Steal Curtain

Fresh off an electoral shellacking – their second in a row – the GOP is mulling over a plan they hope will raise their prospects for 2016 and beyond. And you’ll never believe what it is.

The Grand Old Party is seriously considering awarding electoral votes in key swing states by congressional district instead of the current winner take all system. States like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – all states with Republican governors and legislatures, and all won by Barack Obama – have a majority of their congressional districts in Republican control. Under such a scheme, Mitt Romney would’ve won the 2012 election.

As shocking as it might seem, a candidate who got 5 million less votes than his opponent would be the President of the United States today. Here’s why.

Below is a breakdown of each state’s congressional districts:

Michigan: 14 districts – 9 Republican, 5 Democrat
Wisconsin: 8 districts – 5 Republican, 3 Democrat
Ohio: 16 districts – 12 Republican, 4 Democrat
Pennsylvania: 18 districts – 13 Republican, 5 Democrat
Virginia: 9 districts – 7 Republican, 2 Democrat

The reason for this commanding advantage comes down to one word: gerrymandering.  Put simply Republican governors and legislatures in each of those states were able to redraw congressional districts to put the majority of Democratic voters in fewer, but larger districts. This meant that they added congressional districts, which enabled the GOP to hold the House of Representatives. The fact is that Democrats got a million more votes in House races than their counterparts, yet only netted eight seats.

After their attempts to suppress minority voters failed miserably, the Republicans are now looking beyond mere disenfranchisement. They are literally looking to steal the 2016 election.

Let’s forget for a moment the shear gall of ignoring the will of the majority of voters, as if they ever cared about that in the first place, imagine what this says about the ability of the GOP to broaden its base. After the November election, all we heard from high-ranking officials within the party was how they needed to do a better job of attracting African American, Latino and women voters. This stunt, if approved and implemented, basically sticks a fork in that plan. What is says is that the only way the Republican Party can win nationally is by eliminating or reducing the size of the opposition’s votes.

If the current rate of population growth continues, whites will become a minority in the U.S. by 2043.  Nothing can stop that from happening. So the Republican solution, rather than craft a message that could appeal to those emerging demographic groups, is to create a quasi-apartheid system within the country that will keep them in power, while severely limiting the voice and power of the ever-increasing majority.

Brilliant. Mad, but brilliant. I can just see it now, the new slogan for the Republican Party:

2016? Don’t bother, it’s already in the bag!



Addendum to above:

It’s important – and fair – to note that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has come out publicly against this plan, which is laudable. However, he did NOT rule out signing such a bill should it land on his desk.  It’s one thing to be a vocal critic; it’s quite another to put your veto where your mouth is.

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Author: Peter Fegan

Progressive but pragmatic. Lover of music, die-hard Giants' fan and reluctant Mets' fan. My favorite motto? I'd rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian.

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