Rep. Jase Bolger is the speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and he is about equal parts ruthlessly partisan and unethical. And while some other Republican legislators have spoken out against an election rigging scheme being considered in several states, including Michigan, he’s making terrible arguments in its favor:
President Barack Obama won swing states like Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 2012 election. But through heavy redistricting and gerrymandering, the GOP-controlled legislatures in those states have ensured that most congressional districts are heavily Republican. So if the GOP plan to award votes based on congressional districts had been in effect, Obama could have been chosen by the majority of the states’ residents but lost the election anyway.
Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) said on Friday that he’s open to pursuing the strategy in his state. According to Gongwer (subscription required), Bolger believes a bill by state Rep. Pete Lund (R) — which has yet to be introduced — is worthy of strong consideration.
“I hear that more and more from our citizens in various parts of the state of Michigan that they don’t feel like their vote for president counts because another area of the state may dominate that or could sway their vote,” Bolger told Gongwer. “They feel closer to voting for their congressman or their congresswoman and if that vote coincided with their vote for president they would feel better about that.”
Let’s parse that argument. He’s heard from unnamed people in the state that they don’t feel like their vote for president counts, so his solution to this is to make it far less likely — virtually a certainty at this point — that most of the state’s electoral votes go to the candidate who gets fewer votes in the presidential election? That may make sense on Planet Wingnuttia, but not on this planet. If that was in place last year, Romney would have won nine of the state’s 14 congressional districts, and thus more electoral votes, despite losing by nearly half a million votes. Would that make people feel like their votes counted more or less?