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Government in exile - cheating the constitution

  1. May 13, 2003 #1
    Redistrcting is a tried and true method for an incumbent majority party to try to maintain this majority. It involves grouping the voters into districts in such a way as to maximize the desired party affiliation across all the voting districts.

    This is, inevitably, the first thing a party does when it first attains a majority in the legislature - both Democrats and Republicans do it and have always done it.

    This morning saw a new twist in the Texas legislature. The Democrats, unable to bear the same policies which they themselves have used, fled to Oklahoma in a body. This effectively closed down legislature and forced the shelving of the redistricting bill.

    I must admit, the strategy is brilliant and effective. However, I feel obliged to point out a few problems.

    1. This tactic circumvents the constitution's stipulation of majority rule. In effect, a small minority has asserted it's will over the majority - a dangerous and destructive precedence.

    2. This tactic not only shelved the redistricting bill, but everything else that was slated for this session as well - much of which is desperately needed in order to maintain education, public health, tax and insurance reformation, ect, ect.

    3. The party, as a whole, is being smeared in popular opinions as whining little brats who are throwing a childish temper tantrum because they didn't get what they want. They seem willing to destroy our government over this - blackmailing the entire state. This will kill any chances they had of ever recovering thier losses from the last election but they don't seem to mind. They seem perfectly willing to take the government down with thier own political careers. Nevermind thier responsibility and duty.

    If they remained in Texas, the law would allow them to be forcibly hauled into the session and vote. That is why they went out of state. IMHO, this is the shabbiest, lowest behavior I have ever heard of by an entire political party in the US.

    But then again, these are the same people who always condemn the "Love it or leave it" attitude of true Americans. It seems they finally listened to our advice after all :) If I had my way, they would not be allowed back and thier abscence would simply be recorded as "abstentions".
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2003 #2
    I thought it was great -- the funniest thing to happen in politics for a long long time. The Texas Speaker ordered law enforcement to arrest them, and drag them back into the chamber, but the other states wouldn't let them in.... the New Mexico AG had a best response -- "I have put out an all-points bulletin for law enforcement to be on the lookout for politicians in favor of health care for the needy and against tax cuts for the wealthy." LOL. Made my morning.

    Partisanship aside, shutting down the government is a tried-and-true technique on both sides of the aisle. If this leads to a greater awareness and condemnation of gerrymandering, it's something that should make us all happy.

    Incidentally here's the proposed new district: http://www.calpundit.com/blogphotos/Blog_Texas_15th_District.jpg
     
  4. May 14, 2003 #3
    Some people debated whether or not it was obstructionism to be blocking pretty much any judicial nominee by President Bush...for 2 years. But this is pretty much blatant obstructionism by the democrats here.

    I saw the article on it the other day as well. I laughed a bit then laughed some more when I thought about the same thing you did Ganshauk..."What about all the other topics that would have been brought up?"

    This is just more examples of how the democratic party is falling apart and losing focus.

    As mentioned redistricting happens quite often and must be done Constitutionally.
    Constitution reads Article 1 Section 2:"The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand"
    Which means that as people move around districts need to be redrawn. If 5000 people move from District A to District B then a shuffle of the districts is in order to reorganize them so that each district has approximately 30,000 people in it.

    So this "walk out" is really nothing more than the democrats whining and crying. Redistricting more than likely has to happen because people move around all the time.

    Tog
     
  5. May 14, 2003 #4
    The democrats are using a legitamate parliamentary proceedure to stop the Republicans from drawing representative lines wherever the hell they want. They threw the scientific analysis by a US Federal Judge and the Census bureau into the toilet and seperated the hispanics, blacks and other minorities.
     
  6. May 17, 2003 #5
    Upon reflection, I thought back to 1994...

    (Im surprised no one jumped on this. Disinterested? Forgetful?)

    The Republican party, unified into a solid whole under Newt Gingrich, was able to shut down the government with tactics that, while not wholly similar, acheived the same effect.

    At the time, I thought it was great. I loved the idea that government was unable to function (which it was long before then it turns out). I was a bit filled with the idea that I might be able to actually breathe again without being sued for it.

    Im not able to put my finger on it, exactly, but the stink emanating from this action remains while the euphoria from that previous action is unblemished. I am assuredly biased. However, the struggle of 93-94 remained in the house while this one fled the state.

    Im afraid the damage to the Democratic Party is unrepairable. They have cut off thier nose to spite thier face, as it were.
    Whatever Huzza's may echo in other states, the overwhelming response here in Texas is blatant and utter disgust. Run away MF? True Texans never run. Remember the Alamo!

    Ok, ok. I wax romantic. But don't underestimate the base level of historical romanticism inherent in the average Texan. Especially those whose roots are generations deep.
     
  7. May 17, 2003 #6
    It's a representative republic, not "majority rule" which doesnt appear in the constitution.
     
  8. May 18, 2003 #7

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    No, thats redundant. Its a representative democracy, aka a republic.
     
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