Obama and Eric Holder Launch PAC for ‘Fairer’ Redistricting Maps
President Barack Obama plans to team up after he leaves office with former Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a new political action committee to press for redistricting reform.
According to Politico, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee was “developed in close consultation with the White House” and that Obama himself has identified with the group.
“American voters deserve fair maps that represent our diverse communities—and we need a coordinated strategy to make that happen,” Holder said in a statement. “This unprecedented new effort will ensure Democrats have a seat at the table to create fairer maps after 2020.”
Democratic leadership in statehouses and congress is being decimated by Obama’s policies. The president routinely complains about gerrymandering, saying that is making things unfair for Democrats across the country.
A few points:
(1) Obama’s going to be involved in this effort personally. From where? The 12th fairway?
(2) The irony about this bit about “deserve fair maps that represents our diverse communities” is that gerrymandering is required in order to have any kind of “diversity” beyond token numbers in Congress. Remember, the original purpose of gerrymandering was to draw weird districts to make sure blacks and to a lesser extent Hispanics were able to go to Congress. It helping Republicans wasn’t part of the original intent, but it fell out of the design, it was an accidental consequence. But it’s one of the few lessons they learned and learned accurately. So much so that if the politics line up correctly, Republicans and non-white (esp. black) Democrats will team up on redistricting, as we saw here in Missouri in 2011.
(3) However, I think that bit about “represents our diverse communities” is disingenuous PR, and they know it. What they’re really up to is trying to find a way to rig the system so that legislative district maps are drawn in such a way that they help Democrats as a party, not black Democrats, not Hispanic Democrats. The winners in such a scenario would be white liberal Democrats, and blacks and Hispanics will have to take one for the blue team.
(4) The problem with that is that gerrymandering doesn’t much matter. The stellar example that the Democrats that bitch about gerrymandering use is that the generic 2012 Congressional vote was slightly more Democrat than Republican, yet it yielded a 233-202 Republican majority in the actual legislative body. What blew that theory out of the water was two years later — The 2014 Congressional vote in terms of the two-party split was virtually exactly the same as the 2010 vote, and the 2014 vote took place under Republican favored gerrymanders from the 2011 redistricting, while the 2010 vote was off of 2001’s maps. And the difference was all of five seats: 247 in 2014 compared to 242 in 2010. Which means all this great gerrymandering they’re so worried about only made a 1% difference, five seats out of the 435 available. Another problem is that a few university polysci department profs applied the 2012 generic Congressional vote to thousands upon thousands of hypothetical national Congressional districting maps, ranging from the wildest pro-Republican to the wildest pro-Democrat to everything in between, and found that only a slight handful of the wild pro-Democrat maps would have yielded an actual Democrat majority in the House. The authors of the study concluded that the problem for Congressional Democrats and their prospects wasn’t gerrymandering, or even districting, but that their voters are geographically clumped up in little cubbyholes. (And some of us think that’s one of the under-the-table real reasons for AFFH.)
(5) And the really big question: Why bother with any of this? After all, pen and phone. Congress has barely been a hurdle to him in the last six years. If we wind up with a status quo election result next month, then President Rodham won’t be hindered by either Speaker Paul Ryan nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I think that President Trump wouldn’t be bothered by them either, because he’ll blow Ryan and McConnell off just as much as Hillary would. Especially Ryan, which, if you read Trump’s Twitter feed, isn’t his favorite person these days. Even if we wind up with a Trump/Pelosi/(Schumer or Durbin) governing troika, Trump will blow off Congress.
I used to think Obama was just deceitfully using gerrymandering as a crutch to play to his kook base or donors, I never actually thought he believed his own bullshit. Then again, the left thinks that Catholic Church, moderate-establishment RINO Republicans are big threats to them, as we have found out in the Wikidumps of the past ten days. I’ll never figure out the thought process that the left uses to arrive at its list of mortal enemies, when they wind up fearing people and institutions that are either powerless or no threat to them even when they have power.