Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/27/how-reverse-craven-gop-power-grab
Seeing how Democrats have occupied the White House during only 16 of the past 40 years, the Party is rapidly becoming irrelevant.
Just as an arms race forces all players to continue increasing their arsenals the GOP’s half century of applying these electoral and judicial systems strategies dictated that the Democrats take counter actions years ago. Because the Party never did, they fell into every trap the GOP set forthem.
Now that Moscow Mitch’s 6 year stacking campaign has backed the Democrats into a corner, they have two choices…apply counter actions post haste that may include more judges, or become 100% irrelevant.
Professor Reich, balancing the Senate is easier than making more states - which would be a mess (but DC and PR should without doubt be added). The Constitution says every state has two senators and each has one vote - but it doesn’t say that those votes need to be counted equally, they could be apportioned by population (as does Denmark). This could be accomplished by the rules in the Senate, which of course the R’s would challenge, but if by that time the SCOTUS has been ‘fixed’ (as in a veterinary procedure) the challenge would likely be moot (I also much like your idea to ‘fix’ the SCOTUS by making it a yearly randomly-chosen rotating gig from the lower circuits.) BTW, the number of circuits (and judges) should be vastly increased (e.g., by x5 or x10) to drastically reduce the amount of time that it takes to drag cases through the judiciary: Justice delayed is justice denied.
You’re a professor, I’m not. Why does the Republican Party never get called out for its power grabs, its voter suppressions, ad nauseum?
I was hoping to see more creative ideas from Reich on rebalancing the Senate, but the article says almost nothing other than adding DC and PR as states. I found @raydelcamino’s idea more interesting than anything Reich said. Brevity can be useful, but when your subtitle says “The most ambitious structural reform would be to rebalance the Senate itself” and then almost nothing is said, that is not good journalism.
My shoot for the moon reform of the senate is to start from a clean slate (yes, this is a constitutional rewrite) and elect 100 senators at large in the US in a multi party proportional representation. My simplest suggestion is that everyone votes for a party and then within the party, the vote for a ranking among people in the party running for seats. So if the Green Party has about 4% of the vote, they get about 4 seats (rounding rules aren’t conceptually that hard, but no need to discuss these now), and anyone voting Green should get to decide who these 4 are. Likewise for D, R, Libertarian, MPP (whatever they end up calling their party), Communist, Socialist, and so on.
But why do we need a Senate? Why go through the trouble of an eleboarte Constitutional re-write, when a simple one will do? Abolish the Senate.
I would prefer abolishing it to its current definition. I would prefer my definition to abolishing it. I think there may be some who have some nostalgia for the idea of having a senate and continuing to use them for the proposes they do now (confirmation of cabinet, supreme court), but that isn’t my augment - I want the one I defined in order to have true minority representation (imagine a communist in the Senate if they can pull together 1% of the vote which they should be able to do if they get organized).
Yes, the Senate is just bad. It should be abolished. See my recent article: How Slavery Continues to Undermine American Democracy (can’t link, but you can search it)
All of this stuff that gives extra power to low population states was done to support slavery, because at the time of the founding, 70% of the population lived in states that opposed slavery, so in order to ensure that slavery would survive in a union they needed to boost the legislative power of low population states. This is all a vestige of slavery.
Switch the House to PR. Simplify!
Expand the number of reps, since currently each House rep represents almost 3/4 of a million people. One for every 100,000 people = @ 3,300 reps, almost 6 times the 535 now (House and Senate combined). PR by state slate, not nationally. Smallest population Wyoming would elect 6 reps, a party would need at least more than 50,000 votes to get a seat depending on rounding. Largest California almost 400 seats, with broader spread rounding would come less into play so you’d need very close to 100,000 votes to get a seat. It might make sense to have a 1% threshold though, requiring close to 400,000 votes to get a party seated in the CA delegation.
Thanks for thinking. The present system will break soon, one way or another, so i’m pretty sure we’ll have a different system soon enough. Thinking outside the boxes is the realistic position.
Thanks, here’s how you can provide a cut-and-paste link since live links are not supported here, just put a tilde directly in front of the address:
Yes, I recall some of your ideas from your prior posts. I still like the idea of one body being completely separated from geography (my rep is the one who most closely matches my goals among all voters in the entire US, so I can pool my influence with others regardless if my locale or state has a lot of like minded people or not) and another body being tied to geography. If you do the prop. rep. part on subsets of the US population (states or smaller entities), you don’t have the same ability to go as low on the percentage support point and still get a representative (unless people agree to move like libertarians tried in terms of taking over New Hampshire, ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_State_Project).
Statehood for Puerto Rico! For Guam and American Samoa too! Added to Washington, DC, that makes 8 Senate seats and 15 Electoral College electors.
Vintage Reich. Grand plans to mold the country to fit his own vision.
So what’s your vision for the country? Male, pale and monochromatic?
None of this will make a difference while the other half of the republican party exists.
Greedy corrupt people will find a way to feed their greed if no one bothers to enforce laws.
Biden has promised that nothing will change. Structural changes under his administration are pipe dreams.
I have to smile at all these “grand ideas” - the problem is “we the people” don’t have the political will to do any of it - what can we expect from a populace that keeps voting LOTE … CD has given me a few good chuckles lately …
“One of the lamentable tendencies of academic specialists is they become what the Germans call Fachidioten, or specialized idiots: people who may know something about their own narrow specialty, but whose ignorance of other fields, even in the same general branch of study, prevents them from grasping their subject in a fuller context.”
And abolish the SC, also.
“With Barrett now on the court, five of the nine justices have been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote.”
They have essentially been appointed by another broken American institution – the Electoral College. Why does this archaic institution, specifically designed to thwart the will of the people, still exist? The U.S as a country endlessly purports to champion democracy, when at its very heart it is undemocratic. McConnell, Gingrich, Graham et al. manifest this distain for democracy. The Supreme Court exemplifies a kind of gerrymandering courtesy of the Electoral College at a national level.