Once upon a time, we believed in one person-one vote. How quaint of us! Of course, historically, we got sidetracked from that with discounting the lives of African Americans and native peoples. But once we emerged from the segregation era, we believed that perhaps once and for all, the equality of people would be respected. We were so wrong. Minorities are a primary target of the gerrymanderers. And so are the rest of Democrats.
Remember, this is the era of GOPhers trying to keep people from voting in so many ways. They try to challenge them at the polls causing them to use provisional ballots that will never be counted. They send out folks to flier minority cars telling them not to try to vote or they will be arrested. They use phony felon databases to purge non-felons from the voter rolls. And, in Virginia, they refuse to restore felon voting rights. They keep those prisons-for-profit filled and the voter rolls smaller. And now, even more than before, they dilute Democratic votes via gerrymandering.
Take a look at this article on redistricting in Politico. In a maneuver Tom Delay would be proud of, the Virginia Congressional delegation has a redistricting plan for you. In a state roughly split 50-50 along Democrat/Republican lines, Dems get only 3 majority districts. That is to say, districts have been gerrymandered to assure Dems only get 3 districts and GOPhers get 8. /11 on into the future. It should be half. That is to say, half the districts should be majority Democratic districts, not necessarily with Democratic Congressional electeds. But Democrats have been spliced, diced and fragmented into oblivion.
There was a bipartisan redistricting commission, but the GOP pretty much laughed it out of the room. Nice job, Morgan Griffith. (We here in the 9th tried to warn the rest of the state what he was like, but too few listened.) He promised to assure the protection of Republican districts and he did.
This is a Constitutional issue. We have the right to be counted. But the arbiter of any complaints is ultimately the courts. Oops, they are loaded with Republicans and open seats are blocked until the next Republican gets into office. There has got to be a more honest, honorable, decent, ethical, and AMERICAN way of doing things. But what the hey; where there is an opportunity, they abuse power. It is the official REPUBLICAN PARTY way.
What’s worse is that Dems are unlikely to do anything about any of this. And so, life in VA will suck into the next decade and beyond. We are lucky to have a number of Democrats in the Virginia Senate. The only problem is that there may not be 14 of them to make a bold move to serve as catalysts for a movement. Is there anyone out there, anyone? WANTED: A Virginia 14! Meanwhile, it’s time to start making GOP lives suck, Wisconsin style.