Patterico's Pontifications


Faithless Republican Elector: I Will Not Vote for Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

I’m no fan of Donald Trump, but this is ridiculous on several levels. Christopher Suprun, a Republican member of the electoral college, says in the New York Times that he won’t vote for Trump:

I am a Republican presidential elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the United States. Since the election, people have asked me to change my vote based on policy disagreements with Donald J. Trump. In some cases, they cite the popular vote difference. I do not think president-elects should be disqualified for policy disagreements. I do not think they should be disqualified because they won the Electoral College instead of the popular vote. However, now I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office.

. . . .

Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.

Wait. He has prime real estate in the nation’s paper of record to explain why he cannot vote for Donald Trump — and his first point is that Trump attacked the cast of Saturday Night Live? What else ya got?

Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief. During the campaign more than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter opposing him. In their words, “he would be a dangerous president.” During the campaign Mr. Trump even said Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. This encouragement of an illegal act has troubled many members of Congress and troubles me.

Yes, some foreign policy folks opposed him, and other supported him. The voters knew these things and made their choice. As for the claim that Trump “said Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails” . . . it’s not true. Follow the link. Trump acted like an ass, essentially laughing at the notion of Russia having hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails — but he didn’t say they should. A false narrative based on media misreporting is not a reason to refuse to vote for the person the People chose.

Suprun’s other arguments are also unpersuasive, ranging from standard-issue complaints about Trump that the voters considered and rejected (Trump encouraged violence at his rallies) to the bizarre (Steve Bannon praised Darth Vader!).

Suprun also says: “Mr. Trump could be impeached in his first year given his dismissive responses to financial conflicts of interest.” While I share the concern about Trump’s cavalier attitude towards these issues, I doubt an impeachment will happen with Republicans in charge.

But you know what? If imepachment happens, it happens. The more I learn about how our Presidents have violated their oaths of office, the more sympathetic I am to impeachment as a remedy for an out-of-control executive. But that’s for the future, Mr. Suprun.

Mr. Suprun’s solution? Rally around someone like . . . John Kasich. Hahahahaha no.

In the end, there will be few faithless electors, and Trump will be President. The confidence I feel as I write that sentence gives me pause, since it’s the same sort of confidence I felt as I made incorrect predictions throughout the election. Still, I feel pretty good about this one.

Mr. Suprun is right: this is a republic. Electors can indeed save us from ourselves in extraordinary situations. Had Trump actually shot someone on Fifth Avenue after the election, electors could justify inserting themselves into the process and rejecting the choice of the voters. The Constitution provides for it.

But not because of media lies, or a President-elect’s bad attitude towards the cast of Saturday Night Live.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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