Thursday, February 22, 2007

Now Why Didn't I Think of That?

Professor Bainbridge has the solution to the polarization of Congress.
The national disgrace of gerrymandering has created a system in which the vast majority of House seats are safe for one of the two parties. As a result, the real action is in the primaries, which tend to be dominated by activists. As a result, we see the polarization of Congress, as GOP candidates tend hard right to win their primaries and vice-versa for the Democrats. Now the netroots plan to exacerbate the problem.

The solution seems obvious. A national system of nonpartisan redistricting designed to maximize the number of truly competitive seats. In such a system, candidates would succeed by appealing to the center rather than the extremes, which in turn would reduce the destructive influence of the rabid partisans on both sides of the net.

A national system of nonpartisan redistricting! Of course! Why didn't I think of that? It does seem obvious!

At least, as obvious as solving the problem of wars by making a weapon that destroys all other weapons, or of solving hunger by growing trees that produce unlimited fruit. Obvious, but completely existing in fantasyland.

There cannot be a nonpartisan system for redistricting, since any system will involve (to one extent or another) people. People are partisan (some more than others). The 'obvious' answer to that is to ensure that only non-partisan people (or at least, the least partisan people) end up appointed to or elected to be the ones with most influence or oversight of the 'nonpartisan' system. But then the people who would do the appointing or the electing will still be partisan, and will still use whatever means available, including this 'nonpartisan' system, for their own partisan advantage.

A nonpartisan anything never exists. The only thing that does is the claim of nonpartisanship, used to give cover to partisanship.

You know what would be cool, though? A device that would turn coldness into heat, or heat into coldness. It would solve global warming all by itself, and would also protect against global cooling. Isn't it obvious that this is exactly what we need?

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