Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'll Give You A Conspiracy Theory

Senator Inhofe wants to limit the purchases by the U.S. Government of ammunition based on a whacked-out conspiracy theory that the government is buying up all the ammo.  The NRA said this was not true.

The NRA.

I have now had it with the crazed "government is coming to get us" thing from people who claim to be patriots.

It's dangerous to gin up people who are already prone to believe the worst of the government and whose common denominator is a love for weapons.  It's bizarre for a Senator in a representative democracy to demonize the government.

Hey, Conspiracy Brother Senator ("climate change is a hoax!" "they're coming to get your ammo!"), you want a conspiracy theory?

Have You Heard the One About How Conservative Voters Are Ridiculously Over-Represented?


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Senate is rigged.  

It's rigged against highly-populated states.  Why?  because that's the only way the low-population states would join the union.  So has this problem gotten better or worse over time?

Worse.  It's gotten worse.  51 Senators can now represent fewer than 20 percent of Americans.  That's crazy.  That's not representative.

I know conservatives love founding fathers, so let's see how Alexander Hamilton felt about this one:

Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York; and to Delaware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail. Sophistry may reply, that sovereigns are equal, and that a majority of the votes of the States will be a majority of confederated America. But this kind of logical legerdemain will never counteract the plain suggestions of justice and common-sense. It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America; and two thirds of the people of America could not long be persuaded, upon the credit of artificial distinctions and syllogistic subtleties, to submit their interests to the management and disposal of one third.  [Emphasis mine.]

...But Emily, that anti-democratic deal was struck so long ago, what have conservatives done to us lately?

Why don't we take a look at what gerrymandering has done to the votes of Americans over the last little while?

Don't build in a false equivalence, here, people.  Yes, Maryland and Illinois shouldn't look like that.  But take a look at the sheer number of representatives from the states in this graphic - 

FL -  27
WI -    8
PA -  18
OH - 16
VA - 11
NC - 13
MI -  14

IL -    18
MD -   8

We have a 4:1 ratio here - sheer political congressional gerrymandering on the right is over four times the problem that it is on the left right now.

There are real ways that real people have rigged and are actually rigging the system.  Right now.  And Senator, they are rigging it mostly for your side.  There are real ways that American people could be better represented through reasonable, fundamental changes in the system.  Why don't we talk about those some time?


  1. You are an idiot. The problem is that you're looking only at the senate. There are also the house of representatives which is according to population. Learn how the system works before sounding like an asshat.

    1. If you're going to bring the insults, at least have the guts to put your name on it. Of course there is a House of Reps. Yes, that was part of the "compromise" that brought us to this place. But that's really not what I was saying. If you want to actually make a point about the balance of power between the House and Senate and say that you think it's enough to represent us, do that. Otherwise you're both lazy and chicken.

    2. Agreed. A much better argument would be to suggest that California should be broken up into several smaller states, and that many of those states would have Republican Senators, showing that the current Senators from California are not speaking for all 38m. And, further, as Senators are elected every six years, they are intentionally removed from the general electorate and it is a false argument to assign the weight of a Senator's vote to the populace he/she represents, since they are meant to rise above electoral politics and consider the good of the State, and the Country, as a whole.

    3. That is a better argument. The breaking up California idea makes some intuitive sense. I suppose it would end up with some R votes, but given the sheer number of people voting D in CA, I'm guessing more D by far. But the idea that the way Senators should act and the deal made that long ago is a) still true (we moved to direct election of Senators long ago, so already we've admitted that Senators were too far removed from the will of the populace as originally conceived), and b) what should be for the future, is problematic. If we the people feel poorly represented (as I think even over-represented people do for some reason), why not address that? Splitting up a state or many is one way to address inequity, but others should be discussed, as well.