Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Andrew Jackson's Ghost

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to abolish the electoral college. Abolish is exactly the word she wants to use, seeing she’s resurrected ghosts of elections past as well as America’s original sin in her cut and paste criticism of how the nation elects its presidents.

Did the electoral college come about because of the larger numbers of African Americans in the southern states who could not vote and thus who would weaken their influence in an electoral system based on the popular vote? Or was it more a case of states worrying about the influence of New York, already a financial center and a populous state, and one that from the earliest days had the power to disrupt a balance between the other states that formed the early republic?

It's more than interesting to read an article at mises.org by Randall G. Holcombe, published on the 9th of November of 2000. Precisely when Bush v. Gore was about to be decided by the Supreme Court as voters got a lesson in America's electoral structure and how it resolved problems like a very close vote total. Here's Holcombe writing about the electoral college and specifically the election of 1824 when John Quincy Adams was chosen by the House of Representatives despite Andrew Jackson receiving slightly more electoral votes among a field of several candidates, none of whom received a majority of the elector's votes:

The history of the election of 1824 tends to emphasize the collusion between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay that eventually delivered Adams the presidency. But a neglected underlying factor in the historical controversy was the evolution of the electoral college in the nation's first few decades. Adams' election followed the constitutional rules exactly, and even followed the intent of the Founders. No candidate received votes from a majority of the electors, so the House was to select the candidate they preferred, which they did. Neither the Founders nor the Constitution intended to give any preference to the top electoral vote-getter, or to take into account the number of electoral votes each candidate received. And even if they had, the electoral vote counts of Adams and Jackson were very close anyway. Members of the House simply undertook their constitutional responsibility to choose a president, following exactly the constitutional rules and the intentions of the Founders.

So why were Jackson's supporters so upset? They were upset because the actual practice of presidential elections had deviated significantly from the Founders' intent in the decades preceding the 1824 election, and if the actual practice at the time had been followed, rather than the literal rules of the Constitution, Jackson's supporters believed that he would have been elected president.

That is, the House of Representatives decided to suddenly veer away from the established practice of handing the presidential election to the candidate with the most electoral votes and instead choose the person they believe best-suited for the job.

Sound familiar?

Roiling anger to the 1824 election created the Democratic Party and its candidate, Andrew Jackson was duly elected president in 1828 and party politics in the modern sense of the word was born in America. Holcombe continually sets up the contrast between liberty and democracy as antagonists in a trade-off that has long since gone democracy's way. That seems downright devious to most modern readers, but what Holcombe is suggesting is that a limited government run by elites is better than a popular government that generally follows voters' wishes.

The public policy positions taken by Jackson were consistently aimed at the goal of reducing the scope and power of the federal government, but in addition to these policy ends, Jackson also believed in democracy as a means to control the federal government. The top officials in the government should be elected directly, Jackson believed, including Senators and the president, in order to make them more accountable to the people, and once elected, they should heed the wishes of the electorate.

The opposite of course has happened. Government has expanded far beyond the wildest imaginings of even a latter 19th century populist like William Bryan Jennings, and what we have now in the echoes of Andrew Jackson in Trump's administration is in fact a fight over who the administrative state is accountable to. Their own liberal and left-of-center globalism, or the more local and national interests of so-called middle American voters? And not whether Medicare Medicaid or Social Security should be a vital part of what government does.

So, we have the worst of both worlds. A huge administrative state run by unelected elites that are intolerant of dissenting viewpoints. And if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets her wish - along with many in the Democratic Party - and America elects its presidents by popular vote with no electoral college at all, will the unelected officials in Washington cheer? Or are they smart enough to wonder about how their own futures as wonks and supposed experts might be endangered by such a move.

Remember, it's only because of 2 recent elections where the electoral college did not reflect the popular vote that we have these attacks on the system. Presidential elections have essentially been a popular vote for nearly 200 years, one that is very different from what the founders had in mind. The inconvenience of a divided electorate and the regional biases that are features not bugs of the system has forced this criticism to the surface. As well as the fact that in both the recent elections, Democrat candidates lost.

But parties morph and people move from state to state. So careful what you wish for Alexandria. The unintended consequences of abolishing the electoral college may come back to haunt you and those who agree with you.

Just ask Andrew Jackson's ghost.

Posted by Keeley at October 10, 2018 5:56 PM
Comments
Comment #432696

“liberal and left-of-center globalism”

What a stupid article. Globalism is a corporate policy that the right wing loves, in spite of Steve Bannon’s efforts. Corporations want the government to pay them instead of paying taxes to the government, while they move their assets offshore and the owners get citizenship in other countries that they like better, or just have lower taxes or no taxes.

How long have you even been alive or lived in this country forever young? The electoral college has always been a question whenever there’s a third party candidate. Most people want the person with the most votes to win, because more people voted for that person. The right wing party is a dwindling minority dedicated to ending democracy as we have known it. Unfortunately, even the electoral college doesn’t work well enough to keep a minority in power, so they take other measures, now including capturing the courts to make sure their partisans make the decisions there.

The electoral college should work, in theory, because the electoral votes follow the popular vote. Unfortunately, in much of the country, corporations run propaganda media at a dead loss, because they know they can get an electoral advantage this way. Corporations can easily get control of many small state governments.

If you see AOC as bad, that bad is in your head, and you should figure out how that got into your head, and who put it there.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 10, 2018 8:57 PM
Comment #432725

This is why normal American’s see AOC as bad:

https://www.dsausa.org/about-us/what-is-democratic-socialism/

You don’t have to be brainwashed to know that socialism cannot coexist with the US Constitution.

Posted by: kctim at October 11, 2018 11:39 AM
Comment #432731
ohrealy wrote: If you see AOC as bad, that bad is in your head, and you should figure out how that got into your head, and who put it there.
Fortunately, for me, my parents, grand parents, and education, all instilled a sense of justice, a moral compass, and sense of fairness into my head.

Sadly, ohrealy was not as fortunate.

Socialism is:

  • largely an ideology coveted by people who try to disguise their jealousy and envy as demands for equality.
  • and a system coveted by people who seek to pervert the laws to legalize plunder for their own gain, to do the very things that laws were originally supposed to prohibit,
  • and a system to control the plunder, by duping the masses who want the government to take care of them from cradle-to-grave.

Control is power, and it can be very lucrative.

Can any moral case be made for Socialism, in which taking the rightful property of one person by force, and giving it to another person to whom it does not belong?

Americans already pay taxes for welfare to help the truly needy (and most Americans are benevolent and OK with that).
There are also laws to prevent corporations from monopolizing markets.
But for people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders (and many Democrats), that is never enough.
Socialists (and many Democrats) want to control much more.
Social Security and Medicare is not enough.
They always want more; enough is never enough.
They now want to control healthcare.

You have to wonder: Why?

And when you look at these huge systems (i.e. Social Security and Medicare), there is over a whopping $70 Billion per year in Medicare fraud.
Source: www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/03/10/Medicare-Fraud-A-70-Billion-Taxpayer-RIpoff

Social Security fraud costs (as of 2015) $7.64 Billion per year.

But the biggest fraud is that Congress has been spending the badly-needed Social Security surpluses since a few years after the Social Security system was created.
Social Security supposedly contains a $2.892 Trillion surplus, but they are actually only I.O.U.s.
So, where is that $2.892 Trillion going to come from?
Especially when there is currently a $21.5 Trillion national debt?
It is a serious problem, that will eventually have serious, and painful consequences.

So, you have to wonder: Why do Socialists (and many Democrats) want to also control the entire healthcare system?

Suppose the federal government took full control of the healthcare insurance system.
Suppose the federal government made it completely NON-PROFIT.
Suppose the federal government also allowed people to buy health private health insurance from FOR-PROFIT corporations.
Which do you think would provide the best coverage for the best price?
For your answer, just look at the way Social Security, Medicare, the Veterans Administration, Obamacare, and other huge government programs are already full of rampant waste, fraud, and mismanagement.

The fact is, a fact that Socialists (and many Democrats) have trouble understanding, or admitting, is:

    Governments are VERY, VERY poor administrators of ANYTHING. There are certain things that government must do (i.e. law enforcement and legislation, national defense), but other than a handful of things, governments are terrible at managing the myriad of things they strive to control.

So why do the continue to strive for more and more control, despite being dysmal failures at the things they control?

It is all about control, and legal plunder.

Socialism is about control, not about freedom, and for that reason alone, Socialism is, quite simply, immoral.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 1:34 PM
Comment #432732

Funny, I didn’t see the word ‘capitalism’ in the Constitution.

The electoral college was originally implemented when the largest state, Virginia, had a population about 10-12 times as large as the smallest state, Delaware. Today, the largest state has a population about times as big as the smallest one; in other words, the electoral college has made the influence of small states MUCH greater. That is something no one could have anticipated in 1790.

In the meantime, the historic trend has been for the younger, population, towards away from smaller states, with their lack of high quality universities, opportunities, and rural areas. ‘How are you going to keep them down on the farm…’ when all of the cultural and educational opportunities are in the big states?

The result is what we see today: a minority controls the House (49% of the vote), the Senate (43%), and the White House (loser by 3 million popular votes). Again, this is something no one could have foreseen in 1790.

The Structure of the Senate protects state representation. The structure of the House is supposed to protect the interests of the population. The Electoral College no longer serves a useful purpose, unless the intent to encourage minority rule.

By the way, the current estimates are for the Democrats to need 53-54% of the vote in order to overcome gerrymandering, and take control of the House. Interesting side note. Gerrymandering does have its Achilles heel. If the Democrats win by a spread of more than 10%, 55-45 or greater, gerrymandering has the opposite effect, and makes a wave election even more pronounced. The odds of that big a spread are not high, but possible.

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2018 1:45 PM
Comment #432733

d.a.n.,
Real world example:

This morning, my wife needed to order a drug. It is extremely important for her to have this. In the U.S., the drug costs $250. Going through Canada, it costs $60.

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2018 1:48 PM
Comment #432734
phx8 wrote: Real world example: This morning, my wife needed to order a drug. It is extremely important for her to have this. In the U.S., the drug costs $250. Going through Canada, it costs $60.
You can thank Democrats and Obamacare for that.

The cost of all medical and pharmaceuticals have skyrocketed since Obamacare thoroughly screwed up healthcare.

Did you try http://www.GoodRX.com , LowestMed.com , HealthWarehouse.com or WellRx.com ?

Regading Gerrymandering, Democrats and Republicans are both equally able to Gerrymander, so both do it, and it probably evens out over time. IF you don’t think so, then perhaps Democrats should stop whining about it, and try harder to Gerrymander too, eh?

phx8 wrote:The structure of the House is supposed to protect the interests of the population
Ha ha!

IF you want to discuss structural government and representation problems, how about the number of Representatives in Congress, which does not account for the large portion of the population without U.S. citizenship, and the Democrats who are fighting hard to keep it that way?
Especially since Democrats have despicably been pandering to illegal immigrants for decades (i.e. promising amnesty, welfare, etc.).
It is no secret that the Democrats are despicably trying to turn states blue via illegal immigration, to obtain more representation in the House, and possibly more votes via another shamnesty like the shamnesty of 1989 (which qunitupled the problem). In addition, some illegal immigrants are voting in our elections, which could make a difference in close elections.

I personally don’t think the Democrats will win the House and Senate, because the thugishness, nastiness, and up-tick of violence by the left will turn off the main group (independents) that decides elections.

But, IF that happens, we will all say:

  • WOW !!! One of phx8’s predictions finally came true !!!

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 2:31 PM
Comment #432736

“Funny, I didn’t see the word ‘capitalism’ in the Constitution.”

Of course not, our Constitution predates the word. What the founders believed in was a free economic system, which is evident in the Constitution and their own writings:

“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

- Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

State control or ownership runs contrary to the Constitution.

As far as the electoral college, you get rid of it and you get rid of the need and desire to remain part of the union.
Electoral college = Representative Republic = state and individual rights.
No electoral college = democracy = majority rule.

The country is in the mess it is because for the past 2-3 decades, leftists have been using activist courts to strip state and individual rights in favor of majority rule.

Posted by: kctim at October 11, 2018 2:54 PM
Comment #432737

The electoral college actually benefits the Democrats, because the number of Representatives in Congress does not account for the large portion of the population without U.S. citizenship, and Democrats who are fighting hard to keep it that way?
Especially since Democrats have despicably been pandering to illegal immigrants for decades (i.e. promising amnesty, welfare, etc.).
It is no secret that the Democrats are despicably trying to turn states blue via illegal immigration, to obtain more representation in the House, and possibly more votes via another shamnesty like the shamnesty of 1989 (which quintupled the problem).
In addition, some illegal immigrants are voting in our elections, which could make a difference in close elections.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 3:00 PM
Comment #432738

… which is also why Democrats don’t want any form of Voter ID.

You have to have an ID buy liquor, make large purchases, withdrawn money from an ATM, drive, own a concealed-carry license, etc.

That is why many blue states have been making it legal for illegal immigrants to obtain driver licenses, which in many states, also automatically registers them for voting.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 3:04 PM
Comment #432748

Congress passed a law that contradicts the constitution where representation is established. Congress passed a law that limited the House of Representatives to 435 seats. This was not defined in the Constitution, it was a law written by politicians. It was a law written to favor the government, not the people.

If the dictates of the constitution were to be adhered to the HOR would be populated by over 11 thousand representatives. This puts us in a De facto state of taxation without representation.

With today’s remarkable achievements in communication the original dictates of the constitution could easily be returned to and adhered to. The law can be repealed as easily as it was passed. The original constitution provides the mechanism to replace it.

The original constitution can be relied on to solve this problem. The problem of a unresponsive congress in our current federal government may be caused by the limits it’s own body placed upon itself. The 435 seat limit law replaced the intent of the constitution. The 16th amendment replaced the original funding mechanism defined in the constitution. The 17th amendment fundamentally changed the state’s influence over the federal government. All of these mistakes can be fixed by simply repealing the laws that established them! The original constitution will take over and fill the void.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 11, 2018 4:45 PM
Comment #432757

The number of House Representatives is determined through the process of Congressional Apportionment, whereby demographic data is extracted from the once-a-decade US Census to determine how many of the 435 House Seats each state will get according to its population figures. The census is also used draw each State’s Congressional Districts in a way as to ensure certain minority representation, etc. The overall number of representatives is currently set at 435 members. Congress could change that, if they wanted to.

However, since apportionment is based on the periodic 10-year CENSUS, and it does NOT verify whether a person is a U.S. citizen (or not), some districts and/or states with large populations of illegal immigrants could respond to the CENSUS, and could obtain more representation in Congress.

This is why Democrats, and some on the left, are resisting citizenship verification on the CENSUS.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 6:16 PM
Comment #432758

“In the U.S., the drug costs $250. Going through Canada, it costs $60.
Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2018 1:48 PM

Just curious phx8. Would the drug even exist if the developer could only sell it at $60?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 11, 2018 6:19 PM
Comment #432759

Was this part of his plea deal?

Michael Cohen registers as a Democrat in latest break with President Trump

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 11, 2018 6:49 PM
Comment #432760

RF,
I really don’t know. I believe it is a powerful corticosteroid available by prescription only, and if I have the drug name correct, it was developed by Glaxo in 2006, and its patents expired this past summer.

I had the same experience with a different drug. It cost $300 in this country, and $60 through a Canadian pharmacy even though it was a larger quantity.

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2018 7:04 PM
Comment #432761

phx8,

Is it one of these (see prices):

If you buy from another country, check out the pharmacy’s legitimacy:

  • verifybeforeyoubuy.org

Technically, it is illegal to buy drugs from other countries, but the law is not enforced:

  • www.elderlawanswers.com/buying-prescription-drugs-from-canada-legal-or-illegal-1204

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 8:25 PM
Comment #432763

Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave an interesting answer when she was asked “What is to be done?” about the Supreme Court and the recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the highest court of the land.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said:
  • We take back the Senate.
  • We take back the presidency.
  • And we pack the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
  • Next!
The audience applauded.

So, it’s that simple, eh!?!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went on to say we need to abolish the Electoral College.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also said she wants to abolsh I.C.E. (Immigration Customs and Enforcement), which means: open borders

Here’s the video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Supreme Court:
https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/10/11/ocasio-cortez-has-a-stunning-fix-for-the-supreme-court-if-democrats-win

I went to VoteSmart.org (votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/180416/alexandria-ocasio-cortez/#.W8AVL_ZFyhc), but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not entered her issues on positions.

So, I went to her website ( ocasio2018.com/ ), and here is what was found:

  • Medicare for ALL
      [And with open-borders, for the whole world too?]

  • Housing is a Human Right
      [Isn’t there welfare already for the truly needy?!?]

  • America … must end the “forever war”, … ending the air strikes that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism thoughout the world.
      [So, the U.S. is perpetuating terrorism throughout the world?!?]

  • The federal government must set a minimum wage and level of benefits for the nation’s workforce.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supports the strictist gun laws in the country - including bans on assault weapons, bump stocks & high capacity magazines.
      [Perhsps we should also ban pencilz becuz they misspell wordz, and ban spoons because they make people fat?]

  • Criminal justice and racial justice shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
      [So, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is basically saying the justice system is racist?]

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants the United States to Mobilize Against Climate Change, by becoming 100% carbon-free, and 100% renewable energy, and 100% free of fossil fuels by 2035… Climate change is the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization, …
      [Sounds great, eh? But not likely in 17 years (by 2035). The MOST optimistic estimates of the U.S.A. becoming 100% fossil free is by year 2050 (source: www.vox.com/2015/6/9/8748081/us-100-percent-renewable-energy). But, is it worth it, IF China is firing up a few coal power generation plants per day, and India is still building coal power generation plants too? Fossil fuels will be used as long as they are significantly cheaper. Both China and India continue to build coal power genaration plants, despite the Paris Agreement. But it doesn’t hurt to dream, eh?]

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants FREE higher education for ALL, and a one-time student debt cancellation option… [and] debt cancellation could boost real GDP by an average of $86 to $108 Billion per year.
      [HHMmmmmm … so, how does cancellation of debt boost GDP? Sounds like some fuzzy math?]

It seems like much of that was not well thought-out, OR it is a long list of ways to bribe the voters with their own tax dollars?
Indeed, it must sound attractive to people who want the government to wipe their ass for them, and take care of them from cradle-to-grave.

You can’t make this stuff up !?!

Posted by: d.a.n at October 11, 2018 11:22 PM
Comment #432764

She’s pretty, too. I don’t think an ugly, grey haired, old man would get the same coverage she does.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 12, 2018 1:22 AM
Comment #432798

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXLos7AnKXY

Posted by: kctim at October 12, 2018 8:47 AM
Comment #432800

She’s having fun, isn’t she?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 12, 2018 9:51 AM
Comment #432805

Yeah, Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave an interesting answer when she was asked “What is to be done?” about the Supreme Court and the recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the highest court of the land.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said:
  • We take back the House.
  • We take back the senate.
  • We take back the presidency.
  • And we pack the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
  • Next!
The audience applauded. Why didn’t anyone else think of that?

And according to former A.G. Eric Holder, until that happens, Democrats need to kick Republicans. Kyle Kulinski explains it so that you can understand it.

And, according to Hillary Clinton, that is finally when civility can start again!?!

Perhaps, “What is to be done” is more crying, banging, clawing, and scratching at the doors of the Supreme Court?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=aenQtPGgYlQ

And while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has banned the press from some of her town hall meetings, she has not encouraged “incivility” or to “kick” people that don’t think the same way?

Posted by: d.a.n at October 12, 2018 11:44 AM
Comment #432814

phx8 you missed my point when I asked the name of the company that developed the prescription needed by your wife.

The point is, significant costs are incurred to develop a drug from inception to approval for the public. The company must pass along those costs.

What part of the $60 cost for the drug in Canada goes to the company that developed the drug?

We all want to pay less for everything we purchase including drugs. But, if we insist on low prices; we may sacrifice new drug development.

What other products do you purchase from Canada due to their lower price?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 12, 2018 4:11 PM
Comment #432910

D. wrote “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also said she wants to abolsh I.C.E. (Immigration Customs and Enforcement), which means: open borders”

So can you show me where she says that D. or is this yet another round of unfounded attacks on people based on nothing?

What I saw from her says “The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was created in 2003, in the same suite of post-9/11 legislation as the Patriot Act and the Iraq War. It’s founding was part of an unchecked expansion of executive powers that led to the widespread erosion of Americans’ civil rights. Unlike prior immigration enforcement under the INS, ICE operates outside the scope of the Department of Justice and is unaccountable to our nation’s standards of due process.
Now we see the consequences: young children are being ripped from their parents and kept in detention centers without due process and without accountability to Congress.
As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States. Alex believes that if we are to uphold civic justice, we must abolish ICE and see to it that our undocumented neighbors are treated with the dignity and respect owed to all people, regardless of citizenship status.
Alexandria Endorses: DREAM Act of 2017 “

Posted by: j2t2 at October 15, 2018 7:23 PM
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