Friday, January 25, 2013

College Education

Josh Marshall explains why the Republicans’ plan in Virginia to re-wire the Electoral College system is a very big deal.

The US electoral college system is based on winner take all delegate allocation in all but two states. If you get just one more vote than the other candidate you get all the electoral votes. One way to change the system is go to proportional allocation. That would still give some advantage to the overall winner. But not much. The key to the Republican plan is to do this but only in Democratic leaning swing states — not in any of the states where Republicans win. That means you take away all the advantage Dems win by winning states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and so forth.

But the Republican plan goes a step further.

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 though they 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.

They will do this.  Count on it.  And the possibility of it changing the next election so that the loser wins is very likely.

What further proof do you need that there are people in that party who will do anything — anything — to win and then serve up a lecture of pious patriotism about how anyone who questions the true destiny of America at the hands of the only party that really cares about freedom and liberty is a terrorist or something.

As Josh says, this is happening.

7 barks and woofs on “College Education

  1. This makes my blood run cold. I really do not want to live under a fascist government. We need to keep telling people about this and how dangerous it is.

    • Now that you mention it, The Romney/Ryan ticket the GOP ran last year reminds me of another similar election: the ticket there was Hindenburg/What’s-his-name…

  2. Jack Lessenberry, our regional sage, wrote this morning that the Michigan legislature has plans to copy Virginia’s recent sneak attack on the electorate. Gov. Rick Snyder(R)says he could “go either way” and that a “thoughtful discussion” is needed. Michigan, like Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to name the most obvious, went for Obama last November even as all these state houses were locked up by Republicans. The Michigan governor is a retired businessman who pretends to be a moderate. He hasn’t much room to move short of using the veto, a power he doesn’t seem to realize he owns. This is not unlike Virginia’s governor or the one we have in Ohio who has sounded more like a normal human being of some intelligence recently. Nothing brings out moderation like a governor with his eye on reelection in a state that has just elected a Democratic president handily.

    We shall see . . .

  3. “the new system makes the votes of whites count for much more than non-whites.”

    So we’re going back to that three-fifths business again???

  4. The only thing to do: the opposition needs to deny them a quorum. This will buy time and give the people time to figure out what to do. Get out of the statehouse and rally the people. Find judges who understand that gerrymandering is wrong. Refuse to participate in tyranny.

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