Gene Green and the Democratic Party

I’m surrounded by a lot of Republicans in this state, and that includes the Democrats. Gene Green is one of those such Democrats. While Congressman Green (Gene, that is, not Al) has historically been somewhat liberal on most issues, including healthcare and social policy, he is dragging up the rear of society on the issue of gun control. Michael Bloomberg has recently come up in the news for pushing a Super PAC that would seek to “primary,” i.e., defeat in primary election, moderate Democrats who are pro-guns and pro-NRA. If Mr Green does not change his regressive views about gun control, perhaps the “Bloomberg solution” would be best.

Gene Green has an “A” rating with the National Rifle Association, the same rating as Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Further, he recently stated some pretty disturbing rhetoric in an interview about gun control, stating his unequivocal opposition to the assault weapons ban, saying “Instead of saying we need to outlaw certain types weapons, we need to find better ways to enforce current law, the kneejerk approach of those who want to control firearms may not be the solution.’’ Excuse me?

The Democratic Party has seen their ambitious social and economic policies killed, or severely maimed, because of their own party’s dysfunction. To quote a very wise man from the Texas Democratic Convention last year, we have too many “soft Republicans” who are running around masquerading as Democrats. For example, I support strong bans/regulations on most deadly weapons, gay marriage and the abolition of the death penalty. Are these the radical policies of some socialist? Try Stephen Harper and David Cameron.

Gene Green opposes most gun control measure with any hint of a spine in them. Similarly, he STILL opposes gay marriage, and believes the state has a right to execute someone. Accordingly, I offer Mr Green an ultimatum. Either drag your political beliefs into the 21st century, or answer to the voters.

The 29th District is heavily Democratic. Even in the horrible 2010 election cycle, Green was re-elected with 65% of the vote against Roy Morales, a candidate who had just run for Mayor (had a great name-recognition). A more liberal Democratic nominee would not put the district in jeopardy of a Republican being elected. Additionally, at 66% Hispanic, it is getting a little bit ridiculous that a white guy who isn’t even very liberal is the Congressman. I have no idea who would possibly challenge him next year in the primary, but I would hope that the individual would have the heavy backing of Bloomberg’s SuperPAC.

White leads possible challengers against Cornyn

Public Policy Polling, the Democratic-aligned polling firm that has been notoriously accurate recently, has put out a new report on the state of the 2014 Senate election in Texas. Senator John Cornyn leads his four hypothetical opponents: Julian Castro, Wendy Davis, Annise Parker, and Bill White by good margins. The poll showed that Cornyn is not popular nor unpopular, but still relatively unknown, although Texas is still a solidly Republican state. I’m going to break down the results below.

Obama approval rating–47% (approve) to 51% (disapprove)
Cornyn approval rating–34% (approve) to 30% (disapprove)
Castro approval rating–29% (approve) to 24% (disapprove)
Davis approval rating–15% (approve) to 19% (disapprove)
Parker approval rating–16% (approve) to 17% (disapprove)
White approval rating–34% (approve) to 24% (disapprove)
NRA approval rating–46% (approve) to 40% (disapprove)
Obama impeachment approval–39% (pro-impeach) to 50% (anti-impeach)
Obama or NRA: trust in re guns–43% (Obama) to 47% (NRA)
Banning assault weapons–49% (support) to 41% (oppose)
Police officers in schools–47% (support) to 39% (oppose)
Arming teachers–31% (support) to 56% (oppose)

Cornyn vs. Castro–48% (Cornyn) to 41% (Castro)
Cornyn vs. Davis–48% (Cornyn) to 37% (Davis)
Cornyn vs. Parker–47% (Cornyn) to 36% (Parker)
Cornyn vs. White–45% (Cornyn) to 42% (White)

How it is possible that a majority of Texans support the President’s gun control measures, yet almost 40% support his impeachment (for what?), I will never know. Otherwise, it seems the President’s approval ratings have seen a bounce in Texas for his second inauguration.

I have a few comments about this poll. First, it seems sad that, in all likelihood, none of the Democrats mentioned will run. Second, 2014 is still a LONG ways out, and I seem to recall 2009 polls once upon a time that said Rick Perry was dead in the water. But that’s a whole other story. Third, this poll didn’t seem to measure what I am truly curious about: the GOP primary for the seat (because, in all honesty, that is the only possible way the seat would change hands next year).

Castro has already disavowed any 2014 plans, plain and simple. Davis will be doing something else next year: running for re-election. Parker, as I discussed a million years ago, would most likely not bother with a Statewide, and it is, in my opinion, far more feasible for her to run for Congress. White has been hiding under a cave or something for the last three years, so he is sort of a non-starter in the discussion.

Also, these things are a ways off, and thus, through no fault of the polling house, are unreliable. I recall a 2011 PPP poll which had Cruz trailing, and a June 2010 PPP poll had White & Perry tied. Twenty-two months is an eternity in politics, so a lot will change.

Finally, I was disappointed by how the Republican primary was not discussed. Just as how Cruz came out of nowhere to snatch up a nomination that was, in the eyes of the establishment, Dewhurst’s for the taking, I would not be surprised if a Tea Party like challenged Cornyn in the spring next year. Personally, I’d love to see John Cornyn have to battle someone as reality impaired in a primary as Steve Stockman, but he would make Senator Cruz look sane if he won.

Bottom line, the Democrats need to find a candidate for the Senate. I nominate Tommy Lee Jones. Seriously.

In re Gun Control

The Houston Chronicle has a cover story today about the President’s urge to move forward with gun control legislation. As always, the cynic in me has a few things to say:

1. The right has already won
It  took a plethora of massacres for anything to even be brought up. Tucson, Virginia Tech, Aurora. Whenever this happened, the liberals and centrists of the country declined to even talk about gun control. It was only after over a dozen kindergarden-aged children were murdered, that anything was even brought up.

2. The NRA is too powerful
The NRA is like Grover Norquist when it comes to the GOP (or, you could say, a Teacher’s Union to the Democrats). In addition to the 45 GOP Senators, it might as well control Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AK), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Max Baucus (D-MT), & Jon Tester (D-MT). So 54 Senators, in all.

3. It is unconstitutional
In 2008, the Supreme Court held that banning handguns was a violation of the second amendment. Additionally, in 2010, it reaffirmed this ruling. The two cases (DC v. Heller; McDonald v. Chicago) may be the most powerful evidence yet that any effort towards gun control is futile.