Tag Archives: Andrew Kaczyinski

Rule Number 1– Never Underestimate Wendy Davis

Until one week ago, most people in the United States had never even heard of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. I’ll even wager that most Texans didn’t know who she was. But they’re sure starting to find out now. In that 168 hours, her Twitter account skyrocketed from 1,200 follower to upwards of 127,000. She’s been interviewed by every national news network under the sun, and even gotten major write-ups in international papers like the Guardian and Le Figaro. It’s sufficient to say, that over the last week, she became a Democratic superstar and a national sensation.

I guess that’s what a well-publicized 13 hour filibuster can do for you. When you get #StandWithWendy trending on Twitter, your name becomes known. And sure, I agree with Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post… Wendy Davis shouldn’t be praised solely because of one filibuster. But it seems that the national media has done what they typically do.. focus on the event to build the person, instead of starting with the person to build the event. And as the national media’s attention shifts, they have started to sour on Davis’ prospects, partly due to a new PPP poll that predicts a slim chance of her making it to the Governor’s mansion. Luckily the GOP is going right along with them on this, and that will prove to be a big mistake. People need to know that Wendy Davis isn’t your bargain basement politician… she’s a real political fighter, with real guts.

Wendy Davis is someone that has beaten the odds her entire life. She was a poor, single mother at the age of 19, with no college education. But even then, Davis saw that her life could be more that her immediate surroundings. She put herself through community college, earned a scholarship to Texas Christian University, graduated with High honors, and went on graduate from Harvard Law School. All the while, raising a family. When she finally decided to run for State Senator of District 10, Davis once again faced a tough road. As a Democrat in a solidly Republican district, she beat the male, Republican incumbent Kim Brimer in a nail-biter race. Also worth noting, her former City Council seat is currently held by the wildly popular LGBT politician Joel Burns.

So that’s how Davis became a State Senator in 2008. Most GOP operatives blamed her victory on the “Obama wave” (eventhough John McCain clearly won her district) and saw Davis as a novelty that would be easily beaten in 2012. They of course thought wrong. Senator Davis won reelection in 2012 from a during a bitter campaign battle. Here’s an excerpt from the Texas Tribune’s 2012 election night article…

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, narrowly clung to her seat on Tuesday night, fending off Republican state Rep. Mark Shelton in the most-watched legislative race of the Texas election…

Her win kept Republicans from coming within one vote of the two-thirds majority needed to render Democrats virtually powerless in the upper chamber. And it gave hope to Texas Democratic Party officials, who see Davis as a rising star and a potential a statewide candidate.

The Tarrant County district was hardly a certain bet for either candidate. It has traditionally leaned Republican: Gov. Rick Perry won the district in the 2010 gubernatorial race; U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., won the presidential vote there in 2008.

“I think it’s really a reflection of people wanting a bipartisan voice,” she said. “People rose above partisanship in the way they voted tonight. They voted for integrity, for a fighter.”…

Clearly with Davis, HD10 has started some new traditions.

But what happened with the previous races is critically important for Texas Democrats, and national Democrats to understand… thanks to the make-up of HD10, Wendy Davis is well-practiced for a statewide race. Her district is virtually a microcosm of it, and she has figured out what Democrats need to do in order to win there. That’s why you’re not going to see her spewing hardcore “left-wing” ideology. Instead Davis carefully speaks about Texas values, and limited, but effective government. She has carefully crafted a message that allows her to appeal across party lines and political philosophies. This is exactly why I wrote back in February that Davis is the top Democrat prospect for a statewide victory. She’s a pro at this stuff.

So I have to agree with Andrew Kaczynski over at BuzzFeed… winning statewide is “not likely” for a Texas Democrat…

But thankfully… Texas is a state that never cared for “likely”. Senator Davis, the ball is in your court.

For more opinions, check out Off the Kuff and Texpatriate on this.

Paul Ryan’s inner problem with inner cities

GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan was caught in a rather precarious situation recently. In an interview with ABC12 in Flint Michigan, Ryan is asked about gun laws. Somehow in his mind, gun violence is directly related to the “inner cities”. From Andrew Kaczyinski at Buzz Feed, here’s what he said…

Reporter: Does this country have a gun problem?

Ryan: This country has a crime problem.

Reporter: Not a gun problem?

Ryan: No… if you take a look at the gun laws we have… I don’t even think President Obama is proposing more gun laws. We have good, strong gun laws, and we have to make sure we enforce [them]. We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced. But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity into the inner cities. Is to help people get out of [poverty] in the inner cities. Is to help teach people good discipline, good character… THAT is Civil Society. That’s what charities and churches and civic groups do to help realize [our] value in one another.

So according to Mr. Ryan, violence is exclusively an “urban” problem. The only places in America that struggle with crime are the inner cities. There is no opportunity to be found in inner cities. All people that live in inner cities lack good discipline and good character. And yet, he wants to accuse the reporter of bias??

In Paul Ryan’s world, if you’re an urban dweller you clearly need help. You’re just not as “civilized” as the people that had the good sense to live in the countryside or in the suburbs. You know the suburbs, right? Where crime never happens to anyone because the people are so well-disciplined and of such good character that nothing ever goes wrong?

Today in the United States, many inner city areas are just as safe as parts of the suburbs, and crime can’t be pigeon-holed into an “all or none” assumption. A 2011 study by the Brookings Institute found that both violent crime and property crime have much more to do with trends in the overall metropolitan area than in a blanket consensus of what is “urban” or “suburban”. And yes, rural communities too have more than their fair share of violent crime offenders, particularly when it relates to guns and the drug trade.

You would think that a sitting United States Congressman would have a better grasp of our rapidly-changing population. Apparently not.

With prejudice like this on full display, it’s no surprise at all that the GOP performs so poorly in most of the country’s urban areas. Even as Census trends clearly show that more Americans are moving to inner cities than any time in the last century, Republicans have made it clear that they are sticking to their “city bashing” strategy.

They do so at their own peril.