Congress Meets Today to Continue Horrible, Outdated Practice

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Obama makes a rare speech in New York, at Washington Square Park in September 2007.
Photo: Getty Images

The House and Senate will convene today, over objections from football fans, to count the electoral votes cast in the presidential election. Unless Dick Cheney decides to unleash on another one of his peers, this should pass without drama. Irritatingly so. New York has seen another election come and go in which its allegiance to the Democratic candidate was obvious from the outset, granting the state about as much attention from the presidential campaigns as Alabama, despite being at least four times as important. With the fate of our electoral votes a given, Obama and McCain rightly focused the lion's share of their energy on a small coterie of swing states. As they promised help to corn growers, automakers, and steelworkers at small-town gatherings and spirited, sometimes menacing rallies, New York's special interests, like hedge-funders and investment bankers, were simply villainized. Sure, we got some scraps of attention here and there — when they wanted our money. Look, we're big fans of the Founding Fathers. Most of their legacies have aged remarkably well (the Bill of Rights kicks ass), and they had some top-notch ideas. But, as New Yorkers are reminded by their unjust marginalization every four years, this Electoral College scheme just isn't one of them.