With half of states having completed new Congressional district maps, many liberals are hyperventilating over how gerrymandering – the design of districts for partisan advantage – is ending competition in Congressional elections.
Gerrymandering IS a terrible problem for sure, but Michael Barone, co-author of the indispensable Almanac of American Politics notes there was little criticism of rigging districts back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s when it “was employed to great effect by Democratic redistricters — and to considerable applause and delight of the few journalists” covering the issue.
Democrats are now bringing lawsuits against the redistricting in red states, even as the Democrat leaders in Illinois have drawn some of the most creative partisan district lines of all time. They have drawn “bacon strip” districts from Chicago wards far out into the prairie to maximize their seats.
But gerrymandering can often fail when the party in power gets too greedy. Las Vegas Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat, tore into her party at an AFL-CIO union hall this week. “I totally got f——ed by the Legislature on my district,” she said. “I’m sorry to say it like that, but I don’t know any other way to say it.”
Titus complained that the Democratic legislature shifted liberal voters from her safe seat in an effort to win two neighboring swing districts. This may put all three Congressional seats held by Democrat at great risk of becoming Republican.
“They could have created two safe seats for themselves and one swing. That would have been smart… No no, we have to have three that are very likely going down.”