Gerrymandering expert and book author David Daley spoke in Plymouth Meeting ahead of the Nov. 7th local elections. Daley is the author of Rat F**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy. In “Rat F**ked” (a colorful slang term for political sabotage), Daley documents the GOP’s insidious strategy to redraw the electoral maps in the United States to guarantee a Republican majority in the House of Representatives through 2020.
As he explains in a quote from the book:
This is the story of the audacious Republican plan which … managed, in spite of jubilant 2008 Democratic expectations, to create super majorities for conservative policies in otherwise blue and purple states. This is the story of the redrawing of the American political map and of our democracy itself. It is the story of how Republicans turned a looming demographic disaster into legislative majorities so unbreakable, so impregnable, that none of the outcomes are in doubt until after the 2020 census. It is the story of new mapping technologies so exact that they have re-sorted and re-segregated Americans, by creating congressional districts where the only competition comes from someone more extreme.
It is legal, it is breathtaking, and much of it happened in plain sight. The Democratic majority was ratf**ked.
Daley discussed what separates this gerrymandering effort from previous efforts, and the role played by both technology and the Citizens United decision, which legitimized unlimited cash donations.
About 70 people turned out to hear Daley’s presentation on what is arguably a complicated and non-flashy subject, yet one that is essential to maintaining our democracy. Daley spoke about the red state strategy of the GOP, which was to invest in winning local elections needed to take over key state houses, in order to put Republican state legislators in the position to redraw district maps in such a way as to assure Republican control in the U.S. House of Representatives. While the Republicans engaged in this gerrymandering strategy, the Democratic Party was asleep at the wheel, with its focus on the White House.
Sponsored by Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania, the event featuring Daley was moderated by State Sen. Daylin Leach. During the program, Leach and Daley both spoke about the importance of Democrats voting in off-year elections, as well as the importance of the Wisconsin gerrymandering case currently before the United States Supreme Court.
Ironically, Leach is running in the Democratic primary for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 7th Congressional District, which experts describe as one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country.