As the whole world watches the American political system bring the United States to the edge of default, and possibly setting off an economic catastrophe that would make 2008’s economic crisis look like child’s play, many are asking themselves: “Why does this keep happening?” The current standoff is all thanks to a small group of hard-right Tea Party conservatives in the House of Representatives whose seats in Congress are safer than a baby in her mother’s arms. This comfortable safety means they can all but get away with murder, and are willing to bring America to devastating crisis in order to put a dent in President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also known as “Obamacare”). Even though President Obama was re-elected for a second term — basically a national referendum which made it loud and clear that the country was cool with the new health care plan — and Obamacare was approved by the Supreme Court, the batshit crazy Tea Party refuses to take no for an answer. So why are these sabotaging Tea Party conservatives so safe in their Congress seats if they are causing so much damage — both nationally and internationally? NBC gives a brilliant little primer in their first report below, explaining how the trick to keeping one’s seat in Congress is to literally redraw the voting maps in various districts across America into bizarre and contorted shapes which is known as “gerrymandering“. And it all started back in 1812 by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry.