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Real Clear Politics: Bush Leads Electoral Count, But He's Not Over 270 | Main | "Dear Limey Assholes:" Tim Blair Gets Results
October 18, 2004

What's the Deal With Texas Democrats?

Has anyone else noticed this? We've all become familiar with various varieties of liberals, but Texas Democrats -- such as Bill Burkett and his promoter Dan Rather -- seem to be a stridently partisan and nasty breed.

The Weekly Standard examines the heart of lunatic Texas liberal partisanship-- the city of Austin:

...Austin is, as Jeff says, the "anti-Texas," where "Texans who don't really like Texas" choose to live. More important, it has also, in a larger sense, exported its own peculiar brand of Bush hatred to Democrats from one coast to the other.

I think that idea-- "Texans who don't really like Texas" -- explains 50% of politics, and 90% of liberal politics. People vote against whatever party seems more comfortable with the sort of people who gave them grief (real or imagined) as teenagers. For every Blaine from Pretty in Pink that exists in the real world, there are now a dozen committed liberals. Thanks a lot for that, Blaine. Maybe if you hadn't been such a prick to Ducky we wouldn't have had to suffer through two terms of Clinton.

Liberals from the coastal cities aren't quite as nasty, or flat-out lunatic, as Texas Democrats seem to be. And maybe that's because coastal liberals are more smug and self-satisfied with their liberalism -- living as they do in a reassuring liberal bubble-- while Texas liberals, on the other hand, are not protected by any such bubble. Unlike their San Fransisco correligionists, they feel threatened and marginalized, and are determined to lash out -- thuggishly, if necessary -- against their perceived oppressors.

Pauline Kael famously pronounced that no one she knew voted for Nixon, even as he managed a landslide victory in 1972. New York liberals get to remain blissfully ignorant that a little more than half the country considers their politics daft and dangerous, while Texas liberals have the evidence of that rubbed in their noses every day.

And there's a reason Texas liberals feel so marginalized. Because they are:

Yet the feeling that runs through Texas liberalism--the feeling of being besieged, outgunned, impotent if not hopeless--is well-founded. Even paranoids are sometimes on to something. For nearly a century, Texas liberals shared the majority party in Texas, the Democratic party, with conservatives. It was an uneasy alliance but it satisfied both factions with separate spheres of influence. No more. The good news for Texas progressives is that they've finally purged the Democratic party of right-wingers and now have it all to themselves. The bad news is that the party is roughly the size of a well-attended kegger. And it promises to stay that way for the next generation.

The change is notable not only for its comprehensiveness but for the rapidity with which it took place. In Texas, the first Republican since Reconstruction took statewide office in 1978. Within 20 years, all 22 statewide offices were held by Republicans. Unbudgeable, decades-old majorities in both houses of the Texas legislature vaporized just as quickly. You can't blame Texas liberals for being disoriented. "There's something about being so concentrated ideologically that makes them more strident than they'd be under other circumstances," Will Lutz, managing editor of a political newsletter called The Lone Star Report, told me earlier this month.

Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Dan Rather, Bill Burkett-- the lot of them are all just fucking bananas, driven crazy by an unsettlingly-quick loss of political power and by their own personal antichrist, George Walker Bush.

They really ought to just get themselves a nice hobby to occupy their time instead of always making right jackasses out of themselves.

Self-Promoting Update! riffs off by Blaine comments and coins a new term: Pretty in Pink Democrats.

Not to be confused with Footloose liberals, liberals who are convinced that this really is 1952 and America is in danger of having John Lithgow take away their right to dance.

Also not to be confused with Dead Zone liberals, who wake up with night-terrors at the thought of a Republican President praying to God and then nuking the world like the mutants from Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Creepy atonal organ music features prominently in these nightmares, as do frequent flashes of James Fransiscus' little white ass.

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posted by Ace at 03:43 AM

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