The Soviet Republic of Texas

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Biggles, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Biggles

    Biggles Founding Member

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    The Soviet Republic of Texas

    Tuesday, October 14, 2003; Page A22


    YOU MIGHT THINK America's rigged system of congressional elections couldn't get much worse. Self-serving redistricting schemes nationwide already have left an overwhelming number of seats in the House of Representatives so uncompetitive that election results are practically as preordained as in the old Soviet Union. In the last election, for example, 98 percent of incumbents were reelected, and the average winning candidate got more than 70 percent of the vote. More candidates ran without any major-party opposition than won by a margin of less than 20 percent. Yet even given this record, the just-completed Texas congressional redistricting plan represents a new low.



    The plan grabbed headlines as a consequence of the flight by Democrats -- twice -- from the state to prevent its adoption. The Democrats, whose only hope, being in the minority in both houses, was to prevent a quorum, eventually gave in; the legislature has adopted the plan. It's abhorrent on two counts. Texas Republicans, egged on by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, violated a longstanding tradition by redrawing the map in the middle of a census cycle. Their new rule seems to be, why wait 10 years if you can cram something down your opponents' throats today? And their plan is designed to wipe out moderate and white Democrats from the Texas congressional delegation. We don't know whether the plan violates the Voting Rights Act or will survive legal challenge. What is clear, however, is that it will aggravate the triumph of extremes in Washington while further sovietizing America's already-fixed electoral game.

    The map Republicans have produced is a remarkable feat of gerrymandering. The 19th District, once confined to the western side of the state, now snakes halfway across it to scavenge voters from the current district of Democratic Rep. Charles Stenholm. Beneath it now sprawls the once-compact 11th District of Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards, which has been completely redrawn to help a friend of George W. Bush get elected to Congress. The south of the state now looks like a pinstripe suit, with narrow districts snaking from north to south in order to pack Hispanic-majority voters in just a few districts, including a new one. Dallas liberal Martin Frost, meanwhile, suddenly has a new district, 63 percent of whose voters are Republican. The goal here is not subtle. As Republican state Rep. Phil King, who helped draw the map, put it to the Austin American Statesman, "I would suspect that [any Democrat] who is not in a minority district would have a very competitive race."

    The current Texas House delegation includes 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans. This balance, no doubt, is a residue of a time when Democrats were more powerful in the state than they are today and reflects deliberate incumbent protection by past legislatures. It also, however, reflects the fact that some Democratic members have effectively represented their increasingly conservative districts and remained popular. The pernicious effect of partisan redistricting in general is the weakening of the center with the creation of "safe" seats for both parties -- which encourages the election of people considerably to the left or right of the state's political center of gravity. Do Texans really want a polarized delegation of 22 conservative Republicans and 10 liberal Democrats, as the current plan envisions? Do they really want a state with a white party and a minority party? Republican politicians are engineering it that way, whatever voters may want. For redistricting -- quite the inverse of elections -- is a process in which politicians get to choose their voters. It is a process that a healthy democracy would seek to reform.


    © 2003 The Washington Post Company
     
  2. Mr. Wonderful

    Mr. Wonderful Founding Member

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    This is a tough, tough issue.

    On one hand, no one represents the plight and dreams of minority Americans like a well-meaning white Democrat. That special ability to understand the victimhood and pathetic nature of the minority is a trait unique to a well educated white Democratic pol.
    On the other hand, I've seen how devastating it can be to a state when they lose a great statesperson like Rev. Cleon Fields in DC. So if Texas is helping just one African of American descent reach the halls of Congress, it's not necessarily a bad thing.
    What a dilemna. Electing a young Texas Cleon and losing a well meaning Frosty Marty who understands how pitiful Africans of American descent are without his help...or keeping those that just happen to be white and are properly ashamed of it?
    Damn, once again I will defer to Sir Biggles without ANY input necessary from TuWho? TNT or Bob Starkey.
     
  3. LSUBud

    LSUBud Founding Member

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    To the victor goes the spoils .......

    For years, the Democrats controlled state houses around the country. And, for years, they used their power to gerrymander the most ridiculous Congressional districts man could EVER invent. Do you recall Cleo Fields' Congressional District in Louisiana - IT WAS A COMPLETE JOKE.

    But, Republicans understood that the power to redistrict wasn't in their hands and could do nothing but sit aside and wait their turn. THAT, and look to take over control of the state houses.

    So, now that the Republicans have control, the Democrats just can't admit that they are no longer running the show. The Democrats view it as some sort of God-given (ooops, Democrats don't use the word GOD - IT'S OFFENSIVE) right of their to CONTROL EVERYTHING - even when they are no longer in power.

    So, now it's a case of what goes around - COMES AROUND. And the Republicans are only looking to do what the Democrats have been doing for over 100 years - WHICH IS THEIR LEGAL RIGHT. And, the Democrats just can't admit that their brand of politics and gerrymandering has been VOTED OUT by THE PEOPLE.

    So, now they resort to the "fairness" and "race" cards.

    NICE TRY. BUT IT AIN'T GONNA WORK.

    We live in a Democracy - a democracy with rules. And, these were the RULES that the Democrats made up when they were in power. But, now that THE PEOPLE have voted them OUT, they want to supply their own NEW rules which do nothing more than to tell the PEOPLE - "F*(&K YOU - we don't want to play by the RULES anymore because WE know what's best for you."

    Again, nice try Liberals. But, your time has passed.

    Instead of blaming everyone and bringing up the "fairness", "diversity" and "RACE" cards - perhaps you should go back and analyze WHY you've been voted out of office BY THE PEOPLE.
     
  4. Mr. Wonderful

    Mr. Wonderful Founding Member

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    Well, let's be accurate.

    It's not the Democrats crying about this. Sir Biggles offered us the unbiased opinion of the Washington Post who has analyzed the issue, balanced history, the facts, no doubt ran it by the diverse editorial board, and only after much hand-wringing came out against the Texas GOP actions.
    Sir Biggles offered it only as a starting point for a debate and opportunity for self-reflection of our own bigoted views.
    I think it was horrid when Louisiana lost Rev. Cleon Fields in DC. But I at the same time recongize Mary and John's contributions to uplifting otherwise helpless and hapless Africans of American descent. It's a tough one.
     
  5. LSUBud

    LSUBud Founding Member

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    Re: Well, let's be accurate.

    I, for one, really missed you, Mr. W!!!

    You can make me laugh like very few can.
     
  6. CalcoTiger

    CalcoTiger Live Long and Prosper IVI

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    In the article it mentions that Republicans are doing this in the middle of a census. The only reason they are doing this in the middle of a census is the stalling , crying, wining Democrats who have prolonged this process so long that the Texas Legislature is in Violation of the Texas Constitution.

    It says that states must redistrict after each Census. Well there was no redistrict from the last Census that was done by the Texas Legislature which it is constitutionaly mandated to do. Once again the courts overstep there jurisdiction and instead of interpreting the law they tried to make it. Any plan put in place by the courts is unconstitutional and is in violation of the laws they are their to interpret.

    The courts are out of control and have allowed the Wining Democrats to drag this out.
     
  7. mesquite tiger

    mesquite tiger Diabolical Genius

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    least you all forget...texas is its own country and does its own things. we give a middle finger to the rest of the US because we can (or that is what we think). since I am not a native texan (reserve, la thank you very much), I have no say with the real texans. the real texans feel this is right, and the texas republican regime will keep churning because of it.

    by the way calco, this just started this year, so your census theory is good, but not completely on base. the republcans just gained control of the texas house, and by passing this redistricting it will further strengthen the republicans stronghold on the state. at this rate texas will exercise its option in its constitution to leave the US and become its own country...just wait.

    the good news is we are not shutting down our power intentionally, and we do not have an Austrian bodybuilder/movie star running our affairs. (cheap cali knock, couldn't resist)
     

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