Now that Barack Obama is the official and non-recountable winner in Scott-land, let’s fast-forward to the next bundle of mischief the Republicans are going to unleash on citizen innocents from here to the mid-terms. Like a jumping bean on Meth, far-right dirty tricksters are incapable of taking a break from their treachery of cutting Democrats off at the knees.
The red states are going to be the busiest of little bees (jumping beans?) in the continued creation of their latest political depravity. Here’s one tactic that is a favorite of Ohio’s radical right Secretary of State, Jon Husted, arguably the most partisan state politician in the nation.
This is Jon’s proposal as forwarded to me by an Ohio Professor-Emeritus friend of mine. A little background (spoiler alert: this could be a tad boring). Redistricting takes place every 10 years, right after the Census. The object is to make the population of each district roughly the same, but it’s really little more than establishing political advantage for the party in power. Most legislatures are the majordomos in the process, though they pretend to listen to input from others. The aforementioned Professor and I were both on an Ohio state commission (called a Politician Commission) for 2000 census redistricting. He had a brilliant and extremely fair apportionment idea that I, alone, supported.
As I’ve already explained, the party in power draws up the districts through states and/or commissions to favor their continued power to the greatest extent possible. Back to Husted. Here’s what Jon wants to do as tracked by the Daily Kos Meteor Blades from its origins at Plunderbund, a blog self-described as focusing on Ohio and national politics.
According to the above sources, and I’m quoting here, “The winner of each congressional district is awarded the districts electoral vote.” End quote.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, 48 of our states follow the winner-take-all model. In other words, if you win the state’s popular vote, you win the state’s electoral votes. You’ll recall from an earlier submission, electoral votes are 2 automatic votes representing the number of Senators in Congress from the state (the same for each state) added to the number of House Congressional Representatives. Slicing up Florida’s Electoral votes for instance; 27 House members + 2 Senators = 29 Electoral votes.
Here’s what would have happened if the Husted proposal had been in force. A Romney victory in a given district, would have given that district’s electoral vote to Mitt, so instead of Obama’s winner-take-all victory, the electoral votes would be split. In Florida Romney won 17 electoral votes, but not the popular vote. Even if the majority of the state’s voters didn’t vote for Romney, he’d still be given electoral credit for the districts he did win. Those would be added to the national total. Capisce?
Here’s the real world example of what would have happened in Presidential Election 2012. Obama would be a one-term President. Plunderbund provides a useful analysis. The most critical state, Ohio, actually would break down district-wise to award Romney a 12-6 electoral advantage, the popular vote be damned. Other states Obama won, but would lose under Husted’s plan, would be Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Lump those states together with their split electoral votes and you get a President Mitt-Witt as the vote breaks at exactly the required number of Electoral votes; 270. The proposal would also have had a dramatic pro-Republican impact on House seats.
Look for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to dive right in the middle of this one in Ohio and numerous other red state legislatures.
Another ongoing piece of election-era devilry is the never-ending pilfering of Democratic yard signs. This is not to say that Democrats aren’t given to the same misdeed from time to time, but real and anecdotal accounts from 2012, give the Republicans a big edge in this department. In my neck of the woods, and I do effectively live in the woods with my wildlife neighbors of deer, coyotes, Southern Black Racers, copperheads, fire ants, black widows, lizards, squirrels and chipmunks sharing my nature-nurtured abode, I heard repeatedly of the theft of Obama signs.
Observant Democrats estimated that there was about a 20-1 ratio in stolen Obama signs to pilfered Romney signs. Ride down virtually any road, city, country or otherwise and Obama signs were rarer than an eighty-year-old at a One Direction concert.
So, let’s all agree that Upstate South Carolina wing-nuts have little patience for freedom of political expression via yard-moored, printed matter supported by wires. It’s likely that, after a clump of female refusals to their Bud-induced overtures for a fling, the disappointed and slightly hammered red neck pulls his ’94’ Dakota up to the nearest Obama yard sign and proceeds to tug it out of the ground and toss it in the bed. He probably made a few more stops before weaving back home.
There are ways of, shall I say, ‘discouraging’ such behaviors. Some are downright nasty and dangerous. I’ve heard of people wiring up signs and shocking would-be thieves. Not cool. Don’t do anything to hurt the misguided dunces. There are too many other fun ways to teach this anti-first amendment boob a lesson. I actually got some tips from a blog dedicated to not getting mad, but getting even. White wheel bearing grease was mentioned prominently. Then there was Vaseline, though its vulnerable to the sun; pepper oils purportedly work better. Somebody suggested a spray of lithium grease.
There are cameras (trail, deer, game etc.) you can secret on the property or in your house or outbuilding to catch the bad guy in the act. I sort of like the idea of rigging up a security alarm of some kind, so when he makes the first grab all hell breaks loose. By all means get the license plate number, sic the gendarmes on the perp and press charges. I would also think about “theft-proofing” signs if there is such a thing. I guess if your window is close enough to the street, that would work. Or a roof sign or something way up in a tree that could still be seen. At least the purloiner risks life and limb for the illicit climb.
For you rare Democratic 1 percenters, hire a couple of ex-Seals in full charcoal night-camo and armed with NVD’s, to hide in the weeds, grab the guy, cuff him and carry him off to the pokey.
Bottom line. Stay on top of all the upcoming inevitable political and constitutional vandalism from the Republican Party and its legislators. Obama’s win has made them really mad.