Monday, November 17, 2014
Only Republicans can make Texas blue
Texas Democrats can take a lesson from this most recent statewide election: There is nothing — absolutely nothing — they can do to elect one of their own to a statewide office.
Want proof? You would think that competency might triumph over ideology in an election. Not so, here in Texas. Look at the comptroller’s race. I’m betting 90 percent of the Republicans who voted for the Republican nominee for comptroller couldn’t tell me what his name is. Didn’t matter. He was a Republican. Now the comptroller is a fairly important office: It’s the comptroller’s job to tell the legislature how much money it will be able to spend over any two-year cycle. If the comptroller gets the estimate wrong, as was the case with incumbent Susan Combs, legislators will be forced to make extreme spending cuts they don’t have to make, which is largely the reason for the massive and ultimately unnecessary cuts the legislature made in 2011 to the state’s public education system.
In November’s election, voters had a choice between electing as comptroller an accountant, who was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (yep, that’s all one word now), or a rice farmer. Now which makes more sense when it comes to handling the state’s financial forecast? Trick question because the rice farmer won. By 20 percentage points. Strictly because he was a Republican.
See what I mean? Putting far more qualified candidates on the ballot isn’t going to do anything to help Democrats win statewide elections.
Comedian Jon Stewart summed it up pretty accurately during a recent stay in Austin.
"You poor bastards," Stewart told his live audience. "Democrats in Texas are like the drunk guy at the bar who won’t stop hitting on a girl, even though we know she’s a lesbian; ‘no, no, no, dude, trust me. I can flip her, I just need time.’"
Only Republicans can help Democrats win. That’s right. Democrats can’t win in Texas — they simply are going to have to wait for Republicans to screw it up and lose.
How might that happen? It’s going to take a combination of things, some of which you may not want to happen. Such as, the Texas economy is going to have to tank. Big time. Full-scale depression. Food lines. Massive, widespread unemployment. If such a disaster befalls the state, voters will start thinking about changing the leadership in Austin.
But that’s not all. As everyone knows, the Hispanic population is growing quite rapidly in Texas and, for a while, it was thought Hispanics would automatically vote Democratic. The last election proved that was not true. Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott won slightly more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote and no Democrat is going to win Texas while Republicans are winning 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. (It didn’t help Democrats that the reputation of their nominee, Wendy Davis, was centered largely on her pro-choice stance which is not all that popular with Hispanics, most of whom are Catholic.) For Democrats to have a chance to win in Texas, the Republican leadership is going to have to do something really, really stupid that will result in angering the Texas Hispanic population to the point where they will be taking to the streets as in the civil rights protests of the 1960s. Massive deportations, stripping those living here legally of their citizenship, repealing the Dream Act — something along those lines.
And finally, for the Republicans to lose, they must nominate a real doofus to head up the ticket. I’m talking about an idiot of the first order, someone like this guy, perhaps even worse.
And if there’s that perfect storm — when all three of those scenarios come together at one time — Democrats just might have a chance to win a statewide election in Texas.