Thursday, August 04, 2011

Twelve Years

The next time the Democratic Party is able to name a Speaker of the US House of Representitives will be in 2023 at the earliest. Thus are the results of abandoning state parties and allowing the GOP to manage the congressional redistricting process in a majority of the United States.

And remember, that 2023 number is at the earliest. That's if the Democrats figure out right now the importance of reasonable districts, make that an issue with voters, and deliver on those promises. I don't expect that to happen.

Unfortunately, there are too many national Democratic representatives who like consolidating likely Democratic voters in their own districts and protecting their own job security. They will continue to allow the more numerous GOP to draw Democratic voters out of the more numerous Republican districts. While they will keep thier jobs (for a time) their actions effectively kneecap any chance Democrats have to put some of those other districts into play in general elections.

This is why I laugh at those Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives who are gnashing their teeth over Obama's "surrender" on the debt ceiling. The President is a pragmatist, a realist, and got the best deal he was able to get out of an undefeatable, stark raving mad Republican and Tea Party controlled Congress. And the reason he has to make deals like that is because too many of his party's House caucus surrendered the states to the GOP years ago.

That's why next year's "Mediscare" campaign isn't going to swing control of the Congress. And if that doesn't work, the Dems are out of political options. If voters in the majority of Congressional districts don't like their incumbent, they're going to choose another Republican in the Primary.

And what's really going to bake your noodle is the effect this will have on Senate and Presidential elections. The greatest voter turnout occurs when voters believe they have a form of agency, and that their vote matters. If Democratic voters live in a GOP district, and there is no credible Dem challenger, they are less likely to go to the polls and pull the lever for other offices. It may not make much of a difference, but in a country as evenly divided as this one, it could make all the difference.

I read an article the other day that was as much science-fiction as it was political. It was about Nancy Pelosi plotting her return to the Speaker's chair. I wonder if she realizes she'll likely have to serve in Congress for 20 more years before she even sniffs another chance. My money says Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn will be retired Congress long before the next time the Dems choose a Speaker.



James H said...

And yet every Democrat and Progressive Legal mind was scared to death the Supreme Court was going to not extend certain parts of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which allows special consideration for minority majority districts just 2 years ago.

As a Republican it helps my party but its mighty bad civics packing about every African American you can into these districts. The Supreme Court , though you could tell they did not want too, allowed the act to be extended.

This is a huge part of the problem for democrats and the thing was they are ( or at least were) all for it. This was slightly all predictable

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Oh, that's definitely part of the problem, and perhaps the most ironic unintended consequence of the Voting Rights Act as it is currently interpreted. It effectively disenfranchises anyone who is drawn into a non-competitive district.

I think it will eventually be addressed, but finding a solution won't be easy.