Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 8, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

GERRYMANDERING....KC Johnson points out today that the permanent calcification of the House of Representatives is now nearly complete: out of 435 seats, only six changed parties this year. But good news for Dems: they won those six seats 4-2! Yippee!

And there's more:

In only 12 other contests (CA 20, CO 4, CT 2, CT 4, IN 2, IN 8, MN 6, MO 3, NY 29, OR 5, SD AL, PA 6) did the winner prevail by less than 10 percentage points. (Two seats in Louisiana remain to be decided.) This outcome occurred at a time when a majority of voters believed that the country was on the wrong track and the country is mired in a war that (regardless of ones opinions on its merits) clearly has not gone as the administration promised.

Think about that: 95% of all House seats were won by margins of more than 10 points. And this is in the half of the legislature that the founding fathers intended to be most responsive to changes in national mood.

Here's an idea for Dems: a constitutional amendment to ban gerrymandering. It's big, it's simple, it could draw a lot of attention, and it would be tough for Republicans to make a principled case against it. Even if it were impossible to get passed, there's not much downside to being on the side of the angels on this.

Kevin Drum 12:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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