I started this Sunday like I normally do: cooking a breakfast that is decidedly bad for you followed by reading a couple of papers and watching a bit of the Sunday morning talkers. Some weeks I fit a 9:45 church service in but not this weekend. I caught an interview with the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, on "Meet the Press." While he comes across as a decent Joe, he doesn't strike me as a particularly deep thinker.
After listening to that interview it became clear to me that the Speaker is a problem and really needs to go.
The interview covered things like Gerrymandering, money in politics and the influence of special interests. When asked about "Gerrymandering" (not "redistricting") he said, "well, in Ohio the Democrats had the pencil in their hands for 50 years and now it's our (GOP) turn." On special interests: "every person in America is a special interest." I've never thought much of the speaker but I was surprised by the intellectual laziness of that answer.
You know what our current political leadership in Washington is? It's the perfect expression of the two-party system that produces perfect political animals, kinda like thoroughbred horses that can do little other than run like hell for 2 minutes but can't drag a wagon around the block. There is a lot of evidence that when this level of evolutionary perfection has been reached, things begin to go wrong as something new disrupts the system. The Bismark – the purest expression of the dreadnaught battleship that could withstand a direct hit by a 2,000 pound shell had her fate sealed by a pesky new technology: a torpedo plane.
All of these things, these purest expressions of an evolutionary process are doomed to fail in some way at some point. The only question is how they fail and what collateral damage occurs. If the citizens can wrest control of redistricting and money in politics the current system will simply fail into the next system. That would be the best possible scenario but for that to happen it will take much more involvement by ordinary people. After all, it's pretty clear the political parties have tuned the system to their liking and now the system perpetuates itself by churning out more of the same. At some point in the past, the parties were in control of the system but now, it's running them and, as any faithful minion will do, they will go to any length to defend it.
In Virginia, the districts are pretty gerrymandered. It would be best if the politicians would hand that process over to the citizens. Would it be perfect? No, but that no reason not to try it.