Elbridge Gerry: Eponymous Patriot


Born today was Elbridge Gerry,

Massachusetts Revolutionary.

His public service  roles did vary.*

Principled, he'd never pander.

His name survives in "gerrymander".**


* 1. Member of Continental Congress

2. Signer of Declaration of Independence

3. Signer of Articles of Confederation

4. Attendee of Constitutional Convention (1787)---Refused to sign without a Bill of Rights

5. Member of U.S. Congress

6. Special Envoy to France in the XYZ Affair

7. Governor of Massachusetts

8. Vice-President under James Madison


**  "To divide into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible" [Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition]  Present-day Texas with a Republican-dominated legislature is a classic example.

Gerrymander is an eponymous word---named after a person. A few other examples are : boycott, bloomers, lynching, mausoleum, masochist, Pennsylvania, atlas, and guy.



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  • "Present-day Texas with a Republican-dominated legislature is a classic example."

    The real classic example is the present day Illinois General Assembly and its reapportionment of Congressional seats. Note that even though the Dems gerrymandered themselves into veto proof majorities in both houses of the state legislature, they still can't pass anything of note. BTW, they gerrymandered stuff so that Brad Schneider, Bill Foster, and Robin Kelly won when they would not have in more compact districts, and Mike Quigley now represents huge chunks of DuPage County, just to force Judy Biggert out. Have any of these new congresspeople done anything? And don't tell me that the Illinois 4th CD is not gerrymandered.

    The difference is that until the recent Supreme Court decision, Texas was under preclearance. Illinois never has been. It appears from Google that even though the Supreme Court struck down that provision, people are suing to get Texas back under it.

  • In reply to jack:

    Right, Jack, but I didn't say that Texas was the only 'classic example'.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    or even as egregious a one.

  • In reply to jack:

    I hope you appreciate that I took the heat for you on the last thread. Does your disdain for all religion, except your own of course, ever get you in a pickle in the real world?

  • In reply to 4zen:

    No. Also I didn't initially post MBE's history nor that she was a grifter. And if you go back, my point was simply a First Amendment one.

    I'm surprised you aren't posting about my disdain for Illinois government. It took a lot of years to come to that position.

  • In reply to jack:

    I agree, my initial comment could be construed poorly, but again, my rational on history, gives their Faith a defensible position against cynical perspectives based in literal interpretation, and I did notice the parallel in YOUR pressure cooker comment that Mr. Sweet so bristled at, I just choose to let it go due to familiarity.

    Yes, I did appreciate your post on Illinois gov't. I guess I was hesitant to comment on it, I didn't want to muddy the waters. I feel that you and our host, often think I have bad intentions with my fiscal conservative views.

    Did you read my reply to Mr. Sweet?

  • In reply to 4zen:

    It wasn't there the last time I looked, but I saw it now.

    And I did mean the pressure cooker remark. Also, to show that I don't pull punches in a way you implied 2 hours and 37 minutes ago, go back to the Spinoza post and my comment on GFM salsa.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Singer, not Spinoza.

  • In reply to jack:

    I saw it, it was funny, but it still had a Mel Brooks warmth.

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