Thursday, November 17, 2016

Yes, There Is A Non-Violent Way To Prevent a President Trump

Many millions of citizens have watched aghast as Donald Trump has made appalling decisions in staffing his administration including appointing racist bomb thrower Steven Bannon to be a "strategist" and now also mulling over proto-Confederate Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.  The cast of "abominables" changes almost hour to hour but one thing has been established: Trump is not about unifying this nation but setting it asunder with his reckless decision making and arrogance.

Given that as soon as he assumes office there will be few options to check his power, and we can't depend on the Dems (especially with Vichy Neolib Prince Chuck Schumer in charge in the Senate - see link at bottom) many citizens are asking if this unhinged fool Drumpf can be prevented from taking office in a non-violent manner.

Leave it to a 24 year old ex-Marine, Michael Baca, who is also a Colorado elector (member of the state's electoral college contingent) to figure out a way. Sure it's a long shot, probably worse odds than betting against the House in Vegas on a baccarat game, but it's all we've got. Basically, what Baca is instigating is a campaign to get other states' electors to change their electoral votes for Trump, aka Drumpf. If he can get at least 37 to change in red states, Donald Drumpf is out.

Most people are already aware that in the U.S. we do not vote directly for our Presidents, never mind their names are on the ballots. What we vote for is "electors" who are then technically charged with voting the way the majority of a state's voters go, but there is no law imparting huge penalties  (e.g. like prison) if they go "renegade" and do something different. For example, Florida has 29 electoral votes meaning 29 electors who will now all be expected to vote Trump since the majority of the state's voters put his name down as their choice.

But let's say Baca can get 15 of those FLA electors to turn, e.g. not vote Trump, and at least 22  from two other states, say Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, adding up to 37. Then, doing the math:

I.e.   290 -  37 = 253

Trump's total of (currently)  290 falls below the 270 needed for President.

This means Hillary can then be catapulted into the WH since her numbers would putatively become:

238 +  37= 275

(If Trump takes Michigan (16 electoral votes) it obviously just means more electors' minds have to be changed. )

In its exploration of this circumstance, The Denver Post (Nov. 16, p 6A) suggests it is more likely the House would become deadlocked after elector renegades make it 269 to 269. Then:

"for the election to be decided in the House, electors would have to write in a third candidate, say Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein or even someone who wasn't running like John Kasich of Ohio or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney"

In other words, anyone but Trump. How feasible is it? According to Prof. Kyle Saunders a Poly Sci expert at Colorado State University (ibid.):

"Yes, it is possible, but not very likely".

But Mr. Baca, true to his Marine Corps motto, isn't buying it. He believes that  since electoral votes aren't given automatically to a state's winning candidate, there is a chance to change minds. This is especially relevant and grave now that we see Trump's disdain for serious decision making - such as appointing a Reich wing screwball like Bannon to have his ear (at least one of them) and a climate denier like Myron Ebell to head the EPA transition.  By Baca's reasoning, any elector with a conscience ought to now be processing that his greater duty is to his nation's survival than adhering to an outdated, archaic and fundamentally undemocratic system (and Hillary is now approaching a 1 million vote lead in the popular vote). Thus, one only needs to change 37 minds in red states before the Electoral College convenes on December 19th. (53 minds if Trump takes Michigan.)

Are there sanctions for electoral vote "renegades"? Yes, in some states. As The Post notes, however, there is no federal law requiring them to vote for the party that nominated them

"29 states and Washington, D.C have laws that attempt to force presidential electors to vote with the will of their state's voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures"

Adding: "Some states impose fines and other, like Colorado, don't allow for 'faithless' electors"

If then an elector doesn't cast his vote for the person the majority in the state voted for, he is removed. It doesn't matter to Baca, because he voted for Clinton anyway- who won Colorado. The trick is to get those electors in Trump states to change their votes, especially where there are only fines or minimal penalties. (Twenty one states don't have any law directing their electors how to vote).

Some "experts", of course, have been quoted in the Post as asserting they don't believe "it is a wise political move". And others insist it is "opening a constitutional can of worms".  Well, I say 'bring on the can of worms'.

My only question to these wonks is how much do you think any equivalent German "electors" (say in a parallel universe) would have cared if it meant preventing Adolf Hitler from signing the Enabling Act and flushing German democracy down the toilet? True, Trump may not be as horrific as Hitler, yet . But his choice of Bannon, as well as other extremists, in conjunction with his  campaign rhetoric - shows one ought not be so foolish as to trust him. When even James Clapper, the head of U.S. intelligence agencies, abandons his post, you know there is trouble brewing-  including with the national security state.  IF you don't believe this is a bad omen you aren't paying enough attention.

Let 60 million knuckle draggers be pissed off for a bit, this nation's integrity and indeed security, trumps what these misguided imps did at the voters' booths- delivering a brash "middle finger salute" to the sane majority of the nation. That is apart from how many red states finagled the votes after the 1965 Voting Rights Act was gutted for this election by the Supremes.

Meanwhile, our honorary national "historian -in- chief"- actor  Tom Hanks -  at a confab in NYC last night advised us all to "Calm down".  Hanks,  the same guy who three years ago wanted to save Americans from being "snookered" (by accepting Lee Oswald was set up as a decoy in the JFK hit),  said we have "nothing to worry about" and "our Constitution will protect us".

For any who really believe that I suggest reading how Germans fared after Hitler got the Enabling Act passed in Germany, e.g.

Most true experts, not Hanks, are of the belief that under the right conditions - and especially with ALL branches of government (including Supreme Court) controlled by one party, it can happen here.

See also:


A series of explanation-defying questions surrounding Donald Trump’s victories in key 2016 swing states has prompted a cadre of voting rights attorneys and electronic voting machine experts to consider formally filing for presidential recounts in coming days.
These recount-justifying anomalies go beyond the discrepancies in media exit polls predicting a Hillary Clinton victory on November 8 and subsequent vote counts where Trump won states that have not backed Republican presidents for decades. Recounts could clarify or verify whether several different forms of electronic hacking could have padded state voter rolls and altered resulting counts.



Now that Trump has won, it looks like the Democrats in Congress are getting ready to make this same fraught strategic gamble. The New York Times reported Thursday that Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, are weighing a conciliatory posture towards the incoming president

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