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17.8.08

Ruling may expedite removal of white Democrat officials

While this space has devoted some effort to the political machinations that will accompany redistricting in Louisiana for Congress for 2012, perhaps more fascinating will be what happens at the legislative level in 2011.

I have argued that a coalition of Republicans and black Democrats will ensure that New Orleans keeps the Second District centered about it with a black majority, endangering any white Democrat that may be in office in 2010, being that population loss as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 will deprive the state of a House seat. That same dynamic will also take away districts from around New Orleans, as many as four state House seats and a Senate seat.

This ordinarily would come at the expense of black legislators. Disproportionately black citizens from the Second were displaced by the storm and have yet to return, and existing standards supported by courts have been to draw “majority-minority” districts where possible.

But a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court for next term might cushion the impact of these losses. This case could allow the Court to rule that minority voting would not be diluted by redistricting plans that concentrated more on creating near-majority-minority districts, instead of granting great primacy to the creation of majority-minority districts.

While legislative staff complains this could complicate the redistricting process, an affirmative decision would be music to the ears of black and Republican politicians. Say four House districts will be lost with the majority of constituents drained from those areas being black Democrats. With the present distribution of partisans as they are, it may be that of those four (now all represented by black Democrats) districts could be drawn without changing significantly the demographics of other districts to manage to get a Republican, a black Democrat, and two white Democrat seats.

However, courtesy of a favorable ruling not requiring a majority black district in there, by splitting it up and sprinkling in white Democrats to make plurality black districts, those four could turn into a pair of Republican and another of black Democrat districts. Race is thicker than partisanship; if the price of another GOP seat must be paid to gain an additional black seat, black politicians will pay it at the expense of white Democrats.

Especially if this ruling comes to pass, look for the same GOP-black Democrat coalition that would dismantle a white Democrat congressional seat to maximize the legislative seats each can get, again costing white Democrats. That ruling only would accelerate the endangered species that white Democrats in state office have become in Louisiana.

1 comment:

Daniel Z. said...

Here is a newsflash Jeff. As a white Democrat, it doesn't bother me what color my legislator is. So to claim that increasing the number of seats held by black Democrats would be done at the expense of white Democrats is flawed.

Now, if certain legislators (like Karen Carter Peterson who sold her soul and allowed Jim Tucker to be House Speaker even though Democrats have a majority) wind up cutting of their noses to spite their faces and by helping Democrats to lose seats that they should not need to lose so more black seats cna be created then I will have a problem with that.

Again, it has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with me not wanting stupid leadership.

And IF black Democrats do what you suggest they might do (something that I consider a possibility because of KCP's actions), it would not be at the expense of white Democrats. It would be at the expense of the Democratic Party as a whole.