As the Republican Party continues its march to the extreme right and its core voters begin to die off, its advocates search for and work to enforce more and more new ways for the GOP to win elections despite more people actually voting for Democrats.
Concentrate on winning state governments, and then redistrict so tightly that reversal is virtually impossible, and re-legislate so that liberal voters are encouraged not to vote at all.
Work as hard as possible to denigrate, defame, and destroy any organization that works to enable liberal voters: defund and break up unions, slander organizations such as ACORN and tear them to shreds, and generally bury any liberal constituency in a flood of malicious lies so as to strip them of influence.
Declare the Voting Rights Act essentially null and void, then institute the most blatantly political anti-voting laws imaginable, engineering elections to specifically disenfranchise anyone who would vote Democratic.
Advocate changes to state electoral processes that would allow GOP candidates with a minority of people’s votes to run away with the majority of electoral votes.
And these, apparently, are just the start.
There exist conservative groups who make it their mission to explore every possible means of reworking the system to add votes to the GOP tally without actually winning those votes. The exact same group that forwarded the case that tore to pieces the Voting Rights Act, the disingenuously named “Project on Fair Representation,” is back with a new case, one which the conservatives on the Supreme Court have unexpectedly grabbed hold of.
The case challenges the manner in which people who make up a district are counted. Instead of counting all the people in a district to determine its size and influence, instead only eligible voters would be counted, and as a result, further redistricting that favors conservatives would not just be allowed, but would be mandatory. The group pushing the case claims that rural voters’ influence is “diluted” by the current system of counting, perhaps as much as “one and one-half times,” according to the claimants.
It does not matter that conservative voters are already strongly over-represented disproportionate to their actual numbers. This is true both by several of the aforementioned recent means (in which many states in which the popular vote was strongly Democratic, but more Republicans won state seats), and by the classic means called “The Senate,” in which conservative rural voters are given voting powers often dozens of times greater than those in more heavily-populated liberal states. Not to mention the traditional primary system as well as the electoral college itself, both of which give advantages to the more conservative rural states.
To claim that the current system of counting “dilutes” conservative votes is like claiming that white people are “oppressed” by things like Affirmative Action. Which this exact same group also claims and is trying to overturn, by the way.
No, this is not actually about dilution of rural voting power. This is simply another case where conservatives see an opportunity to skew the law so that more conservatives can win elections and hold the power they perceive is slipping away from them. It is not about fairness; quite the opposite. If the current system of counting advantaged conservatives already, even if it did so in a blatantly unfair manner, this group would never even think to challenge it.
This is about stealing more and more votes. And you can safely bet that the conservatives on the court will try as hard as they can to make it the law of the land, no matter what was intended by the constitution, no matter what the case law has established, no matter what fairness and equality demand.
The case led one law professor to remark:
It is highly ironic that conservatives, who usually support respect for precedents and states’ rights, are bringing a case that if successful will not only upset decades-old case law but also restrict the kind of representation states may choose.
He hit the nail on the head with that one; whether he was truly baffled or was simply using irony to highlight the litigants’ hypocrisy is unclear. Whatever the case, the truth is that conservatives have never given a damn about actual “states’ rights,” but have only used it when it is of service to their political goals.
Because that’s really all that the Republican power structure truly stands for nowadays: their own power and influence, and anything that enriches them.