by Shaun Kenney
First off and very quickly, if you’re into podcasts? Check out Joe Rogen’s interview with the UK Spectator’s Douglas Murray regarding how social justice warriors will undoubtedly double down during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Worth the 20 minutes on background as you go about your day.
Second, let us dispense with the idea that we have (or have ever had) a 5-4 court. At best, the court has been 2-4-3, with Alito and Thomas anchoring the right, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch (both Kennedy acolytes), Breyer and Roberts in the center, and Sotomayor and Kagan on the left.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg just happened to be the progressive Scalia… and I’m sure one will agree, conservatives have yet to replace Scalia on the court due to Democratic chicanery. The nomination of a true replacement will simply shift the balance the Democrats once enjoyed with RBG to the right with a 3-4-2 court.
Should we mention that Breyer is in his 80s?
Third, it is perhaps time to dispel a few myths about the pearl-clutching among certain writers either with the Associated Press or with The Atlantic over “what happens?!” if the election results are murky.
Just in case we all collectively failed seventh-grade civics, the people do not elect the President of the United States. We vote for Electors, and those individuals get to go to Washington and vote for the next president of the United States.
Should they not be able to reach a majority of 270 electoral votes — and God knows what sort of harassment those souls have in store for them if Biden loses and pressure from BLM/Antifa mobs comes down on them and their families — then the selection of the next president is given to the U.S. House of Representatives, where each state delegation gets one vote.
At present. there are 26 states where Republicans hold majorities on their state delegations, 23 where Democrats hold majorities, and one split state (Pennsylvania).
Should this math hold? Trump wins.
This is a not-yet-tested process that was established after the so-called Revolution of 1800, where Jefferson bested Adams for the presidency yet nearly stumbled over his own partisan running mate and vice-presidential candidate, Aaron Burr. For months each candidate received the same number of votes until “faithless electors” broke the tie. Thus party politics nearly destroyed the adolescent republic until our current system — resplendent with safeguards — was in place. Thus we received the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This also means that every single U.S. House of Representatives seat is absolutely vital should by some means of engineering the vice-president (selected by the U.S. Senate along similar lines) serves as POTUS until the House settles on a new president (or deadlocks in a tie).
If Scott Taylor (VA-02) and Nick Freitas (VA-07) win their respective seats, and if Bob Good (VA-05) holds his seat? The Virginia delegation will flip to Republican.
Now this is where things get a little murky.
The constitution requires the House to meet before January 20th (the date having been changed from March 4th by the 20th Amendment) and after January 6th — ideally meaning that a new U.S. House (and not the present one) will fill the seat.
In 2016, the GOP held 32-17 edge in state delegation majorities before the 2018 elections. So advantage GOP. But with BLM/Antifa mobs continuing their riots and bullying to the point of descending upon suburban neighborhoods and demanding American flags be taken down, fear can be one heck of a motivator.
But it also means we have a chance.
That means that — regardless of the popular vote in Virginia — if one really does believe that the election is going to be a mess? Taylor, Freitas and Good all need to come across the finish line if Virginia is going to vote Republican in a worst-case scenario.
Whatever differences folks might have had in the past? This one feels like it is for all the marbles, doesn’t it?
The question here becomes whether or not the Democrats will consent to the peaceful transfer of power along a constitutional process. Now that the Dems have successfully bungled how Election Day is done with a multi-month process of ballots, absentees, and even post-Election Day balloting, one gets the sense they want a murky outcome on Election Day that drives the election to the U.S. House.
Of course, should Republicans not be confident of the outcome — or if we feel as if we are cheated — the response could make the Tea Party of 2009-10 look like the polite sort you’d get at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.
One last point. This isn’t the first time the Democrats have pushed the country to the brink. In Bush v. Gore (2000) the Democrats pushed this to the very limit and forced the U.S. Supreme Court to decide on Florida — a state Bush was eventually demonstrated to have won by 535 votes.
The majority opinion in Bush v. Gore is worth reading again:
None are more conscious of the vital limits on judicial authority than are the members of this Court, and none stand more in admiration of the Constitution’s design to leave the selection of the President to the people, through their legislatures, and to the political sphere. When contending parties invoke the process of the courts, however, it becomes our unsought responsibility to resolve the federal and constitutional issues the judicial system has been forced to confront.
Translation? The U.S. Supreme Court (and the courts generally) should not be the final arbiter of law in the United States, but the legislatures themselves.
Over the last 20 years, the political left in this country has chosen to weaponize the courts to enact a social policy of change. Forget the impact of Roe v. Wade (1973), but decisions to redefine marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), to fund socialized medicine with NFIB v. Sebelius (2012), forcing employers to fund abortifacients in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014), on affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas (2016) and the Citizens United case (2010).
The left wasn’t always successful, but the ramifications of 20-years of Democrats continuing to escalate politics against the system seems to be spectacularly backfiring. Rather than behave like centrists? They behave like lunatics.
Americans are good natured enough to give a screaming and ill-disciplined child some space in the supermarket during the meltdown, but at some point? Americans tend to have a breaking point before the reservoir bursts.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering about Biden’s 13 point lead in Virginia?
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) September 24, 2020
Closer to Biden +5 now.
Just a smidge closer, and that puts Virginia back into battleground state territory.
For a campaign supposedly winning by massive margins, the Biden campaign sure does seem to be on its back foot. All the more reason that the progressive left continues to lash out in anger.
Anger is all they have left.
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Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Martin Kraft. CC BY-SA 3.0.