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Houston-Based King Street Patriot Tea Party Cell Wins Ronald Reagan Award—Prize Is Well-Deserved

The so-called King Street Patriots have won the 2011 Ronald Reagan Award at the recently concluded Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.

(Above–Ronald Reagan in 1980 campaigning in South Carolina with Senator Strom Thrumond. Mr. Thurmond is seen here to the left of Mr. Reagan. Senator Thurmond was a 1948 Dixiecrat candidate for President.)

The King Street Patriots are a Tea Party cell based here in Houston.

CPAC is a national confederation of extreme conservative activists. At the 2011 meeting, libertarian Houston-area U.S. Representative Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll.

Rep. Paul is the libertarian who loves earmarks.

Consistent with the views of portions of the American right, Rep. Paul invited an economist with ties to group advocating southern secession to testify before the House committee he chairs.

In what way did the King Street Patriots (KSP) Tea Party cell reflect the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan?  Why did this group merit the award?

Did the King Street Patriots equal Ronald Reagan’s neglect of the AIDS crisis even as thousands died?

Well…even though the Tea Party position of repeal for Healthcare Reform would cause Americans to lose needed care and to die, this is not why KSP won the Reagan prize.

Did the King Street Patriots match the Gipper in doing to harm to our environment? Remember Mr. Reagan’s nature-hating Interior Secretary James Watt?

Well…even though the Tea Party had a part in electing a Republican leadership in Texas that has pursued environmental polices so bad that even conservative Oklahoma complained to the EPA about the bad air drifting over from Texas, this is not why the King Street folks took the Reagan award for 2011.

Did the King Street Patriots live up to Mr. Reagan’s legacy of making an important 1980 campaign appearance in Philadelphia, Mississippi—near the location of brutal crimes against Civil Rights workers in the 1960’s–and saying “I believe in states rights.”

You got it.

The King Street Patriots won the Reagan prize for their efforts against non-existent voter fraud in majority-minority Harris County, Texas.

As many Southern whites regress to the solid one-party politics of a shameful past, Republicans and allied Tea Party groups around the nation are working hard to put up obstacles to voting by likely Democratic voters.

With Harris County and Texas undergoing massive demographic change, Republicans are afraid that they will lose control of the county and the state.

As much as I don’t like what the so-called King Street Patriots are doing, they are doing things the law permits. We are not going to change the minds of people in these Tea Party cells. They have a right to act in any manner within the law no matter how offensive and wrong.

The real issue is for folks on our side of the aisle to meet the challenge and to make progress. Progress is always possible.

Voter registration drives of likely Democratic voters should be taking place year round. Lawyers should be in place to defend these registration efforts. Our fellow citizens need to know they will backed up when they go to vote.

Democratic elected officials, along with the civil rights and progressive groups, must work together with the same common purpose we often see on the right.  Everyday citizens must be invloved in doing the work of freedom.

It is up to each of as individuals to make the decision to work collectively for the causes we value.

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Some resources on the topic of voting—

Here is information on voting in Texas.

A new book on the subject of voter fraud is The Myth of Voter Fraud by Lori Minnite.

Here is a Green Party history of voting rights in the United States.

Here is the web home of the Harris County Democratic Party. Ask them what they are doing to make sure all people in Harris County are being allowed to vote.

And don’t forget–You are your own best resource for the change you want to see.

(Below–1867 drawing of newly freed black men voting. Women would not get the vote until 1920. And of course, near-total resistance to blacks voting went on well into the 1960’s.)

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

I’ll Tell You The Difference Between Harry Reid And Trent Lott

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has made comments some feel are racist.

Some are suggesting Senator Reid should resign as Majority Leader as did Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi when he made comments that were in fact racist.

What is the difference between Senator Reid and Senator Lott?

The difference is that Senator Reid is a moderately progressive man who has spent much of the last year trying to expand health coverage to millions of American not currently covered.

In contrast, Senator Lott was elected by unreconstructed Mississippi Republicans in order to help the rich at the expense of the poor.

The Republican Party in the South came to dominate that region by making scapegoats of black people.

The comments that got Senator Lott in trouble were in defense of Apartheid Jim Crow Senator and 1948 segregationist Presidential candidate Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

( Picture above—Strom Thurmond with Ronald Reagan.)

Senator Thurmond was a monster who dedicated years of effort to making sure that black people would lead lousy lives.

Senator Reid was an early supporter of Barack Obama who made a dumb comment.

Senator Lott is someone who in 2002 said it would have been best if a vicious racist had been elected President in 1948.

Here is what Senator Lott said—“I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either…”

These are the differences between Harry Reid and Trent Lott.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Congressman Joe Wilson Of South Carolina Is Fitting Symbol Of Massive Republican Resistance To Obama

U.S. Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina is the Member of Congress who shouted out that President Obama was lying during the President’s speech this evening.

Here is some basic information about Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Wilson is an attorney and was for 16 years a member of the South Carolina State Senate. His district includes South Carolina’s capitol city of Columbia.  Here is a map of Mr. Wilson’s district.

(Above—An 1865 image from Harper’s Magazine that shows the burning of Columbia in Sherman’s March. Maybe Mr. Wilson is still angry about General Sherman.) 

Mr. Wilson worked at one point as an aide to Senator Strom Thurmond.

Mr Wilson was first elected to Congress in 2001.

As Representative Wilson shouts out his rebel yell at our President, I wonder if he has ever distanced himself from the legacy of treason that still defines his state in many ways.

What a perfect symbol of the Republican strategy of massive resistance to health care reform and just about anything else Barack Obama proposes. Massive Resistance was the Southern strategy to combat integration in the Civil Rights years.

(Below—Mr. Wilson. He loves America…Or at least he loves his idea of America.)

September 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 20 Comments

How Many Senators Are 75 Or Older?

News was made at a lunch for new President Barack Obama yesterday when Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts suffered a seizure and had to be taken to the hospital.  Senator Kennedy has brain cancer. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia also left the lunch. First reports said that Senator Byrd also had a medical issue. His staff later said this was not the case.

(Above you see Mr. Byrd being sworn in by former Vice President Richard Cheney for his most recent term. Mr. Byrd will up for reelection next in 2012The big guy is West Virginia’s other Senator. He is Democrat Jay Rockefeller.)

Mr. Kennedy is 76 years old. Mr. Byrd is 91. This got me wondering how many Senators are 75 or older.

15 Senators are at least 75 or will turn 75 in 2009.  The average Senator is 63 as we begin the 111th Congress.

Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was the oldest Senator ever. He served in the Senate until he was 100 years old.  He was rotten to the end

Here is some interesting  U.S. Census data on the age of the American people.  According to a three-year sample taken between 2005 and 2007, 6.1% of the American people are 75 or older. In the Senate, that number will be 15%  who are 75 or older by the end of 2009.

Here is the list of 75 + Senators listed from the oldest on down —

Robert Byrd  D-West Virgina 11/20/17

Frank Lautenberg D- New Jersey  1/23/24

Daniel Inouye D-Hawaii 9/7/24

Daniel Akaka D-Hawaii 9/11/24

Arlen Specter R-Pennsylvania 2/12/30

(Below—Senator Specter, standing, advocating for the single bullet theory in the death of President Kennedy. Mr. Specter worked as a lawyer for the Warren Commission.)

Jim Bunning R-Kentucky 10/23/31

Ted Kennedy D-Massachusetts 2/22/32

Richard Lugar R-Indiana 4/4/32 

( Below–Richard Lugar with Ashley Judd.)

Diane Feinstein D-California 6/22/33

(Below–Senator Feinstein when she was Mayor of San Francisco.)

Chuck Grassley R-Iowa 9/17/33

Robert Bennett R-Utah 9/18/33

Jim Inhofe R-Oklahoma 1/23/34

(Below you see a famous moment from the Senate career of Mr. Inhofe. He is showing a picture of his family and saying that none of them are gay or have been divorced.) 

Orrin Hatch R-Utah 3/22/34

Richard Shelby R-Alabama 5/6/34

Carl Levin D-Michigan 6/28/34

Here is the web home of the U.S. Senate.

January 22, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blog Readers Demand To Know—How Has Texas Voted In Recent Presidential Elections?

A kind Texas Liberal reader by the name of Kathleen has e-mailed me asking the results of recent Presidential elections in Texas.

You will see that Texas has voted Democratic for President just once since Lyndon Johnson of Texas left the White House. Regretfully, 2008 seems likely to continue that pattern.  

Here is how Texas has voted for President since 1948.

1948

Truman (D) 65.4%

Dewey (R) 24.6%

Thurmond (Dixiecrat) 9.3%

(Below—Harry Truman)

Truman pass-the-buck.jpg

1952    

Eisenhower (R) 53.1%

Stevenson (D) 46.7%

1956

Eisenhower (R) 55.3%

Stevenson (D) 44.0%

1960

Kennedy (D) 50.5%

Nixon (R) 48.5%

(Below–Richard Nixon in World War II.)

1964

Johnson (D) 63.3%

Goldwater (R) 36.5%

1968

Humphrey (D) 41.1%

Nixon (R) 39.9%

Wallace (I) 19.0%

1972

Nixon (R) 66.2%

McGovern (D) 33.3%

(Below—George McGovern)

George McGovern bioguide.jpg

1976

Carter (D) 51.1%

Ford (R) 48.0%

1980

Reagan (R) 55.3%

Carter (D) 41.4%

Anderson (I) 2.5% 

1984

Reagan (R) 63.6%

Mondale (D) 36.1%

1988

Bush (R) 56.0%

Dukakis (D) 43.3%

1992

Bush (R) 40.6%

Clinton (D) 37.1%

Perot (Reform) 22.0%

(Below–Clinton, Bush and Perot in 1992.)

Debates.jpg

1996

Dole (R) 48.8%

Clinton (D) 43.8%

Perot (Reform) 6.7%

2000

Bush (R) 59.3%

Gore (D) 38.0%

Nader (G) 2.2%

2004

Bush (R) 61.1%

Kerry 38.2 %

(Below–George W. Bush)

 

Thanks to Kathleen for the question.

I have many reference sources on politics and would be happy to reply to any question on American political history that you the blog reader might have. Just leave a question in the comment space.

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal.

( Please click here for one of the most popular posts ever on Texas Liberal—Blog Readers Demand To Know What Is Done With Shamu’s Body After He Dies.)

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Third Party Candidates Who Carried A State In A Presidential Election

The following are third party candidates for President who have carried a state in a Presidential Election since after the Civil War.   

This is part of the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day series.

1892—Populist candidate James Weaver of Iowa ( photo above) won Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada and North Dakota. Mr. Weaver won 8.5% of the entire vote. Democrat Grover Cleveland of New York won the election. 

1912—Bull Moose Theodore Roosevelt of New York carried California, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Washington. Mr. Roosevelt was also the last third party candidate to finish ahead of a major party nominee. Incumbent President and Republican nominee William Howard Taft of Ohio finished third in 1912. Democrat Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey won the election. In 1912, Mr. Wilson won 42%, Mr. Roosevelt 27%, Mr. Taft 23 % and Socialist Eugene V. Debs of Indiana took 6%.

1924—Progressive Robert La Follette,Sr ( photo below) won his home state of Wisconsin. Mr. La Follette won 17% of the full national vote. Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts won the election.

1948—Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond of South Carolina carried Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. Mr. Thurmond won 2.4% overall. He was not on most ballots outside the South. Harry Truman of Missouri won the election.

1968—George Wallace of Alabama won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Mr. Wallace won 13% of the nationwide total. Richard Nixon of California won the election.

Winning a state in a Presidential election is hard to accomplish. Ross Perot was unable to do so in 1992 even while winning 19% of the vote. Third party candidates must have some of concentrated regional appeal, as did Mr. Weaver, Mr. Thurmond and Mr. Wallace. Or maybe they just have to be Theodore Roosevelt.

( I’d suggest Texas Liberal readers check out the links to Weaver, Debs and La Follette. They were progressive and interesting figures.)

No third party seems likely to win a state in 2008.

September 19, 2008 Posted by | Election Fact Of The Day, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts On The Death Of Jesse Helms

Evildoer Jesse Helms died earlier this week at age 86.

Senator Helms worked as hard and as long as he could to make life even more difficult for black folks, gay folks, the poor, and anybody else he did not like.

Yet I find no satisfaction in his passing.

For one thing, Mr. Helms got the best of his foes. He served five terms in the United States Senate. He left the Senate on his own terms. He was never defeated for election. He lived a long life.

Senator Helms never paid any price for his misdeeds.

When somebody like former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond lives to be 100, you realize that “what goes around comes around” is only true if good people work to make it happen. Otherwise, evil  goes unpunished.

I also think there are deeper reasons to simply move on from the death of somebody like Senator Helms. If you react to the death of a Jesse Helms in the same hateful way he conducted his life, you’ve allowed wrongdoers to define your actions. Aren’t things lousy enough already?

While it’s a lot to ask one to completely discipline personal thoughts, it is our public actions and reactions that will be observed and judged by others.

Being glad someone is dead is simply the wrong course. It does nothing to harm the person who has passed. It only alters our own character.   

I rarely criticize Republicans and people on the far-right in my blog. I feel doing so would serve little purpose for what I want to accomplish. When you see this blog is titled Texas Liberal, you can guess what I think of Jesse Helms.

There are always going to be wrongdoers. I have only so much time for blog posts. I don’t want bad folks to take up all my time.

The issue is the words and deeds of people open to taking the right course in life. It is these people I want to concern myself with.

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | 6 Comments

As G.H.W. Bush Endorses McCain, Here Is Bush’s Poor Record As A Texas Candidate

 

Former President George H.W. Bush has endorsed John McCain for President.

( Story here.  Picture is of Mr. Bush with Dwight Eisenhower.)

Will this endorsement help Senator McCain as he campaigns for the March 4 Texas primary against Mike Huckabee

It can’t be taken as a given.

Polls show Mr. McCain and Mr. Huckabee running close in Texas.   

Let’s look at the electoral record for Mr. Bush in Texas going back to 1964.     

In the 1964 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination to run against the great liberal Ralph Yarborough, George Bush needed a run off to win the nomination. He took 44% in the three candidate first round. 

In the 1964 General Election, Senator Yarborough beat Mr. Bush 56%-44%. This even though John Tower had already claimed the other Texas Senate seat for Republicans.

In 1970, Mr. Bush was again the Republican nominee for the Senate. He lost this race to Lloyd Bentsen 54%-46%.

Mr. Bush was next on the Texas ballot in the 1980 Republican primary. Ronald Reagan won 51%-47%.

At the top of the ticket, Mr. Bush did win Texas in 1988 and 1992. Though in 1992 he won his home state with only 40% of the vote against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. This was the worst showing for a Republican presidential candidate in Texas since 1968. 

In 1992, President Bush finished third in his other home state of Maine. Maine is where the Bush family keeps a second home. Mr. Perot, as well as Mr. Clinton, beat Mr. Bush in Maine in 1992.

The last major party nominee to finish third or worse in a state had been Harry Truman in Alabama in 1948. Though this was because Mr. Truman was not even on the Alabama ballot that year as the forces of Dixiecrat Candidate Strom Trurmond had taken over the Alabama Democratic Party. 

Will Mr. Bush’s endorsement help Mr. McCain in Texas or with conservatives?  

Well, based on these facts and on his lousy 37% national showing as a reelection candidate in 1992, it does not seem that to know Mr. Bush as a public figure is to have have full regard for his views. 

Texas Liberal Is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Do Not Believe That “What Goes Around Comes Around”

 

“What goes around comes around” may be true in a collective sense over the long haul. If we continue heating the Earth, we may all suffer the effects of global warming. (Though the global poor will suffer first and suffer more.)

But what goes around is most often not the case for people who do bad things in public life. As an example, longtime segregationist wrongdoer Strom Thurmond lived to be 100. He spent his 100th birthday as a United States Senator.

Bad people in public in public life only get what they deserve if the public makes sure that they do at the ballot box. That’s the only way. Larry Craig type scandals arrive only so often. (And Mr. Craig is still in the Senate.)    

It’s up to you to do the work of democracy.

November 2, 2007 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments