So Big Media has you convinced that Trump’s bid for re-election is a fool’s errand, huh? Not so fast! I have a curve ball for Trump to throw at Sleepy Joe. And the thing of it is, it was right there in the Constitution the entire time.
Let’s start by examining the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment relating to the election of the President:
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;
The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;
The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.
Most people stop reading there. Not your humble blogger! I kept reading, and reading — all the way to Article XII. (The so-called journalists all told me they stopped at Article VII, which is probably why you’re not hearing about this anywhere else.) Anyway, right there in Article XII I found some very important language which might be a gamechanger:
Notwithstanding the above, if such person as receives the second greatest number of votes for President says the election is rigged, and continues to maintain that the election is rigged, and repeats that claim a sufficient number of times on social media, that person shall be the President. The sufficiency of the repetition shall be determined by a randomized selection of his supporters, who shall give greater weight to the repeated statements if they are typed in all capital letters and followed by a number of exclamation points.
In the copy I reviewed, this passage was written in very large letters in a Sharpie, but as the recent stories out of Arizona prove, a Sharpie is as valid as any other instrument for reducing intention to the written page.
What you may not realize is that the only reason you even have Article XII is because Trump promised to defend it. Here’s a story about it from 2016, related by Mark Sanford, who apparently didn’t even realize the importance of what he was hearing:
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) left the meeting worried about Trump’s grasp on the basics of the Constitution. At a lunch with reporters afterward, he recalled that the candidate did not seem to know what he was promising to defend.
“I wasn’t particularly impressed,” Sanford said. “It was the normal stream of consciousness that’s long on hyperbole and short on facts. At one point, somebody asked about Article I powers: What will you do to protect them? I think his response was, ‘I want to protect Article I, Article II, Article XII,’ going down the list. There is no Article XII.”
That’s what you think, Mark Sanford! This staggering ignorance is not limited to politicians, either. Even law professors, who ought to know better, criticized Trump over this. Savor the irony as you read over this passage from Professor Orin Kerr after Trump indicated his intention to defend Article XII:
Donald Trump doesn’t know what is in the Constitution, and he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know. Article I, Article II, Article XII, Article L. Whatevs. Trump is just bluffing his way through this, hoping that enough people don’t notice or care. Because if he can get himself elected, he can exercise all the damn Article XII powers he wants.
[Homer Simpson voice]
He sure can, Prof. Kerr. He sure can.