Roundup: Editorial opinions from other papers
Partisan attack on gerrymandering is a start
With fewer than 100 days left to serve, President Barack Obama’s post-White House career is coming into focus. He will team up with former Attorney General Eric Holder to lead the Democrats in a fight against gerrymandering.
Holder will chair an effort called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Its main goal will be to organize in time for the 2020 Census round of redistricting that could consolidate the lopsided advantage the Republicans enjoy, despite being outregistered by Democrats. Using lawsuits to bust up gerrymandered majorities, the Democrats are gearing up for many battles in state and federal courts.
Obama and Holder plan to pay special attention to state legislatures, judicial elections and ballot initiatives because that’s where partisan gerrymandering that impacts the national map begins.
The Democrats’ effort against gerrymandering is, in a narrow sense, politically self-serving. And it’s historical fact that the civil rights movement encouraged the creation of “majority-minority districts” to help bring more African-Americans into office.
Yet the party leadership under Obama and Holder have correctly identified a big problem in the heart of our democracy — noncompetitive seats that feed partisan gridlock. Ideally, every district should be competitive with candidates from the major parties duking it out for votes, issue by issue.
“Safe seats” give too many advantages to the incumbent, regardless of party affiliation. Restoring competition and balance shouldn’t be seen as partisan.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 19
Trump’s refusal is an insult to America
Wednesday night’s presidential debate brought out some of the best in both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Unfortunately, it also brought out the very worst in Trump, who made the chilling pronouncement that he may not accept the outcome of next month’s presidential vote. “I will look at it at the time,” he said. “I will keep you in suspense.”
This refusal, despite his own running mate’s insistence earlier in the night that they “of course” would accept the election results, gives Americans every reason to confirm that he simply is not prepared, or even fit, to be president.
Clinton called that “horrifying.” She was not exaggerating.
It’s alarming that Trump could so badly miscalculate the answer to that question. It’s one thing to conclude that the FBI is corrupt, as he did, when it did not seek an indictment of Clinton over her emails. It’s another to say that the media has conspired to defeat him. But it’s something altogether different for a major-party nominee to refuse to commit to respecting the outcome of the presidential election.
Until that point of the debate, Trump had been remarkably subdued and on-message for most of the night. He was having his best debate of the campaign. He had calmly made his best argument — that, yes, Clinton has much experience, but it has been “bad experience.”
Trump also had made compelling arguments about the Second Amendment and against abortion rights. He strongly argued against gun control and promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who are pro-life and inclined to repeal Roe vs. Wade.
Clinton had a strong night, particularly when talking about immigration and defending abortion rights. She was fiery in a way that she has often failed to be, and disciplined even as she repeatedly skewered her opponent. She offered a much more sophisticated view of what is happening in Mosul and in Syria that highlighted Trump’s oversimplifications.
Neither candidate adequately addressed the economic insecurity many Americans are feeling.
This final debate offered Trump something he badly needed: an opportunity to change the momentum in a campaign that he is widely considered to be losing. He failed to do that, and he faces increasingly tough odds against a victory next month.
But the debate was a vast improvement for everyone involved over the ugly slugfest that was the second debate. It also should remove any doubt that Donald Trump is not ready to be leader of this great democracy.
The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 20