Politics & Prejudices
Lansing’s closet Reds
Republicans must actually want to start a revolution among have-nots
Published: August 31, 2011
And we couldn't possibly believe that of our elected leaders. ... Could we?
Night of the Living Dead update: Freshman Detroit congressman Hansen Clarke, who has been representing the 13th District since he ousted Caroline Cheeks-Kilpatrick, now says he is going to run for re-election instead in the new 14th District.
That district, one of the most bizarrely gerrymandered in state history, shoves the Grosse Pointes, Pontiac, Farmington Hills, Southfield and Sylvan Lake, among other places, into a snake-shaped district that also includes a big chunk of two poor but very different sections of Detroit: The tough east side and the Hispanic southwest.
That would appear to mean that John Conyers would run in the new 13th, slightly more than half of which is in Detroit, and the rest of which is a bunch of mainly blue-collar Wayne County suburbs.
Since Michigan is losing a congressman, and since the GOP made sure it would be a Democrat, that leaves Gary Peters as the odd man out. He was thrown into a district with Sandy Levin, who literally has been in politics since Peters was in kindergarten.
Beating Sandy in the primary would be hopeless. But if Democrats were capable of thinking about the future, they would have prevailed on Hansen to stay in his old district.
Instead, they should have helped Peters run in the 14th District, and either eased Conyers into retirement or helped Peters beat him.
Why? Among other reasons, most of the Democratic congressional delegation looks like a group photo at a nursing home picnic. John Dingell will be 86. Conyers, 83. Sandy Levin will be 81 next year; his brother, Senator Carl, 78.
Comparatively, Sen. Debbie Stabenow will be a mere slip of a girl at 62. Peters and Clarke are the only "kids" in their mid-50s.
Michigan's Republican congressmen are mostly far younger. Someone needs to tell the Democrats that planning for the future means having some candidates young enough to buy green bananas.
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