Raleigh – Senator Berger left his dais Monday night to give a speech for the ages, explaining in full sanctimonious detail that Democrats should be more worried about their party platform than gerrymandered maps – and, ironically, arguing at the same time for nonpartisan, independent districts.
According to Sen. Berger, Democrats are out of touch with voters and would simply not be competitive even under fair maps because Republicans have voters’ true interests at heart. Republicans don’t need racial gerrymanders (which these maps maintain) and voter suppression laws (which they’ve pushed repeatedly) to win elections because they are just that much more in touch with North Carolina voters.
To which we say: Ok, let’s test it.
If he’s so confident in his caucus’ ability to connect with everyday North Carolinians better than Democrats, and if he sincerely believed what he argued, he’d be fine with independent, nonpartisan maps. That is, in fact, the only way to test what he believes.
(This isn’t the first time Berger argued for independent maps. In 2006, before holding power, Berger put his support behind independent redistricting and publicly hoped that it “could gain some momentum.”)
We’re guessing he won’t take us up on the offer though. His caucus needs maps that give Republicans a “large and durable” advantage “by historical standards,” that have “quite high levels of partisan bias,” and that maintain a racial gerrymander to ensure they remain in power.
“Senator Berger was right to argue for nonpartisan, independent maps, and we look forward to he and his caucus following through with his call,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “We are excited to see a Republican leader argue strongly for fair maps, and can’t wait to see him drop these racially gerrymandered, hyper-partisan maps for democratic ones so we can test his theory.”