(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“America is the only major democracy in the world that allows politicians to pick their own voters. And since the 2010 election, the system has been gamed to create an artificial –but foolproof—Republican majority in the House and in state capitals nationwide.”
How could this happen? Furthermore,
“Now that the Citizens United decision has unleashed limitless dark money, it only takes one billionaire to write an eight-figure check and bet that his or her side could fine-tune a model so smart and intuitive that it locks in control of the House for another decade.”
While Democrats were celebrating their 2008 victory, Republicans were masterminding a method on how they could take over Congress. Republican strategist Chris Jankowski engineered a way that conservatives could create supermajorities in certain states. He targeted states where congressional redistricting was done by state legislatures. By pouring money into state elections, they could elect Republican legislators who would change the districts to benefit them. With non-competitive congressional races, there would no longer be a need for Republicans and Democrats to work together or compromise.
Yes, we have been “rat fucked”, that is, victims of political sabotage. Author David Daley tells us how in Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy.
There are specific chapters on Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin North Carolina and Michigan and how they packed minorities and traditionally Democratic voters into single districts. The book even includes maps of the state congressional districts after 2010. They make no sense to the naked eye, and will astound you once you take a look .
Some may feel that Daley goes into too much detail, from the meetings, attendees and mapping software used, but I think it is necessary in order to accurately explain how this horrendous but legal assault on our democracy could succeed.
He also shows the states that have independent commissions and other methods of redistricting, and the effects they have had on Congressional races.
Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy is a must-read for Americans who are concerned about whether their vote counts and will serve as a wake- up call for the rest of us . I hope that it motivates citizens to get involved in the mid-term elections and tell their state and congressional representatives that they work for us, not the party.