Never Trump vs. Never Hillary. The 12th Amendment Will Save Us All (Part II)

By now you've read Part I in our explanation of how a Romney/Kasich ticket could disrupt an electoral majority in November, preventing either Trump or Hillary from being elected and moving on to the "run-off" in the House of Representatives. By way of reminder, the 12th Amendment describes what this process entails for selecting who will be President:
...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.

The second feat of winning the Presidential election in the House of Representatives is also a challenging, unpredictable feat for a Romney/Kasich team, assuming feat #1 is successful—let's now break down the math on what winning in the House could look like:

The House is currently controlled by the Republicans, with 246 seats to the 188 of Democrats (434 total). Let's just assume, worst case, that every sitting Democrat will vote for Hillary. This would mean that the Romney/Kasich ticket would need to convince 218 of the total 246 Republican Representatives to abandon the idea of Donald Trump leading their Grand Old Party and aligning with an independent or new political party (218/434=50.2%)—but that is only if EVERY member of the House is present for the vote. The 12th Amendment is clear that only two-thirds of members must be present for a 'quorum' to exist. This is where Romney's alliance with Speaker Paul Ryan becomes critical, because Speaker Ryan ultimately wields the power to decide when a vote is taken. 
Conceivably, in addition to being the head Romney/Kasich cheerleader and promoting the idea of an independent vote among House members, Speaker Ryan can time the vote to occur when conditions are optimal for a Romney victory. BEST CASE scenario, this would occur when exactly 144 Democrats (or Trump-voting Republicans) are absent (290/434 = 66.8% = Quorom!) Now, Romney needs only 146 votes out of the 290 present to achieve a majority among the Quorom. That's only 59% of the Republican House members and only 33% of The total House. Probably not feasible for a wild card third party "no-name" independent who House members don't know and/or trust—probably not even feasible for John Kasich himself, who by his own accounts was relatively unknown prior to this race. But for Mitt Romney, two-time presidential contender, former Massachusetts Governor and Republican party veteran, to be chosen over Trump by 59% of House Republicans, we think is well within the realm of possibility—especially given the fact that to date Trump has only received an endorsement from a whopping 11 current members of the House.  (For reference, by the end of the 2012 primaries Mitt Romney had received endorsement of 85 sitting members of the House).

Now, here's where the process gets stickier—Vice-President selection. The 12th Amendment describes this process as well:

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

That's right—only the top TWO go into the Vice Presidential run-off in the Senate. Which means that in a Romney/Kasich scenario, chances are Kasich doesn't make it to the final election in the Senate-- they will end up choosing between Hillary's running mate and Trump's. And since the Senate is currently Controlled by Democrats, we can assume that Hillary's running mate would inevitably end up VP in this scenario. So, yes, at the end of this whole scenario we could likely end up with a Republican/Independent President and a Democratic Vice President—something that hasn't happened since 1865 with Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. But this would probably do our Country some good anyway, to see a Republican/Independent President and a Democrat VP cooperate. Congress can't seem to figure that out themselves.

A Romney/Kasich duo has what it takes to pose a plausible (even if it's a long shot) 3rd party run for the White House—not necessarily because of their combined synergy, but because each one brings a specific, calculated key to the equation. Kasich doesn't have the clout among House Republicans to potentially swing a majority vote against the 'party nominee' like Romney does, yet Romney can't get to the final run-off without the critical help of Kasich to take Ohio's 18 electoral votes. So, America needs John Kasich to agree to do the most American thing possible: sacrifice his own interests to preserve the future of the Nation. John Kasich is the Bing Bong to Mitt Romney's Joy (Inside Out spoiler alert!)—Together they get the wagon going fast enough, and just in time Kasich must jump out and let Mitt ride it all the way to the top.

 (C) Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Hats' off to you, Mr. Kasich, as you weigh such a difficult decision.  And sorry for comparing you to Bing Bong.

Is this 3rd party run scenario far-fetched? Perhaps. but if Trump's tactic of saying he's winning before he's winning convinces people to vote his way, then the more plausible we believe a 3rd party takeover is, the more possible it becomes.  The false dilemma of needing to chose either of the bipartisan frontrunners is unfortunately influencing a lot of moral compromises in otherwise conscientious voters. A strong 3rd party candidate would allow many the peace of mind of voting for someone without having to compromise personal dignity.

There's simply no excuse for giving in to the "a vote for _____ is a vote for _____" argument. Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.  If a majority of Americans would vote according to their conscience, rather than the rampant and destructive tactical voting, we might have less of a Sophie's Choice to face in November. And even if we aren't saved by a 3rd party white knight, the takeaway theme is this: each and every person should be casting votes for the person they feel is best fit for office, regardless of who the majority, or the media, or anyone else considers the "frontrunner." As Alexander Hamilton in a similar situation once said... or sang: "If we must have an enemy at the head of the Government, let it be one whom we can oppose & for whom we are not responsible."

(Top Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong, The Associated Press)