Rep. Pena remembers the day six years ago when the House Democrats took a stand against the DeLay/Craddick/Perry re-redistricting scheme. Though they were only able to delay the inevitable, the effort marked the beginning of the resurgence of the Texas Democratic Party, which had fallen pretty far down after the 2002 election. And while there aren't any covert bus trips on the agenda this year, the delegation is once again faced with a partisan power grab, this time voter ID, in the waning days of the session. Thanks to the larger Democratic caucus that resulted in part from the redistricting fight, and the fact that a couple of Republicans aren't on board with it, that bill isn't guaranteed to pass. We can all hope for a different outcome.
This Observer story from the June 6, 2003 issue, which I reread every now and then, is still the best take on what happened back then, and a nice dose of nostalgia to boot. It's interesting and occasionally amusing to recall the projections of what might happen were the DeLay plan to pass. The line about how "the new map, if passed, would ensure Republican control of Congress for decades to come" used to make me wince but now makes me chuckle. That was sure how it felt at the time, for both sides, but boy, the future sure ain't what it used to be. Good thing, too.