Alex's Outlook

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

More on the Ardmore frat party

National Review online has an excellent piece on the Texas redistricting mess.

Basically, what the GOP is doing may be partisan, but it's only undoing previous Democratic partisanship. The Democrats have so skilfully gerrymandered the state that although the GOP controls all 29 (!) statewide offices in Texas, won the Senate and governorship races there by about fifteen points and has significant majorities in both houses of the state Legislature, there are still 17 Democratic Representatives to 15 Republicans. Tom DeLay's plan would reverse that to about 21-11 or 22-10 in the Republicans' favor, making the House Democrats and the Main Street Partnership (a cabal of "moderate" Republicans) all but irrelevant, at least as far as the House is concerned.

The good thing is that the Democrats and Republicans in the state houses have to resolve a lot of issues by next Monday, and the Republicans can just stonewall if they want. That would force Rick Perry to call a special session to pass some 233 bills killed by the walkout. And in a special session, only a simple majority is required to be present, rather than the two-thirds quorum that allowed the walkout in the first place.

Furthermore, the Texas Democrats may have irreparably crippled themselves. Fifty-nine percent of Texans think the walkout was "very wrong".

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