There’s no argument about where Democrats rank politically in Texas.
They’re at rock bottom.
As more than 7,000 delegates gathered for the state party convention, their strong words about Republican radicalism and Rick Perry are tempered by the obvious question: When will Democrats be competitive again outside a few blue counties?
Nobody seems to know.
“We’re going to have a breakthrough sooner than people think,” predicted state Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas.
Outgoing Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said it would take “building day by day” to regain a foothold in statewide offices.
PDiddie has a good read here, Crumbling from internal strife, TXGOP continues to wage jihad.
What’s kinda fascinating about this to me is that I feel precisely the polar opposite from Speaker Straus — who for a Republican surprisingly makes sense on an occasional basis – with respect to what’s going on the TDP (which is why I can’t be a MOT any more.) Today Dems will either elect a progressive woman to chair of the state party or a conservative male. Same in CD-07. Same in other races in other places around the state. I advocated for the only progressive running in the US Senate primary; Democrats instead nominated a Blue Dog from East Texas and a 79-year-old man with a familiar last name who had run as a Republican previously.
The Republican state convention this year is showcasing a party united against President Barack Obama, but facing family divisions between establishment leaders and tea party enthusiasts looking for anti-government warriors.
The divide was exposed when Gov. Rick Perry was booed Thursday for praising Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is battling tea party-backed Ted Cruz for the party’s nod for U.S. Senate.
It was further highlighted when U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, scheduled to speak about “Uniting Republicans and Balancing the Federal Budget,” made it clear he is not looking for unity at any cost.
“If you bring people together for the wrong ideas, what good is it? You have to bring people together for the right ideas,” Paul told an enthusiastic crowd that more than once broke into chants of “President Paul!”
Nearly 300 miles to the southeast, Democrats at the George R. Brown Convention Center spent Friday attending caucus gatherings and tending to party business, but many kept an ear half-cocked to what was happening in Cow Town. To those of a certain age, it brought back memories of their party struggles during the so-called McGovern era, when true believers worked to purge the party of its moderate elements.
“The problem for Republicans, the challenge for them is that they are losing control over their own folks,” San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said. “They have no control over their party right now. They have no control over their base.”
Although Castro professed to prefer “level-headedness all around” among elected officials of all stripes, he maintained that Republicans were leaving their constituents behind – to Democrats’ benefit.
“They’re leaving everyone behind,” he said. “They’re leaving the business community behind, that knows you have to invest in brain power to be a competitive 21st-century Texas. … And, of course, they’re leaving women behind and Hispanics behind and everyone else. It’s not a question of wishing them to be more extreme; we wish for the exact opposite. It’s a comment on the consequence of what they’re doing that I don’t believe they fully realize.”
But make no mistake these fights are not over. Republicans clearly understand that their hold on power in Texas depends largely on keeping certain voters out of polling places. They will cross any moral line and spend any amount of resources to accomplish their goal and we have to be just as determined to stop them.
And stopping them will never be easy. You have got to give them credit they’re a disaster at governing but boy can they politic.
Over 85% of our national debt and 100% of our state shortfall have been created under “conservative” Republicans. They’ve bailed out Wall Street, sold out Main Street and created the greatest income disparity between their rich handlers and working families since the industrial revolution. Their economic policies have virtually bankrupted both the state and the nation, destroyed generations of earnings and threatened the economic security of our families. They have done all this while claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility and they have largely gotten away with it. How? Fear!!
They have successfully played on peoples’ fears of things different from themselves. They’ve turned working families against each other; public against private; White against Black against Brown; straight against gay; Protestant against Catholic against Jew against Muslim against, against, against.
They didn’t originate suspicion but they’ve done an excellent job of exploiting it. They’ve made us quite comfortable with our prejudices.
As we are acutely aware, Republicans continue to use code words and symbols that demonize, scapegoat and stereotype minorities in Texas. It’s as despicable as their voter suppression schemes.
They know where to dig up the old fears and hatreds embedded in so many Texans. This prejudice is an infection of the soul and our opponents are able and willing to inflame it.
One more from the Texas Tribune, Castros, Parker on the Future of Texas Democrats.
And like the brothers, Parker championed education as a value that should be embraced by all Texans.
“We need to talk about the fact that education is a fundamental right, that we expect education to be funded, that we can’t expect our kids just to educate themselves,” she aid.
She said the Republican Party is “riven” by the Tea Party and other factions, making it less attractive to some of its members. She predicted Democrats will return to statewide office in Texas within “the next two or three” election cycles and said it could happen faster if the Republicans stick with what they’re doing now.
Parker discounted talk that the Democrats, despite their inability to win a statewide race since 1994, are out of the running now.
“I’ve now been elected citywide eight times in the city of Houston and every time, I was ‘doomed to failure.’ If you don’t run, you don’t win,” she said.
The Castros previewed themes from the speeches they plan to deliver Friday evening.
“In my introduction tonight I make an allusion to in many ways I think the Republican Party today is a sad answer to Langston Hughes’ question: ‘What happens to a dream deferred?’” Rep. Castro said. “A lot of dreams in Texas are drying up.”
Rep. Castro also weighed in on Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, a fellow San Antonio legislator, who is facing opposition in his own party.
“Joe, if it were up to him, I think would have a more moderate Texas,” he said. “But he’s presiding over a Republican Party that is very extreme today, and if he’s going to stay Speaker, he’s going to have to curry favor with them.”
Mayor Castro took a shot at U.S. Senate candidate and Tea Party darling Ted Cruz to illustrate his assertion that the GOP has become too extreme for Texans.
“Moderate is a four letter word,” he said. “To be moderate in the Republican Party is to be a pariah.”
There were boos, walkouts and massive differences of opinion.
But a number of delegates at the Republican Party of Texas’ state convention insisted Friday that the friction actually makes the party stronger.