Republicans are trying to legally rig elections, again

Following sweeping victories in the 2014 elections, the GOP wasted no time in introducing a series of bills in blue states under their legislative control that would break up electoral votes by congressional district.

According to backers of these bills, this would actually be more representative of the nation’s electoral preference, because conservative voters in blue states wouldn’t be drowned out by urban (read: black) voters.

But don’t tell that to Republican legislators in Nebraska, one of the two states that actually use this system to cast their electoral votes. Looking to avoid a repeat of 2008, when John McCain won 57% of the state’s popular vote but lost an electoral vote to President Obama, they’re moving forward on a bill that would award the state’s electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis in 2016.

Said the Nebraska Republican Party chairman, J.L. Spray:

It’s obvious that the majority of citizens of the state of Nebraska are Republicans…They want to have the maximum voice in the Electoral College.

Congressional seats are perhaps the least representative way to determine the national will. In 2012, Republicans won 54 percent of House seats with 49 percent of the two-party vote for members of Congress. But that has nothing to do with why the bill’s sponsor, Beau McCoy, is moving it through the legislature. He and Spray have both endorsed other (blue) states allocating electoral votes by congressional district; they just want to make sure that Republicans “have the maximum voice in the Electoral College” by any means necessary — that means winner-take-all allocation in red states and congressional allocation in blue states.

As I’ve written before, rigging elections has been steadily moving from behind-the-curtain hijinks to a plank on the Republican Party platform, and has been embraced by conservative intellectuals as a perfectly viable way to maintain their hold on political power.

This is dangerous in the long-term, as democratic stability relies in large part on the rules of the game not becoming a partisan issue. If one faction decides that voting isn’t always a good thing, and spends a large chunk of its time and energy making sure that certain people’s votes either don’t get cast or don’t matter, they have the potential to undermine the entire system.

This move in Nebraska is but the latest example of pervasive Republican anti-democratic (and anti-Democratic) gamesmanship — and they aren’t even bothering to disguise it as principled or sensible policy.

As long as they don’t do it while at the same time calling themselves “patriots.” Oh wait…


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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61 Responses to “Republicans are trying to legally rig elections, again”

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  2. mark_in_toronto says:

    Maybe the damage is already too great because it sounds like the current system is an unchangeable fact of life where voting independent has a negative effect on both candidate and voter.
    Too bad. . . . history has shown that apathetic voters eventually lose their voices.

  3. BloggerDave says:

    Only if people sleep through it…

  4. toto says:

    Nebraska is considering the bill now. Its electoral college system, like those in any state, can be changed simply and quickly.

  5. toto says:

    Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) in 48 states, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation’s 57 (1 in 14 = 7%) presidential elections. The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 7 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes. In 2012, a shift of 214,733 popular votes in four states would have elected Mitt Romney, despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of 4,966,945 votes.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in
    22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    The bill would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes, and thus the presidency, to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by replacing district or state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue district or state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ districts or states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the enacting states.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founders. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founders in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, major changes in the method of electing the
    President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently.
    In the 39 states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-83% range or higher. – in recent or past closely divided battleground states, in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    NationalPopularVote

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

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  8. Houndentenor says:

    True. But overall Gore was the clear winner of the popular vote nationwide. Do you think if the situation had been reversed that Republicans would have rolled over?

  9. Steven says:

    It did, but the vote was much closer (or so it was claimed in FL) and much more debatable. In other words, a one off situation. If that because the norm, I would hope for some outcry. But in this country, you just never know.

  10. Houndentenor says:

    Isn’t that what happened in 2000? And what happened? Nothing.

  11. BloggerDave says:

    Has the electoral college system been changed? NO… People should be vigilant but not paranoid… The red states also pass anti-sharia laws but that doesn’t mean that sharia is actually a threat…

  12. toto says:

    Keegan is referring to the proposals for dividing states’ electoral votes.

    Nebraska is bucking the trend, with the proposal to stop (again possibly) dividing their electoral votes, and changing to state winner-take-all. In the other states where Republicans are proposing changes, they are proposing dividing states’ electoral votes. And they are only proposing that in states that have not reliably voted Republican in presidential elections.

    Republican legislators seem quite “confused” about the merits of a congressional district method. After Obama won one district in Nebraska, the leadership committee of the Nebraska Republican Party adopted a resolution requiring all GOP elected officials to favor overturning their congressional district method for awarding electoral votes or lose the party’s support.

    Were all voters in 50 states aware that the National Popular Vote bill has been introduced in all 50 states?

  13. BloggerDave says:

    “While those same Republican legislators do not want to split electoral votes in states that recently voted Republican in presidential elections.”

    Not true… Nebraska always votes republican and yet they are changing it there…

    “can initiallyseem reasonable, even to progressives, many of whom are wary of the electoral college system”

    Who are these idiot progressive who can’t think clearly?

    “These measures, if allowed to be passed quickly in a few states with little debate and attention, could have national implications and change American political history.”
    Again, who are these idiot progressives who would be so uninvolved in the politics of their states that they don’t know what’s going on and allow this to happen?

  14. toto says:

    There is a concerted effort by some Republican legislators to split state electoral votes in states that have recently voted Democratic in presidential elections.

    While those same Republican legislators do not want to split electoral votes in states that recently voted Republican in presidential elections.

    Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus made the goal of the scheme clear when he endorsed it last year, saying, “I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at.”

    Current attempts by some GOP legislators to affect the 2016 presidential election by dividing the electoral college votes of Michigan (and only some other Republican controlled states that have recently voted Democratic in presidential elections) ” . . . can initiallyseem reasonable, even to progressives, many of whom are wary of the electoral college system. But this isn’t a good-government plan to change the way our presidential elections are conducted. It’s a targeted plot to get more electoral votes for Republicans, even when they’re losing the popular vote. It’s no coincidence that these plans have often been quietly introduced in lame duck sessions, when voters are paying less attention. These measures, if allowed to be passed quickly in a few states with little debate and attention, could have national implications and change American political history.”
    – Michael B. Keegan, PFAW

  15. Steven says:

    This scheme will set a very dangerous precedent if enacted. It would, in fact, almost guarantee that the loser of the popular vote would be elected to the presidency every four years, as rural votes are already much more weighted than urban/suburban votes and this would only intensify that disparity. As our nation becomes more and more diverse, we would see only conservative white men winning our only nationally elected office.

    Could you imagine the national outcry if a John McCain, for example, won both the 2008 and 2012 elections both times with not just less than a majority vote but fewer votes than his opponent? And as cities grow and rural areas decline in population, we are looking at a president elected while losing by possibly ten million popular votes. I fear for the republic if that happens.

  16. 2karmanot says:

    Even the front lawn is ripped

  17. nicho says:

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  18. atalex says:

    Just because a situation is obvious doesn’t mean it is easy to change. Absent instant run-off voting or something comparable, a third party candidacy will, more often than not, siphon votes away from the candidate with the most popular positions and give the election to the candidate with the least popular positions. See also, Bush 2000.

  19. Mike F says:

    Conspiracy? What conspiracy? I don’t see a conspiracy. Just some friendly conversations amongst legitimate businessmen.

    Uh-huh, and I’m the Cookie Monster.

  20. BloggerDave says:

    Non-story if it happening only in NE…

  21. toto says:

    To eliminate the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

  22. FLL says:

    Of all demographics, young voters exhibit the largest gap between those who vote in the midterms and those who vote in presidential races, which is bad news for the Republicans in 2016, of course. I think there are two wild cards. Jeb’s Mexican-born wife, Columba, may or may not have an effect on Hispanic voters in the likely event that Bush wins the nomination. Any possible advantage for Bush might be negated by the almost certain anti-immigration Republican Party platform, so I’m not really sure how much of a wild card Columba Bush really is.

    The other potential wild card is the likely nomination of the first female presidential candidate on the Democratic side, since Clinton and Warren are the major contenders at this point. This may exert an effect on the demographic of white older married women, who often skew slightly towards voting Republican. With the first female candidate, that may not be true this time around.

    Bernie Sanders would be grand (although unlikely), but I really think the country missed an opportunity by not going with Howard Dean in 2004. Yes, Rand Paul is the dark horse train wreck, isn’t he? I’m surprised people haven’t spotted him for the complete lunatic that he is. At least he’ll run and provide the Repub clown car with a truly world-class clown.

  23. Houndentenor says:

    Why not just eliminate that Electoral College altogether?

  24. Houndentenor says:

    it’s not about the obviousness. It’s that running a political campaign involves insane amounts of money and a candidate with some chance of winning. I only ever vote for “third party” candidates as protest votes because where I live the Democrats more often than not don’t even bother running anyone. The local Libertarians are so into conspiracy nuttery that they almost make the Larouche crowd seem sane. (note I said ALMOST). I had to leave some lines blank on my ballot.

    I have a proposal. None of the above should be a line on every race for every office. If None of the above gets the most votes, the parties must run different candidates or forfeit their appearance on the ballot. I would have chosen that line for almost every race on my 2012 ballot. The parties should be ashamed at the jokes they offer us as candidates.

  25. Houndentenor says:

    Forgive me if you’ve read this story from me before. I live in Texas. I am a graduate student (among other things). I have a Texas ID but the address is for a permanent address nowhere near where I currently live and vote. I voted in 2012 with the new voter ID in effect and had no problem. Did I mention I’m a white male over 40? I know others had problems with the same issue. I even brought my electric bill as proof that I live at this address. They never asked to see it.

  26. Naja pallida says:

    Texas made such legal claims, multiple times, and they were rejected every time. The joint resolution of Congress that annexed Texas afforded them the right to form as many as five states out of their territory, but it had no wording that allowed for legal secession – specifically making Texas equal with all other states. There were just a lot of old farts still alive from the time of annexation who still didn’t accept that the annexation even happened, so tried to make the claim that Texas retained some sort of right to make decisions as if it were its own country, when it ceded those rights by agreeing to the annexation. Or they made the argument, as they’re still doing today, that joining the Union was always voluntary, so any state has the right to voluntarily leave. Which has zero legal or Constitutional bearing.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    There were a series of them in the aftermath of the two world wars of the previous century and there have be dozens reflected in the collapse of colonial power.

    In the US the policies of the governement and society in general are determned by the rich. They’re the prolbem, not others.

  28. BeccaM says:

    Thanks Mod3.

  29. BeccaM says:

    No, what I meant is right-wing Texans identify themselves as Texans first.

  30. Butch1 says:

    I would worry about any more of his selections for Supreme Court. Obama turned out to be a real “moderate republican” and not a democrat at all these years he’s been in office and when you look at what he’s done for big business and Wall Street it should be very clear, yet Congress complains. It made me suspicious of what was going on in Washington and whether this was just one big Kabuki Theatre for our benefit.

    Both Democrats and Republican have been moving in the same direction, politically speaking, even though the Democrats have been slower at it than the Republicans. When one finds out that they both have been receiving their “marching orders” from Wall Street and do not represent us at all, it makes me furious. We’ve been yelling for tax reform, immigration, jobs, don’t touch Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and the Veterans’ Benefits need more money, not less and it falls on deaf ears even when the polling suggests that a majority of the country ( 70s -80s% ) are mostly for these things.
    This can only tell you that they do not care and do not have to listen to us when the 1% are keeping them in office.

    The reality is the 1% are in all three branches of our government and controlling it and there isn’t much we can do about it.

  31. Moderator3 says:

    Becca, I did a little checking. He was never shown the door.

  32. mf_roe says:

    Did you mean ‘other; instead of ‘old’, Texas was a Confederate State. Texas was unique in that it had a legal claim to the right to leave the Union based on the treaty that Joined Texas to the United States.

  33. mf_roe says:

    Obama had his shots at balancing the court, not much chance of another vacancy and even less chance of Obama getting a confirmation on a decent appointment. Good News if the Repugs win the White House, with the exception on Ginsberg, age is against the Repug nominated Justices to a greater degree. Replacing one Repug with another hurts less than replacing a Dem with a Repug. And losing a senior Justice does re balance the internal politics Losing Scalia would be relief even with a Repug replacement.

    The White House is within the Dems reach want be easy but possible, the Repugs just don’t have lock on it baring another “Selection”.

    The House stays Red, all that rigging pays dividends. The Senate I believe will be in play even if the Dems don’t win the White House I think it is possible for them to regain the Senate. In 2016 10 Dems seats up for election 24 Repug seats up for election. All the Dems have to do is pick up 6 seats NOT EASY but possible especially given it’s a Presidential year. Seven states with Repug seats running have a Dem in the other Senate Seat. I wouldn’t bet money either way.

    I Think in the end we will see another 4 years of the JANUS party.

  34. mf_roe says:

    The Repugs understand this well, Cruz and Rubio are examples of just how desperate they are to capture the Hispanics. More importantly Jeb Bush’s wife is Hispanic and gives him a “credible” claim as the First “Hispanic” President if he were to win. As “credible” as Clinton’s First “black” claim at least. I think the Dems will do better with the Hispanic Vote but must work very hard to get it turned out to vote. The Repugs are shooting themselves in the foot on Immigration Reform. They are betting that they can suppress the Hispanic turnout so their “Deport the Illegals” want matter.

    I see the young voters as extremely important in keeping the Repugs out of the White House. Troubling thing about that is the low level of civic involvement I see in many young people. For a large portion social media is their primary source of information. Twitter may be very powerful, but it isn’t the tool to explain complex issues. IT IS A SUPERB PROPAGANDA DEVICE. Given the Repugs mastery of propaganda ie FOX NEWS, I’m unsure of the certainty of the Young Vote being solidly Democratic. Dems need a clear message and a Messenger with minimum baggage.

    I think the most likely match up is Clinton v Bush, If I had my wish it would be Sanders v Paul. Of the four Bernie is the only one I would vote for. I think Paul would be a wonderful train wreck for the Repugs maybe bad enough to shatter the coalition of stupidity and venality that empowers their toxic agenda.

  35. mf_roe says:

    Would appreciate a list of examples of collapse.

    The answer is education of a population so ignorant of economics, civics, and saddest of all ethics. This country will never have a government better than the character of the people.

  36. BeccaM says:

    *sigh* So you’re back… I thought they booted you from here? Or is this a new Disqus ID? Whatever.

    Do you understand how our electoral system works, and how there’s been between 18 and 38 percent of voters who do not identify as Dem or GOP since 1939? Or that we have separate elections for President and Representative? Or that other than for a very brief time in the 1990s, Democratic party affiliation has, since the Great Depression, ALWAYS exceeded the number of registered Republicans?

    Here you go:
    http://www.people-press.org/2012/06/01/trend-in-party-identification-1939-2012/

    Things are different now, too. Sure, there was gerrymandering in the past, I won’t deny it. But now they have computers which carefully calculate how to turn a 10-20% registration gap into a solid majority of GOP representatives from any given GOP-controlled state.

    Just because corruption existed in the past is no excuse to say, “Let’s have MORE of it now!”

  37. pogden297 says:

    “They’ve been getting away with gerrymandering for decades, and it’s gotten worse over time, not better.”
    You do know that the Democrats had the U.S. House for 40 something years until 1994, despite Republicans often winning the White House. You don’t think those representatives were elected from gerrymandered districts?

  38. BeccaM says:

    It’s not in the Constitution to have only two parties (which I’m sure you know already). In fact, at various times early in the Republic, there were multiple parties all at once and elections could be crazy.

    However, the way our electoral system is designed, with two senators per state and discrete congressional districts and winner-takes-all candidacies it’s rigged to gravitate towards just two dominant parties. Add in deliberate gerrymandering and there simply are almost no districts where one party or the other is not dominant.

    Proportional representation would go a long way towards fixing this, and it was even considered early on in the design in our federal government…but it was opposed by the small population states and threatened to hold up ratification.

    The reason we keep seeing the same faces and same family dynasties is because that’s what a plutocratic oligarchies gravitate towards. And so every election becomes either “lesser of two evils” or “the lesser of two evils, with a potential no-chance-of-winning spoiler candidate.”

  39. BeccaM says:

    Unless they’re from Texas or the old Confederate States, in which case they dispense with the ‘Americans’ part.

  40. JeffAtMinetfiber says:

    The GOP – Republicans first, Americans second.

  41. mark_in_toronto says:

    Why are the obviously corrupt Repubs and obviously dysfunctional Dems the end-all of politics?

    Where in the Constitution does it say that there can only be two political parties?

    Americans just can’t think outside their very narrow experience. That’s why you still have the Clintons and Bushes along with all the other tired political hacks that practice business-as-usual politics.
    How obvious does it have to be before ANYTHING changes?

  42. toto says:

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes, and thus the presidency, to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by replacing district or state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ districts or states where voters and policies are more important than
    those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the enacting states.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founders. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founders in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent
    voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In virtually every of the 39 states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-83% range or higher. – in recent or
    past closely divided battleground states, in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  43. BeccaM says:

    Yep. How to utterly dismantle a democratic republic from the inside, in four easy steps.

  44. Demosthenes says:

    Step one: gerrymander state congressional districts so a party losing the statewide vote gets more congressmen and state reps. State two: use gerrymandered state legislature and GOP governor to apportion electoral votes do the GOP would win the majority of electoral votes in a state in which it lost the popular vote. Step three: expand voter id laws and restrictions to disincent the “wrong types” from voting. Step four: win the presidency with this rigged scheme despite actually losing. Step five: appoint rubber stamp judges to keep these undemocratic laws in place.

    Simple.

  45. mirth says:

    Thanks a bunch.

  46. BeccaM says:

    Just saw it. Thanks hon. We’re good.

  47. mirth says:

    (Personal note: ck ur mail)

  48. BeccaM says:

    Among all the schemes and shenanigans the GOPers have been pulling with respect to the integrity of the American election system, this one actually alarms me the most.

    They’ve been getting away with gerrymandering for decades, and it’s gotten worse over time, not better. But this — this Electoral College rigging proposal is an outright declaration of intent to steal the Executive branch of our government for the behalf of a minority-vote party.

    Before long, their slow-motion coup will be complete.

  49. Bill_Perdue says:

    We’re not alone in that. As the poverty caused by Democrat and Republican pograms increases voting decreases while the radicalization of workers and youth increases. “…a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data collected in the fall lead-up to the 2014 midterm elections finds that at least as striking is the degree to which those who are financially insecure opt out of the political system altogether, and how that opting out disproportionately affects Democratic support.

    Both trends will increase over time because the current global instability of capitalist regimes is not solvable.

    Welcome to Greece! καλωσορίζω στην Ελλάδα!

  50. Naja pallida says:

    In every state where Republicans have control of both the governorship and legislature they’re doing everything they can to exploit the system and twist it to their favor. They’ve gone far out of their way to make sure loyal partisans are running absolutely everything to do with all elections. Effectively making it impossible for their rule to ever be seriously challenged again in the future. The people in those states are the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water. Then there’s states like Texas, where the people enjoy the abuse.

  51. Texon says:

    For a party that claims to be “all-American” these guys act more like some banana republic. Truth justice and the american way is not what the republican party stands for any longer. Now they are the party of lie, deny, and obstruct. As a child my parents always said the republicans were the money party, which I respects at the time . Now I see they are still the money party but they spend it to buy away the voters freedom.

  52. nicho says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Our current system is like the Wars of the Roses. There are two branches of the same family fighting to be the ones to rule. The fight is very bitter. However, for the average person, it really doesn’t matter which one wins. Apart from a few superficial difference on social issues, the two factions have pretty much the same goals.

    If you doubt it, just look at Obama’s plan to gut Medicare. I worked very hard to be able to afford to buy a Medicare supplement plan, rather than go into a Medicare HMO. Now, he wants to penalize me for it. Hope and change? Bullshit. Why should I even bother voting? Same-sex marriage isn’t a big deal if you don’t have decent health care.

    And now we hear that he considered putting the corporatist warmonger Shillary on the Supreme Court.

  53. FLL says:

    When Democrats inspire non-voters, the percentage of the population that votes goes up. You’re right about that. That’s the only part of the voting percentage that’s flexible. The portion that votes Republican stays the same. The demographics will play a major role in 2016—more young people, more Hispanics.

  54. Bill_Perdue says:

    I agree with that except that I think that oligarchies and plutocracies do collapse.

    The plutocrats who rule the US constantly create crises that increase the chances of their system collapsing and our goal to is help organize the forces that will replace them.

  55. Indigo says:

    Of course they’re trying to work the system. They were successful in 2014 because the rigging worked to their advantage. So more of the same. It’s how Robber Barons succeed.

  56. mf_roe says:

    Oligarchies don’t Collapse, they must be crushed. The end want come at the hands of an enlightened populace but rather the carnage brought about by the next Global Financial Collapse. The Great Depression wasn’t an American event it was global, and this country came Damned Close to REAL Reform, only the Second World War stopped the Tide of Change that FDR had feebly started. People who lived the Great Depression knew what happened when Money Ruled, Sadly their Children and GrandChildren have forgotten.

  57. Bill_Perdue says:

    1. Democrats and Republicans play dirty tricks on each other and on left parties, keeping us off the ballot most of the time. Their dirty tricks are the norm for anti-democratic regimes.

    2. The US is not and never was a democracy. It’s a plutocracy ruled with an iron fist by the rich. Permanent reform of any meaningful kind is not going to happen. Social security is under attack by both parties and so is Medicare. As Obama, now more paralysed and powerless than ever, looks for ways to work with Repulicans, his real party home, he’s going after medicare with a sledgehammer. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.” Obama, in an interview with Noticias Univision 23. ABC News, 12 15 2012
    http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/obama-considered-moderate-republican-1980s/story?id=17973080.

    “WASHINGTON — In his new budget, President Obama proposed on Monday to squeeze $399 billion over the next 10 years out of Medicare, Medicaid and other programs run by the Department of Health and Human Services. … Under the proposals, many Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay more for their care and coverage. The president would, for example, introduce a co-payment for new Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health care services, and he would collect $4 billion over 10 years by imposing a surcharge on premiums for new beneficiaries who buy generous private insurance to supplement Medicare.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/03/us/politics/under-obama-budget-many-medicare-recipients-would-pay-more.html?emc=edit_th_20150203&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=25790019

    3. “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.” Gore Vidal

  58. nicho says:

    Our only hope now is for the system to totally collapse. That will happen sooner or later. Until it does, nothing will change. They can jigger the voting system all they want, but as long as people like the traitorous Koch brothers can buy and sell politicians on the open market, nothing will change.

  59. Butch1 says:

    It looks like they may be starting early to win in 2016. These people will stop at nothing to put a fix in to win the “trifecta” of this government. The Congress; the Presidency and the Supreme Court.

  60. mf_roe says:

    The Repugs have a serious demographic problem. The Repug Base isn’t growing as quickly as the Dems Base, since their share of the vote is shrinking they MUST give it more WEIGHT if they are to keep themselves in power. Both national parties are guilty of ugly policies, the toleration of blatant Racism by Southern Dems allowed the National Dems to hold power a long time–but we don’t speak of that in polite company.

    At least 35% of the eligible voters VOTES “None of the Above ” election after election. Obama won by
    capturing not just Dems, He convinced many non-voting citizens to give him a chance. But he ALSO
    inspired Many REACTIONARY NO Votes as well. The Fate of the Dems could be Bright even with Repug ballot rigging if they avoid galvanizing the Repug Base and put up a canidate that can inspire a lot of non-voters to give the Dems more time.

  61. And they are trying it in Nevada as well.

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