This is a story about political power, pure and simple. It’s not about the will of the people or what is best for Texas or any touch-feely, feel-good nonsense. It’s about political power…specifically, Tom DeLay’s. The travesty that was re-districting was conducted in such a way that many good, effective, and ELECTED Congressman would be put out of work, simply for being Democrats. In their place would rise mindless Republican drones, notable only for the slavish devotion to the superior political instincts of the almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful Tom DeLay.
LUBBOCK — In one of its most perverse pieces of penmanship, the Texas Legislature created the new U.S. House District 19. It’s one of those mean-spirited squiggles that, to achieve its putative 60-40 Republican tilt, meanders from the New Mexico line almost to Wichita Falls, and in several points is only one county deep.
It has a single purpose: to atomize Charlie Stenholm, one of the best representatives Texas has sent to Congress in the last quarter-century. It’s the kind of project that gets Tom DeLay up every morning, and the new 19th was, perhaps it’s needless to say, a DeLay brainchild.
And it is yet another example of DeLay’s insistence on pairing two incumbent U.S. House members (one Republican, one Democrat) in a single district. That this is bad for Texas is, of course, of zero concern to DeLay, the Sugar Land Republican and U.S. House majority leader.
Let’s be plain: In the interest of partisan self-aggrandizement, because Stenholm is a Democrat (albeit a conservative Democrat), DeLay is willing to sacrifice a man who is a seasoned, persuasive advocate for Texas agricultural interests in favor of a knee-jerk Republican robot, Randy Neugebauer, who went to the House in a special election last year and whose influence on Capitol Hill can be measured with an eye-dropper.
Neugebauer says redistricting is history, and in a televised debate argued that the race “is not about the past.”
But Stenholm pointed out that DeLay’s demand for the irregular redistricting is just another instance of the Republican leader’s attempt to consolidate his power at any cost. The same mindset, Stenholm said in the Lubbock debate, has resulted in “no energy bill, no budget … , no increase in the debt ceiling.”
“We have complete and total chaos brought about by the same quest for partisan political power,” Stenholm said.
Poeple in West Texas generally don’t want to have to make this choice, but DeLay and his minions have forced them into this quandary. Do they vote out a Republican, albeit one with the effectivess and intellectual agility of melba toast, or vote for a Democrat who has always represented his constitutents with dignity, honesty, and commitment? Of course, in Tom DeLay’s world, nothing matters save his own personal and political self-aggrandizement. In Tom DeLay’s world, what is good for Tom DeLay is good for the people of Texas.
Ultimately, the losers in this scenario will be the people of Texas. If all goes according to DeLay’s plan, we will be left with Republican drones for Congressman. Let’s send a message to Tom DeLay on November 2nd. Vote for Richard Morrison, and send DeLay back to exterminating cockroaches. Why? BECAUSE WE DESERVE BETTER.