Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hitler Hitler Hitler Hitler... And Texas


Texas secessionist Larry Kilbourne ran for the U.S. Senate... and got 225,000 votes-- or so he claimed on the Daily Show. I can't find any record of that having ever happened. I mean, it seems plausible enough, but either he ran or didn't and attracted 225,000 like-minded Texans or he didn't. I'm going to consider that an... exaggeration. It's still worth watching this fella-- whacked out, albeit polite-- claiming Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant... like Hitler. You can watch the segment above. The teabaggers have a special affinity with Hitler. They don't have the slightest understanding that Hitler is the penultimate right-wing figure and that they should be worshipping him. Instead, whomever they don't like one day-- be it Obama, Karl Rove or Abe Lincoln-- is "like Hitler."

Texas is one crazy state. If Louie Gohmert wasn't enough, they elected domestic terrorist Steve Stockman to Congress in an adjacent East Texas district. And you can't just blame gerrymandering for Gohmert and Stockman. True, Gohmert's CD-01 was drawn to be one of the reddest in the country (and only yielded 27.5% for Obama in November) and next door in Stockmanland (TX-36) it's even a tad more insane... Obama 25.7% but there are 5 districts even redder than these two:
TX-04- Ralph Hall (Obama 24.8%)
TX-08- Kevin Brady (Obama 21.7%)
TX-11- Michael Conaway (Obama 19.6%)
TX-13- Mac Thornberry (Obama 18.5%)
TX-19- Randy Neugebauer (Obama 25.0%)
And the whole state... Texas gave Obama 3,308,124 votes (41%) while Romney got 4,569,843 (57%). And in a mark of just how over the top the state has gotten, they elected the most radically right member of the Senate. No one calls him Hitler, but Ted Cruz is so right-wing that even other right-wing senators have asked him to calm down and stop embarrassing everyone with his McCarthyite ravings. Like Romney, he also wound up with 57% of the vote-- and is likely to be around for a long, long time. In Roberts County, the Panhandle, Cruz took 91% of the vote.

I should mention that Cruz lost all the big cities in the state, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso... Texas hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976 and no Democrat has won statewide office there since 1994. Still a PPP poll shows that if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016, she could beat whichever Republican they thrown against her. She holds narrow leads in hypothetical match ups with Marco Rubio (46/45) and Chris Christie (45/43) and a wider one in a contest against Rick Perry (50/42).

Alas, that's unlikely to disrupt nutjobs like Gohmert, Stockman and Conaway... unless Stockman gets involved with another militia plot to blow up another federal building. But with Hillary on the top of the ticket there are some key House seats that could be vulnerable, namely:
TX-06- Joe Barton
TX-14- Randy Weber
TX-25- Roger Williams
TX-27- Blake Farenthold
TX-32- Pete Sessions
And it might even be worth recruiting strong candidates against Michael McCaul (TX-10) and John Culberson (TX-07). DeLay gerrymandered the state up pretty badly and it will be difficult to dislodge any of the incumbents... but not impossible if Hillary runs.

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