Good News and Bad News on the Census

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We have good news and bad news this morning:

The relentless drive of Republicans to maintain their gerrymandering edge in elections is truly a wonder. In Pennsylvania they’re outraged that a judge has made district maps only mildly pro-Republican instead of comically pro-Republican. In North Carolina, they’d allow blacks to cast only three-fifths of a vote if they could get away with it. On a national level they’ve tried to sabotage the census, because the people who are hardest to count are mostly Democrats. They’ve finally sort of caved on that—admitting they need more money and giving up on trying to appoint a Census director who thought that North Carolina’s approach to redistricting was just peachy—so now they’ve moved on their latest wheeze: a citizenship question. Their hope is that this will scare people away from filling out the census form, thus reducing the recorded population of Hispanic-heavy states. There’s also a very subtle effect of this on the state level that might help Republicans keep their gerrymandering edge in 2020.

They just never quit. Some of their scams are obvious and some are subtle, but the goal is always the same: to reduce the voting power of anyone who’s likely to lean Democratic. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your 21st century Republican Party.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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