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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:50 AM

Is Williamsburg Virginia still on your vacation list after the Republican power grab?

Boycotting people, places and things in Virginia could become popular if they continue to allow gerrymandering of districts and ultrasound testing on women seeking an abortion. What do you think?

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Reply Is Williamsburg Virginia still on your vacation list after the Republican power grab? (Original post)
Always Randy Jan 2013 OP
brooklynite Jan 2013 #1
bemildred Jan 2013 #2
onenote Jan 2013 #3
harmonicon Jan 2013 #4
SidneyR Jan 2013 #7
Wabbajack_ Jan 2013 #8
11 Bravo Jan 2013 #10
harmonicon Jan 2013 #11
onenote Jan 2013 #20
harmonicon Jan 2013 #22
Wabbajack_ Jan 2013 #24
harmonicon Jan 2013 #26
WhoIsNumberNone Jan 2013 #21
Wabbajack_ Jan 2013 #25
Progressive dog Jan 2013 #5
Lifelong Protester Jan 2013 #6
Wabbajack_ Jan 2013 #9
FSogol Jan 2013 #12
bemildred Jan 2013 #13
otohara Jan 2013 #14
Filibuster Harry Jan 2013 #15
tabbycat31 Jan 2013 #18
Filibuster Harry Jan 2013 #19
corkhead Jan 2013 #16
WhoIsNumberNone Jan 2013 #17
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #23
onenote Jan 2013 #28
Sunlei Jan 2013 #27

Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:40 AM

1. Do you know that Legislators in Williamsburg supported this?

Or do we screw over everyone in Virginia, which voted for President Obama in November?

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:49 AM

2. Why pick on Williamsburg?

I lived in Williamsburg, aside from the tourist twaddle, it's mainstream, diverse, and not wealthy.

You want to make these people pay, work to un-elect them next time.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:21 AM

3. Yep.

Of course, I live in Virginia. Have virtually my entire life. The move by the Virginia Senate repubs was outrageous, but I see no reason to punish the entire state -- a state that has voted for President Obama twice and in which the Democrats have a shot at winning the governorship this year. If every time some repub legislators made a classless move it triggered a boycott we'd be running out of states in which to do business. The repubs action is getting a lot of publicity -- negative publicity -- across the state. A boycott would only serve to change the topic of discussion.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:22 AM

4. If you want to stop gerrymandering, talk to Democrats about it.

Criticizing gerrymandering hy one party is pointless unless you criticize it at large, and there's no way Republicans will change it if left to their own devices.

I think getting laws established which would require fair, non-partisan drawing of congressional districts would be the best thing Democrats could do. Would it hurt their numbers in a few places? I bet it would, but it also would set precedent.

It boggles my mind whenever I heard or read of someone supporting gerrymandering. It's just a disgusting, un-democratic practice and should be stopped.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:57 AM

7. Gerrymandering is illegal in many other countries

I understand that in many other countries, gerrymandering is illegal. Instead of partisan re-districting by the party in the majority, the job is done by independent commissions in countries like the UK and others. Until we have the same system, our method of re-districting makes our claim to be a democracy a sham. It's barely even worth it to vote.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:01 AM

8. I support gerrymandering

Republicans need to be fucking STOPPED using whatever legal means are neccessary.

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Response to Wabbajack_ (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:20 AM

10. Do you still support it when the Repukes are in the majority and carving up the districts?

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Response to Wabbajack_ (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:23 AM

11. How's that working out for you?

If it weren't for gerrymandering, Democrats would be in control of the house.

Why must Republicans be stopped? Is it because they do all sorts of bad shit? I think so. That's why I think gerrymandering carried out my any party is wrong. If I'm upset about someone hitting my balls with a hammer, I'm not going to see having someone else hit my balls with a hammer as a remedy.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:22 PM

20. The fact is that there is no way to know that.

You would have to know what the districts would look like without "gerrymandering" and that's impossible to know unless you know how the districts would be designed and on what basis. I'm not defending gerrymandering, just pointing out that there is no magically "correct" way of designing a Congressional district.

The apportionment and districting processes are pretty arcane. The objective elements are pretty clear. The Census determines what the size of an average Congressional district should be (roughly 710,000 post 2010). One district is assigned to each of the 50 states. After that a formula is used to assign additional districts, which ends up determining how many each state has. The largest district is the single district serving Montana (around 900,000 -- too small to divide into two districts) and the smallest is Rhode Island (500,000 plus). Within a state, each of its districts should have roughly the same number of people. In other words, a state can't create one district with 100,000 people and another with 1.3 million people -- that's the concept of "one man, one vote" at work.

So you've got to figure out how to divide up a state into a bunch of roughly equally sized districts. But population is not evenly distributed throughout states. There are densely populated areas and sparsely populated areas. You can't simply say "this county" is a district or "this city" is a district. Geopolitical units have to be divided and/or combined, in whole or in part. Existing geopolitical boundaries cannot simply be followed.

So at that point, a subjective element is inherently injected into the process. Someone has to decide how the lines should be drawn. It sucks, but that's the way it is. (I should note that in my state, Virginia, redistricting has cost Democrats seats overall, but it also has strengthened Democrats hold on other seats. Under the pre-2010 district lines, my Democratic Congressman won by the slimmest of margins. After redistricting, he cruised to victory.

Anyway, my point isn't to defend gerrymandering. Its to suggest that the alternatives are difficult and would not necessarily guarantee a Democratic house. There are objective measures for creating districts -- ones that rely as heavily as possible on contiguity of communties and existing geopolitical boundaries. But even the application of those formulae may require choices (go north, south,east or west in looking for a contiguous area). Plus populations shift over time within those areas.

Having a non-partisan group devise congressional districts is something that needs to be done to take the process out of the hands of self-interested officials (of both parties). But even an independent group needs to guidelines for how to set district boundaries. Should they try to make each district as evenly divided among likely voters for each party (based on past registration, precinct voting results, race and other demographic features?) If they do, some areas that are pretty homogeneous are going to have to be divided quite awkwardly to create "balance".

Again, I'll say it again. I don't defend the current system and believe it needs to change. But I don't think anyone can objectively prove what the results of the past election would be without gerryamandering unless they can show what the districts would actually have been under some alternative redistricting plan (keep in mind that the 2000 districts were also impacted by some degree of gerrymandering).

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Response to onenote (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:55 PM

22. Ok, we don't have a magical crystal ball or a time machine.

We can't know exactly how anything may have changed if only one variable were to be altered. However, we do know that the majority of votes for Congress went to Democrats.

I disagree that any human subjectivity goes into the process, because all of this can be carried out by computers which only understand population. However, those are still unlikely to arrive at a single solution, so people could come in to choose which of the possible computer solutions made the best sense culturally - or just flip a coin.

Regardless, my point is that gerrymandering isn't actually helping anyone apart from a few politicians. It does nothing for voters.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:37 AM

24. Your analogy doesn't make sense

And it's going great for me here in my State of Illinois.

Because our side was able to gerrymander here we got rid of several congressional repukes and got large enough majorities in the legislature that we'll probably be able to finally pass gay marraige soon.

"Fair" (who is to say what is fair?) maps would meant Bob Dold and Bobby Schilling would have reelected and we would have lost a Democratic district to reapportment rather than a repuke one (arch conservative Manzullo) because it was Chicago that didn't keep pace with population growth.

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Response to Wabbajack_ (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:40 AM

26. I don't know what your side is, but it's not my side.

My side involves truly representative democracy.

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Response to Wabbajack_ (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:39 PM

21. OK- Here's what you're supporting











Gerrymandering is what keep Michele Bachmann in office. As well as a bunch of other teabaggers. Non-partisan districting would help us a lot more than it would hurt us.

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Response to WhoIsNumberNone (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:39 AM

25. Nope I only support it when Dems do it, we should fight it when the GOP does

Is that fair? No, but this is war.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:35 AM

5. Yes

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:44 AM

6. Love Virginia, but with that governor

We'll have to see what Governor Ultrasound does with the gerrymandering power grab. He could veto it.

And yes, I agree, gerrymandering by either side is a problem, however this time, it's about entrenching lunacy (the RWNJ) more than policy (at least IMHO).

I tend to be wary of states that elect looneys-one reason I won't go to AZ no matter what. And it's too bad because I love VA, and Kentucky.

And I apologize to all Dems. in VA or AZ. I am sure it is hard on you.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:02 AM

9. I don't believe in boycotts

You'll just end up fucking decent ordinary people.

Think of everything you'd have to boycott if you really applied the same standard.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:49 AM

12. Jamestown is cooler (and cheaper) than Williamsburg. Go see it.

The Post had an article about a 1 year ago of how tea-bagger types like to go to Williamsburg and harass the re-enactors playing Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, etc with cries of "If the President is from Kenya, can we revolt?," "What if a Muslim-Communist is ignoring the Will-of-the-People?," and other inanities.

And don't blame all of VA for the actions of those RW numbskulls. They'll be gone after the next election.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:01 AM

13. Nice drive out there too. nt

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:05 AM

14. If I Could Afford A Vacation

I would not go there...

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:14 AM

15. 2 Vacation destinations that all 6 of us were going to do this year were Williamsburg, VA

and visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. But I have pulled those off the table. The reasons: Gov't Ultrasound of VA, his laws, and the passing of the law on Dec 28th 2012; In SD they now only have 1 abortion clinic due to their laws. I always find it funny when the R party is concerned about debt, deficits, and government getting too involved in people's lives, but then when they are in power they rack up the debt by continued spending and now, at the state level, they get involved in people's lives.
I will not, at this time, give these 2 states my business. They do not need to go democrat for me to visit them but don't go right wing nutty. I will find other sites and states to visit instead.

Boycotts can work though. Imagine if the attendance at Williamsburg or Mount Rushmore went down 30 -50% in one year. Do you think the Rs in those states might get it??

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Response to Filibuster Harry (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:23 PM

18. There are sane people in both states

I spent 6 months in VA last year (and a very red part of it) working on a campaign last year and I have never felt so welcome when I went on the road as I did there.

Do I think the GOP gerrymandering is nuts? Yes. But even in a blue state with the legislature out of redistricting, the GOP can gerrymander the state (see NJ Congressional districts).

If you really want to make a difference, work to get Democrats elected at the local level in these red areas and slowly turn them blue.

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Response to tabbycat31 (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:17 PM

19. if you read my post the GOP gerrymandering is nuts but that is not the reason for my boycott.

It's funny how the NRA and others think that an assault weapons ban, ban on clips, background checks, etc.
are somehow taking away 2nd amendment rights even though it is not -- they can still have their guns, rifles, clips but when it comes to abortion (legal) the R governors of those 2 states think it best to take clinics away or putting more state government or regulations on abortion clinics or pregnant mothers. Those governor's decisions are why I am not visiting these 2 states this year. It has nothing to do with gerrymandering (that is something no party should be in charge of).

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:44 PM

16. I'm in Michigan so I am used to it.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:06 PM

17. If you live in Virginia, you'd better damn well get out and vote for the next governor

Cuccinelli's jumping the line. I don't care if the Democrats are running Kermit the Frog (and they'd better have the good sense not to have a primary this time- after what happened last time) You think Virginia's in the 18th Century now? Wait 'til you see it under Cuccinelli with a gerrymandered State House.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:09 PM

23. Hell no.

I don't vacation in any red state. We used to go to Florida every year, but no longer.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 09:07 AM

28. Virginia has two Democratic senators

and voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. I'm curious how you distinguish between "red" states and "blue" states.

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Response to Always Randy (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:20 AM

27. no the teabaggers ruined our forefathers history stories, a disney cruse is cheaper and more fun.

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