Congressman Allen West is about to be redistricted out of a job, and the Florida GOP is the one to blame. Or, thank. West, the Tea Party darling whose constant flood of incendiary rhetoric has done his campaign war chest wonders but driven his truth-o-meter ratings to a two-to-one “liar, liar,” my be out of yet another government job. Yes, the man who claimed that Barack Obama wanted to get all Americans on a government paycheck, yet has spent almost his entire adult life on a government paycheck, may have t0 look for honest work outside the public sector. Of course, there’s sure to be a Koch Brothers lobbying job in his future. But for now, let’s look at Florida’s redistricting problems.
Thanks to a population increase, Florida, and other states, like Texas, will be gain more seats in the House of Representatives. Two more, in fact, for Florida. But even though there will be two more seats, the current redistricting plan, created by the current ruling party in Florida, the Republicans, carves Allen West into a district even more Democratic than his current one.
West won his district — Florida 22, image above — primarily because of his ratcheted-up rhetoric in the Republican wave of 2010, and now that his district will swing further Left, his chances of getting re-elected are about as good as Rick Santorum winning the presidency.
But the Florida GOP is covering its tracks anyway, claiming there’s no conspiracy to get rid of West, who has not made many friends in the House. Calling him “a conservative hero,” the head of Florida’s redistricting committee, Florida House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford told Politico, “We love Allen West.”
“We have tried to draw the maps based on what’s legally compliant,” asserted Weatherford, who claimed that any changes to West’s district were made as a function of legal requirements laid out in the constitution.
The Florida Senate has passed a redistricting map, and the House intends to do the same on Thursday.
In the meantime, Weatherford’s office has been flooded with calls and emails from those concerned with West’s political fate, and convinced that Weatherford and Romney were working to knock the tea party favorite from office.
“Overall, Florida’s G.O.P. will likely benefit from this year’s round of redistricting,” The New Yorker writes, adding, “The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote last week that “Republicans have crafted a map on which they at least have a chance to win both new seats and hold all of their current seats, which would give them a 21 to 6 advantage in the delegation.” But some conservatives are up in arms all the same, because, assuming the plan passes and survives any court challenges, West is going to suffer. His district already leaned Democratic (he won it by riding the Republican wave of 2010), and now it’s going even further in that direction.
Getting West out of Congress won’t fix everything that’s wrong with Congress, not by a long shot. But at least it would rid the legislative branch of someone who represents the worst of what modern American politics has to offer.
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