Whose Ox is Gored?

The folks down I-95 at Fred2Blue are complaining about how “gerrymandered” Virginia is.

Gerrymandering is an age old tradition. In fact, as I noted some time back the first partisan apportionment happened right here in Virginia. It is a practice as the “spoils system” as propounded by Andrew Jackson, and when a party is swept to power they hack at the other guys districts with gusto, and expect and accept the same in return.

I think we need non-partisan apportionment, and I think mid-decade apportionments should be done away with.. Until that happens, we have to make do with what we have.

But I confess to more than a bit of cynicism on this point…in fact, this report smells just a tad of Claude Rains in “Capablanca” professing to be shocked gambling is going on in Rick’s American Cafe…and then accepts his gambling winnings from the croupier.

I would be more impressed by this report and indignation if:

**The supporting report had not come out of the DLC, a Democratic support group;
**The report were not full of “might” and “if” and “perhaps” type wiggle words estimating how many more voters would vote if different redistricting methods were used.
**Tucked away in a note on page 16 the paper itself said “placement on this list should not be confused with a ranking of which states maintain systems most prone to creating non-competitive districts”…so that fourth worst stat Fred2Blue throws around about Virginia may not be all it is cracked up to be.
**I didn’t recall how in 1990 the Virginia Democracy redistricted the House so that 14 GOP incumbents were redistricted into seven house districts, and completely reshaped the old Virginia 7 to knock out a GOP incumbent.
**I didn’t recall how the Senate Democratic leadership shot down legislation in the 2008 session that would create bi- or non- partisan redistricting…presumably because they want to guarantee themselves a big chair at the table in 2010.

This is a game that has been going on for over two hundred years, and it isn’t going away any time soon…and if the DLC thinks it is a problem, then maybe they should get get guys like Dick Saslaw to send up legislation that would change the way things are done.


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