Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Redistricting Case: Defense Goes for Suspension of Belief

I find it amazing that today, on the day of the first Republican Presidential debate to include the Texas governor, attorneys defending Texas’ redistricting plan are saying that because of new diversity trends in Texas, people of the Hispanic persuasion are less likely to vote for an Hispanic, a race vote they call it, and contend that there are some Hispanics that will vote for Republicans, and, they say to my shocked surprise, there are some white people who will vote for Democrats.

No, really, he said that.

Now while it is true that, nationally, Hispanics have voted for Republicans a third of the time, you have to look at what kind of Hispanic you are looking at. Cubans are also Hispanic, and Floridian Cubans tend to vote for neoconservatives because of their anti-Castro sentiments.

That and they still haven’t gotten over Jack Kennedy’s handling of the landing at the Bay of Pigs.

What is true is that Hispanics do like to vote for Hispanics, and African-Americans do like to vote for African-Americans. Ask Chris Bell if you don’t believe that.

This argument demands a suspension of belief. Hispanics in Texas would be absolutely crazy to vote for a Republican candidate these days, especially with all the rhetoric about immigrants, Sanctuary Cities, and solving the issue of illegal immigrants in Texas.

No, it is completely obvious what Republicans who drew the new congressional district boundaries had in mind. They wanted to take the increase in population, fueled by an increase in the Hispanic demographic, and turn it into a bigger Republican majority in congress by effectively negating the Hispanic vote in 3 out of the 4 new congressional districts. All you have to do is read the newspapers. When Hispanics vote, they vote heavily Democratic – when they turn out – which they didn’t do in 2010. And now, because of that in 3 out of 4 congressional districts, Hispanics are being disenfranchised.

This cannot stand, but I am not holding my breath that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule correctly. I am waiting for the Department of Justice to weigh in on whether the redistricting plan violates the Voting Rights Act. It does, they will, and another Republican project in the 82nd Legislature will crash into a hillside.

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