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I apologize if I'm restating the obvious, but I haven't seen this clearly stated.  Republicans are working hard to corrupt democracy even further in this country.  The three items I mention in the title are all part of a long-term campaign.  Republicans have worked hard to flip state legislatures and governorships Republican, so as to facilitate the extreme gerrymandering that changes a 50-50 D-R voter mix into a 2/3s+ supermajority in both state legislatures and in Congressional delegations.

I have heard about the push to repeal the 17th amendment before, but I only recently became aware of Republicans pushing the idea of assigning electoral college votes based on who wins each Congressional district.  Had this been in place for 2012, Willard Romney would be our new president; both Ohio and Florida, for example, have big (or huge) majorities of Republicans in their Congressional delegations.  Now here's the scary part:  "Presidential electors are selected on a state-by-state basis, as determined by the laws of each state" (that's how Wiki phrases it).  With overwhelming control of the state legislatures and their Congressional delegations in both Ohio and Florida - and other states, Republicans can simply change the law to award electors based on who wins in each Congressional district.  

Then there's the 17th Amendment;  direct election of U.S. Senators.  This idea has elicited considerable head-scratching, but it should be blatantly obvious as a raw power grab.  With gerrymandered state legislatures, those now overwhelmingly Republican bodies would, of course, appoint Republican senators, regardless of what the citizens of that state wanted.

So, it goes like this.

1.  Get the majority in state houses.
2.  Gerrymander like crazy to provide a comfortable Republican majority in most districts, and an overwhelming Democratic majority in some districts, thus ensuring a Republican majority.
3.  Change the law regarding electors for the presidential election, thus ensuring that only a Republican can ever win.
4.  Repeal the 17th Amendment, so that the gerrymandered states will produce a strong majority of Republicans in the Senate.
5.  Profit.

I expect to see the change in Electoral College laws proposed in the next sessions, in both Ohio and Florida.  In fact, I'm wondering why they didn't already do that, in every state where the Republicans have seized power from the majority through gerrymandering.

What to do?  There are different ways to stop gerrymandering, but it doesn't appear to me that the state constitutional amendments in Florida (passed with strong majorities) have worked.  Maybe it's time to consider multi-member districts with ranked choice voting.

Originally posted to tle on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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