Grab your popcorn folks because the next 3 months are going to be fun to watch. Pursuant to Section 172.054 of the Texas Election Code the Republican Party of Texas is being forced to reopen the filing for the 36th Congressional District in Southeast Texas. The rule extends the filing deadline until Monday, December 16th, at 6 p.m but only for the party whose candidate withdrew.
That may seem unfair, but with 6 Republicans already in the race, you probably won't hear the lone Democrat Michael Cole complaining. On the flip-side for Democrats, the law also prevents someone who has filed for another office from making a switch. That would include Republican Incumbent State Representative James White who was rumored to being eyeing the switch.
With a wide open field it will be interesting to see how this race shapes up. So far no one has emerged as the immediate front-runner but there appears to be at least 2 proxy candidates, each backed by a different member of Congress. But, a better question may be why did Stockman switch in the first place?
Click below the jump to read the election code and see who is behind who in the race for CD-36...
Not long ago, Republicans heralded the Tea Party movement that was born out of the February 2009 rant of CNBC's Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and which quickly aligned itself with the Republican party. The movement helped Republicans score big wins in the November 2010 mid-term elections and seemed to set them up for bigger and more victories.
President Ronald Reagan's former budget director David Stockman excoriated the Republican Party in an interview he gave to Newsmax TV. While he attacked President Obama for not cutting defense in an era where America is the only super power, in no uncertain terms he laid blame for the predicament of America squarely on the Republican Party.
After Newsmax Anchor David Nelson asserted that many believe the house is divided (the Republican Party that is), he asked David Stockman if he believed Republican leaders like Ryan, Boehner, Rubio, Paul, or anyone else could unite the party. Stockman shot back with a response one would not expect in a Newsmax interview.
[David Stockman's response]
No. I don't because I think the Republican Party is not really a party. It doesn't stand for anything except reelecting itself. It's a coalition of gangs....
The Neo Cons which I have no use for are only oriented to an aggressive imperialistic foreign policy, a big defense establishment, and suppression of our civil liberties. That's a bad. I am against that.
The Tax Cons want to just cut taxes anytime any day regardless of the fiscal situation. That has gone to absurd lengths. I oppose that.
The Social Cons, social policy people, the right to life issue, gay marriage and all that, that's irrelevant to governing a democracy in a free society.
That is basically the heart of the Republican Party. In that mix how can you find anything that is going to stand for conservative economics, fiscal rectitude, free markets, sound money; it's not there. The Republican Party is basically irrelevant to the economic crisis that faces the country.
David Stockman has been a critic of the Republican Party for some time now. I wrote the article "David Stockman: "get out of the markets and hide out in cash" Corruption Of Capitalism" a few weeks ago where Stockman was quoted saying "This debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."
It is not the intent of this piece to give David Stockman a pass. After-all, he was Reagan's supply side, trickle down, voodoo economics doctrinaire. He is more Randian than not and as such should be considered anti-social and immoral based on his animosity towards a society that provides equal access to all. His belief system just provides equal access to all those that are able to acquire and control capital in non-productive manners. The intent of this article is to illustrate that even a supply side hack has come to the realization that the vast blame of the destruction of the American and world economies lay at the wild intransigence of what the Republican Party has become.
Mr.. Stockman seems to be progressively sharpening his criticisms in all venues as the ineptitude and intransigence of his party continues. One can only hope that he will trigger what many are hoping for, a rebirth of a viable Republican Party that stands for real American values, a party that stands for middle class values, a party that remembers the time when it actually did good. Real Liberals need a viable conservative party to ensure the purity of liberalism is maintained and do not succumb to a lazy absence of a legitimate pushback.
Smith County Republican Chairman Ashton Oravetz is resigning his post today because, as he sees it, the GOP is "beyond repair."
It's hard to disagree with that.
The fanatical GOP has meandered deep into the thicket of extremism and nonsense. Less than half of Republicans believe in climate change, while nearly seventy percent believe in demon possession. Congressional Republicans have twice threatened the country's credit rating over the debt limit. 150 Republican congressman in the last Congress voted for a bill that would allow abortions only in cases where the woman became pregnant through, "forcible rape" (as if there was any other kind).
But Oravetz , who identified as a Republican for 33 years and served as chairman of the Smith County Republican Party for five before resigning today, didn't resign because he thought the wayward GOP was too radical. He thinks the GOP isn't radical enough. And he told the Texas Tribune he is working to form a third party by 2016.
Check out Ashton Oravetz's full interview with the Texas Tribune's Alana Rocha below.
On Tuesday Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said President Obama's Administration wants to annihilate the Republican Party. Specifically the speaker said:
We are expecting over the next twenty two months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party. And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal; to just shove us into the dust bin of history.
It is the constitutional duty of the President to execute laws and to protect and secure the country. Over the years the Republican Party has become a clear and present danger to middle class America and as such the survival of America as we know it. Their policies which for the most part are still in effect have created an intractable wealth and income disparity. Ensuring that the Republican Party of today is non-existent, preferably replaced with a Conservative Party of real values, while different from the Progressive values most Americans want, is a good back stop for liberal excesses.
While the above statement might sound harsh or partisan, it is neither. If a party bases its economic and social principles on proven lies, and then build a complete supporting infrastructure to promote policies based on these lies (Fox News, The Heritage Foundation, the Laffer Curve), then they do not have the moral right to exist as a legitimate party in our country.
George HW Bush coined the name voodoo economics to describe the basic philosophy of Reagans economic policies when he was running against him in the 1980 primaries. Even David Stockman, Reagan's budget directory and the prime pusher of Supply Side Economics (Voodoo Economics) said his party, the Republican Party, destroyed the US economy. He also disparaged Paul Ryan's budget.
While Vice-President George HW Bush played along for eight years over an economy inflated by excessive defense spending for hardware we did not need, and deficits from draconian tax cuts mostly for the wealthy, he redeemed himself by breaking his "no new taxes" pledge that started a time of fiscal responsibility. Of course President Clinton completed the task later with his tax increases that ultimately balanced the budget and created a robust economy.
One can only hope that the President will use the bully pulpit to finally fight the intransigent Republicans head on. The mainstream media has allowed the lies to seem plausible. This failure has allowed them to get much of their policies into effect. Over the years it has decimated the middle class. The new aim of their economic theories will surely complete the path of the middle class to indentured servitude.
Mr. President, how can I help annihilate the current Republican Party and leave the path for the emergence of a real Conservative Party? Use your bully pulpit to help the grassroots lead the way.
Today Colin Powell gave a staunch defense and support of the President Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense on NBC's Meet The Press. He however provided his sharpest criticism to date of the Republican Party when David Gregory asked him if after voting for President Obama twice and supporting more moderate social policies, if he could still call himself a Republican.
This question was a rather silly question since it is generally not asked of Blue Dog Democrats who could be considered the reflection of Colin Powell relative to their own party.
David Gregory: As I go through your record on some social issues and even foreign policy issues, I challenge you a little bit to say on what basis are you still a Republican?
Colin Powell with his characteristic civil choices of words excoriated the Republican Party even as his tone seemed rather pleasant. He first said he was a Republican of the Bush 41 and other well known moderate Republicans.
Colin Powell: There is also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party....They look down on minorities...When I see a former governor say that the president is shucking and jiving. That is a racial era slave term. When I see another former governor - says that the president was lazy. It may not mean anything to most Americans. But to those of us who are African Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there is a third word that goes along with it.
It is quite evident General Powell wanted to ensure that everyone knew what that third word was. He even brought up the non-response or proper response of the GOP to the birther fiasco.
I think a basic misunderstanding of Republican Dating Culture is at fault here.
One of the chief forms of acceptable pre-marital heterosexual sex among Republicans, as typified by the Fraternity/Sorority system, is DATE RAPE.
This leads to confusion when a Republican discusses the topic of Rape because to MOST Republicans DATE RAPE is almost the same as Consensual Sex.
Remember the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal that almost subverted our Deomocracy by equating consensual sex and the desire to claim it is NOBODY'S BUSINESS except the parties involved with TREASON?
Now Fast Forward to this ...
Yep, SAME Republican party!
You add a little Protestant Evangelism to the mix and soon you have RAPE AS GOD'S GIFT TO THE ERRANT WOMAN.
It's quite "logical" following Republican/Christian Fanatic illogic to assume that God gave the wanton woman who "provoked" her rape by appearing attractive and/or human the "gift" of child in order to settle her down.
Children will tend to put a damper on anything, especially what we used to call "a life".
Since January, 2011 the Republican Party has embarked on a radical mission to dismantle the social programs that were passed into law in the 20th Century. The GOP extremists want to return to the heyday of the reckless and irresponsible economic policies of the 1920s that led to the worst depression in U.S. history.
The social programs that were implemented in the 20th Century passed during a time in which there was a Democratic ethos of caring capitalism. By making investments in programs and initiatives for working Americans, tens of thousands of boats were lifted. Hard working folks had the opportunity to move up the ladders of education and attendant higher incomes. These investments ensured a secure future for a solid and thriving middle class America.
But today's radicals on the right want nothing to do with the caring part of capitalism or with floating any boat, for that matter. In fact, the extremists have no clue what the definition of care is.
On Friday the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to gut Medicare. It did so while giving yet more tax cuts to millionaires and by making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
Just one day after Congress concluded its fight over this year's spending, the House voted 235 to 193 to approve the fiscal blueprint for 2012 drafted by Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the Budget Committee. Besides reconfiguring the Medicare program that now serves those 65 and older, the proposal would cut the top corporate and personal income tax rates while also overhauling the Medicaid health program for the poor.
When the GOP picked Pete Sessions to chair the NRCC, residents of the gerrymandered 32nd congressional district wondered, "Has the Republican Party completely lost its mind?" We broke out the popcorn, sat back, and waited for the GOP to implode. Pete Sessions' latest lapse in judgement: backing a candidate who likes to dress up as a Nazi.
As I noted in a post on Pete Session's lackluster NRCC efforts last Friday, many of our incumbent Texas Republican Congressmen are facing primary challengers this cycle, from Tea Party folks. Let's take some time to get to know the folks who are doing their best to make Congress even less functional, and think about what this means for the Republican party.
Ralph Hall vs. Jerry Ray (Tea) Hall, TX-4
Hall faces tea party challenger Jerry Ray Hall (no relation to Ralph or Mick Jagger's ex), who submitted his ballot application with the word "Tea" after his middle name. Challenger-Hall also has been passing around a photo of himself with Rep. John Culberson as an implied--and erroneous--endorsement. That link is also entertaining because "Jerry Ray (Tea) Hall" mixes it up in the comments... With himself.
Also interesting about this race: Congressman-Hall is the oldest member of the House, at 86 years. He would take over the Science Committee should the Republicans regain control of the lower chamber. Notably, would-be Science Chair Hall is actually older than the Big Bang Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, penicillin, the material nylon, radiocarbon dating, treatment for leukemia, the radio transistor, and the polio vaccine. I'm not trying to imply anything... Well, really, I'm just saying, the dude is too old to be in charge of the Science Committee.
Michael McCaul vs. Joe Petronis, TX-10
Michael "#7 Water Waster in Austin" McCaul is facing a primary challenge from the self-proclaimed "RINO Hunter" Joe Petronis. In fact, he has an entire page on his website dedicated to his RINO Hunting. Click on the link. You need a giggle.
This is interesting, because unlike some of the districts mentioned here (the 4th, 11th) which are mind-numbingly Republican, the 10th (and Sessions' 32nd) have the potential to flip. Unfortunately, the highly-anticipated challenger to McCaul, Jack McDonald, did not file for the race, leaving 2006 challenger Ted Ankrum to pick up the slack. It will be interesting to see, however, what effect the primary challenge has on a Republican base that doesn't have too much to praise in the lackluster McCaul's performance in D.C. After all, McCaul is clearly better at wasting water at home than he is fighting for jobs or hewing to "conservative principles" in D.C.
Mike Conaway vs. Chris Younts, TX-11
Conaway, from Midland, is a big-time Bush crony, working for Bush's various failed business ventures until being appointed by then-governor Bush to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. He later had the luxury to run for a district again redrawn by DeLay to include Midland and Odessa. TX-11 is widely considered to be one of the most Republican, with a PVI of R+28. (Only the 13th, much of the Panhandle held by Mac Thornberry, is more Republican, at R+29.)
Conaway is being challenged by Chris Younts, an insurance salesman from San Angelo. Of his candidacy, Younts stated, "Contrary to opinions on both sides, the Tea Party movement was never intended to play the role of an infatuated, doting cheerleader of all players with an 'R' on their jersey, regardless of past indiscretions."
Kenny Marchant vs. Frank Roszell, TX-24
Marchant will face a primary challenge for the district he basically drew for himself during the 2003 Congressional gerrymander, during which time he was a member of the Texas House. He is squaring off against Roszell, a developer and tea party supporter from Grapevine. Roszell may win the "best quote on a campaign website" contest, which is pretty stiff amongst the Tea Partiers: "No one will jerk my chain but my wife." Unclear how his views on chain-jerking relate to partisan line-drawing.
Pete Sessions vs. David Smith, TX-32
As I noted last Friday, the head of the entire NRCC is facing a primary challenger in the form of David Smith, a corporate financial analyst and tea party activist determined to rid the Republicans of the D-minus Sessions.
Smith expects to receive significant grassroots support from the Tea Party denizens, telling TPM "I anticipate that those will be the most active supporters of my campaign, those are going to be the people who will go out for my campaign and wear out shoes, and make phone calls to people in the district."
This ought to be interesting. While pundits and political "soothsayers" are already predicting death to Democratic victories this cycle, there's clearly a fomenting Tea Party movement on the Right that sets the stage for post-primary strife, and may enable third party or independent candidates to step up to the plate and capitalize on this discontent.
Let's also not count out the role of Debra Medina in this, whose gubernatorial campaign may draw out Republican primary voters who seek to support the "Tea Party" challengers in their local Congressional primaries. However, the national Republicans seem largely unwilling to address the growing frustration amongst Tea Party activists, suggesting that everyone will mend fences after the primary and work for the status-quo Republican incumbents that are likely to survive the vast, vast majority of their primary challenges.
A New York Times piece on the recent Republican retreat to their favorite foreign nation of Hawaii illustrates this. Michael Steele, RNC chairman, stated:
"If a Republican incumbent or a Republican candidate is running and a Tea Party candidate is in the race and the Republican wins, my expectation is that the Tea Party guy is going to support the Republican. ... Because we would support the Tea Party guys."
Ok, let me get this straight: RNC Chair Michael Steele says that his party would support Tea Party activists should they win a primary. However, that's the exact opposite of what happened in NY-23, where moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava endorsed Democrat Bill Owens over certified nutjob Doug Owens after Tea Party folks pushed Scozzafava out of the race for being insufficiently ideologically pure. The comments of the challengers above suggest that this might not be so true, and that Tea Party activists may not let themselves be taken for granted by the Republican Party.
This should also be a huuuuge warning sign to moderate Republicans and independents, that the RNC establishment says publicly that they're willing to get on board with Tea Party extremists should they win the primary.
However, former Texas Congressmember and one-man Dick Armey seems to see the handwriting on the wall:
"This is not a situation where the grass-roots activists are saying, 'What can we do to make ourselves attractive to the Republicans?'" he said. "It is 'What can we do to help the Republicans understand what they must do to be attractive to us.'"
Armey admits it: the Tea Party is the new activist base of conservative politics. To win over their support and enthusiasm in November, Republican candidates may have to swing even harder to the right to pacify the folks who are currently holding the megaphone in the Republican party. What this will do to moderate and mainstream voters remains to be seen, but thanks to the Tea Party this may shape up to be a more intriguing election season than we expect.