Politics Magazine

The Electoral College: George Will Speaks, Says the Emperor is Splendidly Dressed

Posted on the 13 October 2011 by Erictheblue

A few days ago, George Will used his syndicated column to defend the Electoral College.  It's tempting to say that his bow tie must be restricting the flow of oxygen to his brain, but his arguments aren't a lot worse than those unfurled by less well-dressed champions of the Rube Goldberg machine we trot out every four years when it's time to select the chief executive. 

Much of what Will has to say is summed up in this sentence from the end of the column: "Today's electoral vote system provides incentives for parties to alter the attributes that make them uncompetetive in important states."

Well.  It is in that case an incentive whose allure they can resist.  The District of Columbia and 17 states, with 238 electoral votes, have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate for five elections in a  row.  These states make whole regions of the country--the northeast, the western Great Lakes, and the Pacific rim.  They include New York, Illinois, and California.  The Republicans, anyway, are failing in their effort to "alter the attributes that make them uncompetetive in important states."

Of course, we all know that's because they aren't even trying.  The Republicans do not moderate their positions in order to compete in these states.  They blow these states off.  The Electoral College has the opposite effect of what Will claims.  This is obvious to anyone who cares to notice.  It's as if the part of Will's  brain that concocts arguments is at the service of a picture preference that's impervious to reality.

At least he's right about the despicable ruse Pennsylvania Republicans are planning. 

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