May 26, 2002
Victor Morales renounces Democrats

Victor Morales renounces Democrats, according to this story:

Victor Morales, who lost the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, said he will not run for office again as a Democrat.

"At this point in time, I am independent," Morales said, citing what he called lousy treatment by established members of the Democratic Party.

"I wouldn't run as a Democrat again," Morales told the San Antonio Express-News for a story posted on the paper's Web site Friday.

I'm sorry that Victor thinks he was treated poorly by the Democrats. The state party certainly didn't roll out the red carpet for him. They believed that for all his populist appeal, Morales was never going to be an electable candidate, so they never supported him.

Thinking about Victor Morales and his three failed attempts to win office via Democratic nominations led me to ponder what the role and responsibility of the major parties is. The Democrats, especially now that they are the minority party in Texas, are in the business of finding candidates they think can be elected. Given that Texas isn't and probably never will be a state with a lot of liberal/populist types in it, that means candidates who are pro-business, pro-death penalty, anti-gun control, and generally anti-tax. That includes former Governor Ann Richards, still a darling of the old-style liberals around here, who never once granted clemency in a capital case during her time in Austin. You can represent certain districts as an unreconstructed liberal (Congressional District 18, home of Sheila Jackson Lee, comes to mind), but you'd have a better chance of opening a strip club inside the Alamo than winning a statewide ballot. Orthodoxy to the national party line is the kiss of death.

So what's a liberal to do? I am and have always been a proponent of the half-a-loaf theory. I'll take my chances with Ron Kirk, even though I know Kirk will do things that will make my teeth grind - for example, he's on record saying he'd have supported Bush's tax cut, an admission that nearly cost him my vote in the runoff. But Kirk has a chance to win, and he'll still represent my views better than John Cornyn will. For that he gets my support. Victor Morales may have been an enticing candidate for Senate in 1996 - of course, next to Phil Gramm a potted plant would have been enticing, but that's beside the point - and he may well be closer to my views than Ron Kirk, but he wasn't going to win. I'd rather have a chance at something than no chance at everything. It's as simple as that.

Thus, while I'm sorry to see Morales go and I wish him well, the fact is that he was never going to be anything more than a novelty. I'm not going to mourn the loss of progressive liberalism in the Texas Democratis Party because it was always an illusion anyway. I'm going to work to get people who at least understand my point of view elected, and go from there. I will not apologize for that.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 26, 2002 to Election 2002

I am trying to reach Victor Morales. Can you tell me how I might do that, or how to reach his brother, Joe. Thanks.

Posted by: Linda Curtis on January 20, 2006 1:31 PM

I am very disappointed that Victor did not get an early enough start campaigning for our congressional seat. We in Guadalupe county didn't even know he was in the running till a month or two before the primaries. I for one was very impressed with him and would have gone out of my way to support him. I think he would have been a much stronger candidate and would have even supported the views of Democrats across Texas then what we now have. I wish he would reconsider pulling away from the Democrat party

Posted by: Harvey Hild on April 10, 2006 5:32 PM