Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

The Republican Party of Bush hates Democracy

Jonathan Chait, TNR: Normally, the consequences of an electoral fluke would have been limited by a Congress sensitive to public opinion. But Congress is not completely democratic either. The House has been gerrymandered to the point where competetive elections are rare and GOP control is all but immune to voter dissatisfaction. And the Senate--reflecting an even more pronounced small-state bias than the electoral college--gives the citizens in the 30 states Bush won in 2000, which comprise slightly less than half of the U.S. population, 60 seats. The 20 states Gore won comprise a narrow majority of the population, but they get only 40 seats in the Senate. Even with this skew, Democrats captured nearly half the seats; balance the scales, and the Senate would have a solid Democratic majority.

Republicans therefore ended up running the presidency, the Senate, and the House, despite a lack of evidence that voters wanted them to control any one of the three. At the beginning of 2001, the conventional wisdom held that Republicans would court a backlash if they exceeded their limited mandate. The common metaphor is a pendulum that, if tilted off center, inevitably swings back. The more apt (and less comforting) metaphor, however, may be a feedback loop. Facing a lack of public support, Bush and his allies circumscribe normal democratic procedures to enact their agenda. The Republican Congress, in turn, spares Bush from paying a price for his anti-democratic endeavors, and this protection only encourages further abuses by the White House.

Thus, the system is broken says Chait.

If Republicans stand together, there will be no investigations. (Or, at least, no serious investigations.) If there are no investigations, there is no process for the media to cover. If there's no media coverage, there's no public outrage to constrain the GOP.

And anyone who continues to whine about the story no one is covering is called "shrill".
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