Democrats have trumpeted that they are the brave defenders of democratic norms in the Trump era, fighting for political maps that give voters a true voice. They celebrated in January when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s congressional district map as gerrymandered, casting themselves as political victims finally receiving justice from the courts. For six years, they had struggled under districts carefully constructed to ensure Republicans a majority of the state’s congressional delegation in a competitive state. With the brand-new lines raising fresh hopes for November, they now have a chance to flip numerous seats in Pennsylvania, and maybe even take back control of the U.S. House. “Loving this map. Exactly what I was fighting [for]. Fair. And. Reflective,” tweeted Margo Davidson, a Delaware County state lawmaker running for Congress. “Major win for democracy,” retweeted Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, a former member of the General Assembly.
“The new Pa. congressional map went from 28 county splits in 2011 to 13,” tweeted State Rep. Maria Donatucci, touting the map’s respect for county boundaries.
But all those Democrats omitted an important detail: Each one joined with the GOP legislative majority in 2011 to pass the map that the state’s highest court would toss out as a Republican partisan gerrymander.
In all, three dozen state Democrats joined Republicans to push the map through; it would not have passed without the minority party’s backing.