The big picture about Texas
Friday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram has this quote from US Representative Martin Frost (D-Texas), one of Leticia's children:"This is a national issue," said Frost, who saluted the Texas senators for their stand. "The Republicans are trying to overturn the results of the elections two years ago. This cannot be permitted to happen."
I assume he means the elections of 2002, since there were neither statewide nor national elections two years ago in 2001. I assume he's not talking about the California recall election either, even if he thinks that it and the ongoing Texas redistricting fight are part of some sinister master plan.
Please: Would someone who's left-of-center — or at least very familiar with their arguments — leave a comment to identify for me (a) what "elections" Frost is referring to, and (b) in what sense the Republicans are attempting to "overturn" their results?
Here's my best effort. Frost's "elections" is referring to the 2002 congressional elections in Texas. Most members of Congress (and many other political operatives) think in two-year cycles. Since we are now in the 2004 cycle, the last election must have been two years ago.
The Republicans are seeking to "overturn" the elections by redrawing several congressional districts where the voters split their tickets and vote for Republican candidates most of the time, but continue to re-elect Democratic representatives.
One of the pithy little sayings about redistricting is that it is an opportunity for representatives to choose their voters. This applies to a body redistricting itself, but in this case it refers to the Republican Party -- from Karl Rove and Tom DeLay to Rick Perry and David Dewhurst and the Republicans in the Legislature -- to rejigger the election results till they get the "right" result.
I will admit that most redistricting has the goal of determining in advance the composition of the body to-be-elected. But usually we restrict ourselves to once a decade.