Now I have to give it to Slate
, that is a funny title. Too bad the article isn't funny at all:
It's hard to find a defender of the current process: It's engineered to favor not only incumbents, but also typically the most ideological ones who derive their power from pandering to party extremists. House incumbents seeking re-election now have a 98 percent chance of winning, up from the lower 90s in the 1990s. It's a system in which party operatives manipulate sophisticated computer software to maximum effect, shuffling voters across district boundaries to guarantee their candidates have the best chance of winning election every two years.
Wow: House incumbents have a 98% chance of being re-elected. Were the even the Soviets that brazen? It's hard to think of anyone short of Sadam and Kim Jong Il that are that bad... and it's only a difference of 2%. Why do folks in the House hate democracy so much?
"As a mapmaker, I can have more of an impact on an election than a campaign, than a candidate," says Republican consultant David Winston, who drew House seats for the GOP after the 1990 U.S. Census. "When I, as a mapmaker, have more of an impact on an election than the voters, the system in out of whack."
At least David here knows there's a problem... do our so-called 'representatives'? I say we turn every single one of them out onto the streets...
Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., who once embraced such tactics as a key to helping his party take control of Congress, now backs any redistricting reform plan that involves "citizens who do not have an interest in maximizing [political] leverage." Under the current system, Gingrich reasons, Democrats "get to rip off the public in the states where they control and protect their incumbents, and we get to rip off the public in the states we control and protect our incumbents, so the public gets ripped off in both circumstances. ...In the long run, there's a downward spiral of isolation."
Me? I'm thinking Civil War in this country in the next 50 years... either that or it'll look like 'Roadwarrior.'
The ability for legislators to gerrymander
has always been fundamentally dangerous to our democracy and I really worry.