Friday, January 25, 2013

A Message To The Virginia GOP From A Plantation

Guys, what the hell? Seriously, what are you thinking?

I'm sitting here, minding my own business, trying to attract tourists to come enjoy my beautiful architecture, my incredible landscaping... and I'm really, really hoping we can get past, y'know. The other stuff.

But then you come out with this new bill to change the way we count votes in the state. It ruins everything. It makes me wish I could just get swallowed by a sinkhole.

Did you know I was the birthplace of William Henry Harrison?

This plan counts the votes of Obama supporters, or Democrats, or "urban people" - Have I used the right code words here? Do we know who we're talking about? - less than other Virginians.

But you need to do the actual math. No one on your side - at least I hope no one on your side - has crunched the numbers. Last election, Barack Obama won 51.16% of the vote. Under the new bill he would have won four of the states 13 electoral votes.

And do you know how much it counts an Obama voter as? (It's 4/13 divided by 51.16%. I'll wait. Do it. Get a calculator. You'll crap yourself.)

IT IS ALMOST EXACTLY THREE FIFTHS.

This bill counts an Obama voter as 3/5 of a person. I don't know if that fraction rings a bell with you. It was kind of a big deal, way back when. Women in fancy dresses, guys in gray - a lot of gray was in style. Is the light coming on now?

I'm the birthplace of the first Thanksgiving, and I'm just trying to be a big, pretty historically significant house in America. No one is going to remember that now. Thanks, rednecks.

(NOTE: I tried to figure out who is funding the people behind this. I did some research, pulling articles and databases together. Read GOP Vote-Rigging And The Big Coal Connection It's narrated by the rat who was partially eaten by G. Gordon Liddy, so how could you refuse?)

24 comments:

  1. AWESOME needs to be a checkbox choice for reactions. Really, really AWESOME.

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  2. I saw this at DU, what an outstanding post! Had to share it at some of my favorite blogs. Thanks, I'm just dumbfounded!

    Biscottiii

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    1. Thanks very much. I'm really hoping this takes off. People have to latch on to this fraction, because it's a perfect example of what the GOP is doing. But you already think that. So I will stop. Anyway, thanks.

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    2. Thanks, Paul! I'm passing this along!!

      Diana

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  3. Fantastic post. Saw it on DU as well. Have tweeted, facebooked, and plan to write a LTTE to Roanoke Times on this astounding number. Wow!

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  4. I don't disagree with this post, but under this logic, didn't the current system count a Romney vote as 0 votes.

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    1. Yes, you're right. It's important to remember that the electoral system in general makes some people's vote count for nuthin'. But this new bill is worse, because it systematically undercounts urban, high-population areas, which means that various ethnic/racial groups are going to repeatedly lose out over multiple election cycles.

      The electoral system is bad for Democrats in Texas, but also for Republicans in NY, so the unfairness is spread around, and not as racially and culturally biased.

      I'm not a statistician or a polling expert, so my expertise has now run out.

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  5. For better or for worse (usually worse), state politicians-in both parties and in most (if not all) of the 50 states-utilize non-democratic techniques, ie. gerrymandering, to benefit their party. The Va. proposal is just the latest in a long line of such things-going all the way back to our nation's founding (and even before that point).

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    1. Would I like a better world if it meant I were out of work with my dark and filthy and cynical humor?

      Yes, I guess so. I could do other things.

      I would... knit. Professionally.

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  6. I like the perspective of the article but in sheer math terms, your 3/5 calculation does not hold up. Could you please rehearse the math step by step? The point can still be made poetically, even if/though the math doesn't hold up.

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    1. 51.16% of the popular vote is counted as 4/13 of the electoral vote. 51.16/100(A) = 4/13... A is the fraction you would have to count the people as to get that electoral count. To find A, (4/13)/(51.16/100) or

      .307692/.5116, which equals almost exactly .6

      which is 6/10, or 3/5

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    2. Thank you for that explanation. I guess my problem is with the logic. By that logic, it would mean the current systems counts each Obama voter as having almost 2 votes, with each non-Obama voter as having almost 0 votes (~51% = 13/13 and ~49% = 0/13). So the math logic does not seem the best way to support the overall valid argument you make.

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    3. Yes, that's an important point - the winner take all system has its own unfairness.

      My answer is that winner take all is variable in its unfairness. My vote is discounted one election, but yours is discounted the next.

      But under the GOP bill, the unfairness is focused on specific demographic groups over many election cycles. It's systematic bias to help GOP candidates. Note that in 2012, these votes were for the winning candidate, but they would have been counted at a 3/5 rate, in order to produce a losing outcome.

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  7. Winner-take-all may have its own unfairness, but if you're going from popular-vote-winner most always winning, to popular-vote-winner most always losing, how is that not worse? And by the way, at least one of the Republicans backing away from this bill is doing it because the "timing of it" doesn't make a good "impression." Not because it is underhanded, undemocratic, shameful, and immoral. Be watching, because they will just try to do this again at some point before McDonnell announces a run for the presidency.

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    1. It IS worse. Definitely.

      And I am already digging into the history of this entire effort on a national level. Many people have written some great things about it, and there's a lot of info in the databases - on who is funding these politicians.

      It has been done before. It will be done again. I will come up with a big, broad timeline to help gather the facts together.

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    2. Thanks for doing this work. It must get out, and stopped. BTW, I found your blog posting via today's New York Times editorial on the subject, by Charles Blow, Rig the Vote.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/opinion/blow-rig-the-vote.html?hp

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    3. Thank you. I am obsessively following this.

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  8. lol. I must laugh at this. I see Dixie rising over the horizon and it makes my heart smile. - True Southerner who cant wait for whats coming

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    1. It's cute the way racist disenfranchisement makes white supremacists' "hearts smile." Did I say "cute?" I meant revolting.

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  9. I tend to ignore articles about the breakdown of democracy because, well, how much more cynical can you get, but this is the scariest article I've ever read. Could it really happen? Is anyone sounding a wake-up call? Grass roots, federal courts, ACLU? What can JQ public do?
    BTW, did you ever work for Pfizer?

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  10. You've been linked to by The Daily Beast. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/26/republicans-nefarious-election-ploy.html

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  11. Oh, Just like the election here in our country, I hope to have a peaceful, fair and just 2013 elections.

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