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[Update  1: one talking point to small Red states]

We are all following the story of how gerreymandering allowed the Republicans to maintain a 33 seat lead in the House despite getting 1.1 million less votes. And we are also alarmed by Republican attempts to use the Redmap strategy to divvy up electoral college votes by congressional districts in the key swing states to tilt the playing field against the Democrats.

Many diaries and postings here urge the readers to call urge the legislators to desist from such rule changes. Rachel Maddow reported yesterday that Florida and Virginia are definitely backing away from Redmap, and PA, Ohio and Wisconsin are going slow and only Michigan seems to be seriously considering it. She thinks Florida and Virginia have been shamed into staying away from it.

Well, folks, Republicans play hardball. They don't get shamed. It is the same Virginia that rushed a bill on the inaugural day when a Dem state senator was away. They can't be trusted, not all of us are Harry Reid. Fool us once shame on you, Fool us two hundred and eighty five million times, shame on Harry Reid.

So what gives? My take is, there is a conflict of interest between helping Republican
party win the White House and the individual gerrymandered Republican rep winning

When we call the Republican Rep in these states to go against this Redmap plan we
need to explain it to them in no uncertain terms. No point in begging for fairplay or decency.  What are the dangers to the Republican Rep?

Fear of nationalizing their district race. Right now the Presidential race volunteers spend most of their time and energy in the strongly blue areas, increasing the turn out and hoping to win the statewide vote. If all that effort would only get them just a few electoral votes, they would reduce the efforts in those districts and focus on your gerrymandered district. Imagine, Republican Rep, OFA is going to reduce efforts in Cleveland and reallocating the resources to your district. You want that? The

Republicans are more vulnerable to re-focused campaigns. Thanks to Redmap, the blue districts are impregnable to Republican campaign efforts. These districts are +D20 to +D30. So all these things to reduce voting hours, reducing polling stations, voter-Ids, roll-purges and all the tricks in the trade are useless against the Blue districts. On the other hand, my dear Republican Rep, you are in a district with just +R5 to+R10 advantage. Almost all the election work and registration drives in the blue districts will stop, and all the freed resources are coming to your district.

Do you want gerrymandering become the top issue?. If gerrymandered maps are affecting local races, state races, most of the other states look at it as spectators. But if your gerrymandered map affects other states and their ability to elect the President, this would become a national issue. There will be serious legal challenges. There will be serious lobbying at state level. Your maps will come under a microscope. Next time the maps are drawn, it could not be easily done behind the scenes in a hush-hush manner. There will be legal challenges. Courts will be dragged in. If you are not able to rush it through, deadlines will be missed and courts will eventually draw the districts. See Texas and Tom Delay.  Do you really want to attract that level of scrutiny to your Redmap project next time around?

Your re-election or winning the White House, which is more important? Folks let us remember to the true reason why Filibuster reform failed. The individual Democratic senator is more interested in preserving his/her enormous powers to play dog-in-the-manger. They want to preserve it so that, if/when they become the minority they still can wring campaign ransoms from their hostages. That power is more important to them than advancing the agenda of the White Hose. The same dynamic will play in the Republican party. The Republican Reps are more interested in their re-election than helping their party win White Hose. We need to explain this in clear terms to the Reps so that they understand it and back away from Redmapping the electoral college.

Electoral college system would collapse.. If the Presidential elections produce a result where the Democrat gets 3.8 million more votes, 51% and still lose to one with 47%, the public reaction will be overwhelming. Making electoral college irrelevant would not require a constitutional amendment. Just as redmapping is a state right, National Popular vote is also a state right. There will be enough political will to get the National Popular Vote compact to pass.  In one fell swoop all the small states, red or blue, would become irrelevant and just 10 big states will decide the President. The electoral college system is meant to give more power to small states. If the Republicans abuse it, they risk losing it all to National Popular Vote compact.


So Democrats in these states should call the Republican Reps, write to them and explain why it is not a good idea for them personally to redmap the electoral college. This is likely to be more effective than begging for decency, fair play etc.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think you make some very good points. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm convinced that some republican somewhere almost certainly WILL pull the trigger on this scheme and we need to be prepared!

    Even if we can defeat this scheme this round, I don't believe they will stop pushing for this.

  •  We need a BLUEMAP strategy (5+ / 0-)

    The BLUEMAP strategy consists of pushing for fair redistricting and national presidential popular vote in all 50 states, and co-opting that movement into the Democratic Party.

    Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:02:54 AM PST

  •  Remember that redistricting occurs (usually) every (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, Odysseus, stevenaxelrod

    10 years in years ending in '1'.  There will be two more presidential elections ('16 and '20) before most states redistrict.  And the redistricting is controlled by increasingly Republican controlled state legislatures and governors.  (They control a majority of both).

    The real political battle if for those legislatures.  Supposedly the GOP devoted $30 million to winning those victories in '10 in anticipation of redistricting.

    •  "redistricting occurs (usually) every 10 years (0+ / 0-)

      in years ending in '1'".

      Except, of course, in Texas, where, starting with Tom DeLay and state House Speaker Tom Craddick after the 1990 census, when the GOP started doing it whenever it damn well pleased them.  To the effect of court challenges, injunctions, great sums of public funds spent formulating illegal schemes, then defending them in court, etc., etc.  Right up until today, and the 2010 census, and subsequent ma fights, in and out of court, up to and involving the 2012 elections.

      We're working on it, but one tends to feel un-represented here.

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:56:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  20/20 hindsight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, Sylv, a2nite, stevenaxelrod

    Yes, if the Redmap maps had been in place, Romney would have won, but they weren't. Obama would have had to campaign differently, and like SandersRavilyn said, it might have cost a few R's their house seats.

  •  This was why it died in PA before last election (8+ / 0-)

    The GOP House Reps panicked and opposed it because they feared it would endager their own reelections, as well as a lot of state legislators. Same worries this time around, which is why I expect it to go nowhere.

    Also factoring in; five of those six states have unpopular GOP governors facing reelection next year and I doubt they want the backlash this would generate added to their list of problems. Bob McDonnell (the only one with good approval ratings) has already ditched the schemes in his states because he doesn't want it to cripple his 2016 ambitions. If he's that skittish, how do you think the others are feeling? Hell, Scott Walker ran like a scared rabbit from his suggestion to end same-day voting registration in WI once folks complained about it.

    •  Walker has given vocal support to EC-rigging (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, stevenaxelrod, Vatexia

      ...however, there's at least two Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate, Dale Schultz and Mike Ellis, who are almost certain to vote no on any EC-rigging plan, because they'd both lose re-election to the state senate (and both of their seats are up for re-election in 2014) if they voted for something like that.

      Interestingly, neither Paul Ryan, Sean Duffy, nor Reid Ribble have said anything on the EC-rigging issue that I know of.

      Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

      by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly... (3+ / 0-)

        He's said it's an "interesting idea," but he's hedging on it and saying he wants to see what it looks like before doing it. My guess is he's just doing that to placate Reince Preibus, but he won't do anything about it. He's too skittish about 2014 to risk doing anything like that. Same with the Republicans in the Senate that you mentioned. They're not going to fall on the sword over this.

        •  WI Repubs appear to be a bit skittish... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Vatexia

 pass a proposed bill to deregulate mining, despite appearing to have the votes in order to enact it. After all, there's a state supreme court election in April of this year that will determine the balance of power of the WI Supreme Court, and the legislation may be unpopular enough to cause an anti-GOP backlash in the state right before a critical state supreme court election.

          Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

          by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:18:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good analysis. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:07:06 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, stevenaxelrod

    IMHO, I believe that every district in a state should represent as close as possible to the same no. of people, the lines drawn without regard to phony political barriers to protect some congressman, left or right.  That is the only way this is fair.  Plus the President should be elected by popular vote and the electoral college done away with once and for all.  Problem is as long as republican legislators are in control of this process, the gerrymandering will continue.
    One final thought, voters should ask themselves, if the republicans have such great ideas, why in the hell would they have to resort to this kind of stuff in the first place?  Answer: Because they don't!  Hopefully enough voters will wake up to their fascist trickery before it is too late.

    Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

    by Tx LIberal on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 11:30:25 AM PST

  •  I'm tempted to think that this is a good idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good for us. The switch in campaign emphasis to swingy Republican districts and away from heavily Democratic ones would help us regain the House and probably retain the Presidency too.

    In other words, I'm almost persuaded that the diary's argument isn't just whistling in the wind but actually predictive of reality.

    Basically, I'm beginning to think that the Republican scheming poses as large a danger to them as to us. As they begin to realize this, as pols in Pennsylvania did earlier, this whole movement may just quietly expire. That actually seems to be happening now.

    The take away, for me, is how anti-democratic Republicans are willing to be to achieve their dreams of power.

  •  Gerrymandering only part of problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Vatexia

    A studied inquiry into the situation reveals that, unfortunately, gerrymandering is not entirely responsible for the problem and therefore thinking that fixing gerrymandering will win back the House is flawed. Having our voters so clustered together is huge disadvantage. Pennsylvania is an excellent model to look at. In Philly in 2012, Obama got 85% of the vote, 99% in many areas. But most of the rest of PA, except Pittsburgh and a few other spots, was all Romney, but the margins are much closer, say 60% to 40%. The best way to look at this is by focusing on how many voters are on the losing end of the election in each House district. There aren't enough losing R's in the Philly area to balance out all the losing D's statewide. Even a fair drawing of the districts won't change that. Another problem is the drawing of specific districts for minorities. While I agree the goal here is important, it tends to aggravate this tendency toward clustering the D vote. The R's understand this and are only too happy to oblige. Overall they are way ahead of us in this area. compounded by their control of so many statehouses. Although the Tea Party thing has declined, the timing of their 2010 ascendancy killed us in this round of redistricting. We will bear that cost for years.

  •  This would all be moot if all states allocated (0+ / 0-)

    delegates based on total state count as a percentage of how many votes went to each candidate.

    There would have to be a few non assigned delegate seats to make up for turning fractions into whole human beings.  

    But if we are going to keep the Electoral College, which ceased to have practical value  about a century and a half ago, then lets make it represent one man one vote literally.

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