Thursday, November 8, 2012

The tragedy of gerrymandering

"Tragedy...When the feeling's gone and you can't go on..."

For the entire election cycle, the spoiled brats who control the white supremacist Republican Party gloated that they were going to make gains in the Senate this year and maybe even retake it. That didn't happen. Indeedity-doodledy, the Democrats made a stunning net gain in the Senate.

But the Republicans should have lost the House - and didn't. The Democrats did make a net gain - but not enough.

It turns out that even though the Republicans won most House seats, the Democrats had more support. Nationwide, the Democrats got over a half-million more votes for the House than the Republicans did.

Why is there such a gaping disconnect between voters' wishes and the House's partisan makeup? Gerrymandering. You don't see this in the Senate, because Senate seats don't have gerrymandering. But House seats do.

And who gerrymandered all those House districts? I did. Just joking! What party has long had control of most of the state legislatures, who are entrusted with redistricting? Ponder, ponder.

Fact is, the Republicans would have lost control of the House but for gerrymandering. Would have happened in 2002, in fact, if they hadn't rigged the 2000 census. That brings to mind another instance of Democratic caving: In states where the Democrats held the legislature, why did they even abide by a census that was itself blatantly jimmied by the GOP? If I was in charge of redistricting then, I would have used the previous census and dared the thuggish Bush regime to try to stop me.

What's remarkable is that many of the redistricted maps vomited by the GOP are illegal, but they got away with it anyway. In the '90s, the Supreme Court threw out redistrictings that were far less grotesque than what the Republicans produce today.

To protect democracy, courts must be given greater power over redistricting. As many legislators are incapable of doing anything except gnashing their teeth in a cage, they've proven time and time again they're too irresponsible to be allowed to have as much power as they do.

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