Miles to go before we’re through:
But without an organized, well-funded, persistent effort by Democrats—and even independents and genuine conservatives who understand how badly the legislature violated basic democratic norms last week, and have since early 2013—all the protests in the world will add up to noise lost in the wind. Planting a flag on the moral high ground may win sympathy. It generally doesn’t win elections. “I can hear protesters chanting in the building,” N.C. Senator Jeff Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat, tweeted Thursday. “Appreciated, but if we can’t channel this into a solid effort in 2017, it means little.”
And that’s the most immediate lifeline: A federal court ruled on November 29 that the General Assembly must redraw 28 legislative districts because it unconstitutionally relied on race to draw the original lines—and that the state must hold new legislative elections in 2017, usually an off year.
I’ve seen a lot of hand-wringing over the redrawing of maps and special elections coming up, and no doubt the GOP will try to somehow turn this to their advantage. But there’s only so much blood you can squeeze out of a map and still get a nod from the court who demanded it, so it’s time to look at this for what it is: An opportunity. The GOP overplayed its hand in this 4th “Special” session, and it will be fresh on the minds of voters. But here’s a few words from Sun Tzu, of the lesser-quoted variety: If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle. Here’s how they (claim) to have won: