Editorial: Remap shows Illinois Democrats' devotion to democracy isn't real
Before he became Illinois House speaker, Emanuel "Chris" Welch of Hillside said he was a big believer in fair maps and redistricting reform.
Last week -- on a Friday night beyond the grasp of headline writers, on the same schedule when all the things politicians are ashamed of get released -- Welch showed what he truly believes.
That's when Democrats released new partisan legislative maps filled with so many flaws and based on such insufficient data that they are sure to be the subject of legal battles.
What do Welch and his cronies believe?
Power. Getting it, keeping it, expanding it. Manipulating whatever needs to be manipulated to ensure it. Ignoring the tenets of democracy if need be. Disrespecting the voters they presumably are trying to serve.
Perhaps we should be grateful that they didn't send a fighter jet up to hijack a plane over Springfield with a political dissident on board.
For the past many weeks, we have been treated to Democrats throughout the land warning of Republican voter suppression efforts in state after state, decrying specious audits of election results that Donald Trump had tried mightily to overturn.
These things, the Democrats have said, amount to a grave threat to democracy. They have a point. Those things do threaten our democracy.
In preaching these things, Democrats would have you believe that they are devoted to democracy.
Where's the commitment to democracy here in Illinois?
Where's the concern about voter suppression here? Here, as a matter of fact, it's beyond voter suppression. Here it's matter of making voters extraneous. Here, for all intents and purposes, it's a matter of suppressing the relevance of the voter -- the politicians pick the voters rather than the voters picking the politicians.
What do the Democrats believe? They believe what all political parties believe, what George Washington warned us partisans would believe.
Power. Getting it, keeping it, expanding it. Manipulating whatever needs to be manipulated to ensure it. Ignoring the tenets of democracy if need be. Disrespecting the voters they presumably are elected to serve.
Across the nation, Democrats ask where are the Republicans who value country over party?
Here in Illinois, let us ask that of the Democrats. Where are you?
When he was running for office, Gov. J.B. Pritzker pledged himself to fair maps and redistricting reform.
We need him now to carry out that pledge.
We need him to veto this map, with its clearly partisan design. We need him to seek court approval to delay the remap deadlines until reliable Census data is available.
We need him to honor his pledge to the voters. We need him to honor his oath to the democracy. We need him to be one of those Democrats who speak up.
Let his pledge be one of honor. Not bunk.