Republican control of the House through gerrymandering will have its sociological consequences. It is going to ensure that the little guy continues to get screwed, and that in turn, sadly, is sure to work for Democrats in a very unfortunate way.
As working class jobs are eliminated in Republican-controlled rural communities, those reliably Republican people will gravitate toward higher population areas that offer menial jobs and better services, and they will convert or be canceled out by more sensible voters.
Or, sadly, the more intransigent ones will remain behind, sink into life-threatening poverty, and die sooner than they should.
Meanwhile, better educated people who are adept at technology will spot the virtues of living and working from home in beautiful, underpopulated places with a choice of cheap foreclosed-on properties to acquire. So the movement or death of every Republican may wind up resulting in not only canceling out his own vote, but also creating a likely Democratic vote in that person's place.
Make no mistake that this is a human tragedy of enormous proportions, one foreseen by people on our side since at least the Reagan Era. I think we've already seen evidence of the Great Republican Die-off in this election, where statewide and nationwide races broke Democratic 3 to 1.
What I think that means is that for the next three or four elections, Republicans will be competitive in the House, but their avarice will have literally sucked the life from Republican voters, and the GOP's dried husk will soon be pressed between the pages of the history books. Their policies will begin to homogenize their own districts even before the next census is taken, and that in turn will begin to increase Democratic influence in the state legislatures where the next redistricting will take place. Eventually, all of their rigging will be unable to resist the pressure, and they'll pop like the economic bubbles they so very much love to create.
I know this--or rather, believe this--because I am watching it happen here in the Shenandoah Valley. Rural Republicans are converging on reliably Democratic cities ("cities" in Virginia can be vanishingly small) because they can't afford to drive dozens of miles to buy groceries at the Wal-Mart, or require medical attention, or lost their homes, or have fallen victim to some other conservative policy designed to fuck them.
In the meantime, the number of younger people with disposable income and Paypal credit cards seems to be doubling every month. There is already a massive demographic shift afoot here, and I am certain it is happening everywhere else where Republicans ran rampant, crashed out, and left the people on the ground bereft.
The biggest danger to Republicans is their own un-malleable past, and the consequences of their prior behavior can no longer be averted. But we tried.
So it's the eve of the election and a new patch is frantically distributed in the most important tossup state, Ohio. Nothing new here, except for one BIG thing.
Consider the fact that in recent days the Ohio polls have moved outside of the margin of error in favor of President Obama. He's now five points ahead and his lead is growing, while the MOE of the polls is usually around 2.5 to 4 percent.
That means that the election in Ohio is now no longer close enough to steal with any degree of plausibility. A divergence in favor of Romney would be easily identified and investigated.
So... what if the voting machines in Ohio were already programmed to throw the election to Romney, and now panicked election thieves are desperately trying to undo the fix so that they don't spend years in pound-me-in-the-ass prison?
Last night, before I saw this discussion, I opined that the same thing may be about to happen in Virginia, as the President's growing support is about to pull him out of a statistical tie by the end of the week. I suggested that if that were the case we might see a rash of emergency updates precisely like these going out in Ohio as election workers in fear for their freedom suddenly attempt to reverse machines that are already programmed to steal it for Romney. The truly damning circumstantial evidence would be emergency updates across multiple makes of voting machines--Virginia uses many different kinds.
As I think about it more, I am beginning to wonder if two different and contradictory forms of election manipulation are at work, and now threaten to expose the entire operation.
Some time back I wrote here that I expected to see Romney's imaginary "surge" evaporate about a month out from the elections. I felt that the media and pollsters have a professional and financial interest in keeping the race tighter than it actually is. A closer race increases viewers and readers, attracts more money and sells more ad time and space. Those with an actual partisan interest know that fake momentum can, over time, build actual momentum as run-with-the-herd types switch allegiance to the fellow who looks like he is going to win.
But the pollsters have a second, much larger interest in calling it straight in the all-important day-before polls. If their final calls are off, the pollster stands to lose out on the next general election revenue stream--who pays attention to Zogby anymore after he famously blew the call in '04? But everyone reads Nate Silver's blog, because he nailed it in '08.
So, I concluded, the pollsters were going to "walk back" the polls to the true numbers (in favor of the President) so that they could make an accurate call just before the election--exactly as Rasmussen did from October to November in '08.
But that didn't happen this time.
So... what if the voting machine thieves were taking the pollsters at their word, and now they are seeing the polls suddenly shift and they are realizing that someone else's election manipulation threatens to expose their own work? They would frantically scramble to undo the fix, is what I think they would do, and it looks to me as if that is just what they are doing in Ohio.
But keep in mind that I was wrong about my first guess, and there is no reason to think that this second one is any more credible than the first. I'll say this for sure: Mitt Romney does not give a shit if his underlings are caught stealing the election, as long as he gets in.