What we might see is a real effort by the Republican Party to take advantage of their control of state governments to change the rules in a way that the Democrats will be unable to match. Retaliation is not possible because the Dems do not have total control of the government in any red states other than West Virginia and Arkansas. How many congressional districts is Obama likely to win in those two states? Left unsaid in the above excerpt, is that making such a move would reduce Pennsylvania's importance down to roughly the level of New Hampshire. The award for winning the state would only be two Electoral Votes, and the fight beyond that would be over only two or three swing districts. Maybe Obama could carry eight congressional district instead of six, and wind up splitting the delegates 10-10. Either way, the Republican would have pocketed ten to twelve delegates they would have otherwise lost. Repeat that in several other sizable states and suddenly it becomes quite likely that a Republican candidate could win the presidency while getting absolutely thumped in the popular vote.
It's a recipe for civil war, but I guess that's where we're headed anyway, right?
Personally, and I have an inkling Gordon feels the same way, I think the discourse in this country has been so poisoned by the conservatives over the past 10 years that there is probably no way back from the brink. There is certainly not enough political courage in the GOP to put an end to it.
That said, there has to be an end. The country can't be divided for so long and still survive. The only way I can see it ending is for the GOP to be destroyed. I only see one way to do that*.
We can't go on with this stalemate. We can't go on with one political party willing to destroy the country, to let uninsured Americans die, to wreck our economy purely for the political and financial gain of a small minority. The GOP is that party and what they're doing amounts to treason.
When the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many, we are no longer living in America**. When one political party can claim it is best to turn over the Treasury to the moneyed few at the expense of our old, sick, and infirm, they are no longer a political party but more a domestic enemy. America is a country of, by, and for the people, not a support system for the rich and corporations.
There are 400 people in this country who are doing quite well while a quarter of our people are either in, or close to, poverty. These 400 people (and their political puppets) have become, in effect, royalty. The Rule of Law no longer concerns them, the welfare of their fellow Americans is not even a thought. 250 years ago we fought a war against that type of system, where the rich and powerful rule with impunity and the poor are left to beg for the scraps of their largess. I have a very bad feeling it's going to come to that again unless the American people wake up.
As long as we consider the GOP a "negotiator in good faith" (I'm talking to you Mr. Obama and the rest of the Dem leadership), as long as the news media gives their ideas, that get crazier and crazier by the day, equal weight as sound policy, as long as we pretend the GOP wants "what's best for America", we are doomed to continue in this cycle until something snaps. There's enough fuel out there***, it only takes a spark.
If you think the "Arab Spring" couldn't happen here, you're sadly mistaken. When people are hopeless enough, when people are desperate enough, they will do anything they have to in order to survive. The rich might have their secure compounds with mercenaries and technology, they might control the armed forces (though I doubt you'd get many who were willing to fire upon their fellow Americans en masse) and the police (they will kill as many of us as it takes) but if it all goes south it will be little comfort. They will still be the first up against the wall. They are fat targets and nothing will stop tens of millions of starving, desperate people.
Unfortunately, when the dust settles, there will be little of the America we recognize, maybe nothing at all.