Tag: Elections in the United States

The District Plan

The GOP is moving forward, in several states, with plans to change how electoral votes are allocated. The most recent — passed by the disgusting tactic of waiting until a black Democratic senator was attending the inauguration to shove it through by one vote — is even worse than the plan in Pennsylvania. Under this plan, electoral votes would be allocated to the winner of each congressional district with the remaining two votes going to the candidates who wins the most districts. Jamelle Bouie breaks down the problem with this:

Because Democratic voters tend to cluster in highly-populated urban areas, and Republican voters tend to reside in more sparsely populated regions, this makes land the key variable in elections—to win the majority of a state’s electoral votes, your voters will have to occupy the most geographic space.

In addition to disenfranchising voters in dense areas, this would end the principle of “one person, one vote.” If Ohio operated under this scheme, for example, Obama would have received just 22 percent of the electoral votes, despite winning 52 percent of the popular vote in the state.

This is not even a remotely conservative idea. This is a straight up attempt to win elections by trickery. Under this system, a Republican candidate could score well short of a majority of votes and still win the state. Does that make any sense? Does it sound just and reasonable? Would we be nodding our heads and saying, “that sounds good” if Democrats were doing this?

(Actually, we don’t need to think very hard. When Lani Guinier was nominated for assistant AG, the Republicans objected because she had written in favor of voting systems that were skewed to give minorities more votes than majorities.)

Furthermore, we have talked about the GOP’s problem getting votes from anyone other than white men. Whether this plan is intended to disenfranchise black voters or not is beside the point; that’s the way everyone will perceive it. We could be talking another two or three decades of the GOP getting single digit votes from African-Americans.

I also can’t see how this would pass Constitutional muster. While the states are allowed to pick their electors any they want, Bush v. Gore established the precedent that equal protection applies to votes in a Presidential election (and how fun will that be: to watch liberals cite the hated Bush v. Gore as precedent). So the likely result of this would be a bruising Constitutional fight in which the GOP is arguing for effectively disenfranchising millions of voters.

This is stupid and mindless. If the GOP wants to win elections, rigging the game is not the solution. Putting forward a positive agenda, showing competent management skills and convincing everyone that a conservative agenda is good for them is the way. Chris Christie has pursued this strategy in New Jersey and is now so popular that Cory Booker may aver from challenging him in favor of a Senate Run (this, in turn, has provoked to respond in a way that would certainly be called racist is he were a Republican rather than a senile doddering Democrat).

But, of course, rebuilding conservatism is hard work. It might take five to ten years to pay off. Rigging an election could pay off now.

The biggest problem with the GOP is that everything they have done for the last decade has been oriented around winning today without any thought to the long term. This is why entitlements were expanded under Bush instead of reformed. This is why their attacks on Obama consist of news gotchyas instead of deconstructions of his bad policies (and, not coincidentally, why Obama has thumped them in two elections). This is why our budget process has devolved into a series of self-created crises — the cliff, the debt ceiling, the sequester. This is why the GOP in Virginia thinks that creating a system where a Republican can lose the popular vote but when the electoral — by design, not by accident — is a reasonable response to two electoral defeats.

The GOP used to be about the long term. Until they are again, they will continue to lose elections and they will continue to flounder to advance anything approaching conservatism.

Perspective…

Let’s discuss our Demcorat controlled Senate and our country’s budget:

Budget: Over the weekend, Senate Democrats passed a dubious milestone — going 900 days without fulfilling their legal obligation to pass a budget. Worse is the fact that this gross dereliction of duty has gone largely unnoticed. You have to go all the way back to April 29, 2009 — just three months after President Obama took the oath of office — to find the last time Senate Democrats managed to discharge their legal obligation to produce a budget plan. That’s right — legal obligation. It says right in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that the Senate must produce a budget resolution by April of each year. Instead, all the country has gotten from Senate Democrats are excuses.

Can you imagine if this had happened when Bush was president and republicans controlled the branch pulling this stunt? What about if the republican controlled house decided to do this right now? Anyway, what have the senate majority holding donkeys been up to?

In May, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said “it would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage,” since the so-called Gang of Six was working with Vice President Biden to come up with a debt reduction deal. In early July, Republicans sent a letter to Reid asking where the Democrats’ budget was. Turns out, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., had a plan ready to be unveiled, but Reid forced him to keep it locked up. Ostensibly that was because of the then-ongoing debt ceiling talks. Democrats did, however, find the time in May to force a vote on the House Republican budget plan, but only in hopes of embarrassing their Senate counterparts.

Politics baby! Reelection and keeping power over what’s best for the country. The plan is to fool the rubes into keeping them in power so they can use the next 4 years after that to really screw us hard. And they will do it all to “help” the unfortunate many… If you believe that I have a bridge crossing the Atlantic ocean to sell you. The LSM was not available for comment.