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<nettime> Adam Phillips > Doomsday Savior? How Paul Ryan Will Pick the Next President

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Doomsday Savior? How Paul Ryan Will Pick the Next President

     * Adam Phillips Pastor of Christ Church: Portland, an open,
       active & inclusive faith community for God's glory & neighbor's

   It's hidden there in plain sight, even if it hasn't happened since the
   election of 1825: The people will not pick the next president, Congress

   We wrote about this last week on Medium,[*] and now the story is
   beginning to flesh out.


   Politico reports that leading conservatives will meet on Thursday
   to plot out a third-party spoiler plan to beat presumed nominee Donald

   With Marco Rubio suspending his campaign after losing the Florida
   primary and it is beginning to appear he will reverse his previous
   words to support a nominee Trump.

   Because there will be a third party candidate -- and their name will
   likely be Mitt with a Kasich or a Rubio on the same ticket.

   Michael Bloomberg practically left a breadcrumb for this theory in
   plain sight when he declared that he would not be running for President
   this cycle. While pundits focused on why the math wouldn't work out for
   Bloomberg against Trump or Hillary Clinton, the former mayor of New
   York City buried this interesting analysis in his op-ed this week.

     In a three-way race, it's unlikely any candidate would win a
     majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the
     president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and
     thrown to Congress. The fact is, even if I were to receive the most
     popular votes and the most electoral votes, victory would be highly
     unlikely, because most members of Congress would vote for their
     party's nominee. Party loyalists in Congress -- not the American
     people or the Electoral College -- would determine the next

   What could be a major story-arc out of House of Cards or Veep may
   likely become a reality for our country come November when both Trump
   and Clinton do not secure a simple majority of electoral votes and Mitt
   Romney is elected President.

   Here's how it will happen:

   Donald Trump is going to win the Republican nomination out right. The
   establishment won't be able to stop him. He will get 50 percent. So
   there will be no brokered convention. There will be no Mitt Romney
   savior moment in Cleveland.

   When Trump secures the nomination out right this summer, the
   establishment goes ballistic: Terrified at the prospect of losing their
   party with Donald Trump as president.

   Suddenly they realize, "holy shit, what if we could stop Donald Trump
   and keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House?"

   So they run a moderate establishment Republican as a third-party
   candidate -- 100 percent as a spoiler candidate. Worst case scenario
   oh, they prevent Donald Trump from winning the White House. Best case
   scenario they pull enough votes away from Hillary Clinton to prevent
   her from securing the necessary majority of 270 electoral votes.

   Then the election goes to a House of Representatives ballot presided
   over Speaker Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's former running mate in 2012.

   If neither candidate gets 270 electoral college votes, Congress picks
   the president. And he will be called President Mitt, the one who is
   laying the groundwork for this doomsday electoral scenario.

   It's right there, hidden in plain sight in the 12th Amendment of the US

   The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be
   the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of
   Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the
   persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of
   those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose
   immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President,
   the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state
   having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or
   members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states
   shall be necessary to a choice.

   And Congress can pick whomever they damn well please.

   A moderate conservative third-party would definitely pull enough votes
   away from Trump to tank his candidacy, but the right candidate could
   also spoil it for Clinton.

   If you remember, in the 1992 election, Bill Clinton was unable to
   secure a simple majority of the popular vote, with Ross Perot serving
   as a third party spoiler -- not only taking votes away from the
   Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush, but pinching off the odd
   moderate vote from the Democrats as well.

   But Ross Perot was never able to win a state, thus, he was never
   awarded any electoral college votes.

   In this cycle, however, a third party spoiler candidate could in fact
   carry a handful of states. Bloomberg recognized it and realized the
   grave implications of that type of candidacy -- taking the highest
   elected office in the free world out of the hands of the people and
   into the hands of a Tea Party-influenced, yet establishment-Republican

   If you are an establishment Republican right now, this is actually an
   even better outcome than a brokered convention: Because you have even
   greater control over, not only the conservative nominee, but the
   ability to handpick the next president.

   And Speaker Ryan will ensure that Mitt Romney will be handpicked. Why
   else would you fly out for dinner in Utah?

   The election of 1825 is our reference for this crazy-likely theory.

   The election was actually in 1824 and Andrew Jackson won the popular
   vote, raking in 42 percent. John Quincy Adams came in distant second
   with barely over 30 percent of the popular vote. William Crawford and
   then Speaker of the House Henry Clay came in third and fourth
   respectively. Problem was, no one won a majority of the electoral
   college (also fun-fact: all four of the candidates were part of the
   same party, the Democratic-Republicans. Oh, also: Crawford had a stroke
   after the November election). With no legally elected President, the
   decision was kicked over to the House, where they deliberated for 3
   months to determine who would be the victor.

   Lobbyists? Everyone thinks they were invented in the lobby of the
   Willard Hotel during the U.S. Grant Presidency 45 years later. But
   believe it, lobbyists were in full effect those three months. And, they
   delivered the "Corrupt Bargain:" an unprecedented decision where Henry
   Clay presided over the ever-so-unpopular-with-the-electorate election
   of John Quincy Adams.
   The battle's been lost, the war is not won

   There is potentially a corrupt bargain underway in plain sight in the
   election of 2016 with the possibility of not only saving the Republican
   party but remake American electoral politics. John Kasich won big in
   the Ohio primary -- he could carry Ohio again in the general.

   Just imagine: a third party spoiler candidacy is waged by Mitt Romney
   (choosing, say Kasich as his running mate). The addled country is
   fatigued by Donald Trump's endless shenanigans as well as burned out by
   the scorched earth campaign against Hillary and her emails.

   Ohio goes. So does Michigan. And Utah. Maybe Idaho and/or the Dakotas.
   With even just one of those states spoiled, you have a doomsday
   scenario where both Donald and Hillary do not have a majority of
   electoral college votes.

   And so the election goes into 2017 -- and Speaker Ryan holds the gavel.

   Where does the hammer drop?

   Adam Phillips is pastor of Christ Church: Portland (Ore.). He formerly
   led faith mobilization for The One Campaign (

        This harebrained theory was co-conceived and written with Chris
        LaTondresse, VP of Communications and Strategy at The Expectations
        Project and former advisor at USAID's Center for Faith Based and
        Community Initiatives.

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