Chris Hayes butchers Electoral College: If it wasn’t in the Constitution, it would be unconstitutional

(Video screenshot)

MSNBC host and alleged “journalist” Chris Hayes appears to believe America’s presidential elections should be run like 4th grade elections for class president …

He expressed this bizarre, arguably infantile belief at the end of a rant Friday evening in defense of socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s radical demand to abolish the Electoral College.

Listen to the whole rant below:


Source: MSNBC

“AOC’s argument was basically that the Electoral College unfairly diminishes the voting power of some Americans and therefore is incompatible with our basic democratic commitments. That was the argument. Republicans flipped out, all right. They went after her very hard,” his rant began.

Probably because her arguments were based on falsehoods:

And so naturally, Hayes chose to double down on her falsehoods by suggesting that perhaps Republicans don’t believe in so-called “democracy.”

“Do we actually really believe in democracy, right?” he asked rhetorically. “The question before us now in the Electoral College question is are we going to actually live up to the promise of one person, one vote?”

Now, to be fair, it is not surprising the Republicans are defending the Electoral College, right? There is a very obvious reason for that. Since 1992, we have had seven presidential elections. Republicans have won the popular vote one time. But they’ve gotten three presidents out of it,  which is a very sweet deal if you’re the Republican Party. You can see why, just on basic tactical grounds, the Republican Party would want to continue a system in which they can lose a majority of votes and still get all the powers of the presidency.”

Now, to be fair, the U.S. Constitution doesn’t say anything about “one person, one vote.” It does say a lot though about the Electoral College, which, according to the House’s Office of the Historian, was in fact “[e]stablished in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution” itself.

Why? Because as Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw has repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to point out to AOC, the United States isn’t a democracy; it’s a constitutional republic. Big difference.

There is however a “one person, one vote” rule in effect for state elections as per various Supreme Court rulings.

“The most relevant Supreme Court case is Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964),” Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute notes.

“In that case, the Court held that states need to redistrict in order to have state legislative districts with roughly equal populations: ‘The Equal Protection Clause requires substantially equal legislative representation for all citizens in a State regardless of where they reside.'”

The problem with redistricting, of course, is that it leads to gerrymandering. But as Hayes himself noted in his diatribe Friday, the Supreme Court has done its best to ensure that gerrymandering isn’t conducted in unfair and illegal ways.

“[T]he Supreme Court says no, you can’t do that,” he said. “You cannot just come up with crazy systems of representation to essentially stymie the basic principle of majority rule [IN STATES]. And over the course of decades, they strike down representation system after representation system because it doesn’t meet the standard they have articulated.”

Fact-check: TRUE.

“The basic principle one person, one vote, the candidate with the most votes wins, those are the basic principles that are applied everywhere in the United States, every single election from dog catcher to state senator to governor up to two institutions, the two most powerful: The United States Senate, right … and then of course the other institution, the presidency,” he continued.

“Take a step back for a second and just ponder how preposterous it is that for the most powerful office, that’s the case. Right? Like if you run for class president in the fourth grade, you are elected if and only if you get the most votes. Every election.”

What Hayes neglected to mention is that the Founding Fathers purposefully designed the system like this to prevent majority nationwide rule. While majority rule is OK for smaller groups (states, high schools, etc.), it’s not so great for an entire country.

“The Founders expressed contempt for the tyranny of majority rule, and throughout our Constitution, they placed impediments to that tyranny,” The Daily Signal piece – linked to by Crenshaw in his rebuttals to AOC – reads.

“Two houses of Congress pose one obstacle to majority rule. That is, 51 senators can block the wishes of 435 representatives and 49 senators. The president can veto the wishes of 535 members of Congress. It takes two-thirds of both houses of Congress to override a presidential veto.”

It’s called separation of powers, and apparently, neither AOC nor Hayes believes in it. Shocking …

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Vivek Saxena

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