Isn’t Gerrymandering a Zero Sum Game for Reps and Dems?

Posted: April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

1- Not necessarily.  If the Republicans control both state houses like they did in Texas ten years ago, they can draw up districts so that all the democrats in the state reside in a few districts so the dems win those with 100% of the vote, but it guarantees the Reps will win all the others and remain a majority party forever.

2- But that is not the real problem with gerrymandering, the real problem is it divides the state into rep and dem districts so the incumbent is almost guaranteed to win the general election forever.  This is the job protection he needs to then go about stealing money on behalf of the banks and corporations, he needs to know that his own job won’t be threatened.

3- So, what happens is that the general election is a shoe-in for these guys, but the primary becomes all important since whoever wins the Rep primary in a Rep district is sure to win general election.  Certainly, to date, primaries have not been as competitive as general elections and you can buy them with much less money.

4- So you end up with a vastly split congress, fringe Dems and fringe Reps who got in appealing to their fringe parties’ primaries and no one representing the vast middle, the 40%+ independents.

5- And, really fringe groups like the tea party can make a big move.  Say they are 20% of Republicans who themselves are 30% of electorate.  They have the power to swing a Rep primary in a Rep district to a Tea Partier and thus get him or her into Congress even though they only represent 6% of the general electorate.

Having said all this, I think the most damaging thing is that it pretty much guarantees incumbents will have their seats for life as typically the independents will throw out many of the fringe candidates from both parties.  You couldn’t have all this corruption and bank and corporate stealing if congressmen who helped lost their job.  Gerrymandering assures that they don’t.  Corporate money in politics backing corrupt politicians running for office in gerrymandered districts explains why only 14% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, yet 98% of the incumbents win reelection.

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