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A Few Political Nuggets for the Weekend

* Do yourself a favor and read Dan Eggen's blockbuster piece in today's Washington Post  in which he reports on a Justice Department memo from 2003 in which six lawyers and two analysts unanimously agreed that the Texas congressional redistricting plan (the one engineered by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay) violated the Voting Rights Act.  Eggen reports that the recommendations made in the memo were ignored by higher level Justice Department officials, which led to the plan's ultimate approval.

The impact of this story is only starting to be felt here in Washington.  The 2003 "re-redistricting" championed by DeLay led to the ouster of six Texas Democratic incumbents in the 2004 election -- helping Republicans solidify their majority in the House.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday called for an investigation into the charges; "The Justice Department memo reveals a cynical manipulation of the democratic process designed to deny fair representation to millions of American citizens," she said.

* Mystery Pollster, one of the best sites for in-depth analysis on survey research,  has a post looking at the RT Strategies polling on Iraq that was written up both in The Fix and The Post.  Feel free to post any reactions to Mystery Pollster's take on the matter in the comments section below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 2, 2005; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Odds and Ends  
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Next: How the Abramoff Scandal Helps McCain


Hi, just wanted to comment on the last two posts by Jaxas and oigfree. Excellent and a must read! I agree totally.

Posted by: Jason | December 5, 2005 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Both sides have played this game for years. It is time that all states were required to use politically neutral software to redistrict. Only then will politicians be forced to represent the people and not small well funded ideological elitist groups. If we are to preserve our democratic system redistricting must be done fairly and blindly.

Posted by: oigfree | December 5, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I do not believe Tom Delay is Satan, or the Anti-Christ or will usher in the end of the world. I don't believe in any of those sorts of things. What I do believe is that he is a corrupt, deceitful, hateful politician driven by greed and a fundamentalist zealotry that is common in the region he grew up in.

Eventually, Tom Delay and the type of people who support him will lose. It may take time, but if there is one thing I have learned about our political system it is that if you stick around long enough, you will see any movement succomb to the effects of the natural swing of the pendulum of public opinion.

I suspect, given the sustained period of time that Bush has been down in the polls and the republicans have been down there with him, that the swing has already begun.
Don't look for this corrupt, rotten bunch to go quietly though. They have an astonishingly effective propagand apparatus on talk radio that harangues the public 24 hours a day with right wing drivel.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 5, 2005 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Remember, the Anti-Christ will be a false prophet, promising peace but bringing about the end of the world. Sure sounds like Delay and the GOP.

Posted by: KAS | December 5, 2005 10:53 AM | Report abuse

the far right christian republicans will do anything necessary to further their agenda even if they have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill. What do they teach these people on Sundays at their churches?

Posted by: lyle | December 5, 2005 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This story makes America look less like the home of the free and more the home of confinement. Leave it to Republicans to say "I didn't do it" even though their finger prints are all over it. What has this world come to that justice is never served? Why is there never any accountability? The Texas court judges are political appointees. Has anyone investigates how corrupt they are? One only need follow DeLay to see the reality. He knew that he would not receive a fair trial because he knows how to make the system work for him. He's a genius of deceit. He is Satan, but he has the Christian right supporting his ill deeds. Doesn't anyone see the irony here?

Posted by: P. M. | December 5, 2005 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Shifting gears: Mystery Pollster makes a lot of sense. The RT poll, like all omnibus polls, risk conditioning the respondent with earlier questions. With "opinion" polls, how many respondents will fess up to having no opinion on a matter until asked for one -- a different kind of conditioning.

The RT results didn't "feel" correct in light of all the others. Mystery Pollster's explanation works for me!

Hell, the WH doesn't read poll results anyway...

Posted by: rdrover | December 3, 2005 11:54 PM | Report abuse

this shouldn't be so shocking, but it is. when i heard all about this i called my sassy aunt pat in san antonio right away to discuss. she's admitted feeling "ashamed" and "profoundly disgusted." she went to great lenghts to assure me that by and large texans are generally horified by this.
surely, the tactics used to hijack the federal texas legislature are almost certainly inextricably liked to tom delay's various manner of malfeasesance.

Posted by: jay lassiter | December 3, 2005 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Again another opportunity for Dems to showcase how committed the GOP are to minorities. Unless minorities, and I mean blacks and hispanics alike make a case of this, this story will fall on all but the most liberal deaf ears.

I am glad to see the Washington Post back on its game of exposing government agencies and their bosses (both dems and gop) of inappropriate behavior.

Posted by: db | December 3, 2005 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention criticizing China's, Cuba's, or other nations' human rights records when we're the only developed country on earth to have the death penalty. If it weren't for Supreme Court decisions over the last 2 years, we'd still be executing juveniles and mentally retarded people! I think Europe, Israel, Japan, Australia, etc. should cut off trade relations with the US until we abolish the death penalty.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 3, 2005 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Good point, nemo31. What irony that we are telling the Iraqis how liberating democracry will be while there is so much blatant corruption here. "....of the people, by the people, and for the people".....our favorite myth.

Posted by: Bill | December 3, 2005 9:37 AM | Report abuse

While there has been widespread if belated reporting of the divide within State,DOD and elsewhere there has been relatively little regarding the climate within DOJ. Here it is: The paid their dues types have no respect for the appointee hacks much less Gonzales whistling down the halls blow dried types. Which end is up?? Will one's services even be required or will it be that there are WAAAY too many fish to fry??? There is another nefarious phenomena: that is the veritable boon in discretely placed private sector headhunting. There is more than one way to relieve a good soldier on the trail. Hopefully the cravenites will be exposed.

Posted by: gtre | December 3, 2005 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Bush and his Administration have clearly done more than enough illegal things already to warrant impeachment. We won't get the laws enforced until Democrats take back Congress and maybe the White House.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 2, 2005 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Long and shot of this is the Bush admin's Justice Dept took an active part in the largest disenfranchisment of minority voting rights since the enactment of the voting rights act.

If it isn't already, it should be criminal.

Posted by: don | December 2, 2005 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on how this will affect the case before the Supreme Court?

Posted by: Bailey | December 2, 2005 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The Center for American Progress seems to have an interesting analysis of this story:

Posted by: Jack | December 2, 2005 8:51 PM | Report abuse

What about the redistricting ploy in Ga. by Democrats in last election that held power for 135 years for Dems. Now the ousted leader of legislature is serving 10+ years forlong term fraud. there's enough to go around.

Posted by: Joebig in Ga | December 2, 2005 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Another fine example of how dirty the far right is. But they wrap themselves in the flag and quote the bible. I guess it was a needed to strike down the infidel liberals. This country has to learn how to democratize itself before we can show anyone else.

Posted by: nemo31 | December 2, 2005 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Wondering, who is your Congressman?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 2, 2005 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what to make of it, but tucked inside a mailing I received from my Congressman was a flyer with the headline "Life's too short to clean your own house."

Posted by: Wondering | December 2, 2005 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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