News that Gets My Goat..
Texas icon Maury Maverick, who lived to see the GOP takeover of Texas (and to oppose the Iraq War) likened the Republicans to a dog chasing cars and wondered what they would do “now that they finally got their teeth on the tire.” Well, as we’ve seen these years, Republican officeholders like to dance with the ones that brung ‘em. Privatization and de-regulation are in vogue, along with “lawsuit reform,” capital punishment, concealed carry, and Bible classes in the public schools. Clean air and water, tax reform, public health and education not so much.
Well, maybe we get the government we deserve. Many Texans can tell you more about pro football or so-called reality TV than they can about their own government, which might even make our low voter turnout a sort of blessing. As Texas author Gore Vidal said, “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it’s the same half.” When Bill White challenged Governor Rick Perry (who refused to debate White because he wouldn’t release twenty years of tax returns) he garnered a record number of Democratic votes. Unfortunately, Perry garnered a few more himself.
As seen in the results of the April 3rd Texas GOP primary races, (held on May 29th because of Court objections to the latest gerrymander) the Tea Party is big here. The party faithful selected some doozies, such as Canadien trial lawyer Rafael “Ted” Cruz for U.S. Senate, and former homeless person Steve Stockman for my congressional district, the brand-new 36th. Just the candidates an old lefty like me would pick to run against. The problem here is that these two might just win. This craziness goes on all the way up to the top of the ticket, where Willard Romney has selected aspiring plutocrat Paul Ryan as his running mate, doubling down on that ‘cut spending in response to recession’ school of thought that Hoover used to bring on the Great Depression in 1931, and that FDR used to take the country back into recession in 1937. Romney’s marketing department must be telling him that people will buy this.
So I have to wonder if seniors will vote to “keep government’s hands off their Medicare and Social Security” and hand it over to those nice folks on Wall Street, if women will vote to shut down Planned Parenthood and let the states decide whether to ban birth control, if people living paycheck-to-paycheck will vote to lower the capital gains tax and abolish the inheritance tax, if young people of draft age will vote for peace, or vote at all.
We’ve got our work cut out for us.