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(Slate)   If you can't beat 'em, cheat   (slate.com) divider line 103
    More: Obvious, Priebus, cheats, RNC Chairman  
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6215 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Jan 2013 at 3:24 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-14 10:35:14 AM
Back in my day politicians at least pretended they weren't gerrymandering.
 
2013-01-14 10:43:29 AM
And the republican base continues to shrink... If (and its a big if), they manage to pass this through a bunch of states, it is only a matter of time until they will have to scramble to find some other way to cheat their way to an election win.
 
2013-01-14 12:11:36 PM
Wonder how they'd feel about doing this to Texas
 
2013-01-14 01:39:03 PM
Next: Democrats get 3/5 of the vote.

God forbid you actually recognize the changes in America since the never-really-existed days of Wally and Beav and find a way to adapt...no, just change the rules to keep your dwindling base as relevant as possible.
 
2013-01-14 01:43:44 PM

mahuika: Wonder how they'd feel about doing this to Texas


well, if it hurts the GOP chances, then it's 'unfair, unconstitutional and immoral'.  if it helps the GOP and hurts everyone else, then it's 'fair, logical and constitutional'.
 
2013-01-14 01:47:57 PM
"I think it's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at," Priebus said of the plan to change how electoral votes are granted.

Yeah, there's a reason for that.  It's called the state government drawing the districts.
 
2013-01-14 01:49:30 PM
It's not cheating.  It is gaming the system, but it isn't cheating.
 
2013-01-14 02:39:49 PM
Solution: get more states to join the National Popular Vote initiative.  It already has states in it worth 132 EVs.  When states with a total EV count reach 270 pass it, it become enforceable and each of those states is required to give all their EVs to the popular vote winner, no matter who won the state.
 
2013-01-14 03:06:29 PM
 

Weaver95: mahuika: Wonder how they'd feel about doing this to Texas

well, if it hurts the GOP chances, then it's 'unfair, unconstitutional and immoral'.  if it helps the GOP and hurts everyone else, then it's 'fair, logical and constitutional'.


What if it helped the GOP's chances but was proposed by a black guy?

Okay, that made me LOL.
 
2013-01-14 03:18:13 PM

mahuika: Wonder how they'd feel about doing this to Texas


The Republicans tried it in CA a few years back.  And by "try" I mean roll out some concerned Republican pols and apparatchiks.  That trial balloon was shot down before they even inflated it.
 
2013-01-14 03:20:03 PM
Why don't they just come out and say that there's a lot of... *ahem* attractive and successful people living in those urban districts? When they put it that way, it's obvious that their votes shouldn't count at all.

/three-fifths, anyone?
 
2013-01-14 03:25:54 PM
gawd I can't wait to move out of this state
 
2013-01-14 03:26:04 PM
What a totally precedented move!!! I could have seen this coming!!!
 
2013-01-14 03:31:43 PM
Republicans:Senate::Democrats:House

// ironyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
 
2013-01-14 03:32:31 PM
assets.motherjones.com
 
2013-01-14 03:34:05 PM
I really dislike that Rinsed Penis guy.
 
2013-01-14 03:38:17 PM

Your_Midnight_Man: I really dislike that Rinsed Penis guy.


Would you prefer Unrinsed Penis?
 
2013-01-14 03:38:17 PM
I'd be all in favor of this, as long as it was initiated concurrently in all 50 states.
 
2013-01-14 03:40:01 PM

Tommy Moo: I'd be all in favor of this, as long as it was initiated concurrently in all 50 states.


Then we would be waiting on President Romney to be sworn in this year. The guy with 47% of the vote total.
 
2013-01-14 03:40:27 PM
When you have to change the rules to win an argument it is a good sign that perhaps you are wrong.
 
2013-01-14 03:41:39 PM

GAT_00: Solution: get more states to join the National Popular Vote initiative.  It already has states in it worth 132 EVs.  When states with a total EV count reach 270 pass it, it become enforceable and each of those states is required to give all their EVs to the popular vote winner, no matter who won the state.


I'm sorry but I just can't behind this. If you think the lying, cheating, stealing that happens around elections is bad now, just wait until we overturn the electoral college.
 
2013-01-14 03:43:19 PM
So. Mr.Bean and Big Bang's Sheldon had a love child. hmmm.
 
2013-01-14 03:44:15 PM

Weaver95: mahuika: Wonder how they'd feel about doing this to Texas

well, if it hurts the GOP chances, then it's 'unfair, unconstitutional and immoral'.  if it helps the GOP and hurts everyone else, then it's 'fair, logical and constitutional'.


I'm surprised more aren't pushing for "you must own real property to vote" requirements. I know so many Republicans complaining about skin in the game, and it's very easy to argue that it's what the Founders intended. There is a very easy argument that could be made that if things go wrong renters can just pick up and go but that property owners have more at stake with policy decisions.

Sure, it would still be offensive and wrong, but it would be more defensible than explicitly saying "if a state generally votes red in local races but votes blue in federal races they should have laws that award votes in federal races by district to make it more equitable."

Favorite bit of all this was the PA politician complaining that the current set up is unfair because it leaves rural voters feeling like their votes don't count if urban votes have the same value. Isn't that insane?
 
2013-01-14 03:44:37 PM

Witty_Retort: Tommy Moo: I'd be all in favor of this, as long as it was initiated concurrently in all 50 states.

Then we would be waiting on President Romney to be sworn in this year. The guy with 47% of the vote total.



Link
 
2013-01-14 03:49:52 PM
They have gerrymandered themselves into a corner where their fringiest/nut bag candidates can get elected.
 
2013-01-14 03:51:01 PM

Dr Dreidel: Your_Midnight_Man: I really dislike that Rinsed Penis guy.

Would you prefer Unrinsed Penis?


Touché.

Rinsed or not though, hes still a dirty d!ckhead.
 
2013-01-14 03:54:04 PM

nmrsnr: [assets.motherjones.com image 630x566]


While I do not deny that gerrymandering is a substantial problem, the simple analysis of that infographic may be, in some circumstances, misleading. Even were legislative districts divided in an objectively "fair" and even fashion based upon population size, overall voter turnout disparity between districts could ultimately result in an observation similar to that reflected in the graphic. While I do not believe that differences in voter turnout between districts is ultimately as significant as are the effects of intentional partisan gerrymandering, such a factor should be considered in an objective analysis.
 
2013-01-14 03:55:05 PM
Wow, so Republicans hate the player AND the game.
 
2013-01-14 04:03:17 PM
The 75% of America that doesn't live in a battleground state already know their votes don't count. Now we'll narrow it down even further, to battleground districts.

This little plan isn't just about winning the Presidency, its a clever way to reduce turnout in heavily Democratic districts. That helps in statewide elections. The biggest impact from this would be to boost Republican chances at governor and US Senate.
 
2013-01-14 04:06:44 PM
The Republican majority in the House, which is the chamber that is supposed to be representative of the people, is illegitimate by any standard of representative government and democracy. A million more votes were cast for Dem reps than GOP ones.

Gerrymandered Old Party
 
2013-01-14 04:08:23 PM

Dimensio: nmrsnr: [assets.motherjones.com image 630x566]

While I do not deny that gerrymandering is a substantial problem, the simple analysis of that infographic may be, in some circumstances, misleading. Even were legislative districts divided in an objectively "fair" and even fashion based upon population size, overall voter turnout disparity between districts could ultimately result in an observation similar to that reflected in the graphic. While I do not believe that differences in voter turnout between districts is ultimately as significant as are the effects of intentional partisan gerrymandering, such a factor should be considered in an objective analysis.


While there could be other factors at play in that chart such as turnout, and while even a randomly drawn set of districts is unlikely to elect representatives in proportion to the political party of the population at large, no sane person could possibly imagine that something like this:
upload.wikimedia.org
with no less than 4 different sections that don't even touch could possibly have come about without giving someone a possibly illegal edge in elections.
 
2013-01-14 04:14:41 PM

Dimensio: nmrsnr: [assets.motherjones.com image 630x566]

While I do not deny that gerrymandering is a substantial problem, the simple analysis of that infographic may be, in some circumstances, misleading. Even were legislative districts divided in an objectively "fair" and even fashion based upon population size, overall voter turnout disparity between districts could ultimately result in an observation similar to that reflected in the graphic. While I do not believe that differences in voter turnout between districts is ultimately as significant as are the effects of intentional partisan gerrymandering, such a factor should be considered in an objective analysis.


But how would you go about making that calculation? The only way would be to compare the actual results to a hypothetical "ideal" districting scheme, and that doesn't really exist. As it stands, Democrats received more votes and received less representation than did Republicans. In a true representative democracy, they should be directly proportional.
 
2013-01-14 04:16:44 PM

Karac: with no less than 4 different sections that don't even touch could possibly have come about without giving someone a possibly illegal edge in elections.


They connect. There's probably a dead person at the bottom of the East River still on the voting roll.
 
2013-01-14 04:17:09 PM
Local control? Is this a euphemism for my uterus?
 
2013-01-14 04:17:37 PM
Just wait for 2020 when the Democrats prepare for an onslaught to win many of the state legislative seats and then they re-do the districts. If you ever want to see a trivialized GOP, wait for 2020.
 
2013-01-14 04:18:32 PM
The GOP understands that the strategies of the past did not work in 2012.  They recognize the need for change.  And they have a plan:

Rotten boroughs.
 
2013-01-14 04:19:59 PM
Yeah, I've said it like 50 gajillion times by now, but people crowing that the Republican party is "over" after the last election are naive at best. They got 47% in the last election, and whatever the party's long term prospects are, it would only take a weak Democratic candidate and a couple tricks like this from the state legislatures to put them back on top in 2016. Furthermore, any significant deviations from the party line will still be suicide in the primaries, so I don't expect significant shifts in policy until the Republicans are more or less completely out of power.
 
2013-01-14 04:20:58 PM

nmrsnr: But how would you go about making that calculation? The only way would be to compare the actual results to a hypothetical "ideal" districting scheme, and that doesn't really exist. As it stands, Democrats received more votes and received less representation than did Republicans. In a true representative democracy, they should be directly proportional.


Honest-to-god proportional representation (I'm not sure if that's what you were advocating) would be interesting because it would make third parties viable. The trouble is that when .9% of the population votes for the neo-nazi party those guys get 4 seats (and you're literally voting for parties rather than people).
 
2013-01-14 04:22:04 PM
Texas congressional district 6 looks like a cawk w/ balls spooj'n on Ft. Worth.

//Jes say'n
 
2013-01-14 04:25:29 PM

Voiceofreason01: Back in my day politicians at least pretended they weren't gerrymandering.


Although the rightwingers of old were just as vile as today's current herd, those guys had a level of intelligence about them and knew how to try to candycoat their true malice. Today's rightwingers are far too stupid and brutal to accomplish such finesse.
 
2013-01-14 04:30:37 PM

you have pee hands: nmrsnr: But how would you go about making that calculation? The only way would be to compare the actual results to a hypothetical "ideal" districting scheme, and that doesn't really exist. As it stands, Democrats received more votes and received less representation than did Republicans. In a true representative democracy, they should be directly proportional.

Honest-to-god proportional representation (I'm not sure if that's what you were advocating) would be interesting because it would make third parties viable. The trouble is that when .9% of the population votes for the neo-nazi party those guys get 4 seats (and you're literally voting for parties rather than people).


No, I like voting for candidates more than for parties, and it should be possible that a really likeable Republican win a seat, even if the district is a "blue" district. Straight party votes don't allow for something like that. What I would like us some combination of machine districting, algorithms don't have party affiliation, and bi- or non-partisan districting commissions for divvying up high population density areas where programs tend to have problems.
 
2013-01-14 04:32:46 PM

nmrsnr: Dimensio: nmrsnr: [assets.motherjones.com image 630x566]

While I do not deny that gerrymandering is a substantial problem, the simple analysis of that infographic may be, in some circumstances, misleading. Even were legislative districts divided in an objectively "fair" and even fashion based upon population size, overall voter turnout disparity between districts could ultimately result in an observation similar to that reflected in the graphic. While I do not believe that differences in voter turnout between districts is ultimately as significant as are the effects of intentional partisan gerrymandering, such a factor should be considered in an objective analysis.

But how would you go about making that calculation? The only way would be to compare the actual results to a hypothetical "ideal" districting scheme, and that doesn't really exist. As it stands, Democrats received more votes and received less representation than did Republicans. In a true representative democracy, they should be directly proportional.


The most obvious method of comparison would be of the percentage of votes cast, measured against the total number of registered voters in the district, amongst all voting districts. A finding that heavily Republican districts experienced substantially higher overall voter turnout than did Democratic districts of similar population size may diminish -- though not disprove -- allegations of partisan rigging. Conversely, finding similar rates of voter turnout amongst districts of different political demographics -- a condition that I believe to be more likely -- would strengthen the argument that voting districts have been divided unfairly, and with an obvious intent to substantially influence election outcomes.
 
2013-01-14 04:35:18 PM

Grungehamster: Weaver95: mahuika: Wonder how they'd feel about doing this to Texas

well, if it hurts the GOP chances, then it's 'unfair, unconstitutional and immoral'.  if it helps the GOP and hurts everyone else, then it's 'fair, logical and constitutional'.

I'm surprised more aren't pushing for "you must own real property to vote" requirements...


There was a Republican who suggested that a few years ago. I forget his name, but he was screaming that Obama never would've won if only land-owning males could vote, and that's what we should go back to.
 
2013-01-14 04:36:06 PM

Tommy Moo: I'd be all in favor of this, as long as it was initiated concurrently in all 50 states.


Sure, but only if you also mandate that all districts be redrawn in a non-partisan (NOT bi-partisan) fashion. Preferably by a computer program.
 
2013-01-14 04:47:02 PM

Supes: Tommy Moo: I'd be all in favor of this, as long as it was initiated concurrently in all 50 states.

Sure, but only if you also mandate that all districts be redrawn in a non-partisan (NOT bi-partisan) fashion. Preferably by a computer program.


Sounds like a plan to me.
 
2013-01-14 04:47:43 PM
And they'll want it like that until the second a Republican wins the statewide vote but the Democrat swipes half the electoral votes away.
 
2013-01-14 04:49:22 PM
Seeing as how the R's are 6-4 in the last 10 presidential elections under the current rules, they might want to think twice about whether or not they REALLY want to upset this apple-cart that has on the whole benefited them greatly.
 
2013-01-14 04:50:36 PM
How about we let the president get elected by popular vote as the ability for someone to lose popular vote but win the election goes against the entire idea of the office and we make gerrymandering illegal and instead create a computer program that will create districts based on population without regard to political affiliation of the populations involved.
 
2013-01-14 04:52:41 PM
if Ohio and Pennsylvania want to remove any reason for DC to pay attention to their issues, be my guest.
 
2013-01-14 04:54:26 PM

Dimensio: The most obvious method of comparison would be of the percentage of votes cast, measured against the total number of registered voters in the district, amongst all voting districts. A finding that heavily Republican districts experienced substantially higher overall voter turnout than did Democratic districts of similar population size may diminish -- though not disprove -- allegations of partisan rigging. Conversely, finding similar rates of voter turnout amongst districts of different political demographics -- a condition that I believe to be more likely -- would strengthen the argument that voting districts have been divided unfairly, and with an obvious intent to substantially influence election outcomes


Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how this would help you. Districts are based on the number of people (roughly) so if Democrats got more total votes than Republicans, AND they had lower voter turnout in heavily democratic districts, wouldn't it suggest that it's EVEN MORE disproportional than the numbers suggest?

Even if they claim that they are disctricting by party affiliation as opposed to voting trends (which makes sense), then you still can't account for how Democrats got more TOTAL VOTES than Republicans, but ended up with FEWER DELEGATES. I just don't see how that can happen in any honestly non-gerrymandered scenario.

In fact, now that I think about it, you'd have to show the opposite of what you'd suggested. You'd have to argue that ALL of the Democrats in a minority of districts voted, while only a tiny fraction of Republicans, and an even smaller number of Democrats, voted in the majority of districts, so that more total Democrats voted, but Republicans won more seats in an evenly distributed set of districts.
 
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