In a manner that uncannily mirrors their rhetorical hysterics, Democrats in New York fueled by “righteous” anger over dastardly red state redistricting plans overreached on a colossal scale in their efforts to construct cozy electoral terrain for the next ten years. The unfairness was so blatant, even in a deep blue state, that a court-appointed official had to step in and hash out a congressional map.
Taking Friendly Fire
Amazingly, left-aligned big-box media outlets have candidly detailed the self-inflicted Democrat fiasco. “Earlier this year, Democratic leaders in New York made a brazen gamble: With the national party’s blessing, they created a congressional map that promised its candidates as many as three additional House seats,” The New York Times reported. “On [May 16], three weeks after the state’s highest court declared the Democrats’ map unconstitutional, it became clear just how spectacularly the party’s gambit had backfired.”
A restrained and intelligent Slate interview with Cook Political Report analyst Dave Wasserman, published May 24, read like an obituary for the latest egregious display of Democrat hubris. Wasserman said of Democrat motivations for grasping too far:
“They were hoping to offset what Republicans were doing in Texas and Ohio and Florida and elsewhere by passing a maximally aggressive map that would have given them 22 out of 26 seats in the state. Now, is that a fair reflection of New York’s politics? No. It’s an inflation of Democrats’ advantage in the state. But Democrats would argue: Even though we’re manipulating the boundaries, we’re offsetting what Republicans are doing elsewhere. And it’s our duty to fight fire with fire.”
In exaggerating the malevolence of the Republican dragon, New York Democrats managed to shoot themselves in the foot.
“Look, this is what happens every 10 years. This is happening all over the country,” Wasserman added. “Democrats are obviously upset because going for broke in redistricting was a necessary precondition for them to have any path to holding the House. And that hasn’t happened now that courts have overturned this map.”
He then got to the real heart of the matter, which goes beyond the ideological fervor. “Democrats are pointing to racial reasons as a reason they don’t like the map when the real situation here is incumbents and turf wars between them,” Wasserman astutely observed.
With every new decade, congressional maps are redrawn and partisans scream about playing fields allegedly tilted in favor of one party or the other. But gerrymandering is even more about allowing petrified Swamp stalwarts in the House to ensure safe harbors for themselves in their electoral districts.
With the Democrat plan being rejected, the court appointee was naturally not as sensitive to this fact. And so two blue careerists will now be forced to engage in a death match that will finally remove one of them from the Swamp in which they hoped to remain forever.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is 74 years old and has been in Congress for 30 years. He is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Nadler’s cozy 10th congressional district has now been redrawn, and he finds himself butting heads with a cohort, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), in a newly designed 12th district that contains territory both consider home. Maloney is 76 years old and, like Nadler, has been in the House for three decades. She chairs the House Oversight Committee.
One of them will finally be put out to pasture. Neither plans on being the one to go.
The Times explains:
“Perhaps the most startling rearrangement came in Manhattan, an island long divided on an east-west axis. The special master proposed dividing it up north-south instead, throwing both Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney into the 12th Congressional District after three decades of serving side by side. (The change did cut the upper half off one of the city’s most bizarrely shaped districts that had inspired charges of gerrymandering).”
“Tensions exploded immediately between Nadler and Maloney,” The New York Post reported. “Maloney said Nadler issued a statement that he was running in her district without having the courtesy to call her first. ‘I thought it was disrespectful. We’ve served together a long time. He’s running in my district.’”
Meanwhile, the new district carved out of Nadler’s old stomping grounds is markedly progressive in nature – which apparently is opening the doors for the unlikeliest of political comebacks, even by Big Apple standards.
“Former New York City Mayor [Bill] de Blasio’s candidacy is getting the most buzz,” CBS News reported. “He’s got all the right issues, he’s just terrible at doing it,” an observer told the network. “He’s a terrible administrator, but he might actually make a good congressman,” another chimed in. “While facing poor approval ratings during his tenure, some say de Blasio’s name recognition could be key,” CBS added.
It’s all a microcosm of the bigger game these entrenched lifers play. Squawking about non-existent “racism” by the court-appointed official who drew up the new congressional map conceals the mundane fact that this decennial dance is really about ever-ambitious perpetual politicians and their desire to live happily ever after in comfortable rigged positions of power.