There’s a searing article in Rolling Stone this week by Tim Dickinson, detailing the long list of Republican party efforts to frustrate the will of the American voter, featuring (you guessed it) their extensive, well-funded hi-tech efforts to rig redistricting. Great detail and covers a list of sins other than redistricting, though at this point the narrative has lost its ability to shock.
At a higher level, this is a story about a political party that is rapidly losing its relevance with an evolving electorate, but rather than being responsive to the voters, compulsively chooses to place its bets with a well-known list of self-promoting political entrepreneurs like Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie to rig the game in its favor. It’s a sad tale of an organization facing stress and choosing the low road, like an aging athlete chucking his hard-earned reputation and juicing, instead of changing his game to the realities of his situation.
Rigging the redistricting of Congressional Districts is tailor-made to any faction making this choice. The mistake would be to attach this to the Republicans, or to treat hands-off redistricting as an anti-Republican political move. If there is a sense of revulsion about what the Republicans are doing, I hope we are wise enough to leverage that revulsion to re-rig the game against ruthless self-interest by anyone, and not just against the political party that happens to be the poster child for ruthlessness at the moment.