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For the last few years we've been hearing the word "compromise" a lot from Democrats.  And today, many Democrats will tell us we must make trade-offs because the GOP controls the House of Representatives, and nothing will get done if we don't make a deal with them.

This is a very convenient arrangement for Democrats who want to pass regressive legislation under the disguise of "being forced to".  But it's not a good reason for those who want to do the right thing for most Americans.

In the 2012 election, most Americans voted for Democrats.  If you add up the votes cast in every Congressional district across the country, you find a significant majority of votes went to Democrats.  So why don't the Democrats control the House of Representatives?  A number of state governments run by Republicans have extensively gerrymandered their districts.  In North Carolina, it was so bad that Democratic candidates got 51% of the votes in the state's 13 districts, but Democrats only received 4 seats in the House out of the state's 13 seats.

Essentially, control of the House was stolen by a systematic effort to misrepresent the will of the voters.  If it were not for this, the Democrats should have had a small majority in the House.  You might think that the Democrats would be foaming at the mouth over this attack on democracy.  And even if the Democrats were nothing more than cynical power brokers, you'd think they'd be doing everything they could to get back the elected offices and political influence that they would have had if the elections were fair.

So where is the Democrats' fury?  One factor might be the fact Democrats don't always play fair in politics and elections either.  That may play a part here, but how much can that be?  Does the fact one politician hasn't been a saint mean he won't use attack ads against an opponent's unsaintly behavior?  And in this case, even if Democrats had to clean up their act as well as the Republicans, the votes suggest the Democrats would end up with more power than they have today.

If the Democrats won't raise a holler about this, the rest of us have to.  And one of the first things we can do is tell the Democrats: "The Republicans didn't win the House fair and square.  The Democrats should control the White House, the Senate and the House.  There should be no reason to make a deal with Republicans.  If you're not willing to work to have the government represent the will of the voters, don't tell us you have to make a deal with people who stole the election.  We won't back any deal you make until you work to fix the problem denying us the rule of the majority."

Originally posted to workingwords on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 02:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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