Skip navigation.
The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Twists, Turns Make Election Fun for Texans

“It’s a big mess,” said Ari Fleischer, President Bush’s former press secretary, while offering his analysis of “Super Tuesday” on CNN. I couldn’t disagree more; what he sees as a big mess, I see as a giant opportunity and not just because Texas will finally factor into the nominating process.

For establishment folks like Fleischer, whether Republican or Democrat, this type of disorderliness is a “big mess.” Commentators make much of the fact that Republicans like a tidy primary process while Democrats supposedly feed on chaos.

That’s not really true at all. There have certainly been interesting twists and turns each cycle but, for the most part, nothing terribly unexpected has happened on either side in a long time. And that’s the way the establishment likes it.

Business leaders, labor officials, lobbyists, activists, the media — they all like a high degree of predictability. It just makes things a lot easier.

So while every election year brings talk of surprise and insurgency, it rarely actually materializes to its fullest degree because the establishment eventually succeeds in restoring order, returns the globe to its axis and makes sure life continues as it is supposed to be.

But in case you haven’t noticed, this year is different. There isn’t a great deal of rhyme or reason for a lot of things that have been happening, and the so-called givens of politics are becoming less and less so.

Take Massachusetts, for example, where Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry both endorsed Barack Obama prior to Super Tuesday. The Kennedy endorsement was a huge media spectacle, and since Obama appeared to be closing the gap so rapidly in so many states in the closing days, it was assumed Massachusetts would be another place where Hillary Clinton would see a once large lead go asunder.

It didn’t happen. It’s almost gotten to the point where you can take just about any theory or assumption that’s thrown out by some so called expert and expect it to be wrong. And it’s great!

For far too long, politics has been far too predictable. Many people seemed to feel that since the final result was a foregone conclusion, there really wasn’t much of a reason to participate in the process. Obviously, that’s no longer the case.

Whether it’s John McCain’s remarkable comeback, Rudy Giuliani’s spectacular fall, Obama’s meteoric rise or Hillary’s badly punctured inevitability, there has been one fascinating turn of events after another.

Now add Texas to the list. For the first time that most can remember, the Lone Star State will play a role in the primary process. There will actually be campaigning here complete with rallies and television commercials and endorsements that matter. It will not be a small role. Just like our fearless leader, we could actually be the decider on the Democratic side.

With 228 delegates at stake and not another major contest until Pennsylvania a full seven weeks later, Texas is now the grand prize.

Suddenly, a lot of people care about the Democratic primary. While two years ago, around 35,000 voted, there are estimates as high as 235,000 this year.

A big mess? Baloney! This is big fun.

(Originally published by Examiner Newspaper Group)

Syndicate content