First I should note that I will be phasing down my contributions on this Pundits blog soon, to devote more attention to other national websites that seek original content. Before continuing my series about why Texas (and Florida) are going blue, check out my new column "Break up the banks." I can report serious interest from some in high finance about the suggestion for a dramatic cut in capital gains taxes for investors in banks that voluntarily break up the "too big to fail" institutions. For today, I have an idea to accelerate the story of Texas (and Florida) going blue, a theme that is exciting Texas Democrats and interesting a growing number of national media including, now, Politico. Demographics are destiny. The blue future for Texas and Florida is certain. The question is when.
Should Hillary Clinton decide to run in 2016, both Clintons would be campaigning in Texas and Florida before the 2014 election, which could bring the date of "blue Texas and blue Florida" forward if Texas and Florida Democrats move to aggressively register new voters and recruit strong candidates for 2014. Besides her obvious support from women and other groups, Clinton would add a powerful dimension of support from senior voters that would be decisive in Florida and important in Texas.
Demographics are destiny. I argued this throughout 2011 and 2012 in predicting an Obama victory and Democratic control of the Senate. Republicans and Republican media entirely missed the boat, as they do today, because of their contempt for progressive ideas and analysis (including yours truly, which is fine with me). This is why the GOP was deluded by notions of President Obama allegedly spinning to defeat and Mitt Romney allegedly headed toward a huge landslide win.
This delusional syndrome continues today. The antics of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is far outside the mainstream and who after only a few weeks as senator loudly slandered war hero and veteran's champion Chuck Hagel, illustrates the problem of a GOP that lives in a media and ideological echo chamber that is out of touch with Texas, Florida and America.
Barely months ago, Romney, with great Republican support, was championing the deportation of Hispanics. Republican governors were firing teachers, firefighters and police. Now North Carolina Republicans are launching a war against jobless benefits. When Obama talked about pay equity for women in his State of the Union address, the cameras caught House Republicans looking like they had eaten 10 pounds of poisoned fish.
The Republican governor of Florida has popularity ratings that could ultimately fall below those of Saddam Hussein. Rick Perry in Texas has whispered about secession, while Republicans in Washington appear to favor nullification, attitudes reminiscent of the old Confederacy that are at war with the demographic facts of our time.
Climate change science is real. Demographic facts are real. Most pundits and media are only beginning to understand the depth and velocity of demographic changes and the political transformation they are, right now, force-feeding to Republicans who have lost three of the last four national elections.
The problem of the latest GOP "savior," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is not that he slurped bottled water on camera, but that he slurped the ideas he presented that were little more than recycled Herbert Hoover.
It is fitting that the senator who brilliantly reprimanded Cruz for his cheap shot against the war hero was Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
The suggestion of a massive new voter registration campaign for Texas and Florida is designed to accelerate the timing of the inevitable outcome of those states becoming long-term blue.
In Texas the future is Julián Casto, the brilliant Mayor or San Antonio, and Wendy Davis, the exciting and courageous state senator, not the antagonistic and abusive Cruz.
In Texas the future is the rising star new Congressman Joaquín Castro, the highly successful former Houston Mayor Bill White and the widely respected Houston Mayor Annise Parker, not the crony- capitalist Perry who attacks education and hurts healthcare for women.
In Texas, the future is the dynamic Cecile Richards, who champions the interests of all women through her leadership of Planned Parenthood, not certain Texas Republicans who attack better healthcare for women and seem to be inviting out-of-state opponents of pay equity and supporters of the war against women to "come to Texas" (a bad plan in the modern world).
The future of Texas is found in the entrepreneurial spirit of advertising genius Roy Spence — does "don't mess with Texas ring a bell? — who wrote an important book about business values that puts to shame the notion of the Whole Foods CEO who described the healthcare law as "fascism" before staging a fast book-promotion retreat.
The future of Florida will not be the backward and unappetizing notions of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, but in the next generation of Florida Democrats who will offer the statesmanship of Nelson and the leadership of Clinton, who will sweep to a landslide win in Florida and very possibly carry Texas if she runs in 2016.
Demographics are destiny. The future is now. The outcome is clear. My advice to Texas Democrats, Florida Democrats and national Democrats is to start the biggest voter registration program in history, and with the help of a few good candidates, the future will catch up with the facts, and the voters will leave the Republicans in the past.