So this is how it normally goes in Texas Politics… Republican candidates will run for office, and throughout the campaign they will do a bunch of stupid, even atrocious things which are virtually ignored by the media, and then finally sail into elected office in November. Meanwhile the few brave Democrats that were willing to run for office or willing to call out GOP candidates can barely turn any attention their way. Like trees falling in the forest, those that are not seen and not heard, are also not elected.
But 2014 is proving itself to be a very different ball game. Suddenly, Texas Democrats have new levels of support through networks like Battleground Texas and the Latino Victory Project. Instead of being totally ignored, Wendy Davis, Leticia Van de Putte, Steve Brown and other statewide candidates have regular press coverage of their ideas and views on state politics. Texas politics ain’t a ‘one-horse town’ anymore.
As a result, when the 2014 platform for the Republican Party of Texas comes out, you can be sure that Democrats have lots to say about the horrendous document. And this time, people are taking notice. Several prominent Texas Dems lambasted the platform on MSNBC.
Texas Democrats are criticizing a controversial policy platform
The platform calls for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act, endorses sham “conversion therapy” that seeks to change the sexual orientation of gays and lesbians, and puts forth a harsh anti-immigrant policy plank that calls for the repeal of a law signed by Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
“The GOP platform isn’t worthy of Texas. It is shameful and disgusting,” the state’s Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer said in a statement Wednesday. “If Republican candidates have even a shred of integrity they will turn their backs on this disgraceful platform and join Texas Democrats in support of true Texas values.”
The beauty of this approach? No one of significant prominence on the Republican side is actually defending their party platform, even though they JUST voted for it at the state convention. Greg Abbott has evaded questions on the document at every turn, and even the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Steve Munisteri is saying he doesn’t agree with the endorsement of reparative therapy!! This is par for the course for the Texas GOP… Do one thing in the dark, but then try to change your story when things come to light.
For Democrats, the release of the GOP platform might as well be Christmas in June. It is literally the gift that keeps on giving. We know that any same GOP candidate is going to evade these extremely false and harmful positions. So the next step is to use it against them, and stretch this fight clear into November.
Some in Texas have immediately taken notice. Houston Democrat Lane Lewis, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party, sent out this great mailer in response to the GOP platform’s endorsement of ex-gay quackery…
You have probably heard about the Texas Republican Party’s platform by now.
Among other offensive positions, they have endorsed “reparative therapy” for LGBT people. Rick Perry added insult to injury by comparing being LGBT to being an alcoholic saying, “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue that way.”
Yes, they are serious.
While Republicans are pushing junk science and trying to “fix” LGBT people, Democrats continue to embrace equality for the LGBT community.
This year, there are more openly LGBT candidates running on the Democratic ticket than at ANY point in history. And we don’t think those candidates need to be fixed, we think they need to be elected.
In Texas, there is sleeping giant of disengaged, disaffected voters. They are living their everyday lives, working hard and are dissatisfied with the current state of government. But even the most politically inactive people will have a reaction to the falsehoods and terrible ideas in the Republican Party platform. They may even think of themselves as Republicans, but they cannot support all of these “beliefs” of the party. If Democrats can make enough hay about this heinous document, they can ride that hay to surprise victory this November.