Pundit Charles Pierce: If Electoral College Works ‘as It Was Designed,’ Trump Won’t Become President

December 13th, 2016 10:09 AM

The Hamilton electors, whatever their number, are being cheered on by Hamilton bloggers, one of whom is Esquire’s Charles Pierce. In a Saturday post, Pierce argued that in the country the Founding Fathers envisioned, the Electoral College would vote down a Donald Trump presidency.

After he sniped at Trump’s “Gilded Age cabinet” nominations and noted the CIA’s view that Russia meddled in the presidential election, Pierce wrote, “Let us assume for a moment that our constitutional institutions are as strong and functional as they are supposed to be, and let's assume for a moment that we, as a self-governing people, are as strong and as functional as we need to be. What would happen next is that the Electoral College would function as it was designed to function and as its function was explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 68…The electors would look at the accumulated evidence and deny the president-elect his mandate.”

Yes, there’d be hell to pay, but this hypothetical America could take it: “As a strong and functional constitutional republic, we would withstand the lycanthropic yowling of the lunatic supporters of the president-elect, and we would not take on ourselves the timidity that would be pushed at us by various politicians and elements of the elite political media. The decision would then go to the Congress which would have to certify, or not, the decision of the electors. This would be a hard political decision, but making hard political decisions is why these bastards got elected in the first place.”

Pierce admitted that in this scenario, Mike Pence has a chance to be the next POTUS, while Hillary Clinton doesn’t, but partisanship, he indicated, wasn’t his main point. He’s talking about process as well as results (“If we're going to have a constitutional crisis, dammit, we should have one according to the Constitution”). That said, for him one result -- stopping Trump -- is crucial (bolding added):

We are a month away from inaugurating a manifestly unqualified and ethically unfit man as president of the United States, a man who has lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, who already is reneging on almost every promise he made while campaigning, who steadfastly refuses to be transparent about who holds the note on his finances and who is on his way to raising conflicts of interest to stratospheric levels, and who now may very well be the willing bobo for a foreign dictator.

The situation is the most stark challenge to a free people that has arisen in my lifetime. We have political and democratic muscles that have atrophied from disuse that now have to be called upon immediately to rescue the republic no matter how many people find that to be too rowdy and inconvenient for their refined political tempers. We have institutional safeguards that have rusted from neglect, but which still work if we're strong enough to turn the handles.