The Baltimore Sun's Reprehensible Defense of Gerrymandering
Gerrymandering is bad except when Democrats do it is an intellectually bankrupt defense of the process.
I know that I often wax poetic about how out of touch the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board is. And yet, they may have eclipsed themselves.
In an editorial posted this afternoon, the Ivory Tower elitists had this to say about redistricting:
Marylanders are simply more likely to be in tune with the political positions of Democrats than of Republicans. So putting an end to gerrymandering altogether in Maryland would be the equivalent of laying down our political arms in hopes that everyone else (including those on the other side of the aisle) will do the same.
And who thinks that’s going to happen?
We absolutely concede that gerrymandering has made partisanship worse whether on Capitol Hill or in State Circle. But that is an argument for ending the practice for everyone, not just the guilt-ridden. Even preschoolers know that fairness demands that the rules apply to all, not just those holding the blue paint or thinking happier thoughts.
If you think that juvenile argument sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It is the same line that Maryland Democrats have been trotting out for the entirety of the Hogan Administration. Democrats first started suggesting that Maryland Democrats would not agree to “unilateral disarmament” on redistricting when the late Senate President Mike Miller first trotted out the line in 2015. It’s the same nonsense argument used in 2017 with the so-called “Mid-Atlantic Compact, upon where Maryland would only agree to redistricting reform if five other states also agree to it.
As I wrote at the time:
The maddening thing about all of this is the fact that Maryland Democrats are pretending to be some sort of leaders on this issue. They want to pretend that they have achieved something meaningful. They’ve done nothing of the sort because they don’t believe in actually passing redistricting reform here in Maryland. They’re attempting to kick the can down the road by trying to rely on other states to force us into reform. That’s not leadership; that’s cowardice from a Democratic Party that knows it’s losing it’s grip on Maryland and is trying to retain power by any means necessary.
It’s impossible to differentiate what the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board is saying about redistricting from what Maryland Democrats have been saying about redistricting. Neither outfit wants to be leaders on redistricting reform based on factors that are completely unrelated to anything going on in Maryland. Both want to justify the continued gerrymandering not only of Maryland’s Congressional Districts but also Maryland’s legislative districts because of what other states are doing.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. And yet, the Editorial Board id basically suggesting both that gerrymandering is bad and that Maryland should continue gerrymandering in the very same editorial. The argument is reprehensible and if a politician used that argument on anything but gerrymandering, the very same Editorial Board will call out that politician for duplicity.
If the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board truly believed that redistricting reform was necessary and proper, they would stand with Governor Larry Hogan’s longstanding efforts to bring about permanent reform. But instead, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board shows that their allegiance lies not with reform but with the Maryland Democratic establishment.