Last week, the Supreme Court said it was okay for state legislatures to gerrymander at any time. The GOP had pushed the envelope in Texas with their redistricting plan -- for purely political reasons -- and it was upheld. So are Democrats going to to do the same thing where they can? Of course not. That would be too political and not bi-partisan:
In Illinois, as in many other states, the current congressional map is the product of a bipartisan agreement to protect incumbents of both parties, election after election. Democrats, who hold 10 of the state's 19 House seats, control the legislature and hope to reelect Gov. Rod Blagojevich this fall. They possibly could gain another House seat or two in the 2008 elections by packing Republican voters into overwhelmingly GOP-leaning districts, the tactic that DeLay used against Texas Democrats.Rahm's quote should be astounding. But, it's not. And it explains why Democrats are in the minority. The GOP picked up seats in 2004 because they redistricted Texas. The Illinois Democrats could have re-districted the Speaker of the House this year. But, no, that would be mean.
But recent history suggests that they will demur. The current district lines have strong support in both parties, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) got nowhere last year with a bid to redraw them in retaliation for what happened in Texas. "I couldn't get enough fellow Democrats to see the benefits of that," said Emanuel, who chairs his party's campaign to elect more House members.
This passage explains so much. And for the record, AMERICAblog suggested redistricting Illinois in November of 2004.