You have probably heard by now, that the Republicans, under the leadership of the ethically-challenged Reince Priebus, are actively "investigating" a plan to subvert our democracy by rigging the Electoral College in their favor. In a nutshell, the idea is to allocate electoral votes in key battleground states by congressional district. This means that all those little rural red districts, which outnumber the far fewer blue districts (with all the big cities and people in them), would get far more votes.
Thus, had this rigged system been in place in 2012, Mitt Romney would have just been sworn in as our president. And if it's put in place for the 2016 election, there is no almost no way a Democrat could ever garner enough electoral votes to win the White House. It would be game over for Democrats, and likely the same for the progressive agenda that Barack Obamas has finally advanced after decades of inaction.
Unfortunately, Article II of the U.S, Constitution would let the Republicans do this, and get away with it, if they chose to do it. While legal challenges would surely result, the constitutional foundation of the ploy would probably be upheld by the Supreme Court.
We now know that once again, the pure evil @Alec_states is the organization behind the curtain that has been promoting this really bad idea, and have been slowly cultivating it for a long time. I am not exactly surprised.
As I see it, about the only way to stop them is a massive public outcry that rattles House members to their core, and makes them think the perception of election rigging would cost them their seats. Thus, they would pressure key votes in their respective state legislatures to back away from this vulgar manipulation of the process. Hopefully, Democrats will regain the House in the 2014 midterms, and some kind of legistlative action, short of a constitutional amendment, could create future obstacles to this national-level gerrymandering. But I don't have much hope of that. The best course is to make Republicans feel the pain, pre-emptively, and encourage them to seek the White House the old fashioned way: by winning elections fairly.
I won't waste more words trying to summarize this mess any further. It's best to read those bloggers and journalists following the matter day-by-day. Start here, with Maddow's first "wake up call" broadcast. Then read the key details of this plot from @crooksandliars/@Karoli, and a larger analysis by The Nation's John Nichols. Then proceed down the list of of all the other links below to fully understand the danger, and how few options we seem to have to prevent it. I will be updating this post as more information becomes available.
Please pass this post to friends so they'll have an easier time time grasping this pending crisis. If you have new references you think should be included, please use my contact link at the top of this blog.
The most important thing you can do is make noise about it. Let Republicans know there will be hell to pay for attempting this, beyond their first phase in Virginia, which is already poised to go foward (as discussed below). This is not the sort of thing we can easily undo later. We cannot wait until it's a forgone conclusion. We must act—and soon.
The Early Wake Up Calls
- Rachel Maddow: GOP seeks to rig presidential race on model of Congressional gerrymandering (The "Wake Up Call" )
- Rachel Maddow: Virginia GOP advances new rules to help Republican presidential candidates
- RNC's Priebus Proposes to Rig Electoral College so Losing Republicans Can 'Win' | John Nichols, The Nation
- Grand Theft Election | Center for American Progress Action Fund
- Through States, Republicans Plot 2016 Electoral College Coup | Crooks and Liars (by @karol
- GOP Version2013: Battling Not Just Democrats but Democracy | John Nichols, The Nation
- Virginia Senate Passes Redistricting Plan To Oust Democratic Senator During Inaugural | Crooks and Liars (by @karoli)
- Search for "electoral college" – Various related posts at ThinkProgress.org
- Virginia Republican State Senator DeclinesTo Back GOP Electoral College Rigging Scheme (Actually, she only abstained)
Obstacles to Their Plan
- Republicans Might Be Outsmarting Themselves on the Electoral College | Mother Jones New
- Second Virginia Republican Senator Opposes Election-Rigging Plan | ThinkProgress New
- Election-rigging scheme stumbling in Virginia? – The Rachel Maddow Blog New
- Electoral College fixes could backfire, state's top GOP frets | TribLIVE
Other Media About the Issue
- ALEC Has Opposed "Popular Vote" Efforts Which Would Protect Against Partisan Rigging of Electoral College | PR Watch New
- This is a Big, Big Deal (Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo)
- How to Win States and Disenfranchise People: The GOP's Electoral-Vote Plan – David A. Graham – The Atlantic
- Steven Colbert Slams GOP Electoral College Plan [VIDEO] – Business Insider
- ‘If you can’t win, cheat’ – The Insiders – The Washington Post
- PETITION Speak out against the latest attempt by the Right to fix elections and drown out the voice of voters. – People For the American Way