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Fear and the Texas GOP

The problem for the GOP in Texas is that the wish list that they’ve been running on is pretty much implemented.  They’ve taken everything away and we were all supposed to be better off now that the “free market” has taken over.  There are many poor, working, and middle class Texans who trusted that their plan, aka trickle-down/lower taxes on the wealthy, would one day bring them prosperity too.

Instead it’s just been another GOP scheme to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.  But this time they tried to be a little less blatant about it.  They hid behind what too many accepted as a real economic theory for far too long.  Now Texans see public education in trouble, tuition for higher eduction skyrocketing since it was deregulated, a health care bargain being left on the table, and toll roads going bankrupt as traffic congestion continues to increase.  All the while inequality and poverty increase, as wages stagnate.  They have nothing to offer but more of the same, and fear of anything different.

Or as Brains and Eggs puts it:

“The problem is that they’re using the same old tried and true scare tactics to motivate the paranoid-enough-already base.”

In his post he points to two articles. The first, GOP rules Texas, but talking like they’re on ropes, the GOP’s plans is to act like they’re already losing elections.

In a sharp pivot from a decade of Republican swagger in Texas — a bravado that comes with controlling every statewide office — conservatives are muffling mocking tones about Democrats and now openly calling them formidable. The worries come through in political ads that urge donors to “Keep Texas Red” and rallies like one in Houston that vowed to “Take Back Harris County.”


The dread over a Democratic resurgence discomfits with an opponent that hasn’t won a statewide office since 1994. Conservatives’ grip on Texas has tightened every year since, and peaked only two years ago when Republicans won a rare supermajority in the Legislature and rammed through pet measures such as new voter ID laws.

But Republicans insist the fear is real despite their dominance…

And, as this excerpt points out, the future is ripe the picking.

A table outside the entrance hawked $20 T-shirts emblazoned with red-meat messages such as, “God, Guns and Guts Made America — Let’s Keep All Three!” On every chair inside the ballroom, a petition on yellow paper called on lawmakers to defend the Texas Constitution’s definition of marriage and rued the rise of domestic partner benefits in the workplace.

It wasn’t a packed house — and the rank-and-file who came weren’t the younger and Hispanic voters that Republicans acknowledge they need to stay in power. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who said he thinks Davis’ filibuster riled up Democrats enough to cost Republicans seats as soon as next November, reminded the audience that the party’s average age of delegates is 58.

Lauren Martinez, 26, noticed with disappointment that there weren’t many others her age around. She said she’s been surprised to see friends lining up behind Davis.

“As a young person, I see a lot of my friends supporting her,” Martinez said. “People that I would have thought were more conservative.”

Of course it will take a awful lot of hard work to actually get the younger and more diverse voters to the polls to change election outcomes. And, of course another way to speed that along is with the second article. It again points out the cruel conservatism of the Texas GOP, As GOP states flip, where’s the Texas answer on Medicaid?

Last spring, Republicans in the Legislature trounced Medicaid expansion, despite support from hospitals and business. There’s also been no state effort to drum up enrollment in the exchange.

While other GOP-led states have reversed course, Gov. Rick Perry keeps slamming Medicaid.

“It’s like putting 1,000 more people on the Titanic,” Perry said at a recent meeting of Republican governors.

No other state stands to gain as much from the health care overhaul, because Texas has the highest share of uninsured and a large poor population.

More than 1 million residents fall into the state’s Medicaid gap; they earn too much for Medicaid and too little for federal subsidies on the exchange. Two million more are eligible for the subsidies, if they enroll and if HealthCare.gov can process the applications.

Texas leads all states in both categories, so it could expand coverage greatly starting next year. And the federal government pays nearly all the costs.

Funding for the health law comes from cuts in Medicare, hospital fees and prescriptions. There are also new taxes on high-earners, health plans, medical devices and more.

The bottom line is that Texans are paying for Obamacare whether 3 million residents sign up or a tiny fraction.

And now one of their biggest fear generators of all turns out to be an economic boon, Immigration helps boost the Texas economy.

Gone to Texas: Immigration and the Transformation of the Texas Economystates that immigrants make up 21 percent of Texas’ workforce, but account for a much greater share of its economic growth.

Hopefully Texans won’t turn out and vote for the GOP in 2014 our of fear. If Democrats in Texas need to give Texans an alternative to fear in 2014 they should do much better then they have in the recent past.

Further Reading:
Medicaid expansion becomes weapon against GOP governors.
Report: Child Poverty Increases in Texas.

There was a 47 percent increase in the rate of Texas children living in poverty from 2000 to 2011…


3 Responses

  1. […] Eye On Williamson is still, yes still, blogging at our temporary home. Without any new ideas the Texas GOP results to fear, Fear and the Texas GOP. […]

  2. […] Eye On Williamson is still, yes still, blogging at our temporary home. Without any new ideas the Texas GOP results to fear, Fear and the Texas GOP. […]

  3. […] Eye On Williamson is still, yes still, blogging at our temporary home. Without any new ideas the Texas GOP results to fear, Fear and the Texas GOP. […]

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