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Like many of you, I was very distraught by the fact that gerrymandering effectively ruined our chances at taking the House. Even though we managed to knock off a few teabaggers, the Republican majority appears to be set in stone until 2020. However, there is a controversial way in which we could possibly get the majority back into our hands by 2016 at the latest if everything goes right.

We normally assume that redistricting is something that only happens once a decade. But as we should realize from Texas history, that's not the case. In 2003, Tom Delay and his pals in the Texas state legislature passed a new congressional district map that practically destroyed the Texas democrats in Congress. Even though the case was sent to the Supreme Court and part of it was ruled illegal, the court ruled that it was legal to have redistricting done in the middle of the decade.

Case summary of League of Latin American Citizens v. Perry from OYEZ.org

The Supreme Court held that the Texas Legislature's redistricting plan did not violate the Constitution, but that part of the plan violated the Voting Rights Act. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for a majority of the justices, stated that District 23 had been redrawn in such a way as to deny Latino voters as a group the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choosing, thereby violating the Voting Rights Act. Justice Kennedy also wrote, however, that nothing in the Constitution prevented the state from redrawing its electoral boundaries as many times as it wanted, so long as it did so at least once every ten years.
I'm not entirely fluent on every state's laws regarding redistricting, but I'm sure this is our best bet to get out of the congressional mess we our in. We need to target swing state legislatures like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin that we lost last time in order to get the legislators and governors who are willing to redraw the maps. If we manage to fill up those houses and redraw the lines, we have a much better shot than we ever did before at getting back the House of Representatives.

There's a good chance however there will be a huge backlash against this. Which is why I propose to create ballot initiatives once we are done redrawing the lines in order to put redistricting into a non partisan panel. I propose making our districts along somewhat neutral to slightly D lines in order to still be competitive while making sure the panels don't completely ruin the maps.

I know this all sounds like a huge stretch and I might actually be wrong if there is some redistricting law I don't know about. But this plan can give us the House of Reps back and make sure Republicans don't use gerrymandering to such an effect again.

P.S. just don't vote in the poll, I know this idea might sound stupid, but I'd prefer constructive feedback and I don't think I can remove it.

Originally posted to Andy1116 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:31 PM PST.

Poll

Do you think a plan like this can work?

51%15 votes
41%12 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Think As Dems See Consistent 50-50 States Sendin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wednesday Bizzare

    3:1 Republicans to the House, it should gain traction.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:18:18 PM PST

    •  We need to wrestle redistricting out of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wednesday Bizzare, Jim H

      partisan hands, and do it with citizen committees.  And we should try to use straight lines to configure Congressional Districts.

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:09:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

        if Dems tried to redistrict in several states, the only way to do it without seeming power hungry would be to remove any partisan or incumbant consideration. The lines would have to be as crisp and straight as possible. Sadly, I don't have faith that they would keep to that.

  •  The Only Way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    astral66, Keith930, realnrh

     To take back those southern seats may be an encore performance by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman.

  •  Based on some of the emails... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim H, Miggles, librarianman

    I've recieved back from the right wing acquaintances I've been tormenting today, I think there is a much easier way.

    I've been receiving emails from these nutjobs that say since Obama has won, they are now pushing for him to be impeached for treason due to the Bengazhi issue. No, really!! I'm serious as hell!! And they believe it is just as possible as were their thoughts that they would win this election. These people are nuts, but bear with me.

    I think they're on to something! We should all sit down and write letters to every single republican member of congress pushing them to file articles of impeachment against president Obama for Bengazhi or any other muslim, socialist, foreign born or whatever other reason they believe is proper. And we keep sending these letters until the republicans actually file articles of impeachment.

    I'm pretty sure if we can get them to do this, come 2014 we'll have the house back and a super majority in the senate! I think it could work.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    by reflectionsv37 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:54:04 PM PST

    •  And another thought which is probably far... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim H

      easier. Just support president Obama and keep his feet to the fire and have his back. Encourage him to be a forceful leader, embrace his policy positions, help him create new jobs, get the economy roaring again and the American people will do the right thing and support him and vote out the obstructionists.

      The republicans need to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with themselves and decide if they want to work to help the country or end up the compost pile of political irrelevancy. The choice is theirs. I don't think the American public is going to tolerate anymore republican obstruction.

      Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      by reflectionsv37 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:59:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's precedent, then there's precedent. (0+ / 0-)
    We normally assume that redistricting is something that only happens once a decade. But as we should realize from Texas history, that's not the case. In 2003, Tom Delay and his pals in the Texas state legislature passed a new congressional district map that practically destroyed the Texas democrats in Congress. Even though the case was sent to the Supreme Court and part of it was ruled illegal, the court ruled that it was legal to have redistricting done in the middle of the decade.
    I really don't think that we want to step into the swamp where every time a state legislature flips they redistrict.

    Carefully targeted at some of the more strongly gerrymandered maps, maybe.  But that is a very slippery slope.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:05:53 PM PST

  •  I Doubt A Republican House Would Impeach (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim H

      They reserve that type of action for serious matters like sworn testimony about a blow job in a dismissed and then settled out of court civil suit.

  •  Will never happen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim H

    If we can do it we don't need to. And if we need to do it we can't do it.

    In order to do this we'd have to first control of that state's legislature, and likely the governorship too. But if we've succeeded in doing that, why would we then want to take the controversial step of a mid-decade redistricting?

    It'd only stir things up unnecessarily. So it'll never happen.

  •  Pressing the nuttier candidates to speak up (0+ / 0-)

    and express their deepest beliefs "please proceed . . . " works pretty well! Mourdock was a shoo-in until he got to talking and he's not the only one who ended up being just too revolting for moderate Republican women to vote for. We need to continue to support the type of Dem who can win in many very conservative districts.

  •  Problems with that (0+ / 0-)

    Some states have constitutional requirements regarding redistricting, not just statutory. Texas had a state statute specifying when redistricting would be done. Other states, such as Minnesota and New Hampshire, have that definition in the state constitution instead, so even having the trifecta in a non-redistricting year doesn't do any good. In other states, specifically including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio, state Democrats face a dual problem in getting the trifecta. The governorship is certainly doable in all three states, but in all three the state legislature's lines were redistricted as well, and Democratic votes were vigorously sequestered into heavily-Democratic blocs, making it very difficult to pick up the state legislatures needed to carry out that sort of mid-decade redistricting.

    Notice that despite last night's huge win in Pennsylvania, Democrats were unable to capture the state senate (though they did make gains) or state house (where they're down by 17). Half the PA senate is up every two years, and there are 15 Republicans up in 2014; Democrats would need to pick up three to take the chamber then, and still would need to gain those 17 in the house, a tall order in a non-presidential year (particularly since it was a tall order in a presidential year). Not impossible, but a tall order. Likewise, in Ohio, despite Obama winning the state, Republicans held the state house of representatives by what looks like a 61-39 margin thanks to Democrats being geographically clustered. Basically, in a bunch of states, Democrats win huge margins in a few districts and are gerrymandered out of competition in a lot of them.

    NH4JL DIT '04, NHDP DIT '08!

    by realnrh on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:27:03 PM PST

  •  Even after Tom Delay rammed through an (0+ / 0-)

    off-year redistricting to make things more favorable for Republicans, Democrats lost hardly any ground in the Texas delegation.  Thus the best way to reclaim the house is to have good candidates.  If we do that in 2014, it doesn't matter how the lines are drawn.  We'll win.  We've done it in the past against such odds, and we can do it again.

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