News - Is the redistricting process too politicized?

Yes. The grinning Democrats and pouting Republicans under the Gold Dome have once again proved themselves little more than carny hucksters

One of the most insidious enemies of democracy is our acquiescence to off-handed corruption.

Whether it's lawmakers taking money from special interests and defending their bribe-taking as "free speech," part-time legislators writing tax breaks into the law to benefit themselves or their cronies, or elected officials deliberately undermining voters' ability to get to the polls and cast their ballots, Americans are routinely led to believe that lies, graft and deceit just come with the territory. Bullshit.

The grinning Democrats and pouting Republicans under the Gold Dome — and their shuck-and-jive counterparts similarly engaged elsewhere around the country — have once again proved themselves little more than carny hucksters, spinning their rigged Wheels O' Fortune and grinning contemptuously at any rubes dumb enough to think they'd ever get an even break.

"You can't take the politics out of politics," is the refrain bandied about by the slice-and-dice crew downtown, as if it's perfectly all right to stretch, bend, fold, staple and mutilate political boundaries to ensure that the Ruling Party screws The Competition as much as possible.

Never mind that the very basis of democracy — fairness — is tossed into the garbage cans along with the countless rejected cartographic strategies belched from the over-heated minds of these dime-store Machiavellis. The game's rigged, and everybody knew it from the first meetings before the special session even started, when smirking Dems showed up empty-handed while Roy an' the Boys kept the real screw-the-'Pubs maps hidden away.

It's not as if cutthroat politics is a stranger to either political posse. Whether at the federal, state or dog-catcher district level, we've all come to accept this mangling of democracy as the cost of doing business. But in fact, the entire point of having elected officials and multiple parties (yes, there more than two, but collusion between the Big Boys has effectively done to third parties what Georgia's jackasses are currently doing to their pachyderm pals) is to allow citizens to choose their own representatives — not to lock them out of making any choice but that which has been decided by self-serving mini-tyrants throwing their majority-caucus weight around.

Assuming that the Jackson Pollock splatters passing as legislative districts overcome the inevitable legal challenges Republicans have justifiably threatened, Capitol heavyweights are gambling that the voters are too simpleminded or apathetic to remember their shenanigans come November (the same voters they'll ask to remember electoral hanky-panky in Florida). Maybe they're hoping we'll write it off as a necessary mugging of basic constitutional principles so Our Side can win. Hey, that's what democracy's all about, right???

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