Should Tennessee's Largest City Even Have A Congressman, Or Nah F*ck It?

Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville, who is quitting Congress because the GOP decided Nashville shouldn't have a congressman.

Let's continue traipsing around the Republican-controlled parts of the country to see how they're using gerrymandering to pick good and decent Americans up by the scruff of their necks and shove their faces in dirty toilets.

Yesterday, Wonkette's Liz Dye explained what's happening in Alabama, where a three-judge panel just tossed the state's new map out as a violation of the Voting Rights Act. You see, Alabama, like the southern states to the east and west of it, has a very large Black population, a much higher percentage than in states in other regions of the South like Tennessee. Fully 26 percent of Alabamians are Black. (In Mississippi it's 37 percent.) And yet somehow in Alabama, Republicans had drawn a map with only one congressional district with a majority Black population. The VRA has been gutted, but as Liz noted, the part that bans obvious racial gerrymanders is still barely hanging on.


YAY: Federal Court Tosses Alabama's Preposterous Racial Gerrymander


So that's an ongoing situation.

Today let's visit Tennessee and then hop over to Kansas.


Tennessee!

Pop quiz: In a functioning democracy, do you think the largest city in a state, the capital of that state, the tourism hub, the part of the state where ALL THE FUCKING MONEY comes from that pays for the rest of the state to exist, should have representation in Congress? If you answered, "FUCK YEW, I'MA GO CLEAN MY GUN WHILE I JERK OFF TO THE BIBLE IN FRONT OF AN ABORTION CLINIC," you might be a Tennessee Republican.

And if that's the case, you probably just gerrymandered the city of Nashville fully out of congressional representation. Again: Nashville is the state's largest city, the capital, and by farrrrrrrrr the richest metro area, all things considered.

Tennessee only had two blue districts to start with, out of nine: Memphis (the Ninth) and Nashville (the Fifth). Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in Tennessee 60.66 percent to 37.4 percent. (To our enduring embarrassment.) If Tennessee weren't already gerrymandered to fuck, the state ought to have, conservatively, three blue seats in Congress.

Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper's Nashville was Biden +24. Now, Tennessee Republicans have taken a dull knife to Nashville and split it among the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh districts, diluting all the political power of the good people of Nashville and forcing them to get in an unmarked meth van with the rural white Republicans who make up the majorities in those new districts. This is known as the "cracking" method of gerrymandering. Cooper's new district, such as it is, is Trump +11.

Cooper announced yesterday he is quitting Congress because of it:

Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, a 32-year veteran of Congress, will retire at the end of this year, after Tennessee Republicans shredded his Nashville-based seat into three pieces in redistricting. [...]

“No one tried harder to keep our city whole,” Cooper wrote in a statement announcing his decision. “I explored every possible way, including lawsuits, to stop the gerrymandering and to win one of the three congressional districts that now divide Nashville. There’s no way, at least for me, in this election cycle.”

Cooper referred to it as "dismembering" Nashville.

They would try to do this to Memphis too, except that Tennessee's Ninth, represented by Steve Cohen, is still protected under the Voting Rights Act. And what about the Black residents of Nashville who won't have representation anymore? We promise you Tennessee Republicans don't care about that.

It's probably fine that Tennessee will now have only one blue district, right? Haha, actually no. We mean it literally when we say Nashville now will have no representation, contra what Tennessee Republicans have said about the area now having three congressmen. Modern Republicans aren't qualified to represent Democrats and are of zero use, because the modern Republican Party is an anti-American racist authoritarian shithole party. Does anyone think Marsha Blackburn or Bill Hagerty represents Memphis and Nashville as their senator? Fuck no. We are effectively without representation in the Senate, and, with the exception of Memphians, most of us will be unrepresented in the next Congress entirely.

Politico has a good overview of just how gross Tennessee Republicans have been in pulling this off. However, it also notes that Nashville is a fast-growing city, and what happens to fast-growing cities? They get bluer, and bluer, and bluer. At least one Tennessee Republican lawmaker gave what reads to us as a bit of a nervous quote about what they've just done, and what it might do to these new gerrymandered districts down the road:

“We can only hope and pray that folks when they become Tennesseans embrace our values, and our ethos, and in that regard, we should do fine,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), touting the state’s low regulations and taxes. “If they don’t, there could be some competitive races, two or three cycles down the line.”

Hahahahahaha, go eat a slice of deep-fried armadillo cum, dude. If Nashville grows so much that THREE NEW DISTRICTS end up becoming competitive, well then it's your dick you shot off, we aren't about to cry about it. And no, real cities that attract good people do not "embrace" racist pigfucker Tennessee Republican values. That is not how real cities that attract good people work.

Stupid asshole.


Kansas!

Are you familiar with Lawrence, Kansas? It's the home of the enormous University of Kansas, and it's one of the most liberal places in the state. It's in the northeast corner, not too far from the Kansas side of Kansas City. It was the setting for The Day After, which scared your older Gen Xes about the nuclear wars and made them Nuclear Freeze hippies, and it is lovely and home to many Wonkette shitlib readers. It was massacred by Civil War reb assholes, because it was full of non-treasonous, non-Confederate, Union Jayhawkers.

So you'd think with all those liberals together, they might get some representation in HAHA NO! GO SLEEP WITH A COW IN A CORNFIELD, YOU DEMOCRATS! That is what Kansas Republicans are saying, as they have seized Lawrence and are trying to stick it in the giant First Congressional District, some of which is literally a five-hour drive away.

Look at this shit:



Sure, the district starts not far away from Lawrence, just like the bumblefuck rural districts that now include Nashville are "nearby." It doesn't look completely bonkers on the map like some of the gerrymanders we're used to. But what it does effectively? Fuckin' hell.

A city that has a penchant for irritating conservatives with liberal politics — it’s trying to move to entirely renewable energy, for example — would be moved into the sprawling 1st Congressional District of western and central Kansas where former President Donald Trump received almost 70% of the vote in 2020.

The Kansas House debated the bill Tuesday for four hours and set a final vote for Wednesday. The Senate approved the plan last week. Democrats don’t have the political strength to prevent its passage and might not be able to sustain a possible veto from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. Both parties expect the lines to be settled in court. [...]

“It’s a travesty,” said Democratic state Rep. Boog Highberger, of Lawrence, an attorney. “It really disenfranchises my district, my city.”

The AP explains that the new line-drawing around Lawrence is actually part of Republicans' efforts to fuck over the one Democrat representing Kansas in Congress, Sharice Davids, whose district includes Kansas City. And if the 95,000 residents of Lawrence end up with no real representation in the process, it's cool, because Republicans don't believe in democracy.

This is how America is now, isn't it great?

[Politico / AP]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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