The Pennsylvania state capitol building. (Flickr/Paul Vasiliades)
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has been blunt about his determination to rig the Electoral College. So it should come as no surprise that, even after his partisan minions were “named and shamed” into distancing themselves from an initial strategy for gaming presidential politics, key Republicans have returned with another plan to make it possible for a GOP loser to “win” the 2016 presidential race.
Thwarted in an effort to assign electoral votes based on the results from gerrymandered congressional districts, Republicans are now proposing a “proportional representation” plan that offers another avenue to assign substantial numbers of electoral votes to Republican nominees who lose key swing states such as Pennsylvania.
The proportional proposal—which Pennsylvania state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, a top Republican closely allied with Governor Tom Corbett, says he will introduce in short order—sounds on the surface like a somewhat fairer approach. But, if implemented, it would put the “fix” in just as surely as the previous plan.
Indeed, a Pileggi spokesman admits, “The major goal remains the same…”
It is the goal of rigging the rules to benefit future Republican presidential nominess that has always mattered most to Priebus and his allies.
The RNC chair and those aligned with him have never evidenced any great concern regarding specifics. They’re concerned with gaining an illicit advantage for Republican presidential candidates who Priebus has essentially admitted are unlikely to win a fair fight under the existing rules.
In the arcane language of the permanent political insider, Priebus says: “states that have been consistently blue that are controlled red ought to be looking at” ways to alter rules for distributing electoral votes. Translation: In states where Democrats regularly win presidential races, Republicans should use their transitory control of governorships and state legislative chambers to grab as many electoral votes as they can.
Priebus initially talked up the idea of to having Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania abandon the current model of assigning electoral votes to the winner of the state and instead implement a model where the allotment would be based on the winners of congressional districts. That plan, which would have allowed the loser of the popular vote in many states to “win” most of the electoral votes, was such a blatant rip-off that shamed Republicans in Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin and other states abandoned it.