Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Some Texas Turkeys for the holiday

-- Texas SREC member wants secession on the primary ballot.  You go, girl:

A member of the executive committee for the Republican Party of Texas plans to introduce a resolution at the group's next meeting, which would add to the party's primary ballot a non-binding measure for Texas secession. Party leadership calls the prospect unlikely.

Tanya Robertson, State Republican Executive Committee member for Senate District 11, which covers parts of Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties, said she'll present the resolution at the committee's December 4 meeting in Austin, and that she already has support from a few other members.

"There's been a big groundswell of Texans that are getting into the Texas independence issue," she said, citing conversations she's had with constituents. "I believe conservatives in Texas should have a choice to voice their opinion."

Yes they should.  Here's mine: you're a moron, Tanya.  I hope your resolution gets on your party's primary ballot, and I hope your fellow morons vote for it.  And then I want all you morons to take down your Stars and Stripes, burn your "USA" caps and shirts, and GTF out of my country.

-- I admire this lady's determination.  I just hope some conservative fool doesn't shoot her.

In the race to replace state Representative Scott Turner, a Collin County Republican, there’s one candidate who doesn’t have a prayer.

No Democrat running in this conservative stronghold has a clear path to the Legislature, really, but Cristin Padgett is going out on a limb to let voters know from the outset that she has “no religious affiliation or belief in a higher being.”

“I don’t want to make it a big deal, but I do want people to open up and think critically about it,” Padgett told the Observer. I had called to follow up on an email from her campaign bearing the subject line, “Will Texas Elect an Atheist?”

She said she wanted to get the question out of the way early in her campaign. “It’s going to be a concern for people,” she said. “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.”

Especially Texas Republicans (but also, sadly, too many Democrats).  There is some history for such a Quixotic undertaking here in Deep-In-The-Hearta.

Indeed, atheist campaigners who’ve gone before her have left some lonely footprints in the sand. Daniel Moran, an atheist college student who ran against state Representative Tan Parker last year — and who said he was Texas’ first openly atheist Lege candidate — didn’t crack 25 percent of the vote. Atheists were nothing but a punch line for Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in his video holiday greeting last year. And last November, Austin City Council candidate Laura Pressley argued that because her opponent, Greg Casar, was an atheist, he was ineligible to run for office.

Pressley, who lost, was wrong about one thing: Casar isn’t godless, he’s Catholic. But she knew her Texas Constitution: Article I firmly bans “religious tests” for any elected official, “provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.” It’s unenforceable, of course. Former Attorney General Jim Mattox agreed as much three decades ago, although it’s precisely the sort of molehill upon which today’s Texas leadership would love to plant their crosses.

I'm right there with her.  Hell, I'd have run for office years ago if I thought I wouldn't be assassinated for my atheism.  (Really and truly.)  Ms. Padgett has her appeal well articulated.

What’s more important to Padgett is that the constitutional ban on atheist officeholders — which also fails to imagine anyone but a man in elected office — is consistent with the way Texas politics tends to alienate young people today.

“Politicians such as Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, they associate Texas values with ethnocentric beliefs,” Padgett said. “What happens to every other Texan who doesn’t agree with that? … It’s turning people off from the democratic process. We keep seeing the wrong people put into office by default. Not by choice, by default. And it’s sad to watch.”

In a periodic nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center, 2014 was the first time that, among self-identified Democrats, the religiously “unaffiliated” outnumbered Catholics, evangelicals, or any other faith group. Just half of millennials said they believe in the existence of God “with absolute certainty,” while for baby boomers and older Americans, the figure was 70 percent. To Padgett, such trends suggest that secularism won’t amount to sacrilege at the Capitol forever.

“Twenty-five percent of registered voters in my district are millennials,” Padgett says, “but the issue is that they don’t vote.” Her campaign website even includes “A Message to the Millennials.” She’s counting on luring those young folks to the polls to upset her primary opponent, retired Raytheon Program Director Karen Jacobs, who is more deeply entrenched in the Rockwall Democratic community — and then pulling off a miracle in November.

All the best to her.  The turkeys in this segment look like the good ol' boys in the photos above.  What you can't see in the pictures is that they have crapped their pants full several times in the past few years over things like Ebola, and Latino children coming across the southern border, and now, of course, Syrian refugees.

I'm doubtful an atheist can help the residents of Collin County see the light.  But thank the FSM she's giving it a try.

-- Erica Grieder at Texas Monthly, on Donald Trump:

In August, I noted that Republicans were “starting to get seriously nervous about their Trump problem, without fully understanding the nature of the problem, or its severity.” Donald Trump, at that point, was the frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination, and had been for much of the summer. Many on the right were clearly inclined to disavow him—historically, Trump has not been a Republican, much less a conservative—and to dismiss his popularity as a mirage, a sort of sinister summer fling on the part of a cynical electorate with an appetite for political theater.

Now here we are in November, barely two months away from the Iowa caucuses, which will be held on February 1. Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination; his lead has actually grown since I wrote that ominous post in August. At this point, Americans on both sides of the aisle are starting to get nervous about Trump’s apparently durable popularity. “‘We’re potentially careening down this road of nominating somebody who frankly isn’t fit to be president in terms of the basic ability and temperament to do the job,’’ as one Republican strategist told the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Robert Costa earlier this month. And as he continued, Americans can’t take much comfort in the fact that a major party’s suboptimal presidential nominee will inevitably mitigated by the candidate chosen by the other: “What if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?”

That's my concern.  Hillary's slipping on banana peels nearly every single day already.  Skipping to the end...

As I wrote in August, Trump’s defeat would only mean the end of America’s proximate problem. The underlying problem is that one of our two major parties is so receptive to someone so hateful, toxic, divisive and belligerent; Trump is only a symptom of that problem.

She's supposed to have a good news follow-up today.  I'll keep a watch out and update here when she does.  Update: Grieder says that Ted Cruz, obviously, is going to win the Republican nomination -- or at least the Iowa caucus, anyway -- and that will eliminate Trump and thus we'll all be better off.

I didn't think even Eric Grieder was this stupid until now.  Partisan and somewhat thick-headed, but not stone-cold stupid.  In the spirit of the holiday, I'm going to leave my analysis at that and let you just read her take.  It's kind of a disgrace what Texas Monthly has turned into, but I suppose they need all the Republican advertising dollars they can manage.

Enjoy your bird or your swine and all the carb-heavy trimmings tomorrow.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

I, too, have toyed with the idea of being an office-running critter someday. The Big A issue scares me away, and, of course, I'd have a conflict of interest issue, too.

Erica Greider condemning toxicity? Hah — pots and kettles.