Open Thread for Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The 1908 Chicago Cubs

The 1908 Chicago Cubs

I need to run to an appointment, so very quickly:

  1. Obama is critical of Comey decision: ‘We don’t operate on innuendo’ — OK, we’re treading on very sensitive ground here…
  2. Suspect In ‘Ambush-Style’ Killings Of 2 Iowa Police Officers Is In Custody — Here’s hoping we don’t read any more headlines about incidents such as this.
  3. Haley to campaign with SC Senate candidate in vulnerable seat — I include this not because it’s remarkable in the grand scheme, but because this year, we’ve seen so little about politics on the state and local level. True, we don’t have many competitive races on the local level, thanks to the scandal of reapportionment, but it’s just sort of eerie…
  4. The World Series — Yes! America got what it needed, at just the right moment! A seven-game Series! Featuring the Cubs and the Indians! I take great comfort from this…

And that’s about it. Perhaps you’re seeing something else that interest you…

12 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, November 2, 2016

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, but I had to read so far down to get to the point, which is where it discusses how to fix the ACTUAL problems with our politics today:

      Redistricting reform and open primaries are powerful cures for our electoral dysfunction, but they generally need to be implemented on a state-by-state basis.
      The good news is that state reform efforts have been gaining steam. In 2014, there were more than 190 bills to expand voter rights and access introduced in state legislatures.
      The bad news is that legislators are usually the last people who will back reforms that might make their re-elections more difficult. That’s why in many states, putting election reforms on the ballot in referendums has been the surest path to success….

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Let’s say it again: “Redistricting reform and open primaries are powerful cures for our electoral dysfunction…”

        How people look at the problems with our politics today and think, “Donald Trump is the answer!”… well, that’s just utterly beyond me…

      2. Jeff Mobley

        There are some interesting computer algorithm-based redistricting models out there.

        This one is the most simplistic, but I’m not convinced it’s the most desirable.

        This one is a bit more complicated, and maybe more plausible, but I haven’t thought about it long enough to render a verdict.

        Still, fun to think about, at least.

        1. clark surratt

          Very interesting redistricting proposals. But under the congressional configurations, especially the second one. I think there would be a slim chance of electing a black Democratic candidate. So where does that leave us in the real world of politics? I think the S.C. legislature would approve this, but the legal and political fight-back would be a hell storm.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Clark, I think we may have passed the point at which black candidates can’t get elected from non-gerrymandered districts.

            First, here in Columbia, we elected Tameika at-large. Then Steve Benjamin. But you say, that’s because of the changing demographics of Columbia. Well, then there’s Tim Scott, and of course Barack Obama.

            Sure, racial patterns still exist in voting. But the case against sensibly-shaped districts is growing weaker year by year.

            Black candidates who appeal across racial lines CAN get elected by predominantly white constituencies. And that’s what we want and need, of course — candidates who can appeal across lines, whether racial, ideological, or what have you…

            1. clark surratt

              Brad, Columbia has majority black voters. Scott only won because he is Republican. I’m talking narrowly about prospects of a black DEMOCRAT being elected to Congress without some degree of gerrymandering, especially under configuration two Jeff Mobley included above.

          1. clark surratt

            This is an excellent example, Norm Ivey, of difficulties of drawing compact districts in South Carolina in which a black Democrat would be able to win, which I tried to discuss above (Thanks for posting this again. I apparently missed it before).

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