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View Diary: Biden gives Republicans one last chance to avoid 'fiscal cliff' (330 comments)

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  •  Not really. (35+ / 0-)

    The GOP only kept the House due to gerrymandering. More votes were cast for Democratic candidates than for GOP ones. The country isn't as divided as you'd like us to think.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:11:12 AM PST

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    •  Gerrymandering is a political process. (7+ / 0-)

      It is enabled because in enough states, the people elected a GOP legislature and governor, so they get pro-GOP gerrymandering. But the roots of it are at the same polling places we're talking about.

      •  The roots include big dirty money (6+ / 0-)

        The billionaires weren't able to buy much at the national level in the 2012 elections, but the gerrymandering got done at the state level, by folks elected in 2010.  Money carried more weight in 2010, and at the state level.

        We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

        by david78209 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:07:35 AM PST

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      •  How does that build on your prior statemet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timothy J

        First you made a numerical point. Lost that argument.

        Then you switch to a political one. Or rather I should say a legal  one since the House being turned into a place where you can so lose the popular vote and still win based on gerrymandering raises issues of one man, one vote.

        States do not have a carte blanche right under one man one vote to do whatever they want despite the fact thab both parties are currently ignoring this reality.

      •  it's tied in to the census (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and "we" dems have done the same thing.

        democrats need to do a better job at the state and local level and people need to understand elections matter even on off year elections. the democratic party can help here too but at some point, voters have responsibility to educate themselves and engage.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:42:11 AM PST

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        •  Why blame the people? (0+ / 0-)

          The people are doing all they can do - vote.  The parties are the ones who have constructed these terrible districts (and you rightly point out that both sides have done so).  

          The parties both benefit from tight control of an electoral process, despite having no constitutional authority to do so.  They're not about to give up something that empowers themselves.  

          For example, in Georgia in 2012, about 2.1 million people voted for Romney, and 1.8 million voted for Obama, about a 53/46 split.  Meanwhile, of 14 seats that Georgia has in the US House, only 5 went to Democrats, or 36%.  If the Tea Party hadn't pushed a terrible candidate to one of those races, they could have pushed that number down to 4 of 14, about 29%.   You can't pin that on voters - they don't draw the district lines, they don't vote on the district lines that are drawn, and "How I would draw district lines" is not exactly a hot-button campaign issue.  

    •  The Repubs (12+ / 0-)

      represent right wing districts, so that is who they answer to, not the country as a whole, but I have a hard time believing even in those districts their constituents care about 250 vs 500 k. It is not going to affect them - they earn much less for the most part. But they're doing what their funders want, most of whom probably aren't even in the district.

    •  Wouldda, couldda, shouldda has zero application. (7+ / 0-)

      They kept the House and that is all the power, even idiotically directed power, to ensure TP/GOP obstructionists will be alive and well at least through 2014.

      Civics 100, not even 101, is that unless people speak in all elections, in every race, with a strong voice pockets of obstructionists power will remain in a system such as ours. The fact enough retrograde or ignorant people spoke, and enough on our side couldn't be bothered to vote in the last mid terms put into state legislative power gerrymander crazed TP/GOP types. Then enough of their side voted for these same types in those neat little safe districts to ensure we have die hard obstructionists at least through 2014 in the House.

      How the "American people spoke" in the one moment that counted in 2010 and 2012 in those CDs outweighs all the meaningless, hot air opinion polls and number citing about where they actually stand.

      Yeah, elections, every damn one of them, have consequences! Only one moment counts. That is when the American people speak casting a vote.

      Everything else is hot air and opinion. Regrets are just regrets since federal elected officials cannot be recalled. A moment of inattention or laziness lasts two years for the House, four for a president and six for the Senate. Our opinions, once they are safe in office, are effectively meaningless unless they choose to respect them. Right now, due to those safe districts, GOP office holders are way more afraid of primary challenges from TP and wingnuts than the "American people"!

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:05:00 AM PST

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      •  excellent post (0+ / 0-)

        one of the best I have seen on all of this. I have been pushing this argument for years.

        people (when they do vote) vote against their own economic interests. sure all the right wing propaganda does not help but at some point personal responsibility kicks in. in today's social media society it is very easy to educate oneself on fact.

        I agree inattention and laziness are the root of it all.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:46:17 AM PST

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        •  It isn't just the right wind involved in this. (0+ / 0-)

          I have to admit that I get much like a bear with a toothache backed in a cave when I see people on this site or hear some self declared "progressive" or "liberal" or "Democrat" declaring that because of (select any reason, including "both candidates are bad, disappointment, past betrayals, anything) they will sit out an election. That because this election isn't really important, just some piddly little statehouse district special, they don't have time. I get the same when I see people here claiming some statistic, such as Obama's margin or how the total national Congressional vote tilted Democratic, without any practical effect of putting some person into or out of office.

          Except in the few seconds when we actually cast a vote—hoping it makes a difference even if only to end short the aspirations of a Ken Cuccinelli who got his start in a little special on one August day with—everything else is sound and fury signifying nothing.

          Wouldda, couldda, shouldda! If 1,849 more of the Fairfax "blue" voters, in a pool of 111,135 registered in that 37th Senate district, had turned out that summer day in 2002 a rather infamous "Kook" would probably never have made the state and possibly national stage. Every vote in every election has consequences, sometimes well beyond the immediate horizon, such as an election before the reapportionment for the next decade.

          There are times that cave bear in me wants the satisfying crunch of foolish skulls in his teeth!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:42:25 AM PST

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    •  4 million votes out of 130 million cast (0+ / 0-)

      is about 4%. 51-47%.

      one can argue Dumbya claimed a mandate with less votes to make a case that this election was a mandate but it most certainly is a divided country.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:39:38 AM PST

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