Watch that San Antonio Redistricting Trial for a Good Picture of Texas Tea-publicans

Categories: Schutze

1024px-Pied_Piper2.jpg
Kate Greenaway

That Texas redistricting trial that started up yesterday in federal court in San Antonio? Watch that one. It could be third side of the magic triangle that turns Texas blue.

The trial is not about whether the tea-tinged Republican-dominated Texas Legislature gerrymandered the vote maps in 2011. Asked and answered. Two years ago a panel of federal judges in San Antonio tossed out the Texas maps and drew new ones with more Democrat-friendly districts.

This trial is about why. Texas Republicans are arguing they didn't put their thumbs on the scales to discriminate against blacks and Hispanics, only to discriminate against Democrats. It's a fine point. Under last year's ruling by the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court, discriminating against Democrats is totally OK, but racial discrimination is not quite yet totally OK.

Justice Department lawyers in San Antonio this week will try to prove the Republicans are lying. They will work to show that the Legislature in 2011 conspired to keep people from voting because they were the wrong color, not the wrong party. If they make that case, the Justice Department can put Texas back under tougher "pre-clearance" monitoring provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a fate Texas would have evaded under the Supreme Court's new sure-why-not rule on certain kinds of non-ethnic discrimination.

That's the legal issue. But more important to us here in Texas is the picture -- a combination of factors that say no matter what kind of lip service the party may give to "outreach," these Texas Republicans really don't like people who don't look like them, and we all know what they look like. That's what will motivate the voter turnout needed to turn Texas blue.

Let's look at the other two legs of my iron triangle -- 1) Dan Patrick and 2) border baby haters. Lieutenant governor candidate Patrick has been going around the state beating a big drum about what he calls the "illegal invasion" of Texas at the border, making him a political type we haven't seen in Texas yet exactly -- the "anti-immigration pied piper" as one observer put it recently. Think of immigrant-bashing Republicans elsewhere -- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer or Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio. So far, for whatever reason, we haven't really had one of those, if you don't count random bucolic sightings of Tony Tinderholt or the occasional disturbing jack-in-the-box appearance by Steve Stockman.

Those guys are small fry, Tinderholt a mere candidate for the state House and Stockman a congressman from a Tea Party district. Dan Patrick is the man. He's the guy the Texas Republican Party would have us have for lieutenant governor -- their standard-bearer.

The other leg, the border baby haters, is so obvious I shouldn't have to elaborate. Once you hate kids, there's no stopping you. In the past our Republican governor, Rick Perry, has not been an anti-immigration pied piper, really, but he has been getting closer to it recently in some of his baby-hater talk. Perry believes President Obama has a secret mechanism for controlling the behavior of the children of Central America. Perry borrows on the one hand from state Senator Debbie Riddles' 2010 "terror babies" narrative and on the other from "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," a tale from the Brothers Grimm.

Assuming that people are stupid tends to piss them off and stir them up. Hate to say it, but in this case that's a good thing. The game with Hispanic voters is all about motivation. Nationally, more qualified Hispanic voters do not vote than vote, according to Pew Research. In Texas, Hispanic turnout is way worse than it is nationally -- 39 percent in 2012 in Texas compared with 48 percent nationally for eligible Hispanic voters. While those Hispanics who do vote have been overwhelmingly supportive of President Obama, only 56 percent of qualified Hispanic voters in Texas self-identify as Democrats.

That's wobbly. Sylvia Manzano, a principal at Latino Decisions, an opinion research company, told the Texas Tribune last February that Hispanic voters in Texas could still tilt either way. "It's a matter of come and take it," she said.

So back to my triangle: 1) Dan ("Illegal Invasion!") Patrick for lieutenant governor; 2) border baby haters; and 3) the San Antonio trial ("Yes, they did too try to keep non-whites from voting"). I think that about tilts it.

This isn't just identity politics. By clearly conveying the underlying racism of the Tea-publican mentality, my iron triangle of elements gives all of us the key to understanding the anti-government radicalism of the far right. This is a generation of white folks who were only too happy to accept almost-free state university tuition, not to mention Medicare, Social Security, prescription subsidies -- oh, the list goes on forever -- back when they thought the country was all about white people. They only turned anarchist when they turned on their TVs and found out the first family was black.

Race is not at the bottom of everything. The exciting news about our state and nation is the number of families, white, black and Latino, who have transcended race for the most part since 1965. Nor is it fair to paint the Republican Party generally as racist. Republicans have as good a history on civil rights as Democrats. George W. Bush was an immigration reformer, not a baby hater.

But race is very much at the bottom of the Tea-publican phenomenon. Watch the comments today. The first thing the Teapers will say is, "What race? Never heard of it." Yeah, sure. Watch that trial. Hope for a good show. We might make it after all.

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80 comments
paulahdenmon
paulahdenmon

Wow. Never ceases to amaze me. The many excuses the Tea Party and Republicans use to deny their racism and bigotry. No one, except themselves, believes it anymore.

dhthrush
dhthrush

Jim, you seem to confuse Illegal immigrants with  legal immigrants.  Dan Patrick wants, as most of the Tea Party members want the government enforce the present immigration laws.  I"m not against immigration, just breaking our laws to enter the country.  The same with the children, they didn't travel all that distance by themselves, some one or some organization helped them come the hundreds of miles through Mexico.  Dig in like you do sometimes and find out who or what organization is behind this.  Oh wait, I remember that you were going to get it on with JWP once.  Maybe you lost your mojo and don't know how to dig for the true story.

lolotehe
lolotehe

Livefyre really needs a mute function.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

The Democratic party has plenty of white men and the Republican party has plenty of women.  None of the quotes in this article will have any place in the court.  It will be a dry discussion of demographics.  The legislature has the benefit of doubt since the courts try to steer clear of political issues.  It is why having AG Holder fall into the trap of defending that Civil Rights provision and losing big time was so important.  That provision made the Justice Department the arbiter.  Good riddance. 


The most obvious gerrymandering I know is the district that keeps Mr. Veasey employed or that sliver of the 30th CD that extends to Victory Park so Congresswoman Johnson does not have to live with her voters that keep sending her back.

Kenneth_Dorham
Kenneth_Dorham

Baby haters...really? Herr Schutze must have a tuition payment coming due. Nobody has ever paid for my kids and I don't expect them to. By the same token I don't expect to pay for kids or adults who are in this country illegally other than three hots and a cot until they board a plane back to Guatemala. Why and how is this affordable? Third sentence is key here. Don't frame this as charity or decency. it's just another weak horse Dem power grab. Eric Cantor can fill in the details for you.

James080
James080 topcommenter

It's an interesting legal argument. Because the Democrat party is almost entirely comprised of minorities and women, anything Republicans do to try to gain a political advantage is racist and misogynistic. A neat legal corner to carve out, claiming perpetual victim-hood.


holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Actually, you can see these race-baiters coming from over the horizon.

Obama’s HUD Policy: Dismantle Suburbs By Forcing Minorities Into ‘Prosperous’ Neighborhoods

Prosperous Suburbs are now ‘racist’ and in the name of Diversity – Obama plans on identifying every neighborhood in America by race-population and ‘rectifying’  “geospatial discrimination’.

http://swordattheready.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/obamas-hud-policy-dismantle-suburbs-by-forcing-minorities-into-prosperous-neighborhoods/

HUD Launches Scheme To Racially Diversify Suburbs

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/072213-664703-hud-maps-suburbs-in-new-diversity-project.htm?p=full

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

  these Texas Republicans really don't like people who don't look like them, and we all know what they look like.


You know who talks with veiled references and dog whistles like this?  Racists.


You know who doesn't?  Tea partiers.

dingo
dingo

Lieutenant governor candidate Patrick has been going around the state beating a big drum about what he calls the "illegal invasion" of Texas at the border, making him a political type we haven't seen in Texas yet exactly -- the "anti-immigration pied piper" as one observer put it recently.

-----

Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics in a 2012 poll by the Pew Research Center agreed that “We should restrict and control people coming to live in our country more than we do now.”

A June 2013 Gallup poll showed that only 25 percent of Hispanics want immigration increased, while 30 percent wanted immigration reduced, and 43 percent want it to stay level.
A May 2014 poll by Latino Decisions reported that 72 percent of respondents agreed with a statement asking, “Do you think how undocumented immigrants are viewed by the general public also affects how U.S.-born Latinos are viewed?”
A June 2014 poll of 800 registered Latinos by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed that “77 percent [support] for an e-verify system for employers, 78 percent for stronger border security, and 90 percent for allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain legal status if they pass a background check, pay a fine and taxes owed, have a job, and learn English.”
A June 2013 poll by John McLaughlin that included 470 registered Hispanic voters showed that 64 percent wanted employees to verify that job applicants are legal, and 59 percent wanted enough border security to block 90 percent of border crossers. Sixty percent of the respondents in the poll said they would delay legalization of illegals until the 90 percent border-security level is reached, and 56 percent would deny welfare benefits to illegals until the border is fixed.

http://beforeitsnews.com/tea-party/2014/07/hispanics-split-over-obamas-border-meltdown-2531822.html

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The Tea Partheid Republicans will have their last stand in this year's election (unless they continue to push for Obama's impeachment, which is a strategy that will keep the Senate under Democratic control).  Their attempts to suppress the vote have backfired, and, as we see in Florida, judges are beginning to force a re-drawing of districts that were weighted unfairly in their favor.  The far-right old loonies on the Court will eventually be replaced during Hillary's eight years as President.  Republicans are currently involved in a civil war within their party (see the latest feud between OOPS and Rand Paul).  The Republicans have a bleak future and they owe it all to the Tealiban.

dingo
dingo

'While those Hispanics who do vote have been overwhelmingly supportive of President Obama, only 56 percent of qualified Hispanic voters in Texas self-identify as Democrats.'

----


Today, as many Hispanics approve as disapprove (47%-47%) of the new health care law. That’s down markedly compared with the 61% approval just 6 months ago.


During the same time period, Obama’s job approval rating has slipped 15 points among Hispanics. About half of Hispanics (48%) approve of Obama’s job performance today, down from 63% in September 2013.


http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/03/27/support-for-obama-health-care-law-has-eroded-among-hispanics/

dingo
dingo

'Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court'

----

Two-thirds of the 72 cases fully decided this term were unanimous.

Only 14 percent of the court's decisions were 5-4, with just four of those 10 splits along the liberal-conservative marker.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/01/politics/scotus-analysis/

The court's annual statistics tell the story. Almost every year, Kennedy creates the majority on closely divided cases more than any other justice. He is almost as likely to side with the court's four liberals as its four conservatives — something he did five times each on cases decided 5-4 in the court's past term.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/27/supreme-court-anthony-kennedy-race-voting-abortion-gay-marriage/2161701/

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Baby haters? 

You couldn't come up with anything more provocative, Myrna?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The best result that could come out of this trial is the court determines the whole process illegal- politicians determining the districts where they will run for office- and sets up an independent non-partisan group to set the boundaries of districts.

The gerrymandering that has been done, done by both sides of the aisle btw, is part of the problem in having legislators who are on the fringe. These districts are designed to elect only a candidate from the party it was designated for.

This is madness. Hopefully the court will step in and rescue us.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@dhthrush

Jim, you seem to confuse Illegal immigrants with legal immigrants.

That's the whole idea, and it's not just Jim. But since you cite a propaganda basic, you're probably a baby hater.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

from the first link: " Then, HUD will impose new rules that will go out to suburbs that are not racially diverse and demand “affirmatively further fair housing” in the suburbs for minorities. Grantees who fail to comply will be denied federal funding."

easy, don't apply for Federal Funding. Federal Funds are by law provided based on the "fairness" doctrine. No community is required to submit to HUD unless they involve HUD.

so don't, and there is no issue, is there?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Right.  Redistricting is the same as South African apartheid.


Wendy Davis is no Mandela.  You should be ashamed of making the reference.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@dingo The only job approval rating lower is that of Congressional Republicans, which stands at a dismal 7%.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk Right.  Myrna thinks that Republicans want to ban abortion so they can hate babies, and liberals want to abort them all because they just love them too much to let them live.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

#waronbabies

banepage
banepage

@mavdog just draw the districts as a checker board..how could anyone argue against that?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog Right, this "independent non-partisan group" is going to be who?  Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Atticus Finch and Harry Potter?


The IRS, VA, FEC, and all the other have shown that there is no such thing as non-partisan.  Better to have it explicitly partisan where we can keep an eye on it.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@mavdog

In past, more balanced years, the Lege amiably and obviously drew every district in Tx to favor incumbents of both parties. It was a true "gentlemen's agreement" in which even the ladies participated. That bipartisan gerrymandering began its end when Tom DeLay overreached from D.C. in favor of the Republicans. I'd like to see some academic statisticians, demographers, urban planners, and community leaders take responsibility for defining voting districts.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog @holmantx


You are a little late to the race parlor game.  That has been my consistent reply to Dallas' "problem" since "affirmatively furthering" was invoked circa 2010, which means race-based housing measured 100% by statistics and racial composition, meaning if you don't move the statistics composition bar it is a racist act.  HUD made new law so now they, and the President, are on the warpath.

So we institutionalize racism (quotas/stats) to thwart societal racism, even when it is not there.  Why? Because neighborhoods are formed based upon class and income. Humans are tribal in that regard.  Lakewood doesn't care what your color is.  Nor does Downtown, or Highland Park too. If you qualify for the loan or can otherwise buy a house in their neighborhood, yer one of them.  And schools and security, not race, are next in line of the qualifiers - and you know it.

So why even bother try and satisfy a moronic stat.  One that means you have to entice humans from other tribes most of which don't want to live amongst the tribe you've designated as deficient?

Particularly when you have a Black Democrat political machine that wants the money in their districts or they scream louder than Schutze on a Monday morning.

Send in the friggin' clowns.

Act III.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

Myrna's going for the lefty commentary cliche trifecta. She's done Hitler, now apartheid, all she needs is a reference to "occupation". Double points for "occupied territories"

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

The only instance in which Obama fails to lead from behind.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @TheCredibleHulk

And Republicans love poor brown babies sooooo much that they want to make sure they live long enough to enlist.

Whatever.

I've long ago stopped looking for logical consistency from anyone, ever, under any circumstance.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

If Jim were to steal your material, he'd probably end his illustrious career at a free alt-weekly booze and titty-bar guide.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@wcvemail @mavdog  "academic statisticians, demographers, urban planners, and community leaders" meaning everybody that cannot get a real job.  William Buckley said he would rather be ruled by the first 1000 people in a phone book if the other choice was Harvard's faculty.  That group could not pour water out of a boot if you told them the instructions were on the heel.  I am sure though they could write a lot of papers on the process.

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Count the college educated as a minority, too. The higher the level of education, the more likely someone is to vote Democrat.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

uh, ok, but the HUD guidelines have been around for several decades.

and if you don't reach out your hand for HUD money, you do not need to worry about HUD guidelines.

pretty simple really....

Mervis
Mervis

@everlastingphelps OK. You win the award for pointing out the downward spiral of the approval rating for the republican leadership in congress.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  In the first eight years of OOPS's "leadership" underneath the Bush administration, 11.1 million undocumented immigrants passed into Texas.  Now that's leadership.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

Start the rumor that America is harvesting baby parts.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@MikeWestEast @wcvemail @mavdog

Oh, I was careful not to suggest lawyers, as they'll come with such an endeavor like ants to a picnic, regardless. But I would prefer a cold statistic, whether from Harvard or Dallas Community College, about the number of people in a particular district, and other demographics. As it is, the gerrymandering is out of control, no matter which party is in control. 

Notice also that I didn't include economists, and here's a classic quote on them from Reagan: "In a room with two economists, you'll get three opinions." Irony alert: Reagan majored in Economics and Sociology.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Fred: I went a-Googling, and that's true as you state it. However, Dems skew to either drop-outs or highly educated, whereas Repubs come from the middle of those two extremes. To wit: "There are two distinct levels of education among Democrats: those without a high school diploma and those with post-graduate degrees. Republicans gain a majority of support from high school graduates, individuals with some college experience, and college graduates." (debt.org)

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Oddly enough, Bush's softness on illegal immigration was one big reason for his low poll numbers among conservatives.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@TheRuddSki

Actually, sadly, there really was such a rumor, and it resulted in cancellation of several adoptions by Americans, as well as at least one physical altercation by locals against American baby-shoppers. The country? (irony alert) Guatemala. 

I'll attribute to People mag, of the several sources that carried this story back in 1994, mainly because I don't think I've ever cited People for anything.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20107926,00.html

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@wcvemail That's pretty much it -- Republicans represent the shrinking middle class, and the Democrats represent the ones seeking handouts -- the greedy rich and the destitute.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@wcvemail

Time to refresh some memories down there, I guess.

lryhall
lryhall

@everlastingphelps @wcvemail "republicans represent the shrinking middle class" I almost spit my drink all over my screen. That's funny right there. I don't care who you are.

The republicans are the reasons the middle class is disappearing.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

odd, I haven't seen a "Texas plan".

can you point to a plan that has been proposed?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

uh, Phelps, that's the same process that has been used to get us where we currently are. you know, the failure....

so the answer to my question is there is NO plan in Texas to establish an independent, non-partisan commission to set the boundaries of districts.

thanks for you input......

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps We are talking about redistricting plans.  I assert that the allegedly "non-partisan" CA plan is anything but the sort.  The only difference is that the partisanship is hidden, covert, and cheered by the dull.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

you may have been talking about "redistricting plans", but my post was about the process of setting the redistricting plans.

California's has shown to be effective in reducing the gerrymanding, as has the other 11 states who have set up processes independent of the politicans making the decisions.

apparently you are in support and agree with the current process that has resulted in ameoba-like districts that do nothing but aid incumbents and force racially based quotas.

duly noted.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps CA's system has been effective at hiding the gerrymandering.  I don't support the amoebas, but the reality is that it's liberal race-mongering that brought about the current amoebas, not politics.  Bringing in the DOJ racemongers will not end the amoebas.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

your opinion on CA is not shared with the majority of reviewers.

If you do not support the status quo, you must proffer an alternative. an independent commission is the best solution.

to blame one party, when both parties are equally at fault, just shows that you see the issue thru a partisan lens.

the ODJ has not gone after any of the redistricting commissions. zero.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog Bullshit.  It's a false dilemma.  I don't have to come up for a better place for you to punch me before I can say "stop punching me in the face."

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

clearly, your position isn't al all about putting a more fair, less partisan process in place.

your position is wanting to leave the current process in place so your side can abuse it to gain more control.

it's not anywhere near "stop punching me in the face", it's "leave me be so I can punch you in the face".

you are the advocate for increased partisanship.

you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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