Today is the 14th of July, Bastille Day in France..That's kind of the equivalent of the 4th of July in the USA. A symbolic date, like the 4th that designates the ideal of a new beginning. It was the 60th day of the new Hollande Government. We had our big patriotic display in Paris and Hollande gave his first real interview since he took office.
It is significant because it represents a real break with the last 15 years of French politics. It should be significant to Americans, because it shows that Democracies can effect change. An direct honest electoral system can become the instrument of the will of the people.
A few posts ago, I wrote about how the pre WW2 Popular Front Socialist Government of Leon Blum, which championed the rights of the workers was destroyed by the industrialists and elite conservative class of France. The economy was sabotaged to destabilize the government. The Right moved capital and industry out of France into Germany. The 1% welcomed the German Occupation and saw Hitler as their model and savior. The propaganda machine relentlessly attacked the Socialists as Anarchists and turned the country into a racist, nationalist murdering machine against the Jews. The xenophobic racism still lingers, a poisonous vapor that rises from the swamps from time to time.
I made a connection between the forces that destabilized the Blum government and the obstructionist Republican policies of America, today. We see the Conservatives trying to push us back into the 19th century. These are just a few of the regressive initiatives being promoted by the Republicans.
1. Have attacked our child labor laws
2. Have attacked minimum wage for our students
3. Have attacked limited working hours for our students
(these countries have young children working in horrendous conditions for little or no pay)
4. propose abstinence as the only form of birth control
A. When women do get pregnant no abortions!
1. Once the babies are born no help from the government
5. Have attacked labor unions so that workers rights are being stolen away bit by bit.
6. Have proposed taking funding away from colleges and universities so that our people can’t be educated.
7. Have proposed that schools be run by local governments and federal funding be stripped away.
These positions are not popular with most of the voters of America, and the Republicans seem to understand this, but their concern is not convincing the general population. It is gaining a permanent majority, eliminating and destroying any real honest chance for the people to be heard. It is all about power, the concentration of wealth and the enrichment of the 1%. They are working very hard to disenfranchise and destroy voting rights. Again, take us back to the 19th...or say the 18th century, when only wealthy men could participate in governing. The latest attack is the attempt to gerrymander the already ridiculous Electoral College System. Of course, you know that you don not directly elect a president in America. It is the Electoral College and now the Republicans are going to try to destroy even that in their quest for permanent domination.
And folks, it would be legal. Here's what you need to know to understand the plan:
■ The Electoral College elects the president, not the American people.
■ Each state sends "electors" to the Electoral College based on a formula determined by that state via its legislature (plus the governor, who has to sign the bill).
■ Most states have a winner-take-all system of allocating Electoral College votes. The candidate who "wins the state" wins all Electoral College votes for that state.
■ The number of electors per state = the number of congressional districts (one for each district) plus two (one for each senator).
■ Because of the gerrymandering of congressional districts, it's possible for one party to dominate the state vote generally, but for the other party to win more congressional seats.
See where this is headed?
Did I mention that each state legislature determines how its Electoral College votes are allocated? (I think I did.) Did I mention that many state legislatures and governors' palaces are dominated by radicals devoted to constitutional coup? (Not yet.)
See where this is headed? Your constitutional coup in action.
Republican state legislators in Pennsylvania are pushing a scheme that, if GOPers in other states follow their lead, could cause President Barack Obama to lose the 2012 election—not because of the vote count, but because of new rules.
That's not all: There's no legal way for Democrats to stop them.
The problem for Obama, and the opportunity for Republicans, is the electoral college. Every political junkie knows that the presidential election isn't a truly national contest; it's a state-by-state fight, and each state is worth a number of electoral votes equal to the size of the state's congressional delegation. (The District of Columbia also gets three votes.) There are 538 electoral votes up for grabs; win 270, and you're the president. ...
Currently, 48 states and DC use a winner-take-all system in which the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state gets all of its electoral votes.
[But under] the Republican plan—which has been endorsed by top GOPers in both houses of the state Legislature, as well as the governor, Tom Corbett—Pennsylvania would change from this system to one where each congressional district gets its own electoral vote. (Two electoral votes—one for each of the state's two senators—would go to the statewide winner.)
If you — and by "you" I mean Republicans, because you Democrats only play not to lose — have no conscience about how to win, because you have a note from Jesus in your wallet ... well, all you need to do is subvert the popular vote by dominating the Electoral College.
Thus if you — soulless death eating Republicans, of course — own all elements of state government involved in redistricting, you can win that state for Mitt Romney.
Or for any other Movement Conservative retainer you wish to elevate to the throne. For as long as you wish to. (Unless Democrats decide to stop losing and change the rules back, but that's a different problem.)
This is what Baumann calls the "redistricting trifecta" — both houses of the state legislature and the governor's box. That's all it takes to execute this plan.
Can it work? Baumann again:
This could cost Obama dearly. ... Pennsylvania Republicans get to draw the boundaries of the state's congressional districts without any input from Democrats.
Some of the early maps have leaked to the press, and Democrats expect that the Pennsylvania congressional map for the 2012 elections will have 12 safe GOP seats compared to just 6 safe Democratic seats.
So Obama could win the state, and lose 12 of Pennsylvania's 18 electoral votes.
Besides Pennsylvania, three more large states — Michigan, Ohio, and (perhaps) Wisconsin — are in play for this manœuver; the Republican constitutional coup is well under way in those states, and Obama took all three in 2008 (back in those old-school winner-take-all days).
Depending on the closeness of the election, this move could definitely swing it.
What's the remedy? According to the article: "For now, the Democrats'—and Obama's—only real way of fighting back is political."
That's not exactly leading with our strength, is it?
As I watch this rolling coup, and also watch heart-rending videos of "ordinary Americans" on the losing end of the battle against the corp-enabled CEO Class, I'm torn by sadness, mixed with other feelings.
On the one hand, the pain is palpable. It hurts to see one's fellows go down hard. I always keep fighting, but this one we could seriously lose. And if we lose, we will all lose.
On the other hand, I can't keep myself from asking — Which of these suffering "ordinary Americans" voted for Reagan, for either Bush, for McCain? For Wisconsin's Scott Walker?
Which of them lived with their girlfriends while hating the hippies?
How many of them would have been "collaborators" and welcomed the German occupation if they were French in 1939?