UPDATE: 11AM — So much for the GOP circling the wagons behind Props. 11 & 20. They’ve turned out to be a disaster. Commission has adopted these lines. Republicans can look the courts, and to referend the lines. Otherwise, there is no real path for the next decade to move the GOP significantly closer to majority status in Sacramento.
My apologies to FR readers for my light posting the last week — I’ve been taking some much needed time off. That having been said, I thought I would “step in” for just a few minutes to share some quick thoughts with regards to the “fine works” of the California Redistricting Commission, which is poised today to lock and load today on political boundaries that — well — screw the GOP.
It is so clear, in retrospect, that it is impossible to divorce politics from what is a fundamentally political process. Propositions 11 and 20 sought to do just that. It’s not clear to me whether we should have the line drawing to the politicians (a shout out to Steve Maviglio) or whether we should have just sent the line drawing to a panel of judges. One thing that is clear is that the convoluted process that was contained in these ballot measures, largely promoted (with the best of intentions, one can presume) by uber-wealthy county GOP official Charles Munger, Jr. (son of the billionaire business partner of Warren Buffet). I suppose there will be plenty of time to see what Dr. Frankenstein thinks about the fact that his monster is killing Republicans.
That having been said, the language of the ballot measure provides that tw0-thirds of the members of each political party on the Commission must vote to approve the final plans. It should be a no brainer for all five Republicans to vote no (on all of the plans, frankly) — after all, this plan screws Republicans.
That having been said, it seems that somehow (go figure) that the selection process for the Commission, while clearly placing a number of people on the Commission with liberal agendas — I can’t tell if there is one Republican on the Commission who didn’t vote for Barack Obama — or who even cares that these lines these are being asked to finalize today are terrible for their own party.
While I am notoriously bad at analogies, I will finish this post with one. If you were to compare the work of the Commission to playing a game of Scrabble, Republicans are looking at a tray filled with all vowels and maybe on low-scoring consonant. It’s time to throw in all of the tiles and pick new ones. Is there a chance, however unlikely, that we would pull seven vowels? Sure. But more likely we’ll pick a few more higher-scoring tiles when the judges draw the lines.