South Carolina Not a Real ‘Comeback’ Story
Since last Tuesday's special election in South Carolina's first congressional district, political pundits and countless publications have hailed Mark Sanford's victory as the "comeback story" of the year. Yet Sanford's win is more a tale of gerrymandering and rigged district lines than it is about political redemption.
The basic fact is that the current process works for parties rather than the people. Every ten years, the partisans who control the redistricting process in most states draw congressional district lines designed to help their party maximize the number of seats they win - and thwart the will of the voters. Nationally, the results have been stark: in 2012, Democrats out-polled Republicans by 1.4 million votes in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives - but partisan gerrymandering helped Republicans to a 34-seat advantage.
In other words, the Congress for which the American people voted in 2012 is not the Congress that we got. And the consequences are far-reaching - with many of the policies advocated by the current U.S. House leadership identical to the policies that were rejected at the polls last November by a majority of the more than 130 million American citizens who voted.
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