(1) Tie up the electoral college.First, a small cadre of libertarian activists would orchestrate a 269 to 269 tie in the electoral college, the little understood institution that actually elects the President under the U.S. Constitution.
(2) Elect or lure one elector.
(3) Put the pitchforks to Congress.
The number of electors in the electoral college was originally set to the number of representatives in the U.S. House, always an odd number, plus the number of U.S. Senators, always an even number. That would be a total of 535 electors, making a tie impossible with two candidates in a two-party system.
However, the 23rd Amendment gives the capitol city of Washington, DC the number of electors it would be entitled to as a state by population limited to the number allotted to the least populous state. That works out to 3 electors and brings the total to 538, which makes possible a 269 to 269 tie.
The 12th Amendment requires to elect the President a "majority of the whole number of Electors appointed" which is 270. In the event that no candidate gets 270 electoral votes, the selection of the new President goes to the U.S. House of Representatives. More on that later.
How would libertarian voters tie up the electoral college? As polling stands today, Romney victories in Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada would do the trick.
Now you are probably thinking that there is no way libertarians can organize enough people to influence the vote in those 3 states. But Ron Paul did just that with libertarian voters in the Republican primaries. He got 26,036 people out for the Iowa caucuses, 7,759 out for the Colorado caucuses, and 6,175 out for the Nevada caucuses. Only 537 votes made the difference in Florida in 2000.
The next step exploits another aspect of the 12th Amendment. In the event of failing to get a majority of the electors, the U.S. House chooses "from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President." Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be #1 and #2. Who will be #3?
Most states award their electors based on who wins the state. Nebraska and Maine, however, award their electors by Congressional districts. These are not swing states getting a lot of attention, so it would be possible for the plainsmen or woodsmen to sneak in one libertarian elector. A Republican elector might also be lured into defecting. That last happened in 1972, when Virginia Elector Roger MacBride switched his vote from Republican Richard Nixon to Libertarian candidate John Hospers. The Paulistas may well already have planted libertarian infiltrators on Romney's elector lists in any number of states.
This year the Libertarian Party candidate is Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico. As such, Gary is uniquely qualified to be #3. No one has ever become U.S. President without first being Vice President, a victorious general, a cabinet secretary, a senator, or a state governor. Unlike recent past third party candidates Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and John Anderson, Gary Johnson qualifies - all he has to do is get on the list as #3.
That brings us to the final step. For the presidential election tiebreaker, the U.S. House votes by state delegation. That's generally thought to favor the Republicans, because Democrats control most of the bigger states but Republicans control more states. House Speaker John Boehner would be expected, in the event of an electoral college tie, to save the day for Mitt Romney.
But factor in Joe Biden and Michele Bachmann. Under the 20th Amendment, "If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified."
The Vice President elect in an electoral vote tie will almost certainly be Joe Biden. Unlike the President, the choice of Vice President falls to the U.S. Senate and must be "from the two highest numbers on the list." That will be Joe Biden and Paul Ryan as #1 and #2. Democrats are expected to retain control of the U.S. Senate, and they won't pick Paul Ryan. Joe Biden will be waiting in the wings to become President if the U.S. House is unable to choose before noon January 20.
That gives Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann enormous leverage in her role as Chairwoman of the Tea Party Caucus, and she is just crazy enough to use it. The Tea Party Caucus currently has 61 members in the U.S. House, all ostensibly Republicans. Without the Tea Party Caucus votes, Republicans would only have 180 seats as compared to 191 for the Democrats. That's clout.
The state of Texas, for example, has 11 Tea Party Caucus members. That's enough to tip that state's delegation in the tiebreaker vote. The tea party vote can deprive Mitt Romney the win and that means Bachmann can go to Boehner and say, "It's my guy or Joe Biden."
Why would the tea party prefer Gary Johnson to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? Both Romney and Obama plan to cut the federal deficit by raising taxes, albeit in different ways. Taxed Enough Already is the tea party motto, and they already scuttled the grand bargain on the deficit between Boehner and Obama because it would have raised taxes.
All this Constitutional coup d'etat needs is a slogan. Gary Johnson has five:
Be libertarian one time
Cast a protest vote that counts
Be the 5 percent that changes America
End the two-party system for good
There it is, the Libertarian Menace, and Hollywood may be behind it. Over the last couple of years, Hollywood opened the door to libertarian values with TV shows like The Walking Dead and Revenge. The hot new TV shows Revolution and Last Resort feature strong libertarians fighting against tyranny.
The Thursday night comedy 30 Rock will feature an episode on November 1 titled "There's No I in America" in which fans of Jenna Maroney (played by Jane Krakowski) under the catchphrase "Unwindulax" will determine the winner of the election. The Revolution episode "The Children's Crusade" will air on the Monday election eve before the Tuesday, November 6 election.