Someone should tell Michael Sluss that all players in a room don’t need to be involved in a plot for it to be…a plot. According to the Roanoke Times, Virginia Sen. Ralph Smith (Bedford County) is not in agreement with a Republican bill that would reapportion the commonwealth’s presidential electoral votes by congressional district (Senate Bill 723). At present, Virginia is a winner-take-all state that allocates electoral votes based on the statewide popular vote.
Smith said the legislation is “a bad idea,” adding “What if all states got to skewing it to their advantage?”
And since Sen. Smith sits on the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, which will hear the electoral vote change bill next week, it could mean the end of this latest effort by Republicans in the General Assembly to skirt or change the rules. There are 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats on the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee.
The impetus for Senate Bill 723 comes in the aftermath of President Obama’s popular vote victory in the state and his collection of all 13 of Virginia’s electoral votes. Had the electoral vote system worked by congressional district, GOP candidate Mitt Romney would have collected 9 out of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes. So it’s not too difficult to see why the Republican Party would want to change the rules to give their party an edge in the next presidential election.
However, like Sen. Smith implied, you don’t go changing the rules of the game every time you lose, especially not in politics. Why? Because doing so creates the strong potential for instability within various political institutions. If the rules are changed by one group after every political loss, the rules governing our political institutions will quickly falter and with it, our entire government.
Both parties (we should get rid of parties altogether anyways) must accept that they will win some and lose some. The Republican Party hasn’t accepted this truth of politics.
This latest attempt to change the rules in their favor is yet another piece of the battlefield mentality narrative that has framed the Republican Party. That is, rules should only be followed if they benefit “us.” But that’s simply not a recipe for a stable republic, both now or in the future.