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Thunder in the Distance

In this handout, American Republican party politician Tom DeLay in a mug shot following his arrest for money laundering, Houston, Texas, US, 20th October 2005. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)
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June 2, 2021 7:30 a.m.

With Texas Democrats refusing to attend a state legislative session in an effort to block the state’s election crackdown law it reminded TPM Reader MR of a similar instance 18 years ago. It was a story I covered closely at TPM, and MR dropped me a note this morning reminding me. It’s more than just a trip down memory lane. What happened in 2003 in Texas was a preview, prologue to almost everything that would happen over the subsequent two decades. It presaged the debt ceiling hostage taking; it presaged Merrick Garland; and it presaged Donald Trump.

As we know from looking forward to the 2022 midterm, once a decade there’s a federal Census, a reapportionment of congressional seats and redistricting in every state that has more than one representative. It happened in 2010, setting the ground work for Republicans storming back into the majority in the House. Democrats rightly fear something similar will happen next year.

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