Politics

Why RedMap is Bad for Republicans

RedMap is a gerrymandering scheme by Republicans aimed at using the U.S. Census to ensure minority control of government. What seemed like a good idea at the time has proved an existential threat to the GOP.

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Why Red-Map is Bad for Republicans
By Shawn Inlow

“The Republican party is an organized conspiracy for the purposes of maintaining power for self-interest.”

  - Steve Schmidt
  Campaign Manager, John McCain for President

Only 39 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania identify as Republicans, so how do they have control of the State House and Senate?

Here’s a clue: It’s not because they are winning the war of ideas.  If they were, you’d think their numbers would be higher.

Answer: RedMap.  The REDistricting MAjority Project.  You may never have heard of RedMap, but it was a scheme concocted by the minority back in 2008 that supposed, by winning seats following a census year, Republicans could control the drawing of electoral districts and thereby maintain political control despite being in the minority. This is happening across America.

Depending on how you look at it, RedMap has been either wildly successful for the Republican party or wildly destructive to democracy, in general.  I’m here to tell you it’s really bad… for Republicans.

Did you ever sit on one of those corporate boards whose goal was to develop and implement some new strategy to give the company an edge?  Maybe it was a marketing plan or the development of a new direction for the company.  Such a committee’s output depends largely on its composition.  The narrower its membership, the more homogeneous its ideas.

I think it was a committee of yes-men that decided putting TWO slices of cheese, instead of one, on a Quarter Pounder would be awesome because that extra slice of cheese would raise the price of the QPC a mere ten cents that nobody would ever notice.  The corporation would net MILLIONS but ruin a perfectly good sandwich.

I think it was a committee like that that decided Slippery Rock State College wanted to get with the modern times.  It decided to change its name to Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  Sounds better.  But the committee also changed the school’s logo and sports team names from “The Rockets” to “The Pride.”

Rockets are cool.  

The Rock’s team mascot used to be this guy in an amorphous grey rock outfit with a green t-shirt and beanie-hat.  It was wonderful.  They had a performance dance team called the Rock-etts, known for high kicking, leggy routines.

NOW they are just another team of mountain lions like every other school in Pennsylvania.  The Rock Pride!  Oh, Dear-Sweet-Baby-Jesus, save us from the whims of corporate committees.  Because sometimes a bunch of people who think they’re big stuff get together with other people who think they’re important and come up with REALLY DUMB IDEAS!!!

And all the king’s yes-men inevitably move a project forward without ever really considering whether or not they should have in the first place.

RedMap is a great illustration.  By splitting up Pennsylvania’s 46% of registered voters who identify as Democrats into predominantly red districts, a process called “gerrymandering,” Democrats would have to work one third harder than Republicans to get the same amount of representation.

In a one-hundred yard dash against Democrats, Republicans would start with a 30 yard lead.

Seemed like an awesome idea to the red team at the time; winning races without having to actually run that fast. 

But let me blow an ill wind across the boardroom, a shadow of conscientiousness, a minority report that gets buried under the snow of self-congratulation.

If you have a group of like-minded individuals and come up with a plan, like RedMap, so that only other like-minded individuals can be in the conversation, what happens is an increasingly narrow slice of the electorate gets more and more say.  

In Republican-world, as it stands today after a decade of RedMap, you get candidates that don’t have to balance their opinions anymore.  What you get is more and more strident views as the Republican electorate drifts further right, toward, and now, beyond, the John Birch Society.

RedMap has caused smaller and smaller minorities of their caucus to have a larger and larger say.  What you get is a White Nationalist march on January 6.  What you get is armed militia members hunting for the Republican Vice President in the halls of the Capitol.  What you elect are Q-Anon crazies calling for the murder of the House Speaker.

What you get are Republican elected office holders who are now AFRAID of the very voters they CHOSE to elect them.  RedMap, for the purposes Steve Schmidt outlined in the quote in the header, has bent the Republican party further and further to the right, using the fervor of the lunatic fringe for power right now and not seeing how that devil’s bargain would come home to roost.

What you get is a shirtless dude wearing horns presiding over the well of the Capitol.  Nice move, RedMap.  Be careful what you wish for.

Thankfully, these creeps are now running and hiding from the FBI, deleting everything they’ve posted in social media for the last few years.

Still, Republican representatives remain so craven as to not be able to call sedition by its true name.  One day, they’re hiding under their desks from their own voters and the next they’re kissing up to a former president who lost the White House, the Senate and the House, who called the mob to Washington, D.C., revved them up and then unleashed them to attack a co-equal branch of government.

“It’s going to be wild,” Trump bragged.

What you get are men who wave Trump flags as proudly as American ones.  What you get are men who beat police officers within an inch of their lives with an American flag.  What you get are people who erect gallows outside and fly the flag of the defeated, racist Confederacy INSIDE the Capitol.

What you get is a party which cottons to white power in a world which is increasingly leaving them behind.

You can’t gerrymander a whole state, an entire nation.

RedMap has secured a bunch of state-houses in the short term but has ushered in the death-knell of the Republican party.  Rule by the minority is, by definition, un-democratic.

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