[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.