Democrats & Liberals Archives

Forget The Money, The Plan Was Illegal

This administration doesn’t seem to listen to warnings very well

The entire staff assigned to decide whether Texas’s Redistricting was legal or not came out against it, only to be overruled by the political appointiees at the top, who claim that the lack of any actions since then vindicates what they did. I don’t think it really does, and I think y’all have good reason to agree with me.

I believe the district I vote in now extends all the way from the Northern suburbs of Houston to Beaumont, a distance equal to that between DC and Philly. There are other districts that stretch even greater distance.

All these districts were the result of a plan pushed by Tom DeLay, whose political organization for doing this now faces a number of indictments relating to its funding. The results are plain to see. Republican representation now exceeds the Conservative population in Texas.

What this newly discovered memo reveals is that the Bush Administration and congress pushed this plan knowing that it would likely be struck down as depriving minorities of their voting rights, knowing that their own lawyers in the justice department had told them this. Their response? Not only to keep on going, but charge ahead using all the political weapons they could muster to assure this plan came to pass. I'm not saying this was the product of outright racism, but they went through a lot of trouble to push a plan that would disadvantage minorities.

Multiple special sessions. Intense pressure from above. Political armtwisting so extensive, the Speaker of the House for the U.S. Congress stepped in and called in the FAA to track down state senators and representatives fleeing in protest. And now this: Disregarding the spirit and the letter of a law designed to give minorities the choice of representation equal to their presence in the community.

That it's stood up to one challenge should be no cause for celebration. Hell, if it goes all the way to the supreme court, there's no reason to cheer. What we see here is pushing for greater power regardless of whether that power has its foundations in the will of the people. It is so plainly wrong, that no person should have the stomach for this. The thing about this is, the misdeeds that one approves of when somebody else is the target will be the deeds that come back to haunt one's own life.

The GOP expects to keep power forever, but if history is any judge, it won't. Even the 60 year dominance of the Democrats in the national legislature had to come to an end at some point. But what they have done in the meantime is create an even more permissive environment for corruption, powergrabbing, and disregard for basic fairness and justice where one's special interests are concerned. They have not only become the monsters that the corrupt politicians they replaced were, but have become even worse.

The Democrats blew it, in the decades before, and we had our malfeasances and our irregularities. It lost us power, and set up the situation we have now. Now the Republicans are in the same place, and we all must ask ourselves how much longer this has to go on. The right answer, for all sides concerned, is that it goes on no longer. We cannot afford, in times like these, with America losing traction in the global market, with America dealing with the global menaces it now does, for the interests of selfish businessmen, bureaucrats, and politicians to be paramount over those of our own. This must be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. If we can do no better than this, then it is to our shame, and we deserve our fall from world power.

I think we're better than this. I think America deserves better, and we need to return to the expectation that our congress, our senate, our president, and our courts will do the will of the people and not exercise their own in its place to our detriment. American pride must not be the desperate expression of unreasonable optimism.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at December 2, 2005 9:43 AM