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Monday, February 04, 2013

Karl Rove Calls The Election For John Adams

Wikipedia and other places like the History Channel tell us:

On this day in 1789, George Washington becomes the first and only president to be unanimously elected by the Electoral College.

NONONONONO.  He was NOT elected on February 4.

While it was fairly certain that Washington would be the first president, the results were not in fact known until April 6, when Congress counted the votes.  A president could not be elected without an operating Congress, and the First didn't convene until March 4 and had no quorum for over a month.

It's a small thing, to be sure, but it annoys the fuck out of me when people get something so objectively, constitutionally wrong.  Really, would it be so hard to note this is an important date because the electors cast their very first ballots in our history, and then in April celebrate Washington's unanimous election?  

I mean, just consider how fascinating the bootstrapping process is!  You've peacefully tossed out your entire government--not just the people but the whole structure--have to get elections for the new government ramped up, organize a Legislature, inaugurate the President of the Senate so he can preside over the first official election tally, then get the US President sworn in.  And THEN you get to put together everything else, including all of the Judiciary, create various Executive departments from whole cloth, etc.

Seems this date is much more meaningful than the glib, inaccurate trivia nugget being presented would suggest...


February 4, 2013 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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