While I agree with Glenn Reynolds’ basic observation…
…about this Washington Post article calling for four-year terms for the House of Representatives, I also would like to propose an amusing game for dealing with advocates of such a change. Ask them, sweetly, if they were prepared to accept a compromise where House elections were four-year terms… and they were all during what we now call the midterms. Then watch them squirm*. Continue reading On ‘reforming’ the House of Representatives by making the terms four years long.
This is a pretty good summary of the voter changes in North Carolina. It’s tricky to report on the legislature… finessing… things without making it sound too approving/disapproving, but I think that the author managed here. Not that it will keep certain elements of the Left from fuming, foaming, and… sorry: all the other words I can think of that start with “F” are all obscene. So let’s just say that the Left is going to be a sore loser about the consequences of not having control of the state government any more.
Better luck next time, guys?
(H/T: Instapundit) The principle is fairly simple: Pileggi proposes that the state assign Pennsylvania’s electoral votes semi-proportionally: which is to say, two EVs would be given to the winner of the statewide popular vote and the remainder divided up proportionally. Outside the Beltway did the back of the envelope calculations and concluded that the end result would have been 11/9 Obama/Romney, which explains why a: it’s being done and b: why the Left is screaming about it (oddly, almost nobody on the Left complained when Nebraska gave Obama an EV in 2008).
One thing that especially infuriates the Left about this is that plans to try this sort of thing are being advanced in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan – which is to say, states where the GOP has control over the legislature and the governorships, but not the EVs statewide – but not in states like Texas or Georgia. Because, after all, cheerfully naked partisanship is only acceptable when the Left does it. I assumed that James Joyner of OTB knew that, but then he wrote “…maybe there should be Democratic proposals along those lines in states with a similar history of both being relatively close and yet always winding up in the Republican column?” The answer to that is simple: there actually really aren’t any. The closest is West Virginia, which Mitt Romney won in 2012 with 62% of the vote. Obama didn’t win a single county in that state, let alone a CD: under Pileggi’s system he’d have gleaned one Electoral Vote out of WV. Continue reading PA State Senator Dominic Pileggi proposes Electoral College reform.
There’s something fascinating about this article from the New York Times on the Citizens United case. The author (Adam Liptak) noticed that the decision removed certain onerous restrictions on political speech, yet left current mandates on disclosure of funding largely intact. ‘Resolving’ the two led Liptak to this:
The two parts of Citizens United are not hard to harmonize. Citizens United takes the libertarian view that people may be trusted to evaluate the messages they hear and need not be sheltered from the responsibility of critical thinking. The theory is as applicable to the marketing of soda and cigarettes as it is to that of political candidates.
The five-justice majority in Citizens United said that speech about politics is at the core of what the First Amendment protects, that more speech is better than less and that the government has no business deciding who can speak or how much.
It is a small step from that reasoning to saying, as eight justices did, that it helps to know who is advancing the ideas you are evaluating.
Continue reading #rsrh Dancing Bear Watch: New York Times on Citizens United.
…with regard to their petulant, violence-threatening protests over Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform package:
An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters. And it seems to me that Governor Scott Walker’s basic requests are modest ones–asking public employees to contribute more to their pension and health care plans, though still far less than most private sector employees do. He is also trying to limit the unions’ abilities to negotiate work rules–and this is crucial when it comes to the more efficient operation of government in a difficult time.
You know, losing Joe Klein? That takes skill. I’m almost impressed.
You know, the dream where you’re trying to warn somebody, but they can’t hear you, and they keep blithely going onward towards their doom:
Talking with a conservative House Democrat from the South recently, I commented that it must be horrible to go home and get beaten about the head and shoulders by angry constituents. He added, “And then come back here and get beaten up in my own caucus.”
Via Kaus. Although Charlie Cook’s solution (redistricting reform) won’t actually solve the Democratic Party’s problem for it. The reason why? Because the aforementioned ‘conservative’ and ‘moderate’ Democrats obey their exceedingly liberal leadership, and those leaders are almost certainly going to keep getting elected, redistricting or no. Continue reading I wonder if Charlie Cook is having that dream.
They’re all good ones, but #4 resonates:
No. 4: This one is for the Republican party: Run candidates in every legislative district, even if you have to put up the lame and the halt. That was how Tip O’Neill did it in the 1940s – he’d field Democrats in even the most Republican districts, getting the challenger’s name out and waiting for the GOP incumbent to retire or move on, at which point the Democrat would have more name recognition than the new Republican. Every cycle, Tip’s Dems picked off a few more GOP seats. The Democrats finally took over the Massachusetts House in 1946, and haven’t looked back. The other plus: Whenever a summer scandal breaks (think OUI, think young girlfriend working for lobbyist, think money-laundering scheme), the Republicans would already have a candidate in place to take advantage of the anti-incumbent vote.
#4, in fact, has resonance outside of Massachusetts. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons that we won LA-02: if we hadn’t had keeping running candidates there we would have never been able to take advantage of Jefferson’s weakness. Make ’em work for it, and wait patiently for our chance to take the shot. I also like Jules Crittenden’s #11/#1: having these people work part-time appeals on general principles. The less time that they’re there, the less opportunities to spend money they’ll have.
This would be the point where people tell me that Massachusetts is impossible to reform, impossible to repair, and impossible to flip. So we shouldn’t even think about trying, because we don’t have a chance in heck of doing anything useful.
Funny: that’s what they said about Louisiana.
Crossposted to RedState.