Why Democrats can only sing the redistricting blues


Just a quick thought about the Utah redistricting kerfuffle. The key point, in my mind, is not the process the state Republicans are using to come out with the map. That is an issue, and it is debatable, but, at bottom, it is not the most salient point.

Here is the key point: If Democrats in Utah are upset about the process and outcome, they should look in the mirror. Their efficacy, or lack thereof, has led to their current predicament because of this simple process:

  1. Utahns vote for candidates who best match their political leanings
  2. The vast majority of Utahns support Republican candidates’ platforms while rejecting the Democrats’ ideals and positions on issues
  3. As a result, Utahns elect an overwhelming number of Republicans to the state Legislature
  4. These elected officials get to govern

This is the truth, but Democrats in Utah do not admit it very often.

Here is the simple, hard and basic fact: If Democrats want to have an effective voice in legislative endeavors, they need to get more Democrats elected to state offices. To do that, they need to convince voters that theirs is the party most capable of serving Utahns – and not blame redistricting for their woes.

Until they do that, the Democrats’ most effective and oft-used weapon will continue to be crying foul at just about whatever state Republicans are doing (a strategy that amounts to a tacit admission of failure). And that, in the end, isn’t a very effective method for getting your way.