June 09, 2002
More bad news for Democrats

Having voted down the silly anti-RINO proposition at the convention, the GOP made some serious inroads to the Democrats' traditional base when a prominent black minister from Houston threw his support behind Governor Goodhair and the GOP.

The Rev. C.L. Jackson of Houston's Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church provided a show of support for Gov. Rick Perry by announcing at the Republican State Convention that he is switching parties.

To the cheers of some 8,500 party stalwarts, Jackson said that his two days at the convention convinced him that he now is a Republican after years of being a Democrat.

Add in the GOP's efforts here in Houston and I for one am getting nervous.

Molly Beth Malcolm? Ron Kirk? Tony Sanchez? I hope you're all paying attention here. Counting on black and Hispanic folks to vote Democratic because they've always done so is beyond stupid. If you're not giving people - any people, never mind who - a reason to vote for you, someone else will. I haven't been seeing any good reasons to vote for the so-called Dream Team lately. What I have been seeing is a lot of pissing around, wasting time, and lack of focus.

I keep reading that Texas will trend Democratic in the next decade or so as Hispanics become the plurality population. I have to say, if the Dems don't win at least one statewide election this year, I'm not sure that this prognostication will be accurate any more. It seems to me that the GOP will be able to make a good argument to ambitious young black and Hispanic candidates that if they want to win they need to run as Republicans. If that starts to happen, we may as well give up the pretense that there are two parties in this state.

The GOP will have its own issues regardless of whether the Dems continue to play to lose, as the RINO proposition shows. The bigger your tent is, the more likely you'll have people with wildly different viewpoints fighting for control of the party's soul. The Dems have dealt with this issue since the 80s as the paleoliberals have mostly given way to the DLC types. It's been ugly, there's been permanent fallout (see Nader, Ralph), and it's nowhere close to being over. The Republicans' recent national and state prominence have shielded them from some of this, but it's coming.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 09, 2002 to Election 2002