by William Teach | December 22, 2010 7:10 am
By now, you all know about the outcome of the Census, that marvelous job creator of the Stimulus bill…..what, it’s required by the Constitution?……well, anyhow, Dave Weigel has a nice little breakdown of which states lose House seats and which ones gain them. Northern Democrat stronghold seats are the biggest hit, and, let’s not forget that many of them will have GOP governors and/or legislatures, which will mean they control reapportionment. Same with the states that get the seats. Obviously, what’s important, as the Obama Times points out
If President Obama were to win in the next election the same states he carried in 2008, he would receive six fewer electoral votes under the new map. Yet that shift would be significant only if the race were very close.
Yes, it is true that the GOP can’t count on all those seats going Republican, but, I think we can say with high confidence that this all tends to be Bad for Democrats. So, The Daily Kos wants changes
Today’s release of the 2010 Census figures and the reapportionment of US House seats ought to reopen a discussion of the size of the House of Representatives itself. Instead of taking seats from one state and giving them to another, as mandated by a 1929 law capping the size of the House at 435, we should instead massively increase the size of the House – and decrease the number of people in each district – for the purposes of a more effective democracy.
Now, let me point out that I don’t actually disagree with the writer, Robert Cruickshank. Our nation is a whole lot bigger than it was in 1929, and Representative’s today represent (well, at least by law), as the article points out, approximately 708,000 people each. The original Constitution, as Robert points out (strange, all of a sudden a Dem likes the Constitution), stated that they wanted 1 rep representing no less than every 30K citizens. I don’t think they meant 1 for every 708K, do you? Robert has some excellent, and well reasoned ideas for how much the House seats would increase, and how many people they would each represent, as well as some nice history.
Of course, he also doesn’t want any state to actually lose House seats, even as they lose population, particularly since they tend to be Democrat states. And then we get to the real reason for his long post
Further, the artificially small House denies progressives our true power. The city of San Francisco has a population of about 815,000. In 2012 it will have one congressional seat – represented by Nancy Pelosi – and will include part of another district, probably represented by Jackie Speier. But if we changed the apportionment of the US House to have 100,000 people to a district, San Francisco would have over 7 members in the House – all of them deeply progressive.
More importantly, it would help undermine the artificial advantage the right currently has in the House. Most of the population growth in red states has been in blue areas in those states. Dallas, Houston, Miami, Las Vegas – these are very Democratic cities. Yet because of the artificially small size of the House, their larger populations don’t have the kind of representation they deserve, and smaller rural areas have an artificial advantage. A much larger house would provide greater urban representation – and would likely make the House more progressive, not just in absolute numbers, but as a proportion of the overall membership.
So, he’s actually not really worried about that pesky Democracy thing: he’s concerned about Progressives losing their representation, of which, based on political self descriptions, they are already highly over-represented.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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