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Tags democrats , gerrymandering , New Jersey politics

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Old 14th December 2018, 11:10 PM   #1
Brainster
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NJ Democrats Hope to Put Gerrymandering in the State Constitution

And they're even using a sneaky method to do it. First the problem as reported by that conservative rag Slate:

Quote:
Legislators in the Garden State hope to fast-track a constitutional amendment that would likely create a durable Democratic gerrymander of the Legislature. If passed, the proposal would strike a blow against democracy and undermine the Democratic Party’s ability to hold the moral high ground on partisan redistricting—all for the sake of padding out a liberal statehouse with a few more Democratic seats. It is exactly the kind of election rigging that most progressives rail against today.
The article goes on to point out the problem:

Quote:
But the second change is even more dramatic, and diabolical. It would require half of legislative districts to favor Democrats, and half to favor Republican—but at least 25 percent of districts would have to be “competitive.” That might be reasonable if the measure defined competitiveness fairly, as a district evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. It does not. Instead, a district would be “competitive” if its party composition is within 5 percentage points of the statewide average vote for president, senator, and governor over the past decade.
Here's the sneaky part:

Quote:
Typically, a constitutional amendment cannot reach the ballot unless three-fifths of the state Legislature have approved it. But lawmakers have seized upon a little-used rule that sends an amendment to the voters once a simple majority of the Legislature has passed it in two consecutive calendar years. Democrats hope to approve the measure in December, then again in January, allowing them to place it on the ballot in November 2019.
Liberals may hope that these sorts of shenanigans will result in the Supreme Court stepping in on the whole gerrymandering issue. Slate pours cold water on that notion as well:

Quote:
But just this year, the court considered Maryland’s egregious Democratic gerrymander—and punted the case. If anything, more Democratic gerrymandering will only give the conservative justices cover to kick these cases out of court, depicting their abdication as nonpartisan because #bothsides do it.
Not to mention the fact that New Jersey's gerrymandering attempt would affect only state legislative districts.
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Old 14th December 2018, 11:30 PM   #2
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Gerrymandering anywhere is wrong. It's not to hard to work that out.
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Old 14th December 2018, 11:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
And they're even using a sneaky method to do it. First the problem as reported by that conservative rag Slate:



The article goes on to point out the problem:



Here's the sneaky part:



Liberals may hope that these sorts of shenanigans will result in the Supreme Court stepping in on the whole gerrymandering issue. Slate pours cold water on that notion as well:



Not to mention the fact that New Jersey's gerrymandering attempt would affect only state legislative districts.
Mmm. First of all, thank you for posting about this. Second, this is condemnation worthy, to the point where, if I lived in NJ, I would be pointedly acting to try to get my legislators to oppose this. I don't, for better or worse, though. Going by your article, though... it sure looks like this is being condemned and acted against by just about all the Democratic leaning groups that also condemn the Republican gerrymanders.

Now, with that said...

Quote:
The map is a recipe for a permanent Democratic supermajority; an analysis by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project found that Democrats could theoretically capture 70 percent of legislative seats with just 57 percent of the statewide vote.
13% potential skew? That's a really crappy gerrymander compared to a bunch of the Republican ones, if I recall correctly.
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Old 15th December 2018, 12:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
And they're even using a sneaky method to do it. First the problem as reported by that conservative rag Slate:



The article goes on to point out the problem:



Here's the sneaky part:



Liberals may hope that these sorts of shenanigans will result in the Supreme Court stepping in on the whole gerrymandering issue. Slate pours cold water on that notion as well:



Not to mention the fact that New Jersey's gerrymandering attempt would affect only state legislative districts.
What's your view on this?
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Old 15th December 2018, 01:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What's your view on this?
Let me guess: "It's OK when Repuclicans do it, but not OK when Democrats do it".
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Old 15th December 2018, 02:08 AM   #6
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Thankfully, it looks doubtful:

Quote:
Mr. Holder leads the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a political group seeking to untangle gerrymandered districts that have helped Republicans hold power in Washington and elsewhere.

“The American people want redistricting reforms that help level the playing field so that elections are decided on who has the best ideas, not which party was in charge of drawing the lines,” Mr. Holder said in a statement.

“As currently constructed, the proposal in New Jersey fails to live up to those standards,” he said.

The Democratic lawmakers’ proposal would amend the New Jersey Constitution, and New Jersey voters would need to approve it through a ballot measure.

...

The quick procedural move, in particular, has provoked an outcry, including from Gov. Philip D. Murphy. Though Mr. Murphy is a Democrat, the redistricting plan would greatly weaken his ability to influence the process.

“I have as much a concern about the process as I do even about the substance,” Mr. Murphy said. “I don’t like the substance, but this is classic jam something through, and I got elected to stand up against that and I’m going to.”

...

This scenario has provoked strong criticism from Democratic incumbents who tend to win by large margins in Democratic strongholds like Hudson County in northern New Jersey. “This proposal would create an imbalance of power with representation of North Jersey counties being diluted in the legislature,” Senator Nicholas Sacco of Hudson County said in a statement, “and given that our region is continuing to grow and propel the state’s economy forward that outcome would be fundamentally unfair.”

A growing backlash against the redistricting plan has left the fate of the proposal unclear with just a thin margin of support among Democrats in the Senate.

“If they succeed, and I hope they don’t, I will fight it right through to the ballot box, and you should assume that we ain’t giving up this fight,” Mr. Murphy said. “I’m a proud Democrat, let there be no doubt. I want to win stuff fair and square, and this is not.”
Linky.
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Old 15th December 2018, 02:15 AM   #7
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Look how corrupt the Democrats are.
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Old 15th December 2018, 06:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Look how corrupt the Democrats are.


Yeah, they're almost acting like Republicans, it's disgusting!


But I'm seriously torn on this issue. On the one hand, I'd be quite happy to see this Democrat gerrymander thrown out, if it meant we saw all the Republican ones tossed as well. I'm fundamentally in favor of fair elections.

But on the other hand, it seems there's no way that will ever happen in the US. Take a look at some of the comments in this thread, which deny even the possibility of running an election in a non-partisan fashion, which comments mostly come from the Republican side. With that, if the Republicans are going to continue their plan to gerrymander the hell out of everything they can get their hands on, Democrats would be idiots not to do the same.

And thus democracy dies.
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Old 15th December 2018, 07:02 AM   #9
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I say, good. If this rustles any GOP jimmies, they can join the Democrats working to end gerrymandering altogether at the federal level. Until then they can shut the hell up because they opened this can of worms in the first place.
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Old 15th December 2018, 07:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Mmm. First of all, thank you for posting about this. Second, this is condemnation worthy, to the point where, if I lived in NJ, I would be pointedly acting to try to get my legislators to oppose this. I don't, for better or worse, though. Going by your article, though... it sure looks like this is being condemned and acted against by just about all the Democratic leaning groups that also condemn the Republican gerrymanders.

Now, with that said...



13% potential skew? That's a really crappy gerrymander compared to a bunch of the Republican ones, if I recall correctly.
You do so recall that!!!
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Old 15th December 2018, 07:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Yeah, they're almost acting like Republicans, it's disgusting!


But I'm seriously torn on this issue. On the one hand, I'd be quite happy to see this Democrat gerrymander thrown out, if it meant we saw all the Republican ones tossed as well. I'm fundamentally in favor of fair elections.

But on the other hand, it seems there's no way that will ever happen in the US. Take a look at some of the comments in this thread, which deny even the possibility of running an election in a non-partisan fashion, which comments mostly come from the Republican side. With that, if the Republicans are going to continue their plan to gerrymander the hell out of everything they can get their hands on, Democrats would be idiots not to do the same.

And thus democracy dies.
David Frum called it, “If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”
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Old 15th December 2018, 07:32 AM   #12
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Yes politicians a whiny "They started it!" and "But the other side gets to do it!" that you would put 5 year old in time out for exactly what we need in politics right now.

The Democrats are on path to become Political Hipsters. They'll gonna be doing all the dirty shady stuff the Republicans do but it's gonna be okay because they're doing it ironically or to make a point.
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Old 15th December 2018, 07:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yes politicians a whiny "They started it!" and "But the other side gets to do it!" that you would put 5 year old in time out for exactly what we need in politics right now.

The Democrats are on path to become Political Hipsters. They'll gonna be doing all the dirty shady stuff the Republicans do but it's gonna be okay because they're doing it ironically or to make a point.
And what is their alternative? The GOP is cheating, and the ref "hasn't noticed." They either cheat as well or they lose.
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Old 15th December 2018, 07:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
And what is their alternative? The GOP is cheating, and the ref "hasn't noticed." They either cheat as well or they lose.
Enacting non-partisan districting instead. Otherwise, “This is dangerous. Research on democratic collapse suggests that when parties compete over who can rig the rules of the game, it can produce a race to the bottom: eventually, the fight escalates so far that one party seizes power outright.”
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Old 15th December 2018, 08:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yes politicians a whiny "They started it!" and "But the other side gets to do it!" that you would put 5 year old in time out for exactly what we need in politics right now.

The Democrats are on path to become Political Hipsters. They'll gonna be doing all the dirty shady stuff the Republicans do but it's gonna be okay because they're doing it ironically or to make a point.
Right, that's exactly what the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Democratic Governor are doing. Thank goodness we have enlightened centrists to look down on everyone else.
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Old 15th December 2018, 08:52 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Thankfully, it looks doubtful:

Linky.
From that article:
Quote:
A growing backlash against the redistricting plan has left the fate of the proposal unclear with just a thin margin of support among Democrats in the Senate.

“If they succeed, and I hope they don’t, I will fight it right through to the ballot box, and you should assume that we ain’t giving up this fight,” Mr. Murphy said. “I’m a proud Democrat, let there be no doubt. I want to win stuff fair and square, and this is not.”

It must suck for Republicans looking for that devastating whataboutism gotcha to see Democrats so vigorously self-police.
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Old 15th December 2018, 08:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Stacko View Post
Yes, they can lose, that was one of my options.

Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
It must suck for Republicans looking for that devastating whataboutism gotcha to see Democrats so vigorously self-police.
I don't think it bothers them that much. They can always claim a gotcha even if it doesn't exist. See this very thread, for example.

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Old 15th December 2018, 09:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Yeah, they're almost acting like Republicans, it's disgusting!


But I'm seriously torn on this issue. On the one hand, I'd be quite happy to see this Democrat gerrymander thrown out, if it meant we saw all the Republican ones tossed as well. I'm fundamentally in favor of fair elections.

But on the other hand, it seems there's no way that will ever happen in the US. Take a look at some of the comments in this thread, which deny even the possibility of running an election in a non-partisan fashion, which comments mostly come from the Republican side. With that, if the Republicans are going to continue their plan to gerrymander the hell out of everything they can get their hands on, Democrats would be idiots not to do the same.

And thus democracy dies.
Are you inferring that Bob is a Republican?
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Old 16th December 2018, 03:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What's your view on this?
Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
Let me guess: "It's OK when Repuclicans do it, but not OK when Democrats do it".
The OP is the poster boy for partisanship on the Republican side. Matters not if it has a chance of passing (hint- it doesn't), as long as he can bring it up and make the Democratic Party look nearly as bad as the Republicans, it's time well spent.

The measure had the support of the bill's sponsors. Hundreds of Dems spoke out against it at hearings this week, and the bill won't see the floor in this session, thereby negating its chance of being voted for in two consecutive years.

In short,.... non-story becomes even more of a non-story, now how 'bout her emails, I ask you!
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Old 16th December 2018, 07:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Are you inferring that Bob is a Republican?

Look for the quotes from Brainster. Just ignore all the Bobisms, that's what I do.
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Old 16th December 2018, 11:36 AM   #21
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Prediction: I expect all of the resident leftists to make excuses for this behavior just as our conservatives have yawned at power grabs in Wisconsin and Michigan. Both sides do it. Trump lies, but so does Hillary.
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Old 16th December 2018, 12:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Look how corrupt the Democrats are.
When it comes to gerrymandering, I don't trust either party. Only reason the GOP is worse is because they have control of more state legislatures.
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Old 16th December 2018, 01:05 PM   #23
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I see the usual political blinders in place...on both sides.
The sad thing about political blinders is that people who wear them are totally unaware they are wearing them.
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Old 16th December 2018, 01:37 PM   #24
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I've always wondered what Brainster's purpose for these threads is. To me, they've always seemed like an "Ah-ha!" attempt, trying to get people on the left to defend actions by their party that they condemn the opposition party for.

But I've never seen it work. The vast majority of us left-leaning posters have consistently voiced our opposition to the activities he brings to our attention.

The same can not be said for the right-leaning posters. At best, you have to pull teeth to get them to explicitly oppose something their party is doing.

I don't think he realizes just how much he's highlighting the consistent principles and values that left-leaning posters here have, in stark contrast to the right-leaning posters.

Thank you for your help in promoting liberal values, Brainster.

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Old 16th December 2018, 07:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
When it comes to gerrymandering, I don't trust either party. Only reason the GOP is worse is because they have control of more state legislatures.
It's a fair point. We do have some sensible districts here in Maryland, but when you look at districts 2, 3, and 4 as examples, you'll shake your head and say "are you kidding me right now?" As much as I despise the current GOP, if people want to be represented by a republican, they should be.

There are some times where a district can look like it's gerrymandered, but when you dig into the facts, you discover that it's basically one community that's been split in two, but they're still basically together. If that makes sense.

I live in one of the thinner areas of Maryland's 3rd. There is *nothing* that binds us together, it's blatantly gerrymandered to ensure that a dem gets elected.

Ultimately, the solution under our current Constitution is to have nonpartisan commissions decide this - and it'll be a fight to ensure that these commissions are nonpartisan or bipartisan if need be.
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Old 16th December 2018, 07:50 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I see the usual political blinders in place...on both sides.
The sad thing about political blinders is that people who wear them are totally unaware they are wearing them.
Yes, we enlightned centrists are so superior to the unwashed masses. Let us look down our noses as we dispense vague excuses of "both sides" for apathy.
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Old 16th December 2018, 08:45 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Yes, we enlightned centrists are so superior to the unwashed masses. Let us look down our noses as we dispense vague excuses of "both sides" for apathy.
And also ignore the fact that there is Democratic opposition to this scheme............
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Old 17th December 2018, 12:05 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Prediction: I expect all of the resident leftists to make excuses for this behavior just as our conservatives have yawned at power grabs in Wisconsin and Michigan. Both sides do it. Trump lies, but so does Hillary.

That's a neat trick having direct access to Brainster's motive. That quite literally could have been the final paragraph of the OP. (If Republicans were ever honest, that is.)

Darat should refer his questions about this OP directly to you in the future.
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Old 17th December 2018, 12:06 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
both sides

Yeah. Both sides. In the same sense that a rapist and their victim both have a "side".
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Old 17th December 2018, 05:36 AM   #30
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Both sides indeed.

Democrats in New Jersey:

Quote:
Legislative leaders in New Jersey announced this weekend they would not move forward with a proposal to redraw legislative districts that would have essentially written gerrymandering into the State Constitution.

...

The proposal was opposed by numerous political factions: Republicans, progressives, nonpartisan pollsters, Gov. Philip D. Murphy, who is a Democrat, and Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general under President Barack Obama who is the current leader of a national group combating gerrymandering.

In the final day of public hearings on the proposal last week, more than 100 progressive activists and academics testified against the bill in hearings before the Senate and Assembly committees; the authors of the bill were the lone supporters in each hearing.

But the opposition may not have been the only reason Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Coughlin canceled a vote, essentially killing the bill. Support was beginning to wane among members of their own caucus.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/n...gtype=Homepage
(bolding mine)

Republicans in Wisconsin: well, they just did it.
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Old 17th December 2018, 12:42 PM   #31
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Hmm it doesn’t actually seem to explicitly favor Democrats as suggested in the OP, rather it looks lit it would favor whoever had more voter support. If the state moved stronger Republican support it looks to me like the rules would favor Republicans instead. Basically it enhances the representation of whoever has greater share of the popular vote. It’s not a good idea but it doesn't seem comparable to the Gerrymandering elsewhere that allows a minority of voters to control the elected representatives.

What I find concerning is that the way it’s presented in the article it seems to constitutional entrench Republicans and Democrats as the only official political parties.
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Old 17th December 2018, 07:08 PM   #32
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How Progressive Activists Killed New Jersey Democrats’ Gerrymandering Scheme

Quote:
New Jersey Democrats’ gerrymandering proposal is dead—killed not by Republican backlash, but by near-universal opposition from grassroots progressive activists who bucked the Democratic Party to defend voting rights.
....
The precise intent and impact of the amendment sparked a lively debate among political scientists. Redistricting expert Michael McDonald argued that it would not necessarily give Democrats an unearned edge. Sam Wang of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project noted that it was poorly designed, as it could transform a moderate Republican wave into huge GOP gains in the legislature. McDonald and Wang asserted that the amendment reflected an intraparty squabble between Democratic legislators and Gov. Phil Murphy. Under the current rules, John Currie, the state Democratic Party chair and a progressive Murphy ally, picks Democratic members of the state’s redistricting commission. Democratic legislative leaders, who are more conservative than Murphy, feared the next map would diminish their power. Their plan would’ve let them appoint more members to the commission, helping to entrench the incumbencies of corporate-friendly machine Democrats.
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Old 17th December 2018, 09:05 PM   #33
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The "both sides do it" narrative of this falls apart once facts come out. I'm not surprised.
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Old 18th December 2018, 03:04 AM   #34
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I would like to thank Brainster for the opportunity to see just how clear the difference is between the two main parties in their view on voting rights. Democrats police themselves. Republicans use every opportunity to undermine democracy.

Well done, Brainster.
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Old 18th December 2018, 03:24 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I would like to thank Brainster for the opportunity to see just how clear the difference is between the two main parties in their view on voting rights. Democrats police themselves. Republicans use every opportunity to undermine democracy.

Well done, Brainster.
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Old 19th December 2018, 05:56 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
The "both sides do it" narrative of this falls apart once facts come out. I'm not surprised.


If only "both sides did it".
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Old 22nd December 2018, 05:38 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
The "both sides do it" narrative of this falls apart once facts come out. I'm not surprised.
You say this but the cult of both sides is going to cite this attempt the next time the GOP actually gerrymanders. It's an unsinkable rubber duck of absolving yourself of responsibility in order to do nothing and let the GOP get away with it.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 10:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I would like to thank Brainster for the opportunity to see just how clear the difference is between the two main parties in their view on voting rights. Democrats police themselves. Republicans use every opportunity to undermine democracy.

Well done, Brainster.

I second Hlafordlaes'
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