Friday, June 28, 2013
What’s it Gonna Take Texas Democrats?
I’m tired of watching the Texas Democratic Party get steam rolled, time after time, after time. After 1994, I lost interest in Texas politics because that’s how long it’s been since a Democrat has won a state-wide election. I know it’s an upward climb because the gerrymandered districts look like a snake trail to favor white Republican candidates. I also understand elections matter because the winner gets to draw the congressional districts. Whining is not the answer, so we must follow the examples of the 2012 voters, who fought the voter suppression laws by standing in lines for hours; in defiance.
I don’t think Governor Rick Perry will run for governor this time around, so Senator Wendy Davis would probably run against Atty. General Greg Abbott, who is to the right of the governor we have now. I think she needs to paint Abbott as the right-wing extremist he is, early in the campaign. Ordinarily, Senator Davis would have a funding disadvantage but her recent notoriety gained her a check from Moveon.org for $240,000.Some might say that money from Moveon.Org, and Hollywood liberals will hurt her chances in Texas, but I think she can overcome that, besides, I doubt she would get votes from that crowd anyway. Texas is a red state and not a bastion for independents. The only negative is giving up that important Senate seat.
The new voter ID law will certainly hurt since 600,000 voter eligible people do not have a valid picture ID. Student IDs will not be accepted and over 80% of the 600,000 without pictured IDS are Hispanic. The rest are elderly who normally don’t have a need for a picture ID.
Texas Democrats have a problem with name recognition and a weak bench but after Wendy’s filibuster, which was seen nationally by 200,000 folks, more and more networks are asking Texas Democrats to appear on their shows. Rick Perry doesn’t realize how damaging his condescending words towards Senator Davis were. He’s the 2013 version of Clayton Williams. A Wendy Davis/Julian Castro gives the Democrats a one/two punch as governor and lieutenant governor and name recognition. They won’t take over the House and the Senate anytime soon, but it puts their foot in the front door.
Wendy certainly has a lot of ammunition that she can use because she can point to GOP controlled states where they all have overreached. She can stick with education, health care, and a living wage, as their part of her platform. She can let the Republicans talk all they want to about small businesses because most people are wage earners. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary Clinton made Texas one of her frequent stops. Her opponent can demonize Hillary at their own peril. When Clinton ran in the Texas Democratic primary against Barack Obama in 2008 - about 3 million voters showed up – that’s double the number who turned out in the 2012 GOP primary when Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee.
I continue to think local elections don’t have much to do with party affiliation and people at that level will change parties depending on which way the wind blows.
Nationally, I’m very optimistic because of the make-up of today’s GOP. We have a local longtime Republican who thinks climate change is about fluctuating temperatures. No, we already know that the planet is hot and we are now discussing the rising sea levels and the more destructive storms due to the heat. We have another local poster who thinks Republican men should tell women about their health care choices. I can tell you the result of the first Republican who runs on a platform of supporting an amendment to ban gay- marriage. House Republicans representing very conservative districts will always vote against a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and the federal party will suffer the consequences. The national GOP is just now waking up to the fact that most voters are wage earners not business people. Let them keep supporting coal fired plants,banning the EPA,getting rid of the IRS and more tax cuts for rich people. The Democrats need to continue to support the ACA,background checks,students,the poor and tax reform and they will continue to win national elections. North Carolina under their new Republican governor just eliminated unemployment insurance.
It’s up to us, do we want to continue to be door mats or do we take advantage of the everyday gifts the GOP hands us? It’s in our hands but there are 1.2 million unregistered voters in Texas and at least that many who don’t vote. We have the numbers;it’s getting them to the polls where we have a huge problem.