Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big tent politics... an endorsement bonanza for Rick...

Kay unveiled her Dick Armey endorsement months ago. Karen Hughes was a surprise to some last week although not to people who have been paying close attention. Kay wrote an op ed with Nolan Ryan which I guess makes that an endorsement. Jim Francis put his name on an op ed likely written by the campaign, and his piece appeared side by side with the piece from Tom Hicks who is a big Rick backer. What happened to Chuck Norris? Rick's peeps claim that Norris was not happy to have been listed on Kay's statewide leadership list early in 2009, because although he likes her and she did appear on his show, she is not pro life enough for the man whose tears could cure cancer... if he only ever cried.

Rick is unveiling endorsement after fairly major endorsement almost daily at this point. One wonders if he is going to run out and have nothing "in the bag" to use once January and February come along.

Some of the endorsements are bigger than others. Getting Cathie Adams... a gigantic critic of Rick in the past... really shows what an uphill battle Kay has on her hands. Getting Texas Right to Life was probably a foregone conclusion, but now Rick can bring that up almost constantly and his peeps can say things like... "why was Kay overlooked for the pro life endorsements? Because she is not pro life..."

Being the pro life candidate in a Republican primary in Texas is huge. It is almost a game over move. Being pro choice or insufficiently pro life like Kay is will be a major mountain to overcome.

Usually a pro choice Republican like Kay can overcome the label by saying... "I am more fiscally conservative, so vote for me if you care about economic issues more than social issues."

For Kay, Rick has asserted himself as a Fiscal Conservative champion. It is his entire stump speech... he doesn't even talk about social issues... and he has been talking about economic freedom and prosperity almost to a fault via the "Texas Model" almost 24/7 for months, unless he is giving a more socially oriented speeches to religious groups behind closed doors that are not being reported.

Rick's peeps meanwhile have painted Kay as a pork barrel lovin' bailout votin' big Washington spender. Kay has not done herself many favors in recent years. Nobody can say with a straight face that Kay is more fiscally conservative than Rick.

Kay talks about wanting a big tent according to Ronald Reagan, but Ronald Reagan meant it in an entirely different way. For those of us unfortunate enough to have lived through the Nixon/Ford era of the GOP, there was a time decades ago when being a member of the Christian right who cared about faith and politics together was a good way to get mocked at Republican dominated country club parties and precinct meetings. Being Republican back then was exclusively a narrow sort of patrician mindset, and talking about social issues or national security issues was a good way to get ostracized by the prevailing GOP crowd.

When Reagan talked about wanting a big tent party, he was talking about bringing all three main types of Republicans to the table... and showing socially conservative people some respect for a change. National security Republicans, social conservatives, and economic Republicans... all made up the big Republican tent.

Reagan's tenure was when the so called Christian right first became a force within the Republican party. Carter in 1976 won Southern states because he was believed to be a social conservative and Ford never warmed to those voters. Nixon and Ford loathed social issues voters, especially Nixon. Reagan welcomed them to the Republican tent and ushered in a period of Republican ascendency from 1980 through 2006.

When Kay and some of her supporters speak about big tents, I think they are really saying that we have to minimize the social conservatives to make the country club set happy.

I love golf and tennis as much as anyone, but they alone do not equal a winning electoral coalition for the GOP. It takes all three traditional parts to win. Reagan Democrats were mostly socially conservative blue collar voters, not socially moderate nor socially liberal voters who happened to like Reaganomics. If anything they were suspicious of Reaganomics but connected with him in other ways, then they came around to Reaganomics after it worked.

The Texas GOP primary in 2010 is much different from America in 1980... and the coalitions are topsy turvy, but I think if Kay is going to speak about Ronald Reagan's big tents, she should at least get the political history right.

If Kay wants to prove that she is the big tent candidate, she could start by winning some endorsements outside of ones we all knew about 6 months ago. Surprise us.

Rick has gotten the police, the anti cap and trade industry biggies, the engineers, the Eagle Forum's Cathie Adams, the pro lifers... realtors in Houston.

Kay must try a lot harder to bring people and groups like that into her tent. Having a big tent means getting a diverse set of endorsements... big names, grassroots groups, bloggers, pro life groups, local groups, statewide groups, tea party groups, pro business groups... and lots of them...

Rick is winning the endorsement battle presently. Therefore... Rick has a bigger tent than Kay right now.


  1. I think both Rick AND Kay don't understand what is going on with the Tea Parties, the 9-12 Groups, and the other people that are recently coming out of the woodwork in droves to restore our republic. For these people, Debra Medina appears to be the only legitimate choice.

    Since she got involved in politics on the pro-life issue, I think the social conservatives will warm to her.

    Her discussion of repealing the state property tax will strongly appeal to the fiscally conservative crowd.

    I see no downside to her yet. Here's where I found most of my information on her: http://www.MedinaForTexas.com/

  2. A vote for Medina is a vote for KBH. Don't waste ur vote.

  3. Kay may as well quit. The only people who are endorsing her seem to be those who have something to gain from her winning the governorship (i.e., her current staffers and the KBH insider industry).

  4. KBH is a corrupt RINO who can't even keep her own story straight when it comes to her own beliefs. Stay away from Texas, Kay. Keep your blundering staffers away from Texas.

  5. It seems like KBH is losing every single facet of this race. Every last one. She's upsetting my county and local party by tearing apart the GOP and exposing her seat to John Sharp/Bill White. She's bringing anti-Texas rhetoric home with her a la Strayhorn. And now, it looks like the papers are bringing up ethics violations...ie she puts $$ into bills that go to projects her hubby works on.

    The good news and the bad news. She'll resign her Senate seat and make it available to a REAL conservative like Michael Williams or Roger Williams. Bad news? We'll probably lose the state house as she divides the GOP. Big tent? pssshh---big ego

  6. so...if she loses the social conservatives AND the fiscal conservatives...where does that leaver her? oh yeah, the Democratic Party. i was very, very surprised when she didn't switch parties after Arlen did

  7. I was initially willing to vote for Sen. Hutchison...then she started talking...more and more...and then i started reading her votes. if that wasn't bad enough, Dallas Morning News told us about shady bond work by her family. then she dropped significantly in the polls.

    since then, she's changed campaign staff, changed websites (that didn't work out i'm told), and changed campaign slogans. if you rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, will it still sink?

  8. KBH goes around acting like some queen bee of the party, but she is why we lost Dallas County, her home county, when she was on the top of the ticket in 2006.

  9. What's all this talk of a Big Tent? Ricky helped take down Pat Haggerty, the last Republican legislator from El Paso. Ron Paul's delegates at the state GOP convention were treated like the homeless.

  10. I thought Republicans like the homeless.... We're supposedly more charitable than the Democrats. I haven't seen the numbers to back that up, but I would like to think that we are. At least we don't try to use the government and everyone's tax dollars to subsidize their continued homelessness.

    I, a Ron Paul Republican who was a delegate to the State Convention, was treated like a homeless leper by those outside of Dallas. The Dallas Republicans treated us well, though. It just depends on where you are and how much pre-Convention work was put into the process. Of course, seating Nueces delegates who participated in a convention that seated delegates who had voted in the Democrat Primary or weren't even registered to vote sullied the entire convention for Grassroots Republicans everywhere.

    What I haven't figured out is why the Houston Realtors endorsed Perry. He wants to steal property to build a freakin' road. Of course, that would increase the scarcity of land, thereby increasing property values, but he still wants to steal land.

    I'm (not very) surprised they didn't endorse the one candidate with a plan for "abolishing property taxes" (RPT Platform, page 21). That would help with foreclosures, which depresses real estate prices, among other benefits. They probably didn't even consider Debra Medina.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.