Virginia Republicans, Stealing The Senate?

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The Gentleman:

Gorr:
Can someone tell me why you Americans doesn't like the idea of proportional election systems ?

It would solve all this crab overnight.

Of course proportional voting systems isn't perfect, you risk getting a very fragmented political landscape and a little less of "this is MY area's man/woman in congress". But overall this would be better than having this done every year, by who ever is in power.

Because the overly simplistic "one man, one vote" makes sense to them.

..I don't get this. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then Bush would have lost his second election. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then the Electoral Collage would be out on their asses. So..What do you mean?

farson135:
Racist undertones? Those undertones exist because you want to see them. I have a problem with this kind of hyperbole because it is completely unhelpful and it continues the trend of demonizing the other side (which helps nothing and makes things worse).

Right, it's only there because I want to see it. image

farson135:
No, I see the point. You want to attack and demonize the other side. I think it is both unhelpful and in the end makes things worse. You want to do it? Fine. But do not expect me to go along with your bullshit. And I have no qualms about calling you out about it.

I see no problem attacking anyone when what they do is worthy to be attacked over. Sure, when you do it, you're just 'cutting through the bullshit' or being a straight shooter, no pun intended, but when its someone you don't like, or over a position you don't agree with, it's tribalism, or hyperbole, or demonizing.

Realitycrash:

The Gentleman:

Gorr:
Can someone tell me why you Americans doesn't like the idea of proportional election systems ?

It would solve all this crab overnight.

Of course proportional voting systems isn't perfect, you risk getting a very fragmented political landscape and a little less of "this is MY area's man/woman in congress". But overall this would be better than having this done every year, by who ever is in power.

Because the overly simplistic "one man, one vote" makes sense to them.

..I don't get this. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then Bush would have lost his second election. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then the Electoral Collage would be out on their asses. So..What do you mean?

Okay, they're three separate federal posts a US citizen generally votes for: President, Senator (technically there's two, but they're always voted in on different years), and a House Representative. The President is elected under the electoral college, which gives a set amount of votes to the states for them to determine how to distribute them. The senator is elected under a state-wide popular vote (first past the post system). The Representative represents districts that are set by the state and elected using a popular vote. So effectively. you have three separate systems, each with significantly different politics because of how they are structured.

Witty Name Here:

SonicWaffle:

...and you can't see how some people would support that?

To many people, the reality of politics is unimportant - the only thing that matters is that the other side must not gain power!

Unfortunately, those people are frequently becoming commonplace here in America.

I think it was GunsmithKitten that mentioned a group of "gay Republicans" saying they wouldn't care if they were "thrown in concentration camps, just so long as the Liberals don't win."

And as I have seen in this forum, there other people who support democrats that would feel the same way. They don't care what happens just as long as ze scary Republicans don't "win".

The Gentleman:

Realitycrash:

The Gentleman:

Because the overly simplistic "one man, one vote" makes sense to them.

..I don't get this. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then Bush would have lost his second election. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then the Electoral Collage would be out on their asses. So..What do you mean?

Okay, they're three separate federal posts a US citizen generally votes for: President, Senator (technically there's two, but they're always voted in on different years), and a House Representative. The President is elected under the electoral college, which gives a set amount of votes to the states for them to determine how to distribute them. The senator is elected under a state-wide popular vote (first past the post system). The Representative represents districts that are set by the state and elected using a popular vote. So effectively. you have three separate systems, each with significantly different politics because of how they are structured.

So it's one-man one-vote for two of the systems, not all three, no?

Jux:
Right, it's only there because I want to see it.

Tell me, did you take even a second to consider that this might not be racist? Or did you see the words, black and Republican and go on from there? I have seen no evidence whatsoever that what they did is racist in the slightest. If you have evidence you best present it. Otherwise you are talking out of your ass.

I see no problem attacking anyone when what they do is worthy to be attacked over.

But instead of attacking them for gerrymandering you attack them for racism. And people wonder why discourse is so fucked up. Instead of attacking them for something real you make up something to attack them for.

Sure, when you do it, you're just 'cutting through the bullshit' or being a straight shooter, no pun intended, but when its someone you don't like, or over a position you don't agree with, it's tribalism, or hyperbole, or demonizing.

So let me get this straight, you say racism at the drop of the hat and I call you out for it. Then you attack me for telling you off. That sounds fair.

Let me put it to you simply, your argument is bullshit and you know it. You are demonizing people not for what they have done but for a thought crime that you want them to have committed. Attack them for gerrymandering and stop making up bullshit reasons to attack them.

Realitycrash:
So it's one-man one-vote for two of the systems, not all three, no?

Pretty much.

I wonder how much of the 'the other side does it too' stuff is actually true. Because one thing that stood out: in cases like this people did the math and saw clearly that democratic voters are conciously given less influence.

When it comes to republican accusations of gerrymandering hurled at democrats, I've not seen that yet. There's no examples of districts where republicans lose influence, and when you look at other reports, you ussually see there being a reason, like for instance a new neighbourhood having been constructed.

I don't think seeing cases of falsifying democracy this shameless versus unsupported accusations, is any bases to say 'both sides do it'.

harmonic:
This is why it is difficult to "reach across the isle", because these forums are oozing with blind faith in leftist ideology

No, it's because most forum members have a brain, and that makes it quite difficult to look at things evenly when the distribution of stupid in American politics seems to be about 95% republicans & other conservatives vs 5% democrats.

I mean, how on earth do you expect me to take a party seriously that watches conservatism fail at the economy for 50-60 years, and then goes 'clearly this was a good idea, let's get more of it', walk into statistics that say the US is the only western country without collective healthcare yet has the highest per capita cost and then go 'this system has made our country the worst on the planet, so it is clearly a good system and Obamacare is therefore evil', or state that rapists carry out the will of god, or the girlscouts are a satanic conspiracy?

To this date I have never, and I mean never even once, come across a political idea that was typically republican, or typically US conservative, that was a good idea that I could agree with.

Sometimes the way they go about things reminds of old videos of Janmaat, some guy in politics here. The guy had a tendency to start a normal statement, and then apparently snap right in the middle of a sentence, and start spewing the most dogmatic nonsense you'll ever have heard, ussually about 'the foreigners'. He literally made a speech about the government finances of that year that went "Chairman, I can agree with these proposals to cut the deficit, like the reduction of the regional subsidies, and the foreigners who are coming to our country in droves to steal our jobs and undermine the economy, and chairman, the regional subsidies have shown to be uneffective, so what is the government's response to this". It was downright schizofrenic at times, like a deranged conservative xenofobe and a somewhat sensible man shared the same mind at the same time.
(the adressing chairman thing: Dutch debating is formed in a way to all adress the chairman of the house like (s)he was an arbitrator, even when directly debating one another)

And I have the same impression about the republicans. Each time they get an idea (and sometimes they actually do, considering they do sometimes diagnose the existance of problems correctly), it's like the common sense gets shut off by the time their reasoning arrives at the point of formulating a solution, and they just grasp back to small government conservatism as a dogma.

farson135:

Jux:
Right, it's only there because I want to see it.

Tell me, did you take even a second to consider that this might not be racist? Or did you see the words, black and Republican and go on from there? I have seen no evidence whatsoever that what they did is racist in the slightest. If you have evidence you best present it. Otherwise you are talking out of your ass.

I'm sorry, did you read the article at all? Redistricting a bunch of minority voters and then adjourning in the honor of a Confederate figure? On MLK day of all days?

farson135:
But instead of attacking them for gerrymandering you attack them for racism. And people wonder why discourse is so fucked up. Instead of attacking them for something real you make up something to attack them for.

Want to attack them for gerrymandering? Go ahead. Gerrymandering is despicable. Racism is also pretty despicable. Can't see why I can't attack them on both counts. And since when is racism something made up? Are you telling me racism isn't real? Or just that you fail to see the racism? If you're blind to it, thats sad, but not my problem.

farson135:
So let me get this straight, you say racism at the drop of the hat and I call you out for it. Then you attack me for telling you off. That sounds fair.

Who is calling racism at the drop of a hat? I'm calling out racism where I see racism. Not jumping at shadows here dude, you're just obtuse.

farson135:
Let me put it to you simply, your argument is bullshit and you know it. You are demonizing people not for what they have done but for a thought crime that you want them to have committed. Attack them for gerrymandering and stop making up bullshit reasons to attack them.

Let me put it simply. This is where you fail in discourse. You accuse me of crying racism at the drop of the hat without evidence, except there is evidence that this event had some racist undertones. Just because you fail to acknowledge it doesn't mean it isn't there.

You then go on to accuse me of demonizing, where I haven't. I didn't delve into hyperbole here. That would be you. You attribute motives to me that aren't there. I don't want anyone to be racist, just so I can call them out on it.

Instead of laying out your reasons for why you don't think this act carries any racist undertones, when evidence for it has already been laid out, you simply reject what has been presented because you 'don't see it', then demand new evidence.

Helmholtz Watson:

Witty Name Here:

SonicWaffle:

...and you can't see how some people would support that?

To many people, the reality of politics is unimportant - the only thing that matters is that the other side must not gain power!

Unfortunately, those people are frequently becoming commonplace here in America.

I think it was GunsmithKitten that mentioned a group of "gay Republicans" saying they wouldn't care if they were "thrown in concentration camps, just so long as the Liberals don't win."

And as I have seen in this forum, there other people who support democrats that would feel the same way. They don't care what happens just as long as ze scary Republicans don't "win".

Scary being the right word. If the Republicans were more moderate and not theocratic, tea party nut jobs I think more centre left people wouldn't mind them in government.

Current republicans however? To quite yahtzee "I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot sanitised bargepole, held by someone else"

Let's be honest compared to the republicans, what's the worst you could see today's democrats doing?

The Gentleman:

Gorr:
Can someone tell me why you Americans doesn't like the idea of proportional election systems ?

It would solve all this crab overnight.

Of course proportional voting systems isn't perfect, you risk getting a very fragmented political landscape and a little less of "this is MY area's man/woman in congress". But overall this would be better than having this done every year, by who ever is in power.

Because the overly simplistic "one man, one vote" makes sense to them and they like the idea of having a "representative" even when he doesn't need to do shit because of the way the districts are made up of (under the best of circumstances, the worst being that they have to play to the base so they don't get primaried)?

Because the vote is taken from you if you have proportional voting? I get it, that the idea of have a "representative" is nice and all but the other thing I don't get.

Realitycrash:

The Gentleman:

Gorr:
Can someone tell me why you Americans doesn't like the idea of proportional election systems ?

It would solve all this crab overnight.

Of course proportional voting systems isn't perfect, you risk getting a very fragmented political landscape and a little less of "this is MY area's man/woman in congress". But overall this would be better than having this done every year, by who ever is in power.

Because the overly simplistic "one man, one vote" makes sense to them.

..I don't get this. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then Bush would have lost his second election. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then the Electoral Collage would be out on their asses. So..What do you mean?

The issue with the redistricting doesn't do too much to harm who wins the presidency it's all about proportional representation within a state and in the congress's lower the house of reps. This law screws with in state politics and proportional representation in the house. It's how the republicans kept their lead in the house of reps.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/republicans-gerrymandering-house-representatives-election-chart

So in a sense it's a great idea to make it so 50% win for dems and repubs have an equal split between representation but as far as governing that means there would basically be a 50 50 split in the house and every piece of legislation would be decided by a couple votes, that might force some cooperation. But at the same time you wouldn't actually be voting for any person just a party and that really disconnects people from their government and leaves it up to the party to decide.

Also to add redistricting is supposed to be done every 10 years, the reason the repubs are getting so much flack because they won it on the years that most states re draw their map ensuring they get around 10 years worth of dominance in the house. The only way to really avoid redistricting issues is by calling in an outside entity to do it, which some states do, of course the decisions made by those private entities will ALWAYS be called into question by everybody and their mother.

dmase:

Realitycrash:

The Gentleman:

Because the overly simplistic "one man, one vote" makes sense to them.

..I don't get this. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then Bush would have lost his second election. If it was truly one-man, one-vote then the Electoral Collage would be out on their asses. So..What do you mean?

The issue with the redistricting doesn't do too much to harm who wins the presidency it's all about proportional representation within a state and in the congress's lower the house of reps. This law screws with in state politics and proportional representation in the house. It's how the republicans kept their lead in the house of reps.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/republicans-gerrymandering-house-representatives-election-chart

So in a sense it's a great idea to make it so 50% win for dems and repubs have an equal split between representation but as far as governing that means there would basically be a 50 50 split in the house and every piece of legislation would be decided by a couple votes, that might force some cooperation. But at the same time you wouldn't actually be voting for any person just a party and that really disconnects people from their government and leaves it up to the party to decide.

And this is where I tune out.
What's wrong with voting for a party? A party is supposed to represent X views, and all those that are member of Y party and hold any positions in government should be trying to forward X views. Not their own views. Not Gods views. X views. I don't see how this disconnects people from their government. You can always form MORE parties, which in turn leads to coalitions, which leads to the lesser parties having to cut deals, but that's how a majority-system works.
Besides, not like individuals can't push for their own agendas, but their own agendas are supposed to fall in line with the views that said voters actually voted them into office for. If I'm a Rep and I say 'NO MORE TAXES', then I get voted into office, and I go 'Trololol, more taxes', then yeah, I am doing something wrong.

GunsmithKitten:
To my fellow Virginians...

image

It appears that we're trying to compete with Texas and Arizona again to decide who is the most blatantly hard right wing in the nation again. I hate it when we get this urge....

Excuse me, but we have Eric Cantor. I think we've won.

Anyway, I'm glad that both Sens. Kaine and Warner immediately put out notices about this--this would have been a bit of a nasty surprise otherwise.

Realitycrash:
[quote="dmase" post="528.399409.16380264"]
And this is where I tune out.
What's wrong with voting for a party? A party is supposed to represent X views, and all those that are member of Y party and hold any positions in government should be trying to forward X views. Not their own views. Not Gods views. X views. I don't see how this disconnects people from their government. You can always form MORE parties, which in turn leads to coalitions, which leads to the lesser parties having to cut deals, but that's how a majority-system works.
Besides, not like individuals can't push for their own agendas, but their own agendas are supposed to fall in line with the views that said voters actually voted them into office for. If I'm a Rep and I say 'NO MORE TAXES', then I get voted into office, and I go 'Trololol, more taxes', then yeah, I am doing something wrong.

Partisan politics, if it's just straight republican views vs democratic views there will never be a point where the government can pass anything. And you talk about minority parties but they wouldn't be able to get a foot hold in the new system, for example my state virginia had about 4 3rd party candidates, combined they got a total of 1.6% of the vote not enough to grant one seat in the house.(if you go by presidential data from 2012)

Other things in the structure of our government would need to change to allow for some type of coalition like a lot of other countries have, that and campaign finance reform.

So the democrats win 6 seats in one state those 6 reps then represent that state as a whole. That's a lot of territory to campaign in and it doesn't allow close proximity to the constituents for every politician in every part of the state. Then there is always the chance of one politician in the group screwing it up for the whole party in that state because he has one affair or says some stupid comment. My main point, the boundaries we set for our states(which won't change btw) are too large to do something like your suggesting and I feel like it would bring more problems than it would fix, but out of curiosity when a european country votes for the lower chamber of their legislative branch do they elect based on districts and politicians from that district or just vote for the party and then hand out political assignments based on party preference?

Then their are some cultural differences between america and many other prominent democracies, we love individualism. Our politicians are hero's or villains and we like putting a face to what we voted for. Another is that we probably have our representative number set to low at 435 while the UK has 650. The average size of a constituency in the UK is 70k while in america the average size of a congressional district is over 700k. I might be making a false comparison between constituency and congressional districts but I think that alone shows that we aren't set up to allow districts to work.

Karma168:

Let's be honest compared to the republicans, what's the worst you could see today's democrats doing?

To name a few, bailing out Wall Street and the car industry, using drones to kill innocent Pakistani people, and focusing on gay marriage[1] when we are billions in debt. One of my personal favorite is them giving Rush Limbaugh shit for berating a college student by calling her a slut, and yet having little to say about Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a cunt[2].

The Republicans are no saints, but the Democrats are not any better. They both have their issues.

[1] Though to be fair, Republicans focus too much on this subject as well
[2] Just to clarify, I'm not a fan of the women, I just don't think sexist insults are needed

dmase:

but out of curiosity when a european country votes for the lower chamber of their legislative branch do they elect based on districts and politicians from that district or just vote for the party and then hand out political assignments based on party preference?

I can only speak for my nation, of course. We have Communal (Smallest), Regional (Mid), National (Largest, duh). In both Communal and Regional, you can vote for persons, but they always belong to X party, and are still supposed to toe the party line, so to speak. But I've never met anyone who have known the difference between X and Y person from Pary Z, unless they have been active in the party itself (and I've never met anyone, that I know of anyway, that have been active in an established party, so I guess I've never met anyone who have known the difference ^^). Still, it's something.
So when election day rolls around, they ask you for three votes. Who do you want running your commune (Pretty much 'your city and surrounding area')? You get to vote for a party, and a person within the party who is to represent it. Who do you wish running your region (Can very roughly be compared to 'states'. They have no legislative power except for certain taxes, but they do have administrative power and gets to decide which communes get M amount of money and where to spend certain inter-communal funds, like infrastructure)? Same process as before.
Man or woman with most votes wins, and gets to represent their party. Then they get a number of votes in said Regions/Communes council in proportion to how many votes they got compared to the other guys (So if Party Z got 30%, the representative gets 3 votes out of 10, etc).
..Or they just fill it up with more representatives from said party. Like if Party Z gets 30% and thus 3 chairs, the 3 most popular representatives get to sit. Etc. I'm honestly a bit weak on the regional/communal functions.
At National level, you vote for parties. Then if the parties pick whoever sit in Congress (along with in Government), I honestly can't tell. I don't remember ever being asked about 'Who will you vote for Congress?'.

Realitycrash:
snipped

The thing is you still elect by district though, correct? So if district x gets over 50% of the vote for y party then y party picks a candidate.

In the US we kind of reverse what you do, the party picks the candidate the candidate then goes and campaigns for himself and the party in that district. So if i'm right in my first assumption that means are systems are technically the same, based on district votes, we just kind of do things out of order.

My assumption is that your country has something like the UK does, there is a federal agency that basically draws the map so that it makes sense. That I think is where the problem lies, in the US we don't do that, and of course there is the problem that I don't think we have enough representatives.

I don't think electing parties, before the politicians are chosen, would work in america because we have this asinine idea that we need to be able to have a beer with the guy we're voting for. And of course you can have a beer at a party but not with a party.

dmase:

Realitycrash:
snipped

The thing is you still elect by district though, correct? So if district x gets over 50% of the vote for y party then y party picks a candidate.

In the US we kind of reverse what you do, the party picks the candidate the candidate then goes and campaigns for himself and the party in that district. So if i'm right in my first assumption that means are systems are technically the same, based on district votes, we just kind of do things out of order.

My assumption is that your country has something like the UK does, there is a federal agency that basically draws the map so that it makes sense. That I think is where the problem lies, in the US we don't do that, and of course there is the problem that I don't think we have enough representatives.

I don't think electing parties, before the politicians are chosen, would work in america because we have this asinine idea that we need to be able to have a beer with the guy we're voting for. And of course you can have a beer at a party but not with a party.

I must admit that I am shamefully inadequate in my knowledge of my electoral system. It's something I think everyone in a nation should have knowledge of.
But what really sets our systems apart, according to me, are: No electoral college. More than one party (we have 9 atm). No Presidential Veto (The Prime Ministers job is to represent the government, and the government to administer the laws that Parliament makes).

Blablahb:
I wonder how much of the 'the other side does it too' stuff is actually true. Because one thing that stood out: in cases like this people did the math and saw clearly that democratic voters are conciously given less influence.

When it comes to republican accusations of gerrymandering hurled at democrats, I've not seen that yet. There's no examples of districts where republicans lose influence, and when you look at other reports, you ussually see there being a reason, like for instance a new neighbourhood having been constructed.

I don't think seeing cases of falsifying democracy this shameless versus unsupported accusations, is any bases to say 'both sides do it'.

Both sides do do it. If you are to deny that seriously, you are being as crazy as a 911 truther or other conspiracy nuts. How can you even say this with a straight face?

Blablahb:

harmonic:
This is why it is difficult to "reach across the isle", because these forums are oozing with blind faith in leftist ideology

No, it's because most forum members have a brain, and that makes it quite difficult to look at things evenly when the distribution of stupid in American politics seems to be about 95% republicans & other conservatives vs 5% democrats.

Yep, everyone who disagrees with you does so because they're stupid. Since you're apparently so much smarter than Americans, help us get more smarter like you and answer this next one for me.

Here's an issue with tampering with the democratic process that no one has brought up. Voter ID. Should not every vote be an actual US citizen, who isn't dead or a duplicate? Would that not ensure the most accurate representation of the voter base? Why is opposition to Voter ID exclusively from the Democrat party? Oh, right, I forgot, because of something to do with racism.

If you're against tampering with democracy, you should be for Voter ID.

farson135:

Revnak:

harmonic:
Those evil bastards. Man, when will they learn? Surely this has never happened in politics. Let's spent 30 seconds on google.

http://www.propublica.org/article/in-california-democrats-redistricting-strategy-paid-off
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/11/07/expert-redistricting-a-big-factor-in-democrats-wins-in-illinois/
http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/redistricting.htm
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/19/1162777/-AZ-Redistricting-The-Limits-of-a-Democratic-Gerrymander
http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/virginia-politics/general-assembly/schapiro-redistricting-ploy-empowers-out-of-power-democrats/article_58590608-4072-5440-b5fd-8c519dd11f93.html
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-21/news/ct-met-illinois-redistricting-lawsuit20110721_1_map-districts-redrawing-legislative-boundaries

I'm tired of coming up with increasingly sarcastic and mod wrath worthy responses to this post, so I'll go with this.

Why? What are you trying to say with this? If it's that Democrats gerrymander more, good luck, you're going to have a hard time proving that. If it's that it's okay because the other guys do it, well, I think we all know how terrible an argument that is. If it's to look for people who are willing to damn one side while ignoring identical actions their side engages in, realize you're going to just piss people off so that you can stroke your own ego. And in any case, you're missing much of the reason behind the outrage here. How blatant it is and how obviously racist it is.

Personally, I wish we have a discussion on redistricting and gerrymandering without the effort to call the GOP evil (or the Dems for that matter on other sites). The way you frame the discussion matters and the fact that the entire post begins by calling a group of Republicans evil without saying what they did says it all. Let's have a discussion where gerrymandering (or whatever topic) is the principle issue of discussion and not the one side that did it yesterday and got into the news for it. Is that too much to ask?

And I would trust that to be your intention if you made such a post, not that you would. You would explain yourself a bit better. And I totally agree with you, though I would also point out (again) that the reason for calling out this act in particular is because of how blatant and racist it is. It is exceptional.

LetalisK:

harmonic:

This place is swimming with hypocrisy. You act like Democrats never do this. You act like Democrats never do anything.

...he said to one of the more notable conservative posters here.

Just because our opinion is different than yours doesn't mean we can't be objective. Maybe you're the one with the messed up perspective.

Edit: And before Revnak stabs me in the gall bladder, he's a libertarian poster, not conservative. Point stands.

I would remove your heart and consume it to gain your courage. Also I am one of the more left leaning libertarians, so for this community I am roughly in the middle. Your point essentially stands though. I really am not invested in sides on this one.

harmonic:

Revnak:

I'm tired of coming up with increasingly sarcastic and mod wrath worthy responses to this post, so I'll go with this.

Why? What are you trying to say with this? If it's that Democrats gerrymander more, good luck, you're going to have a hard time proving that. If it's that it's okay because the other guys do it, well, I think we all know how terrible an argument that is. If it's to look for people who are willing to damn one side while ignoring identical actions their side engages in, realize you're going to just piss people off so that you can stroke your own ego. And in any case, you're missing much of the reason behind the outrage here. How blatant it is and how obviously racist it is.

I'm glad you were able to temper your response, as now it is just highly presumptive and paranoid.

This place is swimming with hypocrisy. You act like Democrats never do this. You act like Democrats never do anything. Just about every political scumbag move ignores party lines. This is why it is difficult to "reach across the isle", because these forums are oozing with blind faith in leftist ideology, and it doesn't matter what is done, only who does it. There is a legion of stereotypical party-line posters here, who have never, not once, demonstrated objectivity. This is why you invite posts like mine, because the saturday morning cartoon-like approach to politics is dangerous, juvenile, and exactly what the Machiavellian politician wants you to do.

I guess you quoted me to rant about the rest of the community? I do none of the things you mentioned. Thanks for cluttering up my inbox though. Also, with that you confirmed that you're going for purpose #3. And failing miserably as no one has fallen into the trap you set up. I am amused.
Edit- Oh wait, you hooked Blahb. And I am still amused.

farson135:

Racist undertones? Those undertones exist because you want to see them. I have a problem with this kind of hyperbole because it is completely unhelpful and it continues the trend of demonizing the other side (which helps nothing and makes things worse).

Point of order: The undertones in question aren't exactly imagined. Let's review, shall we?

Now, one could reasonably say that the fact that they took advantage of a black former civil rights lawyer's absence (due to his attendance of the first black president's second inaugeration) to be beside the point, and that's a pretty on-target criticism. At most, that's really just icing on the cake. The meat of the undertones come from the nature of the redistricting and how making the counties more 'republican friendly' was described by their own spokesmen as intended to create a 'major black district'...on Martin Luther King Jr. Day...and closed in memory of a Confederate General[1].

The most amusing coincidence of the matter, however, is the way this redistricting would have affected the electoral college during the presidential election[2], which would have netted President Obama only 4 of the state's 13 votes, despite winning the popular vote of the state by almost 150,000[3]. Now comes the 'fun' part with the math. Interpreting the electoral results (post gerrymandering) as truly proportionate would yield the conclusion that Obama only recieved 30.7% of the popular vote. Want to know what happens when we use the old 3/5 of a vote trick on Obama's voters? We are left with a result of 1,183,092 "full" votes in his favor, 31.2% of the original total voting pool (39.3% if we reduce the total votes by a similar proportion), which is scarily close (or even worse depending on which final tally you use). Mind you, I'd actually be surprised if this parallel actually was intentional, but lack of intent fails to make the parallel vanish.

Long story short, whether intentional or not there are a lot of details that - while they could be innocuous in and of themselves - add up to create some very strong racial undertones.

[1] Despite his military brilliance and fascinating quirks, that's not the kind of person you invoke on a holiday commemoraring a black Civil Rights Leader. Even after taking Hanlon's razor into account, it seems too much like intentional malice especially given the nature of the vote they bypassed and why that voter was absent
[2] Given Virginia's talk of changing the winner-take-all system into one where the various districts can allocate their votes separately
[3] Final tallies:
Obama: 1,971,820
Romney: 1,822,522
Total votes: 3,794,342

Revnak:

I guess you quoted me to rant about the rest of the community? I do none of the things you mentioned. Thanks for cluttering up my inbox though. Also, with that you confirmed that you're going for purpose #3. And failing miserably as no one has fallen into the trap you set up. I am amused.

And yet still, not surprisingly, you have said nothing of substance. Only spouted off typical internet tough-guy colloquialisms. Enjoy your amusement, I suppose.

harmonic:

Revnak:

I guess you quoted me to rant about the rest of the community? I do none of the things you mentioned. Thanks for cluttering up my inbox though. Also, with that you confirmed that you're going for purpose #3. And failing miserably as no one has fallen into the trap you set up. I am amused.

And yet still, not surprisingly, you have said nothing of substance. Only spouted off typical internet tough-guy colloquialisms. Enjoy your amusement, I suppose.

Sir, at no point did I threaten you or your loved ones with the terror of my hulk like strength. I never mentioned my imaginary guns or my very real broad swords or how I would be quite happy to show them to you. I am not an Internet tough guy. I just don't like you much. Your post history has dissapointed me. Also, if anyone has managed to spout off nothing of value, it's you. Everything I've posted in this thread has been me calling you on your bullshit, while you have been posting the bullshit. Yeah, I get it, both sides do it. Most people do. I do not understand why some people feel the need to jump into every thread about an issue and point out the obvious like that. And it doesn't suddenly make this act less bad. In fact, unless you can point a case as ridiculously racist and blatant as this one, it doesn't even make it look like this is normal. These guys don't need you to defend them. They need to be removed from office for being so backwards and so partisan.

harmonic:
Both sides do do it. If you are to deny that seriously, you are being as crazy as a 911 truther or other conspiracy nuts. How can you even say this with a straight face?

If that's true, you'll have no trouble giving me a few well-documented cases of changing electoral districts, that clearly benefitted the democrats.

So no vague ultra-conservative blogs, no changes to electoral districts of which the political consequences are unclear, only reall, clear cut cases of gerrymandering by the democrats.

Because like I said, I doubt that 'both sides do it'. I think the republicans do it, and the democrats get accused of it, but either don't, or hardly ever do. That link from the Mother Jones website however showed that republicans benefit from gerrymandering on a large scale.

The democratic party should have been aware of the bill being debated that day. The docket is created ahead of time. In most bodies, the docket can't be changed with a simple majority. Strange, or negligent on the part of that democratic legislator.

Jux:
I'm sorry, did you read the article at all?

Yes I did. Did you?

Redistricting a bunch of minority voters

Which is unusual how? Black people tend to vote democratic. Because of that as a group the districts they occupy in force tend to be gerrymandered in some way (whether for or against Dems/Republicans).

Most rural areas are gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. Should I call that classism?

then adjourning in the honor of a Confederate figure?

So? Not only is a he figure of the Confederacy he is also a Virginian hero. Plus he is world renowned as a military genius. How many great Virginians can you name? I am sure one of them is Stonewall Jackson.

On MLK day of all days?

So?

Want to attack them for gerrymandering? Go ahead. Gerrymandering is despicable. Racism is also pretty despicable. Can't see why I can't attack them on both counts.

It probably has something to do with the fact that the racism part is made up.

And since when is racism something made up? Are you telling me racism isn't real? Or just that you fail to see the racism? If you're blind to it, thats sad, but not my problem.

Strawman. You know damn well what I mean.

You accuse me of crying racism at the drop of the hat without evidence, except there is evidence that this event had some racist undertones.

Not a single bit of evidence.

You then go on to accuse me of demonizing, where I haven't.

Demonizing- Portray as wicked and threatening.

Instead of laying out your reasons for why you don't think this act carries any racist undertones, when evidence for it has already been laid out, you simply reject what has been presented because you 'don't see it', then demand new evidence.

You have not presented ANY evidence of racism.

Revnak:
And I would trust that to be your intention if you made such a post, not that you would. You would explain yourself a bit better.

I was referring to the first post on this topic (my post was poorly worded).

And I totally agree with you, though I would also point out (again) that the reason for calling out this act in particular is because of how blatant and racist it is. It is exceptional.

I do not see any blatant racism. I see gerrymandering.

Let us ignore race for a moment. What happened? A block of people who are likely to vote Democrat were put into districts by Republicans in such a way that hurt the Democrats ability to make that block's votes count the most. What is that? A textbook example of gerrymandering. If we add race back into the equation suddenly people call racism. Doesn't that seem a little screwed up?

Asita:
Now, one could reasonably say that the fact that they took advantage of a black former civil rights lawyer's absence (due to his attendance of the first black president's second inaugeration) to be beside the point, and that's a pretty on-target criticism. At most, that's really just icing on the cake.

Ok. At you admitted it (unlike some people).

The meat of the undertones come from the nature of the redistricting and how making the counties more 'republican friendly' was described by their own spokesmen as intended to create a 'major black district'

And that is different from regular gerrymandering how? Blacks typically vote for Dems. Putting as many of them into one district is one form of gerrymandering. This is standard practice. If these guys were not black would you care?

...on Martin Luther King Jr. Day...

And? It is just a day. Actually I take it back. It is more than just a day to those Republicans. Why? Because it is the one day that they gained enough of a majority to do what they wanted.

and closed in memory of a Confederate General

So what? You may think it is inappropriate but does that make it racist?

Personally I think even having an MLK day is inappropriate (mostly because I do not believe that MLK would want himself viewed as a demigod). That doesn't mean I view the celebration of MLK day as racist, just inappropriate.

The most amusing coincidence of the matter, however, is the way this redistricting would have affected the electoral college during the presidential election, which would have netted President Obama only 4 of the state's 13 votes, despite winning the popular vote of the state by almost 150,000. Now comes the 'fun' part with the math. Interpreting the electoral results (post gerrymandering) as truly proportionate would yield the conclusion that Obama only recieved 30.7% of the popular vote.

And this is different from regular gerrymandering how?

Long story short, whether intentional or not there are a lot of details that - while they could be innocuous in and of themselves - add up to create some very strong racial undertones.

It still looks like general purpose gerrymandering to me. The only difference is how it has been blown out of proportion.

The gerrymandering is obviously a big problem, especially when we look at the actual number of votes for Democrats versus the results in the House. I hope I remember this correctly, but the Democrats actually won by more than a million votes in the House, yet the Republicans held onto it by more than 30 seats. That's not democracy, that's rigging the system.
I'm amazed how easy it apparently is to do things like that and it all comes down again to the system of electoral delegates and first-past-the-post. If elections were won by a majority vote, as they should be, playing games with districts like this (and, on a larger scale, entire states that - almost - always fall Democratic or Republican) wouldn't be possible nor useful for the offending party. It's one of the fundamental flaws in the electoral system of the USA.
And yes, I don't just think this way in response to the particular issues of gerrymandering the Republicans have been so busy with but with the electoral college system in general. While Obama would've won the last election with "my" changes regardless (since he actually won the popular vote as well), I don't think the whole swing-state shit ("Ohio matters, almost no other states are of any relevance, yay!") should continue, nor should screwing around with districts within the states.
It's an ancient relict of a time when voting was limited by physical distances, when electoral delegates still made sense, and I don't understand why this awful, awful system is still held on to 200 years later, apart from traditionalism and, of course, power- and profit-considerations of the leaders who could change it.

Skeleon:
The gerrymandering is obviously a big problem, especially when we look at the actual number of votes for Democrats versus the results in the House. I hope I remember this correctly, but the Democrats actually won by more than a million votes in the House, yet the Republicans held onto it by more than 30 seats. That's not democracy, that's rigging the system.

That was 1 million out of 126 million votes, spread out across the entire US. If you look at the split you see differences of about 20,000 per state. That is not very significant. I know a lot of people in my district didn't even bother voting because most of the candidates were a lock no matter what. Hell, many of them ran unopposed. Most of those candidates were Republicans. In rural areas we tend not to see a drawn out fight. And rural areas tend to go Republican. And of course I did not see much enthusiasm by the Republicans. The Dems on the other hand were out in droves. You have to factor in voter turnout rates. And turnout rates were highest in contested areas that Obama won.

I am not saying that the US electoral system does not have problems. But the issue you brought up is a bit more complex than what Thinkprogress said it was.

harmonic:
Both sides do do it. If you are to deny that seriously, you are being as crazy as a 911 truther or other conspiracy nuts. How can you even say this with a straight face?

Democrats won the total number of votes for House of Representatives by a fairly wide margin. Yet they do not control the House of Representatives. Both sides do it? Assuming that's true, one side does it a hell of a lot more than the other. And it's not the one that won the Senate and Presidency but lost the House (which is most susceptible to gerrymandering.)

farson135:
That was 1 million out of 126 million votes, spread out across the entire US. If you look at the split you see differences of about 20,000 per state. That is not very significant.

You'd have a point if that meant equal representation more or less, reflecting the voter numbers. But that's not what it is, is it? The differences on a state-by-state level being so small makes it even more egregious if you think about it and the resulting difference due to gerrymandering, actually.

As for the rest of your post, well. Sounds like it would do voter turnout some good, then, doesn't it? That's exactly the problem: Candidates already being a "lock". What kind of election is it where little more than a handful of sub-elections matter?
What I'm saying is that you could get rid of making large swaths of the country, be they heavily Democratic or heavily Republican, basically irrelevant. I don't know why you'd find voters being irrelevant a good thing.
Especially if you remember that this is not just relevant for Democratic voters in rural, Republican-controlled areas being irrelevant, but that the same applies to Republican voters in Democratic keeps.
Their votes, too, are basically worthless and do not get counted, do net get adequate representation. How is that not a problem?
Unless - since due to gerrymandering it's more of an issue for Democrats not being fairly represented right now - you are okay with this as long as it benefits the Republicans. How would you see it if roles were reversed, though?

Getting rid of this outdated system would put a stop to a lot of the manipulation and lack of representation that the USA are dealing with on various levels. But as I said, this isn't going to happen because of the motives of the people in charge. They couldn't give a rat's ass about proper representation if it meant risking their own power.

farson135:

Asita:
Now, one could reasonably say that the fact that they took advantage of a black former civil rights lawyer's absence (due to his attendance of the first black president's second inaugeration) to be beside the point, and that's a pretty on-target criticism. At most, that's really just icing on the cake.

Ok. At you admitted it (unlike some people).

With all due respect, I think you need to step back and read what people are actually saying instead of what you want them to have said. Very few people have pointed to this particular detail as a primary point and it's disingenous to act as if they had.

farson135:

The meat of the undertones come from the nature of the redistricting and how making the counties more 'republican friendly' was described by their own spokesmen as intended to create a 'major black district'

And that is different from regular gerrymandering how? Blacks typically vote for Dems. Putting as many of them into one district is one form of gerrymandering. This is standard practice. If these guys were not black would you care?

Naturally. I despise the practice, as I feel it compromises the democratic process. I have to say though, the question is rather insulting on several levels, not the least of which is that you're using it to ask people to ignore the spokesman's own statement that there were racially aligned goals.

farson135:

...on Martin Luther King Jr. Day...

And? It is just a day. Actually I take it back. It is more than just a day to those Republicans. Why? Because it is the one day that they gained enough of a majority to do what they wanted.

Correction, it's a Federal Holiday and given its significance perhaps the single worst day of the year to specifically create a 'black district', bringing to mind the very segregation that Civil Rights leaders fought against.

farson135:

and closed in memory of a Confederate General

So what? You may think it is inappropriate but does that make it racist?

On its own? No. In this particular context? It really does come off as flipping the bird at African Americans.

farson135:
Personally I think even having an MLK day is inappropriate (mostly because I do not believe that MLK would want himself viewed as a demigod). That doesn't mean I view the celebration of MLK day as racist, just inappropriate.

Hyperbole doesn't help you here.

farson135:

The most amusing coincidence of the matter, however, is the way this redistricting would have affected the electoral college during the presidential election, which would have netted President Obama only 4 of the state's 13 votes, despite winning the popular vote of the state by almost 150,000. Now comes the 'fun' part with the math. Interpreting the electoral results (post gerrymandering) as truly proportionate would yield the conclusion that Obama only recieved 30.7% of the popular vote.

And this is different from regular gerrymandering how?

...Again, with all due respect, the question actually makes me wonder if you read the point at all. Given where you cut off what you quoted from me, however, I also find myself faced with suggesting that you intentionally ignored it. Which would indeed be perplexing given that I even made a point of noting that I found it very likely that this detail was coincidental, but that it still drew a very unfortunate parallel to old exceptionally racist legislature.

farson135:

Long story short, whether intentional or not there are a lot of details that - while they could be innocuous in and of themselves - add up to create some very strong racial undertones.

It still looks like general purpose gerrymandering to me. The only difference is how it has been blown out of proportion.

Actually, I think the crux of the issue is that you seem to be confusing the phrase 'racist undertones' with 'overt racism'. If I may, I'd like to help clarify that.

Undertone: Noun. An underlying quality, element or feeling. Something that suggests a particular idea or feeling without directly saying or showing it. It's subtext, intentional or otherwise.

This does not strike me as racist at all. It does however strike me as dishonest politics and opportunism. One could go on all day about how it was MLK Day, or that it was a Black Senator absent from the proceedings, but in the end they did it for one reason only; because it was a chance to help them win. That was it. It could have been any other day, or a white democrat may have been gone, doesn't matter. They saw a chance and they took it. The Democrats aren't much better in this respect, they just have better PR around here.

farson135:
-snip-

And, like I said before, its sad that you fail to see it, but not really my problem. I suppose they'd have to be lynching effigys of black people before you'd acknowledge any sort of racism. Oh well.

edit: Farson, my biggest problem with you isn't your views. Yea, I disagree with alot of them, but I disagree with alot of people that I still find personable. Your problem is that you tend to treat people with opposing viewpoints as if they didn't actually believe what they say, as if they pretend to hold some point for maneuvering in a debate or something.

Really, you don't know fuck all about me. And that you have the nerve to say 'you know your argument is bullshit' all the while lamenting the collapse of civil discourse is highly amusing in the 'did he really just say that?' sort of way.

Speaking as a Scandinavian who has been following US politics for the last decade, I don't get the "both sides do it" argument. True, the Democrats have done some stuff I really don't agree with, and I'd like to have a long discussion with Obama about drone strikes, but still when it comes to political douchebaggery the congressional republicans have been in a league of their own.

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