Wednesday, December 13, 2006
A Premonition of the 2008 elections
To top off an awesome midterm election, where the electoral public ceremoniously dumped the Republican leadership in favor of the lesser evil, Texas Congressional District 23 was decided in a runoff election yesterday in favor of the Democratic candidate Ciro Rodriguez.
Rodriguez defeated 14-term incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla in the runoff, in which he was designated the underdog right up until the day of the runoff election. Rodriguez was under-funded and out-gunned at every turn, yet still came out ahead and the end of the day, 54 - 46%.
But sweeter still, CD-23 is one of the districts that the Supreme Court ruled that the redistricting coup that Texas Republicans pulled off in 2003 unconstitutionally redrew the district to carve 100,000 Hispanics out in order to garner Republican votes (blast those activist judges!). The irony is that Bonilla already held the office before the redistricting scam. He won easily in 2004 (duh!), but was given his comeuppance yesterday when the voice of the people was allowed to be heard.
Right-wing pundits have posited that this runoff election would not be a spill-over of the purging of the current crop of ethically-challenged politicians - indeed Bonilla has been favored to win since Rodriguez came within a percentage point of him in the general election - but was a premonition of the 2008 elections, when voters regained their senses.
Rodriguez was basically broke at that point, and had a largely volunteer support staff. National Democrats then joined the fray, and even though they spent little more than half of what Bonilla had to spend, they managed to help Rodriguez get out the vote, and the odds were beaten - against an incumbent, no less.
So much for a premonition of the 2008 elections. Not to get off-topic here, but if Bush continues to postpone announcement of a decisive policy in Iraq, this may very well be a premonition of 2008.
So Ciro Rodriguez joins my new roster of heroes, along with Nick Lampson, who had both been redistricted out by the Republicans in 2003, yet have re-entered the halls of Congress through the will of the people.
Of course, the new Democratic leadership rewarded both Rodriguez and Lampson with choice committee appointments. Let’s hope they don’t turn into a pork barbeque for local special interests.
I’m all for new leadership, especially considering the direction in which our current lawmakers have been steering us.
But I won’t tolerate blind ideology, or "business as usual" tactics from the current gaggle of politicos any more than I would have the last batch.
Get it right, guys and gals, or what’s now referred to as the "liberal blogosphere" will suddenly turn conservative.
We’ve got the momentum to begin doing things right. Don’t screw it up.