Speaking Thursday with Center for American Progress president (and former Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama aide) Neera Tanden, former Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that the Republican Party had used gerrymandering and other such tricks to win the 2016 presidential election.
“We heard a lot in this past election about rigged systems, but I want to say the biggest rigged system in America is gerrymandering,” he said. “A system where the lines are drawn not to represent American communities, but benefit politicians. A system where politicians pick their voters.”
“I think, to be very frank, that the Republican Party has realized that their governing philosophy is not a winning one,” he continued. “And since they can’t win the game they’ve decided to change the rules.”
Spoken like a man who knows his party has lost so many legislative seats that it won’t be drawing many district lines for a while.
The underlying contentionwas that Republicans won the election not by resonating with the American people but by “chang(ing) the rules.”
The former attorney general also complained about efforts by GOP legislators across the country to implement voter ID laws, which he has long maintained was another trick — one designed to “suppress votes” despite significant evidence to the contray.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) November 30, 2016
It seemed rather ironic for him to make this claim, since the lack of voter ID laws in some states only made it that much easier for people to commit voter fraud, which an attorney general ought to care about.
Also questionable was Holder’s apparent insistence that only Republicans were guilty of gerrymandering. This was false.
As was noted by Nate Silver in The New York Times, by 2012 the number of landslide districts — those which had been gerrymandered to strongly favor one side — had risen to 117 for the Democrats and 125 for the Republicans from lows in 1992 of 65 and 58, respectively.
Whether Holder wanted to believe it or not, both sides were clearly engaging in gerrymandering, for better or worse, and his one-sided attacks were unlikely to change that fact.
Ultimately the former attorney general’s statements Thursday sounded like little more than whining and complaining — all of it centered on his refusal to accept the fact that the administration he once served had been thoroughly repudiated by the American people.
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