The Electoral College has voted and Donald J. Trump is officially the winner of the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump was probably one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory. Yet, the efforts to block Trump through this institution provided another opportunity for desperate liberals to cling on to the notion that they could block Trump from the presidency.
While the Clinton campaign, shell shocked at their loss, kept quiet about this push to block Trump within the Electoral College, after yesterday’s vote—former spokesperson Brian Fallon pretty much called it a shoddy coup attempt that has zero chance of succeeding, while former Obama adviser David Axelrod said that such a rebellion from within this institution would’ve been destructive to the country. Fallon also added that this push only could lead to more Clinton electors defecting (via Politico):
Top advisers to Clinton, including campaign communications adviser Jennifer Palmieri, did not respond to repeated requests for comment prior to Monday’s vote. After it was clear the effort had failed, former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon had a tough assessment of the organizers – calling their effort a “coup” attempt. "
“These Democratic electors' hearts were in the right place in trying to oppose Donald Trump all the way until the end, but their plan for mounting some kind of coup through the electoral college was never serious,” he said. “Their idea seems to have amounted to wanting Hillary Clinton to publicly surrender her electors in the hope that doing so would entice defections from 37 theoretical Republicans who were never identified -- presumably because they never existed. This was just a recipe for subtracting more from Hillary Clinton's electoral vote count than Donald Trump's, and sure enough that is exactly what happened. “
Supporters of the anti-Trump effort were dismayed by Podesta's appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," when Podesta said Democrats who cast a vote for someone other than Clinton would do nothing to affect the outcome of the election.
"The question is, are there 37 Republicans?" he said, in response to a question about the strategy of voting for an alternative GOP candidate. "It's not really what the Democrats are going to do."
Democrats were clearly divided on the issue heading into Monday. David Axelrod, a longtime top adviser to President Barack Obama, argued against efforts to vote against Clinton or Trump.
"Look, Alexander Hamilton conceived of the Electoral College and the Founding Fathers as a buffer against democracy run amok, as a safeguard against someone who was unsuited for the office to take the office. But it's never been used in the history of our republic,” Axelrod said Monday morning on CNN’s “New Day.” “To have it happen now, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and all that's swirling around with Russia and so on, I believe would split the country apart in a really destructive way, and it would set this mad cycle in which every election the Electoral College vote would be in question.”
So, the whole show is over, though even after November 8, the 2016 cycle seemed to be unending. Green Party candidate Jill Stein launched a nonsensical recount effort in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan over allegations that voter fraud or mass hacking occurred to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump. In the end, Trump ended up with more votes in Wisconsin, Michigan’s was ended by a court order (Trump still won), and Pennsylvania didn’t conduct one. Stein missed the voter-initiated recount deadline, so Stein’s lawyers had to formally challenge the statewide results in court. The problem is that in order for a recount to occur, team Stein would have to show evidence of hacking or mass fraud. There was no evidence to any such claims. They didn’t exist. It was also moot since everyone said that Trump would still win all three states even if all had agreed to conduct a recount. Moreover, a recount wouldn’t uncover any evidence of hacking as well. The Green Party did raise a lot of money though. Then, came the Hamilton Electors.
This cadre of electors wanted to block Trump by getting enough Republican electors to defect. The group’s consensus on an alternative seemed to have ended with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who vociferously discouraged this effort. They filed 527 papers in Colorado in order to raise money for legal funds since, as we’ve noted previously, 29 states have election laws that bind Electoral College votes to the statewide winner. Two Colorado electors filed a lawsuit to release electors; two judges, one of them nominated by former President Bill Clinton, shot it down. Still, there was this hope that 37 electors would defect; even attorney and brief 2016 presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig said that 20 were ready to jump ship. In the end, more electors bolted from Clinton that Trump. Trump ended up with 304 electoral votes (he was projected to get 306) to Clinton’s 227 (she was projected to nab 232).
[Photo Credit: NYT]
Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20.
(H/T Mark Hemingway/ TWS)