Friday, January 14, 2022

Myth Busting

 First, let’s identify two American myths.

1. “America is a democracy.”

 2. “No, America is a republic.”

Sorry folks. It is neither. And that means it is NOT a democratic republic. Fair political representation for the voters is what defines a democratic republic.

Here’s the primary problem that is eroding the integrity and rotting the soul of the United States of America.

Our elections are rigged. And NOT in favor of Democrats.

Along with the fiction of “corporate personhood” and the secret dirty money in election campaigns, there are three institutional poison pills that are suffocating democratic representation in America.

It’s not just the anti-democratic and unrepresentative Electoral College. The Constitution has other fatal flaws undermining fair representation in the Senate and House.

State control of federal elections means gerrymandering, and partisan control of elections, vote counting, and the results. Republicans can control the House with fewer votes than Democrats.

The Senate is the least representative body in any democratic republic in history. Republicans can control the Senate with fewer votes than Democrats.

Some numbers for your consideration:

Washington DC has an estimated population of 650,050 with zero representation in the Senate.

That is more than Vermont’s 643,077 and Wyoming’s 576,851, but they each have two senators.

California has 39,938,223 with the same Senate representation.

There’s no way the founders could have foreseen this gross imbalance of legislative power. This is clearly not what they meant by “consent of the governed”.

Democrats don't currently have the votes to grant statehood to Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., or the U.S. Virgin Islands, so they are excluded from our political process.

There is no consent of the governed allowed at all for those American citizens.

In 2012 Democratic House candidates drew nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republican candidates. Through partisan redistricting, Republicans landed a 33-seat House majority.  

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said states are “laboratories of democracy”.

In a pig’s eye. They are really laboratories of one-party rule.

In 2018, Democrats in Wisconsin won every statewide office and a majority of the statewide vote, but thanks to gerrymandering, won only 36 of the 99 seats in the state assembly.

Republicans Win Fewer Votes, but More Seats than Democrats

Republicans controlled the post–2010 redistricting process in the four states, and drew new lines that helped the GOP win the bulk of the House delegation in each. Republicans captured 13 of 18 seats in Pennsylvania, 12 of 16 in Ohio, nine of 14 in Michigan, and five of eight in Wisconsin. Added together, that was 39 seats for the Republicans and 17 seats for the Democrats in the four pro–Obama states.

The key to GOP congressional success was to cluster the Democratic vote into a handful of districts, while spreading out the Republican vote elsewhere. In Pennsylvania, for example, Republicans won nine of their 13 House seats with less than 60% of the vote, while Democrats carried three of their five with more than 75%.

Angela Rye is the Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm formerly based in Washington, DC, and  served as the executive director and general counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress

She tweeted:

The Voting Rights Act  has been reauthorized FIVE times since 1965 and it has always had BIPARTISAN support.

In 1970- S: 64-12, H: 237-132

In 1975- S: 77-12, H: 341-70

In 1982- S: 85-8, H: 389-24

In 1992- S: 75-20, H: 237-125

In 2006- S: UNANIMOUS H: 390-33

The interesting part?

Every reauthorization has been signed into law by a Republican President. 1965 was of course LBJ (Dem), but…can we imagine what might have changed since 2006?

Oh…so glad you asked!

Barack Hussein Obama became President in 2008.

Voter ID and voter suppression bills began getting introduced in droves (thanks to the help of ALEC) in 2010. Tea Party also started that year, but I digress

Then in 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. Since then, the hyper-partisan Congress has not been able to pass this traditionally very BIPARTISAN bill.

But Republicans insist they “don’t see color”. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that Obama was president when they saw a problem with voter rights.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)tweeted: “Consent of the governed is the organizing principle of our democracy, and majority rule is our operating system. If we can’t restore majority rule to the Senate, we can’t protect majority rule in the states.”

There’s only one remedy for this. And it is as elusive as the combined cure for cancer and stupidity.

We need a new Constitution, or some serious amending to the one we have, to establish a true democratic republic...If that is even desired by the distracted and deceived American people. 

50 Democratic senators represent 41,549,908 more Americans than 50 Republican senators.

A 41,549,908 imbalance of representation is NOT democratic and NOT a republic, “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives”.

By 2040, it is estimated 30% of the population will control 68% of the Senate. Eight states will contain half the population. The Senate imbalance of representation gives advantages overwhelmingly to white, non– college educated voters. In the near future, a Democratic candidate could win the popular vote by many millions of votes and still lose.

Our federal system does NOT represent the will of the American people. "Consent of the governed" has been betrayed and crushed.

But the worst is yet to come. Corpo-Dems Manchin and Sinema will abet the radical Right’s suppression of voter rights legislation.

Permanent minority rule will be the standard in America’s future from now on.

Barring a miracle of Democrats holding the House and gaining in the Senate, we can forget about any pretensions of a democratic republic. The keys to one-party fascism have been forged.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing ego. You know better than the founding fathers, Supreme Court Justices, and the experience of 240 years of the founding documents. It's obvious if we let you rewrite the Constitution, we would have your biased, liberal, utopia. You guys are losing because of the American voter, and you want to blame it on anything else but. Crybaby, sore losers. Try harder. Find better candidates Americans will vote for, not these woke, liberal air heads.

Dave Dubya said...

Anonymous,
In case you haven't figured it out yet, Democrats won the House, Senate and White House by millions more votes.

You have chosen willful ignorance over the facts I've shown.

I never claimed to know more than anyone, but obviously I know a LOT more than you do.

You can't cite a single fact. Nada. Zip. AND you need to resort to immature name-calling.

No wonder you love the lying asshole loser who said, "I love the poorly educated".

Thank you for not reading again.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The Founding Fathers were smart white property and slave owners(not John Adams) who were also deeply influenced by republicanism, by Locke, and by the optimism of the European Enlightenment. George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all concurred that laws, rather than men, should be the final sanction and that government should be responsible to the governed.

This no longer is the case. We are now governed by a tyrannical minority that does not represent the people. For example, a majority of West Virginians, 68%, supported President Biden's Build Back Better bill, but their Senator Manchin would not support it -- Coal Companies give him thousands of dollars -- Manchin DOES NOT represent his own constituents, he represents Coal companies that have bought him off so he can live on his yacht on the Potomac and drive around in his Maserati. That's just one example.

Legislation is passed or not passed according to corporations, not the people. We can't even depend on our lawmakers to support and ensure voting rights.

Dave is correct. Our founding fathers were smart, but they were 18th century men who could not have foreseen what would happen in the 21st century. We are the only modern democracy that does not elect our head of state by popular vote. We elect every other leader -- Representatives, Senators, Mayors, etc., by popular vote. It's nuts.

Too much weight is given to sparsely populated rural states and not population centers. Until this is remedied, IMO, we are not a representative democracy, we're an oligarchy run by corporations and craven politicians.

Dave Dubya said...

Shaw,
Your eloquence and depth of understanding are a refreshing relief after the anonymous doofus.

And to add more authoritarian cruelty and idiocy, the white evangelical fanatics will do their utmost to undermine our reproductive rights, educational institutions, the arts, and our freedom FROM religion.

Their bigotry and intolerance will be given an even louder voice than they already have.

God bless their hearts.

Anonymous said...

You guys won the last election with such a slim margin you can't get anything done. Before that it has been all Republican wins.
We have used the same election procedures for over 200 years. Now you want to change it because you foresee (like all the experts) Democrats lose.
Change the Constitution! It takes 2/3rds of the States. Good luck.
Or are you going to force the country to accept a new Constitution without a vote?

Dave Dubya said...

Anonymous,
Since you didn't engage in name-calling or continue to misrepresent and misunderstand Orwell, I'll address your comment.

“You guys won”. LOL. Do you think I’m a Democrat? I only vote for them because they are the lesser evil. There is no progressive party, just some Democrats with a conscience. The only reason voter rights are being defended is Democrats are tired of losing the House and state offices after winning more votes. If you read the post you'd learn that happens.

I didn’t win a thing. Democrats won. Democracy lost, because certain “Democrats” don’t know the meaning of the word, and are bought and paid for by Pharma and Coal.

”Before that it has been all Republican wins.”

BS. In 2016, NOT 2018.

”We have used the same election procedures for over 200 years.”

More BS. From 1789 to 1913, when the Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, senators were elected by state legislatures.

The Founders wanted an amendable Constitution. It is not sacred infallible scripture. The founders could not see the future, but knew changes would be required.

Republicans hate fair elections, proportional representation and a popular vote for president. The Right does not want a “more perfect union”. Didn’t you read my post? This is NOT a democratic republic.

The Constitution will no longer be amended to promote democracy.

And no, I’m not going to force the country to accept a new Constitution. I’m noting the flaws that are being exploited by the Right to control elections and eliminate fair representation.

Since you don’t dispute this, I’ll assume you agree with that fact.

Anonymous said...

You know the amendment process for the Constitution, so get busy.
Democrats have used the same unfair process to get majority and power. For 20 years they had the gerrymander advantage, majority power, and used it. Both parties do this.
It's only unfair if the rules are different for both sides. That is not the case in national politics.
What we see is at different times different parties have won the system and yes, that power can go on for decades because people continue to vote for the same players. Term limits could help that.
You are not a Democrat? That's splitting hairs given you support their politicians, policies, and ideology.
The system does work given time. What was the sense of public destruction and protest, if we waited those bad cops are in jail right now? Those protesters were trying to force the authorities to do something they cannot do - skip the steps of justice. Same for police reform. You can reform the police, but there are steps that must be taken. It doesn't happen overnight.
It's ugly, but it IS democracy.

Dave Dubya said...

Anonymous.
You're right about gerrymandering done by both parties. It has gone to extremes, and now Democrats are proposing independent re-districting. This earns my vote over Republican efforts to take it to greater extremes, to control elections and vote counting, and to erect additional barriers to voting.

If fairness matters to you, you would see the reasonableness of ending unrepresentative partisan gerrymandering.

I voted for Bernie in the primaries because he does not support the Democratic Party/corporate nexus. One example is they still have not repealed Trump's tax cuts for the rich. One corporatist party is enough, thank you. We need one to represent we the people.

You know, that "consent of the governed" idea the founders dreamed of.

The system does work. But much better for some than others.

We can both support protesting and condemn destruction. Protesting is our First Amendment right. It is the only way for many people to express their objections to injustice.

As I noted, democracy and republic are terms that fail to describe our system.

See my points on "consent of the governed", fair elections, and fair representation.

Without those there can be no real democracy or republic.

Even dictatorships have "voting" and "elections". Those along do not define or constitute a democratic republic.

Anonymous said...

Consent of the governed simply means who won the most votes.
Fair is a subjective term; it means different things to different people, which is why rules are set. As long as the rules are the same for all sides, we can claim a level of fairness.
If a candidate's strategy is to win the Electoral College, he will be more victorious than a candidate whose strategy is to win the popular vote.
It's simple math that sooner, or later a candidate would win the Electoral College without winning the popular vote.
This is all dictated by how many people live where. This is a choice not yet dictated by politicians.
Imagine the frustration of Republicans when from 1930 to 1968 (and beyond) Democrats ruled political power basically because of gerrymandering.
I'll agree that it's totally insane to allow political parties to set their own districts.
Again, we know what we need to do to change the Constitution.

Dave Dubya said...

Anonymous,

I appreciate you putting more thought in your remarks.

”Consent of the governed simply means who won the most votes.”

This simple meaning might apply if all votes carry equal weight and have an equal voice. But as I’ve shown, that is not the case in presidential elections, or in the Senate and House.

In a system rigged as ours, the party that earned fewer votes has ruled in all three cases. So far this has benefited only the Republicans. They system is rigged in their favor, and they doing their best to rig it even more in their favor.

”Fair is a subjective term; it means different things to different people, which is why rules are set. As long as the rules are the same for all sides”

When “fair” is defined by only the winners, then it is objectively NOT fair. When the rules are not fair, the outcome is not fair. Our Constitution once deemed it “fair” to count slaves as three fifths a person.

Nothing less than an equal voice for all voters can be fair, with election rules free of bias and tilted advantages.

Fairness should never be subjective. Loaded dice are not fair, no matter who may say so. Fairness is attained when agreed upon by all parties, and NEVER when dictated by minority rule, as in the states listed above that are controlled by Republicans despite Democrats winning far more votes.

The Electoral College is essentially anti-democratic and unfair. Gerrymandering Congress is essentially unfair in a democracy. The disproportionate representation in the Senate is fundamentally unfair. Let’s face it. Rural white voters have more power and representation than urban voters in the federal government. It is inequality, and inequality is by objective definition unfair.

The unfair “rules” allow such inequality. Only Republicans deem rules biased in their favor fair. But not “fair” enough, since they are imposing even more extreme gerrymandering and imposing more restrictions on voting. They want their party to control elections with the power to overturn votes not in their favor.

But fair rules are not a priority for a party that can take power with fewer votes than the opposition. And then they will promptly abuse that power, as in the case of McConnell abrogating his Constitutional duty to vote on Merrick Garland, say it was too close to an election, eight months away. We all know how that worked out when he rammed through yet another Federalist Society favorite a WEEK before the 2020 election.

The Right cannot win in a fair system. So they lie, cheat and steal.

The fact they need to embrace Trump’s Big Lie shows the level of dishonesty and treachery they will sink to in order to take power.

This also empowers them to deny any hope of a Constitutional amendment that would promote fairness and equality in elections and voter rights.

There is nothing fair about that...unless you're a Republican. And we know how fair-minded THEY are.

Anonymous said...

Imagine when FDR won 4 elections and Democrats had all the gerrymander power and almost all the elected positions in America. The Republicans screamed foul, but the only thing that stopped FDR was the Supreme Court, which is why FDR wanted to pack the Court. None of this is new. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Your points are well taken, but no more unfair than what the Democrats did for almost 40 years.
Again, you know what you need to do to change the Constitution, but this is not the most unfair situation in the history of American politics.
The other answer is for Democrats to have a resounding win at the ballot box. 50/50 just won't cut it. You want to change the rules and make laws you need a super majority because somebody before you already changed the rules, which used to be a simple majority.
If the Democrats get rid of the filibuster so they can get their agenda passed, what happens if they still don't have the votes to pass their legislation? Manchin is right now showing you what that looks like.

Dave Dubya said...

It was the will of the majority of voters that decided in favor of Democrats. They NEVER held power and minority rule through fewer votes.

Manchin and Sinema are showing us what corruption looks like. They are owned by coal and Pharma, and both reject the wishes of their voters. Democracy and consent of the governed are not on their agenda. Period.

As I noted, one corporate-owned party is quite enough, thank you.