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Phony Electors?  What Were They Thinking?

Phony Electors?  What Were They Thinking?

If one can put aside the 2020 election narratives coming from President Trump and those with an unrelenting visceral hatred of the former President, you would know that most of his post-election efforts to win reelection were legal — perhaps a bit aggressive – but legal just the same. 

All those challenges, recounts and court cases were standard operating procedures in close elections.  The fact that Trump folks pursued all that – and did not come out very well in the final analysis – does not mean it was illegal or unconstitutional.  

Even calling on state legislators to throw out the elected electors and replace them with a slate selected by the legislature is constitutional and legal.  It may be an affront to our sense of fair play – but legal.  It should be based on evidence that the elected electors were not properly elected.  It happened in the past – the Compromise of 1877.

But no state legislature advanced an alternative slate of electors based on voting irregularities.  In fact, they all certified the electors chosen by the voters.  Since it is the Electoral College that picks our presidents, once those electors voted, Biden became the constitutional president-elect.  That is because the electors are not bound by the popular voter — whether it was a true account or stolen.  Once empaneled, the electors can pick any born American citizen attaining the age of 35 as President.  They could have picked me, and it would be perfect legal and constitutional.

It is important to dwell on that point because that is when the election is … over.  Now there is one more ceremonial hurdle.  The vote of the electors must be certified by the Congress.  It is theoretically possible for Congress to reject the vote of the electors.  Perfectly legal.  Not a good idea, however – and it has never been done.  There are often a few members of Congress to vote against certification —  but never nearly enough to actually stop the certification process.

And there is nothing illegal for Trump to ask the Congress not to certify.  It is also perfectly legal for citizens to peacefully protest in an effort to have the Congress not certify or delay certification.

It is NOT legal to riot and disrupt the proceedings, however.  It is not legal for the presiding Vice President to summarily end the certification process.  It is not legal to incite people to riot.   That is an issue that is currently being investigated.

Contrary to the fearmongering from the left, the Constitution worked very well, indeed.  Democracy was never imperiled — but showed enormous durability in a moment of heated political contention.  The only impact on the constitutional process of seating the next president was that the certification was delayed a few hours.  That was it.  There was never a threat to the Republic.  That is not to say that all the stakeholders acted properly and legally.  Those issues will be resolved in a number of court cases.  

What about those so-called alternative slates of electors?

But the issue that stands out the most for me is that effort to present an “alternative slate of electors” in half a dozen states.  The fact that this charade was orchestrated by a group of lawyers is mind-boggling.

It is perfectly legal to create a group of alternative electors for a given state.  And you can even take them to your state legislature and ask them to replace the elected electors.  If you cannot get the legislature to agree, you are done … finished … fini.

What these bozos did was skip the state legislature step and send them directly to the Senate and the Archives suggesting that these were the legitimate electors – or should be considered the legitimate electors.  

It is yet to be determined if they committed a crime sufficiently serious to warrant prosecution.  And the culpability will vary on an individual basis.  Two of the documents indicated that it lists alternative electors to be considered only IF they are needed.  I suspect that is enough of a qualifier to get those listed on the two petitions off the hook.

The “alternative” electors listed on other documents have a bigger problem.  And those who organized the activity — AND submitted the documents to the Senate and the Archives have a lot of “splaining to do” – probably in a court-of-law.  They are at the greatest risk of legal liability.

Those on the left are eager to send all those involved to the gallows.  That is not likely to happen. I doubt any of those whose names appeared on the documents will face serious legal consequences. They will claim that they were acting on the advice of counsel.  It was not their intent to break any laws.

The most vulnerable individuals are Rudy Guiliani, Sydney Powell, Michael Flynn, and John Eastman.  If the media reports are correct, they were the masterminds behind the plan – and played the major role in implementing it.  

It was at that contentious White House meeting that Flynn proposed using the military to seize voting machines.  As President, Trump could have issued such an order, but he rejected out-of-hand. The meeting was said to have gotten very heated with expletives being tossed back and forth.  Vice President Pence and White House lawyers vociferously opposed both the military seizure and alternative electors plans as “idiotic.”  They were correct.

Apparently, Special Counsel Jack Smith is looking into this matter — in addition to the Capitol Hill riot and the White House documents issue.  In terms of the fake electors, methinks some folks will get indicted – but I am not convinced this issue will result in jail time for any of those involved.  

The problem with the alternative slate scheme was that the organizers of this gambit should have known (1) that they were not following the legal or constitutional process and (2) the chance of the scheme working was zero.  If stupidity was illegal, they would all get indicted.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

15 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    When I read a Horist tome, many times I come away feeling decidedly dirty just for being a liberal. Not wrong or off base, but dirty. This was one of those times. The Big Lie is all about Trump and yet Mr. Horist makes liberals dirty on the issue for being too strident, too accusatory. How anyone can be too accusatory with the Trumpster is beyond me.

    Mr. Horist seems to live in the land of the legal where right and wrong are less important than what one might get away with within the law. Soon, I fear he will espouse “as long as you aren’t caught, it’s still legal” as a good thing.

    “All those challenges, recounts and court cases were standard operating procedures in close elections.” So far, I can find no other Presidential election with this many court cases, much less 62 court cases tossed for LACK OF MERIT. What was done was NOT standard operating procedure. Far from it. It was a multi-part plan with advanced planning that began well before the election.
    To kick it off, Trump’s Big Lie propaganda campaign was a massive use of the bully pulpit to twist people’s minds into believing the unbelievable, the election was rigged, at least unbelievable given the accusations and the court/recount results. Here’s the magnitude of the illegality of the legal initial assault of Trump’s multi-part plan: *https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/politics/elections/2021/01/06/trumps-failed-efforts-overturn-election-numbers/4130307001/*

    “If one can put aside the 2020 election narratives coming from President Trump and those with an unrelenting visceral hatred of the former President, you would know that most of his post-election efforts to win reelection were legal — perhaps a bit aggressive – but legal just the same.” First, Mr. Horist talks in the third person, which he hates, he sounds conflicted. He connects Trump’s and liberal’s actions as equal, they aren’t, and that’s one reason Mr. Horist makes me feel dirty. Then he boldly claims that Trump is mostly legal, armchair Constitutional lawyer that he isn’t. They are NOT mostly LEGAL, and it only takes one crime to be a criminal. Right? Can’t be kinda a criminal. Mostly not a criminal.

    One plot that Mr. Horist calls legal is strongarming States to change the vote. I can see asking a question, but when the President of the United States, with all that entails, calls you and TELLS you to find some 10,000 plus votes, that sure seems illegal to me. Could be wrong, but I think Georgia will decide it’s illegal too. Time will tell, but it’s soon to be telling time.

    Another plot is penis-shaming Pence to act unconstitutionally and reject the vote as Trump harangues him, calls him a pussy just before the barbarians at the gate with the gallows came for Mike.

    I was surprised that Mr. Horist does not seem to be up-to-date with the possible criminal acts revolving around The Big Lie since he regales so often about his MSNBC followings. Apparently, he missed the 1.6 report and Liz Cheney too.

    There’s a minimum of nine ways Trump planned to overturn the election, some legal, most questionable, a lot illegal. Some plots, like having the military seize voting machines, never made it past the planning stages. But it’s amazing that they even contemplated such egregious attacks on the Constitution. The timeline makes it apparent that after legal recourse was satisfied, Team Trump moved seamlessly to the illegal side of the force, Ari Melbar has one of the best charts, that shows how Trump, over time, waivers towards illegality as the legal efforts topple and fail. The courts will adjudicate the truth. Here are the goods.

    1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.

    2. Take em to court —– legal —- 63 attempts —- all failures except one. PA spend $500/hr for legal defense.

    3. Do-overs – legal — the half-dozen recounts, all failed. All legal. Hope Republicans like all those new voting machines they forced US citizens to purchase: $3M in Arizona alone, $30M total.

    4. President Trump hatched a plan to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims. This was the famous “unhinged” Oval Office Meeting. Questionable legality.

    5. President Trump strongarms Pence to skip his Constitutional duty to simply count certified electoral votes. This is unconstitutional and illegal.

    6. President Trump twisted arms of various state election officials and state legislators, to change election results. Georgia will test this in court as in they think it’s illegal.

    7. Trump’s team maneuvers Republicans in multiple states creating false electoral slates to send to Congress and the National Archives. Illegal.

    8. Trump summons a violent mob and tells them to fight, fight, and march on the Capitol resulting in seditious conspiracy convictions and many other crimes of violence. Hundreds jailed.

    9. During the 1.6.2021 Republican Violent Insurrection at the Nation’s Capital, Trump sloughed off multiple pleas for assistance taking no immediate actions to stop the violence. He let supporters run amuck for 3 hours as he watched TV munching on burgers. Citizens paid over $459K for protection on that day, guess we needed a billion. There is massive illegality here and the DOJ is investigating how far up the Trump ladder it goes. The folks in the hotel war room are toast.

    Number 8 caused Trump’s second impeachment which Republicans in the Senate rolled back. Reap what you sow; he’s baaaaaaack….

    I am not sure that Larry’s slap-on-the-wrist conclusion will hold given these folks got pretty close to illegally overturning an election. As for me, I think when you have armed terrorists overtaking our Capitol, a number of our leaders hiding for their lives, armed traitorous militias at the ready with more arms stashed around the city for support, yeah, it’s getting close. All you need was Trump hitting the “marshal law” button, using that to hold on to his office due to public turmoil, and we enter the next phase. IMO, it was close enough to be a pretty good blueprint on how it could have been pulled off if not for incompetent supporters and staff.

    Or maybe Trump was just too busy loading boxes with anything not nailed down, complete with top secret information, for his next step after the throne. It appears that as Rome was burning, Caligula was busy tossing into a moving van of boxes, every secret document he could lay his hands on, over 300 of them, into a hundred different boxes, ready for his retreat. I just hope they checked to see that the White House silverware is still there and not tarnishing in a bathroom at Mar A Loser.

    I am sorry Larry, but if you can’t see this man as a criminal, then what else can’t you see? Do you really still need a court case to say this guy is a criminal in your eyes?

    • Tom

      I agree with much of what you said Frank. I think Larry does down play things a little because he is devoted GOP. But you must admit, Larry does a good job at demonstrating why the GOP cannot seem to shed Trump. I don’t think Larry had any intention of making you feel dirty. This may be an issue you may want to seek some therapy for. As I believe you to be a very intelligent man, I feel confident that you would not be feeling “dirty” unless there is somewhere within you some unconfessed “dirt” as the basis for the feeling. But only you and your hairdresser know for sure!

      As far as I see it, Trump was seeding this whole mess nine months before the election when he hatched his statement that the only way he can lose is if the election is stolen from him by the Dems. I knew all the way back then we had a problem! There is also no doubt in my mind that Dems stretched rules a bit in their favor such as in the case of PA where they ignored the approval of election rules changes required by their constitution, as well as mail in voting irregularities in several states, and counting in AZ. But all in all, I will go with Barr’s recommendation. If Barr says it was not enough to impact the results, then it is a closed issue with me.

      As I have often said, Trump is a flaming narcissist. Anyone who studies these conditions knows that a narcissist will do anything to be right, and that includes attempting to overturn elections by a cocktail of legal procedures, borderline illegal procedures, and illegal procedures. Trump is not suited to run this government and never was and never will be. I hope that my truth just spoken will be like a bar of Irish Spring to your dirty feelings. The truth is always clean and always revealed in the light!

      Nice to see you again Frank!

      • frank stetson

        Tom, I dunno, after Mr. Horist’s latest Frank-rant, I am looking for that Irish Spring :>) All I know about the 2020 election is that Team Trump said it was the most secure election in our history. *https://apnews.com/article/top-officials-elections-most-secure-66f9361084ccbc461e3bbf42861057a5* but the important part is: 1) you can always find fraud, 2) it does not rise to a significant statistical level to be relevant. Sort of like Mr. Horist who know claims: “Tom … I have never known Frank to have a good ideal.” I agree that is Horist knowledge, however improbable it is. I don’t think he’s in danger of trying to communicate.

        “He is too preoccupied with being an attack dog — or he just cannot grasp the complexities of situations.” This Mr. Horist being what the Chicago Reader termed Mr. Horist after his surprise election loss to Spanky the Clown: “He’s like the kid on your block who was always getting into fights but always swore he never threw the first punch.” He never ran again, except to Florida.

        Tom, in my youth I hated the EC and desired the popular vote. As I matured, if that’s what’s happening :>), I came to believe more and more in the value of State’s Rights. IMO, the Electoral College is the pinnacle of State’s Rights. I came to this after realizing, as you noted, the popular vote means only the population centers matter, Hillary would win, and no one would ever politic in the Mid-West, or Rhode Island :>) for a national seat. We believe in 50 States as our incubator for new ideas; I believe that too. I think the EC helps secure that and forces politicians to visit, listen, learn, and speak to many States gathering much real-time experience that would be lost with the popular vote.

        Weird, but that’s my feelings (as such unassailable Mr. Horist).

        Meanwhile — on the popular vote. Why we don’t internet this stuff is beyond me. MasterCard does it. Social Security does it. We have DARPA. Can’t we figure out how to make point n click the voting method of choice? And then open er up and let’s vote on issues too. Referendums. Whatever. Voting machines, paper ballots, mail in, —– what a joke. If we voted with the internet, we can open voting up, get results faster, and then AI can pick the President :>)

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson… You obviously have reading comprehension problems. Most things you clam as my opinion is wrong …. wrong … wrong. this commentary was to explain the difference between actions that are legal — albeit offensive to our sense of fairly play — and actions that are potentially illegal. I offer that distinction because may folks do not seem to understand the difference. It is one of the reasons why so many on the left are disappointed in the outcomes of various investigations. The Russian conspiracy is a good example of where public opinion was being driven on a certainty that Trump was guilty. But the investigators who had to deal with the law found no reason to prosecute.

      What I gave you was an objective analysis of the situations. No an endorsement of Trump –as you seem to spin everything. I offered no personal preference on the outcome of Trump’s problems — just where I see his greatest and lessor dangers. It would seem that your hatred for Trump, Republicans and even me has destroyed your objectivity gene.

      If you read my commentary carefully — which I am not sure you are capable of — you will note that I said that some of the actions may have been illegal — and that is what the court cases will determine. In no way was I absolving Trump or anyone else. You eagerness to put me down and hang Trump has you again writing a looooong and repetitious screed (or is it a rant) based on your inability or unwillingness to actually report on what I write — not spin your yarn on what YOU claim I write .. or what YOU claim to be my opinions.

      If you feel dirty it should not be from what I write but the ignorant bullshit with which you respond. It is that old obsession you cannot seem to shake.

      • frank stetson

        Larry, I do not have reading comprehension problems; you may have problems explaining yourself. Perhaps instead of the knee-jerk response, you should reflect on what I said and how I could, in your eyes, misrepresent what you attempted to say. Like maybe what I say actually matters, has meaning and the feelings I have, like you making me feel dirty, are my real feelings that I chose to share with you hoping for a dialog about that or at least an understanding. You offer neither. Instead, you go for the throat accusing me of a grab bag of personal problems including: reading comprehension issues, spinning everything (OK, that’s true, as do you), obsessive hatred of many things including you personally, general obsession, and spewing ignorant bullshit. Mr. Horist, if I hated you, you would know. I am pretty sure I abstained from the name calling accusations that you seem to prefer, please lower the temperature if you will. Meanwhile, back to the facts, Jack.

        All of things I “clamed” are correct, most experts agree you are very wrong on a number of items as I noted. And thank you for the Trump-Russia retrospective as a red herring endorsement of your leader. Trump hangs himself; I have nothing to do with that. Your ploy to blame Trump’s mistakes on over zealous Democrats is as funny as the Wray roasting by House Republicans as a life-long Republican that has turned the entire FBI against Trump and conservatives. Some Larry-isms:
        “most of his post-election efforts to win reelection were legal” wow, sounds like a partisan verdict, not an objective assessment or even one that dovetails with most expert thought on the subject.

        “Even calling on state legislators to throw out the elected electors and replace them with a slate selected by the legislature is constitutional and legal.” Hmmm. Legal again. Yet you weasel word the issue because that is not what happened, as you note way down in the screed weeds, but you conclude this even illegal action will result in a firm wrist slapping as if a minor infraction to participate in overturning a US Presidential election. Soon, the DOJ will indict to prove you wrong. Your defense of “it was a stupid idea,” notwithstanding.

        “As President, Trump could have issued such an order” to seize voting machines, another illegal act Mr. Horist concludes is perfectly legal. Ghouliani differs: ““I can remember the issue of the military coming up much earlier and constantly saying, ‘Will you forget about it, please? Just shut up. You want to go to jail? Just shut up. We’re not using the military,’” he added. As did any expert Trump consulted: *https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/05/politics/election-voting-machines-trump-national-security/index.html*

        There’s two, and there’s more. It is what it is, it is what I said. I stand uncorrected.

    • George Blumel

      Mr. Stetson, you are so obviously hateful of President Trump that your hate overcomes any point you try to make here. Most readers who have a point to make will choose a part of the article they’re differing with and counter it with facts as seen by them. You pick out several items to call into question with little or no factual basis. Take #8, you say, “Trump summons a violent mob and tells them to fight, fight, and march on the Capitol resulting in seditious conspiracy convictions and many other crimes of violence.” That’s the opposite of what Trump said when he admonished the crowd to “…. peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today.” Your Party is the party of hate and you exemplify it in your comments.

      • frank stetson

        Mr. Blumel, Me, hateful of Trump? Nah. I HATE what he does, what he says, but I feel sorry for this man who has little humanity, less community spirit, and an unsuppressed vanity of the nth degree. On the evidence, I have disliked the guy’s actions since the 80’s with crap he pulled in my NJ including 4 bankruptcies where he stiffed people on contracts, contracting, and working for him. My neighbors. Christie wrote off $25M of his $30M back taxes. Gosh knows what the Fed gave this guy paid by the US taxpayer. In the end, his “I can fix Atlantic City” was demolished as unsafe for human occupancy. Some developer. He left AC worse than he found it and that’s tough. Paid many fines for his many attempts to cheat.

        You raise an excellent point: “Trump said when he admonished the crowd to “…. peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today” which adds to your feeling that Dems are the party of hate. Let’s go to the tape to see:

        Trump began ginning up his base for 1.6.2021 half a year before he lost the election announcing he could lose only by cheating. No matter what, if he lost, they cheated. Case closed. Mission accomplished.

        He began these vitriolic attacks in April of 2020. Over and over the same bullshit for sixth months before the election. He lost. He lost soundly. He lost the popular by 7M votes on 150M total; that’s like 5%.. He lost the electoral. Not a landslide, but soundly lost. Convincingly.

        As soon as he lost, he began prepping for his 1.6.2021 Save American Rally suggesting: “be there, will be wild!”

        Somehow, many people came armed, some came with sedition planned, others just came. But they knew to make flagpoles into camo-spears, to bring bear spray, to have gun stockpiles around the city, all sorts of things you normally don’t stock for a protest unless you feel violence will be in the air. They knew. It ended up becoming an insurrection inside a violent protest inside a peaceful protest inside a Trump rally — he invited them, he ginned them up, he sent them to the Capitol to “fight like hell,” to “stop the steal” in a “trial by combat” (Rudy’s input). And then he sat back and watched for over three hours. Amazingly, the same time it took for the Minnow to be lost….

        On 1.6.2021, before he set the crowd onto the Capitol, he used a form of the word FIGHT over 20 times in his rally screed. He said:
        “…. peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today, ” as you noted. This may have been muted against:
        “….these people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer.”
        “We will never give up; we will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”
        “We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen, I’m not going to let it happen. (Crowd chants “FIGHT FOR TRUMP, FIGHT FOR TRUMP. Trump smiles and raises the power fist.
        “You will have an illegitimate president. That’s what you’ll have. And we can’t let that happen.”
        “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules.”
        “And after this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down, we’re going to walk down.”
        “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” is the line the left clings to.

        Pretty bad, but not enough to charge, IMO.

        But wait, there’s more. Trump invited his friends, whom he vetted, to voice views as well as they said:

        Don Jr on Republicans not supporting The Big Lie: “If you’re gonna be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re going to have a good time doing it!” and he doubled down: “I’m gonna be in your backyard in a couple of months.”
        Mo Brooks, Congresshit, said: “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!”
        Rudy, Rooty, Tooty: ““If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of,” he said. “But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So, let’s have trial by combat.”

        There’s more of these dangerous statements made as 10,000 descended on the Capital, over 1,200 break into the building, it’s an insurrection hidden inside a violent protest hidden inside a protest stemming from a TRUMP rally where he invited them, told them the election was stolen, and then sent them to the Capitol while he ran home, grabbed some burgers, tossed a few at the wall for the little people to clean up, and watched the violence on TV for over three hours; Trump is not defending the Capitol, not defending the nation, and not responding as Congressional leaders from both sides, media experts, legal experts, staff and friends begged him to take action.

        Caligula cackled as Rome burns: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

        Nope, I think, based on the evidence, I feel spot on with my opinion of the man.

  2. Tom

    Larry, I think the general American public has such a lack of knowledgeable and is so far removed from the whole process that it is hard to get anyone interested in the process or your blog on the topic. All I remember is being very tired of hearing yet another Trump legal challenge. And then there was all of the misinformation regarding the voting machines for which Fox is being punished and others like Sydney Powell will also have to pay. And I hope they have to pay big! And I am glad for this!

    I do understand that there are good reasons for the electoral college but wonder if the system needs some redesign. Many people are in favor of a popular vote system but this means that about 13 states where much of the population resides will determine what the remaining 37 states will do. What the answer is, I just do not know. One possibility is that POTUS, VP, and I think the AG run separately so that we can have a mixed administration. Its hard to say we have a democracy when our elected officials can select a different set of electors that may not reflect the electorate et al. But I also do not want 13 states deciding everything for the other 37. And I do not like Executive Orders which gets around the whole process. Nor do I want a system like China.

    Maybe Frank has a good idea?

    • larry Horist

      Tom … I have never known Frank to have a good ideal. He is too preoccupied with being an attack dog — or he just cannot grasp the complexities of situations. I like the Electoral College because it settles close elections. Without the Collège, the 2020 election could have gone on for months — even years — as the two sides battled in court cases in multiple states.

      And I do not like the idea of that a President and Vice President of different parties. It is a constitutional crisis in the making. When the people elect President, they reasonably expect that those policies will prevail for at least four years. If the President were to die in office, the nations could be lurched in a direction the people rejected. What if a President is temporarily incapacitated, the Vice President takes over the powers. If a President is undergoing 6 hours of surgery, the Vice President could sent troops into Canada. I know that I ridiculous, but you get the point. We had a Governor and Lt. Governor if different parties and it was a disaster. The law was quicky change to make sure that never happened again. While there are problems with the system — all systems — we arguably have the best system possible. We should be very cautious when we think of fundamental changes.

      • Tom

        Yes I agree, I am for the electoral college. My reasoning is that it ensures that 13 stated do not tell or force the other 37 states on what they must do. Good point about P and VP on different parties. IT might cause what you say at the national level just as much as it might be a benefit depending on who is in what position. But you are correct, it would probably cause a jerked and abrupt change in policy that I had not thought about. I thought Frank had a good idea that every federal candidate must have a resume on file that the electorate can access. It might have made Santos more honest. And I think his thoughts on national debt are good that we should repay it and stop adding to it. He blames both parties for this. And some of his economic views are pretty mainstream. He and I do vary widely on issues involving hormone therapy for kids, gender transition issues, child grooming that I do think is happening, and some other LGBTQ+ issues.

        I was shocked to read today that our military is paying for gender transition surgeries and these transitioning soldiers get up to something like 330 days where they do not have to report to their assigned duty station.

      • frank stetson

        “Tom … I have never known Frank to have a good ideal. He is too preoccupied with being an attack dog — or he just cannot grasp the complexities of situations.”

        The improbability of this statement being true shows Mr. Horist’s opinion to be impossible. His failure of recognition speaks to his lack of comprehension compensated by his obsession with hating “the other side.”

        Or maybe it’s just a “senior moment.”

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … I love how you project you own weakness on others — and me. I point out example after example when you seem to not comprehend what I wrote, so you attack MY comprehension. I have pointed specifically to you constant and long, long comments — mostly rebuttal and ad hominin attacks — and you call ME “obsessive.” Your snide insults are childish and meaningless. As Tom noted, you use a LOT of words to say very little. You seem to want folks to see you as some intellectual powerhouse, but your sophomoric approach to dialogue, your petty and misguided personal attacks and your general lack of knowledge give quite the opposite impression. Have you even noticed how often you write about things that have nothing to do with the specific commentary. You just use the platform for your incessant and repetitions rants. By word count, you write more on PBP than anyone — including the official writers. Your time-to-value ratio is abysmal. And you do not think that is an obsession????

          • frank stetson

            I’ve seen this tome from Mr. Horist before…..

            Is Mr. Horist suffering from a Florida heatstroke making him mentally unhinged? Check me and see if his passage has much connection to my previous comment or is he a tad over-the-top? Hissy fit perhaps? Perhaps Tom will pen an Independent view of who is meaner on these two posts…. (remembering that Mr. Horist kicked it off with his Tom tirade). And then Mr. Horist unleashes his vitriolic diatribe targeting the object of his favorite obsession: me.

            About 200 words to say one thing: asshole. Well, right back at ya big guy. Remember though,
            I love ya, man.

  3. Joseph S. Bruder

    What were they thinking? They were thinking they could overturn an election by entering into an illegal scheme at the behest of the President and his upper-level staff. They WERE NOT thinking “is this legal”, or “is this ethical” or “do we have the right to discount the vote taken in our state” – they were thinking “the ends justify the means”, which has become the defacto standard for the entire Republican Party. They were convinced by Trump that this was “for the good of the country”, when Trump’s only criteria for everything he does is “is this beneficial to ME”.

    Trump is a political cult leader, a huckster who has honed his craft by virtue of inheriting (and stealing) millions of dollars from his father, losing most of it but still pretending he’s rich, entering into fraudulent hotel deals, never paying his bills, parlaying his (idiotic) “reality” show into celebrity status, and diverting government money into his own pockets. He has managed to convince people that anything he does for himself out in the open must be not only legal, but the right thing to do. He’s an amoral narcissistic psychopath who has managed to completely capture “some of the people all of the time” – only about 15-20% of the population, but a significant portion of the Republican Party.

    They were simply captured by his lies, and stopped thinking. Just more members of the cult.

    • Tom

      Joe I am not sure that Trump captured people with his lies. It was rather well documented that 72% of his statements during his 2016 campaign were some form of lie. I think he spoke various levels of untruth which did speak to a large silent majority that resonated with his words being exactly how they were feeling thereby waking up the populism of this subgroup of our population. And now that subgroup has become disciples of their leader. Last figure I read about the size of this subgroup is about 24-26%. Dems have the same kind of subgroup on the left and their discipleship of environmental justice. The Dem loyalist subgroup is just a couple percent bigger than the Trump subgroup. But lets face facts, neither group will get to over 50% of the electorate unless they win the Independents subgroup which is around 45-47% of the electorate. Independents like me feel that Trump and Biden are both the two most deeply flawed candidates in US POTUS election history! Yet neither GOP or Dem subgroups are doing much to win this important subgroup because they are too busy attacking each other – which in a way is what Frank and Larry both complain about with regard to each other.

  1. There you go again raking up stories about obscure democrats who are of small consequence in the larger American political…