Carrying All the Water
The Baltimore Sun Editorial Page is doing what they can to justify Democratic gerrymandering
The ivory tower crowd up at The Baltimore Sun editorial board are so committed to carrying water for the Democrats on redistricting that they ran not one, but two editorials defending the process.
Dan “The Parrot” Rodricks, never one to shy away for being a puppet in the Democrats performance, says that the solution to Maryland Republican complains about Democratic gerrymandering is to win more. Seriously, that’s the answer.
Meanwhile, I have a message for bellyaching Republicans: If you want more power in Maryland, convince more Marylanders to vote for your candidates and your ideas.
Of course, the argument against gerrymandering isn’t about power. It’s about doing the right thing. I understand that’s a confusing concept for Rodricks who has always supported “doing the Democratic thing” in lieu of “doing the right thing”. But Maryland’s opponents of gerrymandering aren’t concerned with who is winning. They’re concerned with compact and fair districts.
I assure you, the League of Women Voters has no interest in empowering Republicans. Yet they support Governor Larry Hogan’s proposed redistricting reforms.
The irony is that Rodricks makes the argument FOR redistricting reform and for fairing districts right in his piece:
The alternate map that Hogan’s special commission on redistricting came up with would have made some districts more competitive and could have turned the congressional delegation from 7-1 to 6-2 in the next election. That ratio would give Maryland a delegation more arithmetically reflective of the state’s voter registration.
So why don’t Maryland Democrats, advocates of good government and equal rights, switch gears and take the recommendations of Hogan’s commission? The commission’s three co-chairs and six members were equally Democrats, Republicans and independents. What’s not to like here?
And yet, Rodricks still insists that Democratic redistricting should remain.
And here’s the essential problem: Maryland could switch to an independent commission, too, and draw the lines in a manner that kept more subdivisions intact and didn’t create any that looked like “a broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state” as a federal judge once described Maryland’s 3rd. But then Republican-controlled states that do not have such inclinations would then pad GOP majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s like expecting Democrats to lay down their arms without any guarantee from the opposing side.
Once again, gerrymandering’s sympathizers revert to this stale and pathetic argument “unilateral disarmament”, which is a canard the Editorial Board has fallen back on before.
Jensen even suggests that instead of trying to pass fair districts in Maryland, that Governor Hogan should worry about other states instead:
Now, if Mr. Hogan wants to give that same lecture in Texas or Florida or Ohio or those other states where gerrymandering is boosting GOP prospects, then I might be impressed. But when blatant self-interest clashes with self-interest disguised as virtue, I generally have to deal with an involuntary gag reflex. That’s not to suggest I’m any fan of gerrymandering. I’m not. I’m also not a fan of gun violence. But I am a fan of sincerity.
But Hogan is not Governor of Texas, Florida or Ohio. Nor is he a candidate for any federal office. He is Governor of Maryland. Unlike so many in politics, Hogan has not spent a disproportionate time focusing on national politics during most of his term. He is a Maryland Governor focused on Maryland issues, which is more than I can say about Peter Jensen, Dan Rodricks, or most of the Democrats in the General Assembly.
Rodricks also parrots this nonsense:
Because of what happens across the country, especially in the South and West, leaders of either party see no logical reason to relinquish power. So why, in this time of hyperpartisanship, should Maryland Democrats make it possible for Republicans to gain a seat in the House when such magnanimity exists nowhere else?
So because Republicans in Ohio, Texas, and Florida don’t want to go to an independent system, Maryland should ensure that Republicans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and women are underrepresented in the General Assembly? Do Rodricks, Jensen, et al realize how stupid of an argument that is?
It also defies logic to any individual who has actually paid attention to the discourse on redistricting in Annapolis. I watched the testimony on Monday. I’ve read the testimony that’s been submitted. There’s a whole lot of people who are opposed to the Democrats redistricting plan and supportive of the Hogan redistricting plan. That support crosses party lines, racial lines, cultural lines, geographic lines.
It’s unsurprising that the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board is going to carry this kind of water for Democrats. But it also shows the blatant hypocrisy of the Board in particular and Democratic sympathizers in general.