VOTING GETS RIGGED, JUST LIKE THE ECONOMY
Republicans in Virginia are moving forward with an effort to reapportion the state's Electoral College votes on a congressional-district-by-congressional-district basis, which, thanks to pro-GOP gerrymandering and the clustering of Democratic voter groups, would have given Mitt Romney a 9-4 Electoral College win in 2012, even though President Obama won the state's popular vote handily. Several other states with GOP governors and legislatures are considering similar moves to deal with the pesky Democrats-always-win-the-popular-vote problem in presidential elections.
Jamelle Bouie and Ta-Nehisi Coates see this as a disenfranchisement of black voters in the affected states -- which is an appropriate way of looking at it. Democrats win states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia because of the votes of non-whites; these schemes neutralize those non-white votes.
But I see something else at play. Right-wing billionaires are undoubtedly the people behind these schemes -- and remember what kind of economy our plutocrat overlords are running these days.
In America today, how do you get rich and stay rich? On Wall Street, you do it by creating exotic financial products that are incomprehensible except to the financial elites and the rocket scientists they employ. Across the business world, you do it by hiring armies of lobbyists, in Washington and fifty state capitols, so that the law, especially the tax code, rewards your kind lavishly, whether your business succeeds or fails on its own terms, and guarantees bailouts in response to the worst failures. And if, somehow, lobbyists have neglected to get a particular statute criminalizing your standard business practices removed from the books, you employ a large army of lawyers with enough firepower to ensure than overworked government lawyers and regulators can never bring you to justice.
In other words, unless you're Steve Jobs -- and he's not with us anymore -- you don't get rich in America by building a better mousetrap. You get rich by rigging the system.
The GOP and its financiers are just doing to electoral democracy what they've already done to the economy. Winning by gaming. Winning by bamboozlement. It's all they know.