2018
Is Congress Unfair?
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  • Suzy Dixon

    Trump won 47% of the vote to Clinton’s 48%, yet Trump had broader support, winning far more states, and that’s why he’s president, not twice failed candidate Clinton. We can talk about gerrymandering after the voter rolls are cleaned up, and voter ID is nation-wide. Oh, and if the districting around blue cities, like Chicago, is also scrutinized.

    • SeaAyeA

      Yes, CA and NY are already worth huge numbers of electoral votes. But it’s not enough. They just want to use and abuse the rest of us. Look at the map. Two states and a few other cities want to tell the rest of us what to do and tax us to death. And VOX isn’t something that should be quoted on TAI. Yglesias is ignorant. He doesn’t even know that in 2014 [forget 2016] Congress had like 13% approval yet 94% kept their jobs.

      • Suzy Dixon

        Yep. CA = 55 votes. NY = 29 votes. IL = 20 votes. Now, CA is the most populous state in the union, so it should be worth the most votes. But CA should NOT be able to just pick the leadership of the entire country, and lord over everyone else. They are just too greedy. The election showed that HRC would make a fine mayor of NYC, or governor of NY perhaps. Not POTUS

      • Andrew Allison

        Actually, it’s just one state. Willick, et al. mendaciously ignore the fact that 156% of Clinton’s popular vote majority came from a state that, as the legislative leaders of which announced after the election, does not share the values of the rest of the country.

        • Jim__L

          The way to prevent civil war is not to allow California to force its will on the rest of the country (as Willick is effectively advocating here), but to allow the states, counties, families, and citizens of this country LIBERTY to order their own affairs as they see fit, without fear of government (or Politically Correct) persecution.

          In the same way, cities — **within their own borders** — will have the liberty to order their own affairs as they see fit, outside of power properly belonging to the federal government (military, foreign policy, immigration policy. Period.)

          If people or businesses want to leave these megacities because those policies don’t work for them, that’s something the cities really should take into account as they chart their own path. Forcing the Fed into making everyone play ball is a dirty business — and make no mistake, THAT is the biggest cause of people wanting to leave the federation.

          • Suzy Dixon

            CA has 12% of the US population, yet it’s worth 55 electoral votes which is 20% of the way to 270. Of course it also has 53 representatives. CA has too much say and sway already.

    • Unelected Leader

      That’s a really fantastic point about the voter rolls and voter ID. Beyond that, i’m from the Rust Belt. Dems played a very significant role in devastating economies out here through terrible stewardship of financial resources available to them, and through horrible trade policy.

      Midwestern states, when they’re not called the rust belt, are called “flyover states,” which is something ignorant people say about the productive heartland of the country. They simply don’t understand. I think it’s fair to say a lot more midwesterners, for one reason or another, travel to the coasts and see the megacities and hence understand them a little bit better than they understand us.

      I’m talking about the sort of people on either coast who think eggs just come from an aisle. I’m talking about people in LA proclaiming themselves champions of green living while they live in a desert city that has to have water piped in from surrounding states, and food trucked in from 1500 miles away. They have a total lack of self-awareness and how their coastal mega city lifestyles are sustained. I’m talking about people that are living in a bubble and an echo chamber, and who are at the height of ignorant bliss. These are the people who had a meltdown ‪on November 8th‬ and started crying, and lighting dumpster fires by the 9th.

    • Beauceron

      But the point is this: both parties knew full well what the rules of the game were and set their strategy by those rules. Trump spent little to no time in California, New York, Boston, Maryland, etc. There was no point– those are deep blue states and were not going to flip, and time and money was better spent elsewhere. If the rules were different, and it was the popular vote that mattered, they would have spent the time and money in those states to gather votes.
      This is basically like the Democrats losing a football game 10 – 7, but complaining that, since they got more total yards during the game, it means they really won.

      • Jim__L

        If conservative Californians thought their votes mattered, a whole lot more would have held their noses and actually pulled the lever for Trump.

    • Paul Lies

      Yglesias needs a new box of tissues. A man shouldn’t cry this hard in a day. You want fairness? Get rid of the House! Every state is equal in the Senate! That’s 100 senators. 100 electoral votes and so on. Republicans would still be in control, and Trump would’ve still won LOL. And the Dems were supposed to take back the Senate at least for sure last winter. Didn’t happen. In 2018 they have many more seats up. They are the ones vulnerable in 2018.

      • Suzy Dixon

        You’re on to it, Paul. Besides a little sour grapes, they have an issue with federal representation more broadly. If they have a problem with either of the two houses, perhaps want to eliminate one, then they need to say it and be honest. The Republicans have one more state house to go until they can call for a constitutional convention. So Mr. Yglesias had better think very carefully though before advocating any sort of constitutional convention to change things though.

    • Anthony

      DJT won 46.1% and HRC won 48.2% changes nothing but numerical accuracy always helps.

      • Unelected Leader

        The popular vote happens at the state level. Trump won more states, and more varied states at that. 2016 is actually a perfect example of the EC working well

        • Anthony

          Irrelevant to point being corrected. Presidential vote final tally includes U.S States and territories. If you want to expand into side issues, that’s your prerogative but exclude me in this instance. Thanks.

          • Unelected Leader

            The national popular vote numbers are irrelevant, no matter who brings them up, since the popular vote occurs at the state level.

          • Anthony

            You make no sense and you’re seeking a partisan discussion; find someplace else to look – believe what makes you comfortable but facts are not susceptible to opinions despite our best inclinations.

          • Unelected Leader

            Okay, you’re struggling. Try reading this slowly then. You corrected Suzy’s numbers on the national popular vote — which isn’t a thing in the first place. She clearly brought it up to make a point about how the election actually works — demanding broad support and more states. That’s because the popular vote happens state by state to determine where electoral votes go. Electoral votes = two senators + reps. Reps are determined by population. In other words, each state has precisely as much say in who the president will be as they have in sending bills to the oval office. Is that simple enough for you?

          • Anthony

            No struggle, stop projecting. End this as there is nothing here of consequence. By the way, I replied to Suzy and if I wanted to reply to be online wasting words, well there were options.

          • Unelected Leader

            Yeah, you replied with an inane comment, and you reply to everyone on a thread, fyi. I see that you don’t have the grace to say thank you to someone [me] who has clearly helped you to better understand an issue. I guess it will also benefit others who peruse these threads later.

          • Anthony

            Interpret as you please – inanities, misdirection, obfuscation, gibberish, etc. – but here on out bypass me as I you and no mistaken offense will be presumed.

  • D4x

    Bigger problem with the House of Representatives is they stopped adding districts with population growth in 1911, excluding a temporary increase to 437 after the admissions of Alaska and Hawaii : “The Apportionment Act of 1911 (Pub.L. 62–5, 37 Stat. 13) was an apportionment bill passed by the United States Congress on August 8, 1911. The law set the number of members of the United States House of Representatives at 435, effective with the 63rd Congress on March 4, 1913.[1]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apportionment_Act_of_1911
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee4c362bba7826fcc5b2d4c0c9005294c256035e712242ef90ab9f901feef563.jpg
    The U.S. population has increased more rapidly than the membership of the House of Representatives.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_congressional_apportionment

    Average population per Congressional District: 710,767 people based on 2010 census. It was 646,946 in 2000.

    • D4x

      “Democrats Are Working Hard to Destroy Their Party” Commentary By A.B. Stoddard August 25, 2017 https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/08/25/democrats_are_working_hard_to_destroy_their_party_134843.html

      Robbins nails it: “Trump is winning the statue war: With Democrats howling about tearing down statues and supporting violent protesters, Trump is free to run the nation.” James S. Robbins, Opinion columnist Published 5:00 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2017
      https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/08/25/trump-winning-statue-war-ames-robbins-column/595178001/

      “Liberals, Shipwrecked Democrat Mark Lilla seeks an alternative to identity politics, but it’s a lonely quest.”
      William Voegeli August 24, 2017
      https://www.city-journal.org/html/liberals-shipwrecked-15410.html

      https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/08/25/nbc-news-democrats-could-win-50-house-seats-in-2018-but-itll-be-because-of-the-n2371511

      Any one of these is worth more time than reading Jason Willick’s dishonest collaboration with Obstructionist Democrats who deployed Charlottesville! because they could not use Russia! after The Nation exposed DNC insider hack on Aug. 9, 2017.

    • Angel Martin

      Funny. I always looked at the USA politician to real person ratio as making more sense than what we have in Canada.

      If the USA had as many politicians proportionally as Canada, it would have a 3000+ House of Representatives, and over 1000 Senators.

      Would that really be an improvement ?

      • D4x

        Canada has 338 seats in your House of Commons, Parliament, with a population of 36,626,083, estimate for 2017.
        http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/canada-population/

        USA has 435 seats in the House of Representatives, with a population of 326,834,474, estimate for 2017.
        http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/

        Using those numbers, perhaps Canada only needs 49 seats in Parliament to represent your population?

        The zero-sum redivide the pie game in the USA is why gerrymandering is such an politically charged art. Obama even got to draw his own State Senate district in Illinois. From July 28, 2008: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/21/making-it

      • D4x

        Here is the exact excerpt, from the issue of The New Yorker that changed American politics, not just because of the cover art, but because Ryan Lizza was banned from Obama’s European trip that summer:

        The Political Scene July 21, 2008 Issue
        “Making It How Chicago shaped Obama” By Ryan Lizza

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/21/making-it

        “…One day in the spring of 2001, about a year after the loss
        to Rush, Obama walked into the Stratton Office Building, in Springfield, a
        shabby nineteen-fifties government workspace for state officials next to the
        regal state capitol. He went upstairs to a room that Democrats in Springfield
        called “the inner sanctum.” Only about ten Democratic staffers had access;
        entry required an elaborate ritual—fingerprint scanners and codes punched into
        a keypad. The room was large, and unremarkable except for an enormous printer
        and an array of computers with big double monitors. On the screens that spring
        day were detailed maps of Chicago, and Obama and a Democratic consultant named
        John Corrigan sat in front of a terminal to draw Obama a new district. Corrigan
        was the Democrat in charge of drawing all Chicago districts, and he also
        happened to have volunteered for Obama in the campaign against Rush.

        Obama’s former district had been drawn by Republicans after
        the 1990 census. But, after 2000, Illinois Democrats won the right to
        redistrict the state. Partisan redistricting remains common in American
        politics, and, while it outrages a losing party, it has so far survived every
        legal challenge. In the new century, mapping technology has become so precise
        and the available demographic data so rich that politicians are able to choose
        the kinds of voter they want to represent, right down to individual homes. A
        close look at the post-2000 congressional map of Bobby Rush’s district reveals
        that it tears through Hyde Park in a curious series of irregular turns. One of
        those lines bypasses Obama’s address by two blocks. Rush, or someone looking
        out for his interests, had carved the upstart Obama out of Rush’s congressional
        district.

        In truth, Rush had little to worry about; Obama was already
        on a different political path. Like every other Democratic legislator who
        entered the inner sanctum, Obama began working on his “ideal map.” Corrigan
        remembers two things about the district that he and Obama drew. First, it
        retained Obama’s Hyde Park base—he had managed to beat Rush in Hyde Park—then
        swooped upward along the lakefront and toward downtown. By the end of the final
        redistricting process, his new district bore little resemblance to his old one.
        Rather than jutting far to the west, like a long thin dagger, into a swath of
        poor black neighborhoods of bungalow homes, Obama’s map now shot north,
        encompassing about half of the Loop, whose southern portion was beginning to be
        transformed by developers like Tony Rezko, and stretched far up Michigan Avenue
        and into the Gold Coast, covering much of the city’s economic heart, its main
        retail thoroughfares, and its finest museums, parks, skyscrapers, and lakefront
        apartment buildings. African-Americans still were a majority, and the map
        contained some of the poorest sections of Chicago, but Obama’s new district was
        wealthier, whiter, more Jewish, less blue-collar, and better educated. It also
        included one of the highest concentrations of Republicans in Chicago.

        “It was a radical change,” Corrigan said. The new district
        was a natural fit for the candidate that Obama was in the process of becoming.
        “He saw that when we were doing fund-raisers in the Rush campaign his appeal
        to, quite frankly, young white professionals was dramatic.”

        Obama’s personal political concerns were not the only factor
        driving the process. During the previous round of remapping, in 1991,
        Republicans had created Chicago districts where African-Americans were the
        overwhelming majority, packing the greatest number of loyal Democrats into the
        fewest districts. A decade later, Democrats tried to spread the
        African-American vote among more districts. The idea was to create enough
        Democratic-leaning districts so that the Party could take control of the state
        legislature. That goal was fine with Obama; his new district offered promising,
        untapped constituencies for him as he considered his next political move. “The
        exposure he would get to some of the folks that were on boards of the museums
        and C.E.O.s of some of the companies that he would represent would certainly
        help him in the long run,” Corrigan said.

        In the end, Obama’s North Side fund-raising base and his
        South Side political base were united in one district. He now represented Hyde
        Park operators like Lois Friedberg-Dobry as well as Gold Coast doyennes like
        Bettylu Saltzman, and his old South Side street operative Al Kindle as well as
        his future consultant David Axelrod. In an article in the Hyde Park Herald
        about how “partisan” and “undemocratic” Illinois redistricting had become,
        Obama was asked for his views. As usual, he was candid. “There is a conflict of
        interest built into the process,” he said. “Incumbents drawing their own maps
        will inevitably try to advantage themselves.”

        The partisan redistricting of Illinois may have been
        the most important event in Obama’s early political life. It immediately gave
        him the two things he needed to run for the Senate in 2004: money and power. He
        needed to have several times as much cash as he’d raised for his losing
        congressional race in 2000, and many of the state’s top donors now lived or
        worked in his district. More important, the statewide gerrymandering made it
        likely that Obama’s party would take over the State Senate in 2002, an event
        that would provide him with a platform from which to craft a legislative record
        in time for the campaign. …”

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/07/21/making-it

      • D4x

        Canada has 338 seats in your House of Commons, Parliament, with a population of 36,626,083, estimate for 2017.
        http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/canada-population/

        USA has 435 seats in the House of Representatives, with a population of 326,834,474, estimate for 2017.
        http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/

        Using those numbers, perhaps Canada only needs 49 seats in Parliament to represent your population?

        The zero-sum redivide the pie game in the USA is why gerrymandering is such an politically charged art.

        • Angel Martin

          I suspect I am Canada’s only advocate of a 50 seat parliament and 20 seat Senate (two each).

          • D4x

            Count yourself lucky that Canada has too many representing too few. Spares the bother of all that gerrymandering, and too many words like this post by Willick, complaining about the wrong issue.
            Perhaps our House of Representatives should outsource some constituent services to Canadian MPs

          • Angel Martin

            Gerrymandering still happens. After the 2000 election the “non-partisan” boundary commission in Saskatchewan decided that exclusively urban or rural ridings were bad.

            And they created riding boundaries where every one was part urban and part rural – clearly to reduce Canadian Alliance (Conservative) support.

            But what happened is that the Alliance ran up such huge totals in the rural areas that they swamped the cities vote, totally wiped out the NDP (socialists), and nearly won every seat in the province !

            The riding boundaries were quickly changed…

      • Beauceron

        My. God.
        Just the thought of that many politicians makes me shudder.

    • Andrew Allison

      On the other hand, it’s perfectly clear that even the present number of representatives is too large. Worse yet, creating districts by population would futher increase the malign influence of the Socialist Republic of California (http://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-population/).

  • seattleoutcast

    Republicans have moved to the center. The elites (media, quackademic, federal employees, etc.) have moved so far to the left that they think anything to the right of them is extremist. JFK wouldn’t even recognize his party today.

    • Jim__L

      **Bill Clinton** was shocked about the way his party had changed.

  • Anthony

    If we refuse to be divided by fear and continue pushing forward together…. http://www.uuworld.org/articles/new-fusion-politics

  • Beauceron

    Here’s what I tell Leftists when they complain about electoral representation– it was designed so that major urban centers do not control vast swaths of the country. While many of our constitutional rights were intentionally written broadly– think free speech and gun rights– the electoral college was enunciated with specificity. That’s because the framers were trying to ensure that power was balanced and that states that were geographically and demographically larger did not exercise outsized influence.
    The Electoral College is literally the operating system of our democracy.
    If you’re going to do away with the Electoral College, to reorganize the basic framework upon which our republic functions and has always functioned, then you have to give smaller states the opportunity to opt out of the union.
    That almost makes me wish the Left would push hard to do away with it.

    • Jim__L

      Honestly, some states only ratified the Constitution when the Bill of Rights was added.

      For Lefties who think that freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms are “antiquated”, they’re effectively tearing up the original Social Contract this country is based on. If the government does not support those rights, it has forfeited the right to be a government.

  • markterribile

    Before complaining about Trump’s ‘incompetence’ you might see what Austin Bey has to say about his handling of Afghanistan (http://observer.com/2017/08/donald-trump-barack-obama-afghanistan/). The ‘narcissist’ Trump seems to be the least ideological and most realistic president in sixteen years.

    • D4x

      Your link did not work, this one does: http://observer.com/2017/08/donald-trump-barack-obama-afghanistan/

      POTUS Trump used the phrase: “Principled Realism” in his Afghanistan speech on 08 21 2017.

      “Narcissist” seems to be engraved on the Ten Ways to Describe Trump Tablets. Remnick’s “The Divider” was at RCPolitics morning 08 22 2017.
      Remnick has to generate Weekly Descriptors, so the Choirs stay consistent. The new adjectives for Trump come from Remnick’s “the basest of his base,” adding that the US has elected a “dishonest, inept, unbalanced, and immoral human being as its president.” …”

      My translation:
      >dishonest = Liar!

      >inept = Unfit!

      >unbalanced = Insane!

      >immoral human being = Evil!

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    125 million new guns were purchased during the Obama era, and so much gunpowder was burned and stockpiled, that there was an ammo shortage the entire time. The Leftists should stop talking about a civilwar, if it comes down to a gun fight, the Leftist’s logistics stink.

    The horror of the Right’s Victory, will echo for millennia.

  • Josephbleau

    Pelosi, Reed, Obama, and their pliable Supreme Court should have fixed this deep inequity when they had supreme power. Too bad they were slobbering in the feed trough at the time.

  • Fat_Man

    This article is egregiously stupid.

    “Districts should be drawn by non-partisan commissions, not state legislatures.”

    Who says so? You and your little dog too?

    First: the constitution vests the power to regulate elections of representatives in the legislatures. (Yes I know what the Supreme court said, but it was not the first time they utterly ignored the words of the constitution. They are fallible, real fallible. Thank God they are not immortal).

    Second. Apportionment is a quintessentially political task. Anyone who engages in it will have to make choices, and even though he will not admit it, they will favor one party or the other. The idea that there can be neutral or non-partisan humans is one that the media loves to spread. Their neutrality is of course a complete sham. Non partisan commissions will be just as egregiously biased as the media.

    Third: How can one of the most important political tasks in a democratic republic be given to people who are not elected democratically? Would that not sap the system of its remaining legitimacy?

    • Albert8184

      Oh… inconvenient facts bug many people so much, don’t they?

  • Pete

    “Donald Trump’s ostentatious incompetence …… ”

    Delusional thinking from whoever PM might be.

    And if you want to avoid a civil war, don’t tamper with the constitution. Instead get the liberals, leftist, the Democrat Party and its sycophant media to drop their anti-America, anti-White behavior and start to act civilized. Otherwise they’ll end up like the Confederates did in 1865.

  • Tom

    Mr. Willick, while your first paragraph may be true, it does not change the fact that A. The GOP is actually more popular than Donald Trump, and B. The Democrats have thoroughly beclowned themselves over the past few months, and have failed to present any sort of viable alternative.

    • Jim__L

      And we’re talking the scary kind of clown, that loves to live in the sewer and prey upon other peoples’ children.

      • Isaiah6020

        The scariest book I’ve read.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Actually, Republicans now have compelling incentive to “move to the center first”. They jumped the shark with Trumpism and will be dealing with the fact that it actually doesn’t work in economic practice. Health care “repeal and replace” was a clue. Continued decay in rural-land from drugs and poverty will be another clue. Budgets and tax reform this fall will be a huge clue.

    • Ulysses4033

      Republicans “jumped the shark with Trumpism” (whatever that actually means)? Don’t forget we have President Trump in large part because of the abject and consistent failure of the Republican establishment to develop and champion a policy for our chaotic world that builds upon founding principles adapted to the present moment. All of those items you cite as “Trumpism” are actually elements of the continued GOPe cluelessness. Fortunately for them, the Dems are equally stupid.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Jumping the shark means going so far with crazy plotlines that viewers begin to question the sustainability of “the show”. It refers to the increasingly outrageous adventures of Fonzie on Happy Days toward the end of the run of the series. Republicanism has been making crazy claims for decades and has now elected the king of crazy claims. The rest of the GOP now has a difficult and inescapable duty to rein in all in—-at Congress.

        • Ulysses4033

          From your rhetorical devices I take it you are neither conservative nor Republican. If so, your analysis will appeal only to those who already agree with you. Fine, as far as that goes, but not particularly insightful or helpful.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Of course I am not conservative or Republican. My analyses appeal to few people on this site—-ever. Nonetheless, the GOP is firmly on the hook to keep the government lights on, deliver jobs and not kill them with budget cutting, deal with the deficit, administer the government side of health care, all the “make America great” stuff. They are going to hit some walls and most of the old GOP Senators know it.

          • Ulysses4033

            As a conservative recovering-Republican, I certainly agree. We may simply differ on whether “Trumpism” (again, whatever that means) is the cause or the symptom. I believe it’s the latter. Cheers!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Cheers.

          • Isaiah6020

            Comrade FriendlyGoat is a resident Left-winger of this site. He is a fairly slimy Statist whose ultimate goal is complete dominance of the State over the Individual. He is a Democrat because he believes they are the party of more government. Hope he won’t block you.

    • Isaiah6020

      Begging the question logical fallacy. Your starting premise is that everything is horrible and it is Trump’s fault. Markets and economic numbers disagree with that. August employment report found that wage growth and job growth at the bottom of the labor market was advancing at a very healthy 3.6% clip. The poorest workers are getting the biggest increases. Trump’s anti-regulatory push is helping them. You are wrong. Again. You will always be wrong.

  • PierrePendre

    Didn’t I read that California has one third of the nation’s welfare recipients? That’s an advertisment for the superiority of Democratic party government? These are the voters who should determine who controls the federal government? Er, no.

  • Tom Scharf

    The Democrats know what the rules are, it is their failure to not play the game well.

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