Riding on the Range, I’ve Got My Hat On

I don’t think we should expect much at first out of this sort of endeavor, but it is well worth pursuing over the long-term:

National Democrats are taking steps to create a large-scale independent group aimed at turning traditionally conservative Texas into a prime electoral battleground, crafting a new initiative to identify and mobilize progressive voters in the rapidly-changing state, strategists familiar with the plans told POLITICO.

The organization, dubbed “Battleground Texas,” plans to engage the state’s rapidly growing Latino population, as well as African-American voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that have been underrepresented at the ballot box in recent cycles. Two sources said the contemplated budget would run into the tens of millions of dollars over several years – a project Democrats hope has enough heft to help turn what has long been an electoral pipe dream into reality.

At the center of the effort is Jeremy Bird, formerly the national field director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, who was in Austin last week to confer with local Democrats about the project.

In a statement to POLITICO, Bird said the group would be “a grass-roots organization that will make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one.”

Again, this should be viewed as a long-term project, and expecting to see immediate results in 2014 would be silly. But think of the payoff- if Dems could flip Texas, there won’t be another Republican President for generations.

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111 replies
  1. 1
    japa21 says:

    Not 2014 or 2016, but definitely by 2020.

  2. 2
    Nemo_N says:

    Again, this should be viewed as a long-term project, and expecting to see immediate results in 2014 would be silly.

    Try telling that to the morons who keep using “acknowledging the harsh reality” as an excuse to do nothing.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    Again, this should be viewed as a long-term project, and expecting to see immediate results in 2014 would be silly. But think of the payoff- if Dems could flip Texas, there won’t be another Republican President for generations.

    Agree. Other Southern states too, but especially Texas. Going for the gold.

  4. 4
    japa21 says:

    @Chris: The only other Southern state I can see as a target is Georgia. And of course, it would mean not only getting the states to flip in Presidential elections, but all the way down to dog catcher.

  5. 5
    Cassidy says:

    Nuke it from orbit.

  6. 6
    NorthLeft12 says:

    if Dems could flip Texas, there won’t be another Republican President for generations.

    Unless the republican strategy of gerry mandering all the battleground states electoral votes is successful.

    Sorry, don’t mean to suggest doing nothing is an option. This is the kind of aggressive strategy that Democrats have not been noted for. So, after Texas is Arizona and Georgia next on the list?

  7. 7
    Haydnseek says:

    You’re not going to flip anything, now or for the foreseeable future, until you thwart the efforts of the wingnuts to change the system by which electoral votes are assigned. Take a look at Virginia. Other states will see this and jump on it like dog on a pork chop. Fifty-five percent or so of the Texas electorate will be jobbed, and this will be the reason why.

  8. 8
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Texas is totally winnable. All that’s needed is resources and manpower. I think we have both.

    So, after Texas is Arizona and Georgia next on the list?

    @NorthLeft12: Arizona’s a lost cause. I think Georgia may not be.

  9. 9
    PopeRatzo says:

    The big GOP election-rigging effort now is to make California, Illinois and New York proportional electoral college states instead of winner take all.

    They specifically don’t want it to be a nationwide thing, see, because that would mean some Dem electoral votes from Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, etc. They just want those big blue states to pay off in enough GOP electoral votes to try to win again.

    I saw the ad campaigns and talking points showing up here in Illinois and I looked into it and found the same thing going on in Cali and NY.

    Watch this one. It’s going to be next year’s version of voter ID laws. They’re calling it “Electoral College Reform” and ALEC and Co are going to push it state by state (except in strong Red states).

  10. 10
    halteclere says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Unless the republican strategy of gerry mandering all the battleground states electoral votes is successful.

    Democrats need to stop being outgunned at the state level to put an end to the gerry mandering electoral vote crap. It is my hope that California has a dramatic turnaround that can be, at least partially, pinned on the sane district mapping policy, and other states then following suit. Sane districts that are competitive is where the best (or at least not the worst) politicians will come from.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @japa21:

    The only other Southern state I can see as a target is Georgia.

    Well, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are already competitive, so there’s that. Isn’t the nonwhite population growing in the other states too? Is Georgia the only one where it’s enough to matter?

    @japa21:

    And of course, it would mean not only getting the states to flip in Presidential elections, but all the way down to dog catcher.

    Well, the latter usually takes more time, at least if the last realignment is to be believed. The South was leaning Republican as early as the sixties and pretty much in the bag for them by the eighties at the presidential level, but at the lower levels it didn’t flip until 1994.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    Smart idea. Yes, it’ll take years, but unless the GOP turns back into the party of Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, and Ike — and does it PDQ — the demographics are clearly on the Dems’ side. It’s good to see the party take the long view (finally).

  13. 13
    Kyle says:

    Nice “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” reference

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s05jcrJw0as

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    But think of the payoff- if Dems could flip Texas, there won’t be another Republican President for generations.

    I doubt that it would truly mean the end of the Republican party; it would instead trigger the next major realignment. My guess is that it would mean that the Evangelical/racist wing of the Republican party would lose power in favor of the business wing, and that will undermine the hold the Democrats have over culturally and economically conservative minorities who are siding with the Democrats primarily because the Republicans are hating on them so venomously. You’ll wind up with very different Democratic and Republican parties rather than an era of single party dominance.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @japa21: hahahahahahahahahaha
    GA is not winnable.

  16. 16
    mai naem says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Arizona is not a lost cause. We came pretty damn close to electing Carmona and that was with a Mormon not only running against him but also running for president. Do not underestimate the power of the Mormon vote, esp, in AZ being that it’s a red to purple state. BTW we have more Dem reps than Repub reps.
    Anyway, I just know the reason they are going after Texas was because of my email to the Obama campaign post election when they asked what I thought they should do. My first priority was Texas and of course because I am so important they listened to me.

  17. 17
    Schlemizel says:

    @NorthLeft12: @Haydnseek:

    Yes, exactly.

    The National elections are important but they will always be held hostage by the state houses. Unless we can flip the state races in WI, OH, PA, VA there will always be the threat that they can fix the national outcome

  18. 18
    Haydnseek says:

    @PopeRatzo: Absolutely. Thanks for bringing their tactics into a larger context. NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING, is more important than making sure that this doesn’t happen. I live in California. Safely blue? Maybe not, if we don’t work our reps and senators, (such as they are.) There will be obscene amounts of money behind this. Complacency is the enemy.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    My guess is that it would mean that the Evangelical/racist wing of the Republican party would lose power in favor of start to be eased out by the business wing which would then start looking for their next group of friendly rubes

    A small FTFY. I have no doubt at all that the big business wing of the party has kept the power for all this time.

  20. 20
    KG says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Arizona may not be that much of a lost cause. Remember, 2008 had a favorite son on the ballot. In 2012, Romney’s religion probably helped him there (big Mormon population in Arizona). That skews the numbers a bit, I think.

    @PopeRatzo: there’s a decent argument to be made that states should have some form of proportional split of electoral votes based on the results. But it only makes sense if every state with more than 3 electors gets on board. I’m definitely not on board with tying electoral votes to national popular vote results though.

  21. 21
    ruemara says:

    Sharing this with some texas Dems who have been hurting for something like this to happen.

  22. 22
    cathyx says:

    If Texas continues to make getting contraception and abortions difficult for poor people to obtain, then in 18 years they will be able to vote.

  23. 23
    Schlemizel says:

    I think a lot of these goopers should be riding the range.

    The Amanna High output 6 burner commercial grade one. Preferably on an ungreased gridle

  24. 24
    Bill D. says:

    Maybe not generations, but at least a decade or two. Remember that FRD’s coalition fell apart for a time at the 14-year (Congressional election) and 20-year (presidential election) points. At the presidential level at least the coalition was pretty much gone after 36 years. (Carter won due to Watergate and Clinton never even got up to 50% of the popular vote.) Obama won with a different electoral coalition.

    Still, given the fear, self-pity, obsessive self-delusion, intolerance, ideological rigidity, and mindless paranoia of so much of today’s Republican base, it’s pretty hard to imagine there not being a substantial fraction of bitter dead-enders on the right for a good long time. This will greatly complicate any effort to moderate the Republican message enough to recapture demographic groups they’ve alienated.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    The electoral vote is outdated and it’s time to push for an amendment to rid us of it. Since the President has the so called bully pulpit, he should push for that now.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    This is a great idea. However, I’m just a bit busy here in PA trying to keep our piece of shit governor and his corrupt cronies in the state legislature from disenfranchising anyone who doesn’t live in Blair or Carbon or Greene or Clearfield or Potter counties.

  27. 27
    lockewasright says:

    @Chris: Add Georgia, and North Carolina to Virginia along with this Texas idea and elections will be called before dinner is over every time.

  28. 28
    Haydnseek says:

    @Schlemizel: Or maybe on one of the high-end Viking ranges. After all, the Vikings were undeniably white.

  29. 29
    the golden ticket says:

    2014 isn’t realistic but 2016 might be.

  30. 30
    Roger Moore says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    The big GOP election-rigging effort now is to make California, Illinois and New York proportional electoral college states instead of winner take all.

    And it has approximately zero chance of passing in California. We have Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature and all Democrats in state office. The only hope would be to pass it as an initiative, and it’s hard to imagine it passing.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @Bill D.:

    Still, given the fear, self-pity, obsessive self-delusion, intolerance, ideological rigidity, and mindless paranoia of so much of today’s Republican base, it’s pretty hard to imagine there not being a substantial fraction of bitter dead-enders on the right for a good long time.

    Yeah, but what happens when they become too marginalized a group to win elections – not only at the national but even at the state level?

    I mean, after Reconstruction the Democrats were reduced to that kind of rump where they basically couldn’t win on the national level anymore (only one President between Johnson and Wilson). But at least they still had their little fiefdom in the South, and the rest of the country was willing to let them run it as they saw fit. This time, though, they might not even be able to do that, not with the way nonwhite populations are growing even in their formerly “safe” states. I mean, if liberals start winning Texas, where are they going to go?

  32. 32
    Sargeant Pepper's Spray says:

    Texas, Arizona and Georgia are the states most likely to be in play that are now reliably red. (North Carolina is already a near toss-up state. Indiana may have been a one-time 2008 exception and Missouri, I honestly have no idea about the demographic changes therein.) Flip Arizona over the next decade and the GOP is in real trouble. Flip Texas and the GOP needs a whole new strategy for survival.

  33. 33
    sal says:

    I live in Texas, and I can tell you this will be a very long term project. Last fall’s election cycle was about how candidate A is even more conservative than batshit crazy conservative candidate B.

  34. 34
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Being a Texian, I will take anything anyone wants to throw at the state to end the Republican stranglehold on the state. Between now and November, 2014, the party could just spend time getting Democrats registered and telling them to vote, and that would do a lot toward fixing the problem.

  35. 35
    Haydnseek says:

    @Roger Moore: You’re correct, of course. I just can’t help taking the long view. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown to Ronald Reagan. Yeah, there were a lot of people in between, but they were the players. They shaped the social and political direction of the state for decades. It’s happened more than once. It could happen again.

  36. 36
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but apropos of the recent freakout over the recent Frontline show, Mary Jo White is an unbelievably great choice to head the SEC. Well done, Kenyan Mooslim Usurper!

  37. 37
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: CA and IL are already in the interstate compact. We’ve put our weight behind the popular vote, not gerrymandering. NY could jump on, which would take the committed EV count up from 132 to 161. Still leaves 109 EVs to pick up for it to be activated, with most of the solidly blue states already in the compact.

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    The big GOP election-rigging effort now is to make California, Illinois and New York proportional electoral college states instead of winner take all.

    How they’re going to get that through the California Legislature, which has two-thirds Democratic majorities in both houses, is an interesting question.

  39. 39
    Nylund says:

    I moved to Texas 5 years ago for a job and cheap living. So did many others. While the growing latino population is a part of it’s shift to blue, it’s a lot more than that. The cities are becoming more liberal. Dallas has one of the largest gay communities in the country and it’s an integral part of the city that everyone (gay or straight) participates in. The reason Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, etc. all went Obama this year is more than just minority votes. It’s a changing place. Democrats are smart to target it.

    And PS. all those “save Austin and nuke the rest” comments I hear so often are really annoying. Some of us are here trying to do good. Support is preferable to insults.

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @geg6: How do we get that statehouse to flip? When are y’all scheduled to do that election?

  41. 41
    ThatGuy says:

    I’ve been in Texas (San Antonio) since 2006. There hasn’t been one even marginally interesting Democratic candidate for any state-level office since I’ve been here. Surely there must be better candidates out there that aren’t running because they know it’s currently a lost cause to run as D.

  42. 42
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The big GOP election-rigging effort now is to make California, Illinois and New York proportional electoral college states instead of winner take all.

    How they’re going to get that through the California Legislature, which has two-thirds Democratic majorities in both houses, is an interesting question.

    Could still take it to a referendum, but likely they’d be throwing their money away.

  43. 43
    Matt says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Arizona is not a lost cause. 5 of 9 Congressmen are Dems, including an open atheist lesbian.

  44. 44
    mclaren says:

    Inkblot strategy. Spread out from Austin and turn the rest of the state liberal.

  45. 45
    curiousleo says:

    @japa21: Then you know very little about the south.

    North Carolina is already a battleground state. The state level dems lost in 2010 and that set up the clusterf** we’ve got now. But there is a viable group of white Dems, blacks, and the Latino population is large and growing.

  46. 46
    👽 Martin says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger: It’ll never pass referendum. We vote more strongly for Dems nationally than locally.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Haydnseek:
    Sure, but I was thinking more about the Republicans’ attempt at getting short-term electoral gains. The thing that’s moving the proportional electoral vote business right now is that there’s an anomalous situation of states that are reliably Democratic in presidential elections but that nonetheless have Republican run state governments and, in many cases, severely gerrymandered congressional districts. It make sense for them to try to lock in what national advantage they can while they have the upper hand locally. In contrast, the Republicans aren’t in charge in California and aren’t likely to get in charge any time soon. It’s hard to imagine the Republicans getting in position to win back the state government without also being in position to win the state outright in a presidential election, in which case dividing the electoral votes would be to their disadvantage.

  48. 48
    curiousleo says:

    @halteclere:

    Democrats need to stop being outgunned at the state level to put an end to the gerry mandering electoral vote crap.

    This. See NC 2010.

  49. 49
    Felinious Wench says:

    @ThatGuy:

    I’ve been in Texas (San Antonio) since 2006. There hasn’t been one even marginally interesting Democratic candidate for any state-level office since I’ve been here.

    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.

    I’ve lived in Sugar Land (outside of Houston) for the 40 years I’ve been alive. I remember when Ann Richards led the joint. If we’d had anyone remotely like her, I think we could have given Governor Goodhair a run for his money this last election. Mayor White is a good man, but he’s as exciting as corn flakes.

    They gerrymandering is still killing us.

  50. 50
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @mclaren: Dallas County went for Obama. Considering it’s the anchor for the Metroplex (sorry Ft. Worth), it’ll have to spread out from there as well.

  51. 51
    Michael C says:

    @Ash Can: The “long view” is that by then most of us will be under thirty feet of seawater.

  52. 52
    Maude says:

    @burnspbesq:
    I’ve read about her. Great choice.

  53. 53
    japa21 says:

    @curiousleo: Which is why I didn’t include it or Virgnia or Florida since none of those can be called reliably red states any more and have definitely gone purple. I was referring to states that are red that could be flipped to either purple or blue.

  54. 54
    NonyNony says:

    The organization, dubbed “Battleground Texas,”

    I gotta say – if you want to freak out the right-wing nutjobs in the US who are afraid of a great brown “Reconquista” surging up from Mexico, you almost couldn’t pick a better name for it. (Perhaps if it were in Spanish, but that’s about it.)

    And I don’t say that as a complaint or a suggestion that it’s a bad name. Getting right-wing nutjobs to freak out and convince the moderates around them that they’re freaks is a winning strategy. I’m just surprised that it would come from the national party.

  55. 55
    jgaugust says:

    I think 2020 is the big-time target year. The only reason the GOP has the house right now is because the 2010 census came out and 2010 was a midterm year that had lower democrat turnout. In 2020, we will have a presidential election and this has seemingly boded well in recent times for stronger dem turnout, even when the enthusiasm gap generally was lower. The real goal should be trying to find a way to take the Texas statehouse in 2020 in order to impose a less gerrymandered set of districts in which we can best maximize our growing bases in the Latino, African American, and youth voting blocs.

  56. 56
    Linnaeus says:

    Who’s your cowgirl, John?

  57. 57
    Tone in DC says:

    @NonyNony:

    I hear you.

    Thing is, the president just appearing on TV freaks them out. They are perpetually outraged, apoplectic and extremely butthurt. Not to mention apeshit, batshit and full of shit.

  58. 58
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @jgaugust: We’ll have to build up to that, though. We’re not going to convert Texas in one election. We need to do a little bit in 2014, then more in 2016, 2018, and hopefully gain control in 2020.

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    OT. Blog needs moar thread on Reid filibuster “cave.” Yer slackin, Cole — this is primo trollbait.

  60. 60
    PeakVT says:

    @NonyNony: Maybe the project should be “Campo de Batalla de Texas” just for extra giggles.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @PeakVT:
    Nah, if you really want to drive them up the wall you need to include something about retaking the Alamo.

  62. 62
    the golden ticket says:

    Hey Cole, your buddy Fat Bastard Christie is back to bashing Obama today. What say you Nostradamus?
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....-manifesto

    You are judged by the company you keep.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): next you’ll be telling me that Rome was not built in a day.

  64. 64
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: Seems to me that ‘Alamo’ is a Spanish word. Means car rental, right?

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @👽 Martin

    Must admit I don’t grok how the interstate compact is not unconstitutional until the Congress approves of the agreement. Article I, section 10 (emphasis added)

    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

  66. 66
    Turgidson says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Has McCain weighed in on how she’s not tough enough on Iran yet? Or how she hasn’t answered his questions about Benghazi?

    Obviously these pressing matters need to be addressed before her nomination can go forward.

  67. 67
    Keith G says:

    I would like them to hold off on the money for the Texas operation until they have a plan for fighting and winning the changes in the electoral college allotment. That is a near term fight whose payoff might be felt in 2016.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @NotMax:

    It’s not really a “compact” that enforceable in court. Each state could later decide to “withdraw” by changing how they allocate their electoral votes.

  69. 69
    👽 Martin says:

    @NotMax: I don’t know, but there are a ton of interstate compacts that never got ratified by Congress.

    @Baud: True, but the compact only ‘activates’ when there are enough EVs to guarantee the outcome. If a state withdrew and pulled the total below 270, the whole thing turns off until it goes back over 270.

  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    It is still an agreement. And an agreement pertaining specifically to (no pun intended) execution of federal elections.

    Also too. supposing the courts won’t be dragged into the miasma is not tenable.

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Right. I’m just saying it’s not the type of agreement that requires congressional approval to be valid under the Constitution because no state is bound in any way.

    @NotMax:

    Sure. Nothing is certain in law when you have 5 conservative Justices on the bench.

  72. 72
    patroclus says:

    I’m from Texas originally and I still visit there frequently – the media there is utterly hopeless, it’s like Fox News times infinity all the time on every TV channel and on every radio station. There are still a LOT of Dems there, but they are overwhelmed all the time, have no organization to speak of (outside some major cities) and the bias is towards the most conservative position on every single conceivable issue. The effort is laudable, but it is unlikely to bear fruit for a long time.

    Oh, and to quote the stripper song from the Full Monty, you can leave your hat on.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    @👽 Martin

    but there are a ton of interstate compacts that never got ratified by Congress.

    True enough, but I’d suspect that in the vast majority of cases they involve projects or outlays that include federal funds, so there is an implicit approval.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @Matt: To be totally fair, she’s bisexual. Trust me, she’s suzanne’s rep. She’s got all the goods on her.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Turgidson:

    Has McCain weighed in on how she’s not tough enough on Iran yet? Or how she hasn’t answered his questions about Benghazi?

    Nope. At least not to my knowledge. But I’m sure we’re going to hear from the usual quarters about the inherent evil of the revolving door, and howls of outrage over who Debevoise represented during Ms. White’s tenure there.

    And the pushback from Fortune is really interesting: there take is that it’s too late to put a prosecutor at the SEC, and what’ really needed is a regulator.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    I’m just saying it’s not the type of agreement that requires congressional approval to be valid under the Constitution because no state is bound in any way.

    I see no qualifiers or exceptions in the text from the section of powers specifically forbidden the states. “enter into any agreement or compact” would not seem to preclude agreements or compacts which are optional or from which a signatory state can voluntarily withdraw – those are conditions of the compact, not the institution of an compact.

  77. 77
    rdldot says:

    @Felinious Wench: Hi neighbor! North side here…

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @NotMax:

    The law is apparently a mess, which means it’s ripe for conservative misfeasance:

    ‘‘If there is a verbal understanding, to which both parties have assented, and upon which both are acting, it is an ‘agreement.’ And the use of all of these terms, ‘treaty,’ ‘agreement,’ ‘compact,’ show that it was the intention of the framers of the Constitution to use the broadest and most comprehensive terms; and that they anxiously desired to cut off all connection or communication between a State and a foreign power; and we shall fail to execute that evident intention, unless we give to the word ‘agreement’ its most extended signification; and so apply it as to prohibit every agreement, written or verbal, formal or informal, positive or implied, by the mutual understanding of the parties.’’ 2142 But in Virginia v. Tennessee, 2143 decided more than a half century later, the Court shifted position, holding that the unqualified prohibition of compacts and agreements between States without the consent of Congress did not apply to agreements concerning such minor matters as adjustments of boundaries, which have no tendency to increase the political powers of the contracting States or to encroach upon the just supremacy of the United States. Adhering to this later understanding of the clause, the Court found no enhancement of state power quoad the Federal Government through entry into the Multistate Tax Compact and thus sustained the agreement among participating States without congressional consent.

  79. 79
    Origuy says:

    Indiana’s Latino population is growing steadily, and the rural areas are aging. It will never be a blue state, but it could be purple if a few things change: 1) lengthen the voting hours, and 2) make it easier to vote absentee. Indiana’s polls are open from 6 am to 6 pm, closing earlier than most other states. The requirements for absentee ballots are pretty stringent.

  80. 80
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Great plan in Texas unless the Republicans pull a Virginia and change the way the electoral college is tabulated so that Repubs get the majority of votes.

  81. 81
    Yutsano says:

    @Origuy: So that ain’t changing any time soon with their new fundie gov taking over.

  82. 82
    qwerty42 says:

    @Haydnseek:

    You’re not going to flip anything, now or for the foreseeable future, until you thwart the efforts of the wingnuts to change the system by which electoral votes are assigned. Take a look at Virginia. Other states will see this and jump on it like dog on a pork chop. Fifty-five percent or so of the Texas electorate will be jobbed, and this will be the reason why.

    Yeah, from the GOP perspective it is just too good to be true. Who cares if you permanently PO a portion of the electorate, if you can have a short-term gain? I was thinking about that last evening and remembered that had once been done. Anyone ever heard of the “County Unit System”? Gray v. Sanders was the basis of “one man, one vote”. Another president, no matter the party, will have a hard time doing anything without a popular majority. It would probably force a revisiting of the Electoral College, or a standard apportioning of delegates. If the GOP think they can fight demographic trends with deceit and fraud, they will be out of office.

  83. 83
    Raven says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: You think Georgia can become blue? Really?

  84. 84
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @patroclus: if you haven’t seen the use of that same song in 9 1/2 Weeks, and you’re a straight man, you have not lived a full life.

  85. 85
    Raven says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I see Kim’s mom in Wallgreens now and then. Does that count?

  86. 86
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Raven: I can think of many other words I’d sooner see completing a statement beginning “I see Kim Basinger’s …” But it ain’t bad.

  87. 87
    Jamey says:

    Flip Texas and have the state AG serve GWB with war crimes warrants.

    Hey, a guy can dream…

  88. 88
    Jeff Altemus says:

    That’s assuming that other big states don’t flip red, which could happen by the time Texas turned blue. Still, a very worthwhile effort.

  89. 89
    The Sailor says:

    [In Indiana] “The requirements for absentee ballots are pretty stringent. ”

    Um, you say you’ll be out of town is stringent?

    Early voting is also a big option.

    Daniels and the republican state senate & house haven’t ruined everything … yet.

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    @qwerty42:

    If the GOP think they can fight demographic trends with deceit and fraud, they will be out of office.

    We can hope. This is basically how bad people stayed in power from the nineteenth century until well into the twentieth, in the glory days of the machine – electoral fraud and vote suppression.

    (Actually, I think many of the problems we have to this day stem from the fact that our electoral system was shaped by that era, in which these crimes were features, not bugs, for those in power).

  91. 91
    redshirt says:

    Texas is the kill shot. Take it, and you end the Republican Party. As such, it makes all the sense in the world to build every Democratic infrastructure there you can. Because it’s doable.

    We should start a “Liberals move to Texas” movement to try and claim the state, and freak out the wingers.

  92. 92
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    nthing “give a shit about state legislative elections.” The people in the state house may be numpties, but they’re numpties with power. ALEC worked this out a long time ago.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    @redshirt:

    It’s more than that. They won’t remain low-level organizers in Texas. The people who take that job will be young and willing to do grunt work for shit money. But they don’t stay in those positions. They move up and they fan out. The woman who ran Sherrod Brown’s campaign started in Iowa as a caucus organizer, then went to Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign, then ran Sherrods. One of our OH OFA regional people started in Nevada, then went to Indiana, and ended up on a Presidential campaign.
    It’ll be a great training ground, and if they have any success there, in Texas, they can probably do anything. This stuff ripples :)

  94. 94
    Arclite says:

    @burnspbesq:

    How they’re going to get (split electoral votes) through the California Legislature, which has two-thirds Democratic majorities in both houses, is an interesting question.

    Ballot initiative with 10s of millions in ads. Just like Prop 8.

  95. 95
    ericblair says:

    @redshirt:

    Texas is the kill shot. Take it, and you end the Republican Party.

    But the exhaust port is only two meters wide!

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:

    @Arclite:

    Ballot initiative with 10s of millions in ads. Just like Prop 8.

    Not gonna happen. Advertising can only buy you so much, as the Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina campaigns proved. The ads for Prop 8 were able to work because there wasn’t much pushback and because marriage equality never had really strong majority support to start with. An initiative to mess with our electoral votes would get strong advertising opposition, and that opposition would be effective because the Democratic voters would correctly see it as an attempt to water down their votes and they’re a big enough majority to kill the thing.

  97. 97
    The Sailor says:

    “That’s assuming that other big states don’t flip red, which could happen by the time Texas turned blue.”

    Not really. Old, white folks are dying off.

  98. 98
    redshirt says:

    @ericblair: Pshaw! I used to bulls eye womp rats from my T16 back home, they’re not much bigger than 2 meters.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @ericblair:

    But the exhaust port is only two meters wide!

    I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters.

  100. 100
    redshirt says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s what I said! Also too: I was going to Toshi Station to pick up some power convertors!

  101. 101
    Roger Moore says:

    @redshirt:
    You can waste time on Balloon-Juice with your friends when your chores are done.

  102. 102
    Karen says:

    @PeakVT: But you have to spell the state “Tejas.”

  103. 103
    Arclite says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Not gonna happen. Advertising can only buy you so much, as the Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina campaigns proved. The ads for Prop 8 were able to work because there wasn’t much pushback and because marriage equality never had really strong majority support to start with. An initiative to mess with our electoral votes would get strong advertising opposition, and that opposition would be effective because the Democratic voters would correctly see it as an attempt to water down their votes and they’re a big enough majority to kill the thing.

    I don’t think the chance is anywhere near 50/50. But I could see it being close. I could see the Right appealing to people’s sense of fairness:

    If 45% of Jill’s soccer team votes for chocolate ice cream after the game, and the rest vote for vanilla, would you expect the winners to not only be able to pick the ice cream, but not share any at all with the losers? But that’s exactly how our presidential elections work. Isn’t it time we changed a winner take all system to a fair one that divides votes evenly? Vote “Yes” on Prop 13.

  104. 104

    @Arclite:

    You’re right–but that sets up an easy (even for Dems) response every single time: “If the GOP really believed that, they’d be pushing for it in Texas and Georgia too. They’re not, because they know it’s not about fairness–it’s about gaming the system and throwing out hundreds of years of American tradition.” You could get that down to one pithy sentence and every Dem in the country could say it a dozen times a day and that’d do the trick.

  105. 105
    grandpa john says:

    @redshirt: .Yes and for certain , nothing will change as long as the dems continue to ignore organizing on the state level and do nothing to gain control of state governments.
    Change is always possible if enough people get serious and work at it. It won’t happen overnight but it can happen.
    I live in SC, growing up there in the 40’s and 50’s, the thought of anyone running for a state or local office as a republican was unheard of. The thought of SC going for a republican candidate for president was ridiculed. Well, look at us now, it is almost reversed. Why did it happen? Of course the civil rights movement had and the passage of civil rights laws, but if republicans had not started organizing and offering candidates for office they certainly would not have been elected until the gradually gained control of the state government. That is how it is done and if Dems had listened to Howard Dean and the 50 states plan, instead of sitting on their asses and complaining that it was too much to do and whine and bellyache about the upstart who expected them to do what the were selected to do, the Democrats wouldn’t find themselves in the fight they are now currently in.

  106. 106
    Arclite says:

    @scott (the other one):

    You’re right–but that sets up an easy (even for Dems) response every single time: “If the GOP really believed that, they’d be pushing for it in Texas and Georgia too. They’re not, because they know it’s not about fairness–it’s about gaming the system and throwing out hundreds of years of American tradition.” You could get that down to one pithy sentence and every Dem in the country could say it a dozen times a day and that’d do the trick.

    I hope so, but sometimes Dems can be so passive. And you can bet the Right won’t be.

  107. 107
    purple says:

    @Nylund:

    Romney won 57/41 in Texas.

    It won’t be competitive forever (politically speaking).

    Obama barely won Harris county (49/49), lost Ft Worth, and barely won San Antonio (51-47).

    Obama didn’t dominate the cities here, save Austin. As for the rural areas, forget about it.

  108. 108
    purple says:

    @Nylund:

    Harris county (Houston) was a tossup, San Antonio was 53/47 Obama. He lost Ft. Worth.

    Not even close to the numbers you need to compete.

    Texas suburbs are also far more conservative than a place like Philly or Long Island. Rural areas are largely flat out scary.

    And yes, I live here.

  109. 109
    Billy Gray says:

    Again, this should be viewed as a long-term project, and expecting to see immediate results in 2014 would be silly.

    Well, I think they’d be crazy not to make that the first assault. If they’re serious about this, they’ll be at the gates then, pitchforks to the ready.

  110. 110
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @ThatGuy:

    There hasn’t been one even marginally interesting Democratic candidate for any state-level office since I’ve been here.

    This is the problem. Part of it is because Democrats have been frozen out of statewide offices since W was Governor, so we don’t have any Democrats with statewide name recognition. John Sharp was the last one (Comptroller under Richards).

    Part of it is that most Texans are deeply religious and socially conservative. I’m fourth-generation Texan, I’ve lived here all but two years of my life, so trust me on this. I’ve reconnected with most of my high school class on Facebook, and as an atheist Democrat I’m definitely an outlier. Every other post is a quote about God or Obama’s evil agenda to enslave us all in a Socialist hellhole. And these are all middle-class kids from the suburbs of Northeast San Antonio, not farm kids from the blackland prairie.

    I’m glad the effort is being made, but it’s going to be a long, uphill slog with lots of setbacks. You’re not going to flip the Lege before 2020 (and the Lege is what matters, not the Governor’s Mansion), and not without a large contingent of Boll Weevils and Blue Dogs.

    What kills me is that Rick Perry – Rick Fucking Perry – is going down in history as the longest-serving Texas governor. That’s just…sad.

  111. 111
    gubulgaria says:

    @Cassidy: …it’s the only way to be sure.

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