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Bloggings: The GOP is trying to rig the 2012 election. What does this mean for immigrant rights?

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This will continue my comment in the September 19 ID about the Republican assault on minority voting rights and its effect on immigration. Harold Meyerson has written an article on the Washington Post website, dated September 20, called: "The GOP is trying to rig the 2012 election". It discusses a proposal by Pennsylvania Republicans to split the state's electoral vote in the 2012 election according to Congressional district, rather than following the "winner take all" method used in almost all other states. 

Like most states, Pennsylvania is heavily gerrymandered, with 8 of its 12 Congressional districts solidly Republican. This means that no matter how the vote went in that state, even if there were a huge turnout for the Democrats in Philadelphia or other cities with large numbers of minority voters, the Republicans would still win the state's electoral vote count by a 2-1 margin. There are reports of similar proposals by Republicans in other states that are normally Democratic or swing states, but, like Pennsylvania, now have Republican legislatures and governors. Of course, there are no proposals to change the voting system in states that are already solidly Republican.

This radical perversion of democracy would render the votes of minority and less affluent Americans meaningless and make it virtually impossible for the Democrats ever to capture the White House again. Barack Obama might go down in history as America's last Democratic president. America could become an oligarchy ruled by affluent whites, in which minorities, middle class and working class Americans would have no voice.

This death of American democracy could quickly lead to the closing of America's borders against most or all non-white immigrants and the expulsion of a large number of those who are already in this country. It could also lead, sooner or later, to changing the Constitution to abolish the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright US citzenship for all children born in the US and replacing it by a system based on the citizenship or immigration status of their parents.

This would, in effect, bring about a whites only birthright citizenship policy, just as the dissenting Justices in the landmark 1898 Supreme Court Wong Kim Ark case, upon which the doctrine of universal birthright citizenship depends, advocated. There are two warnings in this. First, it is suicidal for the Obama adminsitration to continue its policy of ethnic cleansing and mass expulsion of minority immigrants though Orwellian programs such as "Secure Communities". This only ensures that minority Democratic voters will stay home next November, or vote Republican out of protest (if they are allowed to vote at all).

Second, it is equally suicidal for the pro-immigration community to look at immigration as only an issue by itself without taking into account the larger war against all minorities. The current attempts to restrict legal immigration while engaging in mass expulsion of minority unauthorized immigrants, conducted by an African-American Democratic president who is engaging in cheap and cynical pandering for white Republican votes, are not only terrible politics. They could put American democracy itself in great danger.





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  1. Miss Mario's Avatar
    I think that portioning the allocation of the electoral college vote by congressional district is a good idea. Even if you think PA's districts are 'gerrymandered' the fact is that most of the congressional districts are apportioned in a non-logical, somewhat gerrymandered fashion. Take a look at some of the districts in Georgia or North Carolina. Doing this gives the individual voters more of a say than they do with the winner take all system. It is actually CLOSER to the popular vote election of the president rather than the better representation of the lower populated states as was the intent of the founders who set up the Electoral College system in the Constitution. The fact is, Maine & Nebraska already allocate their electoral votes this way, and there's no talk that this practice in these smaller states "undermines" the system. PA's 20 votes have been given to the democrat candidate in the winner take all system, in every Presidential election since 1988,and now there's a threat that the votes will not all go to a democrat. This is the main reason that the editorial writer on the Times made the unfounded accusation that the proposal "undermines" the system.
  2. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Miss Mario, there might not be as much of a problem if the Pennsylvania proposal were made to apply uniformly to every state across the board, because then at least the votes would be counted the same way throughout the whole country. But what the Republicans are trying to do is split up the electoral votes by Congressional district in Democratic or swing states, while preserving winner take all in large, solidly Republican states such as Texas and many others.

    There is a phrase for that: Heads I win. Tails you lose.

    If the Republicans propose the same way of counting for Texas, Alabama, Georgia and all the other solidly red states that they are proposing for normally blue states like Pennsylvania, then I would believe in their good faith. Of course, that will happen when elephants fly.

    The best solution, of course, would be to abolish the electoral college completely. But in that case, America would be a democracy - bad news for the Republicans, who are also trying to keep minority and less affluent voters away from the polls by imposing unnecessary photo ID requirements, putting an end to early voting, and other unconscionable tricks. The GOP seems to be scared that it would lose even a rigged election if everyone eligible were allowed to exercise the right to vote on which our democracy depends.
  3. Miss Mario's Avatar
    Then you are not a proponent of states' rights, I take it. This is a matter (apportionment of the electoral college votes) that is properly left to the states.
  4. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Please spare us the hypocrisy, Miss Mario. We are talking about a national election and a national Republican strategy to rig the national results. If winner take all is such a bad idea for Pennsylvania, why is it such a good one for Texas? The only difference is in who the Republicans think will win the popular vote.
  5. Miss Mario's Avatar
    And you need to reread the constitution -- and the dictionary with it. At least I live in PA and can have influence over this issue, and I think we could prevail. And it is a good idea if you truly believe in the popular vote! I see you can't have a civil discourse so I'll say goodbye. It's not nice to baldly state that you believe me to be a hypocrite. Typical tactic when you truly don't have a valid argument or factual basis.
  6. Roger Algase's Avatar
    If you can explain why you support changing the voting system to dilute or nullify the votes of Democrats in Pennsylvania but not Republicans in Texas, I will retract my hypocrite statement. We are not talking here about what states may be allowed to do under the Constitution; we are talking about what you think they should do.?

    If diluting Democratic votes, especially if they are the majority in your state (where one of my own children lives and the other used to live until moving elsewhere very recently - why shouldnt their Democratic votes count just as much as your Republican one?) is such a good idea, why is it a bad idea to dilute Republican votes in Texas, Georgia or South Carolina?
  7. Matthew L. Kolken's Avatar
    All I know is that the current "broken" immigration law was signed by Clinton, and Obama is on pace to deport more people in one term than Bush did in two. Moreover, 50% of all federal criminal prosecutions under Obama are for unlawful reentry. Obama is essentially criminalizing the act of being undocumented so he can claim that he is deporting "serious criminal." The reality is that a significant percentage of the 1 million people Obama has already deported are not criminals at all, and are merely victims of racial profiling.

    With Democrats like that who needs enemies.
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