GOP: Gerrymandering Opportunities Prevail

GOP: Gerrymandering Opportunities Prevail


Leonard Zwelling

Many Americans believe that we live in a democracy. We do not. If we did, then every vote cast would be equal to every other vote cast and that simply is not the case for a host of reasons.

First, there’s the Electoral College which magnifies the effect of voters in purple states as they really determine the outcome of the presidential election. Voting for Trump in New York and California or for Biden in Nebraska or Alabama was a meaningless activity. For those who did, their votes really didn’t count.

This phenomenon is even more critical in state and district wide races where state legislatures draw the maps of these districts and can gerrymander a current Congressman out of a job every ten years based on the need to redraw the districts after each census and the resultant redistribution of the American population.

The term gerrymandering dates back to 1812 when Elbridge Gerry (hard G according to the Internet) redrew a salamander shaped district in Massachusetts.

Today, in 2021, the process of finalizing the congressional districts is going on right now and as Reid J. Epstein and Nick Corasaniti write in The New York Times on November 15, this is going the Republicans’ way as they control more state legislatures than do the Democrats. Once this redrawing is complete, it is likely that the GOP will take over the House in 2022, and if it does the same in the Senate, a better than even probability, the Republicans would then be in a position to block anything President Biden wanted to get done. Thus, the press to get the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills through Congress now as once we get to 2022, all bets are off. Just like Obama before him in 2010, Biden will be behind the eight ball for the rest of his term and the country will likely see no progress on the many pressing issues that face us from the environment, to pre-K schooling, to health care costs.

According to this article, the GOP needs to flip only five seats in the House to take control and move the gavel from Ms. Pelosi’s hands to those of Kevin McCarthy. That would mean he not she would appoint the chairs of the House committees. Donald Trump is counting on this. That’s why he is running out the clock in the courts to protect his papers about January 6 from getting into Democratic hands. If McCarthy takes over in January of 2023, that Insurrection Committee will be disbanded.

The litany of states in which the GOP is trying to gerrymander the Democrats out of their current seats is long and this process likely to do irreparable damage to the Dems’ chance of holding the House.

Gerrymandering works in basically two ways called cracking and packing. A cracked district would be one in which a current cluster of like-minded voters is distributed to other districts thus diluting their power. Packing moves opposition voters from several districts into one thus neutralizing any great effect those voters might have. This was done in 2010 by GOP state legislatures and will only be accented this year.

What this is really about is the drive to win at all costs. Clearly our politics have fallen so drastically so as to make any hint of a truly fair election rare. According to the article ”Republicans have control over the redistricting process in states that represent 187 congressional seats, compared with just 84 for the Democrats. The rest are drawn by outside panels or are in states where the two parties must agree on maps or have them decided in courts.”

The point of this blog is that any party that wants to win in the House must control the majority of the state legislatures in voting years ending in 0. If not, well you’ll see next November.

That is why this blogger is predicting a huge GOP sweep of the House in November of 2022 and probably control of the Senate as well. If inflation continues and Biden stays unpopular, these combined factors will set the GOP up to stymie any Democratic plans and prepare the runway for a GOP victory in the presidential election of 2024. That is, unless the GOP runs another bad candidate and one comes to mind.

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