Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the Republican plot to rig the electoral college, the modern Republican Party and Hillary Clinton's post-cabinet codename.
1) Do you guys think anything can be done to stop the GOP electoral vote rigging scam?
Chez: I'd actually love to know the answer to that. As long as Republicans control local politics in swing states they can gerrymander the voting process to fit their needs. Yes, it's basically cheating, and in the case of the GOP its the most cynical of enterprises because conservatives know they're being demographically pushed to extinction and the only way they can survive -- since they're not willing to change -- is to suppress the vote of the minorities and urbanites that now outnumber them. It has the potential to work in their favor for a couple of national elections, but over time even that won't be enough. I guess if nothing else we can wait them out, but that could take a while. Pushing the notion that local politics matter more than ever before and explaining why might be enough to get smart people out to the polls.
Bob: There are a couple of things we can do. Scream about it 24-hours-a-day until everyone in the nation realizes that the Republicans are stealing elections. And if you live in one of the six swing states where it's happening (Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan) call every state representative and scream at whomever answers their phones. This must not pass anywhere and you know what? If it was Democrats doing it, I'd say the same damn thing. Cheating is cheating.
Ben: I hate to give a boring answer here, but it's the usual prescription for getting anything done in politics - organize, make phone calls to politicians, write letters, spread awareness etc etc. The US political system is set up specifically to deal with issues like this, and it actually works pretty well when there is enough public support and action around an issue. Problem is, no one really gives a toss most of the time, so nothing gets done.
2) With all of this fake talk about the Republicans "re-branding" themselves, hypothetically, what would a more "modern" Republican party even attempt to look like?
Bob: A new version of the Republican Party would have to be willing to act like adults with an actual policy agenda and not just a list of things that are the exact opposite of what the Democrats want. They'd have to get behind reproductive rights, gun control, immigration reform, civil rights and reasonable fiscal policy. But the current Republican Party won't do any of that.
Ben: They would look something like the conservative party in Britain - socially liberal, pro environment and pro technology. The Tories did a brilliant job of re-branding themselves to become palatable to the increasingly liberal Britain, and did so by acknowledging that 1. Some people are gay. 2. Global warming is real, and 3. If they attached themselves to cool innovative tech things, people would stop seeing them as decrepit old codgers stuck in the 19th century. A rebranded Republican would look something like David Brooks hanging out at an Apple store with a gay friend and his wife.
Chez: Nothing like the current Republican party. Nothing at all. If they were serious about change, they'd probably adopt a more classic conservative philosophy, which had more to do with economics than it did with creating wedge social issues whose goal was to thwart any and all progress. I guess if the GOP had any brains at this point, it'd look to people like David Frum and say that that's what they need to emulate. I don't agree with all of Frum's politics but he's shown a willingness to at least be sane. At this point that would be a vast improvement and maybe all we can hope for.
3) Now that Hillary Clinton has stepped down as Sec. of State do you think the Obama Administration will employ her to exclusively smackdown GOP Senate Committee fishing expeditions? If so what would her fight name be?
Chez: like to think of her more as Agent 47 from the "Hitman" game series. Yeah. That'd be sweet.
Bob: Black Mamba.
Ben: She did a rather good job of it at the ludicrous Benghazi hearings, so I'm hoping they do wheel her out for some Republican ass whoopings when necessary. I'm going for Hillary 'Serial Killer' Clinton.
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