A reminder that the fact that there’s even doubt about who will control the House after the 2018 midterms is outrageous:
Incidentally, in his most recent column Ross Douthat brought up the fact that for much of the twentieth century, as indicated in this graph, the structural inequities of the electoral system benefited the Democratic Party. As a gotcha, though, this has some obvious problems:
- This was also bad!
- In this period, Democratic majorities usually weren’t liberal majorities. Jim Crow vote suppression sent a grossly disproportionate number of Democrats to Congress, but they voted like conservative Republicans more often than not.
- Most importantly in the current context, its less than a decade with a liberal median vote the Warren Court consistently acted to broaden access to the ballot and attack inequities in the electoral system even when this went against the immediate partisan interests of the Democratic Party. The Roberts Court, conversely, has very consistently acted to restrict access to the ballot for purely partisan reasons, and does so even when there isn’t a decent legal argument for doing so. That’s a pretty major difference!