Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Border Control

Who comes up with these things?

The green area in the lower left hand corner of the above map of Pennsylvania is the 12th Congressional District, currently represented by John Murtha. That geographical area is the product of over 200 years of redistricting and outright gerrymandering. No one could have created such an entity out of an interest in logic or simplicity. Try to figure out what kind of sense it makes. On second thought, don't bother. It makes no sense, aside from all of Greene County lying within the district. The rest of it looks like a war room planning map as part of a campaign to surround and isolate Westmoreland County, with Allegheny as a possible next target.

In other words, it looks like it was carved out the same way that German principalities in the Holy Roman Empire were formed for hundreds of years: through internecine warfare and dynastic intermarriage. By odd coincidence, Murtha's district looks a lot like East Prussia and Brandenberg in the years prior to the accession of King Frederick the Great:

Is John Murtha a modern-day Prussian Junker? I don't know about that, but his district is out of control. Consider that the district that his threatens to engulf is the one that I live in, yet my home is nowhere near the encircled area. Give me time, and I'll find something to compare the 18th to.

(Why the sudden interest in Murtha's district? Look here, and keep an eye out in the future for more.)

1 comment:

jipzeecab said...

The resemblance is uncanny.
Here's the deal with Murtha's district and it's also the reason he's was the Democrat who dares to radically challenge the President's policies.
Short of convicting him of a crime it is virtually impossible for him to lose unless he is challenged by another Democrat.
When the Republican led legislature last drew the Congressional Districts they deliberately jammed as many geographical Dems into the District as possible to create multiple simple majority "Republican" seats elsewhere in the region. When his district's boundaries isn't including Mon Valley depressed river towns it is winding up old coal rails going through every abandonded "coal patch" (except these aren't really abandoned anymore they are filled with welfare recipients who have moved into the empty mining company housing).
I don't believe he can lose, however if I was running the campaign against him the ads would read something like:

"220 years ago we had Benedict Arnold,
Today we have John Murtha.." (there are a lot of vets living in this District and they all vote)..