Barack Obama crawled out from under his rock on Monday to light a big fire under the progressive grass roots. Amazed conservatives wonder, “how many ways can democrats come up with to get President Donald Trump out of the White House?” Liberals shout back, “as many as it takes!”
Since progressive attempts to get rid of the electoral college just went screaming down in flames, their only hope for change is “gerrymandering” things their way. The short sighted effort could blow up in their faces. If they really wanted district maps drawn so that neither side has an unfair advantage, the best way would be to let a computer draw the boundaries.
Refusing to quietly fade away into obscurity, Barack Obama once again rushed to the aid of the party, announcing an all out effort to mobilize the progressive masses behind his latest plot. He doesn’t just want to rig the presidential election, but all U.S. elections. Obama calls it “Fair Maps.” You can bet that it will only be “fair” to democrats. It’s the only chance they see to keep the House and gain control of the Senate.
Training is at the heart of organizing. It’s why I’ve always made it a priority – from my 2008 campaign until now. And it’s why I’m proud to announce @allontheline’s in-person training initiative, Redistricting U. Join us: https://t.co/yrWJ50wSdE pic.twitter.com/HiKvGd2XyE
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2019
“The movement for fair maps will determine the course of progress on every issue we care about for the next decade,” Obama posted on his organization’s website, warning this is an emergency so drop everything and get involved. “We can’t wait to begin organizing when the redistricting process starts in 2021. We need to build this movement from the ground up – right now.”
He calls the training program, “Redistricting U” and describes it as “a free training initiative” that, according to the website, “sends trainers to cities to train volunteers, giving them the tools to impact the redistricting process in their state and empower them to be leaders in the movement for fair maps.”
Fair, of course, means tilted wildly toward the blue end of the spectrum. He insists that it’s an effort to “restore fairness to our democracy,” meaning, as long as a Republican is in the White House, it isn’t fair.
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is a merge between Obama’s Organizing For Action, and his old friend Eric Holder’s group, the National Redistricting Action Fund. The NDRC launched The All On The Line campaign. Even the name shows how desperate they are.
Back in July of 2018, Obama said the NDRC is “rethinking the way we draw our congressional districts. It’s why your district might be shaped like a corkscrew. But it’s also how a party gains more seats, while winning fewer votes. Which isn’t fair.” He isn’t objecting to the shape, his lines will be even more twisted. The idea is to include nearly the same number of Democrats as Republicans in each district.
In late June, The Supreme Court conservatively ruled that although the maps seem one sided, they are constitutional. The problem is that it is impossible to decide how much margin of error is appropriate. Two challenges, one from North Carolina, the other from Maryland and on opposite sides of the aisle, asked for “an unprecedented expansion of judicial power,” that would result in endless litigation.
Chief Justice John Roberts explained from the bench “How do you decide where the line is between acceptable partisanship and too much partisanship? At some point, it should occur to you that what you’ve been asked to do is not judging at all.”
The 5-4 opinion showed how big a fight there was. Liberals like Ruth Ginsberg and Elena Kagan wanted to play the role of the activist. “Of all the times to abandon the court’s duty to declare the law, this was not the one,” Kagan noted. “The practices challenged in these cases imperil our system of government.”
The obvious solution is right in front of everyone, but it seems that Republicans also like having the edge whenever they can get it, so they aren’t jumping up and down over algorithms.
One group of researchers came up with “a computerized method for dividing state populations evenly into compact polygonal districts that average six or fewer sides.” The computer has no interest in the outcome as it produces “neatly arrayed districts.” Compare that with the “gerrymandered districts, which are stretched and contorted to provide an overall congressional advantage for one political party or another.” In other words, Obama’s “corkscrew.”
Computer scientist Philip Klein insists, “what we’re trying to do is come up with a system that makes it hard to engineer districts for political gain. It doesn’t give the user much freedom in deciding how the lines are drawn, which we view as a good thing, because that freedom can be abused.”
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