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The pre-Thanksgiving flap over a Republican judge’s comments about redistricting is a classic case of a politician committing a sin by speaking the truth.

The truth is that the 2008 and 2010 elections are critical to the long-term political future of North Carolina.

Whichever party controls redistricting – in the legislature and in the courts – has a leg up on political control in the next decade.

Democrats did a pretty good job of protecting our interests last time. That is one reason North Carolina is one of the bluest of the red states: Democratic Governor, Democratic Senate, Democratic House and strong Democratic representation in the congressional delegation and the state courts.

And let’s not have any Republican complaining about excessive partisanship. The Republicans would be just as partisan if they could.

That’s shown by the comments made by N.C. Appeals Court Judge Doug McCullough.

The News & Observer reported:

McCullough told Haywood County Republicans that the re-election of N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds, who is also Republican, is the most “critical political decision” they would have to make.

He said a lawsuit over the way legislative districts are drawn is likely, and he added that because of gerrymandering, Democratic seats are in “safe areas.” If Edmunds is re-elected, McCullough said, he would be on the bench to cast a vote on whether the districts are lawful.

McCullough got a slap on the wrist from the judicial ethics commission. As in, strongly worded letter to follow.

If any high-minded Democrats have illusions about the bare-knuckled Republican approach to next year’s judicial elections, consider yourself forewarned.

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