Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grady wants a border wall; Sadler parts company with platform

Oh, the joy of conservatism in the Texas Democratic Party.

Two underfunded US Senate candidates battling for the Democratic Party's nomination squared off Tuesday in hopes of escaping the shadows of their GOP opponents and capturing a statewide victory for the first time since 1994.

A brief pause before continuing: in this post-Citizens United environment, with all of the public support for reversing the flow of money into our politics, does it disillusion anyone else that "underfunded" is still written about in the corporate media as a bad thing?

Former state Rep. Paul Sad­ler and retired educator Grady Yarbrough, who said they have spent a combined $165,000 campaigning, agreed on many of the issues including same-sex marriage, Social Security benefits and foreign policy. They split on border security and decriminalizing marijuana.

Yes. They. Did. And not just with each other, but with the majority of Texas Democrats (and possibly the entire nation).

Both applauded the court's decision to repeal parts of Arizona's immigration law. Each also said the court should have struck down the entire bill, including the provision that requires residents to provide citizenship papers to police when questioned.

The candidates differed on border security, though they agreed it is a top priority for Texans. Yarbrough said the state and federal administration should assist the Mexican government in mitigating the violence on the border. He said the United States should use "whatever method is at our disposal" to secure the border including, "I hate to refer to this, but the Berlin Wall was pretty effective."

Yes it was, Grady. At keeping people in, for a few decades at least, as long as the East German guards were crack shots with a rifle. With this remark, Yarbrough places himself to the RIGHT of Rick Perry when it comes to immigration.

Let's see how many Republican votes that gets him. Please turn on your sarcasmeter, adjust the setting to 'high', and re-read yesterday's endorsement of Yarbrough. I still mean it as much today as I did yesterday.

The candidates were divided on an issue that appears on the state Democratic Party's platform, decriminalizing and regulating marijuana.

Yarbrough supports the notion, citing medicinal use and discrimination to low-income citizens.

"There are things in everybody's platform they wish weren't there, and this is one of them," said Sadler. "The people of this country are not ready for that."

That statement is laughably and abjectly false, Mr. Sadler. And we don't have time to stand around and wait while you catch up on your reading, either. You also apparently missed my post last month on the Libertarians, who have nominated a pro-pot judge from California as vice-president.

Say whatever else you like about these two men, the truth is that neither Sadler nor Yarbrough can be mistaken for 'liberal'.

If either managed to find himself in the Capitol's upper chamber next January being sworn in, the one thing you could count on is that the spirits of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson would be alive and well despite their physical absence. Joe Manchin ain't got nothin' on them.

I will remind Texas progressives -- those that haven't already given up on voting altogether -- that they will have an excellent option on November's ballot. Sending a message to the TDP by voting Green in this race tells the party that they can no longer take your vote for granted.

It's the only way things will ever begin to change in Texas for the better.

Update: TexTrib has more and video of the debate.

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