The story across Texas isn’t just that Tea Party candidates beat establishment candidates, but now it is more apparent than ever: the Tea Party is the Republican Party.
A Texas Democratic Party operative wrote on Tuesday night what most Republicans who voted Tuesday would probably acknowledge to be true (with some clarifications), only he meant to generate controversy with it.
Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia released the following statement:
“The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over. These Republican candidates across Texas are far more interested in rhetoric than solutions for Texas families. Across our great state, I hear Republicans claiming their party has abandoned them and their values. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and (State) Senator Dan Patrick have driven their party so far off the ideological cliff there is no room (for) balance and common-sense.
“A battle between the Tea Party and Texas Democrats provides a clear contrast. Our candidates believe in a better Texas; a Texas that’s about real life solutions and not political ideology. That is why we are confident that this November, Texans will entrust Texas Democrats with the future of our state.”
So let’s break that statement down.
The Tea Party has contended that state and local governments are too big, state and local debt is too high and state services such as public education (aka “government schools” by critics) are too generous and expensive.
It contends that “pragmatic” is just code for “liberal” and “RINO” (Republican In Name Only).
Furthermore, the patron saint of the GOP, the late President Ronald W. Reagan, was fond of saying the following at practically every campaign stop he ever made:
“Government is not a solution to our problem. Government IS the problem.”
Also, what you hear a lot from this dominant force which controls the Texas Republican Party is that local property taxes are WAY too high. Few can argue against this contention with any credibility. Hardly anyone who owns a significant amount of property will even try.
You can see the “real life” results of this viewpoint in all the failed school district bond elections which have been held across the region in the last year.
Every now and then, some East Texas school district will convince its voters to build some new facilities, but the trend is overwhelmingly in the other direction.
So while Garcia may profess to be “confident,” others would declare him to be “delusional.”
Even if there were a “silent majority” of parents of students who might agree with him on that one issue of public school funding, recent Texas history has shown they will not turn out to vote for his candidates in a midterm election.
More than 96 percent of voting-age Texans did not vote in the recent GOP runoff. The number won’t be quite that high in November, but it is still true that a solid majority of the electorate has given up on the political system, not only in Texas, but in the United States as a whole. A recent voter suppression strategy (aka “voter ID”) enacted into law in this state probably wasn’t even necessary.