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Profiles in Correctness

The winners of the 2005 Profiles In Courage Awards have been announced by the John F. Kennedy Library, and -- wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles -- a REPUBLICAN is among them this year. Could it be George W. Bush, for going against the combined "collective wisdom" and bringing about the seeds of democracy among the Muslim world? How about Arnold Schwarzenegger, for his lifetime achievement from barely-literate in English immigrant to celebrated entertainer and governor of the most populous state? Or perhaps George H. W. Bush, for hearing his son's call to duty while in his 80's and travelling the world (alongside the seemingly-indefatigable Bill Clinton) in support of tsunami relief.

Nah. It turns out that a single Texas Republican state senator opposed the 2003 redistricting plan that caused such a stir down there. One guy,Bill Ratliff, stood up to the rest of the Repubs on their plan to redraw Congressional districts to screw the Democrats out of some seats.

(Author's note: if it seems like I'm siding with Ratliff on this one, that's because I am. I've always believed that redistricting should be done strictly after a census, and the lines should be drawn to be as contiguous as possible while roughly equalizing population. The move by the Texas GOP was a contemptible, naked power-grab, and I laughed my ass off when the Democrats countered by up and leaving the state, depriving the legislature of a quorum to pass it. Ratliff did the right thing, and deserves praise. But I'm making a larger point here.)

The other politician to win was Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, who was lauded for, among other things, raising taxes.

The third winner was U.S. Army Specialist Joseph M. Darby, who helped break the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. I'm all for praising Specialist Darby for obeying the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well as his own conscience and sense of honor, but to lump him in with the rest of the Award's winners seems to politicize his actions -- probably not in ways he would intend them to.

I wish the JFK Library would just come out and admit that the Profiles In Courage award is aimed primarily for Democrats, and stop the spin that it's for any politician or other figure who acts courageously in public.


Comments (13)

And you KNOW they had to go... (Below threshold)

And you KNOW they had to go searching for that Republican just so they can say they have given the award to one.

JayTea, while in theory you... (Below threshold)

JayTea, while in theory you are correct and there should not have been redistricting. However, this only came about to turn back the districts to the old districts. That is to say before Democrats decided it was in the best interest of the state to redistrict towards themselves.

Hmmm."I've always ... (Below threshold)


"I've always believed that redistricting should be done strictly after a census, and the lines should be drawn to be as contiguous as possible while roughly equalizing population."

Sounds like you'd have a very tough time trying to explain/defend the Democrat's prior redistricting. Then again the last time, prior to the Republican's, the state was redistricted it was by the Texas courts.

I think you went over the bend on this one.

I never realized that raisi... (Below threshold)

I never realized that raising taxes was an act of courage.

Jay Tea,Yes, egreg... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

Yes, egregious gerrymandering is an abomination that we all recognize bastardizes true representative government; however, I think you hit a foul ball on this one. The Democratic party had been carving Texas up pretty good for decades before the state finally started flipping Republican under Gov. B. Clements. I believe it only turned majority Republican in both the Texas House and Senate when GW Bush became Governor. I had to do a bit of homework but:

Texas Redistricting
Monty Rainey (May 14, 2003)
If I may digress, there has been claims that redistricting was done is 2001. This is only partially true. Not all redistricting was completed during the 2001 legislative session. Anytime that occurs, the remaining redistricting is turned over to the courts and is then resubmitted to the next legislative session. No, the republicans are not trying to do something illegal here. They are simply finishing up old business that is left over from the 2001 legislative session.

The Texas Legislature meets every other year, so the 2003 session received post-2001 judicial guidance and that session concluded old business.

79th Legislature (2005)
78th Legislature (2003)**
77th Legislature (2001)
76th Legislature (1999)
75th Legislature (1997)*
74th Legislature (1995)

* - Rep majority in House begins
** - Rep majority in Senate begins

This is enough of a sampling to show the trend toward Republicans; however, Democrats controlled the Legislature for a long time previously with the bludgeoning of districts to suit their preferences too. The Legislative gamesmanship was appropriate for the GOP despite our distaste for gerrymandering since it was what the courts handed to them. I'll let someone else do the research for the Judicial District composition to see if they were unfairly weighted.


Oops, flip the asterisks. I... (Below threshold)

Oops, flip the asterisks. I reversed the key.

AnonymousDrivel's Spellchecking Shepherd

Well I am with you in compl... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Well I am with you in complaints about congressional district gerrymandering, and I really don't know that I care who started it.

I also agree with you in regards to the awards themselves. Apparantly the GOP people only get the award, when they are supporting democrats.

What B---Shi-! Like the Nob... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

What B---Shi-! Like the Nobel "peace" prize. An award given by the inventor of: smokeless gunpowder, TNT artillery shells and many more implements of war. The world's richest war monger awards a "peace" prize. Which BTW went to Y Arafat among many other butchers.

Awwww come on folks --- Ger... (Below threshold)

Awwww come on folks --- Gerrymandering has been as even-handed state-by-state as raising money from special interests ---- the party in power never can resist the temptation to exercise unfair advantage of their numbers. But in itself, it is inimical to genuine representative government.

Extremism in the defense of incumbency protection is a diabolical vice.

Jay,I'm with Anony... (Below threshold)


I'm with AnonymousDrivel on the Texas redistricting. I think you may have bought into the news coverage of it, but there facts they left out. After losing EVERY statewide race in Texas, the Dems here saw the train coming and tried to gerrymander the districts so that they could keep a disproportionate number of US representative districts. Unfortunately for them, they did not have enough votes to cram it through and the redistricting was punted to the courts. The courts in turn punted by keeping the districts almost exactly as they had been set after the 1990 census. Now during the 90's there had been explosive growth in population here and it is obvious that the political landscape had changed. How could anyone advocate keeping 10 year districts for another 10 years when every factor that went into drawing them had changed?

The damage done by this (besides to Tom Delay)? Let's see, two of the battiest Dems, Cynthia McKinney (Houston) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (Dallas) still have their seats and will probably keep them for the foreseeable future. Martin Frost's district was carved up, but he had a choice as to which district he could run in. He decided to stay in what could nominally be called his new district and duke it out with Pete Sessions. It wasn't exactly a landslide victory for Sessions, but he did win.

The redistricting in the Wo... (Below threshold)

The redistricting in the Wonderful State of Texas, my home state, was fair, and represents the people better than ever. There is not a single democrat in state office that was elected in state-wide polling and hasn't been in quite a while. The whole flap over it is the equivalent of Richard Byrd comlaining about attempts to block filibustering after doing the exact same thing so many times himself. It's sour grapes from the democrats, they have lost Texas for a long time to come and they don't like it.

About the self-awarding, se... (Below threshold)

About the self-awarding, self-affirming process used by Democrats since-when, let's all pause and try to consider just what the Democratic Party and Democrats would be without the entertainment industry (an awards process by Democrats for and about Democrats and their concepts, among other things), the print media industry (an awards process by Democrats for and about Democrats and their concepts, among other things) and up until recently when FOX News appeared in the mix, the broadcast industry (an awards process by Democrats for and about Democrats and their concepts, among other things).

Among many other social institutions/organizations/traditions, even, in our American culture...Democrats rely on self congratulatory, self-affirming social processes inorder to even continue. Consider what Democrats and liberalism would be without these.

I should also include here the upper education process, what with the saturation of liberalism (and, therefore, Democrats) in the faculty-track process, also another, however veiled, awards process by Democrats for and about Democrats and their concepts, among other things.

Vanity, it's all vanity. Without it, Democrats would have to square with applications in a non-didactic fashion, which they don't. Without vanity, the many self-awarding processes, Democrats would be...I am at a loss of words at this point.

What exacty did this peop... (Below threshold)

What exacty did this people do to deserve such an ward? Maybe they look further for those who really deserve it!?!?







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