Harry would consider diluting the votes of Nevadans, but he should instead strengthen the states

Harry Reid to Nevada voters: Let’s consider diluting the value of your vote.

After Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 2 million votes but lost in the Electoral College count 290-232, Reid told reporters Wednesday, “I think it would be educational for the country to have some hearings on the Electoral College system. … So I think it’s something we should look at, absolutely.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., filed a bill Tuesday to abolish the Electoral College. In the unlikely event Congress were to pass the bill, amending the Constitution still would require agreement by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

According to The Hill, Trump, who seldom misses an opportunity to waffle on any issue, called the Electoral College “genius” on Tuesday morning, though in a a Sunday “60 Minutes” interview he said, “I’m not going to change my mind just because I won,” the president-elect said. “But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”

Barbara Boxer with Hillary Clinton (Reuters photo)

Barbara Boxer with Hillary Clinton (Reuters photo)

For Nevada voters dumping the Electoral College system would mean the state’s collective voting strength would drop from six to four.

The electoral college system was set up to give smaller states like Nevada an outsized voice in the presidential election. In a proportionate system, Nevada would have only four votes, one for each member of the House of Representatives, which is divvied up by population. But Nevada gets two extra votes, one for each senator.

Similarly, instead of having only one vote, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, the Dakotas and a couple of others get three.

When the Constitution was written the states were intended to be sovereign entities, conducting the affairs within their borders, while the federal government would handle those enumerated duties beyond the scope or power of the individual states, such as defending the country from invasion and regulating interstate commerce.

Over the years the federal government has usurped more and more powers never envisioned by the Founders. Congress — using the carrot and stick of federal funding — dictates to states what the legal drinking age will be, what the highway speed limits will be, what education standards should be attained and whether to expand Medicaid, among many, many other things.

If Harry wants to consider some hearings on a constitutional amendment that would be educational for the country, he should call for hearings on repealing the 17th Amendment, which in 1913 changed the election of U.S. senators from selection by state legislatures to a popular vote.

Since then the Congress has treated the states like fiefdoms over which it holds indomitable power.

James Madison said during debate over the Bill of Rights, “The state legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power, than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of people’s liberty.”

George Mason warned when the Constitution was being drafted in Philadelphia, “(W)e have agreed that the national Legislature shall have a negative on the State Legislatures — the Danger is that the national, will swallow up the State Legislatures — what will be a reasonable guard agt. this Danger, and operate in favor of the State authorities — The answer seems to me to be this, let the State Legislatures appoint the Senate …”

The delegates agreed unanimously.

But in a fit of progressive pique this common sense check against unbridled power was overturned by the 17th.

In 1997 Nevada’s own Jay Bybee, a former constitutional law professor at UNLV and now a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the recommendation of Harry Reid, penned an article railing against the 17th Amendment’s alteration of the country’s power structure:


“The Senate’s slide to popular democracy unyoked states and the national government in a way that has left the states nearly powerless to defend their position as other legitimate representatives of the people. As the United States moved into the Twentieth Century, it was inevitable that Congress would aggressively exercise power over matters such as commerce and spending for the general welfare in ways that no constitutional prophet would have foreseen. The lack of foresight of the circumstances under which Congress would exercise its powers did not excuse our failure to maintain those constitutional structures that assure the tempered, essential use of such powers. When we loosed ourselves from the mast to answer the Sirens’ call, we unleashed consequences only Circe could have foreseen.”

If Harry wants to dabble with the Constitution, he should look to the 17th Amendment, not the Electoral College.





17 comments on “Harry would consider diluting the votes of Nevadans, but he should instead strengthen the states

  1. Linda Sanders says:


  2. Barbara says:

    Excellent article. Does Harry and Barbara Boxer think the Senate is unfair because each State regardless of population has 2 Senators? Under their reasoning (or lack thereof) we should also do away with the Senate. After all, why should Nevada’s two Senators have an equal vote with the Senators from CA when CA has so many more people. No Electoral College – No Senate.

  3. Damn. Wish I had said that.

  4. Barbara says:

    Full disclosure – the idea came from Mark Levin. I love LevinTV. It’s expanding to include shows with Mark Steyn and Michelle Malkin as well as others.

  5. Is that the new paid programming? $89 a year, I hear.

  6. Rincon says:

    First, a plurality should never be sufficient to elect anyone. Our voting system also makes a successful 3rd party nearly impossible, but it won’t change in our lifetimes.

    It’s pretty natural that Nevadans and conservatives like having more voting power than their foes, but it’s hard to support a system that allows a minority to win over a majority – or as in this case, a smaller plurality win over a larger plurality. Nevertheless, no one should complain about who won and who lost. Trump and the Republicans should have been easy to defeat. Trump also should have been easy to defeat in the primaries. We get the government that we deserve.

  7. Steve says:

    The Democrats will have an argument for this as soon as they end their “Super delegate” system.

  8. deleted says:

    I wonder if any of the constitutional scholars here could point out the part of the Constitution that requires that the Senate be eliminated if an amendment is passed eliminating the Electoral College.

  9. deleted says:

    I do so love “Constitutionalists”.


  10. Steve says:

    There isn’t, Patrick and you cannot show where anyone claimed there is.

    However, if there is no need for an Electoral College, then there is no need for a Senate.
    OR “Super Delegates” for that matter!


  11. deleted says:

    Steve, you are a fuking idiot.

  12. Barbara says:

    Thomas – yes, LevinTV is seen by subscription. I signed up when they first started for $59 per year. There is no advertising, no commercials. Mark discusses various topics and sometimes has guests. He had a very interesting episode on the countries electrical grid. The episodes last about 45 to 50 minutes and you can watch them when you want as often as you want. Tonight’s episodes is about George Soros.

  13. Steve says:

    Patrick, I knew you couldn’t.

  14. Rincon says:

    Please check Mark Levin’s facts and conclusions. I did years ago and found him completely untrustworthy.. My fact checking for him and other pundits is part of what made me reject radical conservativism. I know, you don’t consider it radical.

    In the for what it’s worth department, I just read a book that documents what I have long felt to be the case: Dark Money – The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer. This author with a very strong resume. I find no reason to question her veracity, especially when the people she is writing about have the means and the legal horsepower to sue her for libel if she is inaccurate.

  15. Steve says:

    Donald Trump is “The Mule”, right? Rincon.

  16. Barbara says:

    Dark Money – defined by liberals as any money spent on conservative causes. Just the title shows her bias.

    I wrote here about a new book by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, which continues her vendetta against Charles and David Koch. In her book, as reported and headlined by the New York Times, Mayer breathlessly claims that the brothers’ father, Fred Koch, through a company called Winkler-Koch, designed a portion of an oil refinery that was built in Hamburg, Germany, between 1933 and 1935. What’s the point? There is none, except to implicitly smear Charles and David Koch as Nazi sympathizers.

    The actual facts surrounding the refinery in question are set forth below. But for the moment, let’s put the facts aside and play the ancestor game. If the Kochs can be tarred because their ancestor did business in Germany on a single occasion, let’s apply the same standard to others. Like to Jane Mayer, for example.

    Jane Mayer is the great-great-granddaughter of Emanuel Lehman, who had two brothers. Yup: those Lehman Brothers. And guess what: Lehman Brothers (still owned by the Lehman family) not only did business with Nazi Germany, repeatedly, it actively encouraged others to do the same. Haaretz reports:

    In addition to support for a boycott, there were those who expressed opposition to such a move, among them Judge Irving Lehman. He voiced concern that the campaign would escalate the situation, resulting in additional harm to German Jews. He cautioned that advocates of a boycott not let their anger at the Nazis lead to the death of German Jews. In his case, however, his opposition may have also been motivated by the interests of his family’s business – Lehman Brothers investment bank, which was one of a number of U.S. banks that did business with Hitler’s Germany (75 years before the bank collapsed in the global economic crisis of 2008).

    So Jane Mayer must be a Nazi sympathizer. Is that a good argument? No, but it’s better than the one she made against Charles and David Koch. It is remarkable that Mayer threw the absurd Nazi stone from inside such a patently glass house. And we haven’t even mentioned slavery; Lehman Brothers began as a cotton trading firm in the 1850s.

    For those who care about the story behind the oil refinery here is the link to the above article:


  17. Rincon says:

    “What’s the point?”

    Read the name of the book to get a clue. She would have been biased had she decided NOT to include this information. This was the greatest moneymaker in the early history of the company. Any history of the Koch fortune and politics would be incomplete without it. In addition, the words are apparently accurate, since the author would be highly exposed to a libel charge if not. You’re crying foul because she speaks the truth?

    Her words about the Nazi business begin with this sentence: What happened next has been excised from the official corporate history of Koch industries (p.28 hard cover). She’s supposed to help their coverup?

    So far as I can tell, mention of Germany in the ’30’s and ’40’s ends on p. 32; 3.8 pages out of a 380 page book. Your post ignores the other 376 pages, and you say Mayer is the one who’s biased??? Look in the mirror. But I don’t actually think you’re that unfairly minded. My best guess is that you gleaned your information from the article in your link. This is a Conservative blog. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Line Using their article exclusively is akin to reading a Sierra Club review of an anti-global warming book to decide if it’s kosher. What would you expect?

    Any tidbits you would like to pass along from the other 99% of the book?

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