I love it when the discussion turns constructively to "What can we DO about it?" And I love these ideas that John Nichols describes in today's Cap Times, for how we should respond to the Republican Party's plan to rig the results of future presidential elections in favor of whichever party most recently gerrymandered the congressional districts.
1. Name and shame those who would rig elections
Rince Priebus has publicly and explicitly described the partisan motives behind the proposals to allocate electoral college votes by congressional district, when he said “It’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be considering.” Any public official who goes along with that plan can therefore be “named and shamed” in letters to the editor, comments on their Facebook page, and in public forums as someone who is willing to put partisan interests above the basic safeguards of democracy.
2. Engage in the debate with a real alternative
The Republican Party's willingness to tamper with the electoral college opens the gates to discussion--possibly action--on real reform. This is the time to push for a constitutional amendment for national popular presidential vote.
Understanding, talking about, and promoting the National Popular Vote campaign is an essential response to every proposal to rig the Electoral College. It pulls the debate out of the weeds of partisanship and appeals to a sense of fairness in every responsible American patriot.
3. Make gerrymandering an issue
The Republican Party's open admission that allocating electoral votes by congressional district would change presidential election results throws a spotlight on the practice of gerrymandering and its anti-democracy results. This opens a new avenue for challenging the most common tool for rigging elections.
Nichols suggests pressuring the courts to take a more aggressive stance against gerrymandering, but I'm not sure how that is done. Ask about it in the upcoming judicial forums? I know that Bill Krause is working on efforts now to have Wisconsin adopt a nonpartisan method of redistricting; we could look into that.