Anyone Care About Texas?
By Rush Roberts
partisan power-grabbing stunts becoming an everyday occurrence
in Texas, the rest of the nation has seemingly become complacent.
Granted, it appears to be the heart of GOP pride - the chest-puffing,
false-swagger of our current "president" seems to reflect
the worst of Texas values: greed, money, and represson. Texas
has been written off in the eyes of the Democratic party,
effectively isolating the few who still represent Democracy
to remain to stand up to Governor Rick Perry, the puppet of
Well, guess what? Not all Texans are idiots. Democrats ran
the Texas Legislature for nearly a century until this most
recent session, and there are many more liberals in Texas
than anyone else in the country realizes. Just visit Austin
if you want reassurance. In fact, Texas Democrats still retain
a 17-15 edge in the House of Representatives. Hence redistricting.
No, it seems that the recent swing towards the far right
has come with the influx of the past couple of generations
of New Texans. People who, say, move here from Connecticut
to buy oil companies. As industry has replaced agriculture
in our state, we have seen the swing from traditional Democratic
values to the protection of capital at the expense of the
less fortunate. The GOP has exploited and preyed upon the
fears of rural whites in Texas by instilling in them the notion
that somehow minorities will take away their jobs. But guess
what? Soon whites won't be the majority in Texas. Hence redistricting.
After the first special session of the Texas House of Representatives
succeeded in overturning Redistricting due to a lack of quorum
(Democratic representatives went to Oklahoma to break quorum)
Governor Rick Perry and Speaker of the House Tom Craddick
called a second special Ssession. Eleven of the twelve Democratic
state senators journeyed to Albuquerque, NM to effectively
break the two-thirds vote (21 of 31) required for any special
mandate to pass in the state senate. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst
is now threatening to throw out the two-thirds rule.
To date, these sessions have cost the taxpayers roughly $2
million. This after record budget cuts have basically frozen
hiring at all major state universities and most school districts
as well, and taken away health care from thousands of children
and retired persons.
By the way, redistricting is only called for once every ten
years. In 2001 the Texas Supreme Court approved the current
District Map and decided no new redistricting plan would be
needed until 2011. In a blatant display of hypocrisy, some
Republican lawmakers have now taken to announcing that the
Democratic Senators are taking money away from social service
programs with their absence. Never mind that this is a "special
Indeed, it seems that the GOP is grasping at straws. Perhaps
they are afraid the rest of the country will become aware
that Texas is not in George W Bush's pocket. And although
the state might not vote Democratic in 2004, the support for
the current "president" will have grown lukewarm enough to
send a message to the rest of the nation. Hence redistricting.
So fear not, USA. Tom DeLay's attempt at sending a message
to the country from Texas has failed for him and been a triumph
for the majority of Texans. Instead of thronging to his cause,
the majority of Texans are embarrassed by his blatant unreasonableness.
This has united Texas Democrats, and even alienated some traditional
Texas Republicans - the ones who actually care about true
conservative values such as less government intervention.
Instead of hastily snapping up five extra congressional districts,
the GOP has angered millions, making them politically conscious
just over a year from the next Presidential Election. Texas
may not vote Democratic in 2004, as there is still much enlightenment
needed in this state, but it won't exactly be a landslide
either. And other states should take note: if the GOP gets
re-elected, it might be your voting rights that are next in
line to be trampled by unjustified gerrymandering.
I am not a member of any organization. I would be just as
against this plan if it were Democrats taking advantage of
a temporary majority to steal seats from the Republicans.
I do believe in grassroots movements, and I encourage everyone
who believes that the push for redistricting is a waste of
time and money to visit this website: http://www.savetexasreps.com/petition.php
and make your opinion known.
Let the GOP puppets in Texas know that not only are a vast
majority of Texans opposed to this plan, but most Americans
as well. Don't let Texas stand alone.