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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-Up (149 comments)

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  •  While I do think we might need to beef up (6+ / 0-)

    the courts' role as the ultimate arbiter over the maps drawn, I still think drawing district maps is a pretty essential feature of democracy and should be left in the hands of elected representatives.

    I'm Madisonian enough to believe that current Republican dominance is temporary, and that their mismanagement will soon lead to a large enough coalition to drive them out of power.

    Hopefully we won't have to wait until 2020 to retake a majority of statehouses, and once we retake them we should be able to hold them through the next redistricting round.

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 05:54:50 AM PST

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    •  You can redistrict mid-decade (14+ / 0-)

      Rick Perry did it in Texas in 2003, and the Supremes said it was valid, so as soon as a state goes Blue, it can redistrict.

      We do NOT have to wait for 2020, we need to take back some state houses in 2014.

      We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

      by Urban Owl on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:08:33 AM PST

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      •  they rigged state districts too (6+ / 0-)

        The state legislatures are no more competitive than Congress.

        "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

        by libdevil on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:39:39 AM PST

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      •  Repugs can do this 2 - this sword cuts both ways (0+ / 0-)

        it would lead to constant redistrictings each time one side gains a partisan advantage in a state  - the stare decisis of redistricting only once every 10 years is better for the natoin in the long run.

        •  The Republicans ALREADY did this. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Minnesota Deb, a2nite, Laconic Lib

          And the Supreme Court approved.

          If Democrats can take a statehouse in 2014, they should immediately redistrict, if only to undo the gerrymandered mess that exists.

          I agree that constant redistricting is insane, but it will only end with a different Supreme Court.

          And in the meantime, there's a lot of R gerrymandered stuff out there. Having a Republican-controlled House when Democratic candidates got a significant majority of the votes is outrageous.

          We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

          by Urban Owl on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:56:21 AM PST

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          •  Small quibble (0+ / 0-)

            It's not outrageous that one side controls the House when the other got a relatively small majority of the popular vote (just over a million more votes, nationally, far less than the President's 5 million vote victory).  Given the nature of district level representation, it would be reasonable and not unexpected if in a close House election, Republicans got fewer national votes and still held a 1 or 2 vote majority in the House.  Disappointing, but not outrageous.  But they still have a -large- majority.  The close loss in the popular vote total translated not into a close win or loss, but into a landslide win for Republicans.  That's ridiculous.

            "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

            by libdevil on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:35:58 PM PST

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    •  The failure mode... (8+ / 0-)

      ... is that those in power are actively working every angle they can to cement that power in place.  The gerrymandered 2012 House elections are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to entrenching minority rule.  Senate filibusters, lobbyists, Citizen's United, hanging chads, voter purges, etc. are having a highly corrosive effect on our democratic institutions.

      I agree that the best solution is for the inherent checks and balances to swing the pendulum back to the center.  In this specific case, though, I'd recommend breaking the feedback loop -- take redistricting out of the hands of those who would benefit (the elected officials).

      It's probably too soon to tell, but so far I've been favorably impressed with CA's "panel of random experts" model and the initial results to gave.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by Jim Tietz on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:41:13 AM PST

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