Obama's diversity push coming to neighborhoods by you

Barack Obama is out to fundamentally transform your neighborhood and schools – and the House of Representatives.

Last September, I wrote The Plot to Create a Permanent Democratic Majority outlining steps Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats were taking to, among other things, control the House of Representatives.  There are geographical reasons that strengthen the chances of Republicans continuing to hold the House.  Republicans, independents and conservatives are spread out around the country’s districts whereas likely Democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas.  They are considered “wasted votes” since they are not needed in those districts to ensure that Democrats win there.

Of course, redrawing districts is one option – so-called gerrymandering.  But this depends on Democrats holding power in states since that power is vested at the state level.  The federal government has, at times, tried to control the process by filing suits claiming that gerrymandering has been done for racial purposes.  In reality, the While House has been filing these suits for partisan purposes – to redraw districts more favorable for Democrats.

In the above-cited column, I speculated that the administration would take steps to move Democrats into Republican-leaning districts and change the political composition of those areas.  I thought the push would accelerate in the remaining time left to Obama to “fundamentally transform America.”

The non-partisan political journal The Hill seems to agree.  Tim Devaney reports in “Obama making bid to diversify wealthy neighborhoods”:

The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations designed to help diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods, drawing fire from critics who decry the proposal as executive overreach in search of an “unrealistic utopia.” (snip)

It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.”

“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations.

Civil rights advocates, meanwhile, are praising the plan, arguing that it is needed to break through decades-old barriers that keep poor and minority families trapped in hardscrabble neighborhoods.

“We have a history of putting affordable housing in poor communities,” said Debby Goldberg, vice president at the National Fair Housing Alliance.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited direct and intentional housing discrimination, such as a real estate agent not showing a home in a wealthy neighborhood to a black family or a bank not providing a loan based on someone’s race.

But HUD is looking to root out more subtle forms of discrimination that take shape in local government policies that unintentionally harm minority communities, known as “disparate impact.”  (snip)

Critics of the rule say it would allow HUD to assert authority over local zoning laws. The agency could dictate what types of homes are built where and who can live in those homes, said Gosar, who believes local communities should make those decisions for themselves rather than relying on the federal government.

If enacted, the rule could depress property values as cheaper homes crop up in wealthy neighborhoods and raise taxes, Gosar warned.

It could also tilt the balance of political power as more minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods, he suggested.

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on housing discrimination in a related case in the coming weeks. At issue is whether government policies that unintentionally create a disparate impact for minority communities violate federal laws against segregation.  (snip)

Critics of the rule say it would allow HUD to assert authority over local zoning laws. The agency could dictate what types of homes are built where and who can live in those homes, said Gosar, who believes local communities should make those decisions for themselves rather than relying on the federal government.

If enacted, the rule could depress property values as cheaper homes crop up in wealthy neighborhoods and raise taxes, Gosar warned.

It could also tilt the balance of political power as more minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods, he suggested. (italics mine)

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on housing discrimination in a related case in the coming weeks. At issue is whether government policies that unintentionally create a disparate impact for minority communities violate federal laws against segregation.

If “disparate impact” is upheld by the courts, the decision will grant power to politicians and unaccountable bureaucrats in D.C. to insert themselves in all sorts of decisions, besides neighborhood ones (car loans, credit, employment practices – and that is just a small sample).  

Voters may have problems with Republicans, but the takeover of the House by them in 2010 (and held by them since then) has operated as somewhat of a check on the dictatorial-like practices of the Democrats.  If Barack Obama and Democrats are successful in moving Democrats around like so many partisan pawns, they may be able to take over enough congressional districts to reassume control of the House.  Last time the Democrats had control of the House, we got Obamacare, sky-high deficit spending, and massive debts we will be paying back for years.

Barack Obama is out to fundamentally transform your neighborhood and schools – and the House of Representatives.

Last September, I wrote The Plot to Create a Permanent Democratic Majority outlining steps Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats were taking to, among other things, control the House of Representatives.  There are geographical reasons that strengthen the chances of Republicans continuing to hold the House.  Republicans, independents and conservatives are spread out around the country’s districts whereas likely Democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas.  They are considered “wasted votes” since they are not needed in those districts to ensure that Democrats win there.

Of course, redrawing districts is one option – so-called gerrymandering.  But this depends on Democrats holding power in states since that power is vested at the state level.  The federal government has, at times, tried to control the process by filing suits claiming that gerrymandering has been done for racial purposes.  In reality, the While House has been filing these suits for partisan purposes – to redraw districts more favorable for Democrats.

In the above-cited column, I speculated that the administration would take steps to move Democrats into Republican-leaning districts and change the political composition of those areas.  I thought the push would accelerate in the remaining time left to Obama to “fundamentally transform America.”

The non-partisan political journal The Hill seems to agree.  Tim Devaney reports in “Obama making bid to diversify wealthy neighborhoods”:

The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations designed to help diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods, drawing fire from critics who decry the proposal as executive overreach in search of an “unrealistic utopia.” (snip)

It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.”

“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations.

Civil rights advocates, meanwhile, are praising the plan, arguing that it is needed to break through decades-old barriers that keep poor and minority families trapped in hardscrabble neighborhoods.

“We have a history of putting affordable housing in poor communities,” said Debby Goldberg, vice president at the National Fair Housing Alliance.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited direct and intentional housing discrimination, such as a real estate agent not showing a home in a wealthy neighborhood to a black family or a bank not providing a loan based on someone’s race.

But HUD is looking to root out more subtle forms of discrimination that take shape in local government policies that unintentionally harm minority communities, known as “disparate impact.”  (snip)

Critics of the rule say it would allow HUD to assert authority over local zoning laws. The agency could dictate what types of homes are built where and who can live in those homes, said Gosar, who believes local communities should make those decisions for themselves rather than relying on the federal government.

If enacted, the rule could depress property values as cheaper homes crop up in wealthy neighborhoods and raise taxes, Gosar warned.

It could also tilt the balance of political power as more minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods, he suggested.

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on housing discrimination in a related case in the coming weeks. At issue is whether government policies that unintentionally create a disparate impact for minority communities violate federal laws against segregation.  (snip)

Critics of the rule say it would allow HUD to assert authority over local zoning laws. The agency could dictate what types of homes are built where and who can live in those homes, said Gosar, who believes local communities should make those decisions for themselves rather than relying on the federal government.

If enacted, the rule could depress property values as cheaper homes crop up in wealthy neighborhoods and raise taxes, Gosar warned.

It could also tilt the balance of political power as more minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods, he suggested. (italics mine)

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on housing discrimination in a related case in the coming weeks. At issue is whether government policies that unintentionally create a disparate impact for minority communities violate federal laws against segregation.

If “disparate impact” is upheld by the courts, the decision will grant power to politicians and unaccountable bureaucrats in D.C. to insert themselves in all sorts of decisions, besides neighborhood ones (car loans, credit, employment practices – and that is just a small sample).  

Voters may have problems with Republicans, but the takeover of the House by them in 2010 (and held by them since then) has operated as somewhat of a check on the dictatorial-like practices of the Democrats.  If Barack Obama and Democrats are successful in moving Democrats around like so many partisan pawns, they may be able to take over enough congressional districts to reassume control of the House.  Last time the Democrats had control of the House, we got Obamacare, sky-high deficit spending, and massive debts we will be paying back for years.