Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Texas, Our Texas

Once upon a time, there was a political party in Texas called the Republican Party.

In 1992, when Texas hosted the GOP convention, there was much talk about being a "Big Tent" party -- one where differing viewpoints were welcome. This was seen as "good news" by the old guard "country club" and "libertarian" wings of the party. There was even talk of including pro-choice language in the party platform... but then they began to speak...

And as the late, great Molly Ivins said, "it probably sounded better in the original German."

Through the 1990's, the Texas GOP continued to push the "god, guns & gays" themes. With the defeat of Anne Richards and the loss of many of the old Democratic stalwarts, the Shrub became governor, the legislature became Republican and politics became toxic. Led by Tom DeLay's thuggery, Texas was redistricted to ensure GOP hedgemony for -- well as long as they could keep it.

But a funny thing happened along the way. With effectively one-party rule in Texas, the GOP became more insulated -- and more devoted to culturaly purity. Ignoring the changes in demographics (urbanization, liberalization of views on gays, increases in minority populations -- especially hispanic), they cocooned themselves away -- to bask in the glory that was the W. Shrilly denouncing moderation in their views, they kept pushing their party to the right.

Then one election in 2004, Dallas County went from red to blue... then Tom DeLay was ousted from his seat... Katrina exposed Bush for his utter unfitness and during the 2008 primaries, more Democrats voted for Hillary or Barrack than voted for Bush in 2004.

But they will have none of it in the cocoon -- party stalwarts in the GOP refuse to see that there are few Bush loyalists left or that their own toxic brew of politics, bereft of civic mindedness, is what led them to this point. They are, after all, annointed by God -- or so it would seem to them.

So as 2008 looks to be the year that Texas returns to a deep purple state, the Texas GOP is in a state of denial. The Texas Democrats are on the rise.

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