Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more which I can’t include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”
Well, we all know that gerrymandering is real and a clear and present danger. But since the time Eldridge Gerry invented it, it’s been a matter of getting into power (at the right time) and then drawing the right maps. But now, something new has been added. The ante is being upped.
Pennsylvania Republicans are willing to go above and beyond to prevent losing. The map they have been using for years has resulted in Pennsylvania sending 5 Democrats and 13 Republicans to Congress … and similar proportions in the two State houses … despite the fact that Trump won the state by less than one point. The (gerrymandering) case went to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court this year, and the court overwhelmingly said that new maps must be drawn, the current ones being outrageous. In a panic, Republicans sent an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court for a Stay to try to salvage 2018. This request went to Justice Alito. Justice Alito could have asked the rest of the court to look at it. He didn’t. He essentially said, “Nuts” and sent it back.
So we now have maps so obscenely gerrymandered that JUSTICE ALITO won’t keep them even temporarily. Are Pennsylvania Republicans giving up? Are they admitting defeat? Heck no.
THEY ARE TAKING STEPS TO IMPEACH FIVE MEMBERS OF THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT.
Fun fact! The five justices [they want] to impeach are the five Democrats on the bench.
State Representative Cris Dush (so many Republicans have names you would think would dissuade them from entering politics) is spearheading this effort. He has submitted an Official Memorandum requesting colleagues to join him. Carolyn Fiddler writing for Daily Kos has done a very professional job of explaining exactly why this is so important to Republicans there … and why they think they can get away with it. Spoiler: It does NOT involve putting country over party.
(As an aside, I hope Cris Dush doesn’t have a sister who married a fellow whose last name is Bag. At least I think I hope that. Ah, what the heck.)
Republicans have the numbers to do this. They need a majority in their House, and they have that. They need a supermajority in their Senate, and they have that too. And, they are not just thinking of 2018. They are thinking of 2021, when a new census will require new maps. Even if they can hold their majorities till then, similar gerrymandered maps will be tossed out by the Supreme Court if it still has its present makeup. Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges are elected … but incumbents only face retention elections, which are gimmes. They also have mandatory retirement at 75. The next Democratic justice to hit 75 will do so in 2022.
The consensus among Pennsylvania residents seems to be that this proposition is all hat and no cattle. But, even if that is the case, it may give other Republicans ideas. It needs, not just to fail, but to fail decisively.
Mitch put the Move On petition, which is also sponsored by Common Cause, into yesterday’s Open Thread, but, in case you missed it, here’s the link again.
Daily Kos has its own petition, which can be reached through the linked Daily Kos story, or HERE
Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone, I hope you will sit on this guy, but protect yourselves. Dushing has been determined by qualified medical professionals to be damaging and dangerous. If there is not a Democratic candidate running against him, you might try to recruit one. That would be grabbing him by the midterms, all right.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 HERE.