Our Venom Is Our Vote
I wondered about this when I first saw the map:
Is the GOP throwing Justin Amash under the bus?
By Jim Harger/ The Grand Rapids Press
Are Michigan Republicans throwing U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, under the bus with their redistricting plan?
A conservative Texas blogger and leaders of the Tea Party of West Michigan think so.
The re-districting map being shepherded through the Republican-controlled state legislature “would make it very difficult for Amash to win re-election,” wrote David Nalle, a “pro-liberty” blogger from Austin, Texas.
Nalle claims state party leaders re-drew the lines to bolster mainstream GOP stalwarts like U.S. Reps. Bill Huizenga of Holland, Dave Camp of Midland and Fred Upton of St. Joseph.
Meanwhile, Amash has been given a district that includes Democratic-leaning Grand Rapids and Calhoun County, home of former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, a Democrat who narrowly lost to U.S. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, last fall.
In an e-mail to Tea Party of West Michigan members this week, leader Tina Dupont urged them to speak out against the new map. Kent County “shares almost nothing with communities in Calhoun County.”
Kevin Rex Heine of the Independence Caucus of Kent County, a tea party related group, told a legislative committee the map moving Calhoun County into Amash's 3rd District "is garbage."
"I could do a better job in my sleep," the Kentwood resident told legislators, according to the Associated Press.
A spokeswoman for Amash said he is not commenting on the redistricting map, which was approved by the state House earlier this week.
From the Nalle site:
"Party leaders are not engineering a guaranteed loss for Amash, but they are dumping as many of their problems as they can in his district while smoothing the way for their cronies, leaving Amash to deal with their mess.
Any redistricting effort is always a series of trade-offs, and with Michigan losing one of their congressional seats the division of the remaining voter base to keep Republicans in power has to be tricky. One Democrat will clearly be out of office, but the other outcome is that the mix of Republicans may be different and Amash could very well no longer be part of the Michigan delegation. I doubt that they actively want Amash to lose, but they are putting most of the pressure and most of the risk of the election on Amash, almost offering him as a sacrificial lamb to the Democrats so that if the Democrats have a surge in 2012 and Republicans have to lose one district it will be Amash who gets voted out, not someone less principled and better connected.
No matter the outcome, this little example of how party insiders use redistricting to protect their own at the expense of those whose main allies are the grassroots voters, is a warning which every candidate and political activist ought to keep in mind when deciding where to put their support in 2012. Amash and others like him still need and deserve our support while party leaders continue to earn our disregard and disapproval by their self-serving actions. Justin Amash serves his constituents and the interests of the American people. Those who are working against him within his own party are only serving their own interests."