SKULLDUGGERY IN CALIFORNIA….Matt Yglesias, after a bit of throat clearing about the current attempt by Republicans to finagle a chunk of California’s electoral college vote via a new initiative, says:

At any rate, after I posted on it various Californians piped up pretty confident that there’s nothing to worry about.

Since I was one of those Californians he mentions, I should revise and extend here. What I meant was that the GOP initiative is almost certain to fail if Democrats and liberal interest groups mount the kind of campaign they usually do against partisan initiatives like this. It wasn’t a counsel to sit around and do nothing. In fact, I suspect that California Republicans know perfectly well that their scheme has little chance of passing, and that getting Democrats and liberal interest groups to waste time and energy on this thing was pretty much the whole idea from the get-go.

And while we’re on the subject, I should mention that I am in favor of electing presidents via direct popular vote. Several states have passed (or are considering passing) an initiative that would do just that by promising to deliver all their state’s electoral votes to whoever won the popular vote — but only if states with a majority of electoral votes had joined in and agreed to do the same. I don’t favor this because I think a 2000-style election is all that likely to happen again in the near future, but because I’m tired of presidential campaigns that essentially take place in only a dozen states or so. I say, make ’em campaign everywhere. I want to see all the attack ads too.

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