Thank goodness for the redistricting commission. In rough times like these, we sure do need some mindless drama and cheap comedy. And the commission keeps delivering.

Now let’s stipulate: anyone with a map of California and a calculator knows that the work the redistricting commission is doing (or at least contracting out, since the commissioners don’t seem to want to do their own drawing and math) will matter not at all to the politics of the state. California is so geographically segregated by party affiliation that, in a state with a big population and a tiny legislature, it’s virtually impossible to create more competitive seats.

And since the commission is barred from looking at party data, they won’t have the information at hand to create such seats anyway. Heck, the best thing the commission could do for political competition is to break its own rules and create the most partisan districts possible (so that the top two primary might have a chance of producing a few more moderates)

So the commission’s primary role is to be apolitical and non-partisan. This is impossible in a political, partisan world.

But it’s fun to watch them try, like Lady Macbeth, to scrub out that damned spot of politics and partisanship. It’s even more fun to watch critics, in high dungeon, rail about how the commission favors the Democrats (as the new GOP chairman claimed after the hiring of a firm with Democratic links) or favors the Republicans (because they have the same number of representatives on the commission as the Democrats, as the progressive blogs like to point out). My favorite was Tony Quinn’s operatic thundering against the corruption of the commission in this space. Tony got me so angry that I almost forgot that the redistricting commission’s work is essentially meaningless.

In the months to come, as maps are drawn, I look forward to even closer examination of the commission. Questions that would be fun to see answered, so we can divine if the commission is remaining pure:
-When the four commissioners who aren’t Democrats or Republicans stand up and begin walking, do they take their first steps with their left foot or their right?

-When the commission orders sandwiches, who orders good old-fashioned American meats – roast beef, turkey – and which spineless creatures choose the veggie option?

-And most important: which of the commissioners were born via C-section and which naturally?

Remember no one of woman born can harm Macbeth.