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Saturday, July 10, 2004

Dammit!

I wish I knew that Jim Hightower was gonna be on Air America this morning talking about our redistricting here in Austin and I would have promoted it! This is a very, very, very important issue, y'all. I'm listening to it now. The whole redistricting issue was not well-reported in the major media, but it's a major issue. Because what Republicans do to Texas is exactly what they plan to do to the country.
As Hightower pointed out, we Austinites were the focus of the redistricting. There is a well-planned Republican effort to target Democratic cities that are in mostly Republican states and they had one of their biggest victories in disempowering we citizens of the city of Austin, because we have the audacity to vote Democratic even though as good Texans we're supposed to buckle under and be Republicans.
Our local D.A. is prosecuting Tom Delay, who spearheaded the redistricting campaign, because he accepted money from out-of-state corporations, which is against the law. There's little doubt he's guilty as hell, but we'll wait to see what comes out of it. The major media is paying scant attention to what could bring down one of the most powerful men in the country, but just wait. If he's found guilty (please please please), then it'll be like an unexpected bomb going off in the media.
Austin has been a thorn in the side of the Texas Republican party for a long time now, since we refuse to give in, and more than a few Austin Democrats are prone to pointing out frequently that the Republicans are a bunch of interlopers, possibly under the influence of Oklahoma (only said if you really want to tee someone off). Of course, the furor has focused on the person of one Lloyd Doggett, who persists in being a Democrat! From Texas! The redistricting was pretty much a laser-like attempt to get Doggett out of office. There are a number of seats in trouble now, but Doggett was the main goal. (So if you want to needle Tom Delay, consider helping Doggett out.) I still live in his district, but my vote is going to balanced out nicely by the Bible-thumpers outside of the city I now get to vote with. My neighborhood has a Doggett sign in 2 out of 3 yards, it seems, but we can only go so far being in such a funky district.
The Get Austin! campaign was funded handsomely on every level by corporate interests that don't give a shit about Austin or Texas so much as about stacking the House in Congress with as many Republicans as possible. But the idea that Austin somehow deserves to be disenfranchised, that we don't get to vote as a city/county on behalf of ourselves, that the Republicans have a right to saddle us with small towns full of reactionaries to cancel out our votes, well that was sold to ordinary Texans by way of the culture war.
The Democrats who fled to New Mexico to stall the redistricting vote were routinely portrayed as cowards who were protecting nobody's interests except their own. As for the voters who actually put them in office, whose interests they roundly (and truthfully) claimed to be protecting, well, it was insinuated that those voters are hardly real Texans. For one thing, a number of them are racial minorities, whose votes are routinely considered over-rated by Republicans. And of course, Austin is barely part of Texas, you know. Freaks, hippies, weirdos and Democrats all over the place.
Again, where Texas goes so goes the nation when it comes to Republican politicking. In Texas and Florida you can witness what is going to be a major Republican strategy in the future: disenfranchising voters simply because they vote for the wrong party, and then portraying those disenfranchised voters as less important because they are less American somehow. They smoke pot, don't wear bras, are black, don't go to church, are more educated than average, whatever. In the Florida recount, people who were disenfranchised were dismissed for being elderly, black, Jewish or somehow "whiny". Same thing here.
Even if you live in a part of the country where your Democratic district is more comfortably padded, geography-wise, be cautious. The meme is out there--your vote doesn't quite count, because people who would vote Democratic are less than real Americans, somehow.

3 Comments:

Blogger nope said...

Hi,

I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family


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