Friday, January 28, 2005

Remember the days?

The GOP increased the majority they gained in '94 this cycle, but with the retirements in '04, there are even fewer GOPers who remember life in the minority. Only 79 GOPers have served as the minority party. On the Dem side, 88 members served in the majority. Less than 40% of House members have memory of what it's like on the other side -- one wonders if any institutional memory will be utilized in the GOP's aggressive agenda for the 109th Congress.

--From National Journal's House Race Hotline.

This is the major problem with the Democrats in the House, they keep acting like they are in a decade-long nightmere and that sooner or later, they will awake to see they still have an overwhelming majority in the House. Meanwhile, their GOP counterparts have lost their way and forgotten what got them to power: the Contract with America. "To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace." Look down the list of their pledges and you will see that the majority of them never came to be and GOPers have actually gone backwards towards accomplishing these goals, which are basically copied from H. Ross Perot.

All of a sudden, the majority isn't interested in term limits or having the rules apply to them, they aren't interested in anything but Tax Cuts for corporations and other forms of Corporate Welfare (see Social Security Privatization).

On one side there is a stench of arrogance, on the other, handwriting and speechifying with no results. Chris Bowers at myDD says that the DCCC targeted 13 races last year, and they were down 13 races PLUS they were bound to lose some in Texas. In other words, they had consigned themselves to defeat. I feel sad for many House Democrats I really do, but many of them have been there for decades and really done all they could to stall progress in order to enhance their careers (see Dingell, John). I have trouble feeling pity for those who win with over 80% of the vote and sit on their hands when others who barely win or lose come begging for help.

We need to clean house on both aisles. If we truely want reform, we will have to through the bums out, all of them (those who are bums that is). I would do this through redistricting reform.

Another interesting development in redistricting is the "compromise" legislation that would give Utah another seat in exchange for letting DC's delegate be a real House member and vote on bills. In theory, it would be a wash for both parties and thus amenable to all. I bet Jim Matheson would run in the new 4th district. The state legislature already has made a map of a 4-district state in case they won that Supreme Court challenge involving the uncounted missioniares and North Carolina. The 4th district would basically be Taylorsville and surrounding areas of Salt Lake County exurbs(like Draper) and involve much of Jim's 2000-2002 district which he did well. This would be a compact district again like his old district and urban versus the incredibly rural-urban mix of the current 2nd district.

I wish I could find a map of the old plan, but I can't here is the bill, but not the map. Oh and the governor signed that too, so this should be a speedy process.

So if Jim does run in the 4th or against Cannon (another favorite option of mine, since the man is an idiot and has never had a real race), who runs in the new 2nd? I doubt Scott Matheson would run again and I can't think of anyone who they could get to run, maybe St. Sen. Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich (sp?) who basically owns the Price-area. Further South than that, and the pickings get really slim for Utah Democrats.

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