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After President Barack Obama was re-elected with a decisive 332-206 victory in the electoral college, many prominent Republicans decided that their party needed a new strategy. Adopting extreme right-wing positions and opposing Obama on every issue, no matter how trivial, hadn’t worked; as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal put it, the GOP must “stop being the stupid party.

Clearly, Judson Phillips never got that message.

Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, is still refusing to give up on his dream of removing President Obama from office. If the voters won’t do it for him, Phillips and his far-right allies will just have to do it themselves.

That’s the message of Phillips’ newest op-ed for the conservative website WorldNetDaily. In the column, Phillips explains how “we can still pull this election out and make Mitt Romney president in January.”

According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress.

The House of Representatives selects the president and the Senate selects the vice president.

Since the Republicans hold a majority in the House, presumably they would vote for Mitt Romney, and the Democrats in the Senate would vote for Joe Biden for vice president.[…]

Mitt Romney carried 24 states. We need to have conservative activists from all over the nation contact the electors, the Republican Party and the secretary of state in all of these states and tell them not to participate in the Electoral College when it meets on Dec. 17.

If we can get 17 of those states (just over one-third) to refuse to participate, the Electoral College will have no quorum. Then, as the Constitution directs, the election goes to the House of Representatives.

Phillips goes on to urge his readers to pressure their local officials to deliver the presidency to Romney, and to convince other Republican groups to do the same. Phillips seems to anticipate this being a problem, having somehow come to the conclusion that “far too often the Republican Party seems more interested in losing gracefully than winning and governing.”

Phillips’ plan has very little to do with Romney himself; indeed, he writes that “Mitt Romney was a terrible candidate, and he will not be a great president.” Still, Phillips evidently hates Obama enough to try and steal the election anyway.

This represents an important step for the Tea Party; if his campaign catches on, it will be the movement’s graduation from fringe political movement to genuine insurrectionists. The voters have overwhelmingly picked Obama; Phillips’ attempt to pressure electors to abstain from the political process, and allow the House of Representatives — which the Republican Party controls largely due to creative gerrymandering — to pick the president is an open rejection of democracy.

Considering that Phillips has argued in the past that only property owners should have the right to vote, however, maybe his willingness to cast aside the will of the people should not come as a surprise.

Update: Phillips’ column has been updated with the following editors note, explaining that Phillips misread the Constitution:

Since this column was posted it has been discovered that the premise presented about the Electoral College and the Constitution is in error. According to the 12th Amendment, a two-thirds quorum is required in the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir.

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