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Romney-Biden 2012?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The most interesting presidential election in U.S. history may have been the fourth, wherein Thomas Jefferson won. Sort of. How Jefferson got to be president may be relevant in this election, which is now so close that some wonder what would happen if there were an Electoral College stalemate, 269 votes for Romney and 269 for Obama. (Remember, it’s the electors who count, not the popular vote.)

In 1800, because of a constitutional glitch, Jefferson and his running mate Aaron Burr got the same number of electors, and the whole issue went to the House, which the Federalists still controlled, and it took a lot of negotiations and in-fighting to put Jefferson in office as the president.

The 12th Amendment settled the VP glitch, and cooked up a solution to the possibility of an Electoral College tie, as well. It’s never been used.

If, this Tuesday, the distribution of the popular vote forces the Electoral College into stalemate, the 12th Amendment would kick in, and the House would vote in a peculiar fashion (one vote per state), to select the President — Romney, considering the complexion of that body. Then the Senate would select the Vice President — Biden, considering the complexion of that body.

A wild finish, but it could get even wilder. In 1972, an elector jumped ship, voting for the Libertarian Party’s John Hospers/Tonie Nathan ticket (making Nathan the first woman to receive an electoral vote). Even against state laws forbidding it, a similar jump for Libertarian Gary Johnson or the Green Party’s Jill Stein — or Ron Paul — might complicate further. Or simplify.

Happy voting.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

The A-Word

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The n-word got dropped on MSNBC’s The Cycle this week. The show’s co-host [No First Name] Touré called Mitt Romney’s use of the word “angry” to describe some of the rhetoric coming out of the White House as “the ‘niggerization’ of Obama”:

“You are not one of us, you are like the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.”

Naturally this led to a battle between Touré and conservative co-host S.E. Cupp. She took particular issue with the fact that Touré admitted that VP Joe Biden‘s “chains” comments were divisive, but is now calling Romney a “racist” for saying the Obama campaign is “angry.”

“Do you see how dishonest that is?” she asked.

Good question. But here’s a better one: Doesn’t talk of race and code-words obscure the real issue here, anger?

Romney shouldn’t be calling for the Obama administration to be less angry. He should be angry himself, and castigating the president and his crew for being angry at the wrong things.

We should be angry at the continuation of wars, foreign (the Middle East) and domestic (on psychoactive drug use), to the detriment of fiscal stability as well as our civil liberties.

We should be angry that the nation’s pension system has been systematically stripped of its surpluses for 77 years — by politicians in Washington.

We should be angry that federal (along with state) policy has interfered with medicine to such an extent that the most idiotic ideas around — nationalization/socialization — almost seemed plausible to a sizable minority of Americans.

We should be angry that the Democrats pushed through yet another expensive entitlement, “Obamacare,” while the rest of the federal government sunk further into insolvency.

And yes, we should be angry that our leaders can’t stick to decent issues.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.