The Minority Majority

This is … a strange point:

Counting the new Republican Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts, the 41 Republicans in the Senate come from states representing just over 36.5 percent of the total US population. The 59 others (Democratic plus 2 Independent) represent just under 63.5 percent. (Taking 2009 state populations from here. If you count up the totals and split a state’s population when it has a spit delegation, you end up with about 112.3 million Republican, 194.7 million Democratic + Indep. Before Brown’s election, it was about 198 million Democratic + Ind, 109 million Republican.)

Let’s round the figures to 63/37 and apply them to the health care debate. Senators representing 63 percent of the public vote for the bill; those representing 37 percent vote against it. The bill fails.

Except that your assuming the states vote as one big glop. There are 37 million people in California. They are not all Democrats, but they count as such in this logic. The reality is that the country is slightly more Democratic right now than it is Republican (although more conservative than it is liberal). So by party, you’d go something like 51-43, splitting the independents. By philosophy, you’d go something like 60-30 against, against splitting the moderates.

But that still assume all conservatives or Republicans oppose the bill and all liberals or Democrats favor it. In fact, the polling would indicate that you’d have something like 55-45 against. Or more.

But we don’t vote based on opinion polls, thank God. Or party identification or anything else. We are not a Democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic and that Republic works a certain way.

Don’t like it? Change it. But don’t whine about how unrepresentative it is. It’s not designed to be representative. It’s designed to be bound by law and the Constitution.

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