I keep hearing this tired meme by Republicans who try to rationalize and justify their historic obstruction of Congress: the American people voted for (and therefore desire) divided government. Like so much of Republican talking points, it is
But moreover, Americans aren't choosing divided government. Politicians are making sure that we have no other choice by gerrymandering:
Based on ThinkProgress’ review of all ballots counted so far, 53,952,240 votes were cast for a Democratic candidate for the House and only 53,402,643 were cast for a Republican — meaning that Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.[..]
The actual partisan breakdown of the 113th Congress will be very different, however. Currently, Republicans enjoy a 233-192 advantage over Democrats, with 10 seats remaining undecided. That means that, in a year when Republicans earned less than half the popular vote, they will control a little under 54 percent of the House even if Democrats run the table on the undecided seats. There is a simple explanation for how this happened: Republicans won several key state legislatures and governors’ mansions in the election cycle before redistricting, and they gerrymandered those states within an inch of their lives.
The sad truth is that the Republicans have ensured that they will have a majority in Congress for many years. But not because Americans want it. They'll have it because they make the rules they play by and change it for their convenience.
Author and "vlogbrother" John Green breaks it down:
You know the time-tested-and-proven adage -- a gaffe is when a politician opens his mouth and what he or she really believes comes out. Sometimes it's the revelation that the politician is barking mad and doesn't have the foggiest notion what Read more...