The Very Last Ditch

Perhaps it’s a testament to the size and breadth of Barack Obama’s victory on November 6, or maybe it’s because so many conservatives were stunned by MItt Romney’s failure to win by a landslide, but the acceptance of the president’s re-election by U.S. conservatives has been surprisingly widespread. So far almost no one has charged Obama “stole” the election through voter fraud, and conservatives are already looking forward to 2014.

Ah, but in some of the more exotic precincts of the Tea Folk, post-election resistance has been hardier, as evidenced by this report from Idaho by Betsy Russell:

A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme that’s been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College in a move backers believe would change the election result.

Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, “A ‘last chance’ to have Mitt Romney as President in January (it’s still not too late)….”

Turns out Nuxoll received her inspiration from an article by our old buddy Judson Phillips, who staged the wacky National Tea Party Convention in 2010 that gave Sarah Palin a nationally televised speech opportunity.

The article, by Judson Phillips, a former Shelby County, Tenn., assistant district attorney and founder of Tea Party Nation, posits that if 17 of the 24 states that Romney carried refuse to participate in the Electoral College, the college would have no quorum, throwing the presidential pick to the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

The problem with that, [Boise State University law professor] Adler said, is that it’s based on a misreading of the 12th Amendment, which notes when no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College, the decision moves to the House, where each state would have one vote and a quorum of two-thirds of the states would be required. “The two-thirds reference in the 12th Amendment is a reference not to the Electoral College but rather to the establishment of a quorum in the House of Representatives,” he said.

Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And this effort is a reminder that accepting Obama’s election does not necessarily connote acceptance of the legitimacy of his administration, as Sen. Nuxoll indicated:

She said, “I think it is very, very sad that we elected our current president, because he is definitely not following (the) Constitution. He is depriving us of our freedoms by all the agencies, and so … what I’m thinking is the states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights.”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.