Republican love for gerrymandering is back and bites them


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map. Illustrated | iStock

Entering this cycle of parliamentary constituency changes after the census, Democratic strategists were in the following states: Almost complete panic.. The disappointing election results of 2020, especially at the legislature level, again left the Republicans with more “trifectus” (legislature and governor control) than the Democrats. Can draw The district line was in a position to need a big blue wave just to win the majority in the House of Representatives, without competing for far more seats than the corresponding seats. Another 10 years were approaching in the wilderness.

But something strange happened on the way to the democratic catastrophe — Republicans in many states Strengthen your incumbent Instead of ruthlessly boxing enemies in as many districts as possible, others ran into problems In court..Meanwhile, Illinois Democrats Very aggressive Unique gerrymandering, and New York Likely to follow..And in California, Democrats I did an end run It is around the state’s nonpartisan constituency change committee and has the potential to win just six additional seats from the new line. As a result, Republicans could not have easily occupied the House of Representatives with similar results as in 2020, but Republicans may have placed themselves. In a bad position Than when the process started.

For the Democrats, there is a delicious irony here. Republicans could have made a national nonpartisan constituency change if they supported it. For people’s lawThe House of Representatives passed last year, and the Senate continues to ignore it like a pile of unnecessary electricity bills. Yes, there were many other things, but if the other side seemed to have one Iota of interest, the Democrats were happy to implement an independent constituency change bill through Congress. Probably.

When Republican leaders decided that a hand-picked, unruly majority of the Supreme Court decided that Gerrymandering was not unconstitutional and that either Congress or the state had to act to end the process. I threw myself into the constituency change corner in another consequential way. The majority of 5-4 Lucio vs. Common Causes“The idea that legislators cannot take into account the interests of the party when drawing the line of the district will essentially negate Framer’s decision to entrust the district to political entity.”

God forbids us to “cancel” any of Framer’s implicit decisions! The failure of the courts to address the apparent flaws of American democracy due to surveillance 235 years ago is a conservative maid of power and the ultimate resting place for the idea of ​​justice in the United States. It is very consistent with the role it has played throughout history. The Rucho Of course, the decision is Applause from the conservatives The partisan Gerrymander believed that it was an important tool in Republican support for the Legislature and in the quest to maintain its dominance in the House of Representatives.

In any case, now that the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been replaced by the hard-line conservative Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court has made us this very obvious anti-democratic practice. It is even less likely to intervene to prevent it from being accepted as a daily feature of. Politics — Of course, unless Gerrymandering is suddenly considered to bring decisive benefits to the Democratic Party.

Sure, Republicans have closed both legislative and judicial paths to ban partisan gerrymandering nationwide, but in the end they realize they don’t like it.Prominent Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini Complain on twitter Regarding a democracy-led nonpartisan constituency reform campaign: “It wasn’t stopping gerrymandering, it was all about power instead.” New York Republican Chair Nick Langworthy said 22 Democrats and just four Republicans as “a brave and exorbitant attempt to fraudulent elections to keep Nancy Pelosi as a speaker.” Attacked the state Gerrymandering, which is likely to return personnel to Washington, DC.

The reorganization of GOP own goals represents a very rare failure of the Republican National Strategy to play the maximum “constitutional hardball.” If this was his operation, it would not have allowed Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (Republican) to ever happen.

Still, it’s not time for Democrats to pop champagne. Fierce court battles in Florida and New York could change the party’s balance in the coming months. Beyond that, the current political situation probably doesn’t need to give the Republicans additional benefits. President Biden and Democrats are unpopular, and soon-to-be-elections can confuse anyone’s map. The peculiar smell of political blood may explain why Republicans left their seats at the table.

But one thing is clear after several Parties have abandoned their “independent” mission. That is, there is no way out of Gerrymandering without more radical changes. Despite the general popularity of nonpartisan subdivisions, even the most carefully organized arrangements ultimately require some political actor to break the potential deadlock. Whether it’s the Commission’s “independent” swing voters or the State Supreme Court, it’s humans who ultimately approve these maps, and there are many ways to manipulate even the most carefully designed processes. It’s too much.

Clever partisans can find ways to avoid well-meaning fine print to get the results they want, especially in politically biased states like Newyork and California. That is, without a very detailed national bipartisan agreement, nonpartisan subdivision may not be a long-term way to avoid the dangers of gerrymandering.As a group of political scientists Analyst ((((Including me) After years of debate, the only real long-term solution to this turmoil is to use a vote of ranked options to increase the “district size” of the House of Representatives. is. Instead of each district sending one to DC, many send three or five, making it nearly impossible to do gerrymandering. These reforms will also have the beneficial side effect of annihilating our devastating two-party politics. More radical reforms, rather than just fixing the current stalemate, could move us away from bipartisanism and polarization that turned American politics into a repulsive spectacle.

An alternative is to continue fighting these nonsensical and disruptive battles every 10 years. This undermines the public’s already worn-out belief in democratic institutions and gives unfair benefits to one or the other.At least this time, Democrats Will not be a suckerAnd if this blunder convinces the Republicans that deeper reforms are needed to keep the party competitive, this will be in mutual favor for Democrats and democracy.

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