Saturday 17 June 2023

‘Corrupt and Pathetic’: Democrats Attempting to Use ‘Redos’ to Swipe House Majority

 Having lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats are pulling out all the stops in their quest to regain power.

Politico reported that changes to the composition of courts in New York and Wisconsin have Democrats thinking about “redistricting redos” in those two states.

“It’s absolutely corrupt and pathetic,” Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York said. “They may have changed the makeup of a court in order to affect an outcome. I hope that’s not the case.”

Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin agreed: “I think it would be odd to change the maps in Wisconsin or anywhere every time you have a new state supreme court, right?” Grothman called the Democrats’ move in his state “a really weird precedent in which you could have five different maps in a 10-year period, depending upon who won or lost a state Supreme Court race.”

The Politico report offered a realistic assessment of the relationship between Democrats’ words and their actual motives: “Democrats often employ high-minded rhetoric about democracy in these cases, but they are keenly aware that even a small advantage could determine who controls the chamber in 2025.”

At issue in both states is the Democrats’ insistence on using the courts to overturn the results of the most recent redistricting processes.

Democratic Rep. Marc Pocan of Wisconsin said that appealing to the courts is “the only way you can dig out of a gerrymandered state.”

When it comes to gerrymandering, neither party has a pristine record.

The idea of using the courts to re-draw districts before another U.S. census has occurred should strike us as appalling for several reasons.

First, it is a brazen power grab wrapped in the Democrats’ usual platitudes about democracy.

Second, and more important, it is an affront to self-government. The entire redistricting process reflects poorly on our elected representatives.

New York offers an instructive example. Channeling the old-time progressive spirit of “government by experts,” New York state uses an Independent Redistricting Commission to draw its electoral maps.

In a state that once made Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall famous, perhaps it is understandable that constitution-makers did not trust state legislators to determine the political playing field without succumbing to corruption.

The consequence, however, is that the people’s representatives abdicate their responsibilities to the courts.

In the most recent redistricting cycle, for instance, neither the legislature nor the commission could produce an acceptable map. The state’s highest court stepped in and appointed a special master.

While a certain amount of self-interested shenanigans are bound to accompany nearly all human endeavors, an appeal to the courts in a case such as this amounts to shameless disregard for the principles of constitutional self-government.

Meanwhile, we can look forward to the Democrats prattling on about democracy.

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