The race at the top of the ticket played out as predicted by most polls not employed by Fox or the GOP. Before the local returns are in I’ll make some predictions. I’d love to be wrong on most of this, but this is Texas in 2012, the belly of the beast.
-Texans will send another mostly Republican congressional caucus to Washington, who will vote in lockstep with the most extreme element of their party. On the plus side, they will provide fodder for comedians and satirists across the country.
-The Texas Legislature will convene in January with solid GOP majorities in both houses. These yahoos will do their best to ignore the pressing issues of tax reform, school funding, public health and infrastructure to grandstand on the usual distractions, that is, God, guns, and gays, plus school vouchers and a ‘show me your papers’ law thrown in.
-Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature will turn down $13 billion a year in federal funding for Medicaid expansion, leaving one million low income Texans without health insurance. Texas’ most populous counties will bypass Austin and contract directly with Washington to join the system and provide Medicaid coverage for citizens with incomes of up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Texans elsewhere earning over $2,904 will remain ineligible.
-Texas continuing assault on women’s reproductive health programs will lead to a baby boom. This decidedly mixed blessing will cost the state, which already pays for 57% of birth and delivery services, hundreds of millions of dollars.
-Unless one of the parties nominates a favorite son who happens to be a pro football player or movie star, Texas will continue on the sidelines in presidential politics with our winner-take-all distribution of Electoral College delegates. While I’m calling for proportional allotment of delegates to the Electoral College, I’ll also advocate a non-partisan panel to do redistricting and removal of the straight ticket option on the ballot.