THE BLOG
12/17/2016 08:51 pm ET Updated Dec 18, 2017

When A Right-Wing Website Lobbied The Electoral College To Stop Obama

Right-wing "news" website WorldNetDaily has been freaking out about the effort to get the Electoral College to slow things down a bit and examine Russian efforts to meddle in the presidential campaign for the apparent benefit of Donald Trump:

  • One article complained about the lobbying and other "various measures to keep Trump out of the Oval Office or at least delegitimize his presidency."
  • Another article fretted about this "SHOCKING SCHEME TO STEAL THE PRESIDENCY," the "Hamilton Electors" effort to "prevent Donald Trump from becoming president by denying him a victory in the Electoral College."

WND seems to have forgotten that it launched a similar effort to lobby the Electoral College in 2008 in an attempt to stop Barack Obama from becoming president.

A December 2008 WND article announced that "WND announced a historic first in its quest to establish Obama's qualifications for office -- a similar FedEx letter drive directed at individual electors" to one WND previously used to target the Supreme Court. The issue: birtherism, of course. The article continues:

As WND has reported, there remain serious questions as to whether Obama is "a natural born citizen," as specified in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. While he claims to have been born in Hawaii in 1961, two Obama family members have told WND they were present at his birth in Mombasa, Kenya.

Further, Obama has steadfastly refused to release publicly his full birth certificate that would identify the hospital of his birth, the attending physician and other details. Instead, the campaign posted a document purporting to be a birth certificate devoid of these details. It has also come under fire as a possible forgery.

The article stated that "WND was able to track down addresses for all 538 electors. With the new 'FedEx the Electoral College' program, you can reach all of them with a one-page pre-written letter, with your name and address attached, delivered overnight for less than it would cost you to FedEx one member -- if you had the address." That cost was $10.95 -- one of WND's many attempts to skim money off its readers to send letters in bulk to politicians regarding certain issues despite never offering any evidence that the letters had any effect.

WND editor Joseph Farah wrote a column promoting the campaign, declaring that "unless we're going to live under an honor system in the future, one that relies solely on what a candidate says about his own eligibility, there is no reason to believe Obama is. There is simply no valid evidence to prove it, and there is plenty to raise doubts." He added that "never before has there been serious concern about the eligibility of the winning candidate" and "If there is any doubt, electors have a sworn duty to find out."

Neither Farah nor anyone else at WND seem to think that the 2016 electors have a "sworn duty" to alleviate any "serious concern" they may have about Russian intervention in the presidential campaign before voting.

A later WND article indicated that 3,653 readers paid WND for the privilege of getting those letters bulk-mailed to electors, meaning WND grossed around $40,000 on the effort -- a nice little money-maker for them.

So if right-wing criticism of the "Hamilton Electors" campaign seems a bit hypocritical, that's because it is. They've done it before, and for the very same reasons they accuse the current campaign of being driven by.