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Old July 7th, 2013, 05:27 AM   #1
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Republicans control House by gerrymandering and not the will of the people

The will of the people has been suppressed by Republican Gerrymandering

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. Study: Republican Gerrymandering Cost Democrats 1.7 Million Votes In Just 7 States

By Ian Millhiser on Feb 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

As ThinkProgress previously reported, Republicans so effectively gerrymandered congressional maps before the 2012 election that Democratic House candidates would need to win the national popular vote by over 7 points in order to win back the House. Last November, the American people preferred Democratic House candidates to Republican House candidates by almost 1.4 million votes, yet Republicans still hold a substantial House majority due in large part to partisan gerrymandering.

A new study by Princeton molecular biologist and neuroscientist Sam Wang digs deeper into the effect of the Republican gerrymander, and finds that the gerrymanders in seven states were so powerful that they are the equivalent of 1.7 million Democrats simply deciding not to show up at the polls:

[G]errymandering is a major form of disenfranchisement. In the seven states where Republicans redrew the districts, 16.7 million votes were cast for Republicans and 16.4 million votes were cast for Democrats. This elected 73 Republicans and 34 Democrats. Given the average percentage of the vote it takes to elect representatives elsewhere in the country, that combination would normally require only 14.7 million Democratic votes. Or put another way, 1.7 million votes (16.4 minus 14.7) were effectively packed into Democratic districts and wasted.

Such gerrymanders can exist because five conservative justices refused to block partisan redistricting in a case called Vieth v. Jubelirer.
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/201...tes/?mobile=wt
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:12 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
The will of the people has been suppressed by Republican Gerrymandering



Study: Republican Gerrymandering Cost Democrats 1.7 Million Votes In Just 7 States | ThinkProgress
Another fine pieced of copy and paste propaganda by Camelot. Neither Camelot nor the propaganda site, thinkprogress, can explain or defend this bleating and moaning piece fraught with lies and kindergarten perception of the political world.

I know that when I want a political and scientific explanation about how congressional districts and voter saturation operates, I turn to thinkprogress and a molecular biologist and neuroscientist for answers rather than someone who is actually educated in political science.


If you want to copy and paste propaganda that makes the statement that Republicans won in 2012 because of gerrymandered districts, then you will need to produce evidence that the elections were won as the result of gerrymandering. You will have to go much deeper than just an anecdotal result based on a district being realigned and the end election result.

That means evidence, not anecdotal bias that excluded the most fundamental basics of political science and congressional districts and voter saturation in urban areas.

For starters, why didn’t your scientist/propagandist mention the impact of the incumbency resulting from the 2010 election where Republicans, in my best propaganda description, mopped the floor with the Democrats in an unprecedented win from local to national offices, and built-in 5% advantage that incumbents have? Or that the actual polls showed a 5% advantage as well leading up to the election.

The 2010 election produced 700 state legislative seats won by the Republican Party, and thus giving the Republicans 700 incumbents in the 2012 elections. Perhaps if you researched the history on the effectiveness of running as an incumbent, you would not have to rely on left wing websites for formulate your opinions. Your article, which was dripping with bias and nonexistent math, statistics, and political science, honed in on only the redistricting only.

The math dictates why Republicans received 16.7 million votes and Democrats received 16.4 million votes, but the Republicans won 73 seats and the Democrats won only 34 seats.

Take Michigan and Pennsylvania for example: contrary to the uneducated methodology of your article, democratic voters are disproportionately concentrated in urban areas. The Republicans on the other hand are spread over the entire states rather than concentrated in urban areas, thus being spread over more congressional districts. Redistricting, if it had an impact, was negligible.

This is why the total vote can be higher in the aggregate for one party in a state, and have a disproportionately result in seats won. There are x amount of democratic votes in a given state, and they are cast in urban areas that represent only a few of the seats in any given state. This is why the democrats have performed well in the statewide Senate races. The democrats rely on nonwhite voters as well, and they are concentrated in the urban areas.

For the jejune:
State X has 12 million Democratic voters, with 11.5 million living primarily in urban areas, and 10 million Republican voters, and 9.5 million living primarily in the rural areas. State X has 14 congressional districts spread out over 3 urban areas and the rural areas of the state. Five congressional seats are in the 3 urban areas, and 11 congressional seats are in rural areas. It is simple to understand how the Democrats could cast 12 million votes in state X, and the Republicans could cast10 million votes in state X and win 8 seats and the Democrats only 6 seats.
Also, this piece by the scientist/propagandist never mentioned that the states that use nonpartisan commissions to redraw the district lines did not fare well either for Democrats.

Why did this happen: it is a matter of geography rather than gerrymandering. The enemy is the concentration of the vote, not the total vote that the article misrepresented. Democratic voters living in urban areas only will generally result in the disparity seen in 2010 and 2012 between the total vote and the seats won.

Actual political science and evidence will trump an article pregnant with blatantly biased anecdotal musings every time.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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Tell it to the Republican judges

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. Republicans Found Guilty of Partisan Unconstitutional Gerrymandering - Refuse To Fix


The Federal panel of two Republican-appointed judges and one Democrat-appointed judge overseeing the gerrymandering case against the Republicans found that they unconstitutionally gerrymandered Wisconsin districts strictly for partisan gain, and they have ordered at least a portion of the maps fixed before any of the new maps can be used. The Republicans had already been ordered by the court to reveal their secret emails which showed they signed agreements to keep secret the maps and discussions that took place at a private attorney's office through intimidation, and the emails also showed that the Republicans orchestrated public testimony in favor of the maps. The judges had already given the Republicans a chance to fix their gerrymandering, but Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald refused.

The Republicans have already wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money trying to protect their illegal gerrymandering. The panel said, "Regrettably, like many other states, Wisconsin chose a sharply partisan methodology that has cost the state in dollars, time and civility." And Fitzgerald wants to waste far more by refusing to fix their gerrymandering. He said there is "not a chance" they will be willing to fix their gerrymandering.

The Democrats are pleading on the side of Wisconsin citizens to fix the gerrymandering. Senate Democrat Leader Mark Miller said, "It is ridiculous that Republicans would ignore a court order to fix an unlawful map. Maybe they should sleep on it," and Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said, "We need to immediately begin to redraw the maps in a manner that is fully open and transparent and does not, in the words of the court, 'needlessly move' more than a million citizens of Wisconsin."

If the Republicans are unwilling to fix their gerrymandering, Wisconsin taxpayers will likely pay millions of dollars to get maps through the courts. Tell the Republicans to stop wasting taxpayer money and fix their illegal gerrymandering!

The judges began their decision with, "There was once a time when Wisconsin was famous for its courtesy and its tradition of good government."
http://publius9.blogspot.com/2012/03...-partisan.html
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:34 AM   #4
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I'm amused that the loony left think that only Republicans engage in gerrymandering. But then, when you are a low information sheeple whose only forte is cutting and pasting from leftist websites and parroting idiot leftist talking points, this should come as no surprise.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
As I stated, gerrymandering happens on both sides, but is affect on the 2012 elections were negligible. Also, the case is moot after the court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. And your propaganda piece and its sensational headline Republicans Found Guilty of Partisan Unconstitutional Gerrymandering is complete illiteracy. There is no guilt or innocence in these reviews of the Voting Rights Act. The same thing happened in Texas, and the same day as the ruling, the implemented the redistricting. The redistricting that had to be approved by the federal government were onerous and advantage to minorities instead of being fair.

Now you can go back to the internet for another round.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 07:53 AM   #6
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In the long term, Republican dishonesty comes back to haunt Republicans

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. Has gerrymandering backfired on Republicans? - The Week

There would appear to be few drawbacks to locking up a durable majority in the House, which was what the GOP accomplished in once-in-a-decade redistricting that followed the 2010 census. But Alex Isenstadt at Politico touched off a debate this week by noting that, while the creation of a string of "ruby red districts" will keep Republicans in control of the lower chamber through 2014 and possibly even 2020, "the party could pay a steep price for that dominance."

GOP strategists and candidates are reportedly warning that the overwhelming conservative majorities in these gerrymandered districts make primary battles tougher to win than general elections. That, Isenstadt said, is "pushing House Republicans further to the right and narrowing the party's appeal at a time when some GOP leaders say its future rests on the opposite happening."

If you're looking for a root cause of the recurring drama within the House Republican Conference — from the surprise meltdown on the farm bill to the looming showdown over immigration reform — the increasingly conservative makeup of those districts is a good place to start. [Politico]

Robert Schlesinger at U.S. News & World Report agreed, arguing that the GOP's success in the last round of redistricting, which created an estimated 200 safe GOP districts in the 435-member House, was "proving Pyrrhic." Some conservatives think their challenge is not wooing moderates but more forcefully making the case for their own beliefs, but even some hardline Tea Party politicians are starting to recognize that their views aren't going over too well, even in some safe GOP districts. "That's a real problem for Republicans and it's one their redistricting success is only exacerbating," said Schlesinger.

Of course, carving out safe districts is a "two-way street," Sean Trende pointed out at Real Clear Politics. Democratic-controlled state legislatures also engaged in gerrymandering, leaving both parties with supporters concentrated in safe districts. Furthermore, Trende argued that it is wrong to conclude that the proliferation of safe districts is what's driving the two sides farther apart, noting that the Senate is as bitterly divided as the House.

The real underlying cause of the increasingly stark ideological divide in Congress, Trende said, is something more complex:

We have an ideologically polarized House and Senate because our country has become politically more polarized... Both parties are nearing historic lows in their approval ratings with the American people, although Democrats are faring a touch better than Republicans. Polarization is a boon to neither party. But it's being driven primarily by shifts in the country, not by gerrymandering. [Real Clear Politics]
http://theweek.com/article/index/246...n-republicans#
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Old July 7th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
In the long term, Republican dishonesty comes back to haunt Republicans



Has gerrymandering backfired on Republicans? - The Week
You truly are too infected with a malignant ideology to even take the time to write out a response. I do often wonder why you venture into arguments with zero knowledge of a subject matter; for example the string of lies you produced as facts: West, Texas fertilizer plant built in the middle of schools and town, and Bush did not pardon death row inmates, etc., etc.

So from a left wing source since your contributing value is less than zero to take the time to write out a response:

Gerrymanders didn't cost Democrats the House

Quote:

Liberals are keenly aware that Democratic candidates received more votes for the House of Representatives than did Republican candidates, but of course Republicans retained a fairly healthy margin (which looks as if it will be 234-201 when all the votes are finally counted). Moreover, liberals have a likely cause: vicious partisan gerrymanders by Republicans, especially Republican majorities elected in the 2010 landslide.

A reasonable theory… but the overall evidence apparently doesn’t support it. Political scientist Eric McGhee ran the numbers and discovered that Democrats probably would have done better, but not much better, using the old districts.

If it’s not gerrymanders, what is it? Probably a combination of incumbency helping keep any majority party in the House in place, plus inefficient distribution of where Democrats live. As McGhee says, Democrats “ ‘waste’ votes on huge margins [in cities], when the party could put many of those votes to better use in marginal seats.”

Granted, for some the bottom line is still that there were more votes for Democrats than for Republicans. For others, all that really matters is who was elected, not national totals, which (just like the national vote for president) don’t really matter and which no one is directly attempting to maximize anyway. And those who believe that districting should be done by nonpartisan groups can make that case regardless of the particular circumstances of the 2012 outcome.

Still, it’s worth getting these things right. Hey, liberals, feel free to brag about those national vote totals all you want but don’t blame partisan gerrymanders for the Democratic minority in the House. We’ll get more analysis over time, but for now the evidence is what it is.

And yes: This is probably a good test of whether liberals only embrace what political scientists say when it’s convenient. Early returns? Test passed.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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John Dean thinks Republicans are violating the intentions of the Constitution

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. Republicans’ Ongoing Desperation: | John Dean

Week after week, month after month, I have been using this space to publicly discuss the troubling activities and actions of my former tribe: The Republican Party. Privately, I have also been talking to that tribe’s members. And I must report that it is worse than you think. They have moved from denial to desperation to the point at which some really do not care.

When I first read a recent headline—“This New Poll Shows Democrats Could Actually Have A Shot At Winning The House In 2014”—I thought maybe the Democrats might spare the Republicans further embarrassment, and get them out of the way, by soundly defeating them. But I must advise you: Do not hold your breath waiting for Democrats to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives! Or obtain the supermajority of the U.S. Senate that is needed to control Congress. These new poll numbers are generic. In the 2012 election, millions more voted for Democrats in the House than for Republicans, but Republicans have fixed House Congressional districts so that it does not matter. Since 2010, they have been busy successfully gerrymandering districts and, in the process, disenfranchising millions of Democrats.

In fact, they are currently working to further change the election laws wherever they can, in order to make it difficult for likely Democrats to vote. In short, the Republicans are operating in the tradition of Richard Nixon, the godfather of dirty and abusive Republican politics. Nixon’s ugly legacy lives on, as his party is openly abusing power for political purposes in a fashion that would make him proud. A few more examples will make the point, not that it will change the Republicans’ minds, for please understand: These people are shameless.

The Latest GOP Efforts to Disenfranchise Voters Who Likely Would Vote for Democrats

With some amazement, I have been reading of the GOP’s newest (and ongoing) efforts to disenfranchise voters who are not likely to support them. I found an excellent updated summary by Ari Berman of The Nation, who always does an excellent job of reporting on this subject. As Berman notes, “The continued push to restrict the right to vote reveals the extent to which conservative power remains deeply embedded in the states, thanks to the 2010 election and subsequent aggressive gerrymandering by GOP state legislatures to protect their majorities.”

Here are Berman’s findings for the current 2013 efforts, which fall into distinct categories: (1) States where the GOP seeks to require government-issued photo identification to vote: AR, CT, IA, IL, MA, MY, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, VA, WA, WV, WY. (2) States where the GOP seeks to restrict voter registration drives: IL, IN, MT, NM, VA. (3) States where the GOP is seeking to ban election-day voter registration: CA, MN, MT, NE. (4) States where the GOP wants to require proof of citizenship to register to vote: MA, MO, NV, OK, OR, SC, TX, VA. (5) States where the GOP seeks to purge voter rolls: CO, IN, NM, TX, VA. (6) States where the GOP seeks to reduce early voting: AZ, IN, SC, TX, WI; and (7) the state where the GOP seeks to disenfranchise former felons: VA.

Another effort by Republicans is focused on reviving the 2011-2012 effort to rig the Electoral College so that a GOP presidential candidate might lose a statewide popular vote but still win electoral votes from gerrymandered GOP Congressional districts. This revived effort has been most noticeable in Pennsylvania, where the state senate’s GOP leader has been pushing such a plan. Former Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has been tracking this and keeping voters aware of this scheme, and so far he has thwarted it.

Clearly, there is a nationwide GOP push to continue to try to rig the system. To say that it is disingenuous is too kind. It would be more accurate to say it is downright un-American, because these people have forgotten, if they ever knew, the basics of our democracy.

The GOP Has Forgotten the Basics of American Democracy


Without getting overly philosophical or unduly rhetorical about it (when actually a rip of profanity would best fit the bill), the Republicans undertaking to rig the system forget that civilized life works best—and maybe only works—when everyone plays by the rules. For the rules to work, of course, they must also protect the rights of the minority – as our rules do. No one has all the right answers and tyranny by a majority is possible. Those who disagree with the majority must be able to make their case to change the rules, and they often succeed. As the GOP has increasingly become a minority party, no one has denied it access to the Internet, print publications or Fox News. To the contrary, their views are well known.

Our democratic system works because our rules emanate from our elected representatives who are sent to Washington to legislate, as well as from courts that interpret both the written rules and those unwritten precepts of decency and fairness that have evolved from our collective efforts to live together in a manner than works for everyone, sometimes called the common law. Needless to say, we have a Constitution that created our federal government to deal with national problems (a confederation of states did not work). The Constitution further established fundamental standards for nationwide application (e.g., freedom of speech, religion, etc.), which largely apply as well to our smaller political units, typically established by constitutions or charters adopted by the people: states, counties, districts, cities, towns, villages, and neighborhoods—thus becoming national standards. But Republicans now reject all the existing rules, and the foundational documents, which they are busy reinterpreting to meet their needs, largely because they are not getting their way and have been unable to impose their standards on everyone.

No case in point is more glaring than their renewed efforts at disenfranchisement. For nothing has been more fundamental to our self-governing system than the ever-expanding consent of the governed. The American trend has been to extend the voting franchise to more and more Americans, including African-Americans (in the 15th Amendment), women (in the 19th Amendment) and young people who are old enough to fight to protect the nation (in the 26th Amendment). In addition, for years there were efforts to make voting easier, and laws to encourage voter participation. Of late, though, the GOP wants to reverse that trend, because increasing numbers of Americans are rejecting their programs and policies that serve the few, particularly the special interests, rather than the many.

In short, Republicans are increasingly at odds with the basics tenets of American government. As a minority party, they insist on blocking the will of the majority. Rather than expanding the voting franchise, they seek to shrink, if not disenfranchise, those who are not likely to vote as Republicans would wish, and to make it unpleasant and difficult to cast a vote. But they are doing more than playing corrupting and exclusionary politics; they are attacking government itself, in a manner that is disrupting the American economy, in their desire to impose their ideologically driven, simplistic solutions to complex problems to which they really do not have answers. This is a dangerous undertaking.

Republicans’ Anti-Government And Spending Attacks Are Creating New Problems

Again, let us not forget the basic realities of our world. Today, our governing systems serve a population of over 313 million Americans. While different levels of government—federal, state, and local—have distinguishable responsibilities, the nation’s founders stated well the general tasks of government: to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. Obviously, to meet these broad responsibilities it costs money, so taxes are absolutely necessary.

And, not without reason, Republicans are concerned about the growth in government during the last century. So are Democrats. It is not an unreasonable concern, although the last GOP president, George W. Bush, was a fiscal disaster, who is largely responsible for America’s current financial problems. Nonetheless, Republicans are insisting on draconian spending cuts—via the so-called sequester, with its unreasonable across-the-board spending reductions—that may well send our recovering economy slowly but steadily back into a recession, at worst, and at best, will further delay unemployed Americans from finding jobs. I have been unable to find a well-regarded economist who believes that “the sequester” is a good solution to anything.

When I have spoken with several Republicans privately, I have found that they are not concerned about the sequester, or the refusal of Republicans to raise revenue with new taxes. One told me that he believed the average voter was too dumb to blame the problems on Republicans, and rather, with GOP help, would likely blame President Obama, which is their plan. What if it hurts our economic recovery? Well, another Republican told me that they could deal with that problem quickly if necessary, but they do not want Obama getting credit, so it will have to get dire before any action will be taken. Then they can appear to have saved us all from an Obama disaster. Did they really understand the problem of what was driving government spending? Honest answer from three knowledgeable Republicans: No.

In truth, neither Republicans nor economists fully and truly understand the rise in government services and spending. For example, well-credentialed economists have looked for explanations beyond the fact that there are simply more people, not to mention more Americans voting for elected officials to whom the officials then must be responsive. Notwithstanding the lack of understanding, Republicans have long been pushing a solution first articulated by Ronald Reagan in his 1981 Inaugural Address: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?” This flawed rhetoric is now GOP policy.

Over time, the GOP’s attacks on legitimacy of government have morphed into an effort to abolish as many taxes as possible, for without taxes government cannot survive or function. Thus, since the 1990s, the GOP has resisted all new taxes, and sought to cut existing taxes. Has this helped? I have searched and searched to determine what, if any, good has come from the GOP war on government and taxes. I can find none. But I did note that since the GOP started attacking government and taxes, the standard of living for Americans has steadily declined. (See, for example, here and here.) I am not an economist, but when the Republicans cannot point to any true benefit, but only theoretical claimed good, from their policies, it is telling.

To the contrary, the GOP’s endless war on government and taxes is troubling and destructive. Particularly since, during the same period, there has been a conspicuous decline in economic benefit for all average Americans.

We should all hope that more people become aware of the desperate efforts by GOP-controlled states to disenfranchise voters, and demand that it end. I am mystified why more of those in the national media do not call out the GOP’s abuses of its power in obstructing government, making gridlock the Washington norm, and do so before they cause irreparable harm. Meanwhile I will keep pounding my small drum both publicly and privately, for while I am no Chicken Little, only a concerned realist, I do understand these people. I have concluded that many of us are wired differently in our propensity to actually care about the well-being of others, and not simply because it might be good business to do so, but I also know that, in the end, democracy will not work without widespread human decency, so we all need to find as much of it as we can locate.
http://verdict.justia.com/2013/04/05...ng-desperation
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Old July 7th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
John Dean thinks Republicans are violating the intentions of the Constitution



Republicans? Ongoing Desperation: | John Dean | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia
How standard of you to find an article by John Dean, card carrying liberal loon who hates the GOP, probably because of being fired by Nixon, then becoming a turncoat to cover his ass; He, along with the radical left, wanted George Bush to be impeached. But Dean does pontificate on the more erudite media outlets: MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Randi Rhodes Show, et. al.

You should probably learn the meaning of the word “disenfranchise”: to deprive of a franchise; to deprive of the right to vote. Try crying the blues about having to show a photo I.D. to someone old enough to know what true disenfranchisement is?

Or how about inconvenience: something that causes discomfort. Having to purchase Obamacare insurance when one does not want insurance, or the inconvenience of having to go through customs at the airport.


Let’s examine some of Dean’s misrepresentations:

Another effort by Republicans is focused on reviving the 2011-2012 effort to rig the Electoral College so that a GOP presidential candidate might lose a statewide popular vote but still win electoral votes from gerrymandered GOP Congressional districts. This moronic idea of gerrymandered districts swinging the election has been proven wrong over and over.

When someone uses this phrase, “For example, well-credentialed economists…” without names, they are fabricating.

I have searched and searched to determine what, if any, good has come from the GOP war on government and taxes. I can find none. Dean must have still been foggy in the head from his time in prison to have notices the impact of the Clinton tax rate cuts, and the record setting tax revenues after Bush cut taxes. Prison will do that to a person.

Run to the internet for some more knowledge.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
In the long term, Republican dishonesty comes back to haunt Republicans



Has gerrymandering backfired on Republicans? - The Week
From your own article that somehow refutes the entire premise of the same article; only a leftist web site can be so moronic:

Of course, carving out safe districts is a "two-way street," Sean Trende pointed out at Real Clear Politics. Democratic-controlled state legislatures also engaged in gerrymandering, leaving both parties with supporters concentrated in safe districts. Furthermore, Trende argued that it is wrong to conclude that the proliferation of safe districts is what's driving the two sides farther apart, noting that the Senate is as bitterly divided as the House.

The real underlying cause of the increasingly stark ideological divide in Congress, Trende said, is something more complex:

We have an ideologically polarized House and Senate because our country has become politically more polarized... Both parties are nearing historic lows in their approval ratings with the American people, although Democrats are faring a touch better than Republicans. Polarization is a boon to neither party. But it's being driven primarily by shifts in the country, not by gerrymandering.


You can thank the inept inexperienced clown Obama you helped to elect for the further division of this nation thanks to his Marxist class envy arguments and insulting condescending attitude towards the Republican majority in the House for this.

Mr. Hope and Changey not only has led an incredible increase in divisive partisan rhetoric, but he has pissed of our allies and Arabs in the ME with his inept failure to lead.
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