Up for Debate: Adventures in gerrymandering

Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 11:50pm

What are your thoughts on Tennessee Republican lawmakers' redistricting plans?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

53 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 12:05

Pure politics. It depends on whose on the "leading team" when the redistricting takes place.

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 12:08

Obama exposure #6: Obama is ushering in a new era of leftist judicial activism by nominating only judges who disregard the Constitution in favor of legislating from the bench.

By: dargent7 on 1/9/12 at 4:27

Paul Wade's "Exposure #1": Frequents the Depends aisle at Walmart with his fly open looking to get "lucky".

By: bfra on 1/9/12 at 5:38

d7 - Your "Exposure #1" makes a hella-of-a-lot more sense than any of yogi's exposure "crap"!

By: dargent7 on 1/9/12 at 5:53

Bf: I think Reynold's Wrap is suing "yogi" for false imprisonment" since he wears that tin foil hat around 24/7.
I'm still waiting for Merrian-Webster to put, "usurpation" in their Collegiate dictionary.
Obama will be sipping Mai- Tais on Sunset Beach in 2016 and this moron will still be saying, "he's an illegal alien!"

By: bfra on 1/9/12 at 6:09

d7 - Note yogi's time. He must sit there like some mangy scavenger, waiting to pounce on today's descussion, as soon as it goes on line, so he can add more of his BS.

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 6:21

Good morning, Nashville!

Question: "What are your thoughts on Tennessee Republican lawmakers' redistricting plans?"

Answer: The plan sucks. Of course, both political parties engage in this Gerrymandering technique, in order to short circuit the democratic process designed by the Founders. We should never forget that both major political parties are undemocratic by nature and both parties have been thoroughly corrupted by campaign "donations". The major parties concentrate on winning elections, not competent governance. The parties look for good-looking candidates with name recognition; candidates who can draw the big bucks necessary to win elections these days.

As a result of the institutional corruption, we now have the best federal government that money can buy; the USSC's Citzens United decision should snuff out the last bit of decency and honesty in the American political process once and for all.

What the Electoral College doesn't steal from the electorate, Gerrymandering gives away. What we now have is "democracy lite".....and even that is fading fast....we are on the road to full blown fascism.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 7:00

The best laid plans of mice and men come back to bit them in the ass.

By: treehugger7 on 1/9/12 at 7:22

But the bites don't hurt enough because they keep doing it!

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 7:42

d7 and bfra keeps the attention coming.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 8:02

ShareBy Jeff Reichert

A few years into the research for my new movie "Gerrymandering," which opens this weekend, I came across a quote from Thomas Pynchon's "Mason & Dixon":

“Nothing will produce Bad History more directly nor brutally, than drawing a Line, in particular a Right Line, the very Shape of Contempt, through the midst of a People,-- to create thus a Distinction betwixt 'em,-- 'tis the first stroke.-- All else will follow as if predestin'd, unto War and Devastation."


By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 8:11

"I don't object to polarization if it achieves an objective."
- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga)

"We saw our opportunities and we took them. Is this the way it ought to work'?Of course not."
- Virginia Representative Thomas M. Davis III, who oversaw the House Republicans' 2000 redistricting efforts as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 8:12

"Even in Madison's day, the practice of gerrymandering for partisan advantage was familiar. In the late seventeen-eighties, there were claims that Patrick Henry had tried to gerrymander Madison himself out of the First Congress. The term was coined during Madison's Presidency, to mock Elbridge Gerry, the governor of Massachusetts, who in 1811 approved an election district that was said to look like a salamander."
- Jeffrey Toobin, Journalist

"We are in the business of rigging elections."
- Former State Senator Mark McDaniel (R-North Carolina)

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 8:14

"It used to be that the idea was, once every two years voters elected their representatives, and now, instead, it's every ten years the representatives choose their constituents."
- Pamela Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School

"It seems very odd for you to be telling us that partisan gerrymandering is improper or say it is improper to address it."
- Justice Anthony Kennedy, referring to Texas' previous redistricting map, which was drawn by Democrats when they were the state's majority party.

By: BigPapa on 1/9/12 at 8:18

The GOP has every right to gerrymander and redistrict because the Dems have done it for years, and the way politics work is: Do unto others before they do unto you.... or something like that.

That being said, I think Gerrymandering is one of the primary causes of the current state of nastiness and "gridlock". IF you know your seat is 80% one side then you have zero reason to even entertain any ideas from the other side.

Districts should be drawn up on a grid and let the chips fall.. if someone happens to mainly represent Wmson Co. then so be it, if they mostly represent inner city Nashville, let that roll too. No more made up district lines.

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 8:29

You all must be either democratically inclined, ignorant or plain damned stupid to so willingly accept a man as president of this nation you know nothing about. And sadly, can't even see what he is doing to the country.

Don't any of you have enough sense to think he would have shown his legal eligibility readily instead of spend millions of dollars to refuse?

By the way, I just learned of a college buddy of his: George Stephanopolous. As you can see when he is on the "news" he speaks in Barry's favor.

If you're so willing to become servants in the communist party, you're on the right track.

Its a shame you all can't see beyond your nose.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 8:31

It is not that simple BigPapa. Take Davidson County for example, it had 35 council districts and all have close to same amount of people living in each district. Now if it was done by a grid and one grid had a smaller populated district, it would get ever unwanted project the others did not want; prison trash dumps and so on.

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 8:34

As we sadly witnessed in 2000, the fifty states, not the 350 million American citizens elect the President of the United States...he is not the President of the American People...he is the president of the non-living, non-human states, not the flesh and blood citizens. The Electoral College is designed to give the power to the states, not to the citizens of the Republic.

This is significant, because the states decide on how to configure their federal districts, not the federal government. This right of the states has been used to jimmy the system for partisan advantage. If Republicans control the state house, they configure their federal districts to benefit the Republican party; conversely, when the Democrats control the state house they configure the districts to keep themselves in power....it's all perfectly legal and time-honored.

What we have here is a flaw in the original plan. The federal government should, IMO, set uniform standards for determining the nature and characteristics of a federal District. If a fair and uniform template could be applied equally to every state, republican democracy would be enhanced, IMO, and partisan chicanery & corruption would be greatly reduced.

Of course, the EC has to go, if we are ever going to elevate flesh & blood voters above the non-living, non-human states. When making decisions, it is better, IMO, to consider the opinions of 350 million, as opposed to the opinions of a mere fifty. States are not people and corporations are not people, they are collectives and by nature they stifle the opinions of the individual....and that is fundamentally un-American.

Power To The People!

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 8:53

Perhaps, we need to go beyond the "United States of America" concept...how about the "United People of America"? Sounds a little too "Commie" or "Socialist", I suppose...like the People's Republic of China....things are bad if and when a word like "people" has developed a negative spin. Words evolve. Concepts evolve.

This is precisely why I have decided to go into the BS business...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

As many of the regulars here know, my real first name is James...so I am starting up my own "PR firm"....I call the enterprise: "Jingle JAMES". Here's the deal...

Think JAMES:

J for Jingles
A for Acronyms
M for Mnemonic Devices
E for Euphemisms
S for Slogans

When I was a Rural Letter Carrier, I won three USPS slogan contests...my co-workers called me "The Sloganmaster General". Time to come out of retirement and make some scratch...Jingle JAMES is open for business.


By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 9:13

Population numbers for each state is the determining factor in divvying up the power in the House. Higher population states have correspondingly more Representation in the House.

In the Senate, the less populated states still get two US Senators, like the more populous states; this is to mitigate the power of the more populated states.

Maybe the idea of a federal district is itself flawed? The House of Representatives is supposed to represent the people of the individual states, not the people of gerrymandered districts within a state.

NY, for example is entitled to 29 Reps. Right now, they represent highly gerrymandered and politically safe districts...and the Reps. engage in intra-state competition for federal dollars. If all 29 represented New York state as a whole, not 29 selfish NY Districts, we might find enhanced governance at the state, federal and local levels. The question is, how could we do that fairly and equitably in a corrupt system?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 9:15


I think the United in USA has already become, what’s in it for me States for America. Perhaps it will evolve in the Divided Regions of America.

By: BenDover on 1/9/12 at 9:24

I really wish that instead of every 'NEWS' organization throwing out these boogie man stories about this implicit unfairness they'd simply throw the maps up there and let us look at the before/after.

The bottom line is that you could have divided the state into an equal grid and affected the districts to the Repubs advantage because this is the first time the republicans have had a chance to be involved in redistricting since reconstruction. We're looking at 100+ years of Democratic gerrymandering here and any logical change is going to to cut out democrat honey-holes all over the state.

If the Democrats want to complain then I say to the victor go the spoils. This is happening right now all over the country because of the overreach of Pelosi, Reid and Obama during the Obamacare debacle and their unchecked 2 year reign of desolation on the country's economic underpinning.

That's the pendulum swing that brought the wave of Republicans into the nation's state legislatures and into the House of Representatives and it was that tone-deaf over-reach that has directly lead to the ironing of the long-wrinkled Democrat-favoring district lines across the country right now.

The result will be an army of lawyers challenging every district in the country until our elected representative government cedes to whining democrat demand again. This repeated concession to all the sanctimony has become standard fare just like plugging the mouth little screaming toddlers with pacifiers just to have a little sense of sanity in the world.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 9:46

Is that really you Ben? lol

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 9:48

Ben uses an odd metaphor: "like plugging the mouth little screaming toddlers with pacifiers just to have a little sense of sanity in the world."

Ben, you got a duct tape shortage in Nashville?

Just kidding....you do make some good points Benjamin Dover. 'tis a pendulum...the House is already in GOP hands and I fear that the grip will tighten, for the reasons you outlined.

The Citizens United decision has added more mass to the pendulum, to use your grandfather clock metaphor...this could cause a fluctuation in time? The chimes may sound midnight, when it's only 11:30...if so, the coach returns to its pumpkin status and the horses revert to being rats....and Cinderella may have to walk home in the dark.

Thing is, we got no Fairy Godmother and no Prince Charming coming to the rescue.

No wait...there is hope...I hear the pounding sound of his horse's hooves, as he approaches at full gallop...BEHOLD.....it's Sir Ron of Paul....the Savior!

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 9:55

Looks like Jingle JAMES is jingling pretty well this morning. Question, jingler: If Barry Soetoro can only carry 50 of the states, who's going to get the other 10?

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 10:04


The party's controls have changed ever so often over the centuries. When the people get fed up with what the party in power is throwing at them they switch to the other party in power. Then when they get fed up with that party they switch back to the other.

The problem of today, we have a third party moving into the slot and too many currently in congress has switched to that third party.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 10:06

Funny thing about pendulums swinging is that GOP will be whining on the next swing. Tic Toc.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 10:12

Here is an interesting item;

Santorum Tells Kids With Gay Parents: You’d Be Better Off With Parents In Prison


By: pswindle on 1/9/12 at 10:26

We need to re-district air-head Blackburn and a few others out of office that have forgotten why they are in Washington. As far as TN, the GOP will do what they damn well please, and it does not matter if it is right or wrong. When does Ramsey and Haslam leave office?

By: BenDover on 1/9/12 at 10:28

Yogi, Tennessee's legislature has been in Democrat control for the last 100+ years up until the last 2 sessions.

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 10:31

Question, Captain Nemo,

What child do you know that would want homosexuals as their parents? Isn't it better to have a mother and father to learn about the differences in normal parents?

What is a boy going to grow up to be like if raised by lesbian mother? What will a girl grow up to be like if raised by homosexual fathers?

I thank God I had the parents I was fortunate enough to be blessed with.

By: govskeptic on 1/9/12 at 10:43

I think we can all agree it would be a better plan if "pswindle" and
sidekick "Loner" were allowed more input into drawing up a fair
and more reasonable plan!

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 10:47


The original founding of this nation put the Senate in Congress to represent the States and the House of Representatives to represent the citizens. The States assigned their senators and if they didn't "represent the states they were brought home.

At that time the States kept their states rights power to control the Executive branch.

The the senators decided it would be better if they could get voted in office so they could make the Senate a career. They got the 17th Amendment passed to make them the same as the House... representing the citizens instead of their states.

The 17th Amendment should be repealed.

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 10:56

Santorum is anti-much....he is anti-GLBT, anti-science, anti-abortion, anti-Food Stamps, anti-Medical Marijuana, anti-Palestinian, anti-Islamic, anti-welfare, anti-Social Security, anti-union, anti-Immigration Amnesty and he is anticipating victory based on that list of anti's.

But he is also "pro" on many issues...Santorum is pro-corporate welfare, pro-privatization (pro-exploitation), pro-Christian, "pro-life", pro-Creationism, pro-gun, pro-NRA, pro-Defense lobby, pro-Israel lobby, pro-Energy lobby, pro-law & order, pro-revolving door and he probably figures those "pros" and "anti's" will sweep him into power....with the aid of the Super PACs, Santorum could go far....he knows how to transform complex issues into imaginative black and white choices....his base likes that...nice and simple....and he has good hair, straight white teeth, a congenital smile, youthful vitality....he's handsome, tall and fit-looking....that counts for much...just ask Ron Paul.

And he is a white guy...Santorum's base longs for a white guy in the White House....call it tribalism.

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 10:58


To help you with your cheap collegiate dictionary, let me explain what usurpation means. I hope your education in English was well enough to understand the dictionary's definition.

usurp: to take possession of without legal claim. To seize and hold (as in office, place or powers) in possession by force or without right.

Usurpation is the taking of an office illegally by a usurper. i.e. Barry Soetoro taking the Presidential office of the United States illegally.

That makes him a usurper taking office by usurpation.

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 11:04

I would call Santorum being in office because he is white (Caucasian) racism, Loner. But then, Soetoro is also 'part' Caucasian, so would he be a racist also?

By the way, when did African become a race?

By: BigPapa on 1/9/12 at 11:04

"It is not that simple BigPapa. Take Davidson County for example, it had 35 council districts and all have close to same amount of people living in each district. Now if it was done by a grid and one grid had a smaller populated district, it would get ever unwanted project the others did not want; prison trash dumps and so on."

I dont have an issue with that.

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 11:05

Thanks for your support Govseptic...I knew that you'd finally come around to our way of thinking.

Don't know about Pswindle, but I could use some campaign cash, Gov...I'm running for office too...can I count on some cash to actually "speak" for you? Money talks...as you are well aware.

Again, thanks for your new found support.

Send cash donations to:

Loner c/o Webmaster
Nashville City Paper
Nashville TN

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 11:16

jingling JAMES,

I run into something interesting. "Barack Obama" is noted as Barack Obama Sr.'s son, but does he favor him? Compare his looks to Malcolm X who has been noted as a friend of his grandfather.

More interesting? Go to www.terribletruth.worldpress.com/2011/12/18/obama-history-buffs-sniff-here/

What do you think?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 11:17

More of his bitter hate for gays.

At this weekend’s GOP debates, former Senator Rick Santorum faced renewed questions about his record on gay rights, which he parried by stressing his opposition to anti-gay discrimination and support for “equality of opportunity.” During his tenure in Congress, however, Santorum took actions that enabled and even encouraged discrimination based on sexual orientation.

One of the most blatant examples was Santorum’s opposition to the nomination of James Hormel to be the first openly gay US ambassador. Santorum joined a campaign against Hormel’s nomination that frequently focused on his sexual orientation. Sending a gay American to be the ambassador to a Roman Catholic country, Santorum said in 1994, was “a complete insult to Catholics.” That was a stretch on several levels.

In a new interview with The Nation, Hormel emphasized that “no ambassador nomination takes place without approval of the other country”—a fact that is well known to members of Congress. Luxembourg had already approved the nomination, Hormel recalled, and that history “says something about the integrity of candidate Santorum—he claims to respect gay people, but I don’t find it credible.”

By: BenDover on 1/9/12 at 11:24

Yogi... everyone knows Obama's father is really Roger from What's Happening.



By: Little Dummy on 1/9/12 at 11:25

If you don't like the recent re-districting you have only Obama to blame.
WHY OBAMA? Because he is the reason for the uprising of decent
people in Nov. 2010 which resulted in a Republican take-over of
our state legislature. The current re-districing (by Republicans) is
probably the greatest thing accomplished in the 2010 election.

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 11:29

Santorum hates the sin, but loves the sinner...of course. Trouble is, he thinks that homosexuality is a sin and those who succumb to it are sinners, who need to be saved by the grace and blood of Jesus, the Christ....otherwise, they are condemned to Hell forever.

Santorum is a devout Catholic...that's a whole different breed than your ordinary run-of-the mill Catholic...I know, I was raised Roman Catholic, educated K-8 by nuns...the devout ones are not fit for secular public office, IMO....same goes for all the devout religionists, IMO....they crave theocracy, not secular democracy.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 11:32

Little Dummy. Is this sid's new handle?

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 11:39

The financial meltdown in September, 2008 was all Obama's fault too, Little Dummy.

According to the Republican-Tea Party narrative: the specter of an Obama presidency spooked the smart money, as a result, Lehman Brothers made Aliyah...that started the fat cat stampede...that stampede created the Tea Party and it's hate-based anti-Obama stewings and brewings, which the republic has patiently endured ever since.

Eight years of Bush & Cheney's reckless handling of the US economy is never mentioned in the GOP-TP narrative...no, it's all the black guy's fault.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 11:52

The Great San Francisco earth quake was Obama’s fault to according to the fringe right.

By: dargent7 on 1/9/12 at 12:00

@ 10:58am:
This is EXACTLY why America is in the tank, bankrupt, and a ship w/o a rudder.
Morons inhabiting this planet, congregated in the USA, can vote for their world leader.
This particular imbicile, has to define what "usurpation", an "usurper", and usurped" means.
Bet 10 bucks he sits at his computer keyboard in a bathrobe, wide open, playing with his Wang.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/9/12 at 12:07

Don't bring it up d7, I had by-passed that post, because to reply is only feeding his illusion of self importance.

By: Loner on 1/9/12 at 12:18

Darge, thanks for that graphic image...he's massaging his mouse and jiggling his Johnson...like walking and chewing gum at the same time....it CAN be done....even at the hominid level....but can he recognize the image in the mirror as his own? That's key.

Sapience is difficult to define...the ability to become insane may be part of the definition.

And with Rick Santorum pushing for legislation to change the name of our species, Homo sapiens, to Hetero sapiens, I'd say that things are getting a bit out of hand.

And speaking of "out of hand" that image of the troll, in an open bathrobe working his toolbars is great for off-hand humor....is sex involving a human and a computer mouse considered bestiality? Rick Santorum probably has an opinion on that.

By: yogiman on 1/9/12 at 12:20

How much ya wanna bet, dargent7? Your car against mine? Maybe your home against mine? I'd rent it back to you because I don't want to live in Nashville.

Which raises the question: How are the posters on this site here all the time? Don't they work? I'm retired, I don't have to worry about getting up and going to work and coming home. I'm home.