BY RICH GALEN
Reprinted from Mullings.com
I’ve been doing a lot of TV since the shut down began. Specifically I’ve been doing one or both of Anderson Cooper’s programs at 8 PM Eastern and/or 10 PM Eastern.
In almost every one of those programs whoever is to my Left says that President Obama has been elected twice on the program of ObamaCare and, as ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES, Republicans should back off, roll over, and accept their fate as having lost the Presidency in 2008 and 2012.
There is something to that. I’m not sure I remember either election turning on the fulcrum of ObamaCare but that might be because Mitt Romney didn’t have a good answer opposing ObamaCare because of the Massachusetts plan that was adopted when he was Governor – ObamaCare lite.
Nevertheless, the Democrat on the TV panel will then press the bet by going on to say that Republicans’ control of the House is illegitimate because Democrats for Congress got one million more votes nationwide than Republicans running for Congress.
Which may be true but is the equivalent of saying the football team that gains the most yards should be declared the winner notwithstanding which had the most points.
The way we keep score of Presidential elections is not the popular vote, but the Electoral College. Each state gets the number of electors that is reached by adding the number of Congressional Districts plus two for the Senate seats.
California has a lot more electors (55) than Rhode Island (3). Might not seem fair if you live in Providence, but it’s the way we keep score.
Every ten years there is, by Constitutional fiat, a national census. Article I, Section 2 (as amended by the Clause 2 of the 14th Amendment states: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.
In the first census – 1790 – the whole number of persons, excluding Indians not taxed, equaled 3,929,625.
Twenty Two censuses (yes, that is the correct plural form of “census”) later the United States is home to at least – Oh! The official page of the U.S. Census is offline due to the government shutdown.
However Google, which is the home of all knowledge, puts the U.S. population in 2012 at 313.9 million.
As of today the GOP controls 30 of the 50 Governors’ mansions. In addition they control 23 State legislatures outright (both House and Senate) and 8 states that have split chambers (or at least one GOP and one tie). That adds up to 31.
The point of all that is Republicans have done very, very well at the state level – even if not so well at the Presidential or Senatorial levels.
The U.S. Constitution gives great latitude to States in determining how Congressional districts are computed so long as they meet certain tests including the “One Person, One Vote” rule that was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1965 Reynolds v. Sims case.
According to the Legal Dictionary, the Court ruled that a state’s Apportionment plan for seats in both houses of a bicameral state legislature must allocate seats on a population basis so that the voting power of each voter be as equal as possible to that of any other voter.
Presidents and U.S. Senators don’t draw Congressional District lines, state legislatures (for the most part) do.
Republicans have put a lot of time, effort, money and talent into state races and so they have earned the right to draw the CD lines in far more states than Democrats.
And, “elections,” as my Democrat friends have been chanting for the past two weeks, “have consequences.”
Editor’s Note: Rich Galen is former communications director for House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Dan Quayle. In 2003-2004, he did a six-month tour of duty in Iraq at the request of the White House engaging in public affairs with the Department of Defense. He also served as executive director of GOPAC and served in the private sector with Electronic Data Systems. Rich is a frequent lecturer and appears often as a political expert on ABC, CNN, Fox and other news outlets.