Wednesday, September 02, 2009

All About The Gerrymander, Baby

Finally, a poll with some interesting numbers that might actually tell us something about citizen mood. I'm so tired of all the "Is (name) (verbing) the (issue) well?" polling that portends to tell us what the country actually thinks about the issue.

Try this one: "Would you like to replace the entire US Congress?"

My answer, as a liberal, Southern Democrat, is: Hell. To. The. Yes. And it appears I'm on the side of 57% of the country. Though I diverge from significant parts of the polling because I don't think there are many real conservatives or real liberals left in Congress (and think we'd be better off if there were), because I don't see the wack-job "bases" of each side as particularly "conservative" or "liberal". And since the wack-job representatives that play hardest to their respective bases are also the strongest incumbents, our shared definitions of conservative and liberal become distorted.

A bigger problem, both for hightening divisiveness and undermining legitimacy, is that 50% of respondents think election rules are rigged. Of course they are, knuckleheads. Have you seen what districts look like in each state? The lines are drawn to consolidate power, not encourage turnover, and "term limits," while important, are nothing but a band-aid.

(HT: Kyle Wingfield at the AJC).

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