Hot Air

The Political

Having been sodomized, politically, by the inane Electoral College scheme for the second time in 16 years, the Democrats have to be all in on wanting to get rid of the stupid thing. I notice there’s even a movement afoot to abolish the EC, talked up by the likes of former Obama Att’y Gen’l Eric Holder and satirist Bill Maher.

I’m here to tell you it ain’t gonna happen just yet. But it’s by no means an impossibility. In fact, I can tell you the very day the abolish movement will become real: That’d be the day after the Republicans lose a presidential election the way Al Gore and Hillary Clinton did. Talk about bipartisanship; that’ll do it for you.

Together with the teed-off Dems, the GOP will immediately start the constitutional amendment process. BTW, here’s how Article V of the US Constitution lays out the procedure:

  1. Either the Congress or a bloc of state legislatures may call for a proposal of amendment.
  2. The proposing group must pass the proposal by a two-thirds vote.
  3. Congress may choose one of two ways for the Amendment itself to be added to the Constitution: A) It must pass a vote of three-quarters of all the state legislatures, or B) It must pass a vote of three-quarters of ad-hoc state constitutional conventions.
  4. Congress traditionally has included a time frame within which the state legislatures or state constitutional conventions may consider and act upon the proposal.

Thus far some 33 amendments have been proposed to the US Constitution with 27 of them passing. The original amendment proposals were made by Virginia’s James Madison in July, 1789; seven of these became part of the Bill of Rights in December, 1791. Another of Madison’s proposals was finally ratified as an Amendment in most of our lifetimes, and you’ll get a kick out of that story.

Madison had proposed, among other things, that members of both chambers of Congress stand for reelection before any pay raise they’d voted themselves should become law. In other words, if they wanted a hike in pay, they’d have to face the wrath of the voters before they’d get it — otherwise, Congress might give itself raises every half hour. Naturally, that was the one Madison proposal Congress rejected. Flash forward almost two centuries. A University of Texas undergrad student named Gregory Watson wrote a term paper on Madison’s forgotten proposal in 1982, suggesting it be revived. Watson had studied the proposal and its history and had come to the conclusion that it was still alive, as it did not include a time limit. He received a C for his efforts by his professor who thought the idea silly. Undeterred, Watson started a one-person grass roots campaign to pass the proposal in the now-requisite total of 34 states. He wrote to state legislators around the country, trying to persuade them to pass the proposal. Being that the legislators were not members of the US Congress themselves and eager to capitalize on the public’s already-growing anti-Congress fervor, they were more than happy to help push the thing along. It became the 27th Amendment to the US Constitution on May 5, 1992, almost 203 years after it had gone out to the states.

BTW, again: One of the unlucky six proposals that floundered was, yep, the Equal Rights Amendment, which states in its entirety:

Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the UNited States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this artcile.

Section 3: This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Certain right wingers, led by the now-thankfully dead Phyllis Schlafly went ballistic over the idea and worked like demons to prevent its passage. They antis were overwhelmingly Republican and their cause was incorporated into the GOP platform at the party’s 1980 national convention — you know the one, where Saint Ronald Reagan was nominated.

So, cool your heels EC abolishers — your time will come even if we have to wait a couple of centuries for it to happen.

The Personal

As noted here in the past, the insistence of one of the two major political parties in this holy land to deny equal rights under the law to virtually half its population is the reason I, to this day, refuse to vote Republican.

Democracy

This election was so quintessentially American: We chose an uber-wealthy, unqualified boor to be our leader and a couple more states legalized the recreational use of marijuana, a trend, analysts say, will be growing by leaps and bounds over the next few years.

Yep, that’s us. We’ve got an idiot in the White House; let’s all get baked!

Don’t They Have Editors?

Acc’d’g to book reviewer Dwight Garner in today’s New York Times, “We’re deep into the golden age of the classic rock memoir.”

He writes this not as praise. His review, focusing on the Band’s Robbie Robertson’s brand new memoir, Testimony, begins with a laundry list of recent old-man rock star remembrances, specifically, how ungodly lengthy they are:

  • Elvis Costello’s Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink — 674 pages
  • Keith Richards’ Life — 564 pp
  • Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run — 510 pp
  • Mike Love’s Good Vibrations — 436 pp
  • and, of course, Roberston’s Testimony — 500 pp

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Wordy

Garner observes, “The arms race is on and rock’s more inflated figures have yet to weigh in. Will Roger Waters’s autobiography be a 54-volume set, like Mortimer J. Adler and Robert M. Hutchins’s Great Books of the Western World?”

Say what you will about the relative goodness or greatness of the classic rockers’ music, they were indeed largely a collection of blowhards.

What surprises me is none of them has run for political office. Which, BTW, I predict will happen much sooner than later. After the ascension of L’il Duce to this holy land’s throne, it’s clear any jerk with a pile of cash and big name recognition can become the leader of the free world and commander-in-chief of history’s most powerful military. Lucky Justin Beiber is a Canadian otherwise we’d be playing Hail to the Chief to him sometime within the next 25 years.

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We’ve Dodged A Bullet!

2 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. geoffmckim says:

    Don’t you think that the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a more likely scenario for making the Electoral College irrelevant than a Constitutional amendment? Not likely, mind you…but far easier to achieve than an amendment!

  2. Name says:

    The states have another option to a constitutional amendments since its up state law how to award electoral votes. Some states have passed compact to award electoral votes based on the popular vote that would be go in to affect when additional states with 105 votes enact the law: ehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

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