Recently, the as-yet-unindicted Hillary Clinton made a little news by suggesting Texas was going to be “in play” for her presidential campaign this fall.
Er, probably not, say… Texas Democrats.
Heading into this weekend’s convention for the Texas Democratic Party, former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro held a news conference to tamp down such expectations.
“We’re not a battleground state,” he is quoted as telling the media. Mauro’s new job is Texas Authorized Agent for Hillary for America – that’s a title only a party of socialists can love. “Can I say that again?”
It bears repeating that just two years ago Texas Democrats went giddy over Wendy Davis’ no-chance campaign for governor. Her campaign was promptly dispatched 60-40 by Gov. Greg Abbott.
A columnist in the Austin American Statesman put it rather bluntly this week. Ken Herman wrote that Texas’ Democrats have “proven inept at winning statewide elections for a generation.” The last Democrat to win statewide did so in 1994. The last time a Democrat presidential candidate won Texas was in 1976.
Today, the Democrats are left consoling themselves by conspiring with the GOP leadership in the Texas House to block conservative reforms. Last session, the GOP House leaders helped Democrats kill a variety of free market reforms and conservative policies. For example, a measure by State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) requiring courts to only use American law in their rulings was killed by a Republican loyal to the Democrat-enabling House leadership. (That Republican, Debbie Riddle, was defeated in her primary and has since said she will help Democrats win in November.)
Despite GOP domination of state politics, conservative reforms (fiscal and social) are stymied not by the Party of Hillary, but a Texas House whose GOP majority nonetheless enables Democrat obstructionism.
That’s not to say the Democrats might not possibly pick up some seats in the Texas House this fall. Many pundits claim State Reps. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale), Ken Sheets (R-Dallas) and Gilbert Pena (R-Pearland) are among those likely to be replaced. (Never heard of them? With an average Fiscal Responsibility Index rating of 62.6, they are easy to overlook.)
Yet even in those races, the Democrats won’t so much be victorious as the Republicans will fail to win.
Texas’ Democrats could again have a vibrant party… if they rejected the socialist, anti-Texas agenda of their national party. I suspect that won’t happen any time soon. And certainly not before Hillary Clinton takes a Davis-size walloping at the polls in November.
Fixing the anti-conservative obstructionism that’s plagued the Texas House…? That’ll be up to the “Republicans” who return to the Legislature in January.