Gerrymandering And Extremism

Since the start of this century, roughly twenty years ago, we have seen the US political scene become much more partisan and divided. Compromise has become almost a four-letter word and both on the left and the right there is less and less tolerance of any deviation.

Studies have shown that members of Congress have moved to the extreme in recent years, with Democrats being far more liberal and Republicans being far more conservative. Although that reflects the partisans of each party, the majority of voters do not hold to those extremes. So how has that happened?

In the guest column (link below), Richard Pildes explains how gerrymandering has made political life more partisan and finding common ground with others less desirable. The decline of truly contested congressional elections, means that candidates pander to the extremes because all they have to do, as a practical matter, is win the party primary. Read his comments, and let us find a way to bring back a desire to work together.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/04/29/create_more_competitive_districts_to_limit_extremism_145672.html

Deja Vu All Over Again: Is This 2021 Or 2017?

As famed baseball player and manager Yogi Berra would say “It’s like déjà vu all over again!”  Listening to the news, one cannot help but hear the echoes of 2017, the year after the last presidential election.

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Trump On 2022…Or On 2020

Last weekend, the Republican Party held a series of meetings for Party activists and major donors. Former President Trump was scheduled to be a highlighted speaker on the last day of the retreat. Rather than go to where the meeting was being held, Trump said that if he was going to participate that the session had to be held at his Mar al-Lago resort and that the charge would be $100,000.

The retreat was designed to rally donors and activists for the 2022 election cycle. Republicans need to pick up only five House seats and one seat Senate seat to take control of those bodies. Given that midterm elections generally go against the party that holds the presidency, Republicans believe there is a real opportunity.

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Georgia And Election Law

Election laws in the United States are determined by the states and always have been since that requirement is part of the US Constitution.

Georgia recently passed a law to limit potential election fraud, including provisions to put tighter limits on mail-in voting and to require photo identification.

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The Prophet Billy Joel?

A hit song released several years ago by Billy Joel may have been eerily prophetic. Did he know something we didn’t?

In his song “Miami 2017”, Joel sang…

“I saw the lights go out on Broadway. It seems so many years ago, before we all lived here in Florida.  Before the Mafia took over Mexico. There are not many who remember. They say a handful still survive…to tell the world about, the way the lights went out and to keep the memory alive.”

As people leave New York in droves, one cannot help but wonder if there was something we should have listened to more closely.

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After The Election, Trump Campaign Still Has $75 M On Hand

At the end of last month, Donald Trump’s campaign had roughly $75 million on hand. How could a national candidate and titular head of a major party lose a very close election but have that much money unspent?

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Fellow Democrats Go After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Months ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the darling of the media, despite the fact that objective measures showed that New York was the worst state in the nation for its handling of the pandemic:  more deaths than any other state, highest death rate in the nation, more cases and deaths per capita than all but one other state, etc.. Yet somehow the national media fawned over Cuomo, and even created a special award for him that was awarded last fall, clearly putting appearance over substance and image over actual health data and science.

CNN, where his brother has a nightly opinion show, even removed its ethical ban forbidding hosts from having immediate family members as guests so that Gov. Cuomo could appear on his brother’s show.

All that has changed and the actual health data seems to be catching up.

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The Revenge Tour

With his second impeachment trial now over, Donald Trump is reportedly planning a speaking tour to get revenge on those who spoke against him.

The interesting note is that, if the rumors are true, the speaking tour is not targeted at Democrats and won’t be held in Democratic districts but is targeted at Republicans who spoke against his actions since the election. We can be fairly sure that the rumors are true since he has already said he is going to help find primary opponents for a number of current Republican officeholders, and he has already sent Donnie Jr. to start rallying against those that would dare to speak against him.

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The Biggest Lesson from the Election? The System Worked

At no other time in US history have we had an election like this one. Not only did Donald Trump, in an effort to keep power, claim that dozens of judges, and hundreds of Republican state legislators in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia conspire with Democrats to steal the election from him but his supporters attacked the very seat of our government and forced lawmakers (including Trump’s own Vice President) to flee for their lives. Trump’s former National Security Advisor even suggested that he declare nationwide martial law.

Despite all that-a time that will make an indelible mark in the history of our country-the biggest lesson coming out of the election is that the system worked.

Despite the periodic rants from the radical left about the need to re-write the Constitution and the character flaws of the ‘Founding Fathers’, their wisdom showed itself in the last three months-possibly in ways never so clearly expressed. Yes, the people who wrote the Constitution were human and had flaws, some of them serious flaws. Yet that does not take away from the careful foundation laid for our country and the wisdom that not only has endured for two and a half centuries but was the foundational document for developing democracies worldwide for over two centuries.

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