Gerrymandering encourages contentious stalemate.
And so we have most House districts safe Republican or safe Democratic.
They aren't competitive.
That leaves the limited number of districts deemed tossups, the ones with millions of dollars spent on those lovely 30-second political ads.
Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats in all those safe seats tend to win with partisan rhetoric and positions appealing to the majority of partisan voters in their districts.They then go to Congress as highly partisan, unwilling to compromise, unwilling to back away from rigid campaign rhetoric.
Furthermore, House members elected in those safe districts know that the real threat to re-election isn't in the fall election but in a primary.A Republican knows that reaching across the aisle to compromise with Democrats could bring a tea party primary challenger. A Democrat knows that going along very often
with Republican budgeting could bring an activist challenge campaigning as "a real Democrat."
Some states have moved toward fairer boundaries.
Most haven't.Whicheverparty has control just doesn't want to surrender a partisan weapon -- to disarm -- and dishonor one of our Founding Fathers,Elbridge Gerry, father of the gerrymander.
Jack Colwell is a columnist for The Tribune. Write to him in care of The Tribune or by email at email@example.com.