Gerrymandering’s Coming Home To Roost
So this week we saw the first time since the 19th century that a House leader lost in a primary. Some will attribute this to Cantor’s support of immigration reform. Some will see this as the ascendancy of the Tea Party on the right. I suppose both of those are true.
But I think we are seeing something else. Gerrymandering is coming home to roost.
We have turned our electoral maps into something that look like a warped jigsaw puzzle and we have districts where only Republicans can win and we have districts where only Democrats can win.
This leads to a situation where the more moderate candidate in a primary is vulnerable and the more extreme candidate is at an advantage. And we see this effect play out in the House Of Representatives.
Right now, this is more of an issue for the Republicans, where they are being driven more and more to the right every day. And that may well keep them in control of the House for a long time, but may also keep them out of the White House just as long. Because extremist positions help win primaries and primary winners take the general election in a gerrymandered district. But national elections, like the Presidential election are not won on the extremes.
This all leads to gridlock and posturing and a federal government that is more political than practical. Which is a bad thing in the long run.