“And what I see them doing is saying, ‘Okay, we know we’re never going to be popular again, so we’re going to have to rig it.”
There is this purveying sense of false equivalency that “they’re all the same”. In some ways – both the Democrats and Republicans are the same … absolutely. But in so many ways – they are very, very different. One of the most nefarious examples are the Republicans across the country who have in various ways pushed through measures to disenfranchise Democratic voters. After the 2010 wave election – Republicans throughout the country took power in traditionally Democratic states. They used this temporary power to push through voter ID laws, eliminate same day registration, kicked people off of the voter rolls and they heavily, heavily gerrymandered congressional districts to ensure they would maintain power in the years to come.
The ability to gerrymander districts comes only once every 10 years and works in conjunction with the new census. Gerrymandering is one of the examples of “they’re all the same”. When it comes to manipulating voter districts – neither party is better or worse. They are truly “all the same” in that regard and you can see some examples in Democrat and Republican controlled areas HERE. But unlike Republicans – the Democratic party has pretty much just stopped their voter suppression techniques right there; they have not attempted to make it difficult for Americans to vote in ANY state. Republicans used ALEC model legislation to pass voter ID laws in Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia etc; these laws forced people to wait in line for hours. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell recently said on Morning Joe that the Republican party needs to stop it HERE:
“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference? The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, [whereas] not to find ways to keep them from voting at all.”
So – you’ve got gerrymandering. You’ve got all of these power grabs to push out Democratic voters and Democrats STILL win one million more votes in the House than the Republican party in the 2012 election. Except – due to gerrymandering the Republican party was able to still keep control of the House of Representatives. And Republicans are even bragging about how they rigged the game (source).
But now – it has gotten to a boiling point of douchebaggery. The Republican party has no limits on integrity and are actively pushing forward with more plans to steal future congressional races. In Virginia – the state Senate is evenly split 20-20; Republicans can not pass through anything without at least one Democrat backing them. On the day of President Obama’s inauguration – they waited until the 79 year old civil rights champion State Senator Henry Marsh attended the inauguration; once he left town … they pushed through a new redistricting bill to benefit them for upcoming races. Talking Points Memo has that HERE:
With Marsh’s absence, Senate Republicans in Richmond had one more vote than Senate Democrats and could push the measure through. The new redistricting map revises the districts created under the 2011 map and would take effect before the next state Senate elections in Virginia and would redraw district lines to maximize the number of safe GOP seats.
The move was a surprise to just about everyone, including Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell who has not yet pledged to endorse the new district lines, which must now go through the GOP-controlled House of Delegates and finally across McDonnell’s desk before final approval.
Some of the sparse details from the AP:
After the measure was sprung on unsuspecting Democrats, its sponsor, Republican Sen. John Watkins of Powhatan, defended it as an effort to create another majority black Senate district. What he didn’t say is that it would create even more GOP-dominant districts.
Democrats are outraged.
I have a hard time believing that Republican Governor Bob McDonnell will refuse to sign it; nor do I believe that he was unaware of the plan here. Governor McDonnell can’t run for Governor again and there is no fear of accountability with voters of Virginia whatsoever.
Then factor in the recent plan in several states including most urgently – Pennsylvania – to change the way electoral votes are allocated during Presidential elections. Democrats tend to win Pennsylvania and that’s why Republicans are trying to change the entire way we elect Presidents. That is worthy of 1 million people in the street protesting this assault on liberty. If Republicans were willing to support a constitutional amendment to eliminate the electoral college in favor of a popular voting model; that would be fine. But – Republicans are pushing through a model where solidly Republican states distribute all of the electoral votes to the winner and solidly Democratic states divvy up electoral votes based on congressional districts (which are gerrymandered).
We’ve written about that HERE:
On Monday, seven Pennsylvania Republican state representatives introduced a bill to make this vote-rigging scheme a reality in their state. Under their bill, the winner of Pennsylvania as a whole will receive only 2 of the state’s 20 electoral votes, while “[e]ach of the remaining presidential electors shall be elected in the presidential elector’s congressional district.”
Pennsylvania is a blue state that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every single presidential race for the last two decades, so implementing the GOP election-rigging plan in Pennsylvania would make it much harder for a Democrat to be elected to the White House. Moreover, because of gerrymandering, it is overwhelmingly likely that the Republican candidate will win a majority of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes even if the Democrat wins the state by a very comfortable margin. Despite the fact that President Obama won Pennsylvania by more than 5 points last November, Democrats carried only 5 of the state’s 18 congressional seats. Accordingly, Obama would have likely won only 7 of the state’s 20 electoral votes if the GOP vote rigging plan had been in effect last year.
And I’ll tell you this. When a Republican president gets elected because of vote rigging; this will breed animosity and hate. Can you imagine a scenario where a Republican is elected to office because of manipulating votes and then pushing through cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Who is to say there wouldn’t be a violent uprising? We don’t know. But Republicans will wake a sleeping giant and they had better understand that actions have consequences.
I just want to say unequivocally: I hate the Republican party.
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