Speak MY Piece: Goring The Ox

Republicans are openly unhappy with the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s re-drawing of state-wide congressional districts, and saying they’re on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Democrats and the Democrat-leaning media are cheering. And why is that?

“Now everyone gets to vote,” was one crazy headline. So redrawing the boundaries will change a voter’s right to vote? It makes no sense.

As always, the politicians draw up the maps and the state legislators approve, but when there was much discord, to put it mildly, the case went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which called the latest map “unconstitutional” and approved the re-drawing of the districts.

The Bucks County 8th congressional district is now the 1st congressional district and includes a new section of Montgomery County that is more Democrat-friendly, as the GOP terms it. The previous portion of Montgomery County that was removed, leaned Republican. And prior to that, the Democrats added Northeast Philadelphia, which gave them a slight advantage with another Democrat-friendly district.

Who is fooled by all of this and whose ox was and is being gored? Each party is looking out for itself and the Democrat majority on the state Supreme Court was looking out for . . . ? The GOP, believing it’s on the losing end, might not get before the U.S.Supreme Court. That’s not a given.

It’s easy to see the political nature of gerrymandering and it’s equally easy to see why some political people and others favor an independent panel. (If there is such a thing.) You may recall this kind of panel was first mentioned in President Obama’s last State of the Union address and they followed up by forming a national Democrat political organization advocating redistricting – and Pennsylvania was in their sights. Note: Not a bipartisan or “independent” organization, but one that includes the former president and his former attorney general, Eric Holder. My ox is practically dead!

There is another critical point raised by the out-run Republicans as to why they are headed for the highest court in the land. They argue separation of powers dictates that the PA Supreme Court– under the United States or Pennsylvania Constitutions –has no right to draw congressional districts.

We hope someone will pour water on this smoldering fire – it’s a distraction from every American voter’s right to be represented by someone from the “neighborhood” more-or-less, someone who understands the issues in their county and will represent them, not the stacked deck we have been getting with these politically inspired notches from other counties.