I, like other Republicans, was relieved that we kept the House after losing the presidency and seats in the Senate. It did not immediately occur to me why the President didn’t have coattails in the House, as he did in the Senate. A few days afterwards, I heard Congressman Barney Frank griping that the Democrats should have won the House as they got a million more votes than we did. I just shrugged and didn’t think much of it.
Since then, many of my fellow Republicans have said to President Obama’s supporters that “We have a mandate, too!” since we also won, just as he did. Therefore, we don’t have to compromise all that much in negotiations, and also that we don’t have to really re-think the Republican brand too much. After all, we still won the House… right?
Well, maybe we didn’t. (I don’t mean that we legally didn’t win. But that maybe we didn’t really win the majority of the public votes in the honorable way that we are supposed to.)
It wasn’t until I saw the latest in ProPublica’s series on redistricting that I learned about what really happened on election day. It made me ashamed of my party.
(In case you get all your news from smiling bimbos on Fox that wink at you while telling you what you want to hear, or from the everything-is-fine-we-are-always-ascendant blogs like Breitbart.com, Pro Publica is a pulitzer-prize winning non-profit investigative journalism outfit led by former Wall Street Journal editors. They have the best investigative journalism in the world.)
Re-districting, invented long ago by Massachusetts Democrats, and practiced by both parties, is a national, bipartisan scandal. It is in violation of the “one man, one vote” principle, and lets politicians choose voters instead of having voters choose politicians. It is one of the main culprits in our poisoned, polarized politics, and it is something new that previous eras of partisan warfare did not include.
Want to understand all this in one sentence?
Karl Rove once said, “He who controls redistricting can control Congress.”
So what happened?
I will summarize, but please read the story here:
Also, check out the amazing series that this article is part of here:
Pro Publica’s Redistricting Series
So, how did Democrats get a million more votes and not take the House? (Something that has only happened three times in history.)
Millions of dollars of dark money were funneled through improperly-designated educational non-profits and added to corporate donations and spread around many states to achieve Republican-friendly district maps. Two tobacco giants each gave more than $1 million to a redistricting-specific group. The Republican State Leadership Committee even created a new project across the country – the Redistricting Majority Project – or REDMAP.
(Democrats did this before with some secret funding, but nothing even close to this level. Check out the series on their evil deeds.)
How well did it work? According to REDMAP: “Twenty legislative bodies which were previously split or under Democratic control are now under Republican control.”
They hired evil Republican district mapping experts from fake nonprofits who used advanced mapping software to pack Republican-unfriendly demographic groups into a small number of districts and then lied to Democrats and told them these districts would favor them and be in line with the Voting Rights Act.
The article, like the series, is amazing and damning. I can’t believe that it was this – and not our problems with demographics, technology, and policy – that has the attention of our party leaders. It is sickening!!!
You know, maybe the end might justify the means here. Perhaps the House majority will help save America from eventual bankruptcy, or keep our military strong around the world. Maybe this buys the party a little time to reform and re-create a majority coalition. But I hope that our leaders give up this disgraceful way of winning power and go back to persuading people that our ideas are better. Because they are!
(Oh – but if you want to shut your eyes and forget about this, I hope you keep enjoying conservative fetish pieces calling President Obama a communist one more time. Because that is going to help us adapt and win.)