So This Crazy Bastard Started Talking About the 12th Amendment…

ImageBack when I was young’n and still had a few good teeth I ran into a wise old townsman named Tom. Tom was a right nice statue of a typical Ozarks man. Long grey hair that was not quite as long as his unkempt long grey beard…White, fully-ventillated t-shirt with the obligatory protruding beer belly…Butt crack in full shine from behind…Back then men were sexy and to this day we still don’t need nothin’ like a tramp stamp to make us desirable to the women folk. Not in Missour-uh Missy. That’s for city slickers.

OK I am only part redneck so I struggled with that paragraph miserably. I half-assed it the best I could. Time to attempt to write like a human being, albeit a half-breed. By the way, “Redneck” is not politically correct. We prefer to be called “Appalachian Americans.”

Tom was actually a really intelligent man but he came off as slightly unstable. I went to his wife for her typing services (yes this was before P.C.’s were in every home) and he just wanted to talk politics with me for no apparent fucking reason. How rude! I was just waiting on my project. I wasn’t paying to hear him preach politics to me. I walked away later thinking the guy was a conspiracy theorist and a total nut job.

He rambled on for 30 minutes or so about how all Presidential Elections were a farce, because it was illegal to elect the President and Vice-President on the same ballot. 

Well I’m not sure it’s illegal, but it truly is unclear. Let’s look at the context of that “good ole” 12th amendment… 

The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;–The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–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 if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. 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.


I can’t speak for anyone else but reading that late at night makes my head hurt. Well, where in that amendment to our constitution does it say that the President and Vice-President are to be elected on the same ticket? It doesn’t.

In my part of the country we would call this something like “an understanding between a bunch of good old boys,” because that’s all it really is.

There were problems with elections and Vice-Presidents throughout our history. In the old days the runner-up in the Presidential election used to be given the office of the Vice-President. Well, that is, until all hell broke loose. 

In the 1796 election, John Adams, the Federalist Party Presidential candidate, received a majority of the electoral votes. However, the Federalist electors scattered their second votes, resulting in the Democratic-Republican Party Presidential candidate, Thomas Jefferson, receiving the second highest number of electoral votes and thus being elected Vice-President.

From what I understand our leaders just decided that this was not acceptable. How could two men from opposing political parties be expected to work together? Oh my gosh, the horror… My personal take on this is that Adams and Jefferson were whiny pussies. I’m sorry but that’s how I feel. I feel the same way about all of the gridlock that is caused by opposing modern day political parties who never learned to get along with their classmates.

Even so, my opinion matters about as much as a speck of bird shit on the White House lawn… No, actually that speck of bird shit probably gets a notice from someone in Washington D.C. and my opinion does not.

What the framers did not understand is that America would evolve and this is a brand new era. Now Jerry Springer is the new American Icon and it would be quite fascinating to see Mitt Romney as President with Joe Biden as Vice-President. Maybe they could do some mud slinging each week on the front lawn, followed by professional ladies’ mud wrestling. Now we are talkin’…this is marketable folks.

Anyway, why can’t elected “servants” do their f-ing jobs and quit bitching about having to get along with the other party? Anyway, these two whiny bitches got their way. 

So where did it go from there?

In 1800 they discovered the potential issue of an electoral vote tie and they decided it was more and more problematic. They found out that the House of Representatives might have to cast multiple votes to break that tie. I’m guessing that a lot of guys missed tee times and that is not acceptable. We can’t have our elected servants working overtime. That would be too much to ask. Yet again, now we would have two guys who fought a bitter campaign, albeit from the same party, trying to undermine each other’s leadership decisions at the top level of our government.

Crying whiny sissies who can’t get along from the same political party… LMAO Does that remind you of any recent primary campaigns? I often wonder how many votes these guys end up costing each other from their own party. Every primary season we find out that our Republican is the savior and the other Republican is the Anti-Christ. When the other Republican wins the nomination, we can’t possibly vote for the Anti-Christ…so we vote Libertarian, and thus our vote really doesn’t even come close to counting. What a mess.

So they created this idea of voting on “tickets.” But, in a way that crazy old man Tom was correct, because it does not take a lawyer to see that no where in the context of that 12th amendment does it specifically state that “A vote for Obama is a vote for Biden.”

It states that the Electoral College should cast separate ballots for President and Vice-President, but it doesn’t state that they have to be from the same political party or anything of the sort. It doesn’t say that the people are not entitled to vote for this office, but it doesn’t say that the people are either. It’s ambiguous and politicians love ambiguous because it’s like a corrupt preacher taking things out of context in the Bible. You can’t really beat ambiguity in court, especially when the defenders of that ambiguity have all of the money and all of the power.

Shouldn’t the people have some sort of right to conscientiously object to the Vice-Presidential candidate? I’m not going to argue that the constitution protects this but I think it would be ultimately interesting to see Obama as President and Ryan as Vice-President. I didn’t say “effective” but I did say interesting. What if we made these guys work together? We elected them, right? Well maybe we didn’t but that’s another article all together.

I would love to see men of opposing political views trying to put those differences aside and trying to work together to unify and represent the people. It’s not going to happen because the system doesn’t provide for it.

But how many people would have loved to say??? “OK we like you Bush but this Quayle character has got to go.”

When I read the 12th Amendment I can see where guys like Tom come up with their political ammunition. If the Electoral College is casting two separate ballots for two separate offices, it makes it sound very much like they could reject Obama for President and elect Biden for Vice-President. Or the other way around…believe me, I’m as confused as you are. Confused is the way D.C. likes us to be.

To me this system of “tickets” is representative of two things that are distinctly wrong with American politics. 

  1. Opposing party members can’t put their differences aside for the good of the people they represent. Egos are way too inflated for any of these men and women to truly earn the title of public “servant.” They have to take credit for any good idea and if the other team thinks of it first, they can not support a good idea.
  2. The American people don’t have a voice in crucial decisions that shape the ultimate destiny of our nation. After all, if something happens to the President then the Vice-President immediately gets called in from the bullpen whether the “managers” like it or not. Folks, you and I are supposed to collectively manage this lineup, but we don’t. These people are elected “servants.”

Think about all of the “questionable” running mate selections in recent history and tell me that you don’t want to see the 12th amendment revisited or at least clarified.

That crazy old man probably didn’t really have a case against the President and Vice-President being elected on separate tickets, but it doesn’t really express that they will be part of a “single” ticket either.

So why does no one seem to care about this issue? Because, in the real world Barack Obama has no interest in Paul Ryan being his potential right hand man. 

Deep in the Ozark Mountains there are guys with shotguns just praying for the next time that happens. Oops, I should not have said that…but maybe that’s a potential problem.

On second though fuck it. Let’s just keep it the way it is and hope nobody gets peppered with buckshot. Note to self: This may be why campaign visits in this area are somewhat infrequent. Just smile and act like you Love Joe Biden.

About Dean Garrison

Dean Garrison is a husband and father of six, who faithfully pursues the American Dream. He has been MOSTLY self-employed for the last 20+ years and has been a top earner, executive and leader for several direct sales companies.
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1 Response to So This Crazy Bastard Started Talking About the 12th Amendment…

  1. Norris says:

    I really like your writing style, wonderful info , appreciate it for putting up : D.

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