Sunday, February 09, 2014

Rand Paul gives clue to Harris GOP, but they may not be listening

Politico first.

Sen. Rand Paul on Saturday predicted that Texas would turn blue within a decade if the Republican Party doesn’t become more inclusive.

“What I do believe is Texas is going to be a Democrat state within 10 years if we don’t change,” Paul (R-Ky.), who grew up in Texas, said at a dinner held by the Harris County GOP. “That means we evolve, it doesn’t mean we give up on what we believe in, but it means we have to be a welcoming party.”

Paul, who is heavily weighing a presidential bid, noted that his assessment was shared by the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. The Lone Star state, currently the largest Republican bastion in the country, is nearly 40 percent Hispanic — a demographic that has overwhelmingly supported Democrats in recent elections.

The senator, whose father was a longtime congressman from Texas, acknowledged that immigration reform is a “touchy” subject before offering his vision for people who want to come to the United States.

“We won’t all agree on it,” he said. “But I’ll tell you, what I will say and what I’ll continue to say, and it’s not an exact policy prescription … but if you want to work and you want a job and you want to be part of America, we’ll find a place for you.”

There was some quiet applause in the massive hotel ballroom, in which hundreds of Republicans — a mix of high-dollar donors, activists and state officials — were gathered. But Paul remarked that the response was “kind of tepid.”

There's all you need to know about how things are going for Jared Woodfill.  Scott Braddock's subhead: "Resistance to change bodes well for Woodfill's reelect"...

Against the backdrop of a fierce struggle for leadership of their party and a fundamental argument about which direction it should be led, the largest county GOP in America largely came together Saturday night in Houston for their annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner. By any measure, the fundraiser itself was a success. It was a sellout which drew about 800 of the party faithful and netted about $200,000 for the Harris County GOP, organizers said.

But, there were several key moments scattered throughout the evening that embodied the larger internal struggle the Republican Party is having nationally to retain relevance and locally to do likewise.

The longtime Party Chairman, Jared Woodfill, faces his most serious challenge to date because some key Republican power players in Houston now believe it is time for a change. Dick Weekley, John O’Neil, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett are among those who have now donated about $133,000 to Woodfill’s challenger, Paul Simpson. This of course is much more money than is usually seen in a local party chairman’s race. At last check Woodfill had about $10,000 on hand. “They’re spending all this money against me,” Woodfill said. “What does that tell you? That I’m effective and I’m doing things they don’t like.” 

I can't wait for Big Jolly's take and his photos from the event last night.  His latest seems a little... well, unenthusiastic about both the incumbent and his challenger, Simpson.  Greg seems conflicted as well; he doesn't have anything lately but this post a month ago reveals a preference (Simpson), as do his more recent comments posted to Jolly's blog.  But this from the blog's Facebook page reveals some measure of not receiving Sen. Paul's message.

Out of town, there's Laura Ingraham from the Sunday Talking heads this very morning.

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham battled the rest of the Fox News Sunday panel over immigration, arguing that immigration reform and current enforcement of immigration laws were weakening the American workforce, even as her fellow panelists countered that reform would bolster the economy.

“I think what we’re seeing here is a split inside the Republican Party between two staunch conservatives,” host Chris Wallace said, going on to ply Ingraham with a Wall Street Journal editorial that called flinching on reform “de facto amnesty.”

“As far as I can tell, the Wall Street Journal is on the side of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Pat Leahy and La Raza,” Ingraham said. “I think they should put down their dogeared copy of Fountainhead and live in the real world…Do we care about American workers at all?”

“You’re the one who’s arguing the AFL-CIO argument,” Will said, noting that the “economic dynamism” aided by immigrants would help sustain the American workforce.

“So why have a border at all?” Ingraham said. “There is no will to enforce the border. There is no faith in this administration to do it. The Republican elites and the Democratic elites agree, and the people are revolting across this country.”

So Rand Paul is a Republican elitist, eh?

I'll keep watching these developments, and with plenty of popcorn on hand, but the Republican civil war just isn't claiming enough casualties fast enough to flip Texas in 2014, and that has nothing to do with Wendy Davis' identity crisis.  The path to 50%-plus-1 was almost too steep for her anyway, and that was before she started blasting shotgun holes in both running shoes.

There remain, however, good opportunities for a breakthrough elsewhere on the ballot.  Specifically in the lieutenant governor's race and the comptroller's contest, as Leticia Van de Putte ("Momma ain't happy") and Mike Collier ("accounting, not abortion") adeptly draw the proper distinctions between themselves and any one of the Republican reactionaries they are likely to  face in November.

That's how you run against the fruitcake conservatives, folks.

Update: More -- mostly skepticism -- from Booman and his commenters with regard to Texas turning blue any time soon. And Bay Area Houston and Juanita Jean pick at Woodfill's scabs.


Greg said...

Just as not every retweet indicates agreement, not every like or share on facebook constitutes agreement. Sometimes they are about provoking discussion -- so perhaps you might want to rethink your assessment.

But I will raise this question -- which is why I did share the graphic you linked to -- how do we deal with the fact that we have a population in this country whose first act upon coming here was to violate our nation's laws? And how do we avoid replicating the problem we have now if we give a Simpson-Mazolli type amnesty as was done back during the Reagan years -- signalling that if someone breaks our nation's immigration laws they will eventually get the legal status (and perhaps citizenship) that they could not have gotten if they follow our nation's laws?

That's part of why I supported the Texas Solution in the 2012 RPT platform and am backing Jerry Patterson -- the only Republican candidate for Lt. Governor who actually supports that plank of the platform. That proposal may not be the complete answer, but it is a place to start the discussion. After all, I am much more of a Reagan/Goldwater Republican than I will ever be a Dan Patrick Republican -- and I consider Rand Paul's point to be valid.

PDiddie said...

Thanks for clearing that up