Hail Mary: Rebel Electoral College Group Likes Kasich As Their Compromise Candidate To Block Trump

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Dec 06, 2016 12:15 PM
Hail Mary: Rebel Electoral College Group Likes Kasich As Their Compromise Candidate To Block Trump

So, remember that ragtag group of electors who submitted papers with the Colorado Attorney General’s office to form a 527 group in order to raise money for legal fees in their efforts to block President-elect Donald Trump from office? Well, they’re going to use that money to file lawsuit against the binding Electoral College laws in 29 states. For some, electors have to vote in accordance to how their states went in the presidential election. Electors who go rogue could face legal trouble. Moreover, that person would be removed from the slate of electors and replaced with someone who will abide by the state’s election laws. As written, it’s a fruitless exercise, as is this hail marry attempt to block Trump.

This group, called Hamilton Electors is trying to peel 37 Republican delegates away from Trump. They also reportedly have eight Democratic electors who are ready to bolt from Clinton. The consensus alternative for these people is Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The Clinton’s have kept their distance from this political tango, with the group’s leaders adding that the power couple’s distance is an asset in their lobbying campaign with Republican electors, according to Politico, though Bill Clinton is an elector from New York so I don't know how long that talking point can hold up:

Advocates of the long-shot bid to turn the Electoral College against Donald Trump have been in contact with close allies of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, but the Clinton camp — and Clinton herself — have declined to weigh in on the merits of the plan.

[…]

The electors leading the anti-Trump push say they’re operating without regard to the Clinton campaign’s views and without its assistance. To some leaders of the anti-Trump effort, the lack of formal Democratic Party engagement is an asset as they attempt to woo Republicans.

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Backers of Hamilton Electors are also preparing a wave of lawsuits challenging 29 state laws that purport to bind electors to the results of the statewide popular vote. These laws have never been enforced or tested, and many constitutional scholars believe they conflict with the Founders’ vision of the Electoral College as a deliberative body. Courtroom victories, they hope, will embolden other electors to join their cause.

All 538 members of the Electoral College will meet on Dec. 19 in their respective state capitals to cast the formal vote for president. Trump won the popular vote in states that constitute 306 electors — easily above the 270-vote threshold he needs to become president if all Republican electors support him. That’s why anti-Trump electors are working to persuade at least 37 Republican electors to ditch Trump, the minimum they’d need to prevent his election, and join them in support of a compromise candidate, which could send the final decision to the House of Representatives.

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The Democratic electors have already revealed that they’re close to a consensus pick for whom they will vote: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich is increasingly seen as the most acceptable Republican alternative to electors on both sides of the aisle, according to multiple electors familiar with the conversations.

Okay—let’s assume that these lawsuits are all successful and the electors from 29 states are granted the ability to vote how they choose. There is no way Ohio Gov. John Kasich will dabble with this, as the likelihood of it becoming a full blown constitutional crisis is pretty much assured. He might want to run again and this would taint any future presidential ambitions. Also, Kasich, while not a Trump supporter, is someone who accepts the results of an election. He lost the primary. And he saw the American people support Trump. Period. Why upset the apple cart when there’s nothing unusual or questionable about the results; something that the Obama administration noted during their election night monitoring of possible cyber attacks. Through the Department of Homeland Security, there was nothing suspicious, no spikes in cyber activity that would suggest a hacking attempt, which is what the Green Party candidate is alleging in her three-state recount effort.

Second, a Republican Congress, in this scenario where it goes to the House is going to vote for Kasich over Trump? No way. Republican congressmen would have to change their names, hide in bunkers, and eat K-rations for the remainder of their lives, as they would be under siege by their angry constituents. It was explicitly clear that not everyone in the GOP was pleased with Trump as the nominee, but he won the nomination, he won the election, and he won the necessary 270 electoral votes. They’re not going to torpedo the process, throw the nation (again) into a constitutional crisis, and go along with Kasich. Even Kasich’s people are creating a buffer zone from this clown show:

There’s no question Trump won enough votes in the states to receive over 270 votes when the members of the Electoral College meet,” said Kasich’s top political adviser, John Weaver, when asked about the prospect that some electors might vote for Kasich. “I’m sure the [Electoral College] will affirm this when it gathers later this month.”

Guys, it is time to face reality, which is that Donald Trump is going to be the 45th president of the United States. Period. I also don’t think that plunging the nation into a state of crisis just because you don’t want someone to win is, uh, the best plan to build a coalition to stop Trump. We already had that; it was called the GOP primary—and Trump still won. It’s time to face reality. For some, they are voting their conscience. In Texas, which doesn’t have binding laws to their electors, one of them decided to resign, saying he didn’t want to dishonor God by voting for Trump. He also added that his resignation doesn’t change a thing; Trump still has enough votes to win handily over Clinton on December 19. Now, we have another Texan elector, Christopher Suprun, a paramedic, saying he refuses to vote Trump. Oh, and he wants the college to get behind John Kasich (via NYT):

I have poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates. I will pour many more into being more faithful to my party than some in its leadership. But I owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.

Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief. During the campaign more than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter opposing him. In their words, “he would be a dangerous president.” During the campaign Mr. Trump even said Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. This encouragement of an illegal act has troubled many members of Congress and troubles me.

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The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.

Dude, Kasich lost. He’s not going to be president.