By Carolyn Shore Aresu as Libby Shaw.
When I posted my return to the U.S. from France on Facebook this morning, one friend in Texas wrote" welcome back to the funny farm." And so I read yesterday and today's editions of the Houston Chronicle to see what my friend meant. A funny farm indeed. The Texas GOP, completely bereft of issues and ideas that matter to most Texas voters, has resorted to Rovian labels, scorched earth intolerance and Orwellian sound bytes.
As we learned during the recent Republican primary election season the Texas GOP is not running on issues that would address the needs and interests of most of the state's voters. Most Republican candidates instead are running on purely far right ideological platforms. The ideology, of course, includes bigotry, exclusion, misogyny, homophobia, religious extremism, hatred of the President, and xenophobia.
Since the GOP cannot blatantly run on such core "values" it has to resort to projection, spin, sound bytes and labels. It all comes down to tricking the electorate by playing the hate and fear cards. And by supporting open carry gun rights, of course. Bang, bang.
There was plenty of most of the above at the recent state Republican convention.
Let's start with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and projection. At the state's GOP convention Ted Cruz blasted "Liberty is under attack like never before."
When Cruz himself took the stage Friday under the huge dome of the Fort Worth Convention Center, the crowd of more than 8,000 leaped to its feet in rapturous applause.Translation: liberty is under attack because an overwhelming majority of Americans voted for President Barack Obama . Of course it is Ted Cruz's Party in Texas that has launched a full throated attack on women's and voter's rights. And now it's gunning for gays.
He recalled the landing on D-Day and the siege of the Alamo. He declared: “Today, liberty is under assault like never before. And again today, Texans will stand up and lead the fight for freedom.”
Four years ago, Cruz was not even a footnote at the state GOP convention.
The party of Cruz found itself this week in some exotic places in pursuit of freedom: a platform debate over “reparative therapy” to turn gay people straight and the rights of open-carry advocates to visit Target with AR-15s over their shoulders.I don't think so, Dr. Hotze. Your hate based conservatism, by the way, has been overwhelmingly rejected in Houston when the City Council passed the equal rights ordinance.
Critics of Houston’s new anti-discrimination ordinance denounced it as “the sexual predator protection act.” Lieutenant governor nominee Dan Patrick offered evidence that the GOP is not anti-women.
“We will, I will, do everything we can to protect women from a man in a dress going into a woman’s bathroom,” he told an anti-gay marriage rally Thursday night. “So, which party wants to protect women?
When the time came to introduce Cruz at the rally, Houston conservative activist Steve Hotze said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next president of the United States.”
Dan Patrick, by the way, is a major supporter of the Texas sonogram, anti-choice bill that resulted in cutting off low income women from access to reproductive planning and women's health care needs. Watch the self-righteous snake oil dealer in action. God is on his side.
Cross posted on Texas Kaos.
Dan Patrick's Republican Taliban Party loves the fetus but his Party abandons the born child given its ruthless cuts to education and social safety nets for impoverished children. The Taliban might pray for the victims of disasters but its policies and ideologies rob these very victims of reparations. The Texas GOP refusal to accept federally expanded Medicaid further demonstrates the Republican Party's blatant hypocrisy where its so called "Christian values" and "compassion" are concerned.
Speaking of the finest snake oil dealer that money can buy, let's not forget about Governor Rick Perry. The crony capitalist extraordinaire, it seems, has looted the state treasury in order to give Toyota a big fat sweet heart deal it hardly needed. Rick Perry bragged that he poached Toyota from California to Texas because of the state's "low taxes and business friendly environment."
But today, the Los Angeles Times reports that that’s so much horse hockey.What did Texas taxpayers get in return? Zip. Nada. Nothing. This money could have been put to far better use by making investments in education and infrastructure instead.
“Taxes, regulations and business climate appear to have had nothing to do with Toyota’s move,” the paper reported. And that’s coming from a top executive.
“It may seem like a juicy story to have this confrontation between California and Texas, but that was not the case,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s North American chief executive.
Toyota left California to move its company’s brainpower, now divided among offices in three states, into one headquarters close to the company’s manufacturing base, primarily in the South.
“It doesn’t make sense to have oversight of manufacturing 2,000 miles away from where the cars were made,” Lentz said. “Geography is the reason not to have our headquarters in California.”
Fortunately Texas voters will have real and robust choices this coming November during the general election. Our Texas Democratic candidates such as gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, candidate for Lt. Gov. Leticia van de Putte,U.S. Democratic candidate for the Senate, David Alameel and other Texas Democrats offer solid and concrete agendas for the future. We will hear more about substance in terms of education, infrastructure, jobs, the environment , pay equality, the minimum wage, immigration reform and government accountability than we will about political rhetoric, Rovian labels and right wing sound bytes. Texas voters are hungry for issues based discussions.
I see this when I canvass on behalf of the Democratic candidates above. I thoroughly enjoy canvassing and talking to people face to face. People tend to be polite in Houston so even Dan Patrick's supporters won't tell me to eff off and slam the door in my face.
When I talk to people in and outside of their homes I learn a lot. We (Battleground TX activists) ask what issues are most important to our neighbors: education, jobs, healthcare, government accountability, other. When I canvass in neighborhoods near the Texas Medical Center the first response is healthcare. Second education. When I canvass in neighborhoods in which a lot of teachers live the first response is education. If a parent of a high school or college student is asked most say jobs first. Two weeks ago, in my neighborhood, three men in their 40's answered government accountability first.
Texas is a big state and I am canvassing in a section of S.W. Houston. But Houston is one of the most diverse and tolerant cities in the state. The city recently passed an equal rights ordinance that forbids discrimination against the GLBT community.
What we hear from my neighbors very likely rings the same in other urban areas in Texas. You can believe me when I say the majority of us are sick and tired of rhetoric and talking points. We are starved for substance and solutions that will address our state's long neglected problems. We are looking toward a strong and viable future. But we need the right leaders in place to achieve this.
We are so much better than what the Texas GOP has to offer.
Don't get mad, voters. Get even by becoming active. Please join me at Battleground Texas or the Texas Democratic Party or, if you are in Houston, the Harris Co. Democratic Party. If you cannot volunteer please make a donation to the candidates above. None is too small.