Posted: 11/13/16 16:32
by Dave Mindeman
I want you to listen up for a moment.
Amidst all of the recriminations going on out there, I think there is something we should clearly understand about how the mechanism of this Republic works that Democrats continue to get beat at.
It isn't about a candidate or ideology or issues or even messaging. It is about mechanics.
Here are some facts. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Democratic Congressional candidates got more national votes than Republicans. The Senate Republican numbers have achieved a more solid base than the Democrats, but not in popular vote.
In a democracy the majority is supposed to rule right? Yet, that is not the case in this country because we have a republic, not a true democracy.
And while Democrats fight their internal pissing fights and argue about the right candidate or the right message or ideological purity, the Republicans ignore their electoral disadvantage and seize the reigns of power with mechanics.
Republicans control the Presidency, the Congressional House, and the US Senate.
And the bigger key is that Republicans control this:
26 Complete control Republican state governments
6 Complete control Democratic state government
6 Dem Governor with Republican controlled legislatures
7 Republican Governor with Dem controlled legislatures
1 Independent Governor with Republican controlled leg (Alaska)
1 Republican Governor with Split legislature
3 Democratic Governor with Split legislature
Secretary of State in the States (controls voting mechanisms)
27 Republican Sec of State
20 Democratic Sec of State
3 Have duties in other positions.
Strict Photo ID requirement
Strict ID requirement (but other than photo ID accepted)
Note: North Carolina would have had such a law, but it was struck down by the courts.
This year several Republican controlled states were able to put restrictions on early voting, decrease the number of polling places, and control the locations.
Also, several states purged the voter rolls prior to the election with little time to contest the voter's removal.
It's the mechanics of government, the details of operating an election that Democrats have ignored.
Local races that lead to control of state legislatures are so important. And Democrats who continue to sit at home during mid-term elections are putting more and more power in the hands of Republicans.
And that power comes with a minority of actual votes.
Complaining about it and getting mad about it does absolutely no good. You can try to argue that leadership is at fault, you can argue about the wrong candidate on the ballot. You can argue about not being progressive enough or a lack of issue focus.
Truth is, none of that matters. We can have the majority of votes for years to come, but until we pay attention to the mechanical details, we will always be losing where it counts.