Understanding Congressional Gerrymandering: 'It's Moneyball Applied To Politics'
We all know that thirteen (or maybe it’s twenty) Red states have passed Voter ID Laws designed to disenfranchise Democratic voters along by closing places to apply for a photo ID, shortening days and hours at polling places, restricting absentee ballots and probably a few more such tactics I’m forgetting to ensure that Republicans win elections.  I mean this shit is pretty bad, right?  Stripping people’s ability to vote is not exactly a bedrock American value even though back in the day (1789, when the Constitution was adopted) slaves were property (so logically, property can’t vote) and women were deemed way to hysterical and stupid to cast a ballot at their local polling place.  We’ve actually come quite a distance from those days, much, it seems, to the chagrin of the Republican Party. 

All of this sounds pretty egregious right?  But all these disenfranchisement efforts are mere footnotes, bagatelles, if you will, to the Republican main ploy to ensure their continued reign of power in Congress and in as many states as possible across the country.  Why was Rove spitting bullets the night of  November 6, 2012 when election results showed that both Virginia and Ohio had gone Blue.  “No, this can’t be right!”  “What’s going on?  This is nuts?” cried Rove.  Why was Rove so visibly shaken? 

Because it meant that a decade old, underhanded, concentrated Republican campaign had failed. Welcome to “Operation REDMAP,” the secret, massive, and expensive campaign, to redistrict Democrats out of the House, out of the Senate and out of State legislatures. 


“Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy” author David Daley says that Republicans targeted key state legislative races in 2010 in an effort to control state houses, and, eventually, Congressional redistricting.  And they succeeded.  Here’s an analysis of Daley’s seminal work:


An alarming study of the GOP’s redrawing of the American political map across the country.
According to Salon editor-in-chief Daley, while Democrats were celebrating President Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, they took their eyes off the important state legislatures, especially in key swing states. Subsequently, the defeated Republicans were already hatching nefarious plans to turn the “disaster into legislative majorities so unbreakable, so impregnable, that none of the outcomes are in doubt until after the 2020 census.” According to law, every state redraws its district lines every 10 years, after the census. Both parties use gerrymandering—named after Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, who redrew a state Senate map in 1812 so skewed it looked like a salamander—to their advantage, but with wildly more sophisticated mapping abilities, gerrymandering has become a “more lethal weapon.” Republican strategists initiated the Republican State Leadership Committee in order to raise millions of dollars for the Redistricting Majority Project, REDMAP, which would indicate where the money should be spent in order to bolster Republican candidates in Democratic-controlled state legislatures from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Michigan to Wisconsin, flip control of the chamber, lock in redistricting, and thus control Congress for the next decade. This political “dirty deed done dirt cheap” is called “ratfucking,” as designated by Edmund Wilson in the 1920s and used by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during the Watergate scandal. Indeed, this is just what happened after the midterm election of 2010, as the GOP captured 63 seats in the House of Representatives and 680 new seats in the state legislatures. Daley takes on each significant state race in turn and notes that despite the country’s pulling more center-left on many issues, the far right is going to be calling the shots until 2020. The author looks at the masterminds behind the strategy and the mapmaking technology as well as the roles of restrictive voting rights laws, “dark money,” and voter turnout.

NOTES: In the 2012 election, Democrats elected Barak Obama by 1.4 million votes over Mitt Romney but Republicans retained a 234 to 201 seat advantage in the House of Representatives.  Karl Rove was apoplectic when Obama won the Presidential election because it showed that for all the Ratfucking and REDMAPPING he and his gang of Freedom Fighters had undertaken, it had failed to win the Presidency.

But Project REDMAP has succeeded in keeping the House of Representatives in Republican hands despite the fact that even in Congressional elections Democrats received more votes than Republicans.  Then too, the creation of safe Republican Congressional Districts has also contributed to the fact that 31 states have Republican governors and 31 state legislatures that are Republican controlled.   To dispel any claims that “Both Democrats and Republicans Do It,”  again the score for gerrymandered Congressional Districts is as follows:

Gerrymandered Republican Districts:  24

Gerrymandered Democratic Districts:  2 (1 in Maryland, 1 in Illinois)

REPMAP targeted Congressional Districts in swing states: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Nevada to name a few.  So even if a swing state drifted Blue based on overall votes, it still guaranteed majority Republican House representation as well as state legislature control by the Republicans.  We are of course, talking about 21st Century gerrymandering, in fact gerrymandering that has taken place since the 2010 Census.  Innumerable examples of gerrymandering over the course of our history are probably legion.  But, never before in the history of our political gamesmanship has so vast and effective a program to ensure that one party would rule as far into the future as possible has been undertaken.    The results are plainly visible. 

There are, of course, lawsuits against these efforts, but the Supreme Court has never willingly delved into this arena believing that the Constitution clearly leaves such efforts up to the sates (rightly so) and given the mad mix of processes, techniques, methods – all buttressed by massive amounts of data – they are reluctant to prescribe one method over another.  So, folks, this is what we are left with.

And nothing much is going to change until after the 2020 Census.  And, since the census takes a year to gather data, another six months to a year before initial results are released, we are looking to at least 2022 until any redistricting efforts can take place.  So it will not be until the 2024 Presidential Election cycle that the rest of us might have a chance to rectify this wholly traitorous, Republican REDMAP theft of democracy.

 Have a good day even if you are a liberal who voted Democrat but live in a state where Republicans are still in control.  You’ve been Ratfucked!


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