Tag Archives: Electoral College

POTUS wasn’t elected ‘easily’ … honest!

As long as Donald John Trump continues to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election, allow me a brief moment to set the record straight.

The president said in that frightening, mind-blowing press conference this week with Vladimir Putin that he was elected “easily” over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Let’s see. How easy was it?.

Trump finished with 304 electoral votes; Clinton ended up with 227. To be elected, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes.

Trump went over the top on the strength of about 80,000 votes in three critical states: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A 40,000-vote switch in those states and Clinton wins the election.

Clinton finished with nearly 3 million more popular votes than Trump.

Let me state once again for the record: Donald John Trump was elected fairly and squarely, but not “easily.”

Stop telling that ridiculous lie, Mr. President.

Trump’s delusion turns to confusion

I saw this headline and couldn’t believe my eyes.

It said that Donald J. Trump wants to get rid of the Electoral College, that he wants the popular vote to decide who gets elected president. Why? Because a popular vote majority, according to the president, is easier to attain.

Eh? Huh? What the … ?

Trump did a phone interview this morning with “Fox & Friends” in which he spun virtually out of control on a number of subjects.

According to Politico: “Remember, we won the election. And we won it easily. You know, a lot of people say ‘Oh, it was close.’ And by the way, they also like to always talk about Electoral College. Well, it’s an election based on the Electoral College. I would rather have a popular election, but it’s a totally different campaign,” Trump said. “It’s as though you’re running — if you’re a runner, you’re practicing for the 100-yard dash as opposed to the 1-mile.”

“The Electoral College is different. I would rather have the popular vote because it’s, to me, it’s much easier to win the popular vote,” he continued.

If you’re scratching your head over that passage, join the club. So am I. The president — as is usually the case — makes zero sense.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots. Trump was elected legitimately by capturing more than 270 electoral votes he needed to win. He finished with 306 electoral votes, thanks to winning three critical “swing states” — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — by a total of 77,000 votes among them.

He didn’t win the election “easily,” as he keeps saying. The way I see it, Trump won by a whisker. However, he won according to the rules set forth by the U.S. Constitution.

What baffles me is why he would prefer to toss aside the Electoral College. He parlayed an Electoral College strategy perfectly in 2016, enabling him to win the presidency.

So now he says winning the popular vote would be an easier goal to attain? Who is this clown kidding?

This man’s delusion is downright confusing.

Why get rid of Electoral College?

The 2016 presidential election produced a doozy of an outcome.

The candidate who won the Electoral College finished nearly 3 million votes short of the candidate who lost the election.

Thus, the result has produced an ongoing debate over whether we should eliminate the Electoral College and elect presidents based solely on the popular vote.

Here’s what I wrote just a few days after the 2016 surprise:

Now … about the Electoral College

I have wrestled with this notion for some time. I have decided that I am unwilling to get rid of the Electoral College.

It’s a difficult system to explain to those abroad who don’t understand how someone who gets fewer votes than the other candidate can “win” a national election. I had the pleasure of trying to explain the 2000 presidential election outcome in Greece while the courts were trying to determine whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would become the next president.

I guess I come down finally on the notion that the Electoral College was created to give rural states with smaller populations a greater voice in determining the election outcome.

As the system is currently constructed, presidential elections usually are fought in those “battleground states” that could tip either way. That has been the case over the past several presidential election cycles. As it has turned out, states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and occasionally Montana have gotten a greater amount of attention than other larger states.

Absent an Electoral College, my hunch is that candidates wouldn’t venture past the huge population centers: New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area of California, Chicago, the Metroplex.

Indeed, I’ve seen the county-by-county breakdown of several recent elections and I’ve noticed how, for instance, Barack Obama won despite losing the vast bulk of U.S. real estate to John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012). How did he win? By targeting those “battleground states” and campaigning effectively for those voters’ support. He ended up winning decisive Electoral College and popular vote victories.

I get that progressives are chapped at losing the 2016 election. They want to change the system that generally has worked well.

Is it time to scrap the Electoral College? Sure, but only if smaller states want to surrender their time in the national political spotlight. As that logic applies as well to Texas, which isn’t a battleground now, but it could once again become the political prize that lured presidential candidates from both major parties in search of votes.

Voter fraud commission is a goner … good!

Donald J. Trump said this today in a statement released by the White House:

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry.

“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”

Where do I begin? I’ll start with this: Mr. President, the only “evidence” produced came from your mouth or, more accurately, your Twitter account.

The president said after the 2016 election that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Clinton, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she rolled up while losing the Electoral College tally. Trump never produced a scintilla of evidence. No one ever proved a thing about alleged widespread voter fraud.

So he convened this voter fraud panel to prove he was right. It didn’t find a thing. The president is right about one thing: States refused to cooperate because elections officials — including those in Texas — couldn’t determine any rational cause for releasing the information.

This looked for all the world like an effort to find a solution in search of a problem. The problem didn’t exist in the manner that the president alleged.

I’ll make a friendly wager. No money involved: The Department of Homeland Security won’t find anything, either.

How about all those ‘illegal voters’?

While the world is fluttering over a British royal engagement, sexual misconduct among members of Congress, the media and entertainment moguls and that “Russia thing,” let’s turn briefly to one of Donald Trump’s many lies.

It involves his declaration shortly after becoming president of the  United States that but for the “millions of illegal immigrants” who voted for Hillary Clinton he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary collected nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, but the president won where it counted: in the Electoral College.

He defamed local election officials without offering a shred of proof. He just said it. Then he formed a commission to examine voting practices. He sought to obtain previously confidential information about voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship.

What in the world has happened to this made-up “crisis” in our electoral system? Has the president given up the effort to prove something he knew all along didn’t exist?

We’ve already passed the first year of Trump’s election. Coming up is the first year since his inauguration as president, which is really when much of the fun started. He’s been using his high office as a pulpit to spew out lie after lie.

The phony illegal immigrant voting lie ranks up there with the best — or the worst — of them.

Some of us — perhaps many of us — are interested to know how this lie has been resolved.

Where does Trump acquire his political capital?

One of the many things that confound me about Donald Trump is how this man expects us to believe he has this huge cache of political capital stored up.

He keeps yapping and yammering about the “historic” nature of his presidential election victory in November 2016. When you think about it, Trump’s victory was “historic” in a certain context.

He lost the popular vote by record margins to Hillary Rodham Clinton but still managed to win the Electoral College by cobbling together precisely the right pluralities in three battleground states that voted twice for Barack H. Obama. So, there’s a certain bit of history that was made.

But then he took office and began boasting about the “landslide” victory he won. I consider landslides to be of the type that President Johnson rang up in 1964 and President Nixon scored in 1972. The political rule of thumb has been that a winning presidential candidate rolls up “landslide” with a 10-percentage point popular vote; LBJ and Nixon both rolled to victories that exceeded 20 percentage points. President Reagan’s re-election victory in 1984 came close to matching his predecessors’ victories.

The current president has nothing even remotely approaching that kind of political capital as he seeks to push his agenda forward. He doesn’t behave with a semblance of knowledge of just how flimsy his electoral mandate really is.

The 21st century’s first presidential election ended in 2000 with the winner, George W. Bush, garnering fewer popular votes than his opponent. President Bush, though, realized the truth of his election from Day One of his presidency and sought immediately to work with Democrats. He enlisted the late liberal lion, Sen. Ted Kennedy, to help him push some education reforms through Congress.

Has Donald Trump extended anything approaching an olive branch to those who oppose him? For that matter, have Democrats in both congressional chambers sought to reach out to the president?

No on both counts.

Still, it simply demonstrates graphically to me that the president has none of the political capital about which he boasts.

If only he would learn the harsh reality of the nature of his victory.

Still no sign of national unity under Trump

It has been a year since the nation was stunned by the results of its most recent presidential election.

The candidate who won that bitter contest, Donald J. Trump, made a solemn vow to unify the nation, to bring us all together, to bind the wounds that tore us apart … blah, blah, blah.

That’s what is has been: so much blather.

One year after that historic election, we are as divided as ever. Maybe more so.

Has the president delivered on his pledge? Obviously not. What’s worse is to ask: Has the president really tried to deliver? The answer to that is just as obvious. No!

Trump continues to play strictly and exclusively to his base, the shrinking core of voters who stand with him no matter what. You see it in his immigration stance, his views on environmental protection, his hideous tolerance of bigotry (see his response to the Charlottesville riot), his “America first” rhetoric.

A president who took office with zero political capital to spend has acted as if he had it in spades. Trump continues to ignore the numbers, which tell us that he got nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. Yes, he won the Electoral College — and was duly elected president.

However, the man who pledged to be the president for all Americans has gone out of his way since his election to be anything but what he promised to be.

This division didn’t start with Trump. Barack Obama also presided over a divided nation, as did George W. Bush before him, and Bill Clinton before that.

Still, when a president takes office promising explicitly to do something, one should expect him to follow suit.

Donald Trump has failed.

Trump declares a new culture war

Donald John Trump Sr. just cannot stop getting angry with institutions, people and anything or anyone else.

He’s now declaring a new culture war. He’s stirring up conflict where little — if any of it — exists in the moment.

The president went to the Values Voter Conference and declared his intention to get retail employees to say “Merry Christmas” to customers; he doesn’t like the “Happy Holidays” greeting that some retail outlets deliver to their customers.

Good ever-lovin’ grief, dude! Get a bleeping grip!

Trump unloads

As The Hill reports, Trump’s intent to persuade Americans that there exists some elite class that denigrates their values. He believes they care more about diversity and political correctness than anything else.

What utter crap!

He continues to play to the base that stands with him. He continues to divide Americans along more lines than many of us even knew existed. Now he’s seeking to divide Americans based on whether they insist on receiving Christmas greetings.

Ridiculous.

This angry message runs directly counter to the president’s pledge to unify the country. He won an Electoral College victory while garnering nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Rodham Clinton. He became president with zero political capital to spend. Trump needed to build up that capital by working with Democrats and moderate Republicans on a whole host of legislative priorities.

He chose instead to lob bombs at them.

He’s now heaving political ordnance at Americans while firing the initial shots of this culture war that, in my humble view, is a figment of this guy’s imagination.

It all leaves me wondering whether Donald Trump seems somehow angry that he won the election. How in the world can that be?

Majority questions Trump’s fitness for high office

What do you know about that?

Yours truly has joined a majority of Americans who believe that Donald J. Trump is “unfit” to be president of the United States.

I derive little satisfaction from the Quinnipiac poll. Despite the president’s miserable public opinion standing, he’s still in office. He’s still making a mess of just about everything he touches. He’s still able to tweet his brains out and he gets away with saying the most outrageous, disgusting and occasionally vile statements.

The poll, of course, highlights the partisan divide that splits this country. Fifty-seven percent of independents say he’s unfit; 94 percent of Democrats believe it, too. Meanwhile, 84 percent of Republicans think he’s fit for the office.

I also am among a plurality of Americans who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy in the 2016 presidential election. But that doesn’t mean squat, given that Trump was elected by winning the Electoral College votes he needed to claim a majority and, thus, take the presidential oath of office.

I doubt this latest polling data will bother Trump in the least. He ignores the bad stuff, the so-called “fake” news reports, while relishing and crowing about the positive news he gets on occasion.

The Hill also reports that most poll respondents think Trump is dividing country rather than uniting it, as he promised he would do upon being elected.

But … hey. It’s just a poll. Who needs to know what the public thinks of the job he or she doing? I mean, after all, Donald Trump does work for us — and not the other way around.

Is POTUS getting it, finally?

Pity the president of the United States’s “base” of supporters. Well, actually, I don’t.

They’re suffering acute apoplexy because Donald J. Trump is beginning to show the faint signs of understanding something about the high office he occupies. It is that he even though he didn’t win a popular vote plurality in 2016, he won enough Electoral College votes to become elected and, therefore, he has to deal with the wishes and needs of those who voted against him.

Immigration is the issue of the day.

Trump is sounding like someone who wants to strike a deal with congressional Democrats and moderate congressional Republicans that would give so-called “Dreamers” a path to citizenship and/or permanent immigrant status. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order issued by President Barack Obama has been rescinded. Trump, though, says he wants to strike some sort of deal to protect the DACA residents, to keep them in the only country they’ve ever known.

You see, about 800,000 of these U.S. residents came here as children — some of the infants and toddlers — when their parents sneaked into the country illegally. The Trump “base” considers these folks “criminals.” Well, their parents broke U.S. immigration law. But does that mean we punish the children for the sins of their parents? Let’s get real here.

The president still wants to build that wall along our southern border. We’ll have to see how that struggle plays out with the aforementioned Democrats and moderate Republicans in Congress. In my mind, the wall is a non-starter. Mexico won’t pay for it. American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for something the president said would be financed by another government.

What’s more, the wall won’t make this country any safer from terrorists, and assorted criminals who want to come into this country to do grievous harm.

I don’t feel a single bit of sympathy for the Trumpkins who just can’t stand the thought of their guy working to fulfill the interests of the rest of the nation he now governs.