Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brainy Endorsements: David Collins

David B. Collins is the Green Party's candidate for US Senate, running to replace the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison. The Republicans have tapped Ted Cruz, of course; Paul Sadler is the Democratic nominee. (Cruz and Sadler are scheduled to debate twice, on Tuesday, October 2 and on Friday, October 19.) The Libertarian Party's pick is John Jay Myers.

As you perhaps recall from some of my earlier posts, I have never been inclined to support Sadler. While he may be experienced and even competent if elected, his values are simply too conservative to be a match for mine. He went past the point of no return when he declared in a debate with Grady Yarbrough prior to the runoff election in June that "the people of this country are not ready for" the decriminalization of marijuana, despite the Texas Democratic Party's platform position and all polling evidence to the contrary.

Never mind conservatism. This demonstrates, to me, a cluelessness of Romneyesque proportions.

I perceive that a prospective Senator Paul Sadler would be the Bluest of Dogs, in the Joe Lieberman/Ben Nelson of Nebraska tradition. And I'm sorry, Democratic pals, that's just not enough of an improvement over Cruz for me to be able to vote for.

You may remember that Sadler entered the contest very late, after the withdrawal of presumptive Democratic annointee Ricardo Sanchez. I suspect this happened at the urging of newly-appointed TDP official Bill Brannon, like Sadler an East Texas conservative Democrat. There is, as I referenced here, a mildly delusional school of thought that Texas can be turned blue by working the Big Thicket a little harder for votes. My humble O about that premise: they must have found some of the marijuana fields in the woods while they were looking for Democrats.

You'll have better luck going after Bigfoot, boys.

Charles Kuffner, bless his heart, has pimped Sadler hard, particularly for fundraising purposes, but the reality of Texas is what it is. Despite the slivers of hope expressed elsewhere online for each man, Sadler has even less chance of winning Texas than does Barack Obama. Ted Cruz will draw more crossover votes from Latino Democrats who will split their tickets based on surname alone than the Democrat will capture of the mythological Republican ticket-splitters.

This is getting really embarrassing for Sadler, frankly. If you've been reading the campaign's e-mail, you know what I'm talking about.

When the Texas TeaBagger goes to Washington next January, he will join Rand Paul's caucus of kooks to defy, deny and obstruct everything that comes before the upper chamber -- no matter how despicable -- just as they have for the past four years. Texas is the primary reason why the Senate Republicans, led by John Cornyn, can do things like filibuster a jobs bill for veterans. And no amount of money is going to do anything to change it.

So given this sad set of circumstances, only a Pyrrhic victory is possible... which is to say that if Cruz fails to reach 60% of the November 6th tally, everyone who is not beet red all over their body can cling to some hope for sanity for the future of Texas.

As with the presidential contest here in the Lone Star, because the outcome is foreordained voters can free themselves from obligation to their respective tribes, and in the secrecy of the ballot booth can -- and are encouraged -- to vote their consciences. Republicans: if Cruz is just too crazy for you, cast a vote for the Libertarian. To Democrats, especially those in the Democratic wing of the TDP: you have a better, more progressive option. As Collins says: "No STDs, please" (straight-ticket-Democrat).

I have to say: as much as I know it is going to piss off my Democrat friends -- maybe former friends at this point -- I just love that.

Here's a bit on Collins from the San Antonio Current in the summer, at the Greens' state convention.

David Collins walked to the front of the Hill Country cabin with a green toga draped over shirt, tie and slacks, a throwback, he said, to mankind's first republic: the Roman Senate. "The toga has great symbolic significance for me," he said, "and I've felt myself to be politically and spiritually green for a long time." Staring down at the getup, Collins laughed. "I would run for office naked if I thought the Green Party would benefit from it."

And here's the video of that.

Collins is pragmatic about his chances, which is what I like about him as much as his stand on the issues. The US Senate race, even more than the presidential one, is a referendum on how more or how less Tea-drunk our state is at this moment. The choices, again, are:

  1. Batshit conservative (overfunded and overpublicized)
  2. Moderately conservative (underfunded and under-publicized, the usual circumstance for Democrats running for statewide office in Texas)
  3. An unknown progressive candidate
  4. And an unknown Libertarian (who seems both less crazy than Ted Cruz at times and more so at others)

So what do you have to lose by not following the herd? The two races at the top of your ballot represent the best chance to send a protest message to the two major parties in a long, long, time.

So send it.

Collins is in the DFW area today for two events and back in Houston on Friday to join a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. Find him also on Facebook here. You can watch more video of Collins here and also on the Greenwatch channel here, along with SD-17 senatorial candidate David Courtney and Harris County constable candidate Carlos Villalobos, about whom I will post in the future.

Personally I would like to see Collins and Myers debate each other if they wind up being excluded from the Cruz-Sadler matches. How about you?

Brainy Endorsements so far include the following...

Nile Copeland for the First Court of Appeals
Alfred and GC Molison for HD 131 and SBOE, respectively
Henry Cooper for HD 148
Keith Hampton for Presiding Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Barbara Gardner for the Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Don Cook for Congress, 22nd District
Max Martin for Congress, 36th District
Remington Alessi for Harris County Sheriff
David Courtney for Texas Senate, District 17
Ann Harris Bennett for Harris County Tax Assessor/Collector
Ann Johnson for HD-134
Mike Engelhart, Larry Weiman, and Al Bennett for the Harris County bench
Mark Roberts for Congress, 2nd District

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