Friday, January 25, 2013

GOP: If you can't beat them cheat them!

Once again, let the games begin. 

Apparently, the Republican national brand is so tarnished, bruised and unpopular these days -- they lost 5 out of the last 6 presidential popular votes -- some of them have decided to pursue rigging elections over refining their message:

Taking its cue from the likes of Lance Armstrong, dozens of Atlanta Public School teachers and Bernie Madoff, the Republican Party is embracing a bold new solution to its political problems:
If you can’t compete, cheat.
And cheat big.
In Virginia, for example, Barack Obama has carried the state and its 13 electoral votes in the last two elections, becoming the first Democrat to carry the state back-to-back since Franklin Roosevelt. But rather than work harder to win back the state, or adopt policies more relevant to the needs of its voters, Republicans are advancing another solution.
Under a bill passed out of a state Senate subcommittee this week, Virginia would no longer award its electoral votes to the candidate who won the most votes. Instead, the state’s electoral votes would be allocated by congressional district, which are heavily gerrymandered to favor the GOP.*
Had the bill been law in November, Barack Obama would have been awarded just four of the state’s 13 electoral votes, even though he carried the state.
Mitt Romney, who lost the state, would have won nine electoral votes, more than twice as many as the winner. As one observer put it, Virginia is in the process of moving from a winner-takes-all system to a loser-takes-most system. source
Larry Saboto, well respected (by Republicans and Democrats) political scientist and analysist, stated:
Republicans are struggling to right their ship after the defeat of 2012. The unfavorable demographic trends for the GOP that we describe in our new book, Barack Obama and the New America, have sunk in, and the party knows it must do something. 
We have solicited ideas ourselves, believing that it is vital for America to have vigorous party competition. You will see some of those ideas, offered by our readers and Twitter colleagues, here. But nestled among the constructive ideas is a truly rotten one, the proposal to fix and game the Electoral College to give a sizable additional advantage to the Republican nominee for president.
We have asked Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Alan Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University, to examine the proposal and outline its likely effects. As we suspected, it would permit a GOP nominee to capture the White House even while losing the popular vote by many millions. 
This is not a relatively small Electoral College “misfire” on the order of 1888 or 2000. Instead, it is a corrupt and cynical maneuver to frustrate popular will and put a heavy thumb — the whole hand, in fact — on the scale for future Republican candidates. We do not play presidential politics with a golf handicap awarded to the weaker side.
Republicans face a choice that can best be characterized by personalizing it. A healthy, optimistic party is Reaganesque, convinced that it can win the future by embracing it, and by making a positive case for its philosophy and candidates to all Americans. A party in decline is Nixonian and fears the future; it sees enemies everywhere, feels overwhelmed by electoral trends, and thinks it can win only by cheating, by subverting the system and stacking the deck in its favor. 
Whose presidency was more successful, Reagan’s or Nixon’s? Which man made the Republican brand more appealing? read entire article
Well stated, Mr. Sabato. It is most interesting to note, GOP plans in Virginia overlapped (and maybe overshadowed) a passionate appeal by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. In a Republican National Committee meeting in Charlotte, Jindal implored his fellow party members to stop being the party of  stupid.
In his own words:
Criticizing both his party's leadership and specific politicians, he said Republicans need to "stop being the stupid party" and "stop insulting the intelligence of voters."
"It's no secret we had a number of Republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments and I'm here to say we've had enough of that," Jindal said. "We need to trust the smarts of the American people. We've got to stop dumbing down our ideas and stop reducing everything to mindless slogans and tag lines for 30-second ideas." source
Let the church say amen!

But I fear -- even with big Republican elephant ears -- they a severely tone deaf. This condition results from living in the echo chamber that was created by the Conservative Entertainment Complex. And until this huge propaganda apparatus is dismantled/defeated the party faithful will continue to accept lies and distortions that peddle to their fears, hatred and prejudices.

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