On its face, gerrymandering is almost ridiculously simple. Redraw the district lines so that there are more GOP voters than Democratic voters, without being brazen enough to make it unconstitutional. Mostly that tends to assay out to 3-4 percentage points. Just like in running a sports book, just balance your book and you can’t lose.
And that has worked for the GOP for a couple of generations now. Especially in the last 20 years, it has been enough to ensure them of minority rule, at least in the US House, as well as controlling state legislatures. But that may be about to change.
And all because of one man. A pompous orangutan named Donald John Trump. All by himself, he did something that no Democrat could ever do, he split the GOP in half. And when you gerrymander, all you have to go by is party affiliation in the state voting records. There are no stub tabs to tell you who’s a Trombie and who’s a Never Trumper.
And the greatest risk for a party in successful gerrymandering is that it leads to sloth and arrogance. The New Yorkers’ Jane Mayer made a brilliant point in her latest article. She pointed out that Ohio, often a swing state is actually a very moderate place politically. That’s why it’s often a swing state. And yet, they ended up with an anti abortion law so radical that a 10 year old rape victim had to go to Indiana for an abortion. How is this possible?
Easy answer? Arrogance. The comfortably gerrymandered GOP state lawmakers don’t Give a fat rats ass what their constituents want. They can do whatever they want to appease their far right bases. As long as they don’t get a far right primary challenge, they’re golden. After all, what are the constituents going to do, vote for Democrats?
Spoiler Alert! Ummm, yeah, just maybe. Remember the old political adage, All politics is local. Abortion rights isn’t just a national issue for candidates and incumbents running for the US House or Senate, it’s also an intensely local one. After all, it wasn’t the national GOP who passed the law and ensuing lawsuit that sank Roe v Wade, it was a state legislature.
And these witless twits had better be paying attention to the cautionary tale of Kansas. As I’ve written, Democrats in Kansas max out at about 45%. And yet the state voted 59-41 to keep abortion rights enshrined in the state constitution. That’s a minimum of 14% of GOP voters, including in the most conservative rural districts who crossed over to vote with Democrats to protect abortion rights. And what did I say earlier? The average gerrymander safety net is 3-4% points.
In a swing state like Ohio, if GOP women, even in the more conservative rural areas are up in arms about the abortion issue, they’re not going to be satisfied just punishing their national incumbents and candidates. They’re also going to take a whack at the brainless state legislators who saddled them with that draconian anti abortion law in the first place.
And that’s the underwater stump for these state GOP legislatures. In Your grandfather’s GOP, they would have been tuned in politically, and had a palatable excuse for their constituents. But these brainless clucks are lazy, arrogant, and feel invincible. And we all know that Pride goeth before a fall.
The GOP isn’t going to stop rubbing everybody’s nose in their abortion victory, it’s been their signature issue for 50 years. But the more they do, the more they keep the issue at a high boil going into November. But if the GOP voters take some payback against these GOP state legislatures by flipping them on the promise of restoring personal autonomy, and the Democrats try to do that, then it’s going to make them hard to unseat down the road. And if they pass legislation, it’s going to put GOP Governors on the hot seat.
And it isn’t just Kansas and Ohio. In Michigan, a true battleground state, there is an initiative on the ballot in November to protect abortion rights. The initiative got the highest number of petition signatures of any ballot initiative in state history. Unlike Kansas, we’ll have to wait until November to see the crossover results. And all thanks to Traitor tot. Don’t touch that dial.