Tom DeLay Gets His Way

It looks like the third time really is the charm: after being foiled in two previous attempts to force a partisan redistricting bill through the Texas Legislature, the GOP has managed to get it through after trying for a third time. This is the bill that the Democratic lawmakers were fleeing the state to prevent the formation of a quorum on, remember? I guess the message here is that compromise is for wimps and wusses.

Opposition to this effort should go beyond partisan carping. Districts are only supposed to be rearranged every ten years, to reflect the results of each new Census. This isn’t the law, but it’s the custom, and for a good reason — precisely to try to keep redistricting from becoming a never-ending political turf war that’s reopened every time the majority changes hands. The Texas districts were just redrawn in 2001, as required by the Census, but the GOP’s got the majority now and waiting until 2011 — the next time the districts were supposed to be redrawn — well, why let little ol’ things like that get in the way when you’ve got the muscle to get what you want now, right?

The Washington Post’s op-ed page hailed the action, referring to the state in their headline as “The Soviet Republic of Texas“. They’re not far off. Congratulations to the Texas GOP for reminding us all of how ugly power without responsibility can be.