Another faithless Texas elector has announced himself. This time, it’s Christopher Suprun, the latest previously anonymous figure to exploit the 2016 Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump for 15 minutes of fame. Let’s see: there was Trump’s former lawyer, who breached or nicked several legal ethics duties to get a column in the Huffington Post, Trump’s ghostwriter, and all of the women who never saw fit to complain of being sexually assaulted by the President Elect until their accusations could do maximum harm and spark maximum exposure. Now we have Suprun, who penned a self-righteous op-ed for the New York Times explaining why he feels he is entitled, all by himself, to ignore the will of the people and cast his vote as elector for someone other than the candidate Texas insisted he pledge to vote for: the winner of the most votes by participating Texas citizens in the November 12 election.
The measure of Suprun’s gravitas and qualifications to take this responsibility on himself is aptly illustrated by the first of his justifications for his untenable position: “Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias.” Naturally, he appeals to the authority of Alexander Hamilton, whose various employments in the post-election train wreck has convinced me that he, not Old Hickory, really should move off the currency and make way for someone with the right number of chromosomes. If I hear one more quote from Federalist Paper 68—which no one is 100% certain that Hamilton even wrote—I may strip off my clothes and run screaming Norse epithets into the night. Assuming, as most do, that the author was Hamilton, so what? The paper was written after the Constitutional Convention. Hamilton’s concept for that document and the structure of the government was rejected. He didn’t trust the public, or democracy, wanted George Washington to be king, and championed a system the resembled Great Britain’s. Using him to justify a concept of the Electoral College that has never been employed or accepted in the United States is a classic logical fallacy.
It’s 3:36 AM, and I don’t need to rehash all of the reasons why Suprun is an arrogant, usurping, anti-democratic ass to presume to over-ride millions of voters because he disagrees with them, in all his expertise and wisdom in governance and leadership (he’s a paramedic), and because he can. The explanations here and here are plenty. His own column would make his position ridiculous all by itself, however. “Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief,” he says, as if nobody alerted him that the campaign was over. Yes, we’ve heard that. Barack Obama, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman similarly lacked such experience. Arguably, Trump has more than any of them did. Thanks for your observation, Chris: now shut up. The election is over. That argument did not prevail, and you, whoever the hell you are, are neither qualified nor credentialed to apply it to the results of the election now.
“He has surrounded himself with advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon, who claims to be a Leninist and lauds villains and their thirst for power, including Darth Vader. “Rogue One,” the latest “Star Wars” installment, arrives later this month.” Now the theory is that what the President Elect does before he’s sworn in can justify voiding the election, is it? Which anonymously written Federalist Paper makes that amendment to the Constitution? Seriously, Chris, don’t you have some patients to work on? And now we’re using advisors’ comments about Star Wars characters as smoking guns? Who are you?
“I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio,” Chris writes. Kasich lost, and handily, you pompous boob. How dare you? He was a blithering, twitchy, equivocal joke in the debates, roundly rejected by voters in the Republican primaries, and didn’t run for election: where do you get off deciding that he should be President instead of Trump? At least Hillary Clinton was on the ballot: if you are going to hijack the process and void millions of votes, at least accept the marginally less stupid argument of the Change.Org petitioners who want to steal the Presidency.
Then there’s the matter of the pledge Suprun took that bound him to vote for whoever got the most votes in Texas. At least Art Sisneros, the other Texas elector who decided that he couldn’t do what millions of Texans voted in the belief he would do, had the integrity to resign. What standing does Christoper Suprun have to criticize Trump’s character, when Suprun swore an oath and now tells us he was crossing his fingers? He had an obligation to refuse to be an elector once he knew that Trump was the Republican candidate.
Chris is lucky he’s a paramedic and not a paralegal. If, as many paralegals do, he decided to become a lawyer, violating a pledge would be enough to block his bar membership on the grounds of moral turpitude, as it should be.
Enjoy your perfidy, self-importance and fleeting fame, Christopher. Now we know you can’t be trusted.
UPDATE (12/17/16): Since Supron issued his screed, the efforts to use the Electoral College to overturn a fair and legal election have only become more shrill and bizarre, not to mention embarrassing to Democrats for decades if there is any justice. Hollywood actors put out a video (misstating the law and history), and are harassing individual electors by name.Republican electors have been targeted by death threats, harassing phone calls and reams of hate mail. One Texas Republican elector said he’s been bombarded with more than 200,000 emails. Politico reports that…
There have been ad campaigns targeting electors and op-eds assailing their role. One Democratic member of Congress has called to delay the vote for president while an investigation of Russian involvement in the election is underway. Two others have pleaded with electors to consider Russia’s role when deciding how to vote. Progressive groups are preparing protests across the country at sites where electors will meet to cast their ballots. Personal contact information for many electors has been posted publicly — and it’s been used to bury them with massive email campaigns.
A Harvard professor, Larry Lessig, the same odd-ball who ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination on the platform that he would eliminate big money donors in politics and then resign, is serving as central counsel to encourage and defend faithless electors. A Georgetown law professor has announced a theory that the Supreme Court can declare the Electoral College, which is in the Constitution, unconstitutional. Of course, we still hear about Alexander Hamilton’s decisively rejected theory that the College should be super-voters who can over-rule their state’s citizens’ will, as if his too-often quoted Federalist Paper a Constitutional amendment.
Finally an astute lawyer had enough of the nonsense and wrote a well-researched explanation of just how ignorant and legally impossible the Electoral College scheme is. Robert Barnes, in useful post that I wish was about a month earlier, writes,
Congress and courts established a range of precautions against such rogue actions.
At the outset, it is important to note that the mythical version of the electoral college — as a “check” against the electorate with a right to vote one’s “conscience” against the people — was rejected in the very first election it was used, subsequently invalidated formally in the adoption of the 12th Amendment, and recognized by the Supreme Court and leading jurists and scholars alike. The twinned SCOTUS decisions of McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1 (1892) (states enjoy plenary and exclusive power over electors) and Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214 (1952) (finding since the first election of electors role as “simply to register the will of the people”) made that history clear. Whatever Hamilton thought, the actual voters rejected it, and the Twelfth Amendment chose the voters’ method rather than Hamilton’s. The role of the electors was as a messenger, not as the message.
It gets better. Read it all. Then send it to your silly friends blathering on about Federalist Paper 68.