Truth or Tactics…
Posted January 18, 2013on:
Morning Widdershin friends — here’s hoping this is the day you aren’t caught in the loop of wondering why we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Last week I wrote about the untoward influence of outside groups swooping in and monetarily infusing themselves in a gerrymandered district’s crowded primary with the attendant results of electing a fringe candidate. The case in point was where the ultra-conservative Club for Growth ferreted out a sympathetic long-shot candidate, pumped several hundred thousand dollars into the primary, and elected someone who was not particularly representative of the District, but instead elected someone beholden to a shadowy dark-moneyed interest group.
This week, I would like to climb up from the granular level to examine what seems to be the dark arts of organized political tactics. We’ve seen these dark arts refined since Lord Vader Gingrich first employed them in the 1990s to not just disqualify opposing political beliefs, but to delegitimize anyone who dared not swear fealty to the Empire. Since that time,
Crown Clown Prince Karl Rove has taken up the mantle.
If there is a Hall of Infamy memorializing these tactics, undoubtedly there are exhibits to Whitewater, Troopergate, Swiftboating, Marriage Inequality, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, birth certificates, and most recently, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and union busting. I thought of adding the “47% video” and Bain Capital, but it’s hard to categorize something as a tactic when a candidate self-inflicts the truth.
The water has broken on the birth of a new tactic and this one is a lollapalooza doozy. In terms of tactics, it is the equivalent of the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny Rivers to form the Ohio — it is one-party state control and gerrymandering to form the basis of rigging the Electoral College. A bit of explanation is required.
In twenty-four states, there is one-party Republican control of the legislature and the Governor’s office. Among other things this arrangement has brought us union busting, the most onerous set of women’s healthcare restrictions in generations, and outrageous unfounded exercises in voter suppression.
Even with these hands trying to tip the scales of Presidential electoral politics, it wasn’t enough to win an election everyone knew was winnable — so what to do?
Should the Republican party rethink their policies? Should the Republican leadership proclaim a timeout for the extraordinarily uninformed and radical Tea Party? Should the Republican party rethink the Nixonian Southern Strategy that has run its course just as the white sheets have yellowed with the years? No, no, and a resounding hell no!
“Let’s just change the Electoral College,” is the answer instead. Here’s how it works — instead of awarding all the electoral votes of a state to the winner of the popular vote, there is a concerted effort afoot to award the electoral votes based upon the vote in each congressional district.
So in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida, efforts are in the offing to award electoral votes based upon the newly Republican gerrymandered congressional districts. If this list of states seems familiar, your Ginkgo Biloba is working — these were all “swing states.”
As astute Widdershin readers you are asking, “Why would a state purposefully want to make itself less nationally significant in a presidential election?” The answer: If you can’t win the way you are keeping score, change the way you count.
That is exactly the reasoning behind this change — these states with both a Republican legislature and a Republican Governor are taking one for the “team.” If such changes had been in place during this last election — even though the popular vote would have not changed one jot or tittle with President Obama getting 51% of the national vote and nationally more people voting for Democratic Representatives than Republicans, Gov. Romney would have won the election. Let me say this again, with everything remaining exactly the same, but for this change in the way electoral votes are counted, Gov. Romney would have won.
Without going into too much detail, a state’s electoral votes equal the number of Senators (2) and the number of Representatives — for instance, a state with 5 House districts would have seven electoral votes. What these proposals do is split the electoral votes of the states in accordance with which candidate carries each particular congressional district.
The effect — diminishing the electoral significance of cities and minorities while elevating the significance of rural agricultural flyover districts and white traditional Republican voters.
To put it succinctly, this effort might as well base our Presidential elections on geographic square footage instead of votes cast.
This tactic is gaining steam — Reince Priebus, the loosely wrapped Wisconsin cheesehead who is the Republican National Chairman has endorsed the idea after being briefed on the concept. The press isn’t covering this “coup d’etat” in the making. It should be or as that great political philosopher Tupac Shakur said, “One day they’re gonna shut the game down.”
This is an “all skate” open thread.
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