Ratf**Ked

Why Your Vote Doesn't Count

Author: David Daley

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781631493218

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 8298

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Lauded as a "compelling" (The New Yorker) and "eye-opening tour of a process that many Americans never see" (Washington Post), David Daley's Ratf**ked documents the effort of Republican legislators and political operatives to hack American democracy through an audacious redistricting plan called REDMAP. Since the revolutionary election of Barack Obama, a group of GOP strategists has devised a way to flood state races with a gold rush of dark money, made possible by Citizens United, in order to completely reshape Congress--and our democracy itself. "Sobering and convincing" (New York Review of Books), Ratf**ked shows how this program has radically altered America's electoral map and created a firewall in the House, insulating the Republican party and its wealthy donors from popular democracy. While exhausted voters recover from a grueling presidential election, a new Afterword from the author explores the latest intense efforts by both parties, who are already preparing for the next redistricting cycle in 2020.
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The Democracy Fix

How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections

Author: Caroline Fredrickson

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1620973901

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 6086

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The former special assistant for legislative affairs to President Clinton, president of the American Constitution Society, and author of the “damn fine” (Elle) Under the Bus shows how the left can undo the right’s damage and take the country back Despite representing the beliefs of a minority of the American public on many issues, conservatives are in power not just in Washington, DC, but also in state capitals and courtrooms across the country. They got there because, while progressives fought to death over the nuances of policy and to bring attention to specific issues, conservatives focused on simply gaining power by gaming our democracy. They understood that policy follows power, not the other way around. Now, in a sensational new book, Caroline Fredrickson—who has had a front-row seat on the political drama in DC for decades while working to shape progressive policies as special assistant for legislative affairs to President Clinton, chief of staff to Senator Maria Cantwell, deputy chief of staff to Senator Tom Daschle, and president of the American Constitution Society—argues that it’s time for progressives to focus on winning. She shows us how we can learn from the right by having the determination to focus on judicial elections, state power, and voter laws without stooping to their dishonest, rule-breaking tactics. We must be ruthless in thinking through how work to change the rules of the game to regain power, expand the franchise, end voter suppression, win judicial elections, and fight for transparency and fairness in our political system, and Fredrickson shows us how.
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Democracy Betrayed

How Superdelegates, Redistricting, Party Insiders, and the Electoral College Rigged the 2016 Election

Author: Steven Rosenfeld

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1510729461

Category: Political Science

Page: 260

View: 6792

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An impassioned takedown of the undemocratic features of American electoral politics and their role in the 2016 election. Americans are taught to cherish our democracy, especially our right to vote. But after the 2016 presidential election, we are confronted, yet again, with the reality that our system is neither free nor fair. Almost every step along the way is filled with intentional and unintentional pitfalls, barriers, and dysfunction. The results disadvantage, discourage, and ultimately disenfranchise, but a myth persists that our elections and democracy are exemplary. Our system is adept at pre-empting the very citizens whose participation would upend governing classes and economic elites. That’s done by making voting more complicated, less accountable and resistant to reform. Whether we’re talking about voter ID laws, superdelegates, convoluted state recount rules, or the archaic Electoral College, procedures have greater weight than democratic principles, or evidence-based determinations. Democracy Betrayed catalogs the long litany of ways our elections failed, and continue to fail, their billing as model democracy. It will look through the lens of impassioned skepticism, highlighting what went wrong and conveying why that need not be the case. More people registered to vote in 2016 than ever before, even if turnout was about the same as 2012. That shows people want a system they can believe in. This book will speak to them and show them how they can fight for a better democracy.
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The Presidency of Barack Obama

A First Historical Assessment

Author: Julian Zelizer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889553

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 3613

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An original and engaging account of the Obama years from a group of leading political historians Barack Obama's election as the first African American president seemed to usher in a new era, and he took office in 2009 with great expectations. But by his second term, Republicans controlled Congress, and, after the 2016 presidential election, Obama's legacy and the health of the Democratic Party itself appeared in doubt. In The Presidency of Barack Obama, Julian Zelizer gathers leading American historians to put President Obama and his administration into political and historical context. These writers offer strikingly original assessments of the big issues that shaped the Obama years, including the conservative backlash, race, the financial crisis, health care, crime, drugs, counterterrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment, immigration, education, gay rights, and urban policy. Together, these essays suggest that Obama's central paradox is that, despite effective policymaking, he failed to receive credit for his many achievements and wasn't a party builder. Provocatively, they ask why Obama didn't unite Democrats and progressive activists to fight the conservative counter-tide as it grew stronger. Engaging and deeply informed, The Presidency of Barack Obama is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama and the uncertain aftermath of his presidency. Contributors include Sarah Coleman, Jacob Dlamini, Gary Gerstle, Risa Goluboff, Meg Jacobs, Peniel Joseph, Michael Kazin, Matthew Lassiter, Kathryn Olmsted, Eric Rauchway, Richard Schragger, Paul Starr, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Thomas Sugrue, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and Jonathan Zimmerman.
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The Russia Anxiety

And How History Can Resolve It

Author: Mark B. Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0190886056

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 5052

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A history of Russophobia and its living legacy in world affairs With proof of election-meddling and the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin an ongoing conundrum, little wonder many Americans are experiencing what historian Mark B. Smith calls "the Russia Anxiety." This is no new phenomenon. Time and time again, the West has judged Russia on assumptions of its inherent cunning, malevolence, and brutality. Yet for much of its history, Russia functioned no differently-or at least no more dysfunctionally-than other absolutist, war-mongering European states. So what is it about this country that so often provokes such excessive responses? And why is this so dangerous? Russian history can indeed be viewed as a catalog of brutal violence, in which a rotation of secret police-from Ivan the Terrible's Oprichina to Andropov's KGB and Putin's FSB-hold absolute sway. However, as Smith shows, there are nevertheless deeper political and cultural factors that could lead to democratic outcomes. Violence is not an innate element of Russian culture, and Russia is not unknowable. From foreign interference and cyber-attacks to mega-corruption and nuclear weapons, Smith uses Russia's sprawling history to throw light on contemporary concerns. Smith reveals how the past has created today's Russia and how this past offers hints about its future place in the world-one that reaches beyond crisis and confrontation.
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Democracy in Chains

The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Author: Nancy MacLean

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101980982

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 1563

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Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for the National Book Award The Nation's "Most Valuable Book" “[A] vibrant intellectual history of the radical right.”—The Atlantic “This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. . . . If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be.”—NPR An explosive exposé of the right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution. Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority. In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy. Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.
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