GOP Mourns the Loss of a Good Thing

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Harold Meyerson reminds Republicans, cheekily but correctly, that they have no reason to complain about the congressional districts drawn by California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Republicans did this to themselves.

You can read Meyerson to get the story. But I’ll just note one thing he leaves out. The House districts were inevitably going to come out worse for Republicans in a 2011 redistricting. Why? Because Jim Brulte, state senate minority leader during the 2001 redistricting, dutifully following the lead of Karl Rove and the Bush White House, put a priority in last decade’s bipartisan gerrymander on protecting GOP seats in the House. As Peter Schrag reported then, the combination of Brulte’s savvy and Gray Davis’ indifference gave Republicans more safe seats in the House than most experts expected going into the process.

If Republicans are unhappy with the commission’s House district, it’s at least in part because they have forgotten what a good thing Brulte gave them in 2001.