by Lee Fang
In the midterm elections, Republicans appear to have won their largest House majority since the Hoover administration. Republicans won on the weakness of Democratic candidates, a poor resource allocation strategy by Democratic party leaders, particularly DCCC chair Steve Israel, and an election narrative that did little to inspire base Democratic voters. That being said, in many ways, the game was rigged from the start. The GOP benefitted from the most egregious gerrymandering in American history.
As Rolling Stone reported, GOP donors plowed cash into state legislative efforts in 2010 for the very purpose of redrawing congressional lines. In the following year, as the tea party wave brought hundreds of Republicans into office, newly empowered Republican governors and state legislatures carved congressional districts for maximum partisan advantage. Democrats attempted this too, but only in two states: Maryland and Illinois. For the GOP however, strictly partisan gerrymandering prevailed in Ohio, Pennsylvania Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Tennessee and beyond.
From Jonathan Simon:
It’s actually much worse than Lee Fang thinks. (See below)
In E2012 in Pennsylvania, the Democratic House candidates won a majority of the statewide vote and still only managed to win 5 seats out of 18. The gerrymandering is considerably more effective than
Fang’s E2014 example suggests.
Bear in mind that the pretty much unstoppable ALEC plan now is to gerrymander the presidency, by allocating Electoral College votes by CD rather than statewide winner-take-all (and note that, on the surface, it is hard to argue with the fairness of this “reform”) in all of these presidential-blue states where they got state legislative control.
So you can kiss the US House and White House goodbye for the rest of our lifetimes. I am not exaggerating in that statement.
It’s little understood that, even if they tried to be just as ruthless, the Democrats cannot match the GOP in gerrymandering because their constituency is crowded into urban centers, which makes it much
easier to create c.100% Democratic CDs than 100% Republican CDs, which is the vote-diluting aim of the gerrymander. All ALEC has to do is gerrymander the Electoral College in, say, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and we can forget about electing a Democratic
We are watching Rove’s oft-stated plan for Permanent Republican Rule come to fruition. Rigging was an essential component of its development, but—at least on the US House, presidency, and state
legislative fronts—at this point it should be pretty much self-perpetuating. We’re oh so fucked; let’s at least tip our hats to the bastard.
But—more important—let’s face the grim reality of what he and his troops (with the full-supine acquiescence of “losing” candidates, the Democratic Party, and virtually the entire journalistic caste,
including the progressives) have done to this nation’s voting system, and let’s do something about it.
public, and it will come only with a heightened and broadened awareness. There is so much consciousness to be raised and so little time.)
I, for one, will not cast another vote in the United States until it is counted observably; and I will write and speak about it with every ounce of eloquence and passion I can muster.
That’s my takeaway from E2014. I am done being a fucking sheep.