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Hometown: Oregon
Member since: Fri Jan 2, 2004, 07:35 PM
Number of posts: 2,374

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The constitutional maneuver McConnell could use to steal the presidency in January.

Please note that I have been corrected by mouseplayingdaffodil in post 15 below. I read the law that he/she cited and found that the scenario I describe below is very unlikely. I apologize, and am relieved to discover my error.

The article from the Atlantic that I link to below was published last summer. I donít know if it was referenced then on DU, but regardless I think itís worth taking note. I have no doubt that McConnell would stoop to this.

After a presidential election, the electoral college vote is submitted to both houses of Congress to be certified. In other words, to be accepted as official, the election results are confirmed by resolution in both the House and Senate.

In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the electoral college votes the Constitution provides that the House votes to choose the President, and the Senate votes for the Vice President. But the vote in the House is not a simple majority vote. Each stateís delegation gets together and casts one vote. As it stands, Republicans control 26 of the House state delegations.

So hereís the scenario. Suppose the Democratic candidate wins in November. It could be a narrow victory, it could be a landslide ó it doesnít matter. Trump, of course, will immediately start bellowing like a stuck pig about rigged elections and corruption and the dirty democrats. Heíll name certain states and make unfounded claims about how the votes were stolen just like he did in 2016. On January 6th when the Senate is set to certify the vote, McConnell announces that he has deep concerns about the validity of the tallies in certain states and refuses to certify the vote. No candidate receives a majority of the votes, and the election of the President is thrown to the House and decided by the Republican state delegations.

In order to pull this off Republicans must retain the Senate, and retain a majority of the House delegations. If they fail in either of those then this is all academic.

By the way, if there is a tie in the House, then the Vice President chosen by the Senate will assume the presidency until such time as the House decides a winner, which could presumably happen after the midterm.

It strikes me that this is a plausible concern. I have zero doubt that if McConnell finds himself in this situation he will use it to his advantage. I think we all need to be aware of this possibility, and if we see these conditions arise in November we need to be vocal about it and take to the streets so McConnell canít pull a fast one on the nation in January. Not that he wonít anyway, but at least we can put a spotlight on his nihilistic cynicism.

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