Democratic Underground  

Does Anyone Care About Texas?
August 6, 2003
By Rush Roberts

With 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 W.

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 session".

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.

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