(Steve Sebelius/Slash Politics) – Failed U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle reappeared Wednesday night before a Republican town hall meeting in Las Vegas, telling partisans that “I can’t stop” being involved in politics.
Sadly, another thing Angle can’t seem to stop is saying silly things that evince a radical failure to grasp even the most basic tenets of the American political system. Addressing the upcoming redistricting of legislative districts in Nevada, Angle pronounced, “We need to have square districts.”
She was referring to oddly shaped districts that Republicans constantly maintain Democrats draw in order to maintain a legislative advantage over the GOP. (Both Republicans and Democrats approved the 2001 redistricting, however, even though it gave Democrats a clear advantage in the state Assembly.)
Although districts have been drawn for political reasons (which in itself would only be shocking to somebody from another planet) the lines veer this way and that for other reasons, too.
For example, the rules say communities of interest must be kept together, and minority groups may not be carved into multiple districts to dilute their voting strength. Natural and artificial barriers (say, rivers, mountains, freeways, flood-control channels, etc.) are often used to draw district lines, and they often contribute to the odd shapes of districts.
And districts must also have roughly equal populations, at least at the time maps are approved. All of these factors make drawing “square” districts difficult, and sometimes undesirable.
Does anybody think Angle knows these things? Or was this just an index-card talking point left over from her 40,000-vote drubbing at the hands of Harry Reid last week?
Another question for Angle (who has, you guessed it, failed to return my post-primary requests for an interview): How can Nevada miss you if you won’t go away?