You Know . . .

&#8220Partisanship is better than going in circles, holding hands, singing kumbaya while Rodney King makes sure we’re all getting along.&#8221

While I favor nonpartisan redistricting commissions, I don’t have a serious problem with the way things are now. Sure, I didn’t like it when the Democrats were in charge and drawing lines in their favor, but I didn’t think it was some how awfully unfair — they won so they had the advantage.

I’ve got to disagree with Will on two points. First, I think Jim Wooten is right, the Democrats did lose because they overreached on gerrymandering. It had become so difficult for the Democrats in Georgia to draw lines that favored them, they had to create some pretty obscure districts. The state had trended Republican. When a court threw out the districts and had them redrawn, boom! The state legislature began reflecting the demographic trends.

Neither party can go on forever with any redistricting scheme. At some point the scheme butts up against constitutional strictures. For the reverse, look to Pennsylvania where the GOP did the same thing as the Georgia Democrats. Several seats the GOP thought safe due to gerrymandering flipped to the Democrats and the GOP lost control of the PA General Assembly.

Where I strongly disagree with Will is on this point:

Because of the competitive nature of their districts, they are forced to be responsive to their constituents and are discouraged from being demogogic partisan hacks like many state representatives tend to be.

Now I know Will fancies himself nonpartisan to a degree, and perhaps that is to his credit. But I think most readers of this site, whether Democrat or Republican, are partisan creatures — and I think that is a good thing.

In the 1960’s when the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights legislation were being passed, President Johnson relied on individuals in safe seats to advance the ball. In the 1980’s, President Reagan relied on individuals in safe seats to pass comprehensive tax reforms. In the 1990’s, President Clinton relied on individuals in safe seats to pass free trade agreements, tax reforms, and attempted healthcare reforms. Why?

Because the mushy middle is generally composed of a bunch of frigtards who are easily persuaded by the gospel of the nightly news and television commercials. And yes, that’s mean of me to say, but you all know damn well it’s the truth.1

The folks who are generally out pooh-poohing the evil partisans in Congress are the same folks who hear how factory X will be shut down and people A, B, and C will be jobless and they are horrified that their Congressman might vote for a trade agreement, regardless of the fact that service center Y will open and hire people A, B, and C as a result.

In short, the mushy middle is easily persuaded by hyperbolic attacks and if we ever want to move forward in this country, we need some people in safe seats to pick up the ball and run with it, whether Democrat or Republican. Yes, I recognize that sometimes I will lose because of that. But sometimes I’ll win. Partisanship is better than going in circles, holding hands, singing kumbaya while Rodney King makes sure we’re all getting along.

If Massachusetts were not a solidly Democrat state, gay marriage would have never happened. Were Georgia not a solid red state, the gay marriage ban would never have happened. Were California not a solid blue state, aggressive environmental laws could never have been passed. Were Texas not a solidly red state, aggressive insurance and litigation reforms would have never happened. The state would have had to wait for “the people

10 comments

  1. ColinATL says:

    I think that most folks calling for bipartisanship are really calling for moderation in the use political slings and arrows, not necessarily moderation in ideals. I think people want to see a congenial devotion to process and cooperation, despite a difference in goals or methods. It’s a shame that we have conflated disagreements over politics with liking and disliking your opponent, to the point that we will lie and exaggerate and personalize the argument. The whole political conversation has become so personalized and polarizing.

    So I think gerrymandering falls into the slings and arrows category. It takes the process to such an extreme as to completely frustrate and polarize moderates. That’s not to say that gerrymandering can backfire, as we have seen, but it does mean that it ratchets up the personal feelings and boils the blood of many who would otherwise be reasonable debating partners.

    So partisanship in ideals is perfectly reasonable, but partisanship in rigging the process is not.

  2. DougieFresh says:

    Not only does it energize moderates, it dispirits the faithful. No one wants to be on the side of “evil”. If you cannot view your guys as better than the other guys (and then hold them to that higher standard), why even bother voting?

  3. If you don’t count the 3 state Senate districts and about 6 state House districts that were modified in 2006, we are currently operating under what is de facto a nonpartisan map.

    Judges drew our legislative districts. They based them on the districts that we were operating off in the 1990’s, making changes for population and the VRA.

    I’d be curious to see the population trends for counties and figure out who is going to gain and lose seats and where.

    Under a non-partisan redistricting scheme we have the chance (the Dems) to come out in pretty good shape. Rural seats will undoubtedly be eliminated from the map, but there will be a strong legal need (VRA) for the majority minority and influence districts to be maintained.

    So, for every 3 rural seats where 1 is majority minority, 1 is influence and 1 is solidly Republican, say goodbye to the solidly Republican one!

    By building their majority on these same party switchers that cost us ours, come a new census and redistricting, Republicans will find out that they are up against a lot of the same structural problems that we were when it comes time to draw a map. It is hard to draw a pretty one that satisfies people and also doesn’t get screwy on deviation.

    Don’t even get me started on the momma precinct problem, by the way.

  4. one big D says:

    Erick, you really are a pompous racist “holding hands, singing kumbaya while Rodney King makes sure we’re all getting along.” Did you make up that line on your own or did you get it out of the GOP race-baiting play manual?

    As an African-American, I’m insulted by your words. You epitomize everything that is right-wing and wrong about this State and country.

    This is the last time I will read or post on Peach Pundit. You’re just a mean, insulting, and callous person.

    The next time that you want to bitch and moan about the John Eaves’ ad think about the statements you type and what racist evil lies in your heart.

  5. GAWire says:

    Erick, I lost my copy of the GOP race-baiting play manual … can I borrow yours’?

    Chris, I don’t agree with your 1-3/3-1 analysis. I honestly cannot explain eloquently why, but bottom line, I think that is a rationalization for Dems’ bitching and complaining (I’m refering to Dems in general, not necessarily you).

    Here’s the thing, redistricting/gerrymandering is apart of the process. Perhaps the law should be rewritten/changed, but if you were in the majority, you know you wouldn’t be complaining. The GOP across the country will suffer from the opposite end of this … but not in Georgia. You can look at it any way you want, but that’s how it is.

    As for Will’s mushy middle ground of naivete that revolves around this bs notion of non-partisanship, I will only say this … Politics is a partisan game. That is how it is and it ain’t gonna change. You and your boy John McCain can hope all day long, but that crap doesn’t fly and no one really wants to be “non-partisan” (even though people fool themselves into thinking they are non-partisan all day long). Get in the game or sit out altogether, but spare me the “can’t we all just get along” horse&^%*!

  6. GAWire says:

    Oh, and I should add, politics always has been dominated by partisanship … do you think George Washington was non-partisan? The notion of non-partisanship is the ultimately media political play … how ironic. the very notion itself is in essence a political ploy altogether. Do you really think there are “non-partisan” people out there???

    That loud beeping noise you’re hearing is your alarm clock telling you to WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

  7. StevePerkins says:

    You can’t POSSIBLY be serious in advocating a “winner take all” philosophy, where whichever party gets 51% of votes should use every unethical trick in the book to stretch that toward 100% of power.

    Historically, one-party rule results in the dominant party gorging itself on pork and power until it pisses away its dominance. The public is seldom served by this pattern, and neither are the principled grassroots activists who put the leaders in power.

    Frankly, after watching the size of government balloon the way it has over the past 6 years, it is ABSOLUTELY correct to say that “dancing around in circles with Willie Horton” is better than partisanship. I’ll take divided government any day of the week… it grows slower.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    I think that if you really believe and trust the people to vote and elect the best candidates for office, then you have nothing to fear from redistricting reform.

    Whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats, I think having the party in power draw the lines is unfair and an upperhand to those incumbents who can personally draw or chose district lines, right down to the precincts.

    There are a few things that will happen as a result of the non-partisan commission drawing lines and they are as follows:
    1. We won’t have to waste money on lawsuits from gerrymandered district lines
    2. We won’t have mid-decade redrawing of lines
    3. We won’t have mid-decade creation of new districts for purely political reasons
    4. You’ll never have to worry about political games being played because the lines being drawn are done so by an independent commission

    In the spirit of democracy, this is the right thing to do and I hope that our legislature acts upon it quickly in time for the next census and redistricting…

  9. atlantaman says:

    “the lines being drawn are done so by an independent commission”

    I think you’re missing the point of Wooten’s article. As long as their is a need to draw political lines politics will be involved. If an “independent” commission is formed then the politics will be shifted to who gets to be on the commission.

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