The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the political consequences of the 2010 census results:

In about almost 200 [Congressional] districts, [Republicans] have control of the two houses in the state and the governorship. … So Republicans have a free hand in drawing the lines to make it work for Republicans. And the Democrats have only about a quarter of those, about 50. So it’s a huge difference.

The reason that’s important is that the obvious shift is that you’re going to have the Democratic states like New York losing seats, and Texas, among others, and Georgia, South Carolina, clearly Republican states, gaining — that’s probably a swing of about six.

But then you’ve got to add the ones that are going to be redrawn in states that are not gaining or losing, in which the Republican control of the houses and the governorship will enable them to gerrymander …

At the presidential level it looks as if there’s a switch of about six electoral votes, which of course will make a difference in a close election but will have no effect in a McCain-like election. But I think what’s also hidden in this is that a large percentage of the growth in states that are now red states, like Texas, is Hispanic. So that not all the seats are going to end up Republican. You may end up with a seat or two majority-Hispanic, which will likely go Democratic. So it’s not a one-to-one correlation here.

On the concept of the census and whether it was worth it:

Absolutely, always. And I must say it adds to the particular awe that we ought to have for the founders. To actually think in the 18th century of the importance of this — they were people interested in science, empirical evidence, they hungered for information. And they decreed this a long time ago. It’s served us extremely well. It tells us who we are. And it’s also an act of fairness.

It was a reaction against the British system where there were [constituencies] in the House of Commons which had become emptied over time but yet the lord retained that seat. They [the founders] wanted to have a country that would adapt to changes in population. It was always about adaptation and change.

It’s a footnote but I think it’s a wonderful quirk of our system that it’s actually in the constitution. And the constitution is a restriction on government action. This is one of the rare instructions on stuff that the federal government had to do, it was an idea of genius — as always.

On the FCC’s vote to implement net neutrality:

There is nothing in life that grows and thrives on its own that a liberal won’t come along and want to regulate and control. That is happening here.

I have not heard complaints about how free or fair or accessible the Internet is. In fact the FCC admits it’s trying to anticipate problems In the future. Government has a hard enough time trying to regulate what is happening now and they want to regulate what they think will happen in the future.

It’s particularly arrogant with the Internet which is evolving and changing rapidly as anything in the history of communications. I think that in and of itself is scary.

There is a procedural issue. They tried to do it in 2005 and were slapped down [by the courts] in 2008. Now the FCC is now trying to find a different basis of regulation. So instead of an information source it’s a telecom entity. Thus the FCC says it can regulate under the laws of the late ’30s regulating the phone company and its copper wires.

I think this is a hell of a stretch. It has no authority unless it is given a grant of authority from Congress. It ought to stay out of this.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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