Well, I'm reaching. Obama didn't specifically mention the politically perverted redistricting that goes on in Illinois. But Obama's plea for redistricting reform applies to Illinois. In spades.
Here's the background: House Speaker Mike Madigan and his Democrat lamb chops have been in
charge of redrawing legislative and congressional districts in Illinois for decades. No surprise, the maps have been drawn to favor Democrats, especially, incumbents. You need only to glance at Illinois' disastrous balance sheet to see how well that has worked. Madigan and his cronies, doing the bidding of organized labor and other special interests as well as their own interests, have energetically and successfully stifled any reform that would make Illinois redistricting fair. In a word, the process is corrupt.
Enter former President Barack Obama. In an emailed plea to his supporters, he points to the current redistricting debate on a national level. Democrats are going all out to support redistricting reform, which they say has unfairly given Republicans a leg up politically in many states. He said:
Soon, our states will be redrawing their Congressional and state legislative district lines. It's called redistricting, and it will take place in 2021, after the next Census takes place. That may seem far off, but the time to get started on this issue is now.
This is our best chance to eliminate the partisan gerrymandering that has blocked progress on so many of the issues we all care about. Simply put, redistricting has the potential to be a major turning point for our democracy. But we need to be prepared.
That's where the National Democratic Redistricting Committee comes in. Led by Eric Holder, my former Attorney General, they're the strategic hub for Democratic activity leading up to redistricting. In partnership with groups like OFA, the NDRC is building the infrastructure Democrats need to ensure a fair outcome. But they need your help. [Here's the latest news about this from Politico.]
A major turning point for democracy, eh? Not in Illinois.
But here's the capper: Obama will appear in Chicago at an OFA event on Nov. 8--the anniversary of last year's election--to pitch for redistricting reform. Can Obama be so blind as to miss the laughably high irony? Here he comes to a state having one of the nation's redistricting is among the most corrupt, to speak about reform? Will he even mention Illinois? Will he encourage Madigan to reform the process? Will he call on Democrats to reform redistricting everywhere? Will the media even notice the irony?