11 January 2010

Why 2010 Elections Are So Important to Democrats

History Drives the Vehicle of the Present.

It is not over statement to say that the 2010 Texas elections have worldwide implications. Remember that 2010 is a census year and from that census will be determined the number of congressional seats Texas, and all other states, will have from 2011 through 2020.

A quick digression to explain "worldwide" implications: Think Bush and GOP majority (partly the result of Tom DeLay's redistricting strategy in Texas and elsewhere with the Texas delegation counting only 12-Democrats to the Republican's 20 as the result of that mid-decade gerrymandering) and catastrophic world affairs and foreign policy. ....OK, got it?

Now, back to the census and apportionment of congressional seats to the states. Based on population growth certain states stand to "pick up" seats while others could lose seats if their populations have sufficiently declined. Projections are that Texas will "pick up" three to four seats. But the fly in this batch of balm is that Texas currently suffers and languishes under a Republican majority, which if allowed to persist past the 2010 elections, would create a scenario, wherein it would be the Republican Texas legislature, through the redistricting process, that would determine whether those new seats become Republican or Democratic.

A brief look to the past will tell one how that works.

Remember that in 2002 when the Republicans captured the Texas House of Representatives for the first time in 100-years they used the opportunity a year later to initiate very controversial mid-decade redistricting to utterly butcher the Texas' Democratic delegation to the U.S. Congress. That much of that gerrymandered redistricting lost in subsequent court battles (for instance, Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett's "fajita district") is beside the point, as the end result is that the indicted, but not yet convicted scofflaw, Tom DeLay and his PAC (TRMPAC) has now wrecked havoc on the state's Democrats and their supporters for nearly a decade.

Right now, the Republicans hold a 76 - 74 margin over the Democrats in the Texas House and a 19-12 edge in the Senate going into the 2010 elections. Now that margin in the Senate provides both parties the ability to dodge any redistricting bill they regard as damaging to their interests. But, it doesn't stop with that. The Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, could decide to bypass Senate tradition and circumvent the two-thirds rule--it's been done before!

Still with me? Good. Here is where it gets quite thorny. If the legislature is unable to come up with a redistricting plan, the task transfers to the five member Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB). Who, you ask, is on that board? Good question, and here is the answer good to chill any democrat's blood: the House Speaker, Land Commissioner, Comptroller (correctly pronounced, by the way, "controller"), Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor. All blood red Republicans, every damned one of them!

So, do you understand why I'm saying that past is prologue and driving the bus we're on here in Texas? If you don't like the scenery you're seeing out of your window, understand that you will be seeing more of the same but worse unless Texas Democrats develop the will, and mine and use the resources needed to educate, organize, and mobilize voters to put them in a position to prevent a redistricting such as happened in 2003.

This election is as much about this issue as was the 2008 national election was about the make up of the United States Supreme Court!

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