Adam Kinzinger
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger is making himself a casualty of the Dems' new congressional map, but I personally think he should stay in the game. Credit: Courtesy House of Representatives

Amid the doom and gloom of MAGA’s resurgence in the race for governor in Virginia, a little good news from Illinois . . .

The Democrats stuck it to those dastardly Republicans in the congressional remapping.

Though you wouldn’t know that to hear centrist Dems wracked with guilt over the possible demise of Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

Hey, centrists, to paraphrase Stevie Wonder—for once in your life, don’t be so clueless. More on Kinzinger later. But first, some basics . . .

Every ten years, after the census, legislators redraw the congressional maps to make sure each district has roughly the same population.

Over the last ten years, the state’s overall population fell, meaning Illinois must lose a district.

Currently, there are 18 congressional districts—13 held by Democrats, 5 by Republicans.

So Illinois Democrats did their part in the larger effort to keep MAGA from seizing control of Congress by essentially redrawing two Republicans out of political existence.

The result has been much Republican sobbing. No one sobs with as much self-pity as Republicans, who hate it when Dems do to them what they routinely do to Dems.

And that is—fuckin’ ’em with creative mapmaking.

Republicans are maestros at remapping. Though, really, it’s not that hard to do. You maximize your power by spreading your voters over several districts. And minimize your opponents’ power by packing their voters into a handful of districts.

It’s called gerrymandering, and if you want to see it on full display, check out what Republicans have done to Democrats in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Texas (especially Texas), or anywhere they have power.

Please, Dems, don’t feel sorry for Republicans. As a rule of thumb, if Republicans are sobbing with self-pity, it generally means something good has happened for the rest of humanity.

How did Democrats turn five Republican congressional seats into three? Oh, I could fill an ocean with the delightful details. But for the sake of brevity . . .

For starters, they put Congresspeople Mary Miller and Michael Bost into the same downstate district.

Miller is the congresswoman who said, and I quote, “Hitler was right.”

After much outrage, she grudgingly “apologized.” Though her apology was arguably more offensive than her original remark. As hard as that is to believe when the original statement is, as I said, “Hitler was right.”

A former state legislator, Bost gained prominence several years ago when he threw a massive hissy fit on the floor of the general assembly, tossing his papers into the air and bellowing: “I’m sick of it!”

The “it” that sickened him was former speaker Michael Madigan’s iron-fisted rule of the house. Bost used the notoriety from his paper-throwing tantrum to get elected to Congress, where he promptly became a lapdog for Trump.

Apparently, there are some iron fists he enjoys more than others.

I’m not sure who would prevail in an epic Miller/Bost showdown to see who could be more subservient to Trump. But the good news is that one of them would lose. So well done, Dems.

Be aware, Miller is reserving the right to run against Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, whose old district was reshaped to benefit the candidacy of a Democrat named Nikki Budzinski.

So it could be Mary Miller v. Rodney Davis or Miller v. Bost. Bottom line . . .

Three Republican congresspeople could become two. My only regret is Dems didn’t figure out a way to put all the Republicans into one massive Trump-loving district. But that gives us something to look forward to in the 2031 remapping.

Now we get to Kinzinger, who was placed in the same district as Republican Congressman Darin LaHood. LaHood is not to be confused with Samantha’s husband in Bewitched, one of the great 60s sitcoms.

Oh, just a little levity, folks, to try and cheer me up as I see Democrats are also in trouble in New Jersey’s governor’s race. Really, voters—New Jersey?

Anyway, Darin LaHood is sometimes considered a “moderate” because his father, Ray LaHood, was a go-along-to-get-along Republican congressman. President Obama named daddy LaHood as transportation secretary in the misguided assumption that if he played nice with Republicans, Republicans would play nice with him.

Mitch McConnell responded by denying a hearing for Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. So much for playing nice with Republicans.

Word of caution about Darin LaHood. He loves Trump. As long as we’re talking old sitcoms, think of it as a Republican version of Family Ties, where the kid’s more conservative than his parents.

In contrast, Kinzinger has shown remarkable steadfastness in opposing Trump’s attempt to overturn President Biden’s victory with a MAGA-led coup. For that he’s been lionized by many Democrats.

Anyway, the mapmakers essentially moved people who voted for Kinzinger into other districts. This weekend Kinzinger went on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and said he wouldn’t be running for reelection because he had no place to run. And Democrats are mean.

Apparently, even non-MAGA Republicans feel sorry for themselves.

I’d like to point out that Kinzinger could do all of us a favor by running against baby LaHood.

But it’s clear Kinzinger’s grown tired of the House and hungers for other endeavors. Perhaps running for the Senate or for governor. In which case, few of his new Democratic friends would vote for him. As he’s basically a right-wing Republican on every issue, including abortion rights. No one said politics was nice.

Look, folks, the map is far from perfect. I’m still worried about the supposedly pro-Democratic district the Dems created out of parts of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’s old district. Bustos is retiring, so it will be an open seat.

And putting Congresspeople Marie Newman and Sean Casten in the same district promises to result in Democratic civil war.

But compared to the news out of Virginia and New Jersey? Well, as long as I’m paraphrasing Motown songs—it’s a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.