Texas Green Party and the GOP: In Bed to Keep Texas Red

Why would Texas Green Party leaders make a deal with Republican Gov. Rick Perry to help beat Democrats? Perry and other GOP allies of the Greens are their bitter enemies on every single policy issue they care about. The sleazy deal, if successful, will help the GOP continue its poisonous environmental record, its crony capitalism, its pro-big insurance agenda. The deal is twisted and dishonorable.

Gov. Rick Perry’s lackies and cronies are all over scandal. Just yesterday another name surfaced:  Consultant Anthony Holm, who has worked for Perry and Perry financier (and Swift Boat funder) Bob Perry, was named a source of money by Greenie kat swift (nothing upper case about her) in her happy email. They needed the money to fund a petition drive so they could get on the ballot here. More than half-a-million dollars. Where’s Bebe Rebozo when you need him? On the other end of kat swift’s emails, it seems.

It’s a case of childish willfulness overwhelming judgment and the moral compass as well. I believe kat swift and the Green Party candidates care about their causes. But what they seem to care most about is being publicly recognized. Among their friends, they can take comfort in a sanctimonious fairy-land in which only they are right and just. The GOP wants them on the ballot to take votes from Democrats. But Republicans are really bribing the Greens to help perpetuate Republican rule and the status quo. But nothing can shake the self-righteousness of the Green’s fairy-land. It’s sad, really.

Now the Green’s have retreated to an argument that they simply want to preserve the voices of those who signed their petitions (petitions circulated with hundreds of thousands of dollars of dirty money). They are destroying the integrity of the election process to save it, I suppose, or so their story goes.

Do they really believe that their hoped-for ends — which they drive further away by their actions — justify these means? Really?

Republicans’ Tea Baggage: Texas Tea Party Candidates?

teahatWe continue to hear rumblings about the creation of a Texas Tea Party to compete with Republicans and Democrats. If the teabaggers were more than insignificant shills for Rick Perry, they would have already taken steps. We’re about to find out if they have the courage of their convictions.

A theoretical Tea Party out-polled Republicans and Democrats in a survey published last week. The NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll found 41 percent favored the Tea Party, 35 percent favored Democrats and 28 percent favored Republicans. Republican leaders, of course, created tea baggers, and now face a situation where many Texans see the Republicans as full of teabagging crazies, and the teabagging crazies see Republicans as weak sisters. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

Time is running out on the creation of a Tea Party in Texas. Under state law, the deadline for filing papers with the Secretary of State to create a new party (and name a party chairman) is January 2. That’s a Saturday, so the real deadline is December 31. Note that this falls before the January 4th candidate filing deadline. New Tea Party candidates have the same deadline as the new party. By law, it’s Saturday, Jan. 2. Consequently, the real deadline is New Years Eve,

They’ve got other minor hoops to jump through. If the Tea Party plans to field district-level candidates, the Party needs to file a list of county chairs in those counties in which district-level candidates will run. Since there would not be a primary, there is no filing fee. But the party will have to collect about 50,000 signatures after the Democratic and Republican primaries.

I think the teabaggers have hurt Repbulicans already. Few Texans want to belong to such a crazy club. Teabaggers are the Right’s Weather Underground. Few wanted to join that crazy bunch, either, and it hurt Democrats, despite the fact that no Democrats wanted any part of that 60s/70s fringe group. Nixonian Republicans painted all Democrats as disturbers of the peace. By embracing tea baggers, Perry and others have signaled Texans that they are just fine with secession talk and polarizing extremism.

It’d be more accurate to call teabaggers “Tea Baggage.”

Before the Mountains: Sotomayor and Sitting Bull in America

For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty,
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
Your own lips testify against you.
Are you the firstborn of the human race?
Were you brought forth before the hills?

—Eliphaz, in Job 90:5-7

Continue reading “Before the Mountains: Sotomayor and Sitting Bull in America”

American Aparthood

“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear.” Alan Paton

Aparthood. It is the American translation of the South African, Afrikaaner apartheid. It is a good word to describe the fundamental mission of the Right: the creation of a minority class of privileged rulers over a politically disenfranchised and economically subjugated majority. Among the tools of aparthood are barriers to voting, destruction of the civil justice and public education systems, and the “legal” theft of the nation’s wealth. Continue reading “American Aparthood”

Character Versus Brand: A Lesson in Framing

Advertising and marketing gurus have so successfully established the importance of “brand” that we in the political sphere often lose sight of the real core of political argument: character.

The distinction is not trivial. Brand is about a list of facts or attributes. It’s character people use in sizing up strangers, checking in on friends, weighing the merits of a politician. Continue reading “Character Versus Brand: A Lesson in Framing”

Little Words Mean Life or Death: Framing Health Care

“Little words can mean death or life to someone.”

-Electra, in Sophocles’ tragedy, Electra.

People die who could be saved. People suffer who could recover. Those are the consequences of the private insurance-based health care system in America today. Continue reading “Little Words Mean Life or Death: Framing Health Care”

Unstuck in time, or Castro! Negroes! Duck and Cover!

In October, 1962, Mrs. Goode’s third grade class at Houston’s Longfellow Elementary School filed out of its classroom in “the shacks,” temporary wooden structures used to relieve overcrowding. We were headed for the playground when a couple of jets roared overhead. I’ll never forget that moment, because I turned to the boy behind me in line and mumbled, “Is this it?” By “it” I meant an expected nuclear attack. Continue reading “Unstuck in time, or Castro! Negroes! Duck and Cover!”

Secession and Racism

And now, just after the inauguration of America’s first black president, comes loud talk of secession and nullification. What a coincidence.

It seems like only yesterday that right-wingers were condemning critics of a president as un-American, chanting “Proud to be an American,” and branding as traitors to America those opposed to state torture. Today, they say their enemy is America. Oh yeah, and these are the same people who decried so-called “situation ethics.” Continue reading “Secession and Racism”

The Ultimate Wedge Issue in a Democracy

Here is an honest and easy-to-understand statement of a Republican belief that lies behind their efforts to place burdensome and bureaucratic barriers between citizens and the ballot box: Continue reading “The Ultimate Wedge Issue in a Democracy”