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?

21 thoughts on “Republicans Against the Republic

  1. A couple of states already work this way, but I can’t imagine the practice is fully legal. Has it ever been challenged?

  2. Well, if you put the word “banana” in front of “republic,” I guess the GOP’s vision still fits.

    A couple of states already work this way

    Tom, I gather you mean Maine and Nebraska (where I live). Our split electoral vote was most recently challenged in 2009– by the Republicans in our legislature, because in the 2008 election the Congressional district for Omaha gave its electoral vote to Obama.

    So the GOP wants it both ways… or rather, whatever way will give them back their power. I think there’s never been a better time to do away with the Electoral College altogether.

  3. So, in these states, what they’re basically now saying, is that the acreage that a candidates people have, is more important than the number of people another candidate has.

    Kind of going back to the old requirement for voters to be property owners, no?

    And, now, how long before they try to make urban votes only count for 3/5ths?

  4. I’m with Joanr16. Get rid of the electoral college all together and just go by the popular vote. These Republicans not only don’t believe in a republic or the U.S. Constitution, they don’t believe in America any more. Their actions these days are pretty close to treason.

  5. I’m hearing a lot of no more angry white man talk.. The Repugs are singing the song..was lost but now we’re found.was blind but now we see.
    They still don’t get it inspite of the lesson that the American people just gave them.

    When they understand that the American people can see motive and intention, and that we do value the qualities of honesty, sincerity and integrity, than maybe their actions might start to align with their words. Until then it’s more of the same. They’re not interested in serving the American people, they’re interested in serving themselves.

    Keep playing your games,boys..We’re watching.

  6. Even if I saw Michele Bachmann riding as the Grand Marshal in a gay pride parade..I still wouldn’t believe them.

  7. This is what infuriates me so about this: the sense of entitlement.

    Republicans are perfectly willing to play dirty if it helps their party. Now, while Republicans in this country are not the only party to ever resort to these tactics, I find this current scenario more pernicious because it affects so many aspects of American culture. So many.

    Republicans are dreaming of the Mad Men ideal. Women and minorities “knew their place.” And in order to return this country to a time when only a specific few had rights and freedoms, Republicans will do whatever it takes to return the country to what they perceive were better times.

    Pardon the non-sequitur, but I watch Bill O’ Reilly’s show sometimes because it is a fine substitute for self-mutilation. The racism, sexism, homophobia and (strangely) elitism that this man sweats leaves me in awe. It’s quite wonderful, really. He represents the Republican tendency for fear, arrogance, and runaway errancy in one neatly pockmarked package.

  8. I continually ask my conservative friends whether this is OK with them. They’re surprisingly mum and don’t care to talk about it. They’re not opposing it though. Naturally and conveniently they consider it crass to even bring it up…as someone somewhere is doing their dirty work for them. They won’t say so I’m left to guess that they’re just relieved the cheaters are their cheaters and not someone else’s.

  9. And Lance Armstrong stealing a bicycle race will get more coverage than the GOP stealing a Presidential Race.

  10. I believe it is legal The Constitution leaves it to the state legislatures to determine how presidential electors are appointed. In fact, I’m not even sure if the Constitution requires any popular vote for the president at all. At first, most states just had their electors appointed by the legislature. Obviously that’s changed, but I don’t think it’s because of any amendments to the Constitution. The 17th Amendment guarantees popular election of senators, of course, but I don’t see anything equivalent for the electoral college. I’m hardly an authority on constitutional law, though, so I’m not sure about that.

  11. Well, here in Florida we’ve already found a way to whittle down any disadvantages to insuring a Repug stronghold. We’ve sucessfully disenfranched 31% of all black male voters in the entire state… We’re peerless*. Eat your heart out, Virginia. Democracy in action!

    * actually I’m being a little over exuberant in expressing pride in my state. It’s really not the accomplishment I make it to be because

  12. Ok so we know about the problem, what is our remedy? What do we do? And the fact that there have been challenges that failed to stop this tells me that the wrong people took the wrong argument before the court. So what do we do? I was glad this was brought to our attention by those wise enough to have their eye on the ball, but just telling us isn’t enough..We need a solution – so whats the plan?

  13. justme,
    On the negative side, I’m not sure what we can do.

    On the plus side, they didn’t pull this last summer, trying to affect the 2012 election, and President Obama won the reelection – so, we’ve got 3+ years for people who are a whole hell of a lot smarter than me, to figure out what can be done.

    Even in the rural areas, the demographics will be changing. The owners of real small farms and ranches are getting older, and a lot of their children have moved away. And I don’t see a whole lot of urban elites or urban “Blah,” Hispanic, and Gay people moving out to take over the farms and ranches, ‘Green Acres,” style. Or, they may buy some land out there, but not work it themselves.
    The economy could improve, and those ranches sold to developers, who’ll subdivide the property into smaller lots, that urbanites might be interested in buying – that’s how the rural areas sorrounding cities became suburbs after WWI and WWII. This may explain the Conservatives aversion to railroads. Expanding railroads, and adding stops in more rural areas, might draw city-slickers who want room for their families, but don’t want to sit in traffic for hours, going to, and coming from, work.
    And yeah, I know, those kind of changes are going to take awhile…

    We could try to shame the State Legislators and Governors who are trying to “game” the election. Except, Republicans feel no shame since, for the most part, they don’t have consciences. They follow Al Davis’s old Oakland Raider philosophy: “Just WIN, baby!!!”

    So, I leave the solution of this problem to those who are smarter than me.

  14. Stephen:you’re exactly right. Our founding fathers (cue deep, resonate voice) didn’t want an election for prez for fear of a demagogue getting elected. John Quincy Adams was the first who won in a popular election. Ironically, he lost the popular and electoral vote to Andrew Jackson, but the House gave it to him anyway. Polls today show a vast majority that want to do away with the EC, because of a chance that someone becomes prez who doesn’t win the popular vote. I can’t imagine most Americans putting up with a system where someone loses by millions of votes still becomes prez. What you’re quickly getting to is a gov’t that is not representive of the people. Here in WI the state leg was gerrymandered so badly that the state assembly gives the repugs a 60-39 advantage despite receiving 300k fewer votes which here meant more than 10%. An overwhelming advantage despite getting smoked at the polls. Is this what democracy is supposed to look like?

  15. “Ok so we know about the problem, what is our remedy?”

    Do away with the electoral college altogether.

    “On the plus side, they didn’t pull this last summer, trying to affect the 2012 election, and President Obama won the reelection …”

    I think that’s only because they thought they’d win anyway.

    “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?”

    Start wars.

  16. And here’s Ezra dissecting another Republican notion that makes no sense: Paul Ryan

    The article’s video is not necessary, as text beneath covers it:

    Ryan is just as pathetic as we knew him to be. But to the R’s he’s a rilly rilly deep thinker and analyst on budget affairs. Maybe this is part of the problem Ol’ Reince ought to be addressing at their conference this weekend: stupidity.

  17. OT – Matt Taibbi on the GOP’s really, really bad week:

    And all of his mocking, doesn’t even include how bad the Republican Party looked, when it took advantage to redistrict VA while an elderly Civil Rights activist and lawyer, a VA State Senator, took the day to go see the 1st “Blah” President get sworn in for the 2nd time.
    And then, if that didn’t look crooked, stupid, racist, and evil enough, the VA GOP declared the end of the State Senate’s session, on MARTIN LUTHER KINGS BIRTHDAY, for feck’s sake, in honor of Confederate General ‘Stonewall” Jackson – most definitely NOT the “Stonewall” that President Obama referred to in his Inaugural Speech!

    Methinks “The Stupid Party” isn’t going about trying to win friends and influence people, the right way.

  18. Ryan is just as pathetic as we knew him to be.

    Amen, Bill!.. Marco Rubio is another rising Repug star who’s prefecting the fine art of saying something while saying nothing while projecting himself as some sort of an intellectual heavyweight. Essentially he’s just another pathetic fraud who’s mimicking Paulies style.

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