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I Thought Republicans Were For Rallying Around Our President In Time Of Crisis

I thought Republicans believed that in a time of crisis all Americans should rally around our President. I can recall Republicans who said we had to get behind George W. Bush and all his wars so we could avenge the attacks of September 11, 2001. I might even be able to recall suggestions—subtle and otherwise—that people who did not support George W. Bush were not fully loyal.  

Well—This does not seem to be the case for Republicans anymore as President Barack H. Obama works to fight our economic crisis. Where is the Republican message of “country first” that John McCain kept pushing at us for all those months?

I guess supporting our President in these hard times for our nation is not as important as the Republican religion of tax cuts as the cure to every ill, and the Republican fear that a government that helps people will show a path outside of ceaseless brutal competition with each other.

Patriotism is sitautional with Republicans in Congress. That is if loyalty to the nation is what motivated them in the first place after September 11. Maybe what they saw was Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority in a nation always afraid of another terrorist attack.

Barack Obama should not get everything he wants just because he says so. The Democratic majorities in Congress must be independent in a way that the previous Republican majorities were not. Just don’t expect much constructive input from Republicans. Whatever it is that truly moves them, the good of the nation is not so high on the list.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I May Have Rushed To Judgement In Next Year’s Race For Mayor Of Houston

Johnnie Cochran Dies at 67

As I recall, the term “rush to judgement” came into wide popular usage when Johnnie Cochran used the line while defending O.J. Simpson. Mr. Cochran spoke the phrase in his opening statement.

I’m going to borrow that line from Mr. Cochran (R.I.P.)

I may have rushed to judgement in my view of who should be the next Mayor of Houston, Texas. The election will be held in November of 2009.

There are, at this point, two leading Democratic contenders. City Controller Annise Parker and City Councilmember Peter Brown.

I’ve always had a visceral negative reaction to Ms. Parker. I’m now questioning if this reaction has been fair. 

Ms. Parker very often uses terms that allude to, or directly refer to, ideas like pragmatism and only seeking to get done things that, in her view, are politically obtainable. 

Ms. Parker’s language frustrates me. I feel that politics is at core about imagination. A political figure begins with an idea, sometimes even an idea that does not seem likely to suceed at first, and then works to see her idea become a reality.

Ms. Parker has reminded me at times of current Houston Mayor Bill White. In my observation, Mayor White is often simply dismissive of ideas that do not conform with his immediate agenda. He’s obnoxious and unimaginative in that way. 

What has given me a second thought about Ms. Parker was that as I was doing some research for another post, I came across an anti-poverty event she attended with former Presidential candidate John Edwards. Ms. Parker has had a standing concern about easier access to banking for low-income citizens of Houston.

Up to now I have been supporting Councilmember Brown. I felt that, when you got down to it, Councilmember Brown was to the left of Ms. Parker.

But just as I learned something about Ms. Parker that shifted my view, I also learned something about Mr. Brown that gave me pause.

In August, Mr. Brown attended a Republican fundraiser that had as featured speaker Karl Rove. I don’t believe Mr. Brown is a Republican. But I did feel that the whole thing was screwy. Just why would an elected Democrat, ( You can take a hike with that non-partisan municipal election junk) go to an event featuring Karl Rove?

Is this the kind of goofball campaign we are going to see from Mr. Brown?

So I’m going to wait and see on the question of who should be the next Mayor of Houston. I’m going to give Ms. Parker a new look and turn a harder eye to Mr. Brown. I may still end up supporting Mr. Brown, but I don’t want to make a “rush to judgement.”

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

History Of The South Carolina Primary

Republicans and Democrats are campaigning hard in South Carolina.

Republicans vote in that state on January 19. Democrats vote on January 26.

Above is the state seal of South Carolina. In the first circle the words mean–“Ready in soul and resource.” In the second circle the words mean–“While I breathe I hope.”

Here is a link to some basic facts about South Carolina. The population of South Carolina is roughly 4.4 million.

Beginning with 1980, South Carolina’s Presidential nominating primary has played an important role in selecting Republican nominees.

Every winner of the Republican primary in South Carolina since 1980 has gone on to win the nomination of his party. In a number of these instances, the South Carolina win played a direct role in the nomination victory.

In 2008, this primary is important for both parties.

The origin of South Carolina as a force in Republican Presidential politics can be traced back to the political consultant Lee Atwater. In 1980, Mr. Atwater helped get the South Carolina primary scheduled early in the campaign season to help Ronald Reagan. (Photo below.)

Mr. Atwater was an architect of the first George Bush’s “Willie Horton” strategy against Mike Dukakis.

Governor Reagan won the 1980 primary with 55% of the vote in a test against former Texas Governor John Connally. Mr. Connally ran a distant second at 30%.

In 1988, Mr. Atwater again used South Carolina to aid his candidate.

This time it was Mr. Reagan’s Vice President, George H.W. Bush.

South Carolina voted three days before much of the rest of the South did on so-called “Super Tuesday” March 8.  Bush scored a convincing win in South Carolina over his main Republican challenger, Robert Dole of Kansas. (Photo below) This helped set the tone for a Bush sweep of the South on the big primary day 72 hours later.

The timing of the South Carolina primary has been critical to it’s influence. Scheduled as the first primary in the South and conducted a few days before Super Tuesday, candidates have seen the state as a springboard to subsequent primary tests.

In these years, Democrats were holding a South Carolina caucus instead of a primary. Intended or not, this fact denied Jesse Jackson likely primary victories in 1984 and 1988. Reverend Jackson was South Carolina caucus winner in 1988.

Jesse Jackson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina.

South Carolina has a substantial black population and a majority of South Carolina’s Democrats are black.

In 1992, a strong showing by President Bush over Pat Buchanan (photo below) helped dash Mr. Buchanan’s hope of winning strong Southern support for his White House bid.

For 1996, while the slightly more moderate Mr. Dole might not seem a total fit for South Carolina Republicans, two former GOP governors of  South Carolina helped orchestrate a convincing Dole win over, again, Pat Buchanan. This win helped solidify Mr. Dole’s status as the frontrunner.

By 2000, Karl Rove (photo below), was running the Republican dirty tricks operation. Mr. Atwater died in 1991.

George W. Bush’s campaign questioned the sanity of rival John McCain. False rumors were spread about Senator McCain’s health. Leaflets were distributed calling McCain the “fag candidate.” This apparently because Senator McCain had met with the gay Log Cabin Republican group. (logo below)

Democrats have held a South Carolina primary in 1992 and 2004.

Bill Clinton was the easy winner in 1992.

John Edwards, who was born in South Carolina, was the 2004 winner. The win did little to help Senator Edwards take the nomination.

Al Sharpton (photo below) had hoped that black voters would rally to his candidacy.

They did not.

Below is a picture of the Sabel Palmetto tree. This is the state tree of South Carolina.

Texas Liberal is going to be your leading source for political history blogging in 2008. Please click here for a variety of political history posts including a history of the upcoming Florida primary.

January 14, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Elections, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments