John C. Calhoun is also on my mind.
I feel like he has been resurrected and is here with us in spirit in 2022.
“The structural advantages that conservatives enjoy in our electoral system are well known. Twice already this young century, the Republican Party has won the Electoral College and thus the presidency while losing the popular vote. Republicans in the Senate haven’t represented a majority of Americans since the 1990s, yet they’ve controlled the chamber for roughly half of the past 20 years. In 2012 the party managed to take control of the House even though Democrats won more votes.
And as is now painfully clear to Democratic voters, their party faces significant barriers to success in Washington even when it manages to secure full control of government: The supermajority requirement imposed by the Senate filibuster can stall even wildly popular legislation, and Republicans have stacked the judiciary so successfully that the Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, an outcome that around 60 percent of the American people oppose, according to several recent polls. Obviously, none of the structural features of our federal system were designed with contemporary politics and the Republican Party in mind. But they are clearly giving a set of Americans who have taken strongly to conservative ideology — rural voters in sparsely populated states in the middle of the country — more power than the rest of the electorate.
Jan. 6 demonstrated that the choice the country now faces isn’t one between disruptive changes to our political system and a peaceable status quo. To believe otherwise is to indulge the other big lie that drew violence to the Capitol in the first place. The notion that the 18th-century American constitutional order is suited to governance in the 21st is as preposterous and dangerous as anything Mr. Trump has ever uttered. It was the supposedly stabilizing features of our vaunted system that made him president to begin with and incubated the extremism that turned his departure into a crisis. …”
“The Jan. 6 attack would not have happened in a genuine democracy.
The attack was the most acute symptom — so far — of the political crisis that Donald Trump incited by refusing to admit defeat in the 2020 election. But the roots of the crisis run deep into the undemocratic features of our constitutional system. …
At a more basic level, today’s Republican Party succeeds only because the Electoral College, the Senate and the Supreme Court all tilt in its favor. That system has handed conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, despite the fact that only one Republican has won the presidential popular vote after 1988. A party doesn’t have to persuade majorities that it has the best vision for the country. It only has to persuade a selective minority that the other side is a mortal threat. Its grasp on power may be too tenuous for the party to govern effectively, but it has offered conservatives a fine perch to weaken economic and environmental regulation, appoint conservative judges and launch attacks on the democratic system itself.
In a more democratic system, the Republican Party’s extreme elements would have been sent packing long before they stormed the Capitol because they couldn’t muster enough votes to win a national election. Instead, they have perfected minority rule as a path to political success. An antidemocratic system has bred an antidemocratic party. The remedy is to democratize our so-called democracy. …”
If this is the way the system works and it excludes toxic shitlib urbanites in coastal Blue States from wielding unchecked power, maybe it is our democracy?
“An incipient illegitimacy crisis is under way, whoever is elected in 2022, or in 2024. According to a University of Virginia analysis of census projections, by 2040, 30% of the population will control 68% of the Senate. Eight states will contain half the population. The Senate malapportionment gives advantages overwhelmingly to white, non– college educated voters. In the near future, a Democratic candidate could win the popular vote by many millions of votes and still lose. Do the math: the federal system no longer represents the will of the American people. …”
I’m watching all this talk about “white supremacy” and “the insurrection” and the imminent death of “our democracy” and secession and “voter suppression.” What would John C. Calhoun do?