Sunday, September 23, 2007

For An Open Convention

Submitted by "OpenSourceDem", who I hope will become a regular contributor to these pages:


From the standpoint of sheer political calculation, Texas Democrats have a wonderful opportunity to regain and exercise power in the Texas Legislature, at the Harris County Courthouse, and with a Democratic delegation to Congress, including one Senate Seat. Not another constipated, “targeted” campaign, but a “Blue Tsunami” should be our strategy at every echelon of this party.

Far and away the best investment we can make in that prospect with just one race is Rick NORIEGA as the top of the statewide ticket. Oh, I see Texas Kaos and others are already on to that.

And, we could do much better than pit two candidates against one another in our primary rather than going after every open seat on the State Supreme Court. That is a dumb-ass political consultant call.

Frankly, this party does not need that kind of small-minded control-freak race-politics on the part of Matt ANGLE and Ruben HERNANDEZ. They are a waste of Fred BARON’s money; and I expect he is smart enough to figure that out between now and November ‘08. Still, it is aggravating to watch the waste of time and money on wheel-spinning. As an economist, it just tears me up to watch this party play boom/bust with no endowment, a legacy of improvidence, and constant fear of bankruptcy.

I really feel sorry for Mikal WATTS: he, like BARON and O’QUINN are getting fleeced by patrons and “politicos” in Washington. He will not be and should not be our Senate nominee.

In fact, he could do better than that:

He should run for State Chair(man) and be prepared to use his money and energy to build something far more original and promising than just taking one or two shots at winning a Senate race this year. So he is not experienced in our crapped-out political system of two-bit concession-tending. That is a handicap where he is now but could be an asset, if he decided to take it on and not be just another patsy. From a resurgent Democratic Party in Texas, he could do and be about anything, more than a Junior Senator. Look at the best of that lot, Jim WEBB, badly used by the Democratic gas-bags and utterly frustrated. How sad.

It is manifestly true that State Chair is and has been a “dog’s breakfast” of a job and a stepping stone to nowhere recently for anybody more ambitious than Molly Beth MALCOMB or Boyd RICHIE –- good stewards of a moribund party on behalf of a few, now just one, trial lawyer.

Why would WATTS want that job? He wouldn’t. He is a trial lawyer, the equal or better of any other anywhere. He could be a principal, not a spokes-model. He should make it a very different job from what it is –- something Charles SOECHTING started, but could not finish.

Curiously, WATTS and perhaps nobody else could deliver a once-powerful party with a great future from the death-grip of a handful of lesser trial-lawyers and former legislative aides, as well as the very campaign consultants and Washington operators who are now taking him for a ride.

I do not know Mikal WATTS at all, but here is what he could do, if he is what he is cracked-up and purports to be:

First, he could lead a unified “grass-roots” plus “net-roots” party to a position of patriotic, popular, progressive, and national leadership. That is not where this state party is or has been for a long time. But, it is a tradition we have lived up to historically and well within our grasp today.

Second, he could deal effectively with quite a spectacular defective product liability and damage case with some elements of financial conspiracy –- the matter of DRE machines made by Hart InterCivic. It is a stunning case and a first-class ticket to legal-political greatness that the existing party has so far either neglected or completely bungled.

Third, there could be instant gratification from a glorious and memorable State Convention with an opportunity to lead a huge, energetic delegation into what might well be either a moribund or deadlocked national convention.

In any event, I will be commenting here on the prospects and mechanics of an open state convention with nothing expected and anything possible.

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