October 28, 2014


Return of P: Is Texas Really Ready for Another George Bush? (Tim Murphy, Oct. 28, 2014, Mother Jones)

[B]ush accepts that Earth is warming, has called for Texas to take action against Gulf Coast erosion, and has even spoken of wanting to reduce CO2 emissions (though he's punted on whether CO2 has any impact on climate change). He has also said the United States should move away from coal, while worrying that it would hurt "the Adirondacks."

But he's been cautious about the blowback that would come from the base if he fully accepted scientific fact. In August, when a quote published by the Texas Tribune appeared to some to capture Bush as having said that climate change "keeps me up at night," his campaign pushed back furiously, explaining that climate change doesn't keep him up at night--hurricanes do. (And, so apparently, does being perceived as a moderate.)

Bush does believe Texas should have a plan for rising sea levels, but he hasn't said why they're rising. "There has been changes over the course of time," he explained in an hourlong public conversation with the Tribune's Evan Smith in September, where Bush offered up the fullest available probing of what he actually stands for. "There's debate over whether or not it's anthropogenic," he told Smith. "It's not my place as an aspiring public servant because I am by no means a scientist or an engineer."

And on immigration, Bush, who went to Mexico during the 2004 campaign to rally expatriate American voters, has gone out on a limb that Republican candidates rarely return from. He's called for his party to "return to George W." and embrace giving legal status to certain undocumented residents while providing in-state college tuition for undocumented alumni of Texas high schools.

Yes, Texas Could Turn Blue (John B. JudisSuccess in mobil, 10/28/14, New Republic)

Success in mobilizing the Hispanic vote also depends on nominating candidates in Texas (and also nationally) who can appeal to these voters. According to several Democrats I talked to, Davis hasn't "connected" to these voters. In the primaries, she even lost several small counties to a token Hispanic opponent. She is principally known in the state for her stand on behalf of abortion rights--whereas many of Texas's Hispanics oppose abortion. Democrats urged San Antonio's former mayor Julian Castro, now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to run, but he declined, probably one San Antonio political leader speculated, because he feared certain defeat.

Finally, success in increasing Hispanic support for Democrats will depend on what Republicans in Texas and nationally do. In Texas, Republican governors have steered clear of the harsh rhetoric about "illegal aliens" that proliferates among many other Republicans. Abbott boasts a Latina wife. As a result, Texas Republican candidates for state office have gotten about 40 percent of the Hispanic vote, which has virtually assured their victory. This year, the Hispanic Bush, George P. Bush, is currently running for Land Commissioner, and if he becomes a leader of party, could keep many Hispanics voting for Republicans in state races.

Posted by at October 28, 2014 1:00 PM

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