In the aftermath of the gun control vote, Joe Scarborough and others who favored the measure could be heard maintaining with steely resolve, “This issue is going to backfire on the opponents in the 2014 election.” Well, maybe. I hope so. I hope Michael Bloomberg’s money has an effect. I hope Jim Messina’s Organizing for Action makes an impact. But what I really hope is that somebody takes a very pessimistic long term view and concludes that maybe very little legislative progress can be made until we begin to make the world safe for moderate Republicans. What does that mean? Simply that money and organizational muscle and educational intelligence needs to be invested now in the long, hard process of working state-by-state to adopt non-partisan redistricting processes. We need to maximize the number of politically competitive districts in each state, and to minimize the number of safe seats that are over once the dominant party chooses its general election candidate. It’s all about Free Market politics. Unless elections are actually competitive, majorities don’t rule, minorities do, and we’re going to beat our heads stupid until we change the fundamental structures that block progress. It’s good to work for the 2014 elections; it might be better to work for the 2020 census and redistricting.

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Jamie Malanowski

Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. He has been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.