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Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:52 PM

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

Last edited Fri Feb 14, 2020, 10:09 PM - Edit history (1)

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.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/what-happens-if-2020-election-tie/593608/

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Reply The constitutional maneuver McConnell could use to steal the presidency in January. (Original post)
lutherj Feb 14 OP
dem4decades Feb 14 #1
lutherj Feb 14 #3
Wounded Bear Feb 14 #14
coti Feb 14 #2
lutherj Feb 14 #4
Nikki28 Feb 14 #5
lutherj Feb 14 #9
Hassler Feb 14 #6
lutherj Feb 14 #11
Chemisse Feb 14 #7
lutherj Feb 14 #10
Thomas Hurt Feb 14 #8
lutherj Feb 14 #12
struggle4progress Feb 14 #13
MousePlayingDaffodil Feb 14 #15
dware Feb 14 #16
unblock Feb 14 #17
lutherj Feb 14 #18
lutherj Feb 14 #19

Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:54 PM

1. Just win the election, case closed.

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Response to dem4decades (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:56 PM

3. You obviously didn't read the post. The whole point is that McConnell could negate our win.

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Response to lutherj (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:42 PM

14. Which means we have to win the election, for the Senate...

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:56 PM

2. Again, people need to cut it out with this shit. Stop creating avenues for corruption.

Stop giving them ideas and stop normalizing this.

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Response to coti (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:57 PM

4. I'm not normalizing anything. You think McConnell doesn't already know this? Sticking your head

in the sand wonít solve anything.

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:01 PM

5. we need

a million women march like we had after Trump's election. We should be as bad as the tea party was when Obama was elected. Mitch started to work that night. I wish Obama would have rolled over Moscow Mitch and stacked ever last one of the vacancies and ask RB if she would like to resign early and receive her pension.If Putin would not have tipped the election in Trump's favor, we would still be a democracy.

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Response to Nikki28 (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:24 PM

9. Exactly. That's what I'm talking about. Thank you. We need to be ready to shut down the streets.

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:02 PM

6. Moscow Mitch might not be around on January 6.

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Response to Hassler (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:30 PM

11. True. I say this in paragraph 4. If we take back the Senate or flip 2 delegations in the House this

canít happen. But we need to be aware of this scenario in November. If the stage is set McConnell will try to use it.

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:06 PM

7. Wouldn't the lame duck House and Senate be in charge of this?

Worrisome scenario.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:26 PM

10. No, it happens after the new Congress convenes. Which gives us a chance to change the balance.

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:23 PM

8. The Democratic nominee, whoever it is, better have a plan to deal

with all the possible Trump and GOP ratf**kery.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:36 PM

12. I agree, although history doesn't give me much optimism. Remember John Kerry and

his ďarmy of lawyersĒ? Anyway, this is in the constitution and thereís nothing anybody could do about it, except for the people taking to the streets.

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:39 PM

13. If the idiots tried that, more than half of America would experience a heated hatred of Republicans

and I'd expect plenty of really grumpy crazies with guns to follow the traitors everywhere

We'll see. But I think a majority of Republicans wouldn't be eager to be remembered as the shitheads who tried to murder their country

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Response to lutherj (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:43 PM

15. Sorry, but no . . .

. . . it doesn't work that way. Read the provisions of 3 U.S.C. sec. 15. It would take a heck of lot more than "McConnell announc[ing] that he has deep concerns about the validity of the tallies in certain states and refus[ing] to certify the vote." Neither McConnell nor any other single person serving in Congress wields that sort of power under federal law. Not by a long shot.

The scenario you sketch out here is simply a non-starter. The provisions of 3 U.S.C. sect 15 control.

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Response to MousePlayingDaffodil (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:47 PM

16. Thank you for this info.

These doomsday scenarios are getting really tiring.

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Response to MousePlayingDaffodil (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 09:53 PM

17. Enough republicans could do it

More or less what happened in the election of 1876, Tilden-Hayes

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Response to MousePlayingDaffodil (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 10:03 PM

18. Ok, thanks. It appears you're right. When I said what you quoted: "McConnell ... has deep concerns"

I was abbreviating the process, but reading the law you cited (assuming Iím interpreting the legalese correctly), it sounds like both houses of Congress would have to agree that the votes were invalid. There are also other provisions we donít need to try to summarize.

Thanks for setting me straight. Iíll edit the OP.

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Response to lutherj (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 10:10 PM

19. I retracted the post. Thanks again.

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