January 06, 2004
Redistricting upheld

Ugh. The three-judge panel has upheld the new Congressional map, saying that the plaintiffs "failed to prove" the plan violates the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act. John Whitmire, I'm looking at you.

There will be plenty more on this tomorrow. I don't care to think about it any more right now.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 06, 2004 to Killer D's | TrackBack

Aw, baby, don't me mad at me. I'll make it up to you.

Posted by: The Honorable John Whitmire (chickenshit-Houston) on January 6, 2004 3:24 PM

what other decision could the court have reached? As the court noted, they don't rule on the wisdom of the map, and they don't get to decide cases based on what they would they would do if they were kings. The gerrymandering of this map is no different in any important way from the decades of gerrymandering inflicted on the state by the democrat party. it is so typical of the crybaby runaway democrat scumbags to whine and complain about being on the receiving end of the very same treatment they dispensed when they were in the majority.

i predict the scotus won't even hear arguments. there is simply no meaningful argument that this map is unconstitutional.

Posted by: abelard on January 6, 2004 4:52 PM

Kuff, thank you again for your unflagging efforts to collect and spread informative links regarding this issue, which has been a genuine service to those on both sides of the political aisle.

I've written some very critical and unflattering things about the Democrats in the Texas Legislature who fought redistricting in 2003 and their allies and supporters, but "scumbags" is not a term I'd choose and I don't personally agree that it's apt.

Neither the majority nor dissenting opinions are eloquent or concise, and both could have used a good editor, but as I've explained at more length on my own bandwidth, I think the majority opinion mostly got things right. "All that happened" in the 2003 redistricting battle "flowed from [the] objective" of the majority party in power "to increase their representation in the congressional delegation," "with the give-and-take inherent in the legislative process along the way." Yes, without question, "[t]he result disadvantaged Democrats. And a high percentage of Blacks and Latinos are Democrats." But the "myriad decisions made during [Plan 1374C's] creation were made in spite of, and not because of, its effects upon Blacks and Latinos."

The ultimate bottom line:   Texas redistricting in 2003 was all about politics, not all about race.

Posted by: Beldar on January 6, 2004 9:48 PM

I thought the ultimate bottom line was "We are all ultimately Tom DeLay's bitch". Oh, same thing.

Posted by: norbizness on January 7, 2004 7:59 AM

if "scumbag" is not apt in your opinion, may i presume that you consider "runaway" and "crybaby" to be apt?

Posted by: abelard on January 7, 2004 8:02 AM

Abelard: yuck it up, funboy. You may now be assured that redistricting will be frequent, and you just might find that it will come back and bite your lame ass. How will you feel when your locality or hometown gets split up into 6 districts all running hundreds of miles in different directions, diluting the voice of your community into nothing? It isn't just happening to Democrts, bub, it's affecting Republican constituents, too. Just ask folks in West Texas.
Or Austinites. What a load of crap, to have our capital city broken up into three different congressional districts. So much for representational democracy. Who the hell represents my hometown now?

In short, up yours!



Posted by: DocG on January 7, 2004 9:34 AM

Abelard, how does namecalling help the discussion here? I thought Republicans were going to "change the tone."

I'll (reluctantly) concede that in the end, the GOP did to the Dems what the Dems had done for a few decades to them. Every 10 years, the party in power arranges things to their liking, and that's how it goes. However, I'm not aware of anything akin to DeLay's involvement during any other redistricting effort(feel free to educate me). That's the part that worries me most.

Posted by: CrispyShot on January 7, 2004 9:39 AM

I agree that namecalling is not a productive tone. However, unlike CrispyShot, I not only condemn Abelard for calling Democratic state legislators "scumbags", I also condemn norbizness for calling a Democratic state senator a "chickensh!t". Also, norbizness is wrong for calling federal judges "Tom DeLay's b!tches".

Can you join me, Crispy?

Posted by: Greg V. on January 7, 2004 10:16 AM


You are absolutely correct: namecalling is not productive.

And, the judges are not "Tom Delay's bitches". Craddick and his ilk are the ones who kneel before the Exterminator and serve.



Posted by: DocG on January 7, 2004 10:27 AM

Norbizness refers to the "ultimate bottom line" of the court's opinion when he says, "We are all Tom DeLay's b!tch". I don't see how you apply this to anyone but the federal judges.

I sense a little elitism in your post regarding a Congressman's former occupation. Also, refering to Republican state legislators as "ilk" seems to betray a little incivility on your part.

Posted by: Greg V. on January 7, 2004 10:32 AM

Greg V., I agree - namecalling from ANY side just ain't called for. But I'd hate to put the kabash on spirited discussion. I'd just prefer it if folks stuck to ideas and not invective.

(And this may be quibbling, but I interpreted the "We are all Tom DeLay's bitches" remark as applying not just to the judges or the GOPs in the Lege, but to all Texans - hell, maybe everyone in the US. But perhaps I'm being a tad pessimistic.)

Posted by: CrispyShot on January 7, 2004 10:55 AM


I was stating that, as a matter of my opinion, the term was inappropriately applied to the judges by norbizness. The term more properly applies to the fellow members of Delay's party in the state legislature and executive office who kowtowed to his desires.

Elitism? No, merely contempt of the man himself.
As for incivility, I consider it highly lacking in civility for the legislators in question to hack my hometown into three different parts, thus insuring that we have no unified voice. Have you seen the congressional map of the Austin area?

Posted by: DocG on January 7, 2004 11:48 AM

i really don't see the point of arguing over namecalling, and trying to decide whether it is productive or not. Is there someone reading all this stuff who is under the illusion that something productive is being accomplished? Political discussions are a spectator sport, a parlor game, not a productive activity. goodhearted namecalling is just fun, and you guys who are offended by it should get a life.

I think "scumbag" is a pretty apt term for those moronics dems who went to santa fe and ardmore, and tried to appear on TV as often as possible whining about the republicans were being unfair and mean, and breathlessly reporting the shocking allegation that the GOP's national leadership, in the person of Tom DeLay, was very interested in arranging a political gambit that had the potential to add 5-7 GOP congressmen to the House of Representatives!!! O MY GOD!!

frankly, this is the part of the story that amazes me the most. i have yet to hear anyone allege that there is a statute of any kind, felony, misdemeanor, SEC rule, homeowner's association covenant, anything, that makes DeLay's intimate, crucial involvement in redistricting wrong or illegal. And what other word than "scumbag," in its popular subtext meaning of "lying hypocrite," could be more apt for people who complain bitterly about techniques and strategies that they themselves employ? Does someone really believe that the national democrat party leadership is completely uninvolved in redistricting strategies that have the potential to increase the democrat party's edge? Pleeeeeaaaaase! Apparently CrispyShot is unaware that the dem antional leadership gets involved in state level politics. How about the Torricelli / Lautenberg felony theft? It was widely reported that Clinton and McAuliffe leaned on local party officials to arrange this incredible larceny. I don't have video of them actually arranging things with Torricelli, the NJ supreme court, and Lautenberg, but surely you will stipulate some heavy national dem leadership involvement? Ok, yeah, not redistricting, but with a little googling, i believe i could produce dozens of similar parallel examples, though i doubt i will be able to find a case of the dem national leadership getting involved in texas redistricting.

Posted by: abelard on January 8, 2004 8:55 AM

hey, Beldar, if you're still reading this thread, i still am curious whether you would agree with my characterization of the dem reps as "crybaby" and "runaway," accepting that you draw the line at "scumbag."

Proper invective is a crucial element of rhetoric, and i would really value your feedback.

Posted by: abelard on January 8, 2004 9:00 AM

Abelard, I know you didn't ask for my feedback, but I'm curious what "proper invective" is, and I'm not ready to concede that it's "a crucial element of rhetoric." I've always felt that if you can't make your point without namecalling, your point must be weak.

And OF COURSE national players meddle in local issues of all types; what I'm concerned about is the nakedness of the power grab, and the precedent it may set. I guess I like my coups a little more discreet. Call it naivete.

Posted by: CrispyShot on January 8, 2004 9:34 AM

well, IMHO, proper invective inflames, inspires, arouses passion, polarizes, sharpens points of division. Good invective would leave no one unmoved, no one neutral. Invective is an indispensable tool of rhetoric: to influence people, you must speak to the whole person, not merely the head, but also the heart.

The classical 14 exercises of the Progymnasmata, a series of practice assignments in the study of rhetoric, include invective and vituperation as assignment 9. Aristophanes, whom Aristotle esteemed as the ideal comedian, was a particular master of obscentity and invective.

Posted by: abelard on January 8, 2004 9:53 AM

With regard to the nakedness of the power grab, i will freely concede that the republicans are clumsy, hamhanded and brash. I'm a pretty dedicated republican, but in the latter stages of the runaway scrape, i was pretty worried that Dewhurst and Perry would find themselves outmanuevered, and would prove unwilling or unable to wield their power as ruthlessly as necessary to crush the extralegal acts of the runaway legislators. Republicans are not good in general at using power subtly, and this disability makes their use of power more offensive to behold, and causes many republican leaders to unnecessarily shrink away from the brink of decisive action, either out of their own personal revulsion, or fear of the revulsion of the public.

witness the current impasse over confirmation of judges in the US Senate. The GOP has had it in its power for some time to crush the opposition, either by recess appointments by Bush, or by eliminating the application of the 60 vote rule to judicial nominations. I am baffled by the reluctance to perform the former--i write Bush weekly urging him to do this. The obstacle for the latter is clear: the GOP can't muster the votes from its own ranks to change the rules. there are enough GOP senators who are repulsed by this use of power to make it currently impossible.

so, i agree with your aesthetic point. but since i am highly sympathetic to the objectives of the GOP, i am quite prepared to overlook and forgive their clumsiness. in a strange way, i find it reassuring. i don't really want leaders who are masters of the subtle political power play.

Posted by: abelard on January 8, 2004 10:07 AM

Damn - I was expecting more of a written-in-anger kind of response, not the thoughtful ones you gave. Well done, sir. I yield the field.

Posted by: CrispyShot on January 8, 2004 10:42 AM

No, thank YOU!

seriously, i love this kind of argument, but i take it all in good fun, and mean it all in good fun, and if someone wants to call ME a scumbag, please go right ahead, and i will just chuckle a little bit.

Posted by: abelard on January 8, 2004 11:21 AM