Posts by Walter Scott Hudson

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  • Jeb Bush Thinks Supergirl Is 'Kind Of' Hot, Informs Those At Campaign Event

    10/21/2015 9:51:54 PM PDT · 18 of 45
    Walter Scott Hudson to maggief

    I’d be concerned if he thought otherwise.

  • The Democratic Governor Who Prevented Democracy

    07/26/2011 9:57:27 AM PDT · 1 of 2
    Walter Scott Hudson
  • The Moral Stakes of Minnesota's Shutdown

    07/04/2011 7:24:36 AM PDT · 1 of 12
    Walter Scott Hudson
  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    07/04/2011 4:14:37 AM PDT · 104 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Bob
    Except for the minor point that the electors from the participating states would be determined by voters in other states. I'd hardly describe that as "entirely unaffected".

    Yet that's precisely what it is. The participating states would be consenting to that process, and would retain the ability to remove that consent.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:52:51 PM PDT · 90 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Mr. Bird; All

    For what it’s worth, I neither condone nor appreciate mvymvy’s cut and paste tactic.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:49:27 PM PDT · 89 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to jaydee770
    What does the U.S. Constitution say about the matter?

    In brief, that the states may dispose of their electoral votes as they see fit. The NPV compact is a way of doing so.

    Do you truly believe the Constitution is flawed/broken as regards this issue?

    Not at all. That's why I would oppose an amendment to alter or abolish the Electoral College. The NPV compact is a use of the College.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:43:58 PM PDT · 88 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to sargon
    Under the current system, a President could be elected by a minority of the vote, but with a majority of the electoral votes. NPV would eliminate that, and in doing so, seriously undermine the concept of the confederation of states which, geographically and culturally, help make this country what it is.

    Off the top of my head, there have been four presidential elections where the victor did not receive the majority of the popular vote. That’s four out of forty-four. So one question you have to answer is: if the winner of a popular vote constitutes some kind of anti-republican mob rule, haven’t we been living under such mob rule for forty out of forty-four presidents? Is it “mob rule” when the popular vote elects your governor or your congressmen?

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:40:48 PM PDT · 87 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Little Ray
    I don’t know any Conservatives supporting “National Popular Vote.” Almost by definition, if they ARE supporting it, they are not Conservative...

    Please expound. By what definition of conservatism is support for the NPV state compact a disqualifier?

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:37:28 PM PDT · 86 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Nabber
    Yes we do [conserve institutions simply because they exist]. It’s called the Constitution. An NPV will never reach ratification, and a defacto NPV movement will be overruled by the Supreme Court.

    It's interesting that you bring up ratification, because it undermines your expressed sentiment. Amendments are just as constitutional as the Constitution itself. And that process was thoughtfully included for the express purpose of changing course as the rational need developed and the political will manifested.

    Of course, in this case, ratification is entirely beside the point. This is not an effort to amend the Constitution. It is not an effort to eliminate the Electoral College. It is an effort to utilize the College in a manner which serves the participating states.

    I'm curious to know under what grounds you would expect the Court to overturn the compact. I think you'd find that the Court would affirm the states' constitutional power to dispose of their electoral votes as they see fit.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:26:21 PM PDT · 85 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Mr. Bird
    What an insipid load of bloviation that FAQ page is! Dispute their numbers? Why should I? The numbers are correct, it's the philosophy that remains completely sophomoric. "Ohio has more people than a collection of small states, but their electoral representation isn't proportional!" Waah, waah, waah. The simple answer to the main complaint ("my vote doesn't 'count' because I live in Montana") is that if you want to be wined and dined by a politician, move to a freaking state that's competitive.

    It's a non-partisan effort. As a result, the site contains a hodgepodge of philosophical justifications. Not agreeing with one does not invalidate another.

    Regardless, I'm fascinated by your indifference to citizens not being represented in their government. You're quite correct that one solution would be to move from one state to another. Of course, it makes far more sense to affect your state legislature to allocate your electoral votes in a manner which would increase your influence without requiring you to move.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:16:40 PM PDT · 84 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Freedom_Is_Not_Free
    Every vote does count. Each state lets its voter determine how the state will cast its delegates in the national election...

    The 10th Amendment has been raped for so long, most people are currently clueless as to what Federalism is and how it was meant to work.

    It's a mistake to assume that, because someone disagrees with you, they don't understand the issue. The NPV compact is an exercise in federalism, it is a use of the very power to allocate Electors that you cite.

    Beyond that, I don’t believe this article for one minute. It is the liberals who are demanding an end to the electoral college, not conservatives.

    You're right that conservatives don't want to end the Electoral College. Those who support the NPV compact do so in part because it DOES NOT end the Electoral College. This is a non-partisan effort supported by both liberals and conservatives, albeit for very different reasons. Surely you recognize that people often agree on policy for different reasons under different motivations. The liberals see an effort to affect democracy. Conservatives don't care about that. They see an effort to utilize the constitutional Electoral College system in a manner which benefits their state. That's an inherently republican (small-r) motivation.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 11:02:28 PM PDT · 83 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to wolf24
    Given the contingencies associated with a popular vote system, the result of that "weighing" will mean that they will spend all of their time in the large population centers in very few places.

    You lament the fact that a few battleground states get all the attention; and yet you prescribe a "solution" that would enhance the very issue you cite as a problem.

    That would be true if your premise was correct. I'm not convinced that it is. Consider this link. "The populations of the nation's 25 largest cities together constitute only 12% of the nation's population." And the voters within them don't all vote the same way.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 10:52:12 PM PDT · 82 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Mr. Bird
    And the existing process for electing a president is a rational process that has been in place for over 200 years. I fail to see any drawbacks that would compel me to consider some new-fangled way of doing it.

    And that process would be entirely unaffected by this compact. It's not a "new-fangled" alternative to the Electoral College. It is an application of it which may serve the rational self-interest of the participating states.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 10:48:48 PM PDT · 81 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Dilbert San Diego
    In the 2000 election, a national recount would have been needed to verify who really won the national popular vote. Until that is done, you couldn’t even get to the electoral vote under these NPV proposals.

    I hate to simply restate what I already wrote in the post. But it's the only answer I can give you. There is no national election infrastructure, and the NPV compact would not change that. There is simply no effect a close national popular vote would have upon any state's recount process. Recounts, like the rest of the electoral process, are a function of state government. They are triggered according to state statute. For those states which have automatic recounts in close races, the race would have to be close within the state, not nationally.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 10:39:50 PM PDT · 80 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Interesting Times
    The ultimate result would be to vastly extend the reach of vote fraud in the heavily populated blue states. That’s why the leftists are pushing the idea.

    That's certainly a legitimate concern. Here's an interesting comment on the subject from a visitor to my blog.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud. A very few people can change the national outcome by changing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

    Senator Birch Bayh (D-Indiana) summed up the concerns about possible fraud in a nationwide popular election for President in a Senate speech by saying in 1979, “one of the things we can do to limit fraud is to limit the benefits to be gained by fraud. Under a direct popular vote system, one fraudulent vote wins one vote in the return. In the electoral college system, one fraudulent vote could mean 45 electoral votes, 28 electoral votes.”

    Hendrik Hertzberg wrote: “To steal the closest popular-vote election in American history, you’d have to steal more than a hundred thousand votes . . .To steal the closest electoral-vote election in American history, you’d have to steal around 500 votes, all in one state. . . .

    For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election–and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.

    Which, I ask you, is an easier mark for vote-stealers, the status quo or N.P.V.[National Popular Vote]? Which offers thieves a better shot at success for a smaller effort?”

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 8:19:22 AM PDT · 15 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson to Mr. Bird

    Going the NPV route would result in the political equivalent of "free beer" to New York, California, and a couple of other large states constituting an electoral majority. Can you not see that?

    That's simply untrue. It presumes that everyone in those areas votes the same way, which they don't. It also presumes that if you somehow convinced everyone in those areas to vote the same way you'd have a national majority, which you wouldn't. I'll spare you the cut and paste routine. Check out the FAQ page on nationalpopularvote(dot)com. If you can dispute their numbers, more power to you.

    To your point about conserving institutions, I would make two notes. First, no institution is threatened by the NPV state compact. But even if it was, argument from tradition is not an argument. We don't conserve institutions merely because they exist. We conserve them when they serve a rational purpose. This brings us back to the argument we should be having, which is whether the NPV compact has merit as policy.

  • Why Are Conservatives Supporting the National Popular Vote?

    06/24/2011 7:57:23 AM PDT · 1 of 109
    Walter Scott Hudson
  • Tea Partiers Should Take a Good Look at National Popular Vote

    05/17/2011 6:18:03 PM PDT · 72 of 92
    Walter Scott Hudson to Puppage; pnh102; Georgia Girl 2; cripplecreek; KarlInOhio; dfwgator; flowerplough; SumProVita; ...
    Given the flood of critique, I'm going to attempt to consolidate my response. Your particular comment may not be referenced. But I'll do my best to address similar points.

    If it was would have been IN The Constitution.

    The constitution establishes the Electoral College. The proposed compact is an agreement between the states regarding how to assign their respective electors. Please demonstrate how that is unconstitutional. It is entirely consistent with the intent of the Framers, which was to empower the states to act in their best interest. It is true this compact will not be in every state's best interest. If I lived in one of those states, I would oppose it. If you live in one of those states, I don't begrudge you opposing it. But there is no basis for calling the compact unconstitutional.

    There is nothing wrong with the current system of voting for electors for president. Only 4 times in our nation's history did the electoral vote not match the popular vote.

    If anything, the fact that the College has only gone against the popular vote four times lies in the plus column for this compact. The electoral votes will align with the popular will, if you care about that, as they almost always have.

    That's not my argument though. My motivation has nothing to do with the popular vote. It has to do with the incentives provided to presidential candidates. As articulated in the post, the current incentive is to pander to localized special interests, placing some voters in an obscenely disproportionate position of influence. A national popular vote diffuses that influence and provides incentive for presidential candidates to take on a broader view. I think that's appropriate when running for a national office.

    This is just an attempt to do away with the Electoral College without ammending the Constitution.

    That's no small distinction. The threshold required to amend the constitution is appropriately high. The threshold required to withdraw from a state compact is a simple majority in a state legislature. It's simply untrue that this compact "eliminates" the Electoral College. It utilizes the College in the same way the current winner-takes-all system does, via statue. The states remain free to assign their electors however they wish. If they ever determine this compact is not working for them, they can withdraw without fuss. Eliminating the College would be an entirely different proposal, which I would vehemently oppose.

    Pure democracy is mob rule and our founders were quite clear that they believed it to be a disaster.

    Indeed. However, instituting a state compact to assign electoral votes in a particular manner is hardly "pure democracy." The defining characteristic of a republic is not the absence of democratic process. If it were, we wouldn't have elections at all. The defining characteristic of a republic is defined limitations upon what a majority can do to a minority. The Constitution does a fine job of defining those limitations, both through its enumerated powers and the Bill of Rights. This compact would change none of that.

    National popular vote would allow the crookedest precinct in Chicago to toss in thousands of zombie votes to affect the entire election instead of just Illinois's electoral votes.

    That's a legitimate concern. Clearly, no compact will affect how each state actually conducts its elections. I guess the question is, is there enough voter fraud in these corrupt districts to offset the overall shift in dynamic this compact would provoke? That's a question which requires further analysis.

    Imagine having to recount every single vote in every single state.

    From my novice reading of the legislation, it seems as though each state’s chief election officer is tasked with reporting the counts from their state. There is no national election officer or national election infrastructure. So it seems reasonable to assume any recount would take place at the state level and be governed by statute. Presumably, a close count on the national level would not trigger a recount in all the states. There would have to be a close count in a particular state, as defined by that state. I don't see your scenario developing. But it's certainly worth looking into how recounts would work.

    Not only that, but the Electoral College also gives an extra amount of a voice to states with the smallest populations. The voters of these states would be completely ignored in every presidential race if not for the Electoral College.

    States are completely ignored now, as indicated in the post. Voters are made irrelevant to the presidential contest because their state's electoral votes are effectively spoken for. Under the National Popular Vote Compact, every vote would be valuable, whether from a blue state or a red one.

    It's true that the benefit would not be universal. Some states would be better off. Others worse. Many would be treated effectively the same as they are now. The CATO analysis confirms this, though they oppose the compact. The question is where your state falls on that spectrum, and therefore whether it would be in your interest to join the compact. Isn't that the whole point of the Electoral College, for states to assign their electors in a manner which best serves their interests?

    You might notice that its all democrat states that have already [joined the compact]

    The compact has bi-partisan support for a variety of reasons. A lot of the leftist support spawns from their conviction that democracy is inherently good, a sentiment I do not share. Many falsely assume it would benefit Democrats. There’s actually good reason to believe the opposite, which is part of the reason many Republicans have warmed up to it.

    Here in Minnesota, the compact is being championed by credentialed and proven conservatives. Former State Representative Laura Brod literally helped write the book on the subject. She's been a fiery advocate for liberty. 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is on board, hardly a RINO. The 56 Club, an unabashedly conservative grassroots organization, has recently endorsed the compact. I happen to be the chair of North Star Tea Party Patriots, the state coalition for TPP in Minnesota. Regardless, we should evaluate ideas on their merit, not based upon the people who support or oppose them.

    If my state votes for a candidate who does not win the popular vote, it isn’t ethical to hand our votes to the other candidate when the majority in the state did not vote for him/her. That is just plain rotten.

    Ethics has nothing to do with it. The compact is entered into voluntarily, and can be withdrawn from in the same manner. You might as well call contract law unethical. favors areas with large populations—namely, welfare cities.

    Relevant answers from

    "It is true that the 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States. However, the big states rarely act in concert on any political question. In terms of the 2004 presidential election, five of the 11 largest states voted Republican (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) while six voted Democratic (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey).

    "The notion that any candidate could win 100% of the vote in one group of states and 0% in another group of states is far-fetched."


    "The populations of the nation's 25 largest cities together constitute only 12% of the nation's population."

    Feel free to dispute these claims. Otherwise, it seems evident big states and big cities will not dominate the presidential contest. Candidates will have to cast a wide net to win as many votes as possible. weakens states rights.

    Surely you can demonstrate how. The states have precisely the same rights under this compact as they do now. The compact is an exercise of those rights, and state's may rightfully withdraw.

    So how do small States fare under the Electoral College versus a National Vote? Smaller States have much more power, forcing someone who wants to win the Presidency to spread his attention around.

    In fact, the number of electoral votes a state has does not affect the attention they receive from presidential candidates as much as whether they are a battleground state. Surely, some states will not benefit from the compact. But the formula for influence is more complicated than the number of electoral votes.

  • Tea Partiers Should Take a Good Look at National Popular Vote

    05/17/2011 7:47:58 AM PDT · 1 of 92
    Walter Scott Hudson
  • HuffPo Brushes Off Blogger Strike as Hypocritical "Scabs" Keep Writing

    05/17/2011 6:49:22 AM PDT · 28 of 28
    Walter Scott Hudson to shibumi; humblegunner; 50mm; Bean Counter; DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis; TheOldLady
    While I do not discount the existence, albeit it rare, of the lone selfless individual, blogging has to be making big money.

    I do discount the existence of the lone selfless individual. People do what they do because they get something out of it. There's nothing wrong with that. The only question is what they get. It may be income, the satisfaction of being read, some combination of the two, or perhaps a sense of some future reward in the afterlife. Regardless, they're in it for them.

    When the blogger you cite, whoever he is, said his writers contribute as a "labor of love," he was probably right. Huffington makes the same argument, and is obviously correct. If her contributors really felt like they weren't getting anything for their time and effort, they wouldn't provide it.