Saturday, January 18, 2020

Pack the Union: leftist proposal to admit DC as 127 states in order to rewrite the Constitution


Just when you think you've seen it all, some more profound lunacy comes rolling down the track.

Earlier this month, an anonymous column was published by the Harvard Law Review -- anonymous because no reasonable person would ever want to be publicly associated with the extreme idiocy contained within it -- entitled Pack the Union: A Proposal to Admit New States for the Purpose of Amending the Constitution to Ensure Equal Representation.

Appalled at the constitutional framework set up by our founders, some leftist academic came up with a bright idea: let's admit Washington D.C. to the union to add to the Democratic membership in Congress and make it easier to amend the Constitution for radical, transformative change.

Did I mention that the plan calls for DC to be admitted as one hundred and twenty seven individual states?

Yeah.

127 new states, 127 new members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 254 new members of the U.S. Senate, nearly all guaranteed to be Democrats (or outright Socialists).

Nothing says insane proposal more than calling to increase the number of states by 354%.

From the proposal:
Recent events have highlighted some of the ways in which federal elections in the United States are profoundly undemocratic and, thus, profoundly unfair.
The Electoral College — when it contravenes the popular vote — is an obvious example of this unfairness. But it is just one of the mathematically undemocratic features in the Constitution. Equal representation of states in the Senate, for example, gives citizens of low-population states undue influence in Congress. Conversely, American citizens residing in U.S. territories have no meaningful representation in Congress or the Electoral College.
As is typical for leftists today, a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of both the Senate and the Electoral College, along with an elevation of the meaningless "national popular vote".
While a step in the right direction, these proposals [to admit Washington DC and Puerto Rico as states] are inadequate. To create a system where every vote counts equally, the Constitution must be amended. To do this, Congress should pass legislation reducing the size of Washington, D.C., to an area encompassing only a few core federal buildings and then admit the rest of the District’s 127 neighborhoods as states. These states — which could be added with a simple congressional majority — would add enough votes in Congress to ratify four amendments: (1) a transfer of the Senate’s power to a body that represents citizens equally; (2) an expansion of the House so that all citizens are represented in equal-sized districts; (3) a replacement of the Electoral College with a popular vote; and (4) a modification of the Constitution’s amendment process that would ensure future amendments are ratified by states representing most Americans. [emphasis mine]
 After complaining about the disparity in congressional representation between Wyoming's 580,000 citizens and California's nearly 40,000,000, they then propose to create 3 members of Congress for every 4,500 people in Washington D.C. The intellectual disconnect is mind-boggling.
In the 2018 midterms, for example, Democratic congressional candidates won the House popular vote by the largest midterm margin of victory ever. Republican candidates for Senate received a total of 38% of votes cast, while Democratic candidates received 58%. And yet, Republicans not only retained a majority in the chamber, they actually increased it.
This particular comment is ridiculously uninformed and pointless. California's 2018 Senate race was literally between two Democrats, because their jungle primary rules are designed to eliminate Republican candidates from making it to the general election. Other states had noncompetitive elections. The "national popular vote" for congressional races has no bearing on the composition of Congress.

After detailing some absurd arguments for so-called problems with the political system in America, the unnamed and faceless author then goes on to discuss their proposed solution.
Article V provides two mechanisms for amending the Constitution. Congress may propose an amendment with a two-thirds majority in each chamber, or two-thirds of the states may call for a constitutional convention and propose new amendments there. In either case, three-fourths of the states must subsequently ratify any new amendments before they take effect. These thresholds make it highly unlikely that the problem of unequal representation will be fixed through the normal amendment process.
Given these challenges, some might say that the problem of unequal representation is simply an intractable part of the U.S. political system — something impossible to fix, or something to try to work around. [...]
An “easier” way to amend the Constitution would be for Congress to admit a large number of new states whose congressional representatives would reliably ally with the existing majority in sufficient numbers to propose and ratify new amendments fixing the problem of unequal representation. Because Congress can admit new states with a simple majority, this would provide a more attainable political threshold.
Much like the current Democratic calls to "pack the Supreme Court" to get their way, this author's genius suggestion is to "pack the Union" in order to attain the goals of the political and cultural Left.

Noting that Washington, D.C, is "the ideal location to enact this proposal", they make the following three points:
First, Washington, D.C., is not currently part of any state, so creation of new states there would not require action by or dismemberment of any presently existing state. Second, every measurable subdivision of D.C. voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic party in the 2016 election, so the Democratic caucus in Congress could be confident that new states created within the District would elect like-minded delegations to Congress. Third, the neighborhoods of D.C. provide a reasonable starting point for the new state boundaries; they are numerous enough to provide the votes necessary, but not so great that they would allow the new delegations to pass amendments or legislation on their own [emphasis mine]
This proposal is so incredibly stupid my head hurts.

We're only halfway through the plan, too.

So now that they've shrunk the Federal District and created 127 brand-new states, the author moves on to the four new Constitutional amendments this plan was crafted to produce.

  1. Transfer the Senate's Power
  2. Expand the House to Include Territories and Replace the Cap of 435 Members with an Amendment Ensuring a Minimum Size.
  3. Abolish the Electoral College in Favor of a Popular Vote.
  4. Remove the Influence of States in the Amendment Process. 
Regarding the first amendment, the proposal goes like this:

[1. Transfer the Senate's Power] ... The Senate’s duties could be changed without modifying its composition. Imagine, for example, a system where the Senate resembles the House of Lords, the largely ceremonial upper chamber in the United Kingdom. The Senate could review legislation passed by the House but not prevent it from becoming law. Its formal powers would be transferred either to the House or to a new, equitably apportioned body.
Seems like it would just be easier to eliminate the Senate and go to a unicameral legislature, but that's evidently too extreme of a proposal for the author...... the same author who proposed 127 new states from one city and the most transformative set of amendments to the Constitution in history.

Moving on.
[2. Expand the House to Include Territories and Replace the Cap of 435 Members with an Amendment Ensuring a Minimum Size] An amendment to fix the House of Representatives would do two things. First, it would ensure that the body represents all Americans, not simply those who live in states. This could be done by treating each territory “as a state” for purposes of congressional representation and presidential elections.
Second, it would constitutionalize a minimum size for the House of Representatives, such that the representative-to-population ratio for House districts would be determined by the population of the smallest-population state. This “Wyoming Rule” would ensure that small states do not receive undue influence in Congress by virtue of the Constitution’s guarantee of at least one representative per state
I'm surprised they don't just go ahead and do away with territories altogether and make them all states. At this point in the proposal, what's the point?

The second portion actually isn't a terrible idea. Fellow Oklahoma conservative blogger Michael Bates has commented on this very idea in the past, noting that the cap of 435 seats has essentially been set since 1911.
[3. Abolish the Electoral College in Favor of a Popular Vote] A third amendment would abolish the Electoral College and create a system where the President and Vice President are elected by a pure popular vote. In the event that states are unable to conclusively certify election results, or the results of the election are otherwise disputed, the House of Representatives, voting as individuals, could determine the next President and Vice President.
Leftists who favor the National Popular Vote fail to recognize that the Electoral College is a two-tier system of popular votes: fifty state-level popular vote contests are held, then the popular vote of the fifty states (decided by popular vote) is the victor. Voila, problem solved. We already have a national popular vote.
[4. Remove the Influence of States in the Amendment Process] A fourth and final amendment would ensure that these changes could not be undone by an opposition Congress following the same playbook. The language in Article V that allows for two-thirds of the states to call a constitutional convention and that requires three-fourths of the states to ratify new amendments should be changed to ensure that those states actually represent a majority (or supermajority) of the total population. In other words, once a fair system of representation is established, the possibility that a small fraction of the population would once again control the federal government should be removed. [emphasis mine]
This is the wildest of the proposals, as insanely crazy and harebrained as they are. After creating an absurd scenario to recraft the nation in their own image, the author thinks it wise to preclude any future use of the same scenario.

I hope no tax dollars go to this individual's salary, because this entire thing is too stupid for words.

You can read the rest of the ludicrous proposal at this link.

1 comments:

Generalripper said...

Make DC "127 States" then watch the Third American Civil War begin. Just lay siege to the "127 States" and it will be over.