David Broder is right to raise questions about a new, foolish attempt to circumvent the Electoral College process for electing presidents. The heart of the proposed approach:
The National Popular Vote Plan, as it is known, has passed both houses of the Maryland legislature and is headed for signing by Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The scheme, invented by John R. Koza, a Stanford professor, relies on the provision of the Constitution giving legislatures the power to “appoint” their presidential electors. If legislatures in enough states to make up a majority of the electoral college — 270 electoral votes — pledge to commit those votes to the candidate winning the national popular vote, no constitutional amendment is needed. [Former Senator Birch] Bayh and other high-minded individuals, such as former Illinois Republican representative John B. Anderson, a one-time independent presidential candidate, support the plan, arguing that it is a perfect expression of 21st-century democracy, while the electoral college is a relic of 18th-century thought.
There are many issues arguing against going to a national popular vote, whether directly or indirectly as put forth here. I’m not going to address them, but I’ll point you in the smart direction. Read Kip’s analysis of the District Method. (Thread here.) He explains it perfectly.
To the plan under consideration, what state would be so stupid as to give its votes away like this? Aside from Maryland, of course. Is it so hard to believe that Maryland could vote for one candidate while the rest of the nation could vote for another? This may count as some perverted form of solidarity, but it’s not an American principle.
The founders devised the Electoral College to avoid such lunacy. We should not be running towards such lunacy.