Islam, owners hold property only as a custodians for the umma, the universal Muslim nation, and are beholden to the Islamic state regarding its use). Sharia prohibits the preaching of creeds other than Islam, the renunciation of Islam, any actions that divide the umma, and homosexuality. Its penalties are draconian, including savagely executed death sentences for apostates, homosexuals, and adulterers.

The purpose of dawa, like the purpose of jihad, is to implement, spread, and defend sharia. Scholar Robert Spencer incisively refers to dawa practices as “stealth jihad,” the advancement of the sharia agenda through means other than violence and agents other than terrorists. These include extortion, cultivation of sympathizers in the media and the universities, exploitation of our legal system and tradition of religious liberty, infiltration of our political system, and fundraising. This is why Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the world’s most influential Islamic cleric, boldly promises that Islam will “conquer America” and “conquer Europe” through dawa. …

The Ground Zero project to erect a monument to sharia overlooking the crater where the World Trade Center once stood, and where thousands were slaughtered, is not a test of America’s commitment to religious liberty. America already has thousands of mosques and Islamic centers, including scores in the New York area … The Ground Zero project is a test of America’s resolve to face down a civilizational jihad that aims, in the words of its leaders, to destroy us from within.—Andrew C. McCarthy

For more about the Ground Zero mosque imam and his Muslim Brotherhood friends, see Rauf’s Dawa from the World Trade Center Rubble by Andrew C. McCarthy.

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