Thursday, January 24, 2013


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.


Victor said...

After the late Richard Nixon, I think these ratfecker's next hero, was Al "JUST WIN, BABY!" Davis.

It will be interesting to see how things shape up in the sticks when some "Blah" Kenyan Usurper isn't running for election or reelection, but a white Democratic male or female.

Also, factor in that by 2016, the ACA will have been around for almost two years. Or, at least in most states. And, hopefully, it will work fairly well, so that Democrats can point to that as a success.
I imagine that FUX and Rushba the Nut, will have to go into uber-hyper-overdrive, demonizing the Democratic candidate.

The lessons for Democrats from VA are, never take a day off - EVER! -and, if you don't want the ratfeckers feckin' the rat, then either don't leave the rat in a position where it can be fecked by the ratfeckers, or, put a chastity belt on the rat, to keep the rat from being fecked by the ratfeckers who live only to feck rats.

And, if any Democrat ever says to him or herself, "I don't think even Republicans would stoop that low" - THINK AGAIN!!!

Buford said...

My question do you stop this?

Victor said...

You can't stop it. Any state is within its rights to do what VA did - only they didn't have to stoop as low as VA R's.

The Democrats need to try to convince the rural morons in all of the states, that voting for Republicans is voting against their own best interests.

And I suspect that even some of the morons know that - but they're too blinded by racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and/or homophobia, to vote for the Democrats, who shun racists, misogyninsts, xenophobes, and/or homophobes.

Steve M. said...

The best you can hope for is that Democratic voter turnout will exceed expectations in upcoming off-year elections (e.g., the 2013 elections in Virginia). But it's got to be enough to turn the governor's mansion and both legislative houses Democratic in any state that does this, and that's a tall order. Or, at least, the fear of that possibility, or of big GOP losses, has to be enough to make a few Republicans wary of going down this road.

Anonymous said...

And when/if democrats gain a majority, wait for all the screaming about how a redistricting plan that undoes GOP gerrymandering would be so unfair and wrong.

Philo Vaihinger said...

In short, it's really nothing to do with racism and all to do with partisan advantage, but a couple well known black leftish junior pundits are going to say it's about racism, so that's all right then.

Well, why not.

When the GOP spent a successful summer pushing the agenda of the Christian right some of the ladies denounced it as a war against women (by those wicked old white men of the GOP) and we let that by, right?

So, hey.

Steve M. said...

I don't have a problem with saying the GOP is engaged in a war on women. The GOP is fighting a lot of wars.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Yes, the same old culture war about religion, morality, and sex.

It's a war of old time believers against the rest of us, not a war of men against women.

And the same old political war for party advantage, fronting as always for the class war of the plutes against democracy and the people.

Not a race war of white guys against blacks.

It's not the conservatives but the liberal black and female pundits who prefer to fight a race war and a battle of the sexes, rather than a class war and a war of religion.

And so we get intentional distortion and mis-characterization so these folks on the left can make it about their own pet hates, projected onto the conservative opposition.

Spin, spin, spin.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Oh, if what Reid is doing about the filibuster is any indication, don't expect a wave of Democrats victorious in the states to seriously undo the gerrymandering that the GOP has done.

Nor even any successful GOP efforts to tie state electoral votes to those same rigged congressional districts.

Nice thing about the Democrats.

You can always count on them to intentionally settle for defeat even when victory is in their hands.