Monday, August 10, 2015

The Victor should get the Spoils

Yesterday's Detroit Free Press offered an editorial on how Michigan might reform the way in which it draws Congressional districts in order to be more 'fair' (whatever that means) in the allotment of seats. You may find the article here: , if you so desire.

It's an op-ed written rather fairly, to be fair. It talks about how Michigan Democrats would use the current system exactly as the GOP has recently (in its favor, naturally enough) if given the chance. Yet it also points presumed out anomalies in Michigan voting patterns. President Barack Obama has won the state comfortably both times he's run, and Michigan has two Democratic Senators despite Republicans controlling the state legislature. Yet this point little more than questions whether the Free Press editorialists are themselves being partisan under a white flag of openness.

True, they do point out that the option they present of a bipartisan committee to draw new districts after every census might well aid the Republicans from Democratic despotism should the GOP ever be in the minority in Lansing. But it is easy to wonder if that is a smokescreen which hides the actual truth: that Michigan is a Republican state where statewide popular elections muddy the fact.

It would behoove us to remember that prior to the turn of the 20th Century senators were elected mostly by state legislatures. Indeed, that the US Senate itself was originally intended to represent the States as States. The people already had their direct say in the House of Representatives. The states, being sovereign themselves, were supposed to be represented in the Senate. If those rules still applied, rules altered by the route of a Constitutional Amendment also sold under the banner of fairness, Michigan would have along with a its Legislature two Republican Senators to compliment its decidedly Republican state house and congressional delegation.

So the truth may be that Michigan is more staunchly Republican than it appears and that the scheme for more neutral district drawing is little more than an attempt to in fact reshape our state as more to the left than it actually is. Perhaps we ought to have kept our Constitution as originally written rather than having altered it for the sake of fairness.

Now you see why the word 'fair' was quoted above. Like so many other terms of political origin, it only means in this case what the writers of the Detroit Free Press editorial board wish it to mean. It should surprise no one that that meaning is selfish.

To a degree the victor should should get the spoils. In Michigan's case, that has left the cause of partisanship, a cause besmirched only by the losers, exposed for what it is: selfishness itself.

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