The Oregon Democratic legislative majority is doing the most productive counter-political action that can be undertaken right now at the state level. They’re going to extreme gerrymander Oregon’s congressional delegation!
NEW: House Speaker Tina Kotek is about to back down on her deal to grant Republicans parity on redistricting. She told her caucus today she'll appoint a new committee, with Dems in the majority, to pass a Congressional, plan. #orpol #orleg
— Dirk VanderHart (@dirquez) September 20, 2021
There’s a lot of legislative shenanigans that the Oregon Republican legislative minority can still take to try to stymie this, but this is the counter-political action that needs to happen in every state where the Democrats have a a trifecta and control of the redistricting process this year.
As it stands now, just through redistricting in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, the Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives in January 2023 before a single vote is cast. The only way to neutralize this is that every place the Democrats have control over redistricting, like Oregon and New York, they have to redistrict an extreme gerrymander. If New York would do that, they take Florida’s redistricting plan to create five new safe Republican congressional seats right off the table making it a wash. These five planned safe Republican congressional seats in Florida is all it takes right now to flip the House! If the other states where Democrats control redistricting also do this it would negate the redistricting gains that are also planned for Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Last year’s Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering, which effectively and essentially removed the issue from being within the purview of the Federal courts, means that there are only two ways to overcome the extreme malapportionment that will be created as a result of redistricting. The first is to fight it in state court, but in a lot of these Republican controlled states, the state judiciary has been captured by the same Leonard Leo financed conservative and Republican interests that are now causing problems in the Federal judiciary. The second is to negate the effects of these extreme gerrymanders by putting equally extreme gerrymanders in place where Democrats have control to negate this as a way of taking control of the House of Representatives by picking the voters for the Republican candidates rather than having the voters pick the candidate they want to represent them.
Since we’re on effective counter-political action, let me skip over to effective civic action. It’s great that we’re going to have another women’s march. You want to really make it effective as civic action, here’s how. The march route needs to begin and end in front of Leonard Leo’s house. It needs to go past his office. From there it needs to go past his church. Then past his country club. And then culminate back at his house. You want to put fear into the conservative majority he has created on the Supreme Court? You don’t do it by demonstrating in front of Brett Kavanaugh’s house, you do that by demonstrating in front of Leo’s. You do that by making him afraid that his ability to manipulate the Federal courts and elections and redistricting from the shadows will be taken away from him. And you do that by taking it away from him.
You do not threaten his well being or his life or that of his family. Rather you make it clear that his days in the shadows are over. That no matter where he goes he will be politely and civilly protested. He doesn’t believe women have a right to privacy that allows them to make their own reproductive health care decisions. Nor does he believe people have a right to privacy that allows them to choose to use artificial methods of birth control. And he does not believe there is a right to privacy that would allow LGBTQ people the same rights to live, love, marry, live with, and/or have sex with anyone they want who consents to it. He thinks these decisions should all be subject to public scrutiny. If that’s the case, then his life should be subject to public scrutiny too. If you want to make sure that a message is heard loud in clear in the Supreme Court’s chambers that what the conservative majority is planning on doing, what they were hand picked by Leo to do, is not going to be acceptable, then the way you do that is you take Leo’s privacy away from him. If he steps outside, he needs to be in the spotlight. He shouldn’t be doxxed! He shouldn’t be SWATTed! He shouldn’t be touched! He shouldn’t be screamed at! His family members shouldn’t be bothered in any way! No one should trespass on his actual property! No one should be offensive or obscene! But he should not be able to go get a cup of coffee without demonstrators following him with signs, filming him and his response, and broadcasting it all over social media. He doesn’t believe you have any rights that are not subject to his theocratic fascist delusions of grandeur. He needs to learn that he doesn’t have the right to make that determination and that his attempts to do so have consequences.
Again: protesting Leo should be, needs to be, and must be peaceful, civil, polite, and in line with all applicable laws. The point is to make him uncomfortable by peaceably assembling and demonstrating, not by violent intimidation or threats.
This is all contingent, of course, on us getting through the next two weeks or so without both breaching the debt ceiling, which will crash both the US and the global economy, and having the government shut down. McConnell has learned that his strategy of complete and total obstruction and opposition when a Democrat is president provides him with great rewards. He will not change that strategy now because if either, let alone both of these things happens, he knows that President Biden and the Democrats will be blamed, not him or his Republican majority in the Senate.
Time is running out…
Edited to Add at 11:15 PM:
Since people keep asking if this strategy of peacefully protesting Leo will make any difference, the simple answer is no.
That’s the point I keep trying to make to get people to understand whenever someone says we’re going to have a demonstration. Or Group X is going to do action Y.
It won’t achieve anything. Just like a Women’s March in October won’t achieve anything.
I keep explaining it and you refuse to accept it, but here goes one more time…
The only thing that matters is the exercise of raw political power. What Oregon Democrats are doing, what I advised the Democrats do in the states where they control redistricting, that will achieve something.
Marches, demonstrations, bringing stuff in the Senate up for a vote without a snowball’s chance in hell that it will pass, including a stand alone debt ceiling increase bill to make the Republicans “own voting no”when it will clearly fail and the US will still crash through the debt limit and default, none of it makes a damn bit of difference.
There are only two things that will make a bit of difference. The first, and the only one that should be under consideration, is the unilateral employment of raw political power. The second is the use of counter-revolutionary violence. The latter is off the table. So that just leaves employing raw political power.
Other than what the Democrats in Oregon’s legislature are doing regarding redistricting, do you see any Democrats in any elected or appointed office at any level of government employing raw political power? Do you see any outside groups supporting them calling for it, generating support for it, making sure that Democrats will be rewarded for it electorally and in terms of fundraising and punished for failing to employ raw political power? No, no you don’t.
Thus, at least for this night because I’m sure I’ll be back here having to provide it again and again and again, here endeth the lesson.