The Definition of Insanity

Texas political consultant Jason Stanford carries the distinct record of having worked for not only Chris Bell but also Farouk Shami and Kinky Friedman, which is the political consultant equivalent of going nil in a game of spades. My natural inclination to doubt the opinion of anyone whose work is sold to the highest bidder has led me to disagree with Stanford before. But I'm particularly insulted by Stanford's most recent manifesto pontificating on his newest theory: Texas Democrats are way more conservative outside of Austin and that's why they're not voting for the loser candidates he's heralded in the past.

Well, hot dog! I thought it was because one of those candidates was a Houston pencil-chewer who was so boring that by the time Bill White came along, thirty people clapping for him made White look like the Obama of the south. Or because one thought "a day without Mexicans would be like a day without sunshine." Or because one could never decide whether he was a Democrat or not.

But Stanford wants us to forget all of those potential reasons for a lackluster turnout and instead focus on trying something new: "Team Blue" should be more like Republicans. Citing nameless polls and out-of-context numbers, Stanford makes an argument that the Democratic Party isn't accepting enough of "ideological diversity." Evidently Democrats in Texas are too focused on radical ideology like upholding a woman's constitutional right to choose, two individuals' right to marry and not believing in things like anchor babies.  Because we heard so much of those issues during the last election -- I'm sure that's why we lost.

Stanford's latest delusions leaves me with just one question for him and, by extension, his fellow puppeteers in this state (please excuse the caps):


Being more like the Republican Party will not convince anyone -- Democrat or Republican -- to vote for Democrats. No doubt about it, Texas is a big state, with big beliefs and big differences. It's time for us to talk about them, not hide behind them. If you can't differentiate yourself, then what exactly are you planning on bringing to the table? "Vote for me -- I'm like the other guy!" is not a legitimate campaign message. While I may be a myopic Austinite, I know there are a lot of people out there in Texas unaccounted for when it comes to their impetus for voting (or not). The Democratic party in Texas needs to refocus and redefine what it is that makes us different from Republicans instead of constantly trying to pretend like we are the same.

We've tried that. It doesn't work. There's just more of the same down that losing road and I'm certainly not going to stand around while we back off on all of the issues that could stand to strengthen us. Accepting conservative ideology isn't the diversification of a party. It's the desertion of one.


Why I'm Not Picking Sides in Doggett Versus Castro

Look, I like a good primary fight as much as the next gal. Stirring up some trouble among local establishment players is always a fun way to kill a few hours over in the comments section on Burnt Orange Report and sometimes even the best Democrat is made better by a tough primary race.

But when it comes to the impending bloodbath between the Lloyd Doggett and Joaquin Castro camps for the newly redistricted CD-35, I've decided I'm not going to have a dog in that fight. Here's why:

If Democrats spend the next six months ripping apart Doggett and Castro over stupid things like who's more progressive, the Republicans will win. 

I don't mean "win" as it is used when referring to "winning a seat" or "winning an election." I mean that the Republicans will get their way. Of course the Republicans want to get rid of Doggett. Of course it would make more sense for Castro to step aside and let Doggett run unopposed. Of course Democrats will be more intrigued in eating their own than pointing their wrath and infighting toward the real issues at hand. See how that works? Bump, set, spike. Point: Republicans.

We have a lot of issues that Democrats need to flesh out for voters between now and March and, more importantly, now and November 2012. Whether or not Congressional seniority is more important than potential promise simply isn't one of them.

Democrats need to unite and rise above this primary battle. Either candidate would be a helluva lot better of a choice than if we were stuck with some Bermanesque rightwing lunatic representing the district. Let's focus on what's really important: defeating Republicans in 2012. Reelecting a President who is going to need all the help he can get. Recruiting more female candidates (Draft Dolly!) to run for office. Getting out the vote.

The Republicans are good enough at explaining why someone shouldn't vote for a Democrat. Let's not use the March primary to give them a head start.