The Watering Hole; Thursday December 18 2014; HELP!!

OK. Here’s the thing. The electoral system in the US has been hijacked by the Supreme Court, by big money, by Congress, and by emergent power structures in the several states. How’d that happen? A quick look in the rear view mirror reminds us that:

1) In December of 2000 the Supreme Court jumped ahead of the pack and appointed George W. Bush POTUS simply because the popular vote in Florida was having some problem with ballot counting, and the distribution of Florida’s electoral votes would determine whether Al Gore or George Bush would become president. No matter that the national popular vote chose Al Gore, no matter the final Florida tally; only the electoral vote determines the presidency; everything else is academic.

2) In 2009, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case essentially turned the nation’s electoral process into a ‘who can raise the most money’ contest, thereby green-lighting the purchase of the government by corporations, by Wall Street, and by billionaires. In short, money was now defined, in the political world, as the equivalent of speech. The fatter the wallet, the louder the “free” speech.

3) In 2012 the Supreme Court crippled a significant portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and essentially allowed the several states the privilege of enacting voter registration laws which could serve to reduce voter access amongst various ethnic and racial groups, thereby altering the final vote tally in ways that would ultimately act to favor one political party to the manipulated disadvantage of the other.

Whereto from here? Is it possible for the average Jane and John Doe to recapture their country, or is it too late? Have the oligarch and the right wing Fascist movement won? Has everything shifted in the worst possible way? Is there any possible solution?

Why not a Constitutional amendment, one that clarifies the right of the people to vote, and one that specifically corrects today’s major flaws in the voting/electoral system? Good idea, no? One could easily figure that at least 34 states might stand tall and ratify it by tomorrow, if only Congress would introduce it!

I haven’t heard that anyone in Congress is willing to take the bull by the blanks and get it done, though, so I figured why not help ’em out a little. How about this for starters?

ARTICLE XXVII ?

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for Senator, for Representative, or for initiatives or amendments be they national or in any of the various States, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State for any reason or by any technique. Therefore:

Clause 1.

The Electoral College is hereby discarded; the Popular Vote only shall determine the election of President and Vice President.

Clause 2.

Individual and corporate financial contributions to all political processes at all National and State levels are hereinafter permitted in any quantity, although no financial contribution can be made to any given candidate, to any given political party, or in support of any particular initiative or amendment. All financial contributions will be addressed solely to a Central Electoral Fund which will then be distributed evenly to each and all candidates and for each and all ballot issues regardless of underlying politic.

Clause 3.

Each and every citizen of age eighteen and above is eligible to vote, in each and every election, for any candidate and on any ballot issue; such right shall not be denied or abridged in any way or by any means, by the United States or by any of the Several States.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Now I admit that I ain’t a lawyer, am not possessed by the burden of a “legal” mind. Stated another way, I admit to zero talent in re finding all the “right” words that are invariably implicit in and a requirement of legal baloney. OTOH, I figure that since Rome wasn’t built in a day and since James Madison is no longer with us .  . . well, you know, gotta start someplace. Right? Right.

HELP!!

OPEN THREAD

37 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday December 18 2014; HELP!!

  1. These GOPers need to vent their outrage over normalizing relations with China and Vietnam now.

    • ya know, the GoP keep ping-ponging back and forth about normalizing relations with China…..

  2. In regards to the Cuba-American relations, I saw this comment by Vin on the NYT and thought it brilliant:

    “Look, I can appreciate that it’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a police state whose police forces routinely murder civilians (and whose top political leaders have engaged in torture of prisoners with impunity), but Cuba did the right thing.”

  3. So, if gas is under $2 a gallon in 24 states, does that mean Newt Gingrich is President? He’s the one who campaigned on $2 gas.

  4. I like your proposed amendment (which would be number 28, I believe.) My only concern is that the wording of Clause 3 would permit convicted felons to vote (unless such a conviction costs someone their citizenship; then they would not be citizens 18 or older, they would just be persons.)

  5. Brilliant post frugal.
    As you succinctly point out, finding a legislator to run with such a proposition is unlikely..in the extreme.

    • I was hoping that we the people could at least get stuff started. I wonder, is there like an email address? Like maybe, I dunno, amendments.gov? Wethepeople.gov?

      Yeah, I know. We little folks don’t count for much what with no money for bribes and all, but still I think it’s not a bad idea. Maybe next year.😡

    • Yikes! He’s younger than I am, and . . .

      Well, suffice to say I quit smoking more that 17 years ago, and have never needed makeup, and . . . well, I’ve got a really cool hat, too. Etc.

      Who is/was Keith Richards, btw? I think I’ve heard the name before, but don’t know why or when. One of the benefits of aging, maybe.🙂

    • If they choose not to comply with the law, and defy the efforts of law enforcement to enforce the laws of the land, that’s their choice.
      And with that choice goes the responsibility for the consequences.
      See Waco, Texas….

    • It’d be far simpler to just repeal the second amendment and outlaw/confiscate their guns. At least then a few might agree that they’d have the semblance of a REASON to piss and moan.

  6. “In one discussion of Brown and Garner, one of my Black friends recalled that one of her White friends said that she was “tapping out” of a race discussion because the conversation was becoming “unproductive.” Black people don’t have that luxury to be able to tap out when things feel uncomfortable or tiresome.”

    I acknowledge my White privilege, and my Woman privilege, and my 50+ privilege, and my Middle Class privilege (even though I’m passing), and my Middle Class White Woman Over 50 privilege.

    http://www.damemagazine.com/2014/12/15/white-women-please-dont-expect-me-wipe-away-your-tears

  7. This Colbert ending is going to keep people busy for a while identifying everyone on it!😉

    • It was a very, very good way to end his show — I will miss it for sure!!
      The number of people singing goodbye was most impressive.
      Colbert was brilliant on this show for 9 years — just keeping it going in his “persona” was amazing.
      I intend to watch the rerun tomorrow. I am still smiling,

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