Profile picture
, 25 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
A1: Short answer - Gerrymandering is manipulation of legislative & congressional district boundaries for political gain. But 1/ #fairmaps
It’s more complicated than that because gerrymandering, like cancer, is a broad term. 2/ #fairmaps
Just as you have different kinds of cancer (liver, brain, skin, etc) so you have different kinds of gerrymanders. 3/ #fairmaps
And like the different kinds of cancer, different gerrymanders have different causes, symptoms, & cures. 4/ #fairmaps
With gerrymanders, e.g., you have racial gerrymanders – drawing districts ‘predominately on the basis of race.’ 5/ #fairmaps
Then you have various kinds of political gerrymanders. /6 #fairmaps
For example, drawing a district to protect an incumbent is one form of a political gerrymander. 7/ #fairmaps
Conversely, targeting an incumbent (or candidate) also can be called gerrymandering. 8/ #fairmaps
Ditto drawing a district so your brother-in-law (or other favored candidate) can win election to Congress. 9/ #fairmaps
BUT those are district specific forms of gerrymandering. That’s not what’s at issue with Whitford. 10/ #fairmaps
Rather, the type of extreme gerrymandering at issue in Wisconsin in Whitford is much, much more pernicious. 11/ #fairmaps
That’s because it involves a party systematically entrenching & locking in a majority for itself. 12/ #fairmaps
You see this type of gerrymandering in North Carolina where GOP has a 10-3 congressional advantage in a 50/50 state 13/ #fairmaps.
Ditto another 50/50 state- Pennsylvania – where GOP has durable 13-5 advantage in congressional seats. 14/ #fairmaps
This type of gerrymandering is more pernicious (a) because it occurs at a statewide level and . . . 15/ #fairmaps
And undermines the representativeness that supposed to be at the heart of American democracy. 16/ #fairmaps
John Adams famously said legislatures should be an “exact portrait,” “miniature” of the people. 17/ #fairmaps
That representativeness is lost with maps like those in NC or PA – or Wisconsin. 18/ #fairmaps
One final note: it’s important to distinguish between gerrymandering symptoms & disease itself. 19/ #fairmaps
This is an easy mistake in thinking about gerrymandering. 20/ #fairmaps
Lots of symptoms (lack of compactness, competition, ugly shapes, etc.) often get mistaken for the disease of gerrymandering. 21/ #fairmaps
The reality is that they are symptoms that something may be amiss. But only symptoms, not the disease itself. 22/ #fairmaps
A district may be ugly or non-compact because it keeps a community together. Or follows city lines. 23/ #fairmaps
Nice looking districts, conversely, may be highly unrepresentative. 24/ #fairmaps
In other words, be wary of nice looking maps like in NC that nonetheless produce a 10-3 GOP skew. 25/ #fairmaps
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Michael Li
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!