Abolish the Electoral College?


Hillary thinks it’s as easy as…?

Sorry for two intrusions on one day but I couldn’t let this one go by without a comment.

I received an email earlier today: Abolish the Electoral College via End Citizens United. Below is the message in its entirety.

Needless to say, signing the petition gives the signer the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to donate money to…wait, which one is this one…oh, yeah, Citizen’s United. But that’s not the real reason I’m writing.

If you actually read the message you’d see that to “prove to Congress that the American people want to get rid of the Electoral College” and for “Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment” requires 10,000 signatures.

At 8:06am EDT, according to the email, they still needed 9,219 signatures. That means at that point, 781 people signed and they’d reached less than 8% of their goal!

Do you wonder why this campaign has not captured the attention and imagination of the the American people? If you think it’s because Hillary Clinton is the person they chose to spearhead this initiative, you’re only partially correct. The real reason is that it’s a FOOL’S ERRAND! What do I mean? Here’s what it will take to abolish the Electoral College:

According to former (Bill) Clinton secretary of labor Robert Reich it’s not going to happen because, Amending the constitution is very hard – requiring a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate plus approval by three-fourths of state Legislatures.

In fact the last time it was attempted was in 1966, led by Sen. Birch Bayh, an Indiana Democrat (yes, some of us are old enough to remember that there were Democratic senators from Indiana) who introduced an amendment calling for the direct election of the president by popular vote. At the time nearly half the Senate signed on as formal sponsors of Bayh’s bill and it passed the House by an overwhelming margin of 339 to 70, with votes in favor drawn nearly equally from Democrats and Republicans alike. As the proposal headed to the Senate, President Nixon announced his support as well. Apparently, in a place far away and long ago there was this thing called “bipartisanship.”

However, according to Kevin M. Kruse, a professor of history at Princeton,

But like many changes, the constitutional amendment was throttled in the Senate. Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina led a bipartisan coalition of southern conservatives against the measure. Convinced that the system’s inequalities were necessary to preserve their power, they vowed to defend it at all costs, with repeated procedural delays and filibusters. Ultimately, they kept the Senate from voting on the amendment and thus kept the Electoral College in place.

Reich believes that we can make the Electoral College irrelevant without a constitutional amendment. Here’s how:

Article 2 of the Constitution says states can award their electors any way they want. So, instead of allocating electors on a “winner-take-all” basis as all but two states do now, states can allocate them based on the proportion of popular votes each candidate receives. As Reich writes,

So all that’s needed is for states with a total of at least 270 electors to agree to award all their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.

Of course, Reich’s “all that’s needed” is not an easy hurdle. Do you really think Texas and other Red states will go for it? If you do, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. And if Blue states begin the process of proportional allocation without all the states going along, guess what…things get worse as only a portion, for example, of California’s or New York’s votes will go to the Democratic candidate. The only way this will work is if every state buys into it.

Sorry Mr. Reich, that’s as likely to happen as Hillary Clinton’s Constitutional amendment.

Speaking of Mrs. Clinton, I received a second email from her today. This one has her shilling for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee under the guise of doing something about SCOTUS’ shameful Roe v Wade decision. Opening bid, only $7. Her pitch, In Congress, we’re limited by slim majorities. By building our Democratic power in state legislatures, we can pave the way for more states to secure abortion rights and protect our right to bodily autonomy. I guess she’s been away from the “game” so long that she wasn’t aware that gerrymandering has made it virtually impossible to “build our Democratic power in state legislatures”…even in states where Democratic officials hold all or most of the statewide offices. The battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are prime examples. I actually wrote about this issue a year ago in a post I called, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” https://around-the-block.com/2021/05/10/im-mad-as-hell-and-im-not-going-to-take-this-anymore/

Let me close with what I’m sure will not go down well with my “friends of HRC” readers. Do we really need to have Hillary Clinton help fix things? Isn’t one reason we have endured the last six years of hell due, in part, to the her arrogance and the ineptitude of both the candidate, her husband and her staff? In an Around the Block election post-mortem I posted on 11/16/16, I wrote, among other things,

Despite her incredible credentials and unmatched qualifications, Clinton family hubris and Hillary’s many unforced errors were too much to overcome. Here’s a link to that post (in Around the Block’s former guise):


Can’t the Democratic Party find someone else to rally us. Channelling Ferris Bueller’s teacher, played by (the very right-wing) Ben Stein: “Anyone? Anyone?”

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

4 thoughts on “Abolish the Electoral College?

  1. Your request portrays the thing I see as most needed by the DNP, a dynamic leader, preferably one with charisma. Obama is the closet thing America has had in decades to a charismatic leader, but in the end he did not have the dynsmism necessary to overcome all the Republican shenanigans. He collapsed into inactivity. (He is still my favourite president in my 72 years of life, but ultimately he failed.)
    America desperately needs someone who can take charge (WHOSE NAME IS NOT DONALD TRUMP!) I do not know if such a person even exists in America today, let alone someone who is willing to run for office, but if you do not find someone, soon, someone who can overcome American apathy, America as YOU WANT TO KNOW IT will cease to exist.
    Which is why I think you should run, Ted. I don’t know the whole you, the real you, but I listen to what you say in your posts, and I like what I hear. My other choice would be the above-mentioned Robert Reich. Team up, and together I think you could get things done. At least your hearts and minds are in the right place. It’s a place to begin from, if nothing else.


    1. rawgod, I’m blushing. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your opinions. Running for president is not something I’ve considered, although I’d be willing to bet the Professor Reich has. But even if I had considered running, if not for president than for some other office, I doubt I’d succeed. I can’t even get my own Congresswoman to respond to my letters to her. But I’ll keep trying, in my own way, to write about and, hopefully, agitate for change. And hopefully, you’ll keep writing back helping me get better at it.


      1. Oftentimes “raw” is better than, shall we say, “sophisticsted.” Readers appreciate when they can feel real emotions.
        And your reasoning that you don’t think you’d succeed, that is exactly why I would nominate you if I could. We don’t need anymore career politicians, or even people who want to be politicians. Power corrupts them. We need people who would do the job with seriousness and humility. For me, you fit those requirements. You are human, and you don’t try to be anything else but yourself. And now I will let you contemplate my words — if you are so inclined.


  2. I don’t believe a popular vote first past the post election without a run off between the top two vote getters would be much, if any, improvement over what we have now. It could be much worse. Someone could win with thirty five per cent or less of the vote. Do not see that as a good thing.


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