Monday, November 19, 2012

Why The GOP Occupied Texas

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

It only takes one crook/moron to ruin the reputation of an entire state. Yes --I am referring to George W. Bush though he is but one crook among many GOP crooks who 'stole' Texas back in the early 80s. The GOP plans ahead.

I tire of the 'fashionable' but baseless attacks on an entire state when for some 100 years, Texas had been liberal, often progressive. Now --there are some 'conservatives' among Democrats even today. But Texas Democrats were often liberal, progressive, activist and out-spoken.  A Texas liberal/progressive --J. Frank Dobie --was invited to lecture at Cambridge where he was a big hit.

Some facts: Over a period of more than 100 years (1846 to 1979) EVERY Texas governor had been Democratic. Most were liberal and/or progressive. The term 'progressive' is especially applicable to the Furgusons --'Pa' Furguson and later 'Ma' (Miriam) Furguson who served two terms. 'Ma' Furguson was fondly recalled by the older persons I met and talked with while growing up. She was among the state's best governors.

It was not until January 16, 1979 that Bill Clements --a Republican --occupied the Governor's office. His tenure is recalled for a GOP revolution primarily TOM DELAY'S GERRYMANDER of the state. The GOP were motivated to gerrymander Texas. Its growing population had earned the state some 38 electoral votes (the map pre-dates that, showing only 34)

I won't write any more than this as this topic is worthy of a book advocating the abolition of the electoral college. Under the Constitution, the office of President represents all of the people! Then ---why is the President NOT elected by the people? Why are their votes watered-down? What right have the states to insert themselves in the election of the People's President (not the states' president)?

It is tragic that the GOP has succeeded in convincing the rest of the world that Texas is a conservative backwater. Great schools with great academic credentials (Rice Univ, U of T, Univ of Houston, et al, et al ) suffer when the state is unfairly maligned as a result of misdeeds by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Tom DeLay (who gerrymandered the state) Bill Clements and other right wing extremists whose ruthless ambition has victimized Texas in particular and the nation overall.


LanceThruster said...

To all the progressives and liberals in Red States.


We will not abandon you. Thank you for manning the outposts deep within these various and sundry hearts of darkness.

Unknown said...

I am with you Lance...


I moved back to Texas some where around 77-78..just in time to see Texas go down the toilet..we got a reprieve with Ann Richards but then Bush and Perry have completely ruined the great state...I some times feel like the only pagan liberal in Texas...

Unknown said...


I understand completely what you have have said. God bless Ann Richards and may the devil take Bush-Perry.

Bev said...

We need another Ann Richards and Jim Hightower...

Of Cancer and Crony Capitalism in Texas

By: Glenn W. Smith S

It is a growing scandal that could forever change Texas politics. As national political players look toward turning red Texas blue, something that would put the electoral college out of Republicans’ reach for years, many see the scandal as the beginning of the end of GOP dominance in Texas.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry and his cronies in and out of public office have diverted funds intended for cutting-edge cancer research into the campaign pockets of Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. You read that right. Proceeds from millions in taxpayer-backed bonds awarded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) have fallen victim to corruption and cronyism. Cronies get the state money; the cronies give some of the money back to Perry and others.

The agency might better be named the Crony Capitalist Research Institute as searches for cancer prevention, treatment and cure are sacrificed to the feeble political ambitions of a few petty politicians and greedy plutocrats. It is hard to imagine a greater moral failing. Unless, of course, you remember that Perry and his cronies are the very same people fighting against the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. People are going to get sick and die because of the actions of Perry and others. That is not hyperbole or political spin.

CPRIT is the nation’s second largest source of cancer research money, behind only the federal government. Texas voters approved the agency’s bonding authority in November 2007 (a few days later, wannabe recipients of the largesse were lavishng money on Perry and Dewhurst). The agency could spend $3 billion over ten years.

In a series of explosive articles, the Dallas Morning News has revealed that many of the grants went to Perry and Dewhurst’s allies and donors. The agency’s scientists that review grant proposals have resigned in protest. Those actions have already made the scandal news in international science journals like the well-respected Nature.

Amid calls for state and federal criminal investigations (I filed one of the state complaints under the auspices of Progress Texas PAC), agency officials are scrambling. Now it has been revealed that key emails among those officials have disappeared. That is a sign that evidence is being destroyed and that a coverup is underway.


LanceThruster said...

It's truly remarkable the way arbitrary lines are drawn across the map. I live in California and my former locale was fairly 'blue' (big city suburbs), but now I'm in the high desert which votes largely 'red' much like Central California. Nice people here, but I pretty much keep my atheism and progressivism to myself (though thankfully I saw very few Romney/Ryan bumper stickers and NO yard signs).

I like to think we can all make a stand doing what we can, with what we have, where we are.

Regards all,


Unknown said...

Bev, you are RIGHT! Ann Richards and Jim Hightower ought to have statues ereccted in their honor. They were 'Texans' as I remembered Texans as a child. Other great progressive Texans include two Governors named Furguson. One was "Ma" Furguson who become Gov when her husband had served two terms. Later, as I recall, he was elected yet again. (Or ---was it the other way around). In any case, I grew up with stories about them. A cursory read of their records confirms my belief that they were progressives, they were very competent and --indeed --the state flourished on their watches.