So, once again we see SOP in Frankfort. And I'm not talking about Standard Operating Procedure. No, it's the Same Old Politics on both sides of the aisle -- and this time, there are multiple casualties.
First, the Dems in the House redrew the House districts and approved their plan. It called for 9 current representatives to have to face each other in the new districts -- and guess what, 8 of the 9 are Republican! Surely just a coincidence.
So, the Senate Republicans said "We see your forced primaries, and raise you one killed-off Senator." In apparent retaliation, the Repubs drew the state Senate districts in such a way that Kathy Stein's Lexington district moves way to the northeast part of the state, so she can't run for it next fall because she doesn't live there. The people she currently represents will now be represented by a senator from Henderson -- 200 miles away. And, to finish the coup de grace, the new district isn't up for re-election until 2014, thus making sure that Stein can't run and has to leave the Senate. (Here is a good graphic from the Herald-Leader that shows all of this via maps.)
It's obvious that both sides engaged in the same old political games: "I have the power, so too bad for you." Even so, the Repubs' actions toward Stein seem even meaner than they normally are. Of course, Stein is a popular, intelligent, well-spoken progressive -- just the sort of person they would move heaven and earth to get rid of.
This time, though, all they had to move was her district. And we are all, Democrat and Republican, poorer for it. And, poorer for the Same Old Politics that seems to always hold sway in Frankfort.
Because in Kentucky, Same Old Politics is Standard Operating Procedure.