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I lived in Alexandria, VA from 2004 to 2008. It would be a very nice place without the gridlocked traffic and the Left-of-Sartre political climate. It is also represented by the poster-child of why we should do away with gerrymandered Congressional Districts. His name is Congressman Jim Moran and he is stuck too hard on stupid for an ocean of WD-40 to get him unglued.
Congressman Jimmy has held the same fiefdom in The House of Representatives for 19 years. Moran had the following to say on whether we should have a public option healthcare plan.
“A public health insurance option that provides a basic level of coverage is vital to enacting real health care reform. It’s the one proposal being discussed that would provide market competition, squeezing some of the hundreds of billions spent annually on health care not going towards the delivery of medical services. The lack of a public option is one of the principal reasons our nation pays $7,900 a year per person on health care yet produces a shorter life span than nations that spent half that amount.”
He is predictably left on every other issue as well. He has single-digit ratings from the ACU and is consistently in the 90% or better range when rated by its left-wing counterpart. Yet his ideology, in and of itself, only partially explains the extent to which Jim Moran is an odious slug of Congressional misrepresentation.
Moran constantly berates and threatens his opponents. He once told Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana “You pull that again and I’ll break your nose!” His wife divorced him in 2000 the day after she called the Alexandria Police Department to accuse Congressman Moran of assaulting her. His most ridiculous moment also came in 2000, when he got into a fist fight with a second grader.
Moran leavens his violence with a healthy sprinkling of anti-Semitism as well. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Moran told a town hall meeting the following.
“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,” said Moran, whose remarks were first reported by the Reston Connection newspaper. “The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should.”
If bigotry and violence weren’t enough to disqualify Representative Moran for responsible adulthood, he is also as financially corrupt as our members of Congress can get. He was asked what he would do if the Democrats took control of the House in 2006, and replied quite colorfully.
“When I become chairman [of a House appropriations subcommittee], I’m going to earmark the shit out of it,” Moran buoyantly told a crowd of 450 attending the event.
Perhaps Moran was three sheets to the wind that evening with two of them ripped free of the mast, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t speaking the truth. It seems more than coincidental that the recent PMA scandal involving Congress members Moran, Lofgren and Murtha surfaced soon after the Democrats did in fact gain control of the house committees. The Washington Post reported the following details.
Last month, Lofgren’s committee announced it was investigating the ties between members of Congress and PMA Group, a lobbying firm run by one of Murtha’s close friends. It did not name the members, but Murtha and fellow defense appropriation members Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.) and James P. Moran (D-Va.) have longtime ties to PMA and have orchestrated hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks to PMA clients in recent years. The PMA Group closed after an FBI raid late last year, and Visclosky’s congressional records were subpoenaed in May by a grand jury investigating defense contracts.
Yet despite the violence, anti-Semitism and corruption, Moran has not been significantly challenged in an election since 1990, before he was an incumbent. His closest race as an incumbent occurred in 1992, where he won by 15%. No Republican has gotten within 20% of him since, and not too many have seriously tried.
The Democrats in his district have morally compromised to the point of nausea. They could run Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto and win this district. Yet Moran’s seniority allows him to bring home the goodies. A primary challenger would have to start at the bottom and work all the way up. Therefore, the Democrats in Virginia’s 8th District are perfectly happy being represented by a wife-beating knave who assaults 2nd graders.
This causes me to once more offer up my quixotic proposal to fix this mess. Each state’s Congressional Districts should be immediately redrawn in the shape of identically shaped, external polygons with an equal number of constituents residing in each Congressional District. This would have to be done by Constitutional Amendment, and would take years, and would never happen, etc, etc, etc. Call me naive.
However, if you believe in miracles, this would cause two positive things to happen. Congressional control would tend to flip more often. This would make many more districts nail-biters every election. That would force representatives to pay more attention to their constituents and keep an ear to the ground.
This would also encourage both Republican and Democratic partisans to attend more closely to our political ecology and clean up their own respective garbage. If Republicans actually stood a chance in the 8th District, the Democrats would be more loathe entrusting their brand to Jim Moran. Perhaps if Liz Chaney couldn’t get him, Mayor Euele would take him out instead.
Yes, ending gerrymandering is a pipe-dream. Yes, the Civil Rights Establishment, The Defense Industry, the K-Street Slime Factory and probably Goldman-Sachs to boot have their corrupt and greedy fingers in this taxpayer-funded cookie jar. However, we should still endeavor towards the impossible and at least try to improve our nation.
I’m sure nobody with a rational mind envisioned a Speaker Pelosi when a certain district got gerrymandered near San Francisco. Gerrymandering has also given us a Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel, who conveniently forgets to disclose over half of his personal net worth. Gerrymandering gave us Duke Campbell and B1 Bob Dornan. What righteous public servants those guys were. (Sarcasm off)
Just getting a GOP House back isn’t good enough for what America deserves. We need to save America from the greed and corruption that undermines the politics in both parties. The fairest way to get a lot of that done tomorrow is to un-gerrymander The House of Representatives.