Contemporary gerrymandering and who counted as people way back when ~ Some serious deja vu

Dear President Trump,

You must have done a little happy dance when you saw that your SCOTUS boys came through for you and yours on the gerrymandering case. I got about three pages through Robert’s majority opinion and was feeling so queasy that I had to stop and find Kagan’s dissent. Part of the Roberts-quease came from what seems to me to be his tortured argument to justify an unjustifiable conclusion. It goes something like this – ‘gee, gerrymandering is an age old issue that the Framers wrestled with, and gee, nobody has been able to get a decent handle on it, especially when it’s maybe gone too far (and who are we to say for sure when this might be the case), and so gee, since we SCOTUS people can’t come up with a solution that EVERYONE will think is bulletproof and fair, we shall take 72 pages to throw up our hands in defeat and say that the legislative process needs to deal with it, even though we know full well that the legislative process has been unduly corrupted by gerrymandering and thus cannot effectively address gerrymandering. There. How’d we do Donald? This is what you wanted, right?’

Oh my f*ing god! Are you kidding? That’s the best they can do? And some of these people are the ones who thought it righteous and apolitical to allow corporations personhood in the campaign finance arena. So the f*ck much for one PERSON, one vote. Seriously, you all have the moral fiber of pond scum.

There’s an interesting Constitution-related quote in one of the WP articles about all this. The piece quotes John Adams, who said: “that the first principle of a republic was that the legislature should be ‘in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large.’” Now John Adams was, of course, married to Abigail Adams, who repeatedly and passionately implored John in well-crafted letters to not forget “the Ladies” when he was helping to frame the Constitution. She wrote the following to him in March of 1776:

“Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Well, of course, John et al. did not remember the Ladies, nor did they remember either the indigenous people whose land they stole and whose ways of life they completely trashed or the African slaves they made their fortunes on the backs of. So John’s lofty statements about the legislature being a Mini-Me reflecting the people at large actually only tracked to the white male part of the population.

Do you see the parallels here with the gerrymandering situation? If you don’t quite get it, rest assured that the GOP hacks get it. They can deny and lie all they want about that dead guy, Thomas Hofeller, gerrymanderer-supreme, having just been playing with make-believe maps for fun and not really meaning it when he sent emails talking about gerrymandering being the last best way to steal votes and to keep power consolidated in the hands of whites and the GOP. We all know this is just so much bullshit.

Yes, Democratic legislatures have also engaged in gerrymandering, and it’s wrong whichever side does it, but it sure looks like Roberts and the rest of the conservative SC scrum are actually trying to keep things in line with what the original framers did and intended, which was to keep power consolidated in the hands of white males. The GOP piece wasn’t there originally and you all will take as many white women’s votes as you can get, so it’s not a perfect 1:1 across times, but it’s pretty damn close.

Pond scum. Fetid pond scum, the lot of you.

May we be safe from power grabs.
May we be happy to scream, howl, and/or lament out loud when they happen.
May you all get that your hold on power is slipping and healthy changes are coming.
May you not start a war.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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