Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Will the Democrats Have the Will to Play the New Gerrymandering Game?

The Supreme Court upheld virtually all of the redrawn Delay map of Texas, a midterm redistricting plan designed for the sole purpose of giving the Republicans more seats in Congress. In their decision, the robed ones said that states may redraw maps at whim.

This changes the game. When Delay did it, it was slimy; gray, at best. But now it has been written into the rule books. It is as if the owners suddenly declared that steroid use is allowable in baseball. If that were the case and you didn't take steroids, you would be putting your team at a competitive disadvantage and it is your job is to do everything within your power and the rules to help your team win.

So now the rules have officially been changed, yes, changed in a bad, bad way that is more likely to create fewer "up for grabs" seats that represent actual geographical districts and whose representation would require good candidates with thoughtful positions. To the contrary, we will see more seats that have been created with the sole purpose of not being open to real democratic consideration by voters. But that is now officially the game. Will the Dems play or unilaterally disarm and continue to hand the Congress to the Republicans?