Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union’s ruthless ruler before WWII, said, “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how, but what is extremely important is this – who will count the votes, and how.”
Republicans have tried the voting angle, limiting voting for the opponents, for several elections with mixed success. They have tried polarization to divide voters – two or more camps who vote out of fear and anger. They have tried suppressing the vote for opponents through voter ID laws. They have tried voter intimidation at polling places. They have illegally purged voter rolls. All have had limited success.
Now they want to control how the vote is counted. No plan is too ruthless, and no plan will overestimate the attention, indeed, the intelligence of the voting public.
The new Republican plan works like this: Instead of giving all of a state’s Electoral College votes to the popular vote winner of that state, Republicans want Electoral College votes in a small number of states to be doled out based on who won each Congressional district, plus two votes going to the popular vote winner. The states include Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and such – states where Republicans have engineered a legislative majority and the governorship.
The “stinking rich” – folks like the Koch brothers – have invested a few million per state to assure Republicans states keep these majorities.
Of course, those Congressional districts in several traditionally blue states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan were drawn by newly-elected Republicans state legislatures after the 2010 census. And they were drawn in a way that already gives Republicans an advantage by carving up Democratic strongholds and creating “safe” Republican seats. That’s how Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives in 2012, despite House Democrats winning a million and a half more votes nationwide than House Republicans.
Since voter suppression, intimidation, voter ID laws, voter roll purging, restricting voting hours, and private company hit men didn’t keep enough likely Democratic voters away from the polls, this is their new plan.
If you think it won’t work, consider this: Despite getting 5 million fewer votes than Obama in 2012, Romney would have won the presidency if all the battleground states had adopted this new vote counting scheme. If you think the media will feature this important development to warn us, forget it.
The Soviet Union wasn’t a democratic state under Joseph Stalin but like most dictatorships it tried to appear that way, so the ruse of adopting your own counting method could work here as well, especially if we go back to sleep again after we won the presidency.
Besides, billionaires like David and Charles Koch, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess – to name a few – will make sure they get more for their money in the future. They won’t get a majority of the votes – they can’t routinely get a majority of voters to vote against themselves, but they’ll control the vote counting and get candidates that will bow and scrape at their feet. That motion is very familiar to Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Jim DeMint, and a host of others – mostly Republicans, but the Democrat’s roll of “bootlickers” will increase as money buys more elections.
You can take that to the bank … so to speak.
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