Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Gerrymandering: I long for competitive Congressional elections in this country. Unfortunately, after the 2000 census in California, the Republicans and Democrats got together in a corrupt bargain and made sure to create districts which were "safe" for each party -- cementing Democrat control of the state for the next decade and making it difficult/impossible for moderate politicians of either party to win office.
Having said that, the outrage of liberals over the Tom DeLay-spearheaded off-year redistricting of Texas rings hollow.
Texas is a red state. In national elections, Democrats write off Texas and its sizeable sum of electoral votes. So how the heck did Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state's Congressional delegation?
Because the previous map was the result of decades of Democrat gerrymandering -- something liberals like those on the Times editorial board don't have problems with when it benefits their side.
On the whole, this is an issue that really doesn't belong in the courts. The public needs to demand -- either through their legislators or via the initiative process where it is available -- that districts be drawn in a commonsense manner.
I'm aware that this method didn't work well in California in last month's special election -- but I think that was probably a result of the public's disgust with special elections (and the money they cost) in general, and not the merits of the initiative.