It is a bit strange, though. Most Americans were taught--or it just came to them in- stinctively--that if you ran from a fight, even one you knew you were going to lose, you were, at best, not a hero. Add to that the fact that you were caught running and cried to the neighbor to protect you, and again, at best, you are not a hero. However, if you are a Democrat, turning tail is considered a virtue, if it means you don’t have to fight and lose. This has got to be a low point for Texas and the democratic system, but not if you hear a Democratic Party leader talk about it.
Until recently,Texas was a state run by Democrats, a situation which had existed since Reconstruction. The Republicans, the few, the proud and the outnumbered, put up with the Democrats telling them what to do for over one hundred years, and, when- ever it came time for a vote, the Republicans voted, stood their ground, and, if it meant defeat, so be it.
A few years ago, things started to turn around in Texas. Republicans started to fill the State Legislature and, lo and behold, they became the majority in the Texas state government. The Democrats were understandably disappointed, but, in the tradition of Texas being part of the United States of America, it was understood that even Republicans had a right to win an election, if that was what the majority of the Texas voters wanted. Then came the terrible year of 2003. There were enough Republicans in the each of the two houses of the Legislature to actually make the rules. This was way too much for the democratically elected Democrats.
The Republicans, being Republicans, and also being in the majority, wanted to do what anyone in their position would do. The Republicans planned on having congres- sional redistricting legislation passed by the State Legislature. When and if the Re- publican majority in the Legislature succeeded in redrawing the boundaries of the 32 U.S. House election districts (congressional districts) in Texas and eliminating the effects of gerrymandering by past Democratic majorities, an additional five and maybe as many as seven more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives would very likely to go to the Republicans in the next congressional election.
The Democrats knew that, if the congressional redistricting bill came up for a vote in the Texas Legislature, they could not win, being as they were now the minority party in both chambers of the Legislature. Their $600 a month salaries were not enough for them to stay and fight, and, though they were elected by the good people of Texas to do their job, the swimming pool at the Holiday Inn over in Oklahoma was calling.
It was like being caught between a rock and a heated swimming pool. Which way were they to turn? What in the world were they do? The Democrats knew they were going to lose, and, while it is true that they only vote once every two years and during their absence a great deal of legislation would be lost, that was OK, since the people of Texas have lived without the new legislation up to now, and if they stayed, horror of horror, the people of Texas, the ones who vote, would be allowed to choose who they wanted, and that must be stopped.
The solution was simple; the Democratic Party leaders in the Texas Legislature would steal away in the middle of the night and head across the Texas border and into Oklahoma, thereby preventing the Legislature from having a quorum to do business --in effect, killing the proposed redistricting legislation. Since Texas law allows the arrest of errant legislators, they had to get out of their home state, and so they did.
But, it also seemed that a lot of people would see a group of elected officials running away across state lines as cowardly. So the Democrats needed a plan. After much deliberation, they came up with a brilliant one.
They would call themselves “heroes.”
No one could argue with them. Since they are elected leaders and they said they were heroes, their claim must be true. People who believed that failing to do your duty, run- ning away, and hiding behind others is cowardly have to be wrong. After all, the Dem- ocrats managed to stop the democratic process from working and prevented Repub- licans from being elected by the majority of people who wanted them elected.
Democrats are proud of their brave “warriors.” They even declared “victory.” In fact, after the proposed legislation was deemed lost and the Texas Democrats re- turned home, the Associated Press reported that Democratic State Representative Patrick Rose said, “It feels great. I feel great about the fact that redistricting is dead and I'm ready to go back to work and get past this partisanship.” You see, for the Democrats, destroying the democratic process for their own political gains is not only “great,” it needs to be forgotten quickly.
There is much to be proud of in the land of Texas, but the 51 Texas Democrats in the state’s government are not among them.
Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and member of the State Bar of California, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and
post-graduate study in behavioral and analytical psychology. He resided for a number of years in the small town of Houl- ton, Maine,
and is now a California attorney. His articles appear in numerous peri- odicals and on numerous websites. He has been the featured guest
on KTSA News Talk Radio. CONTACT INFORMATION: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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