Imagine an all-powerful entity, part humanoid, mostly robot. The individual humanoids are all linked to each other by thought process, so that operationally, they are all small pieces of one large collective consciousness. The entity has no emotions. It has no compassion. It doesn't care what the planets in its path want. It has the biggest, baddest weapons in the universe, and it is bent on universal domination. Any means justifies its end goal. If you destroy a part of it, it regenerates and keeps coming. It is an unstoppable, indefatigable juggernaut. When it conquers you, you either submit or die. No matter what you say to it, it responds in a deep and menacing voice, "Resistance is futile."
Fans of Star Trek will instantly recognize this entity as the Borg, the most devastating and unbeatable of all of the aliens in the universe.
But I was talking about Republicans.
The Republican collective is now recognizing that it has lost its appeal on the national level. There's lots of blame shooting around, and a frantic attempt to re-brand the party messages. No one is talking about changing the ideology or their policies -- just changing the terminology they use to describe them. Presidential candidate wannabe Bobby Jindal is calling the Republicans "the Stupid Party."
But just because the majority of Americans have rejected Republican craziness on the national level, doesn't mean the Republicans have to give it up. While national Republicans convene emergency sessions with their branding guru, Frank Luntz, Republicans on the state level have forged fearlessly ahead, stripping unions of their rights, passing increasingly draconian anti-abortion laws, and restricting voter access. Now they're aiming to "correct" the electoral college, which is currently standing in the way of Republican presidential candidates. Taking advantage of the Democrats' peculiar ennui toward local politics, Republicans overtook several crucial swing state governments, containing lots and lots of electoral college votes, and now all they have to do is figure out how to re-craft the rules so that their Presidential candidate can take more of those votes next time, even while getting only a minority of actual votes.
The Constitution gives state legislatures the right to determine how to allocate electoral college votes. We like to think of our founding fathers as all-knowing and all-seeing, but I doubt they envisioned a party who would work so relentlessly to corrupt the system, like the Borg -- uh -- Republicans.
Republicans in those 6 Republican-controlled swing states determined that the easiest way to grab those votes for the Republican candidate was to use their recently draconically gerrymandered congressional districts. Let's not award all the electoral votes to the winner -- let's award them based on who wins the congressional district. Now that we have squeezed virtually all of the Democrats in PA into 5 congressional districts, and made the other 13 eternally safe for Republicans, even though Obama won PA by more than 850,000 votes, he would get 5 electoral votes to Romney's 13 (plus 2 awarded to the winner of the majority of electoral votes). Yeah, that works.
Except that the Empire fought back. In the other 5 states that voted for Obama but have all-Republican state government, one by one, they backed off of the congressional district plan after huge public outcry. At least it looked like they backed off -- actually, they just re-grouped.
PA is the testing ground for the new plan. Here in PA, the collective regenerated itself, and came up with what looks like the winning formula -- this spring, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi will introduce a bill to allocate the electoral votes proportionally by popular vote. It won't swing the majority of the votes to the Republican, but it will peel off a good chunk. Obama would get 12, Romney 8. With an all-Republican majority in both state houses, and representatives who don't really care what their constituents want, it will be a hard bill to stop.
What's wrong with proportionality? Well -- nothing actually. I'm a proponent of the National Popular Vote movement, ( www.NationalPopularVote.com ) under which whoever wins the popular vote nationally, wins. (see my prior blog, "Steal the Election 2.0"). If you ask any school kid to define democracy, they'll likely tell you -- the majority wins! That works for me. And I assume that if all states allocated their electoral votes proportionally according to the popular vote within their state, then the necessary outcome would be representative of the national popular vote result.
The operative term is -- "if all states allocated . . ." Pileggi's plan only works if every state adopts the same proportional system. But -- that is not the Republican plan. In the very red states, (and even the very reddest state has some percentage of democratic votes), no one is suggesting proportionality. How about
The way the Borg ultimately win -- the way they ultimately absorb all the other planets they encounter, is they either decimate them, or just wear them down. They let the planet fight until it gets tired, worn down -- until it runs out of energy. In the world of reality -- not science fiction -- Resistance is NOT futile -- it is the only solution.
There is no time to lose -- contact your state representative and senator, and demand fairness -- if they want proportionality, they should support the National Popular Vote initiative.