Monday, November 12, 2018

The 2018 Post Mortem Wrangle

Everybody's got an opinion the week after the landslide, and the Texas Progressive Alliance rounds up the best (and worst) of them in a ride around the Texblogosphere to celebrate the Democrats' big wins -- and mourn the losses -- from last Tuesday.

It's also the day following the Armistice Centenary, or the celebration of the ending of WWI, a hundred years ago.  As Caitlin Johnstone noted, the best way to thank veterans for their service is to not make any more of them.

This synopsis of the US Senate race -- from January of 2017 to last Tuesday -- by Patrick Svitek and Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune is the best ten-minute read on how the most important election in Texas unfolded.

RG Ratcliffe at Texas Monthly corrected the knobs at Politico about O'Rourke's shunning the use of political consultants as a reason why he lost.  RG also had the best morning-after quick takes.

Beto's extremely long coattails for a losing candidate were the focus of many stories: Tarrant County turning purple, Fort Bend and Hays turning blue, the appellate courts flipping, the sweeps in Harris and Dallas Counties.

And as several media outlets predicted going back to September, the cult of Beto grows larger with his defeat as 'O'Rourke 2020' trial balloons are being floated all over the country.
While early voting was under way, Politico also took the liberty of introducing us to the next Ted Cruz, aka Lamar Smith's successor in TX-21, Chip Roy.

Jeff Balke at the Houston Press wants to know if Lizzie Fletcher will do for METROrail what John Culberson refused to do.

There will be another chance for voters in Harris County's East End to cast a ballot before the end of the year: the special election to fill the state Senate seat relinquished by US Rep.-elect Sylvia Garcia was quickly set by Governor Abbott for December 11.  Two statehouse representatives, Carol Alvarado and Ana Hernandez, announced their intentions to run for SD-6 way back in March (after Garcia won her CD-29 primary).

A handful of old TPA friends were on the ballot last week: Trey Martinez Fischer goes back to the Lege to represent HD-116, but Nick Lampson came up short in his bid to unseat party-switcher Jeff Branick as Jefferson County Judge.  And the Alliance salutes former blogger KT Musselman on his election as Justice of the Peace in Williamson County.

Socratic Gadfly had a three-part election wrap. First, a look at general hot takes, trends, and issues from various races. Second, he observed that conservative writers at centrist political mags were getting out the long knives for Beto, maybe in fear of a 2020 presidential run. Third, noting successful Democratic Socialists of America campaigns, he wondered if they would stay true to ideals once in office and other issues; above all, the use of the word "socialist."

Grits for Breakfast examined the 2018 results through his criminal justice reform lens.  Scott Henson followed that up with a wrangle of more CJ news, leading off with a profile of Harris County's Judge-elect, Lina Hidalgo, and her reform platform.

For more background: Charles Kuffner interviewed Hidalgo before the election, and here's a profile and slideshow the Chronicle ran this week. Also related, from the Texas Observer: "The midterms triggered a seismic shift in Harris County courts."

Law and Crime talked to State District Judge-elect Franklin Bynum, one of three DSA members elected in Harris County.

Harris County's new Clerk, Diane Trautman, has plans to replace the county's antiquated eSlate voting machines with new ones that provide a paper trail.  The problem, as always, will be finding the money to do so.

Even as Texas House Republicans begin to consolidate support for Rep. Dennis Bonnen as Speaker, a larger Democratic minority will hopefully push the lower chamber -- and the Lege overall -- more toward the political center.

David Collins has three posts on the progressive POV of the election results, all linked at Part I, while Sanford Nowlin at the San Antonio Current has a thirty-second take on how Democrats of a progressive bent hope to build on 2018.

Off the Kuff had some fun with the Harris County Republican Party and its ridiculous whining about straight-ticket voting.

Funnier still were the accusations of 'Communist' by HCGOP leaders against a losing county commissioner candidate.  Jef Rouner at the HP:

The idea that Penny Shaw, who ran against (incumbent Republican Jack) Cagle, is a Communist appears to be a right-wing conspiracy theory. There is no evidence that Shaw, a Democrat, is a member of the Communist Party of Texas. The idea seems to be based on Shaw's attendance at events the Houston Communist Party attends, such as the state Democratic convention this past summer. Sources "proving" her link to communism are either broken or do not actually contain the quotes that some alt-wiki authors contend they do.

In the lousiest political take/least progressive category, we have Blue Dog Democrat consultant Colin Strother making the case for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2.0.  Sample:

Unlike many politicians, Pelosi doesn’t have an ego.


Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher vents about the Saturday Night Live/Dan Crenshaw apology.

Paradise in Hell interprets the presidential appointment-making process.

And Harry Hamid is in a time machine at the end of the hall.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Funnies

(as always, click it to big it)

"How were you feeling last Wednesday morning?"
(More answers to this question here.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The hangover

Not mine, yours.  Or maybe it's theirs.  Those guys -- pardon me, women -- on the other side who beat your team.  They're the ones waking up this morning celebrating victory ... and agonizing about defeat at the same time.

The duopoly does make for simple analogies.

Can we say the blue wave rose up in the cities, swept out to the suburbs and exurbs, but crashed into the crimson dikes in the boondocks?  Yes we can, at least in Deep-In-The-Hearta.

Never forget that rural Texas is where the baboons with their swollen asses all live.  And vote.

They kept Texas red.

After the early and mail ballots were reported and most of the GOP statewide slate (save Governor More Powerful Than Putin) found themselves in much tighter races than has historically been the case -- at least for a generation -- some of my good neighbors assembled just down the road at the Redneck Country Club surely put down their nachos, went to the bathroom, and vomited.

Things improved within the hour, so maybe they didn't go home and turn in early.

That is, as long as they didn't care too much about John Culberson (or Pete Sessions or Konnie Burton or Matt Rinaldi) or any of their judicial pals at the many Harris County Courthouses.

We already know they didn't care too much about Ed Emmett, after all.

Commissioners Court has a blue majority this morning, with Lina Hidalgo and Adrian Garcia replacing Hunker Down and -- in what had to feel like some pretty sweet payback for Senator US Rep. Sylvia -- Jack Morman.

Stan Stanart finally got fired, so did Chris Daniel and Orlando Garcia and every single judge, despite the pleadings of the Houston Chronicle's op-eds.  (The midterms used to be the last refuge for Republican judges; it was always presidential cycles where they washed out before.)  Let's see if Harris Democrats can hold their monopoly for a few years, and more importantly bring some justice -- like ending cash bail -- with it.  Poor Gary Polland just lost half a million bucks' worth of income.

More later.