The GOP Needs to Anticipate Leftist Threats to the Electoral College in Coming Years

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

It should have been obvious during the few moments of lucidity from Joe Biden’s weird ranting lately: the electoral college is in the Democrats’ crosshairs now that the GOP has taken election integrity more seriously and the Dem administration that was supposed to save the country from Trump has turned out to be such a massive failure. Democrat future presidential wins look as likely as Democrat midterms wins.

So how can we tell Democrats will again turn to the unpopular tactic of attacking the electoral college out of desperation? Because Biden himself told us recently.

From the New York Post, and quoting that same speech:

President Biden vowed Tuesday night that Democrats would make gains in next year’s midterm elections, a result that would defy the political odds as the White House grapples with a series of crises.

“We have to keep making the case,” Biden said at a holiday party attended by 400 Democratic National Committee officials and donors in Washington. “And if we do, I believe we’re going to win.

“Let me say this again for the press: We’re going to win in 2022.”

Moments earlier, the president had told Republicans eyeing a return to the majority in the House and Senate next year: “Get ready, pal. You’re going in for a problem.”

Many have pointed out the gut-churning comparison to something Joseph Stalin, bloody Soviet dictator who oversaw the deaths of millions and cared not a whit for Democracy, said about votes and vote counters..

“I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how,” Stalin reportedly told his former secretary Boris Bazhanov in 1923.

That’s a point well taken. But he’s also referring to who counts the votes as it relates to the electoral college, as these two academics note in a piece at The Hill.

Some even would have state legislatures select their Electoral College electors, thereby ignoring that state’s popular vote won by the Democratic presidential candidate.

Because Republicans control 30 state legislatures, these efforts obviously are meant to tilt — and likely decide — the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

Under these circumstances, everyone who believes in the popular vote — the bedrock of any democracy — should read and heed the guarantee articulated in Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That almost-forgotten constitutional text specifically provides that if state legislatures interfere with the popular vote for the Electoral College electors, such states are to be punished by having the size of their congressional delegation reduced. When a state loses House seats, it thereby also loses Electoral College votes.

You got that? The move is punish the GOP if they “interfere” in how electors are chosen by reducing the size of their delegation in Congress and ensuring a smaller electoral college vote for Republicans.

Democrats have a unique tendency to reveal their plans before enacting them, and then writing entire polemics explaining why those plans were necessary after they’ve disrupted every norm they could (see: the 2020 election and that very strange Time Magazine article about fortifying the election).

But as Jim Inhofe, Republican senator from Oklahoma, and Trent England, executive director of Save Our States, write in National Review, the GOP would do well to pay attention to what the left is trying to do to the electoral college before it happens, and work now to flip the narrative of “interference” in the choosing of electors to where it belongs — back on Democrats.

The Constitution reserves nearly all the power over elections to the states. It requires state legislatures to determine how best to represent their state in the Electoral College. It bars federal officials from serving as presidential electors. The Electoral Counts Act of 1887 reiterates this constitutional design by limiting federal power to interfere in states’ electoral-vote counting — no matter how good the intentions or real the concerns of members of Congress.

Our great American Founders knew what they were doing in constructing a system of government that delicately balances power between cities and rural communities, between coastal communities and inland regions. The Electoral College is a critical part of that system, a guarantee that while political candidates may treat states such as Oklahoma as flyover country, Oklahomans will have as clear and powerful a voice in electing presidents as San Franciscans and New Yorkers. The very future of our republic depends on its preservation.

If the GOP is serious about winning in 2024 — especially after they make the gains everyone thinks they will in the 2022 midterms — they need to get in front of the shenanigans the left has planned instead of playing catch-up as they have so often in the past. A country struggling to buy gas and groceries, and wondering when they can lose the masks for good, is depending on them.