Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Texas Hold 'em

Once again, the politics of the United States appall. While all my attention was focused on the sheer criminality taking place in the White House and with the California recall -- and who wouldn't be distracted by the antics of the pot-smoking, Nazi-supporting, gangbang-participating Arnold Schwarzenegger? -- I'd kind of missed that the Republicans are attempting to steal the state of Texas as well. If you thought gerrymandering went out in the 19th century, then you're forgetting that, so far as the Grand Old Party is concerned, a return to the 19th century wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

The Republicans are trying to redraw the electoral map to eliminate between five and seven Democratic congressional seats, thus guarantee themselves a bigger representation in congress. This, despite the fact that Texas redraws its electoral districts every ten years, and last did so ten years ago. That ought to settle it for the next seven years, but then again, the Republicans might not be in power then, so it's time to take action now. Eleven Democratic state senators have fled Texas and are holed up in exile in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in order to deny the Republicans the quorum necessary to push this vote through. If they return to Texas, they'll be arrested and dragged to the statehouse in order for the vote to take place. Back in May, when the redistricting attempts first began, and Speaker of the House Tom Craddick actually sent state troopers and the Texas Rangers after 55 Democratic congressmen who likewise fled to prevent a quorum, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay commandeered 13 FAA employees to locate the jet that one of these Democrats used to flee.

It's unbelievable. Given a chance, the Republicans will use every legal power within their means to either exile or arrest and detain opposing political parties. Be it the Ba'ath Party of Iraq or the Democratic party of the United States, it seems to make little difference.

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