Get your back up off the wall

Great article by Emma Roller on how Dems need to focus on more than just the presidency:

On Tuesday, Julián Castro became the first somewhat-well-known Democrat to semi-officially toss his hat into the ring…

Julián Castro declined to run for governor of Texas probably because he didn’t think he’d win, and if that’s true, it’s because the Texas Democratic Party is broken. Someone like Castro absolutely would do more good for more people by trying to fix or rebuild the Texas Democratic Party than he will hanging around Iowa for the next two years.

I have nothing against Castro. I hope he becomes the first Latino president of the United states. I don’t know yet if I’ll support him in the 2020 primary. I’m excited about all the possible candidates, except Joe Biden.

But I’d be more likely to support Castro if he’d run for governor.

You lose 100% of the races that you don’t enter.

To me, that’s all the more reason to support Beto O’Rourke, who is running for Senator in Texas. He may not win but he’s doing the right thing, he’s building the party. And if he wins, well, it’s the biggest in Texas politics in quite a long time.

Goal Thermometer

Same goes for Gary Trauner, running for Senator in Wyoming, which is even tougher. He’s a great candidate who almost won a statewide race before. Plus, he’s a Balloon Juice reader.

Goal Thermometer

By the way, we’ve now raised a little over 31K for progressive candidates this year alone. I know this sounds crazy but we are on pace to raise 250K in 2018, and 325K for the 2018 cycle (we raised 75K in 2017). Thanks everybody!

20 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Get down on it.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    because he didn’t think he’d win, and if that’s true, it’s because the Texas Democratic Party is broken

    That is fucking hilarious. Just wake up in the last 40 years?

  3. 3
    Fake Irishman says:

    I believe Trauner’s Montana run would be upseeting news to Sen. Tester. (Pretty sure he’s running in Wyoming, where he came darn close in 2006 and 2008 for the U.S. House seat.)

    Agreed on Castro and O’Rourke. Though it appears that the Democratic Party in Texas is quite awake now: we’ve got serious candidates for every statewide post (though none as high-profile as Castro would be), solid challengers in most GOP-held legislative districts at both the federal and state levels. Hell, the Harris County Democratic Party even has a functional Web site for the first time in forever. We’ve got a real chance to run slaughter just about every county-wide GOP office holder here. (I’ll never forget how demoralized I was in October 2016 when I tried to show up for a phone bank to find five locked doors at party headquarters.)

  4. 4
    Doug! says:

    @Fake Irishman:

    Corrected it to Wyoming!!

  5. 5
    Doug! says:

    I always get those two states mixed up.

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    but how we gonna do it if we really don’t wanna dance?

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Doug!: Wyoming has better climbing and skiing.

  8. 8
    Doug! says:

    I just heard this on the radio a few days ago.

  9. 9
    tobie says:

    @Fake Irishman: I’m not a Texan so I don’t know where Harris County is but I assume any Democratic presence there is impressive. If I recall correctly, HRC didn’t lose by double digits in TX in 2016, so maybe it’s possible that TX will turn blue. Here’s hoping. Will give again to Beto O’Rourke’s campaign.

    ETA: Scratch my comment about Harris County. I see Houston is located there. It SUCKS they didn’t have a website till now.

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @tobie: 2024 at minimum.

  11. 11
    Fake Irishman says:

    I mean it’s a long shot for any statewide office, but winning some regional appeals court benches, grabbing control of some important counties, running the table on a lot of local judgeships and making headway in the ledge will give us some leverage for the first time in a decade.

    And even in Texas, where the state government wants to turn cities into wards of the state, winning locally means a lot. Harris County (Houston) elected a reformist Democratic DA in 2016 who has cleaned house, drastically changed charging policy toward misdemeanor drug offenses, started implementing some common sense bail policy (some judges are still having some issues on the bail front — a lawsuit is working on them) and kept a lot of people out of jail. Result: Jail overcrowding is down, and cops are actually spending time solving more serious crimes instead of booking every minority dude with a blunt.

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Big Sky is pretty darn nice.

  13. 13
    Fake Irishman says:


    No problem, those big squarish states kind of run together in my brain too sometimes. I’m sure my old grad school classmate who is a totally badass liberal operative Montana native would really resent that. (As a teenage volunteer for NARAL, she used to stump for Democratic candidates at every gathering she could — even local chapters of the NRA.)

  14. 14
    Fake Irishman says:


    They had one, it was just, not great…

  15. 15
    smike says:

    I’ve heard Beto O’Rourke speak (Bastrop County, east of Austin). This is red territory, but he spoke to a crowd that packed an entire floor of the restaurant and was more than a little impressive. He was not flashy or bombastic, but he was focused and eloquent. We need him and many more like him.

  16. 16
    George Spiggot says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Big Sky is pretty darn nice.

    Why, yes it is, and quite Kinky.

  17. 17
    cosima says:

    @Fake Irishman: You, and others who work to build & support the D party in Texas, are heroes.

    We lived in Harris County, moved there not long after Obama won his first term, were there for one very long year (plus a few months). They were experiencing some growing pains coming to terms with their new President, to put it nicely. I suspect that has only gotten worse. A solid D effort — GOTV, canvassing, registration, etc — could have worked wonders there for the past 10 years. I really hoped that Hillary would have picked one of the Castro brothers as her running mate — what that would/could have done to energise the base would have been huge.

  18. 18
    rebusite says:

    Going to a Beto townhall next week, and already have a yard sign for him in my yard. I have contributed twice–small amounts–to his campaign, but with a new, better paying job starting in a few weeks, I plan to up that contribution.

    I like the Castros, and look forward to both Julien and Joaquin being a force in government for a long time. Texas is more purple than people think, and if gerrymandering can be quashed, we’ll demonstrate it.

  19. 19
    KarenH says:

    I’m also going to a Beto townhall next week and I’m on the texting team for his campaign. There are opportunities for remote volunteering if any of you are interested. Check out the volunteer section of his campaign website

  20. 20

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