Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 6, 2008.
that's the dirty secret of American politics. Hyper-partisanship is only coming from one side.
Basically, you want them to be Democrats.
You shouldn't have to be a Democrat to
* accept science* give people privacy and respect and tolerate people who are different from you* be pragmatic* try to work within the international community instead of starting stupid wars* not be hyper-partisan
For example, I could have voted for Jon Huntsman in 2012. And we could have had a REAL debate on tax reform and entitlement reform.
i mean why do we even need an opposition party at all? all they do is oppose things and have different views and stuff. i mean son of a batch of cookie dough!
But I want a healthy Republican Party that genuinely challenges the Democrats!
With the opposition being led by people like Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin for the last 4 years, the Democrats have gotten worse too.
i mean son of a botched rescue attempt!!!
Ted Cruz, whom all signs are pointing to will run for President, is one of the clearest examples of the obstructionism of the GOP and how they're the main roadblock for anything substantial to happen in Congress. He's throwing what appears to be a temper tantrum over the conference to reconcile the House & Senate budgets because he ... wait for it ... is insisting that taxes nor the debt ceiling are allowed to be raised in the process. Which is completely outside of the rules of the Senate, which Reid has to explain to him.
By all rights, the Democrats SHOULD BE the right-wing opposition party.
Presumably he means the Democrats are already right of centre and there should be an actual left opposition.
But what would that opposition even look like in America? For our political system, and especially because of the South/Appalachia/Mormonland, the national Democrats are about as liberal as they can possibly be.
That may be true, but one of the main barriers keeping the Republicans in power (and many Democrats having to be center-left) is how we apportion our representatives. Gerrymandering is keeping the gravel in Boehner's hand at this point and will continue to do so.
Gerrymandering cuts both ways. There are numerous Democrats that are only in office because of highly gerrymandered districts, too.
In reality, the structural issue is more in the population distribution across the nation, rather than just the shape of individual districts. Urban areas tend to lean more towards the Democrats, but there's a lot more rural area out there. There have also been a lot of restrictions (like the Voting Rights Act leading to "majority minority" districts) that play even more into a lot of the gerrymandering.
Personally, I would prefer to simply develop an algorithm that makes each district within a state as close to equal population and as compact in area as possible, and then use an automated process to determine what the actual district boundaries are. I would then only allow minor variations to allow for things like geographical boundaries (such as not splitting a district between Virginia's mainland and the Eastern Shore, if possible).
Both sides go along with gerrymandering because both sides profit from it, and both sides have maintained control of Congress because of it. Or have you forgotten how long the Democrats controlled the House before 1994?
Well, yes, but gerrymandering disproportionately helps Republicans currently. And many of those solid-Democratic seats are because the GOP created them to group to mitigate their losses (and of course Dems do the same). The Democrats received somewhere around a million more in House seats than the Republicans in 2012 but still are in the minority but quite a few.
Historically speaking, but I was referring to the current political climate as the current political landscape is completely different. The GOP has won the popular vote for President once since 1988 and, without heavy gerrymandering by GOP state legislatures, wouldn't control either house of Congress.
Why pick 1988 as your reference year? Why not 2000, or 1980? After all, the republicans have won a majority of the popular vote in 4 of the elections since 1980, while the Democrats have only won a majority of the popular vote in 3 elections since 1980. (Clinton never won a majority of the popular vote. His totals were 43.0% and 49.2% in 1992 and 1996, respectively.)
If gerrymandering is the cause of the Republicans' majority, then how did the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress in 2006? They won 233 seats (a bigger majority than the Republicans had at any time between 1994 and 2004), and expanded that majority to 257 in 2008. The largest majority that the Republicans have had in the last 50 years was 2010, and now they are down to their second highest (barely above the Democrats' 2006 total).
The census did redraw the lines in 2010, so 2006 wasn't operating on the same map. I'm not sure how much of a difference it made, but I believe it did alter it at least slightly for the Republicans.
I didn't say it's impossible for the Democrats to win; just that it's one of the main reasons the GOP has retained control of the House and is likely to do so. They could theoretically take back the House in 2014 or 2016 etc. if there is a landslide.
The census redistricting didn't take effect until 2012. The 2010 districts were the same as the 2008 and 2006 ones. The Democrats losses from their highest majority in decades (2008) to a minority (2010) can't be attributed to gerrymandering.
Yes, I know that, I was comparing 2006 to 2012.
I've never said that gerrymandered districts are the only factor in determining the House. Bush-fatigue and some very centrist candidates helped the Democrats win in 2006 and the Tea Party grassroots movement and good PR helped the Republicans swing in 2010. But it's certainly a major reason why the Boehner retains the Speakership and likely will in the future.
Right, not gerrymandering, just the economy.
The non - recovery of the economy didn't help, but gerrymandering played a factor in it.
These are the apportioned House seats in swing states that Obama won twice (the last two only once):
Pennsylvania: 13 Republicans to 5 Democrats
Florida: 17 to 10
Ohio: 12 to 4
Michigan: 9 to 5
Virginia: 8 to 3
Wisconsin: 5 to 3
Colorado: 4 to 3
Nevada & Iowa: 2 to 2
Indiana: 7 to 2
North Carolina: 9 to 4
Correlation may not be causation, but it's hard to look at those numbers and deny that gerrymandering is keeping the Republicans alive in the House. Yes, it's not the sole factor as it's not perfect, as the economy, extremely good PR (GOP in 2010), and presidential fatigue (2006) can override the lines.
Of course all politics is local, but those numbers speak for themselves: 2 of the "swing states" that Obama won at least once are tied while the other 9 go to the GOP. Even if you factor out Indiana & NC, the Democrats hold 33% of the House seats in the swing states that Obama won twice and 27% in the remaining two states he won once (and he came very close to winning NC again).
The Democrats currently trail by 32 seats in the House. In those double-Obama-win-swing-states, the Democrats hold 35 less seats than the GOP (72 to 37).
I'm also not saying it's wrong or a scandal or something to deplore or a Republican conspiracy. The Democrats have taken advantage of it as well. It's part of politics. But your 'Democrats hold some seats because of gerrymandering' or 'Democrats won the House in 2006' claims are just kind of hollow.
I don't see how that's hard to not agree with. Who wins the governor's race doesn't involve any capability for gerrymandering, and of the 11 states that you'd mentioned, every state except Colorado currently has a Republican governor, as well. I would contend that how the Republican party is doing on a local level is more reflected in congressional races, where people may not know much about the person, or know them from local politics, vs the federal level, where there might not be that same connection.
Now, I'm not saying it CAN'T be, just that there's so many variables in here that I don't think that shallow a look at it can really let things be sorted out. It really needs proper and thorough analysis to draw conclusions.
I'm not saying the Republicans can't and don't win in those states. They, of late, tend to do better in local races even.
The entire point of those states was that they are the "swing" states (at least recently). All voted for Obama twice (except two) but tend to split their Senators/Governors between the two parties. And yet their House seats all heavily go to the GOP. The Democrats don't even have a majority in a single one of those states' House allotments. Not to mention that the Republican governors you pointed out are the ones who drew the 2012 lines to begin with.
I think those numbers simply show the effect of gerrymandered districts on House apportionment.
Again, there are many factors that go into each race. And I'm not trying to trump up gerrymandering as a scandal. But I guess I'm just not seeing how those numbers don't show that it's helping the GOP retain the House.
the GOP re-drew congressional district lines and cheated their way into the majority of the house...
It wouldn't make sense that the democrats won the popular election but lost the House, who would you vote for a democrat president but than not vote for a democrat controlled house. Its nonsensical..
Not always. The Senate and Presidential candidates are usually off by a point or two (at least).