We are Better

There are 24 Senate Committees (listed here: https://www.senate.gov/committees/). Clicking on anyone of the committees yields the Committee’s Web Page from which one can choose Members and get a photo listing of the members by party. This allows for a side by side comparison of the membership by party. Do this for any committee, for each committee. Based on these comparison, which party has the better Senators? Do the same for the House Committees.

Sure, there are cases where there is little difference between a given pair of republican and democratic counterparts on a committee; where there are glaringly weak members on both sides, but, en balance, being objective as possible, there is no getting around the fact that democratic membership is head and shoulders above the republican. Perhaps more importantly, the democratic membership is many times more representative of the population.

In the House, the lack of diversity in representation by republican membership is in large part due to gerrymandering in states where the state legislature is controlled by the republican party. As an example: North Carolina’s current Governor, Roy Cooper, D, won the statewide popular vote by about 2.5%. North Carolina’s US Congressional delegation has 8 R, 5 D (a 60% difference). Its State Assembly is 69 R, 51 D (a 35% difference). The State Senate, also elected by districts, current make up is 28 R, 22 D (a 27% difference). Each of these imbalances in representation are in part, or totally, a consequence of gerrymandering. The 2020 presidential election was within 1.5%. Pew lists the political makeup of the state as 43% D, 41% R; North Carolina has more democrats than republicans.

Returning to the quality. Think markets. The lack of open competition allows for the less than best candidate to be nominated, to win. Allows a special interest group to pick the candidate, to elect a candidate. The reason some of these republican dunderheads show up in the US House of Representatives may not have been an error in the people’s choice, but rather because their being there served some special interest, such as a religion group, a foundation, the wealthy, … Their near certain election and reelection could be facilitated by gerrymandering; US Representative Jim Jordan, D, Ohio, is a good example of this.

It is no accident that Georgia’s 14th Congressional District sent someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene to the US House of Representatives. It is the rhyme of history. Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, … these are the same that fought to preserve slavery, to deny women the right to vote, to deny blacks the right to vote, …; that are, today, fighting furiously to deny their black citizens the right to vote. Those that did not ratify the Equal rights Amendment. That would deny women the right of choice. These are the albatross around our neck, the ball chained to our ankle, that the Nation has had to bear and drag around since forever, and yet. Our embarrassment and shame.

These are they that sent a succession of segregationists to Washington from 1865 to now. Those that sent us Senators Stennis, Talmadge, Thurmond, Helms, Graham … in the 20th, Graham, Cotton, Hyde-Smith, Wicker, and Tuberville in the 21st. Sent Mo Brooks and Mark meadow to the House. These are they that elected Orval Faubus, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Bull Connors, … to state and county office. Those that voted overwhelming for Trump in 2016; and, excepting Georgia and North Carolina, again in 2020.

Who are the we that are better than they are? We are the democrats of today. We are not the southern democrats of before 1980. Those described above are those. Since 1980, they have become the core of today’s republican party.

Watch a committee hearing. See who it is that speaks to the issues using facts; appeals to reason. See who it is that most often speaks without reading from notes; who can do so. No amount of prepared notes can make Marsha Blackburn equal our Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, … . Let them bring forth someone equivalent our Jamie Raskin. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Joe Neguse, Stacy Plaskett, …