President Obama Might Fix Politics

I was already pretty impressed with 2nd-term Barack Obama, a President of remarkable courage. Now I’m pretty much ready to walk through fire for him.

The root of nearly everything that doesn’t work in modern American politics on every level is gerrymandering. It’s, by far, the biggest problem with our democracy. When legislators are allowed to draw district boundaries with no regard to geographical compactness, the result is that fringe groups, both left and right, take control of the primaries and, with the general elections non-competitive, the general election also.

Our Congressional 2-year terms were designed to allow citizen legislators to go to Washington for a relatively short period of time and maintain businesses back home. To get anything accomplished, House members would have to be bold. Gerrymandering has perverted that system. With the fringe of her party controlling the district, it’s easier for Congressional leadership to move votes in her district than it is for the representative herself. Arriving in Washington, our new rep is now presented with lists of things she will and won’t vote for on threat of getting bounced from her seat for even the slightest deviation from the party line. The only way forward for her is complete fealty to leadership with the promise that, if she’s a good girl for a long time, she might one day be in leadership herself. The same process is mirrored in the Texas Lege.

President Obama means to change this. It’s wickedly difficult to talk legislators into relinquishing their power. So a perfect fight for an ex-President. God bless him.


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