The meltdown over the election of Donald Trump has revealed the indifference that liberal partisans harbor for the nation’s constitutional system.
First came the predictable calls from stunned Democrats to abolish the Electoral College, given that Hillary Clinton won the popular tally by about 2.7 million votes.
Next came an effort to actually use the Electoral College to undermine the results by pressuring electors to abandon Mr. Trump in support of either Mrs. Clinton or some moderate “compromise” Republican candidate. Along these lines, we now see Democrats calling for electors to receive a special intelligence briefing on the matter of Russian meddling in the election. This is a transparent scheme designed to convince some electors that the November balloting was illegitimate despite the fact there is absolutely no evidence that hackers compromised the integrity of the process.
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday called this latest nonsense an attempted “Electoral College coup.”
All this from the same folks who expressed indignant horror when Mr. Trump implied back in October that he might not accept the results of the election if he lost. The Huffington Post’s Julia Craven even penned a piece the day before the Nov. 8 balloting in which she decried the potential dangers if Mr. Trump refused “to bow out peacefully.” Such a response could not only incite violence but would likely “undermine democracy itself.”
The story seems rather quaint today, through the prism of recent events. But that was then and this is now. For some, consistency and integrity in political debate are mere theoretical concepts to be sacrificed at the altar of power.
Nor is the progressive assault on our constitutional institutions confined to the Electoral College. Last week, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne took it up a notch, throwing the U.S. Senate into the mix. Like the Electoral College, the Senate has “representation problems” because it puts states on equal footing regardless of population.
“Yet there is little prospect for change,” he writes in dismay, because the Constitution makes it “virtually impossible” to address this perceived inequity. Mr. Dionne also frets that under a Trump administration and GOP Congress, a “disempowered majority” will be “governed by politicians largely elected by a minority of us.”
Let’s flash back to 1992, when Democrat Bill Clinton won the presidential election with 43 percent of the popular vote. Almost 57 percent of the electorate cast ballots for someone else. Yet you will search in vain to find any commentary from Mr. Dionne agonizing over the result.
There’s no need, here, to revisit the logic behind the Founders’ meticulous effort to check the tyranny of the majority. The fact that progressives such as Mr. Dionne would apparently be willing to blow up many of those safeguards — including the U.S. Senate — in a partisan tantrum masquerading as a crusade for equity and justice is far more troubling than four years of Donald Trump.