Elbridge Gerry signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, but he refused to sign the Constitution because there was no Bill of Rights. He was our fifth vice president, but nationally he’s most remembered for his partisan act of drawing a congressional district in Massachusetts. He put most of the Federalists into a single district and kept the rest for his own Democratic-Republican party.
Today, we call the redrawing of district lines to give unfair advantage gerrymandering.
What has been happening in Madison, Wisconsin, should cheer anyone who has lost hope in American democracy. It is even balm for the despair many of us feel about the often passive Democratic Party.
While the Democratic state senators Governor Scott Walker needs to kill collective bargaining remain holed up in an Illinois motel, thousands of protestors—public workers and their supporters— fill the public spaces of the Wisconsin’s rococo capitol building. Many of them have brought their sleeping bags to the rotunda.
This should not surprise us.
Every time those tea party people start talking about state’s rights, I get the chills. Maybe you know a state where government is chugging along responsibly doing the work of the people, but I haven’t heard of one. Here in New York, we’re struggling to get our act together before the next election. Seems like eons ago that the Democrats finally took control of the state senate and Eliot Spitzer strode into Albany.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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