Briefing the Electoral College on 'Russian hacks'

Last week, writing for this blog about a faithless elector, I cited the passage from Federalist No. 68 (attributed to Alexander Hamilton) noting that the members of the Electoral College are bound by the Constitution to meet in their individual states.  I had no idea that that very limitation would be relevant to the curious call by some electors for an intelligence briefing, a call endorsed by John Podesta, Clinton campaign chairman – as I learned from the lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal, December 13.

For present purpose, I would call to the attention of Mr. Podesta and all anti- and NeverTrumps, wherever they might be, the opening line of the Twelfth Amendment of the United States Constitution: "The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President[.]"  Federalist No. 68 makes it clear that the aim of the Founders was to keep the lid on "tumult and disorder" at a convocation of the Electoral College.  But a section of Federalist No. 68 that I did not think required quoting, previously, also makes it clear that the aim of the Founders, in keeping the members of the Electoral College confined to their separate states, was to reduce as much as humanly possible "cabal, intrigue, and corruption," described in No. 68 as "[t]hese most deadly adversaries of republican government[.]"

How, then, would the proponents of intelligence briefings for the electors propose that such briefings take place?  Clearly, the spirit of the Twelfth Amendment would prevent an Electoral College briefing for all electors meeting in one place.  Should there, then, be briefings in the separate states, plus the District of Columbia?  Who would conduct the briefings?  Would intelligence briefings under the auspices of the national government be consistent with the state basis of the Electoral College?  And wouldn't all electors need to have security clearances for intelligence briefings?  Surely, the briefings could not be held under the lax rules approach of the HIllary Clinton emails.  Or would the briefings consist solely of readings from vague and unsubstantiated articles published in the Trump-resisting New York Times?

The moral I infer from all the commotion about the alleged (fake news?) shadow cast by Russia over the recent presidential campaign is simply this: never underestimate the left's penchant for what Federalist No. 68 called "cabal, intrigue, and corruption" for purpose of undoing "republican [lowercase 'r'] government."

There is also an observation in Federalist No. 41 (attributed to James Madison) that seems worth noting in the present context: "A bad cause seldom fails to betray itself."

Last week, writing for this blog about a faithless elector, I cited the passage from Federalist No. 68 (attributed to Alexander Hamilton) noting that the members of the Electoral College are bound by the Constitution to meet in their individual states.  I had no idea that that very limitation would be relevant to the curious call by some electors for an intelligence briefing, a call endorsed by John Podesta, Clinton campaign chairman – as I learned from the lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal, December 13.

For present purpose, I would call to the attention of Mr. Podesta and all anti- and NeverTrumps, wherever they might be, the opening line of the Twelfth Amendment of the United States Constitution: "The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President[.]"  Federalist No. 68 makes it clear that the aim of the Founders was to keep the lid on "tumult and disorder" at a convocation of the Electoral College.  But a section of Federalist No. 68 that I did not think required quoting, previously, also makes it clear that the aim of the Founders, in keeping the members of the Electoral College confined to their separate states, was to reduce as much as humanly possible "cabal, intrigue, and corruption," described in No. 68 as "[t]hese most deadly adversaries of republican government[.]"

How, then, would the proponents of intelligence briefings for the electors propose that such briefings take place?  Clearly, the spirit of the Twelfth Amendment would prevent an Electoral College briefing for all electors meeting in one place.  Should there, then, be briefings in the separate states, plus the District of Columbia?  Who would conduct the briefings?  Would intelligence briefings under the auspices of the national government be consistent with the state basis of the Electoral College?  And wouldn't all electors need to have security clearances for intelligence briefings?  Surely, the briefings could not be held under the lax rules approach of the HIllary Clinton emails.  Or would the briefings consist solely of readings from vague and unsubstantiated articles published in the Trump-resisting New York Times?

The moral I infer from all the commotion about the alleged (fake news?) shadow cast by Russia over the recent presidential campaign is simply this: never underestimate the left's penchant for what Federalist No. 68 called "cabal, intrigue, and corruption" for purpose of undoing "republican [lowercase 'r'] government."

There is also an observation in Federalist No. 41 (attributed to James Madison) that seems worth noting in the present context: "A bad cause seldom fails to betray itself."

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