Alex's Outlook

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Texas Chainsaw Gerrymander

The political front has been pretty tranquil since Earthquake Arnold. The only thing of note since has been Texas' final passage of a redistricting bill. The redistricting saga lasted six months, punctuated by two evacuations by Democrats to deny the Republicans a quorum. Texans reacted very negatively however, and the Democrat boycott broke down because of 2-to-1 voter disapproval. Then, after the Republicans fought each other over some technicalities, they finally passed it.

Republicans say the bill will net them "up to 6" new Congressional seats; the Democrats say seven. Apparently the bill also targets Ron Paul, the annoying Texas Republican who gets a lot of press as the "conscience of the House" but is a Democrat in practice, because he votes "no" on just about everything. (Pretty much everything passed by Congress today is unconstitutional in Paul's mind, which may be true, but for those of us who want to change the US for the better his incessant "nays" don't contribute anything to the cause.) Eliminating Paul will be almost as good as eliminating another Democrat.

In any case, the Democrats won't get the House in 2004. Assuming the gerrymander survives the inevitable court challenge, the Republicans could net 10+ seats in 2004, making the House about 240-195.

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