Friday, October 18, 2013
Republicans aren’t going to win too many contested elections without cheating; so, naturally, they’re cheating
And a Republican is not going to win the presidency again in the next 15 years, perhaps even in the next 30 unless there is a massive transformation in that party.
What’s more, Republicans know this. Especially Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives know this. That’s why they shut down the government. It had nothing to do with Obamacare — that was just the handy, as the great Alfred Hitchcock called it, McGuffin. House Republicans, realizing they are not going to win another Presidential election perhaps even in Ted Cruz’s lifetime, shut down the government in a disastrous and failed attempt to render the office of President powerless and invest more power into their representative body. Their thinking was that Republican state legislatures, like the one here in Texas, have gerrymandered House districts to such a degree that it would require all-time stupidity on their part to lose their House majority. (They may have blundered into such a scenario, but that’s a topic for another day.)
The 2012 Presidential election painted a vivid picture of a new American electorate — an electorate that is more like the country’s growing minority-majority population, an electorate dominated by African-Americans, Hispanics and women vitally concerned with issues concerning controlling their own health choices. This electorate is not going to vote Republican and House Republicans know this.
Second, Republicans are staging voter purges to remove Democrats from the list of registered voters. This is being conducted most prominently by Republican state leaders in Florida and Virginia, two states posed to get rid of their Republican governors in the next election cycle and replace them with Democrats, unless those governors can succeed in removing those pesky Democrats from the rolls of qualified voters. Nowhere is this more blatant than in Virginia where the state’s chief elections officer, its attorney general, has ordered the purge of 38,870 individuals from the rolls of eligible voters. Why? Because that attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is also the Republican nominee for governor (he’s the first Virginia elected official in 35 years not to resign his office while running for another elected position) and, with just a few weeks to go before the election, polls show Cuccinelli running about eight percentage points behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Now off-year elections always have low voter turnouts and Republicans always fare better when turnouts are low, so Cuccinelli personally preventing 38,000 potential McAuliffe voters from going to the polls is a very big deal.
Third, Republicans are trying to change the way Presidents are elected. These Republican legislatures are drafting laws that would eliminate the winner-takes-all-the-state’s-Electoral-College-votes system and replace it with Electoral College voting being apportioned among the state’s congressional districts. If that law had been in place in the last Presidential Election, Mitt Romney would have won the Presidency with 83 more electoral votes than Barack Obama, even though Obama won the popular vote by more than five million.
So if they can’t wind on their policy decisions, what chance do they have? Well, there’s always cheating.