Sunday, September 09, 2012

Democrats still waiting on a saviour

FiveThirtyEight's Micah Cohn has the seasonal "waiting for the Latinos to turn Texas blue" post, written by someone every few months now for at least the past decade. Finally though, there was some revealing news...

Non-Hispanic whites are still a slim majority in Tarrant County, which helps make it a much better statewide bellwether than Dallas County. Tarrant County exactly matched the statewide vote in 2008, and was just 1 percentage point more Republican in both 2004 and 2000. 

"As goes Tarrant County, so goes Texas". I hope some local pollsters pick up on this with some Tarrant County data as we draw closer to November. Those numbers have been approximately 55% R and 41% D, by the way. So there's a long way still to go.

Some think the Lone Star will get redder before it gets bluer. I think that is less likely to be true in 2012 than in 2014 (as it is in every off-presidential year).

And while there are still many Dems pushing back on the twin obstacle of Texas' role as ATM to the rest of the country's Democratic campaigns, it was Michael Li's Facebook page -- an interesting place for discussion among Texas Democrats -- that recently revealed there are many Democrats who think a key to victory still lies in turning out Blue Dogs in East Texas.

What a sick sad delusion these people operate under. Those Democrats are all dead now, and the ones that are still alive have been lobotomized, their brains replaced by Fox News. They are part of the Zombie TeaBagger Apocalypse. Here's just one anecdotal piece of evidence of that folly, from Isiah Carey's Insite today. All the Democrats in East Texas who used to hold office switched parties before they eventually lost to a Tea Party primary challenge. Even the former Democratic strongholds in Southeast Texas -- Jefferson, Orange, Hardin -- are turning red.

Texas Democrats are indeed constrained by several things -- poor organization, no money, an ingrained defeatist attitude, backbiting and infighting -- but the main thing that plagues them is that they increasingly are indistinguishable from Republicans (or rather, what Republicans used to be). This has been obvious to everybody but them going back to the 2000 presidential campaign of George W Bush, when he used his 'record of bipartisanship' as governor to tout himself as an agent of change in Washington. The running joke they didn't get was "Democrats in Texas are Republicans everywhere else".

Another sick sad joke, but thankfully water long since passed under the bridge.

The problem in Texas -- and in the nation -- is that we have one radically conservative corporate party, and one moderately conservative corporate party. When Democrats continue to operate under the paradigm that more money is the answer to their problems, they just perpetuate their losing mentality. The only people who win that game are the consultants. Update: This is more of it, particularly the horse-race-like aspect of reporting it. Just like the daily polling numbers, you can almost hear Tick-Tock McLaughlin's voice at Santa Anita.

One day, in-between waiting for the Latinos and waiting for someone(s) with a massive bank account to show up and save them, they might come to the realization that the right message coupled with sizable sweat equity might be all they ever have, and they could get better results if they would focus on those two.

In the meantime, the Green Party will concentrate on doing those two very things, primarily in the state's five major metro areas, making things still more complicated for Democrats.

Someone will fill the void. Something always does.

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