New voting districts give the GOP that boxed-in feeling
GOP complaints about redistricting bias are to be expected — but in fact, the increase in new Democratic-leaning districts reflects the drop in Republican voters in California.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission has drawn its lines, and the latest redistricting, like all redistrictings, has lessons to teach us about California.
First Lesson (for Republicans): It's not the districts, it's you.
More ironic still, the Citizens Commission initiative was put on the ballot and funded largely by Republicans. The California Republican Assembly supported the initiative. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's PAC was its No. 1 funder, and Meg Whitman chipped in $200,000. Its most prominent opponents were then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Boxer and the California Democratic Party.
Heh. Even my senior-division masturbatory fantasies can't be right all the time. It's OK, girls, I still think about you...
The Republicans' problem in California isn't the districts. It's that their message and candidates appeal to fewer and fewer Californians (my em).
Second Lesson: Coastal California lost some districts to inland California, but that won't make the state more conservative, as some pundits had predicted, because inland California is becoming steadily more Latino. Among the newly created districts where no congressional incumbent lives are two Inland Empire seats — one in the Riverside area, the other in Ontario-Fontana — that are clearly Democratic in orientation and Latino in population.
And folks wonder why I love Meskins...
Third Lesson: There will actually be some — not many — districts that either party could win. Not many, because Californians tend to cluster themselves by ideology, leaving few parts of the state in which equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans abide side by side. In the newly created districts that could go either way, turnout will be key.
In the high-turnout election of 2008, for instance, Barack Obama carried the precincts in a newly created Ventura County congressional district by a hefty 16% margin. In the low-turnout election of 2010, Republican Meg Whitman beat Jerry Brown in those precincts by a slim 1%. Whatever Democrat ends up running for that seat must hope that disenchantment with Obama won't bring turnout down to midterm-election levels.
MY lesson to all: if disenchanted Dems had sucked it up and turned out for the 2010 midterm election, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now. NEVER miss an election. Never.
Indeed, while California Republicans appear almost certain to lose seats in Congress and the Legislature next year, they may prevail in some of the new swing districts if many of the Obama surge voters of 2008 — disproportionately young and minority — respond to the dysfunctional economy by staying home. California looks to be no country for Republicans, but the recession may help them win a close one here and there.
If people can remember where the recession came from, the goddam Repugs oughta lose 'em all.
Much more in the article.
The only problem with California leading the way, from lakes pipes to politics, is that we're usually about ten years ahead of the rest of the country. At my age, that's a lot.