Nov 112012
 

I trust that most of you are aware that, in spite of the Republican lie that winning the House gives them a mandate from the voters, over 500,000 more Americans voted for House Democrats than they did for House Republicans.  Lets look at how Republicans Gerrymandered the districts to subvert the people’s will and at who is preventing reform.

11ohioredblue…Although the Republicans won 55 percent of the House seats, they received less than half of the votes for members of the House of Representatives. Indeed, more than half-a-million more Americans voted for Democratic House candidates than for Republicans House candidates. There was no split-decision. The Democrats won both the presidential election and the House election. But the Republicans won 55 percent of the seats in the House. This seems crazy. How could this be?

This answer lies in the 2010 election, in which Republicans won control of a substantial majority of state governments. They then used that power to re-draw congressional district lines in such a way as to maximize the Republican outcome in the 2012 House election.

To give a simple example, imagine four neighboring congressional districts, two of which are 60 percent Democratic and two of which are 60 percent Republican. One would expect that each party would win two seats in the House. But if the Republican state legislature re-draws the district lines so as to make one district 100 percent Democratic, and the other three districts each 67 percent Republican, then instead of each party winning two representatives, the Republicans will win in three of the four districts.

It was by engaging in such "partisan gerrymandering" that the Republican Party was able to turn a Republican defeat in terms of the national popular vote for members of the House into a significant Republican "victory" in terms of the number of Republicans elected. In Pennsylvania, for example, although citizens cast almost 100,000 more votes for Democratic than Republican candidates for the House, partisan gerrymandering enabled Republicans to 12 of the 18 seats in the House of Representatives.

Thus, that the Republicans will control the House for the next two years tells us nothing about how the American people voted on Tuesday, and a lot about how the Republican Party misused its political power in the state legislatures to manipulate the election and frustrate the will of the people… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

Ohio is similar, look how Republicans squeezed the Democratic majority into five districts, leaving twelve for the Republican minority.

Once upon a time the courts were a backstop to prevent such extreme abuse of power, but that was before the fascist five took control of the Supreme Court and used it for extreme partisan activism, while ignoring the Constitution.  Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito have repeatedly refused to intervene in spite of protests from the three moderates and one liberal on the Court.  Republicans will continue to steal power in this manner until SCOTUS is restored to it’s judicial function, masking it imperative to keep a Democrat in the White House.

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  9 Responses to “How the Minority Won the House”

  1. This answer lies in the 2010 election, in which Republicans won control of a substantial majority of state governments. They then used that power to re-draw congressional district lines in such a way as to maximize the Republican outcome in the 2012 House election.

    I believe the same "partisan gerrymandering" was done here in Florida too… :mrgreen:

  2. The more the stats are unpacked the more obvious the problems that need  attention– Soon!– The most obvious of course is the SCOTUS ;   Gerrymandering is an ages old technique — What was once an art- is now a science—:)
    IMO- one of the strengths of the Obama administration is their skill in using up to date analytic methods – The Repugs only appear to have won the house–and there will be an election in 2 years that will , if The Dems manage, return control , and put it where it belongs , in the hands of the people-

    • But Phyllis, "the Republican/Teabaggers don't believe in science" she says with sarcasm dripping from every word!
       
      "The Repugs only appear to have won the house–and there will be an election in 2 years that will , if The Dems manage, return control , and put it where it belongs , in the hands of the people-" — Phyllis
       
      Amen!!!!!

    • That will be difficult, because the districts are still stacked.

  3. "…that the Republicans will control the House for the next two years tells us nothing about how the American people voted on Tuesday, and a lot about how the Republican Party misused its political power in the state legislatures to manipulate the election and frustrate the will of the people."

    No one system is perfect, that is a certainty.  In the last Canadian election, Stephen Harper received 39.6% of the popular vote but has a majority seat conservative government that worships at the altar of Baby Bush and the Republican/Teabaggers.  How is this possible you ask.  It isn't gerrymandering as in the US case but rather the product of "first across the line" in a system with more than 2 parties.  So if the US ever decides to revamp the electoral system, it should keep this in mind, especially with the advent of other parties like the Green Party and the Justice Party.  In Canada,  Elections Canada, an independent, non partisan body supports independent commissions which are responsible for redrawing the federal constituency lines every 10 years.
     

    "Our constitutional system is premised on the assumption that elected officials should not use the powers of governance in order to manipulate the rules of the game to ensure their own perpetuation in power. Such conduct threatens the very integrity of democratic governance. … The obvious solution is to take the responsibility for drawing district lines out of the hands of elected officials. Several states have already done this by establishing independent commissions that perform this task. This is the approach used in other nations, such as England and Australia [and Canada]. This is clearly a preferable system."

    I agree that the electoral system needs revamping.  One of the first matters from my point of view, would be to move federal elections into the purview of the federal government — one federal government, one set of rules and laws.  No one citizen should be advantaged or disadvantaged by the state where he lives.  One citizen, one equal vote.  States can control their own elections.  And as above, all federal voting districts should be determined by independent, non partisan commissions, not politicians with vested interests.  Guaranteed, this will take a long time to accomplish as, in my opinion, there lacks the political will, especially from the Republican/Teabaggers.

  4. I seem to remember learning that the UK and the USA were instrumental in reforming the  German voting system after WWII, and that reform does seem to have done more for their country than our political system in the UK has done for ours!  They have (as I understand it) proportional representation – and often have coalition governments – and They Make It Work Well for their country (as opposed to here where the poor Lib Dems get blamed for EVERYTHING by the Conservatives – and most people believe it.  I don't – but then I would never vote Tory – they lie like the GOP!). 
    When the results came through I checked up on the overall numbers and thought 'WHAT??!!' when I learned the GOP/TP had won control of the house – then  I did remember the warnings you have been giving us TomCat for ages over GOP gerrymandering and redrawing political boundaries for their own advantage. 
    The Democrats simply mustn't lose their ooomph and must carry on with grass roots involvement to carry forward reform – and must act as a whole party for once – no 'blue dogs' this time please or trying to gain selfish political advantage for their own area at the expense of others, or the electorate will react with anger again and cast them out at the next possible opportunity.
     
     

    • Thank you Pat.  I certainly have been warning about Republicans abusing power to stack the deck since the GW Bush regime.  Be thankful that even your Tories are not quite as bad as our Republicans.

      It is amusing that the US and UK built the German without including the corrupting flaws in either of our own systems.