Saturday, October 8, 2016

Trump can't be replaced. All GOPs must be made to OWN HIM

As Republicans run away from Donald Trump, now that he's said something about white women that apparently puts things past the tipping point (why now? Why not a year ago, GOP?), some might wonder if Trump could be removed as the GOP' presidential candidate. Marquette University Law Professor Ed Fallone is one step ahead of you, and laid out how it would work on the MU Law School blog. And the bottom line wouldn't work for the GOP to replace Trump.
It might be conceivable for Donald Trump to voluntarily step down, and for the Republican Party to select an alternative nominee. However, the real issue is whether the name of the alternative nominee would appear on the ballots of a sufficient number of states to permit an Electoral College victory. At this late date in the election cycle, the names of presidential candidates on absentee ballots have already been finalized in many states. In fact, early absentee voting using the final ballots already is underway in Wisconsin and many other states such as California, Ohio and Indiana. Every day, more state deadlines for placing names on the ballot pass, and it is probably already too late to prevent Donald Trump’s name from appearing as the Republican nominee on a majority of the ballots used by states across the country. To get state officials to print new ballots and then allow re-voting of ballots already turned in would require 1) litigation in state courts across the country and 2) the willingness of a large number of these state court judges to adopt an unprecedented procedure based upon vague “emergency” arguments. Such a high stakes multi-state litigation effort would make the combative Bush v. Gore lawsuit look like a law school moot court competition in comparison.

One possibility, if Donald Trump steps down, is for the Republican Party to urge voters to select Trump’s name on the ballot, while promising that the electors in the Electoral College who get selected as a result would in actuality cast their Electoral College votes for an alternative nominee. In other words, “vote for Trump and get Pence (or Cruz or Rubio).” The difficulty with this strategy is that many states have laws requiring electors to cast their vote in the Electoral College for the actual person named on that state’s ballot. If these electors follow their state’s law, there probably wouldn’t be enough Electoral College votes available for the Trump alternative to win. Some have argued that these state laws violate the U.S. Constitution, and that electors are free under the Constitution to vote their conscience. However, it would take a lawsuit in federal court to secure a ruling to that effect, and without Justice Scalia anchoring a 5-vote conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court it is hard to envision any federal court adopting this argument. Would a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals really make such a consequential ruling, given the current deadlock on the high court and the knowledge that its ruling would be final?

In fact, the reason why both of these scenarios to replace Trump as the nominee are longshots is that both require judges to throw out existing procedures under state law while in the midst of an election campaign. Judges should hesitate to change the rules in the middle of an election, just because one political party finds itself at a disadvantage under the existing law. Donald Trump is the nominee chosen by the Republican Party, and it is not the job of the judiciary to ameliorate the consequences of that selection.
And let's say somehow the GOP wins enough electoral votes to win the presidential election one month from now (I know, stop laughing). Those votes would be under Donald Trump's name, in most cases. Do you really think Drumpf would agree to step down if he was actually "elected" president? HELL NO! He'd make people have to throw him out after he took office. Well, unless he was given a massive payout from the Kochs and other RW oligarchs to go away. (Yikes, maybe this is more plausible than I care to admit).

Another mess would be if some "faithless electors" chose not to cast their electoral votes for Trump in mid-December, which would leave him short of the 270 electoral votes required to win? Well first, it would likely require some electors to break state laws that REQUIRE the winner of the popular vote to get the state's electoral votes (Wisconsin is one of these states). But even if that barrier was overcome, then you'd have the election thrown to the House of Representatives. And if this tidbit from the National Archives holds, the field the House would have to choose from would be very small.
If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.
So there'd have to be an agreement on who that 3rd candidate would be, and the electoral votes would have to be cast accordingly. Good luck with that. And can you imagine the pressure that would get thrown onto current GOP members of the House (who would have the advantage in this scenario, partially thanks to gerrymandering) that are running for re-election if this scenario was actually in play? They'd risk either pissing off Trumpkins (by denying their guy the presidency) or the RNC and other right-wing oligarchs (who likely pull their strings).

Of course, the better option here is to vote for Hillary Clinton, even if you don't like her, and none of these controversies and Constitutional crises come up. But it goes deeper than voting for the first woman to be president. All Republicans should pay for having the fiasco of Donald Trump as their nominee. That includes the Senators who held up the appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, because they wanted to give DONALD FUCKING TRUMP the ability to select that justice, and because they MITCH FUCKING MCCONNELL to be their Majority Leader.

In the House, the overwhelming majority of that band of idiots thought Trump was still qualified to lead the country through every racist and disgusting comment that he's made over the last year on the campaign trail. Heck, SPEAKER PAUL FUCKING RYAN (aka the top Republican in the House), was planning to hang out with Drumpf in Elkhorn today, until those comments got out last night. Instead, they are settling for gay-hating1 Mike Pence, who forced women to have funerals for their aborted fetus. Ryan and the rest of the GOP House members also deserve to be removed. There is no difference between them and Trump on economic policies, they both want the deficit-exploding tax cuts and trickle-down BS that has failed this country for 35 years.

Hell, Sean Duffy was just saying last week that it was no big deal that Trump called a former Ms. Universe "Miss Piggy." and strongly supported the Donald.
Duffy said his strong support of Trump — while not unequivocal — stems from a desire to tell his eight children in the future that he did what he could to "try to help save America" and save the U.S. economy.

He presented Trump's vision as a sharp shift away from the leadership of President Barack Obama, who Duffy said has "traveled the world and apologized for American leadership."

"This is an untraditional race. You see a massive shakeup taking place across American politics," Duffy said. "You can’t make any mistake that Donald Trump has started a movement. Every network maybe but for Fox is absolutely out to destroy Mr. Trump, and they can’t do it. The papers that attack him, they can’t do it."
Oh, it's a movement alright Sean. And it's an outgrowth of what the 2010s GOP has become- a group of angry white guys who don't deal with independent facts, but decide things based on what they feel is right. A Bubble World of dangerous idiocy that gives false reasons for real problems, and one where pose and image is more important than policy and results. A media complex of hate and dishonesty, where saying outrageous lies to stir up the audience of rubes is done, instead of dealing with real issues and coming up with thoughts and solutions that improve society. And then when you're called out for being an asshole, a racist, and/or misogynist, you claim "political correctness" is overbearing and that you're the victim.

Screw you, GOP. You and your corporate media buddies built Trump. Your dimwitted voters put him in this position, and you said nothing because you wanted those same racist idiots to vote for you. YOU ALL DESERVE TO LOSE NEXT MONTH for what you've done to this country by having such an unqualified piece of crap be in position to possibly be the face of America. How are you so hungry for power and money that you would put the "Greatest Country in World" in that position, and lead to a place that would make 3rd World Banana Republics seem stable and economically just? Today's GOP are unpatriotic trash, and they all must be taken off the stage now, in "Sherman torches Atlanta" levels, because that's the only way the GOP will stop being the racist, regressive garbage that they are in 2016.

The GOP has earned this ass-kicking, and it is up to us in Wisconsin and the rest of the country to administer it. It's the only way this state and this country can get better.


  1. A fine editorial.

    Sam Wang has an interesting viewpoint on recent events, that this distancing of themselves from Trump by GOP leadership was triggered by him having run out of time to move the needle against Clinton and the news being an excuse to detach themselves from a loser rather than the cause of it.

    The GOP's bigger problem than one election is that their voting base delivered the execrable Trump as their nominee, a nominee who is now earning mass repudiation by party leadership. It'll be interesting to see if they seek to sideline their primary voters and steer the nomination towards someone with broader appeal in 2020; if they'll change the nomination rules to e.g. eliminate winner-takes-all state delegate allocations.

    The worst-case scenario for US democracy would be if as a party they simply become comfortable with nominating someone from their unelectable lunatic fringe.

    1. Good question Geoff. The GOP was comfortable with having the lunatic fringe be a major part of their "base", because that's the only way their regressive economic agenda can ever get passed into law. And now it's (rightfully) blown up in their faces.

      And I also agree that Trump being down 5 points in the national polls is absolutely a main reason other GOPs are thinking about pulling the plug. They didn't care about the racism and the vulgarities when the deplorables were being oversampled and the race appeared close. But say something that disgusts the average white woman and turns off the casual low-info voter...BYE-BYE!

      This needs to be a 10-point blowout to break the gerrymander at the state and federal levels. It is the Dems' job to make it so.