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In Texas, the party of Jefferson Davis wins

Texas is a red state on the road to becoming a purple state. The question is whether Gov. Rick Perry’s easy victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary will accelerate that trend.

The remarkable thing about the Texas primary is that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, whom Perry trounced, came to be seen as some kind of liberal by Texas Republican primary voters. Hutchison was endorsed by, among others, Vice President Dick Cheney, hardly a friend of the squishy soft left. Her record is solidly conservative.

But Perry, knowing that voters perceived him as a lackluster governor, knew his only hope was to blast through by using ideological dynamite. So a man who has been in office for nearly a decade cast himself as an anti-Washington hero and even once suggested that secession was a reasonable course given the policies that President Obama was pushing in Washington.

Not only did Perry do well, but Debra Medina, an extreme right-wing Tea Partier, racked up close to a fifth of the vote. Perry avoided a runoff with just over half the vote, leaving Hutchison -- well-liked and once the favorite -- with a paltry 30 percent.

How far right can the Republican Party go before it starts losing the more moderate sorts conservatives? These are voters who may not like taxes but also don’t like talk of secession and expect their government to accomplish a few practical things.

That’s what will be tested this fall. The Democrats nominated moderate Bill White, the former Mayor of Houston who is perfectly positioned to win votes from non-ideologues in all parties.

Over time, Texas is destined to become less solidly Republican. The state’s Latino vote will continue to grow, and newcomers will change the state’s political character, as they have changed Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, the three southern states carried by Obama in 2008. It may still be too early in that transition process for Democrats to expect victory in Texas, but a Perry-White faceoff is about the best matchup Democrats could have hoped for.

It’s also worth noting an interesting pattern. Twice now, Bush presidencies have been followed by a reaction on the right. The first President Bush, a genuinely moderate sort of conservative, raised taxes to balance the budget -- a courageous act -- and alienated the right end of his party. Republicans became more conservative under the leadership of Newt Gingrich and swept to their 1994 midterm victory.

George W. Bush hoped to learn from his father’s problems. He cut taxes and cut them again and tried not to get crosswise with the party’s right wing. But now conservatives view even the second Bush as a sellout, and so they move, inexorably it seems, ever farther to the right. Perry owes his career to W., who worked hard to make sure Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998. Now, Perry is happily moving beyond his patron and occupying ground on the right end of the Texas GOP that W. himself found uninviting.

And, yes, there remains that matter of secession. How many Republicans can be happy that a wing of the party of Abraham Lincoln seems so eager to turn the GOP into the party of Jefferson Davis?

By E.J. Dionne  | March 3, 2010; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

It seems a bit premature to judge this in such stark terms but Mr. Dionne would want this scenario given his own predelictions. Since he doesn't define whatever the party of Jefferson Davis is I guess it a free for all to fill in the blank. All this wishfull thinking that the Republican Party will become so arch conservative that it will fall off the map isn't very realistic. A temporary shift here and there may occur but as to the inevitability of Texas changing hads that still remains to be seen. However Mr. Dionne does betray one suspected opinion of his confreres that since the growth of Hispanic voters is perceived as good for the Democrat Party then they really do not give a fig about illegal immigrants as long as they vote the right way.

Posted by: tzelaney | March 3, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

EJ, in your continuing delusional thought, you might consider that some people move to Texas not just because it's a successful jobs state, but because they embrace what it means to be "Texan." In that case, they might not sell the state down the river, as has happened in northern Virginia where the carpetbaggers reign.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Texas secede? PLEASE say it's true! Good riddance!

Posted by: zaphod71828 | March 3, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

with gov rick whipping up the anti-fed citizens and threatening to leave the union maybe it is time to withdraw all the military bases to a more stable region and peoples, maybe n.mex or cal. maybe it is time to protect all fed assets in texas and move the johnson space center out for instance? maybe it is time to remove ALL fed money streaming to texas? maybe it is time to stop any fed tax breaks to texas corps? we need to support the states that want to remain a part of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. why does rick perry hate the UNITED STATES of AMERICA?

Posted by: david-fahey1 | March 3, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

All Latino's vote democratic???????

Fact - nearly 40% of Texan's are of Hispanic decent - currently! I'm guessing that some of these people are voting Repulican.

This is nearly a racist statement and a perfect demonstration of the assumptions that the left makes regarding certain ethnic groups. The problem is, their assumption is not reality. This will be problematic for the Dems.

Posted by: chrispa | March 3, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"However Mr. Dionne does betray one suspected opinion of his confreres that since the growth of Hispanic voters is perceived as good for the Democrat Party then they really do not give a fig about illegal immigrants as long as they vote the right way."

Um, you can't vote if you're here illegally, compadre. Their kids will be able to vote after they, you know, grow up as Americans. Just like every other immigrant group before them.

Posted by: mrsaun | March 3, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yep, and now Perry is on to thump the candidate from the party of Robert "Sheets" Byrd!!!!!

Posted by: ADNova | March 3, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Already Rick Perry is being talked of as a possible Republican candidate for president. Man, I hope he does run, because there are miles of incendiary video footage for the Democrats (or even his fellow Republicans) to use against him.

The one inescapable fact cited by Dionne is that demographics present a huge problem for Republicans nationally. Any Republican candidate for president has to mollify the extreme right to get nominated and, when you look at the extreme right, it is white people over 60. Can't build a party on that, especially when you have alienated the nation's fastest growing minority, Latinos, and have never been able to make inroads with African-Americans since Franklin Roosevelt was elected.

Add in the loss of credibility among college educated white professionals of all age groups and it is hard to see how the Republican Party as now constituted has a national future.

Posted by: purdyjack | March 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse


The Republicans are still the party of Abraham Lincoln.

And the Democrats are still the party of George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Robert Byrd, along with many reverse racists like Barack Obama and Eric Holder.


Posted by: Jerzy | March 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

It's time we admit we were wrong and give Texas back to Mexico.

Posted by: jjc1 | March 3, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see Texas secede and then Mexico conquer it. What a laugh riot that would be. Gov. Perry is just the latest idiot Gov. from Texas.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | March 3, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I am not a fan of Governor Perry but Dionne's use of the term THE PARTY OF JEFF DAVIS is offensive.

He seems to think coding the calling of large groups of population racist is clever.

He is, of course, the same prig that will howl to moon if some flake teabagger brings a Hitler sign to a protest.

Pathetic.

Posted by: TECWRITE | March 3, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Texas should secede from the union and go back to being part of Mexico..... UGH.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | March 3, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The texans are largely brainwashed idiots.

Posted by: kevin1231 | March 3, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think even Jefferson Davis would endorse the talk that comes from today's nutty right. His own states complained about Davis wanting too much government. BTW, Abe Lincoln wasn't all that popular in his own time because of the "progressive" reform he was bringing about. His popularity didn't grow until after his death. Even Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were against secession. These men were far wiser than some of today's politicians.

Posted by: br30 | March 3, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

And, yes, there remains that matter of secession. How many Republicans can be happy that a wing of the party of Abraham Lincoln seems so eager to turn the GOP into the party of Jefferson Davis?
===========
Nice veiled race bating. I guess , nex you want to call the RNC head, Steele, "Uncle Tom".

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 3, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The texans are largely brainwashed idiots.

==========================
I take exception to that. I am life-long Texan but I neither a social conservative, Bush or Perry supporter or secessionist. I also don't buy into that Texas exceptionalism BS.

Posted by: samiles96 | March 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You'll write anything to get read Dionne. You are a writer with ZERO integrity. I didn't even bother reading past the first paragraph, knowing what tripe could be expected if I finished.

How the WashPost can keep a third rate writer like you on their payroll is a mystery. Broder would never type out something like this.

Apply to the National Enquirer, that's where you're going to end up, demogogue.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | March 3, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Is Texas one of those states that revieve more in Federal funds than they pay in taxes? If so let them go!

Posted by: tnsailorguy | March 3, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse


If the extreme right is relying on a small group of angry white people over the age of 60, I guess I can ride this nonsense out. They're not going to live forever, you know.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | March 3, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Saying the republican party is still the party of Abraham Lincoln is like saying the Yankees are the team of Babe Ruth. It doesn't matter today. And like it or not there are more crazy conservatives that Perry is stirring up than frothing socialists to oppose him.

Crazy conservatives use 'reverse racism' to avoid acknowledging their own racism, glibly suggest that democrats have no ideas of merit, or people of merit, or are uniformly unpatriotic even after service. Crazy conservatives elect chicken hawk draft dodgers like Cheney, Dick Armey who said non military service "a welfare program for aspiring yuppies" and "government-managed, well-paid social activism.",& Newt G. All war advocating draft dodgers all leading the crazy conservatives like a pack of sheep.
If it wasn't for LBJ directing billions of dollars to Texas as senate majority leader and then president you all would still be a third world country instead of a world class state with an inferiority complex.

Posted by: citizen625 | March 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The existence of the Texas wingnut is a living refutation of the theory of evolution.

Their stupidity is only exceeded by their hypocrisy.

Gotta give it to them: no one has less class or ethical sense than a Texas Republican.

During the W. years they ran up a multi-trillion dollar tab; they siphoned a huge chunk of tax-payer resources into Texas; and now 50 percent of Republicans in the state think the state should secede.

Frankly, if they don't pay back the tab, we should nuke 'em.

Posted by: JPRS | March 3, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Th party of Jefferson Davis won the GOP primary battle, but will likely end up losing the governor's pgeneral election war.

Posted by: hootie1fan | March 3, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Tea Bagger Party Platform:

Always vote No if a Democrat is president.
Always vote Yes if a Republican is president.
Only allowed to watch Fox news.
Only allowed to listen to self described entertainer and drug addict Rush Limbaugh.
"We are Fair and Balanced."

Tax cuts to Debt, putting every American on welfare.
War is good, but charge it to our kids to pay.
Give your Social Security to the Wall Street Bonus boys.
More tax cuts for the rich, our leaders.
Lower wages for workers, no unions.

Allowable Death Panels:
40 million Americans without healthcare.
Guns for all.
Death penalty.
Wars of choice.

Don't believe in science, education, or pollution. If you can't see it, if I can't put my hands in the holes, it doesn't exist.

You betcha!
Palin/Perry 2012

Posted by: chucky-el | March 3, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Amazing what hypocrites these people are. Last week, when a 13-year-old schoolgirl was dragged out of her classroom by the cops for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance, all the conservatives were wildly in favor of this fascistic breach of her constitutional rights, adding that she and her family should be deported if they don't like America.

But when Perry talks SECESSION, they all cheer cos he's a Republican.

Likewise, the average conservative Cleetus is super-proud of his Confederate soldier great-grampaw Cleetus the First, who not only failed to pledge allegiance to the US, he actively tried to kill American soldiers.

I guess, for the conservatives, disloyalty to the US is OK, so long as you're doing it to defend slavery.

Posted by: kenonwenu | March 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I have relatives in Texas, so I know first hand how retrograde the place is. Oh yeah, it's a low-wage "jobs" haven, but it also leads the nation in incarceration and child poverty rates. The Banana Republicans may think they're riding high right now but they may in fact be close to a tipping point. I just hope Bill White will make the case and put a stop to the nonsense.

Posted by: CopyKinetics | March 3, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Without a doubt LIncoln and at least 80% of Republicans between 1854 and 1870 would be Democrats today. May be hard for some to believe liberals and radicals controlled Republican party for about fifteen years. Many Republicans during first three decades of 20th century were genuine progressives, including Bob LaFollette and George Norris. There were some liberal Republicans in Congress or mayors during the 1960's and 1970's, such as Jacob Javitis, John Lindsay.

Yet now there are few moderate Republicans and many moderately conservatives are criticized by right-wingers for not being sufficiently conservative. There are a lot of problems with Obama and the Democrats, especially their subservience to various special interest groups, including the military-industrial complex. But Republicans have truly become the modern Know Nothing party.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | March 3, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Texas?.....YAWN.......

Posted by: jckdoors | March 3, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

What is annoying is that the democrats have failed to take advantage of the right going full bore crazy.
They could have grabbed the reigns and ran with it while the republicans were having their year long tantrum and scaring the country by becoming totally nuts.
Instead the democrats have done as they usually do the past few decades and ducked instead. They totally blew it by trying to be bipartisan with the crazy rightwing.
Until the democrats find their spines and stop trying to be moderate republicans instead of real democrats, we are left with a centrist right and far fringe, crazy rightwing to chose from.
No wonder everyone is angry.

Posted by: vwcat | March 3, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I lived in Texas for ten years, and it always bothered me that so many of the "natives" there considered themselves Texans first and Americans second. I think Perry is tapping into those feelings that their state is somehow "better" than the other 49. After a decade living there, I can assure them that is not the case!

Posted by: acboatman | March 3, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The republicons are off the rails and crashed in crazy town. Not only are they talking secession, but also a return to the gold standard, nullification, and deep fears of the international zionist conspiracy for world domination through the UN.

Texans are apparently dumber than dirt. Perry ran as an anti-Washington candidate. As gov of Texas he has no influence at all on Washington. Governor of Texas is a part time job that has implications only for Texas. It is lke your local town council election revolving around the cnadidates position on foriegn policy. It may be interesting to know, but it is completely irrelevant.

Posted by: John1263 | March 3, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Secession: Yes,Yes,Yes do the United States and the world a favor.Who got us into this depression we are in a dude from Texas G.W.Dick Arney is another looney from Texas. The only good thing that came out of Texas was Lyndon Johnson

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | March 3, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

All Latino's vote democratic???????

Fact - nearly 40% of Texan's are of Hispanic decent - currently! I'm guessing that some of these people are voting Repulican.

This is nearly a racist statement and a perfect demonstration of the assumptions that the left makes regarding certain ethnic groups. The problem is, their assumption is not reality. This will be problematic for the Dems.

Posted by: chrispa
============================
Not sure who you're responding to, but Dionne didn't say anything remotely like "All Latinos vote Democratic." He did point out the changing nature of the electorate and how it will influence future elections - a reasonable, and obvious, conclusion.

And you're right; some Latinos will vote Republican. But past elections and demographic trends indicate that the vast majority will likely vote Democratic.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | March 3, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I kind of hope Rick Perry sticks around. I'm not a Texan, so his election doesn't affect me, but I like that he shoots his mouth off about "secession" and other nonsense. Like Jim Bunning in the Senate, the more of these loose canons that are around to remind voters about Republicans, the better Democrats tend to do.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | March 3, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Jefferson Davis was a Democratic US Congressman and Senator from Mississippi. He served as Secretary of War in President Buchanan's Administration, the last elected Democratic president until Grover Cleveland.

Posted by: VAALEX | March 3, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"It's time we admit we were wrong and give Texas back to Mexico."

*******************************************
Only if we can give Manhattan back to the Indians and California back to the Spanish.

Posted by: kingsra | March 3, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Amazing what hypocrites these people are. When a group protestors refusing to let people enter a military recruiting station, all the liberals were wildly in favor of this socialistic breach of young men's constitutional rights, adding that they and her family should be re-educated if they don't like progressive ideas.

But when a California or Vermont politician talks SECESSION, they all cheer cos he's anti-Republican.

Likewise, the average liberal Barack is super-proud of his pro-Socialist revolution advisor William Ayers, who not only failed to pledge allegiance to the US, he actively tried to kill American citizens.

I guess, for the liberals, disloyalty to the US is OK, so long as you're doing it to promote progressive 'tolerance.'

Posted by: dgw1091 | March 3, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

So, Perry talks secession and the Republicans cheer. Palin is married to secessionist, and she was the VP nominee of the Republicans!

I keep hearing that Republicans are true patriots. Is their patriotism the type that would rather this Republic of the people, by the people, for the people PERISH from the Earth?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | March 3, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The Bush's are Carpetbaggers and Carpetbaggers rule in the Major Cities where Republicans are the Major party. Few Carpetbaggers become farmers and ranchers or work in the Oil fields and refineries. After the 2010 Census Republicans will redraw precinct lines to water down the Democratic Votes like they did in 2000 so they can probably stay in control.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | March 3, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

dgw1091 @ March 3, 2010 11:41 AM: You need to understand that the Constitution provides guarantees to the individual from the state. That is, the individual has the right to protest and even say and do truly distasteful things. But the state does not have the same right. That is the essence of the Bill of Rights!

In other words, defending the right of a bigot to express his opinion is not necessarily agreeing with him, but it is patriotic.

Preventing the state from imposing its opinion, however much you may agree with it, is patriotic. Allowing the state to impose its will is not patriotic.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | March 3, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Will Texans vote for a Democrat governor? Maybe; however, more Texans voted for Perry, 750,257, than voted in the Democratic primary, 670,984. Republican turnout (1,468,689) was twice the Democrat turnout (670,984.) Even if all of the Hutchison people voted for the Democrat, White, (and all the Tea Party people voted for Perry), Perry would still win. I don't think all of the Hutchison people will vote for White and I would think that very few in the Tea Party would vote for him.

White was the mayor of Houston. The current mayor is a lesbian. Perhaps Houston voters are more liberal, and thus not representative, of the rest of Texas voters.

What is the future of the Republican Party with Hispanics? Probably not all that great today. However, many of the white ethnics who voted Democrat 45 years ago vote Republican today.

How about the Republican future among young people? Someone turning 60 today is a baby boomer. 40 some years ago did anyone think that baby boomers would trend Republican? As people age they tend to beome more conservative (and wiser, in my opinion. I think we can expect that as the current cohert of young people age, they will vote more conservative and more Republican.

Secession would probably be viewed differently today. If the south or any other part of the US wanted to leave the union, the rest of the country would probably let them. I don't think we would see a civil war with half a million dead to keep the union together. Elsewhere in the world, when a portion of a nation wants to secede, world opinion supports secession. It is called self-determination. Think USSR, Yugoslavia and parts of Africa. Certainly Canada would not use military force to keep Quebec in the dominion.

Posted by: herlick | March 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

“... this election was about hard working Texans sending a simple compelling message to Washington: Quit spending all the money, stop trying to takeover our lives and our businesses...” - Texas Gov Rick Perry (last night)

Wow, EJ’s right - no way such rightwing crazy talk could ever resonate beyond Texas’s borders. So, by all means Dems, take comfort in his assurances and stay the course. Texas is trending blue, and those unfortunate results in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts were just anomalies. We don’t need no stinkin’ jobs, we need nationalized healthcare.

Posted by: Bjartur | March 3, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Perry won the GOP primary appealing to the anti-immigration, mainly older, mainly Caucasian crowd in Texas. That works for the Republican primary, but there is this thing called the Internet and along with YouTube, what one says to appeal to a primary crowd sticks around in public forever.

There are a whole lot more non white, under 50 years of age, multi-racial, descendants of immigrants out there and they vote in the general election.

And they have broadband access.

Posted by: hootie1fan | March 3, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Lil Rick isn't serious. He is a tool of any corporation that wants him. His trans-Texas garbage set him against the real powers in Texas and he got spanked. The fact that a few people whose source of information is TV commercials voted for him means nothing. He claimed credit for everything from the rain falling to the sun rising.

A son of the Confederacy? Please. He is an Aggie yell leader who is trying to look like Ronnie Reagan. Real fighting would send him looking for his Mom, just like George W. I hope to see him in jail or in exile one of these days.

Posted by: rusty3 | March 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

More wishful thinking by Mr. Dionne and the left....only 8 more months before we drive a stake into the heart of the Democratic party..can't wait!

Posted by: dcmowbray1 | March 3, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

How far right can the Republican Party go before it starts losing the more moderate sorts conservatives? These are voters who may not like taxes but also don’t like talk of secession and expect their government to accomplish a few practical things.
*******************************************
I dunno, how far left can the Democratic Party go before it starts losing moderates? Actually...this is already happening.

Posted by: websterr1 | March 3, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I see Dionne has the rightwingnuts worked up into a nice frothing rage. Doesn't take much with these loose cannons.

The Jeff Davis analogy really nailed you 'tards. But by all means keep acting like the parties are aligned as they were 150 years ago. That should work. LOL

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 3, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It seems a bit premature to judge this in such stark terms but Mr. Dionne would want this scenario given his own predelictions. Since he doesn't define whatever the party of Jefferson Davis is I guess it a free for all to fill in the blank. All this wishfull thinking that the Republican Party will become so arch conservative that it will fall off the map isn't very realistic. A temporary shift here and there may occur but as to the inevitability of Texas changing hads that still remains to be seen. However Mr. Dionne does betray one suspected opinion of his confreres that since the growth of Hispanic voters is perceived as good for the Democrat Party then they really do not give a fig about illegal immigrants as long as they vote the right way.

Posted by: tzelaney | March 3, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse
--------------------------
"The Party of Jefferson Davis" is fairly self-explanatory, provided that you know who Jefferson Davis is.

Posted by: billy8 | March 3, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter so much whether Texas starts electing Democrats again. It matters what those Democrats will do while in office.

If Democrats keep moving to the right, what's the difference?

The branded livestock is all stolen, no matter whose corral one finds it in.

Posted by: forestbloggod | March 3, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"How many Republicans can be happy that a wing of the party of Abraham Lincoln seems so eager to turn the GOP into the party of Jefferson Davis?"

Abe Lincoln was a compassionate, thoughtful intellectual. He would have spit on the greedheads and know-nothings who run today's Republican Party.

Posted by: davidscott1 | March 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Texas is definitely a bizarre place. It produced Tom DeLay and Dick Armey and now Perry. The last Texan politician with any pizazz was Ann Richards who lost to G.W of all people. However, I do agree with Perry that the country would probably be better off with Texas seceding, at least until there is a hispanic majority.

Posted by: serban1 | March 3, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

More wishful thinking by Mr. Dionne and the left....only 8 more months before we drive a stake into the heart of the Democratic party..can't wait!

Posted by: dcmowbray1
=======================
Actually, I wouldn't mind if the Dems lost the House or the Senate. At least then Repbublicans would have a real stake in governing the country instead of running it down.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | March 3, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

TX may not tip towards Dems with the increase of people moving to the state, but if Dallas is any indication, it may move more in that direction. For those people who talk about "what it means to be a Texan", I am always appalled by the "My way or the highway ego" here and lack of interest in others. The state that claims it is great for business also has one of the worst teen pregnancy rates, a death penalty that is suspect, bottom of the country for education standards, ideas of succession, getting rid of the EPA and the latest Reblican ballot measure wants t0 add the Ten commandments to public buildings. This is another world down here that tends to be overly critical of others, outside of a narrow view. Balance would be welcome. Being "independant" is great but no at the expense of any and all government standards that are helpful.

Posted by: cadam72 | March 3, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

More wishful thinking by Mr. Dionne and the left....only 8 more months before we drive a stake into the heart of the Democratic party..can't wait!

Posted by: dcmowbray1
--------------------
Well, thats the correct, democratic way to respond to policies that you don't like.
Secession would be the illegal, treasonous response.

Posted by: billy8 | March 3, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

A rare case of bi-partisan agreement!!
Texas gov race is a national test case. For sure.

Posted by: mes4 | March 3, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Typical liberal drivel. Texas has problems, like most other states but has managed to accumulate a surplus, unlike California or New York, those bastions of progressivism. The people here are still friendly enough to help their neighbors during times of disasters like hurricanes, and even help out people from other states, thank you very much. And yes, we are fairly conservative, including Hispanics like me. I think writers like you just don't understand Texas and Texans and are probably just jealous of the success and history of our great state. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Posted by: gloriagarza | March 3, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Perry and his sucessionist ilk have no reason to complain since Texas get $1.84 back from the feds for every $1.00 they send to D.C.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | March 3, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

oh god EJ, party of jefferson davis my ass. get off it, you wingnut. are the democrats the party of 'retard haters' because of rham and obama's repeated comments to that effect? or do they just hate blacks who "speak with a negro dialect" or think that all indians work at 7-11 like joe biden once said?

constantly taking on the farthest fringe of the opposition and ignoring its vast majority of rational members is a sure sign of a pundit who has absolutely nothing to offer this country in the way of how to move forward.

i mean you look like an alcoholic but do you have to write like one?

Posted by: dummypants | March 3, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Perry and his sucessionist ilk have no reason to complain since Texas get $1.84 back from the feds for every $1.00 they send to D.C.
********

they deserve it since it goes to pay for all the illegal mexican immigrants which the federal government makes texas take in, school and provide health care for.

Posted by: dummypants | March 3, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

If you whining uber liberals want Texas to succeed from the union because you don't agree with our politics, who is going to defend your sorry behinds?
And Gloria posting before me is right. Hispanics in Texas are very family oriented, conservative and send their kids off to the military to serve proudly.
Texas gave you LBJ and his Great Society, Lloyd Bentsen and Barbara Jordan. We even gave you "Good time" Charlie Wilson so quit your partisan crap.
Kay got her butt handed to her last night because she has joined to ranks of the Washington insiders who tell their constituents one thing to their faces and flys off to the District to vote the other.
Governor Good Hair with all his faults, and there are many, can be counted upon for a least a few things.
This should be an interesting election.
I wish Molly Ivins were still around to enjoy this circus.

Posted by: menopausequeen | March 3, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Let Texas secede. Move all of the U.S. military bases out of there when it happens. Then, Texans will be crying when a lot of their jobs are gone.

Can you see the secessionist nuts protecting Texarkana with muskets and cowboy boots? I can.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | March 3, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Before the Civil War, Democrats were the pro-slavery party. A Republican president named Lincoln freed the slaves and began the period of Reconstruction in the South which gave ex-slaves the rights of citizens. When the Union Army left the South, Democrats reacted- they passed Jim Crow laws that deprived blacks of the right to vote, pass laws against
mixture of the races and resegregated the South. Democrats formed and joined the KKK which one historian has called the "military force of the Democratic Party." Lynchings in the South were the work of angry white Democrats. Roosevelt's New Deal depended on the votes of Southern white racists- Bilbo, Fullbright, Irvin, Russell, Gore, Stennis and Democrat governors like Faubus, Wallace, Maddox, and Barnett fought hard to maintain Democrat racist control of the South. Sheriff Bull Connor of Birmingham was a Democrat. A greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights bills of the 1960's. Dionne has forgotten the history of that era if he ever knew it.

Posted by: mhr614 | March 3, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Before the Civil War, Democrats were the pro-slavery party. A Republican president named Lincoln freed the slaves and began the period of Reconstruction in the South which gave ex-slaves the rights of citizens. When the Union Army left the South, Democrats reacted- they passed Jim Crow laws that deprived blacks of the right to vote, pass laws against
mixture of the races and resegregated the South. Democrats formed and joined the KKK which one historian has called the "military force of the Democratic Party." Lynchings in the South were the work of angry white Democrats. Roosevelt's New Deal depended on the votes of Southern white racists- Bilbo, Fullbright, Irvin, Russell, Gore, Stennis and Democrat governors like Faubus, Wallace, Maddox, and Barnett fought hard to maintain Democrat racist control of the South. Sheriff Bull Connor of Birmingham was a Democrat. A greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights bills of the 1960's. Dionne has forgotten the history of that era if he ever knew it.

Posted by: mhr614 | March 3, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

And, yes, there remains that matter of secession. How many Republicans can be happy that a wing of the party of Abraham Lincoln seems so eager to turn the GOP into the party of Jefferson Davis?
*******

oh yeah because Perry was talking about succeeding because he thought slavery should have been legal.

i forgot that part of Perry's campaign. you're an idiot EJ please stop writing and go kill yourself.

Posted by: dummypants | March 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

dgw1091 wrote:
"But when a California or Vermont politician talks SECESSION, they all cheer cos he's anti-Republican."

==========================================
Please name/cite your sources for this statement. Hint - "I pulled it out of my A$$" is not an acceptable answer.

Posted by: Ken_Davis1 | March 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

If the extreme right is relying on a small group of angry white people over the age of 60, I guess I can ride this nonsense out. They're not going to live forever, you know.
*******

im 28 and im sure you would consider me an "angry white person" even though i simply advocate returning to rational common sense values and policies.

so no, socialist and centralized power haters like me never go away.

Posted by: dummypants | March 3, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

mhr614: Those people in the Democratic party are long gone. They all left to join the Republican party when the Democrats after the 1968 Chicago National Convention.

Oh wait, you're proud that the party that Lincoln founded is really more Democratic in nature than the NSDAP...err I mean the GOP?

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | March 3, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

dgw1091 wrote:
"But when a California or Vermont politician talks SECESSION, they all cheer cos he's anti-Republican."

==========================================
Please name/cite your sources for this statement. Hint - "I pulled it out of my A$$" is not an acceptable answer.
*********

i saw a news report just the other day about a group of vermont universal health care righters who want to succeed.

can you name me the source of Perry saying he wants to succeed?

Posted by: dummypants | March 3, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

By the way E.J.
Jefferson Davis went to Congress from Mississippi as a Democrat.

Posted by: menopausequeen | March 3, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party people wear their ignorance like a badge of honor. They are oblivious to the facts. Research surveys have shown about 90% of them think Obama has RAISED taxes when in fact he has lowered them. When you are that ignorant of the facts it makes it easier to sustain your nut case beleifs.

Posted by: wrw01011 | March 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party people wear their ignorance like a badge of honor. They are oblivious to the facts. Research surveys have shown about 90% of them think Obama has RAISED taxes when in fact he has lowered them. When you are that ignorant of the facts it makes it easier to sustain your nut case beleifs.

Posted by: wrw01011 | March 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Much of that money goes to your "Socialist" dams, water supply, highways and transportation system. As Molly Ivans said "Texas is Mississippi with better roads" Also funding for the "Socialist" Johnson Space center in Houston as well as other R&D.

No one makes you take in the illegals. They are an integeral part of your economy since they work for lower wages and to quote Shrub "Do the jobs Americans will not do" Most studies call it a wash services used vs taxes paid by illegals.


Perry and his sucessionist ilk have no reason to complain since Texas get $1.84 back from the feds for every $1.00 they send to D.C.
********

they deserve it since it goes to pay for all the illegal mexican immigrants which the federal government makes texas take in, school and provide health care for.

Posted by: dummypants |

Posted by: MerrillFrank | March 3, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Rick Perry is a creep. I am proud to call myself a Texan and embarrassed to have a loser as the Governor. If you really want to see what kind of a person he is--go look at the video takens of him a few years back when his limo got stopped for speeding.

Posted by: jstewartecu | March 3, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Dionne, you just don't get it. You mingle with all of your liberal friends, but never rub elbows with real people. People are mad as H311 at Washington. Talk of secession is a way of telling Washington off. Come Nov., all you Dumbocrats are going to get clobbered. This is going to be fun to watch.

Posted by: A1965bigdog | March 3, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are sure to lose in November because they have become too conservative and the insist on obstructing the vision Obama and the Democrats have for America at every turn.

Just like they lost in NJ.

And VA.

And MA.

See ya' in November, EJ!

Posted by: pmendez | March 3, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Perry won for a variety or reasons, but a major one that has not been mentioned is that the voters in Texas have become keely aware that Senators are terrible in Executive positions. There is no "party of Jeff Davis" going on in Texas and if Dionne thinks that Texas is going purple because the hispanic population is increasing, he is out of touch with the hispanics in south Texas. This of course makes sense since he hasn't been outside the beltway, mentally anyway, in a very long time.

Posted by: john98 | March 3, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

IF TEXAS SECEDES perhaps they could sign a free trade agreement with Quebec. Any free trade with the US would first require an extensive investigation of Texas' human rights record - say a ten year long investigation.

TEXAS JUSTICE: Doesn't that mean dragging a man behind a pickup truck until he's torn limb from limb?

On another subject (I'm too lazy to write elsewhere) Isn't Sarah's use of crib notes in the palm of her hand pretty strong evidence that she cheated in school?

Posted by: rbdave | March 3, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Perry plays all sides of the fence very well.
He talks up a storm about secession to appeal to the Tea Party. Then backs off by saying they have a right to or could secede.
Meanwhile, his clear channel backers trash Medina, the actual Tea Party Candidate.
He speaks out against illegal immigration but gives in state tuition to illegal aliens and passes off enforcement to the federal government thus actually doing nothing but keeping large corporations who hire them happy.
He also speaks out against the stimulus money while accepting all but the amount which would have helped unemployment benefits.

Posted by: Emaleth | March 3, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It is very simple: GOP = CSA

Anyone who lives in Dixie now knows this to be true. You hear it from their leaders, veiled threats of session or open calls to defend states rights.

It is proven in their "Southern" strategy, which is 100% racist and why the GOP cannot get anyone but a few tokens add some color.

Not that the Democrats are really concerned with minority issues, they simply are not openly hostile to the idea of minorities.

As a white southern male I can say that from my experience all one needs to do to prove that conservatives are by and large a bunch of racist neo-confederates is to be white and spend some time with them. Given back stage access to these radicals and you quickly realize that much of the vanguard of conservativism would have no problems donning hoods and burning crosses.

Posted by: hansenthered | March 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Before the Civil War, Democrats were the pro-slavery party. A Republican president named Lincoln freed the slaves and began the period of Reconstruction in the South which gave ex-slaves the rights of citizens. When the Union Army left the South, Democrats reacted- they passed Jim Crow laws that deprived blacks of the right to vote, pass laws against
mixture of the races and resegregated the South. Democrats formed and joined the KKK which one historian has called the "military force of the Democratic Party." Lynchings in the South were the work of angry white Democrats. Roosevelt's New Deal depended on the votes of Southern white racists- Bilbo, Fullbright, Irvin, Russell, Gore, Stennis and Democrat governors like Faubus, Wallace, Maddox, and Barnett fought hard to maintain Democrat racist control of the South. Sheriff Bull Connor of Birmingham was a Democrat. A greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights bills of the 1960's. Dionne has forgotten the history of that era if he ever knew it.
==
You stop your historical analysis too soon. See what happened right after those Republican favored Civil Rights bills were passed is important to relate. The Democratic Party lost those racist democrats whom saw that they had no home in the Democratic party of LBJ and JFK. So after wandering in the wilderness for a few years the openly racist were drawn to the GOP. This was not by chance. It occurred because conservative party members recognized that many southern states could be flipped from Democratic to Republican. So by 1968 Nixon and company were fully using the Southern strategy to advance the GOP. This plan, which is bearing fruit for the GOP now, was always about appealing to the white southerners out there whom felt betrayed by the Democratic Party and so the GOP began a 30+ year march to transform itself from being solely the party of monocle wearing Wall Street tycoons to a being the party of monocle wearing Wall Street tycoons and knuckle dragging redneck “traditional family values” white conservatives.

Posted by: hansenthered | March 3, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse


What are you now Dionne, a self-styled psychic?

I am shocked, shocked that a Republican beat another Republican in the Republican primary.

How you get from there to Governor Perry is going to lose to some Dim is a flight of fancy.

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 3, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Her record is "solidly conservative"? Says who? E. J. Dionne! Even the slightly informed know better! The donkey sticks his nose under the elephant's tent, again! When will we see your article in support of Mayor White? You, obviously, either do not know what a "solid conservative" is, or you are disingenuous, to use a polite word. Washington Post readers, a mostly liberal lot, can, nevertheless, decide for themselves, in a "fair and balanced" assessment. The elephant in your press room, Mr. Dionne, is the issue of abortion! Wake up and smell the coffee! Or, better yet, write a "less disingenuous" column!!

Posted by: georgerflynn | March 3, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Is no longer the party of Lincoln. Hasn't been for a long time.

Posted by: jchaus | March 3, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

In order to win an actual election, you have to win an actual majority of votes. What I wonder is how they expect to get a majority from being more extremist.

All this is nice for the party internally and such but it's not going to get them elected.

Posted by: Nymous | March 3, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing if TX seceded from the US they'd be running Mexico within 5 years. If a war broke out between the Mexican army and the citizens of TX, the smart money would be on the Texans.

Posted by: ADNova | March 3, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

What can you say about a state that's last in education and first in executions?

I think NASA, and all federally funded institutions should be removed from Texas immediately. With their level of hate and anger at the government and the burgeoning instability there I don't see why they should benefit from the tax dollars and prestige. Who knows what could happen after tea-party member Joe Stack commited a murder suicide similar to an Al-Qaeda attack. We may wake up some morning to a smouldering NASA building in Huston, or a sabotaged space shuttle. I'm sure there are more extremists in that state plotting bigger more spectacular operations. And it seems clear that collateral damage is their goal. And if Texas actually manages to secede again, as is their current governors stated desire, how will the taxpayers investment in those institutions be reclaimed? Civil War the sequel? It seems to me that Texas is fast becoming a serious national security liability.

Posted by: Plissken | March 3, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh PLEASE! The Republican party hasn't been the Party of Lincoln since July 2, 1964, if not before that.

Posted by: hayesap8 | March 3, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a moderate Democrat who lives in Texas (and who routinely votes for some Republican candidates too). All of the political commentary on this election seems to be ignoring one very important fact: Hutchison ran a terrible campaign. Her highest profile television ads made her look old, out of touch, and incredibly boring. I mean INCREDIBLY boring. Her attacks on Perry were pathetically weak. She was endorsed by a ton of major Republican players in the state and by many important business and agricultural groups, yet she lost. I think this election was all about voter angst and a pathetic performance from Hutchison. The people who are focused on Perry are reading the tea leaves wrong (no pun intended).

Posted by: Mick8 | March 3, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Figures Texans go for a rodeo clown like Perry. Oh well, it's your state so I could really less. Just don't expect to be putting any more presidents in office for a long time. Your last two products have been a disaster, from both parties.

Posted by: _Cowabunga_ | March 3, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Democratic like Virginia? Didn't the republicans recently win a fairly big race there? You know the one before the big race they won in Mass taking Kennedy's seat!

Posted by: kathymac1 | March 3, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are still the party of Abraham Lincoln.
And the Democrats are still the party of George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Robert Byrd, along with many reverse racists like Barack Obama and Eric Holder.
Posted by: Jerzy | March 3, 2010 10:00 AM
----------------------------------
LOL

Posted by: mnjam | March 3, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

The GOP decided to become the Party of Jeff Davis about 1964 or so. By 2012 Palin, Huckabee, and Romney will be calling for armed rebellion and begging the Joint Chiefs to impose martial law.

Posted by: vfazio | March 4, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

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