On a night when Democrats nationally seized the House and possibly the Senate, Texas Republicans suffered barely any losses, re-electing incumbents in wide margins.
No statewide offices, no Harris County-wide officeholders were upset -- yet. Oh, Nick Lampson's win is sweet, and so is Ellen Cohen's, and Hubert Vo put old Talmadge out to pasture again. Locally, we may yet pull out a county judgeship (Jim Sharp, Mary Kay Green). Across the Lone Star, our dear friend Valinda Bolton over in Austin is to be heartily congratulated. And a special tip o' the chapeau to the good folks in Hays County, who managed to sweep their trash out.
But for that to be all the change Texans demanded in a year like the last one -- to quote an obnoxious chain of Mexican restaurants -- ees preety pathetic.
Here's some quoteworthies:
"I feel like the Republican Party is not my party anymore," Joan Domek, 75, said after voting in Parma Heights, near Cleveland.
Way to go, lady. I'm glad y'all killed 'em in Ohio. They've dug their little claws into the upholstery down here.
"It's time for a change. That's the buzzword," said Cindy Mushrush, 54, a stay-at-home mom from suburban Columbus.
Not in Deep-In-the-Hearta, honey. Some of us like one-party rule.
On a night that began with promise and after a long day at the polls, we couldn't find parking at Jim Henley's party just down the road from our house, so we went on to see my birthday buddy Barbara Radnofsky. She took a call about 9:30 from someone who told her Chris Bell had already conceded. So we headed over to the Sheraton Brookhollow to drown some sorrows and got encouraged by the national returns. But not nearly enough so.
Governor MoFo now goes back to Austin for a total of ten years (unless the 2008 GOP presidential nominee is stupid enough to give him another job). Kay Bailey Sock Puppet glides back to DC and a seat in the Senate she can have until she dies. Lite Guv Dewhurst might have been the only underperformer on the GOP side of the slate, as Maria Luisa Alvarado held him under 59% (big whoop). Greg Abbott's millions in campaign contributions from the state's largest companies, and the video production department he bought with taxpayer money, enabled him to run TV commercials non-stop for the three weeks before Election Day and swamp my man David. (WFAA-TV in Dallas, the recipient of a good portion of the Attorney General's largesse, sat on the followup to the story they originally aired three years ago regarding Abbott's malfeasance. This is what neofascism looks like, people.)
Judge Bill Moody's endorsements and experience went for 44%+. Our other judicials across Texas came closer, in the high forties. Hank Gilbert fared a few percentage points better than the other statewide executive candidates, at 41.7%. But Valinda Hathcox and Dale Henry, two statewides who had the least money and exposure, actually pulled a little better than most of those upticket Democrats. This left me with the distinct impression that our candidates could have -- in the spirit of the nearly-immortal Gene Kelly -- stayed home and done nothing and fared better.
I'm proud of Texas, how 'bout you?
So then, let me count the ways this pisses ...
1. To the winners go the gloating. Congratulations Chris E and Matty B, your Texas Fascists spent millions of bucks on TV advertising and ran up the score. That caysh bought a lot of political power, leaving the Republicans once again at the mercy of their corporate masters. And now several of them need to start raising money for their next step up, repeating the cycle of money breeding corruption.
Dewhurst for Governor in 2010? or Kay Bailey? or Abbott? Or maybe Mr. Wheelchair Molester Protector for Lt. Governor? Or maybe that's Susan Combs' next rung on the ladder, or Todd Staples.
My God they just reproduce like rats, don't they. Or javelinas in heat (thanks for nothing, Kinky).
2. Harris County remains the belly of the GOP beast in Texas. Dallas is doing better than us. *retch* A lot better.
3. Down in Corpus, the Seaman-Garcia race remains too close to call. That will be a nice victory for Democrats if the current numbers hold. And out in West Texas, Henry Bonilla was forced into a runoff with Ciro Rodriguez (hey, didn't he quit earlier though? I forget). Bonilla may still get kicked out of the US House, and in any event can kiss his Senate dreams goodbye. This contest may yet prove to be a win for redistricting (the court-ordered kind).
4. I'm going to be blogging a lot less about politics here for a good long while. I need a break. OK, a bit more about the future:
5. Where does the Texas Democratic Party go from here? The Dream Team choked in 2002; and when our merry band of populists stood up when no one else would in 2006, they were similarly drummed by the electorate.
Whither Void Richie? He was AWOL during this campaign. I'd like to see who he can recruit to run for office besides himself. I don't think Fred Baron is going to be a candidate. And who's going to take on Senator Box Turtle? Christ, he's not going to get a free pass too, is he Boyd?
OK, I'm going back to bed now. It's time for my nap. Maybe this afternoon I'll go see my massage therapist. This weekend is a big birthday bash for a couple of my friends, and the Veterans Day parade is Saturday. I'll be marching with the Veterans for Peace.
There's a couple more weekends of the Renaissance Festival, and the Civil War Weekend in Hempstead. I'll also be in the Diabetes Walk for Life this month.
And hey, the holidays are coming up; that means Dickens on the Strand, one of my favorite festivals. Fall is the best time of year -- I used to say 'October', but global warming moved it into November. I might even drag the sticks out and go golfing.
But no more politics for awhile. Or maybe I'll just quit worrying about Texas politics. Don't fret; I'll think of something to bitch about.