What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 18, 2013

Another Threat To Our Democracy

While the GOP has been warning us for years about the (illusory) "significant voter fraud" and its (supposed) threat to our democracy, the real threat is coming from them.

 From Talkingpoints Memo:
Call it a gaffe: a slip-up that accidentally reveals the truth.

A recent memo by the Republican State Leadership Committee emphasizes the party’s 2010 victories in state legislatures as central to the House GOP retaining its majority in the 2012 elections.

The reason? Redistricting — or more precisely, gerrymandering.
From the memo:
The rationale was straightforward: Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn. Drawing new district lines in states with the most redistricting activity presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade.
President Obama won reelection in 2012 by nearly 3 points nationally, and banked 126 more electoral votes than Governor Mitt Romney. Democratic candidates for the U.S. House won 1.1 million more votes than their Republican opponents. But the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Republican and presides over a 33-seat House Republican majority during the 113th Congress. How? One needs to look no farther than four states that voted Democratic on a statewide level in 2012, yet elected a strong Republican delegation to represent them in Congress: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
And this is what the Republican Gerrymandering accomplished:
A REDMAP target state, the RSLC spent nearly $1 million in Pennsylvania House races in 2010 – an expenditure that helped provide the GOP with majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Combined with former Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett’s victory in the gubernatorial race, Republicans took control of the state legislative and congressional redistricting process. The impact of this investment at the state level in 2010 is evident when examining the results of the 2012 election: Pennsylvanians reelected a Democratic U.S. Senator by nearly nine points and reelected President Obama by more than five points, but at the same time they added to the Republican ranks in the State House and returned a 13-5 Republican majority to the U.S. House.
According to Fairvote.org, had these new laws been in place before the 2012 election, Obama's overwhelming win would have been (with exactly the same votes) much much closer.

And now what are the Republican legislators in Harrisburg looking to do with these manipulated-for-the-benefit-of-the-GOP congressional districts?

State Senator Domini Pileggi has an idea: "Proportionality."  Take a look:
Under the proportional system, two of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors are chosen on a statewide, at-large basis (representing the two senatorial electors). The remaining 18 electors are chosen based on the percentage of the statewide vote earned by each candidate (rounded to the thousandths). For example, President Obama won 52.088% of the vote in November. Under this system, he would have received 12 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors (the two statewide electors plus 10 of the 18 remaining electors, which would be distributed proportionately).

This advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state.
Yea, but since the electoral votes would be distributed by gerrymandered congressional district (districts that benefit the GOP), we all know that that last part's plainly incorrect.

Message from this state's Republicans in the state legislature: When you can't win fairly, simply legislate a change of the rules (i.e. cheat legally).


Conservative Mountaineer said...

Well, well, well.

Thank goodness the Republicans aren't promoting a 'President Popular Vote Trumps the Electoral College' program. If we were, the Leftists would pound us for wanting to have the high population center States (NY, IL, CA, NJ, etc.) overriding a process put in by a bunch of old White guys in the 18th Century.

We'd be in REALLY BIG trouble with the Leftists, then.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Oh, 2 other things,,

I'm sure glad Democrats haven't gerrymandered Congressional Districts. That makes this argument all the much stronger. We should give in and forget this.

The United States is a Representative Republic, not a Democracy. [Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep deciding what to have for Dinner.]

Ol' Froth said...

One wonders why republicans in Texas and Georgia aren't pushing "proportional" electoral college allotment, eh?