Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Disappointment of the Day

All four constitutional amendments on the Ohio ballot in yesterday's election failed miserably. The amendments promoted by the "Democratic-leaning" coalition Reform Ohio Now would have affected redistricting, election supervision, campaign contribution limits, and absentee voting.

Regular readers will know that my greatest disappointment lies with the failure of Issue 4, which would have eliminated gerrymandered districts. But Herb Asher, a political science professor and reform leader quoted in the Toledo Blade, has it just right—

The Republican insiders didn't want the system changed because they benefit from it right now.... The Democratic insiders didn't want it changed because they hope they'll benefit from it next time.

The Christian Right fought against all the amendments, since they have a distinct preference for bad government. You may be sure that the churches gave adequate instruction to the voting church-goers on the proper way to vote, and all without fear of IRS retribution.

If there's any joy to be found, it's in California, where all of Governor Arnie's amendments failed. Redistricting was on the California menu as well.

While in principle I support fair redistricting anywhere and everywhere, the state-by-state elimination of gerrymandering could have devastating consequences for the Democrats (or Republicans) depending upon which states opt to go sober. Parameters of fair redistricting need to be established either by a constitutional amendment (highly unlikely) or by a Supreme Court ruling that would make three-quarters of the elected politicians so mad that it would likely lead to the impeachment of the progressive justices.

So what is to be done? Samuel Beckett grasped the issue firmly in The Unnameable,

What am I to do, what shall I do, what should I do, in my situation, how proceed? By aporia pure and simple? Or by affirmations and negations invalidated as uttered, or sooner or later? Generally speaking. There must be other shifts. Otherwise it would be quite hopeless. But it is quite hopeless. I should mention before going any further, any further on, that I say aporia without knowing what it means.

Previous post
Jean Schmidt elected to lifetime appointment as U.S. Congresswoman from Ohio (8/3/05)
Redistricting amendments in California, Ohio on November 8 (10/20/05)

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