Judson Phillips wrote one of his crazy posts for World Net Daily, that bastion of solid unbiased reporting, suggesting that electors should refuse to show up to the electoral college because without a quorum, the decision would move to the House of Representatives. Yes, Mr. Phillips is one of the malevolent voices of the right who just cannot deal with the fact that the nation re-elected President Obama by the highest popular vote margins any Democrat has received since Lyndon Johnson. It's out of his intellectual and emotional reach, evidently. Here's part of what he wrote:
According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress.
The House of Representatives selects the president and the Senate selects the vice president.
Since the Republicans hold a majority in the House, presumably they would vote for Mitt Romney, and the Democrats in the Senate would vote for Joe Biden for vice president.
Can this work?
Sure it can.
One small problem. Phillips incorrectly reads the 12th amendment, as Jason Easley at Politicususa explains:
Actually, it can’t. Phillips misread the 12th Amendment. The quorum rule only applies to the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College. World Net Daily updated the Philips post with the correct information. People wrote it, and then everyone went about their Thanksgiving business under the assumption that this crazy, stupid, and incorrect reading of the 12 Amendment was over and done with.
This has not stopped the idea from finding a life in the viral right-wing email atmosphere, where visions of death panels and Kenyan births are regular inbox denizens. Now those email strands have inspired an Idaho lawmaker to cling to this as the solution to their devastating election loss. The Idaho Statesman reports:
A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme that’s been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College in a move backers believe would change the election result.
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, “A ‘last chance’ to have Mitt Romney as President in January (it’s still not too late).”
She is debunked in a pretty blunt way by constitutional scholar David Adler, who explains that in the electoral college, one need only have 270 votes. No quorum is required. Just 270 electors voting for one candidate. You think Barack Obama is worried about this crazy challenge?
This has left Nuxoll bereft.
She said, “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 … what I’m thinking is the states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights.”
Nuxoll won a second Senate term on Nov. 6 with 64 percent of the vote in Idaho’s new legislative District 7, defeating independent Jon Cantamessa.
Oh, tea party. We have to put up with your loony Congresscritters so just live with our elected President, ok?
Judson Phillips has evidently accepted reality on this, but he's been desperately casting about for someone to blame for the November 6th rejection of all he holds dear. Today, he decided to aim at young voters, which is awesome for ensuring the tea party's obsolescence. He wrote a rant and posted it on Tea Party Nation today blaming them for everything from student loans to Jimmy Carter. I'm sure he would have blamed them for climate change if he believed in climate change. Here's a taste:
If you are under thirty now, you could be in your seventies and still paying for us baby boomers.
This is what you got by reelecting Barack Obama.
There is an old saying, “you get the government you deserve.”
In this case, that saying has never been truer.
I loved the first comment.
Why don't we get into solutions instead of negativity.
Oh, brave commenter, you're so right. Of course, the problem is that the solutions are things you just cannot abide, like a government by, for, and of the people.
By the way, there's a reason Tea Party Nation is one of the few tea party groups to snag the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center. They're extreme and extremely hateful. They also seem to have a problem with reality-based living.
*edited to clarify remarks about vote margins