Republicans Against the Republic

Voter suppression didn’t work, and they’ve run out of persuadable white voters. Now Republicans are preparing to take the White House back in 2016 using the only means they have left — cheating. Rachel Maddow explains —

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Last November, gerrymandering enabled the Republicans to keep control of the House, in spite of the fact that Dem candidates received more total votes than Republican candidates for the House. I’ve been hearing that Dems will need 7 percent more votes than Republicans to take the House back. Now several Republican-controlled states are considering changing the rules to give Republicans an advantage in the electoral college as well.

Josh Marshall explains,

Rather than going by the overall vote in a state, they’d allocate by congressional district. And this is where it gets real good, or bad, depending on your point of view. Democrats are now increasingly concentrated in urban areas and Republicans did an extremely successful round of gerrymandering in 2010, enough to enable them to hold on to a substantial House majority even thoughthey got fewer votes in House races than Democrats.

In other words, the new plan is to make the electoral college as wired for Republicans as the House currently is. But only in Dem leaning states. In Republican states just keep it winner take all. So Dems get no electoral votes at all.

Another way of looking at this is that the new system makes the votes of whites count for much more than non-whites — which is a helpful thing if you’re overwhelmingly dependent on white votes in a country that is increasingly non-white.

This all sounds pretty crazy. But it gets even crazier when you see the actual numbers. Here’s a very illustrative example. They’re already pushing a bill to do this in the Virginia legislature. Remember, Barack Obama won Virginia and got 13 electoral votes. But as Benjy Sarlin reported today in a series of posts, if the plan now being worked on would have been in place last November, Mitt Romney would have lost the state but still got 9 electoral votes to Obama’s 4. Think of that, two-thirds of the electoral votes for losing the state. If the Virginia plan had been in place across the country, as Republicans are now planning to do, Mitt Romney would have been elected president even though he lost by more than 5 million votes.

Remember, plans to do this are already underway in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states in the Midwest.

This is happening.

If you look up “republic” in a dictionary, this is what you find —

a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of governmen

Basically, the current Republican Party does not believe in republican government. The people who yap endlessly about what’s constitutional and what isn’t have no respect for what the Constitution is, which is a charter for elected, representative, republican government. The meatheads who romanticize the Revolution and the Boston Tea Party and the rallying cry “no taxation without representation” don’t believe in representation. Ultimately, they won’t be satisfied with anything less than one-party rule, by them, even if they have to subvert the Constitution and the principles of republicanism to do it.

Of course, the current Republican Party is something like a dog chasing a car. The dog wouldn’t know what to do with the car if he caught it. Republicans have no governing philosophy other than cutting taxes. And when there are no more taxes to cut, and government functions are all privatized, and there are no Democrats to obstruct, what would they possibly do with themselves?