I’ll be chuckling over this one for a while:
Black Democrats in Congress are sharply criticizing their party’s leadership for supporting efforts to overturn the GOP-drawn congressional map in Florida and cut into Republicans’ House majority.
Last week, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) sent a sharply worded letter to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) complaining about the party’s support for a lawsuit that aims to throw out Florida’s congressional map — changes that could dismantle the gerrymandered seat of CBC member Corrine Brown.
“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), I write to express our ongoing concern with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) support of lawsuits challenging the validity of minority Congressional districts,” Fudge wrote. “Per our prior discussion, we are extremely disturbed by the DCCC’s efforts to dismantle CBC districts in states that have historically proven to be difficult to elect minority members. Considering the history of discrimination through efforts such as gerrymandering, the recent actions reflect the discrimination of days past.”
On Friday, a Florida judge asked the Legislature to redraw the congressional map so that it conformed with the state’s constitution. He set a deadline for Aug. 15 so that the new map could be used for the 2014 election and left open the possibility that the election could be postponed to allow time for the new plan to be implemented.
Democratic-aligned groups, with funding from the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, have supported the lawsuit with an eye toward undoing a congressional map that is seen as GOP-friendly. But the CBC is unhappy because the judge has specifically pointed to Brown’s oddly shaped 5th District, which snakes from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando, as a district that violated the state’s Fair Districts amendment.
OK. Let me break this down: Democrats, especially those in the South, have an – er, unsavory shall we say history on the issue of racism going waaaaaaaaay back. They’ve tried to make amends to it over the years, mostly by flipping the switch and (many times falsely) accusing their opponents of racism in an effort to scare voters. To a large degree, the despicable, desperate tactic worked. They often point to “gerrymandering” as a way Republican-dominated state legislatures demonstrate their alleged disdain and hatred for black people.
In this instance, the FL GOP drew up a revised Congressional map that a FL judge has asked them to redraw by the middle of this month. Naturally, the DCCC applauded the judge’s ruling because they believe it will give them an upcoming election advantage. But if the maps are redrawn the way the judge seems to think they should be, it could impact Corrine Brown’s seat which the CBC does not support. In effect, black Democrats here are saying that, though in the past redistricting has been used to “disenfranchise” black voters, in this situation it wasn’t. The (mostly white) members of the DCCC, on the other hand, are apparently willing to overlook at how this could negatively impact Congresswoman Brown because of the potential to pick up more desperately needed seats elsewhere.
You really can’t make this stuff up! #popcorn