Gosh, who could have seen this coming?
America’s brush with Texas politics has once again spawned confusion, resentment and calls for legal action. But why did anyone ever count on wringing clarity from this sprawling place where people are allowed to vote twice in one day, where Democrats have been living in seclusion for decades and where the state’s unspoken political motto is “There Will Be Blood”?
Statewide, newspaper articles and political blog posts on our rampaging primary and raucous caucus read like a series of police accident reports.
In one crowded Dallas caucus, a former city councilwoman and Clinton supporter allegedly unhappy with the heavy Obama turnout, is accused of turning hundreds of people away at the door. “We had people fainting, people crying,” she explained. “It was just totally chaotic and dangerous.” She then apparently tried to make off with all the sign-in sheets, which she told the crowd she planned to “correct” at home. A mob ended up chasing her to a local police station at 1 am, where the cops confiscated the caucus pack and sent everyone home.
In another Dallas get-together, an Obama organizer took charge and conveniently lost all the sign in sheets supporting Clinton.
You simply cannot make this stuff up.
There are repeated accounts of out-of-state campaign advisors accusing their opponents of “lying and intimidation,” or as the practice is known in Texas, “campaigning.”
There are tales of overflow crowds, fire code violations, near fist-fights, broken hearts and mishandled ballots.
Now it is all over except the shouting. But then down here, the shouting is never over. So for weeks, the drama will rage on as delegates are counted, reporters are spun, lawyers are briefed and hangovers are nursed and reborn.
But if you are a Democrat in the Lone Star State, these are good times, baby. Good times.
This week, state Democrats, literally by the millions, finally came out into the light. And if they didn’t decide the presidential primary, they shook up the process in a way that ought to make Texas Republicans awfully blue.
The most prominent Democratic target down here is Senator John Cornyn, a Bush sycophant of the first order. Cornyn’s drab tenure in the US Senate has primarily been distinguished by an incident in which he enraged John McCain, to the point that the Arizona Senator screamed “F— you!” at him, a sentiment seconded by about half of Texas.
Cornyn will face Rick Noriega, a five-term member of the State House with a masters degree in public administration from Harvard. Noriega also has a distinguished 27-year National Guard record that includes time in Afghanistan. Voters can even examine his service assignments, officer evaluations and the rest of his record through a link on his website.
Imagine running for high political office and doing something crazy like that with your military record. I mean, shouldn’t those records be hidden and withheld, cleansed by cronies and then squeezed out piece by tattered piece, denied, dismissed and littered with long unexplained absences where the records supposedly just couldn’t be found? What’s with this guy?