Right-wing Freedom Caucus leader Representative Tina Mulally (R-35/Rapid City) is proposing House Concurrent Resolution 6001, a toothless declaration of support for the racist, unpopular, and obsolete Electoral College as a means of prolonging rural white folks’s disproportionate sway over the fate of our growing and diverse nation. HCR 6001 affirms the Constitutional provision that South Dakotans should get twice as much say in picking the President as Americans in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and California and alleges that the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, onto which 205 Electoral College votes’ worth of the country has signed, is unconstitutional.
The Freedom Caucus’s understanding and application of the Constitution is selective at best. And they are about as effective as logicians as they are as tacticians. The seventh Whereas in HCR 6001 fundamentally contradicts the resolution’s antimajoritarianism with an appeal to majoritarianism:
WHEREAS, under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a state’s electoral vote could be awarded to a candidate opposed by the majority of our state’s citizens;… [2024 HCR 6001, filed 2024.01.08].
Majority rule matters to Mulally and her Republican colleagues only when it breaks their way at the state level. Apparently it’s perfectly fine with Mulally and Team HCR 6001 if rural states rig elections so that the Presidency can be awarded to a candidate opposed by the majority of the nation’s citizens.
The Electoral College actually guarantees that South Dakota, California, and 39 other states—four-fifths of Americans—will be mostly ignored in the 2024 Presidential election. Contrary to HCR 6001’s third Whereas clause, which contends that the Electoral College “creates a needed balance between rural and urban interests and ensures that the winning candidate has support from multiple regions of the country,” the Electoral College only ensures that rural and urban states with strong partisan tilts are mostly ignored by Presidential candidates and gives outsize influence to special interests in battleground states where the number of Electoral College votes available is worth the effort to mobilize their bases and sway the small fraction of swayable voters.
Republicans’ goal is not to make every vote count; it’s to make votes for Republicans count more. That self-serving goal leads them into the fallacies and falsehoods of resolutions like HCR 6001. Legislators who believe all people are created equal and all people’s votes should count the same should vote against HCR 6001 and revive 2011 Senate Bill 138, South Dakota’s first stab at the National Popular Vote Interstate Vote Compact (which had bipartisan sponsors before some Republican yutz from Michigan came to support the bill but got it canned with his wisecracks).