By Peter Roff • USNews
My high school biology teacher, Dudley Davis, used to like to remind us all that “figures can’t lie, but liars can figure.” How right he was, especially when politics is somehow involved in the equation, as it is every time districts lines are redrawn for seats in Congress and state legislatures.
The Democrats have suddenly decided this is a problem – and have come up will all kinds of mathematical analyses and formulas to back their assertion up. Their target is Justice Anthony Kennedy who, they hope, will side with the Supreme Court’s Obama and Clinton appointees in a forthcoming case challenging the way the lines were drawn in Wisconsin because the Republicans are allegedly over-represented in the state legislature when compared with the total number of votes they received in the last election.
Why focus on a single justice? Well, it seems Kennedy has previously indicated he might look favorably on efforts to curtail the ability of state legislators to draw state and federal district lines if a fair and accurate formula could be found to determine what constituted acceptable representation ratios similar to the ones used to determine if race plays too much or too little a factor in the creation of majority-minority seats in legislative bodies. The Democrats, who have been getting hammered of late in elections across the country, have enlisted former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to spearhead the legal campaign and former President Barack Obama to raise the money.
It’s an effort Republicans ignore at their own peril. The Democrats think they are America’s natural governing party and that elections are held merely to ratify that fact. If the Republicans are winning more than they are losing – this is a two-party system after all – it can only (in their minds anyway) be because the GOP is cheating.
The Democrats’ thesis ignores a number of important things, most importantly how the GOP came to power in 1994 after years in the political wilderness thanks to Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, a positive agenda for change in Washington that spilled over into state elections. The party’s victories that year made the GOP the majority party in places where it hadn’t held power in decades thanks to Republican candidates winning in seats the Democrats thought they owned.
There have been times when gerrymanders – the name given the practice of drawing oddly-shaped legislative districts to produce an outcome favorable to one party – have been a problem. All throughout the 80s the Democrats drew lines in states like North Carolina and California – where one district was famously a contiguous landmass only at low tide – to derail the Reagan revolution. As they party moved left, as Reagan reminded everyone at every chance, the voters began to leave it as he had left it in the 1950s. It wasn’t that they all became Republicans – that would come later – so much as they stopped voting for the left-liberal candidates their former party kept promoting for office.
The Democrats apparently find it inconceivable they are losing elections because of what they stand for. The country is not with them when it comes to abortion on demand, the abolition of Second Amendment rights, forced unionization, identity politics and, among other things, the demands for so-called social justice made by those raised in a culture of victimization. America remains a center-right country where most people, as anti-tax crusader Grover G. Norquist has observed time and again, just want to be left alone.
The drive-by, propaganda media is of course all in on this. The ferocity with which they have already embraced this new cause and have used stories, anecdotes, sources and themes that are both left-liberal and oddly similar will only increase as the Wisconsin redistricting case gets closer to its hearing before the highest court in the land. They’ve made common cause with the Democrats on this because they don’t, in fact, want fair or competitive elections as much as they may say they do.
Make no mistake: The real agenda is to produce permanent progressive majorities led by Democrats in Washington and in as many states as was the case in the years after Watergate. The Republicans will be allowed to exist; they just won’t be allowed to hold power because it will be essentially unconstitutional for them to do so. At least that’s what they expect the Supreme Court, with a push from Justice Kennedy, will do.