Why do Republicans hate democracy?
January 23, 2013 1 Comment
What the VA Republican Party has done is just so, so wrong, and so inimical to democracy. From the Post editorial:
IN A SNEAK ATTACK notable more for its deviousness than its strategic acuity, Virginia Republicans engineered a bald-faced power grab Monday that would radically redraw the state’s electoral map without so much as a “yea,” “nay” or “maybe” from anything so trivial as a voter.
Taking advantage of the absence of a single Democratic state senator, GOP lawmakers in Richmond rammed through a radically gerrymandered map designed to hand them control of the 40-member state Senate, which is now split evenly between the two parties.
They were able to do so, on a vote of 20 to 19, because one Democratic senator was in Washington to attend President Obama’s inauguration. Touche, Republicans! Count that as a new low for hyper-partisanship, dirty tricks and the unaccountable arrogance of power.
The Republican move was executed in the style of a putsch, arising from a conspiracy and with no warning, public input or debate. Pressing their momentary numerical superiority, GOP lawmakers amended a routine House bill by tacking on a new map, devised in secret. Although this is one of the most partisan redistricting plans in Virginia’s history, the Republicans then cut off debate after 30 minutes.
Now, here’s the thing, I’m sure many a person read this and defaulted right to, “well Democrats do it, too.” But do they? If Democratic legislatures (in recent times– there’s little in common between the old Southern Dems and today’s Democratic party) are guilty of such egregious violations of democratic norms as this, I am unaware.